girls, listen up

If I could give every young girl on the planet some advice it would be this:  stand up tall, shoulders back.

I was probably in my thirties by the time I started doing this for myself.  Now I cringe when I look back at high school homecoming pictures and there I am in a sea of girls, shoulders hunched, and totally insecure.

I saw a picture on Facebook recently of a young girl I know.  Cute kid, smart kid, good athlete, but shoulders slumped.  And I see this all the time with young girls in particular.  Nothing screams, “I don’t believe in myself” more than poor posture.  Take it from a girl who just wanted to be invisible for a large part of her school age years.  Now when I look back at pictures, I just want to slap myself.

So it is my mission to tell every slouching chickadee that I encounter to stand up, god damn it!  I’m having flashbacks now of me yelling at my cheerleaders as they take the mat to start their routine, “Chins up, shoulders back”.  I wish someone would have instilled this in me at an earlier age.

Because here’s the deal…..even if you are totally unsure of yourself on the inside, carrying yourself with confidence gives you the edge.  People aren’t going to believe in you if they don’t think YOU believe in you.  In fact, they’re probably going to eat you alive and spit you out.

So mothers tell your daughters, teachers tell your students, coaches tell your athletes:  stand up tall, chin up, shoulders back.  Confidence, ladies!

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Hannah loving the warmer weather, swinging away at the park.

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Too cool for school.

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I love a baby in striped pjs!

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Lucy is just trying to survive the Hannimal.  Please don’t step on me!

two babies under two

Thank goodness for small favors.  Both girls are currently napping.  No idea how long this will last, and my peace could be interrupted at any time by a crying baby or toddler, but I am going to take this rare moment of solitude on the couch to blog.

Things I am learning about having two under two

  1. You have to let a lot of shit go.  You just do.  I still do a damn good job of keeping my house and self pulled together, BUT… I’ve learned to let the dishes pile up a little bit longer that usual.  I’ll dump the laundry basket on the bed and get to it later.  I’ll shower at 9 PM after everyone’s asleep, rather than the second I walk in the door from the gym.  The dogs don’t need to go out quite so often.  Stuff like that.
  2. When two babies are crying at once, someone’s gotta wait.  A crying baby used to raise my blood pressure to the point where I’d pull over to put a binkie back in, or I’d get out of the shower to rock a bouncy seat.  Now I just hear the cries but don’t have a physical reaction to them.  I’ve learned a baby can cry for a little bit, and it’s not the end of the world.  Sometimes I don’t even take the baby monitor into the bathroom when I shower.  Why ruin a perfectly peaceful shower?  Mom of the year, right here…
  3. There is a fine art to getting three people dressed, fed, and out the door.  It requires a tremendous amount of planning, looking at the clock, and anticipating every road block.  Wardrobe changes because of spit up or diaper explosions may occur, and timing is of the essence.  If you mess it up, you will find yourself stuck at home until the next diaper change/feeding session is over.  My morning pretty much looks like this:  everyone eats breakfast, everyone gets cleaned and dressed, everyone has a morning snack, everyone gets a diaper change, everyone gets packed up and bundled up.  Sounds simple, right?  Yet it takes four hours….weird.
  4. Early bed times are the key.  Hannah used to go to bed at 7.  The day we brought Lucy home, I decided her bedtime was moving to 6:30.  BEST. DECISION. EVER.  This allows us to get Lucy into bed by 7 most nights, and then Eric and I can actually have an hour or so to have to ourselves before he goes to bed.  And then….my most cherished time of the day…when the whole house is quiet, and it’s just me and the dogs.  I mostly spend it doing dishes, showering, pumping, and catching up on social media, emailing or texting, but it doesn’t matter.  It’s quiet.
  5. You will not survive without a strong relationship.  Having two babies is busy.  Asking each other for help, communicating about expectations, and discussing scheduling and child care arrangements are necessary.  But finding ways to stay connected as a couple is essential.  We love our kids to pieces, and I absolutely adore watching Eric with the girls.  But what I cherish most are our kid free cuddles and conversations that have nothing to do with parenthood.  It’s our bond as a couple that gives me confidence in our partnership.  Without that bond, parenting would feel very lonely.

I’ve managed to write this entire blog, uninterruped.  Both of my nappers are still sleeping, but there have been a couple of stirrings, and I know my time is limited.  And just like that….we have a crier.  Oh, make that TWO criers!  Off to be mom of the year again.  Time for the next round of snacks and diaper changes!


Lucy doing what she does best!


Hannah rocking a new doo!


Daddy gets the best smiles!


The Hannimal is really into making faces!


life with lucy

I wish I took the time to write down my thoughts right after Lucy was born because now I sit, exactly one month after her birth, and I feel like her delivery was ages ago.  I am so immersed in the NOW that I have some trouble going back to those first few days.

