Letting Go Is So Hard

This past Saturday we decided we were going to head out to our favorite corn maze, Sweet Fields Farms.  The weather was beautiful, a welcome change from the life sucking heat and humidity we’re used to. We were getting ready to walk out the door when our friends called to let us know the wait to get in was two hours! I’m not gonna lie, I  was a little disappointed, but we were happy they were doing so well.

Not to be discouraged, we heard about another little farm not to far from Sweet fields and we decided to give it a try. When we arrived at the Farm there were quite a few cars, but it didn’t look to crowded.  The layout of the farm was really nice albeit a little smaller.  We found a spot at some picnic tables nestled beneath a few large oak trees and it wasn’t long before Meg asked if she could go into the corn maze with her friends.


My stomach dropped as I tried to come up with excuses as to why she should wait, but  I could see in her eyes she really wanted to go!  Her body language was screaming please let me be independent and after laying down a few rules and making sure she and her friends had their phones I agreed to let her go.  She squealed with excitement and disappeared into the maze leaving me to ponder my worst fears…

What if she has a seizure?  What if someone tries to take her?  Stop! She’ll be fine! You need to let her do this!  My hubby had gone to get food and was unaware of the huge step I’d just taken. So I sent him a quick text message to let him know I’d given our daughter a taste of freedom. To which he replied “Okay!”

I’m sure our friends were talking to me at this point, but I couldn’t tell you a word they said. I could feel my anxiety starting to kick in and the helicopter mom in me wanted to jump up and run into the maze after her.  All the what ifs had kidnapped my concentration and were attacking my rational thought process.

About this time my hubby arrived with the food and I nervously devoured a really good fish taco.  It’s funny how time works in situations like this, the minutes seem to drag on for hours.  I looked at Erich and he knew my mind was ready to explode.

Then it happened… I saw her! I saw this big, radiantly independent smile on her face and all my crazy thoughts and fears were replaced with a sweet, warm and fuzzy feeling. It was validation! I’d made the right choice! She was walking in my direction, full of joy, scanning the area trying to remember what table we were sitting at.  I jumped up, smiled and waved like a lunatic. She saw me and ran over, all excited, to tell me all about her corn maze adventure and I absorbed every word.

After that I relaxed a little and asked Meg if she wanted to take a few pictures with me and head over to the petting zoo.  It made me happy when she belted out her usual “Sure!”

The petting zoo was small and the animals were charming.  We were able to pet goats, pot bellied pigs, rabbits, fluffy looking chickens and a super friendly llama.  I basked in her delight and we wandered out to some of the other photo op and game areas the farm had set up.  Meg held her own at tug-a-war and posed with a skeleton.  We even went back into the maze.  All in all it was a great day!

You hear people say don’t blink they grow up so fast and now I know exactly what they mean. When she was little I couldn’t wait for her to do and try new things, now I just want her to slow down and time to stop. I’ll leave you with this song till next time…

Expired Tags, A Frisk, and A Screwdriver

A few days ago, on my way to work, I noticed a police car following close behind me.  Now usually I move over because, it’s been my experience, if you’re not speeding and you have your seat belt on they want you to move over so they can pass through and why would today be any different? I’m all good right?


The police car moves over with me, his car still close behind mine.  I get that sinking feeling, you know the one where you know you’re about to be pulled over and in one last ditch effort I change back to my original lane to see if the move over was coincidental and his lights go on! Crap! I drive a little further to a safe spot where I can pull over, pop the car in park, roll my window down and wait…

“Good morning sir!”  I say as I hear him tap on my car and appear at my window, but slightly behind me.  In the rear view I notice he has tattoos up his right arm, it’s not relevant, but I notice all the same.

“Ma’am did you know your tag is expired?”

“No it isn’t!” I say without thinking.  It can’t be I just bought this car a little over a year ago, we keep everything up to date.

“Its eight months expired!”

I must’ve looked like a deer in head lights as I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about? My hubby takes care of all of that, he wouldn’t let it expire.

“Do you have your registration?”

“Yes! I mean I should… Do you mind if I open the glove box and check?”

He doesn’t mind, so I use pincher fingers to shuffle through the paper in my glove box, but I can’t find it?

“It’s not in here? Do you mind if I check my purse?”

At this point I want to let him know exactly what I’m doing, I’ve seen the news and I don’t want to become a statistic! He’s very nice and doesn’t have a problem with me rummaging through my purse.