When Lucy finally graced us with her presence I remember being amazed at how small she was.  (8 lbs 3 oz).  Not really small as far as babies go, but really small as far as humans go.  She’s such a calm, sweet little baby.  We are very much enjoying the baby snuggles, and Hannah cannot get enough of her baby sister.  She’d probably kiss her (and smush her) to death if we let her.

Life with two babes is BUSY.  About five days in, I crashed hard and had a flare up of anxiety and panic.  But I’ve pulled it together and we are finding our rhythm.  Since Lucy’s been born we’ve been hit with the stomach bug, colds, and a nap strike from big sister Hannah.  Things are on the up and up now though, and we are on a good napping streak this week.  There have even been a couple of times when both girls were asleep at the same time…!

Tomorrow little Lu will be one month old.  Time flies.  She’s precious, that’s for sure.  And I completely understand now how your heart is capable of loving two children without diminishing the love for the first one.  I’m enjoying getting to know Lucy and imagining the type of person she will be.  She’s not quite the Tazmanian Devil we predicted she might be (yet!) and she certainly didn’t come out with a blonde pony tail!  My gut tells me she’s going to be very different from her big sister Hannah.  Time will tell.  Witnessing these little ladies grow and develop is so much fun.  I’m looking forward to a lifetime of precious moments!

Here are some sweet snaps of Lucy from her first month.

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let the madness begin (again).

I don’t even know where to begin.  I have taken such a long hiatus from blogging, that I can’t even figure out where to pick up.  My heart has been calling me back to blogging for months now.  But this is the first time I’ve actually forced myself to sit down and do it.

Life is busy.  For a while there I threw myself into motherhood pretty hard and tried to keep it all together.  Well, I did keep it all together on the motherhood front.  However, I definitely lost some pieces of my self along the way.  I’m working on finding ways to listen to myself and meet my needs and not put myself last all the damn time.  I know every mom goes through this, but it’s definitely an adjustment.  Asking for help is just so hard for me, but I’m learning how to lean on others for support.

I love being Hannah’s mom, but I HATE being on her schedule.  I hate revolving my life around her naps and meal times.  I just want to go do what I want and need to do, when I want and need to do it.  (I know….this is the life of a mom.  I get it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.)  I hate sitting around the house.  This is the hardest part about motherhood for me.  She’s a great kid, and is easy to take out and about to do errands or even to the gym.  But life revolves around her now, not me.  So, like every mom, I’ve had to give up a lot.  I am fortunate to have a great support system, and doting grandparents who love to watch her, so I can get some me time every now and then.

But things are about to get insane.  I am expecting another baby girl, Miss Lucy Violet Magee, any day now.  In fact, she’s already late.  She was due four days ago.  I am terrified about how I am going to manage with TWO babies.  I know I can manage the logistics.  I am not worried about that.  It will be rough, but like anything, we will fall into a rhythm and it will smooth out.  I am worried about how the hell I am going to find time for my own self care with two little nuggets by my side.  Forever.  FOR. EVER.

How am I ever going to find time to get to the gym?  I know I sound like a crazy person.  But I need to work out.  It’s my sanity.  And I have goals I want to achieve.  I know there are some women who think you just have to forget about your goals when you have children.  But I say, screw that.  How am I going to teach my daughters to be strong, independent women if I don’t lead from the front.  I HAVE to find time for my goals, dreams, hobbies.  Otherwise, I’m going to be like those other miserable moms out there suffocating from loneliness and longing.  I started to experience that life, for just a brief moment, and it scared the shit out of me so hard.  Others may settle for that life, but not me.  But God, it’s going to be hard to figure out.

Another thing that terrifies me a little is whether or not I can love Lucy like I love Hannah.  This whole pregnancy has been a blur and I don’t feel like I really gave Lucy’s pregnancy the same “attention” that I did with Hannah’s.  Hannah was our little miracle.  Our light after the darkness.  Lucy’s pregnancy has been a lot more laid back and more of an after thought.  Jeez, I even feel guilty writing that.  And Hannah is such an amazing little girl and she’s been a pretty happy and easy baby.  I worry that Lucy has really big shoes to fill.  Eric and I keep joking that she’s probably going to be a little Tazmanian Devil.  He had a dream last night that she was born with a blonde pony tail and was bouncing off the walls.  I picture her to be a cartoon character, like straight out of the Incredibles.  Hannah was and still is our sweet, little angel.  I’m so unsure about how I’m going to love little Lucy the same amount as I love Hannah, it definitely has me freaked out.

I’m hoping to go into labor any second.  We need to just rip the damn band aid off, and get on with it already.  Let the madness begin.

latest (230×230)





Being an adult has completely gotten the better of me lately and I’ve lost my mojo for writing.  If I can’t write from an honest place, then I can’t write.  Thus, my hiatus from the blog.

But this morning I got the bug.  The urge to write came back.  So I’m going to tackle a subject I’ve been wanting to blog about for months:  Legacy

For years, the fifth graders in my school district have read Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (great book, and the kids get a kick out of the fact that we have the same last name).  In the very beginning of the story, the author talks about Maniac Magee’s “legacy”, and I usually have to explain to the kids what a legacy is.