I forgot to mention… I had asked to call my husband so he could assist me in finding my non-existent registration and he’s on the car speaker phone while I’m going through all these exercises.

Finally, I ask the officer if I can look in the armrest for my registration?

“Do you have any weapons?”

My mind flashes to the little hammer I have in the armrest.  I have it so I can break a window in the car if I ever need to and it has a few other useful gadgets on it. I feel myself get a little nervous.

” well, I have…” the officer takes a step back and puts his hand to his side.

“… no,no, no it’s a little hammer!” I can’t get the words out fast enough.

“I use it to break windows!”

That’s just great Kirsten, you sound like you’ve just confessed to breaking and entering! My left hand is up and the other is gently opening the arm rest for him to see and I’m relieved he relaxes. Again, I use pincher fingers to take it out and again no registration.

“The thing is ma’am there isn’t a decal on your tag!”

At this point my husband chimes in…

“Yeah the dealer sent the tag without the decal… I was waiting for them to send us the sticker.”

I blurt out “For eight months?”

I’m thinking I just went through all of that and he knew I had no decal, which pretty much means no registration! By now the officer is pretty sure I had no clue I was driving around with an expired tag.

“Are you on your way to work?”


“Where do you work?”

I tell the officer I work at the local high school and he goes on to tell me he doesn’t like to give teachers tickets and I’m not about to tell him I’m not one and instead thank him kindly.

“Just so you’re aware ma’am, driving around without a decal is a misdemeanor and it’s an arrestable offense!”

Oh my god I’m a felon!

“Really? Don’t tell me that I’ll cry! I honestly didn’t know!”

He tells me he’s giving me the benefit of the doubt, but tells me I need to go to the courthouse to get it taken care of today.  He also tells me if Florida Highway Patrol pulled me over they could arrest me.

“Thank you officer! I will call my work and go right this minute.”

He nods and I’m allowed to leave.  He follows me most of the way to the court house and I make a call to let my work know I’m a felon and I’m gonna be late.  Oh wait… there’s more!

I arrive at the court house and walk in to what looks like an airport with the metal detector and the conveyor, scanny, thingamajig you put your purse on and I briefly think to myself oh how times have changed. I walk up and place my purse and keys on the conveyor and walk through the metal detector.


Seriously? I don’t have anything on me. I smile at the guy and walk over to him to get scanned. He runs the wand over me, gets to the front of my pants and it beeps.  I look down and lift my shirt a little. I explain that my pants have a little clasp and a zipper and he says those wouldn’t be strong enough to set it off.

“I can unbutton my pants if you’d like me to, I’m wearing granny panties, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t set it off!”

He’s not really amused,bu he’s satisfied I’m not brandishing any weapons on me.  I go to get my purse and there’s a problem. For gods sake what now?

“I need you to take your keys out of your purse!”


I take them out and lo and behold they’re just keys!

“Nope that’s not it!”

“What do you see? What are you looking for?”

He asks if I carry any small weapons about 4-5 inches long? I tell him no, but he’s welcome to search my purse. He says for me to look through my purse and I’m like okay, but I told you I don’t have… my hand hits something cold and long in my purse and I think what in the… oh snapdragons! I start to smile…

“Um… I just remembered my daughter was eating a yogurt in the car last night…”

I start pulling the object out of my purse and my mind reverts to the 1990’s movie Robinhood where Allan Rickman, the sheriff, talks about using a spoon to cut out Kevin Costner who plays Robin Hood’s heart “because it’ll hurt more!” But I digress…

“… I put the spoon in my purse meaning to take it inside the house, but forgot. I’m sorry!”

Much to his and my relief he didn’t feel you could do much harm with a spoon.  I mean, I guess he could’ve thought I used the spoon for recreational drugs, but sorry dude all I get is mommy street cred with this spoon!

“Do you carry an aerosol? Pepper spray?”


“Can you check?”

Why not? I look and can’t find anything, we talk about what could be and finally realize it’s my inhaler!

“You’re all good!”

Thank god for that! So I walk to the counter and ask the nice lady where I go to get my registration. She politely pounts and says you go out the door, through the courtyard, and into the next building.

Seriously? If there’s another metal detector I’m going to scream and throw an epic tantrum. I lucked out, no scanning devices whatsoever. I don’t know if that’s good for the folks working in that particular building, but again I digress…  I pay my fees and now my tag is good till 2018.

Finally, on my way home I run over a screwdriver that flips up and sticks in the undercarriage of my car by the passenger door! I think it’s in the axle area until a nice man at Meg’s school notices it and offers to pull it out.


It was quite a day to say the least, but I’m glad to say I’m no longer a felon and my car is fine! However, I do now have two weapons in my car, three if you count the spoon and I’m keeping that mommy street cred! Till next time…

I’ve Missed You

What a lovely facebook post I was tagged in yesterday by the lovely Tara Cain over at Sticky Fingers.  It really brought me back to the time when blogging was fun, less competitive and we were just moms with with kids looking for ways to connect with each other, to laugh and cry about all the wonderful and sometimes painful things happening in our day to day lives. Don’t get me wrong I’m not knocking the bloggers who have monetized their blogs, more power to you, I just miss the simplicity of it all.

Nickie from Typecast struck a chord when she said it can still be that, you just have to not care about everything else and just blog.  Thank you Nickie!

So… this morning I got up, grabbed my grumpy mug, my generic kuerig… It’s a HamiltonBeach, but it has Hamilton in the title, that has to count for something, right?  I digress… Where was I? Oh yes! My Natural bliss pumpkin pie creamer, and I decided I was going to say I MISSED YOU!

I don’t know if you missed me, but I really miss the late night writing and waking up to find all the lovely comments of support, making friendships, many of which I still have on facebook.  I find myself smiling and my heart swelling when I see how much our kids have grown and how lovely they all are.  I miss the laughs, the humor and most of all I miss the relief of knowing there were and are moms out there who were just like me!

So what have we been up to these last few years?  Well, I went back to work and I’m currently employed in a high school.  I’m not a teacher, but don’t tell the officer who pulled me over yesterday because he thought I was and decided not to give me a ticket for that reason… I’ll save that story for tomorrow! My husband is still an insurance adjuster, but recently changed companies. Meg is growing up far to quickly and is, as always, my hero!  Daisy our fabulous dog is getting older and likes to hide in the bathroom when storms come, peeking her head out from behind the shower curtain like the nosey neighbor does from behind the blinds.  Finally, we have a new addition to the family… Dave The Diva, our chubby little hamster, who likes to keep me up at night with his squeaky wheel!  I might have to do a blog post about the things you don’t think about when you’re sucked into buying that adorable, fluffy, little rodent!

I know I’ve said it before, reference my last few posts, but I think I’m back! Yep! I think I’m going to give the blogging thingy a go again!  I’m not going to self host or worry about stats and  I might drive Nickie crazy with my poor grammar, but if you’re interested in watching how I slide through life one banana peel at a time (did you like that little nod to my tag line? Yes I’m that corny!) I would love to follow you and if you would like me to follow you put your link in the comments and till next time…

Disclaimer: I was not paid for nor asked to endorse the products in the crappy picture above… you’re welcome Disney, HamiltonBeach, and Natural Bliss!

PS. Thanks Tara for the look back and the reminder of why I loved blogging. *kisses*

PPS. Wow… my blog needs a little dusting!  I may have to give it a face lift!

2016 Lets Do This

In 2016 I’m dusting off the keyboard, grabbing a coffee, and giving the old blog another go.  Lots of things have happened to our family since I last put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard (depending on how you look at it). We were lucky enough to experience the National Epilepsy Walk in D.C. twice and on the second trip we were able to raise a little over $2000 to support the Epilepsy Foundation.

Our first trip to D.C. was filled with so much emotion.  I Think I  was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people and often felt as though my attention span was minute due to complete sensory overload.  One of  the  highlights was being able to finally meet some of the friends we’d made through Talk About It.   There were moments of joy as we hugged and shared our excitement, as well as moments of sadness remembering our friends lost to epilepsy.

As we took everything in and headed over to the start line we spotted Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars, Coach Jerry Kill of the Minnesota Gophers, and Philip Gattone the current president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation, all of whom are champions of the cause due to their own personal journeys with epilepsy.

I don’t know what I expected, but seeing the sea of purple shirts and knowing each one was fighting the same battle as our little girl brought tears to my eyes.  Words can’t explain how I felt as I explained to Meg all of those purple shirts were people with epilepsy just like her.  Her expression was surprise and her response was disbelief… “REALLY?”

Our walk was also made special because my best friend and her daughter, who is Meg’s best friend, was able to come and walk with us.  As they kicked off the national walk, a band began to play, people were smiling and holding up signs for their loved ones.  Memories and friendships were being made as people snapped photos and marched together as one.

As we followed the motion of the crowd we would break away with small groups and visit different monuments.  It was our first time in Washington D.C. so we wanted to take it all in, so many landmarks and so much history.

We didn’t realize how big the National Mall was and really should’ve worn something other than Converse sneakers. Even though our feet and legs hurt we were able to cross the finish line.

We loved our trip so much we made it back the following year and even designed our own team Meghan t-shirts.  The 2015 walk fell on the same day as the blossom festival so we were able to see all the trees in full bloom.

We’d like to give a huge shout out to all of the people who put the walk together year after year, Ken Lowenburg, Philip Gattone, Greg Grunberg, Jerry Kill, Rick Harrison, all of the hard working volunteers and families that help raise money and make it an enjoyable and memorable experience.

So, 2016… Well, if you are willing, you can join me as I recap where and what we’ve been up to and see what the future holds for our family as we continue to slide through life one  banana peel at a time.

Payin’ It Forward With Pumpkin #AJO

It's Pumpkin Season at Dunkin (coffee, iced pumpkin coffee, and pumpkin donut)

~ Photo Provided by Dunkin Donuts through Tilson PR~

Nothing quite says fall like Pumpkin!  So I was super pumped when my friend Teresa over at Making It All Work invited me as her plus one to sample some delicious and fabulous fall treats at Dunkin’ Donuts this past Tuesday!  I have to tell you it didn’t take much persuasion as I’m a lover of all things pumpkin and it turns out pumpkin is what was on the menu!

We arrived and were greeted by  Maru who asked us if we’d downloaded the Dunkin’ Donuts app yet?

Um… but of course!


Apps rock!

Especially when they give away free stuff and this particular app does just that! Not only does this app give you special offers, it also helps you find the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts!  AND it doesn’t stop there…  you can also buy a Dunkin’ Card and pay for your purchases and/or buy gift cards to send to your family and friends for the holidays!  How cool is that?!

I know very cool right!

After we discussed the app we met Maria the store manager!  I was so impressed to learn that Dunkin’ Donuts actually allows its staff the creativity to come up with a donut of their own.  Maria’s particular store, located at 4012 Armenia Ave in Tampa, came up with a Latin infused Guava filled donut topped with a vanilla cream icing and toasted coconut.  I’m not a huge fan of Guava, but I have to say it was really good!


My mouth was watering and my taste buds were dancing when Maria started bringing out all of the pumpkin items.

First we sampled their new Pumpkin Pie Donut

Pumpkin Pie Donut & Coffee

~Picture provided by Dunkin’ Donuts through Tilson PR~

This was one of my favorites donuts, filled with a pumpkin pie flavored buttercream and then topped with a white icing and sprinkled with graham crackers!

Next we sampled the pumpkin donut and their little pumpkin counter parts the munchkins!


I was begged to bring home some of the pumpkin munchkins by my little one who informed me I was “The BEST mom EVAH!” as she sat and ate them!


Oh wait…

Did I tell you we also got to try their different pumpkin coffees?

Pumpkin Beverage Line Horizontal Lifestyle

~Picture provided by Dunkin’ Donuts through Tilson PR~

I couldn’t make up my mind which was my favorite:  The Pumpkin Iced Coffee or the Pumpkin White Chocolate Latte!  I guess, because the weather can run hot and cold a little further into the season I could go with the Latte on the cooler mornings and the Iced Coffee when it gets sunny and hot!

My all time favorite thing pumpkin is Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Muffin!

Pumpkin Muffin

~Picture provided by Dunkin’ Donuts through Tilson PR~

I must have one of these bad boys every year when pumpkin season rolls around!  As a matter of fact I may end up going out and getting another one today!

If for some reason you’re not in a pumpkin kind of mood, but you want something a bit more hearty for breakfast Dunkin’ Donuts also offers the Angus Steak Big N Toasty!

Angus Steak Big N' Toasted

~Picture provided by Dunkin’ Donuts through Tilson PR~

We were given samples of this sandwich and I can tell you a few of us took a second sample because they were really tasty!

We chatted with Mura about the things we liked the best and then thanked her for the opportunity!  As thank you for coming out she handed us each a swag bag with a lb of coffee, a cute DD mug and a $20 gift card inside!

I didn’t think much about the swag bag till later that night when a friend sent me a link to an article about a young girl name Alyssa O’neill!  My heart ached for her family and as I read on I couldn’t hold back my emotions when I learned Alyssa had suffered a sudden seizure which had ultimately taken her life. SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy) is a fear of mine and a fear for most parents of children with epilepsy, but  for this family it had become a reality.

The day before Alyssa passed her parents had received a text from their daughter about wanting to try a Pumpkin Spiced Latte and unfortunately it never came to pass, but in an effort to remember their daughter they bought and paid for 40 Spiced Lattes which were given out to strangers.  They only asked that #AJO (Alyssa’s initials) be written on the cups and that they tell the people who received them about Alyssa’s story.  Moved by this others began to pay it forward and #AJO went viral.

Immediately after reading the article I thought of the gift card I’d received and the next morning I headed out to my local Dunkin’ Donuts.  I pulled the manager aside, shared Alyssa’s story, and asked if I added a little money to the gift card could they mark it with #AJO, retell Alyssa’s story and pay it forward.  The manager agreed, I thanked her and headed home feeling like I had helped Alyssa’s family in some small way tell the world about their daughter!


I am deeply, deeply  sorry for the O’neill’s loss as no parent should ever have to bury their child, but I’m also thankful for their simple act of kindness!  People, including myself, were moved by Alyssa’s story and began sharing pictures on twitter and Facebook.  Now a simple act of kindness to remember their daughter has become a movement!   #AJO pay it forward has gone global and attracted the attention of news networks, talk shows and celebrities.  Your daughter can never be replaced, but her memory will help so many others including my own daughter, by bringing attention to Epilepsy and SUDEP!

~While I was invited to sample these products, the review and opinions on them are my own.~

Disney Should Stand With Special Needs Families And Continue To Create Magical Memories

I remember the first time we took Meg to Walt Disney World! It was for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas, she was 4 months old and I was really nervous about the trip.  Meg had started having seizures just three months prior and we had spent so much time in and out of the children’s hospital they had begun to know her by name.  It was our first trip as a family and  I remember talking to her epileptologist and asking him if we should go?  Where were the hospitals?  What if she were to have a seizure at the park?  How would we handle the people around us?  Our epileptologist reassured us Orlando had great medical care for children with epilepsy “just go… enjoy yourselves!”  So we decided to go with our family, who had originally planned the getaway!

I remember arriving late and being so nervous, so full of anxiety!  The parade had already started so we made our way through the crowd and found a spot where we could see.  Erich had picked up Meg and there were these big, bright, illuminated toy soldiers marching towards us.  I glanced over  at my daughter, so content in her daddy’s arms, and I could feel my throat start to tighten and my eye begin to well, she was so beautiful and she was smiling!  I wasn’t sad!  For the first time, in our short journey, I felt like everything was going to be okay!  For that brief, but precious moment I could let go of all the fear and anxiety and just fully submerge myself in her joy!  Tears streamed down my face as the parade came to an end and we made our way to the hot chocolate and cookies stand.  My  husband looked at me and I didn’t have to say a word, he embraced me and even though we were standing in the middle of thousands of people we shared a special moment, just the three of us!

Eleven years later,  we are more informed about epilepsy and aren’t quite as nervous or scared about taking trips to Disney!  We now know with most parks or venues we can always call ahead to find out where the medical facilities are located and what their protocol is in the event of an emergency.  We know seizures can be scary, but we also know Meg’s seizures can be managed with the right combination of meds and her epilepsy should never prevent us from getting out and enjoying life.

Lately there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Walt Disney changing its Guest Assistance Card Program.  Our family could easily benefit from this program, being my daughter has epilepsy and I suffer panic attacks, but we choose not to use it!


Not because we don’t need it, but rather we’ve always felt there are other families who need it much more than we do, but knowing the program exists is comforting!

I’m deeply saddened and disappointed by the poor choices of a few and outcries of others who don’t fully understand the negative impact they’re having on special needs!  They don’t realize how their actions  can and will change the system in place that has worked so well for so many special families.  It is so important for Disney to send a strong message that they stand with special needs as they’re such a huge force and really set the standards and pave the way for other corporations.  In my heart I feel Disney will do the right thing and continue to make magical memories while still providing accommodations to special families.  As for us, we take each day/moment as it comes and try not to sweat the small stuff!  We see every day and milestone as a blessing and are thankful for those who don’t join the lynch mobs, take the time to educate themselves and fight for the rights of others.

Disney Meg1