Subconsciously, I’ve always tried to be someone who would leave a legacy.  I think I’ve only recently become aware of how important this is to me.

When I was fresh out of college, the first job I got was as the varsity cheer coach at my high school.  For NINE years that job consumed me.  I wanted to build a respectable program.  I wanted to help young girls be confident in themselves and proud of something.  I wanted to take a team to States.  I wanted to teach those girls what it was like to work hard.  This would be my legacy.  Or would it?

After I stopped coaching cheerleading and transitioned into coaching CrossFit, I thought that might be my legacy.  I liked helping people become healthier and more confident.  I liked supporting people in their self-improvement.  And I liked the whole fitness scene.  But ultimately, I realized coaching CrossFit wasn’t what I really wanted to spend my time doing.  So it likely wasn’t going to be my legacy either.

Then there’s the teaching gig.  In the fall I will be starting my FIFTEENTH year of teaching (Holy cow, I’m old!).  I do love my job.  I love it most because I get to help kids become creative thinkers, independent learners, and hard working people.  At least, that’s what I try to do every day.  This is a pretty significant part of my legacy. Or so I thought.

Because then I became a mother.

It is so clear to me now.  This will be my legacy.  This is my purpose.  This is why I’m here.  I am lucky to have been granted opportunities in my professional life to effect change in other people’s lives.  But at the end of the day….that is my professional life.  Without a doubt, with 100% certainty, I can say that the single most important job I will EVER do is be a mom.

It’s so overwhelming.  But so amazing.  To know that I get to watch Hannah (and hopefully others) grow, and learn, and struggle, and rise….that gives me such a sense of satisfaction.  My kids will live on after I’m gone, and the lessons I teach them will extend beyond the years that I walk this earth.  That’s so important.  And that’s why I’m here.

This smile....

This smile….

Me and my Hannah Roo

Me and my Hannah Roo

Just this morning...enjoying some breakfast at the gym.

Just this morning…enjoying some breakfast at the gym.

this teacher’s answer

A friend of mine just interviewed for a teaching job.  I asked her if there were any questions that she wasn’t prepared for.  She said that the one she stumbled over the most was this:

At the end of the year, how do you know that you’ve had a good year?

This got me thinking.  And you know what I think the answer is?  Simple.  You feel it in your gut.  You just know.  It’s a feeling.  A permeating, all-encompassing, intangible FEELING.

Forget assessments.  Forget data.  Forget evidence.  Forget rubrics.

You want to know if you’ve had a good year?  Listen to your heart.  Look at your students’ faces.  You just know.  I’m pretty sure I just had one.


when the doubt creeps in

Someone recently said to me, “Nothing makes you doubt yourself like motherhood.”  And it brought on a flood of tears that I have been holding in for two months now.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I love being a mom.  And I do believe I am good at it.  It feels natural to me and I have always loved taking care of other people.  Ever since I was a child I have been practicing being a mom.  My favorite game to play was always “house”.  I had more dolls than any other kind of toy.  As a toddler, I enjoyed looking at babies so much that my grandma made me a “baby book”, which was essentially a photo album with pictures of babies cut from magazines.

But HOLY HELL does the doubt creep in when you become a mom!  You start to question everything.  Am I feeding her enough?  Should I be establishing more of a routine?  Am I holding/comforting/talking/playing with her enough?  What’s wrong with her eye/ear/skin?  Does she weigh enough?  Is she developing normally?  How will I do this all when I go back to work?  Will she still love me as much when I’m not spending all day with her?

And then there’s the even BIGGER, DEEPER worries.  Can I provide her a good, stable future?  What if I can’t give her everything she needs?  What the hell is going on in our world?  With everything bad going on out there, should I have really brought this innocent little being into all this mess?

Kudos to all my friends that have done this before me.  I now understand where your anxieties stem from.  Because nothing does make you doubt yourself like motherhood.  It’s true.  I’ve had moments where my confidence has been shaken.  I’ve felt like everything has been unraveling.  I’ve worried that I’m doing it all wrong.

BUT then I hold my little girl.  And I watch her sleeping so contently.  Or I get her to smile by singing to her.  And once again, I feel at peace.  And I know that I may not be doing it all right.  But I love her, and she loves me.  And that feeling of love fills me up and inflates my confidence once again.

Photos from Hannah’s newborn photo shoot.  Thanks once again to Samantha Makenzie Photograpy!

My two loves!

My two loves!

Caught in a yawn!

Caught in a yawn!

Beautiful Hannah Rose

Beautiful Hannah Rose

the best thing ever

Our precious baby, Hannah Rose Magee, arrived on October 8, 2014 at 10:38 PM.  She is the sweetest, most beautiful baby.  Being her mom is even more precious than I imagined.  She is truly a gift.


Exhausted, but enjoying a moment of pure bliss…


Loving on my little peanut…

Eric and I had a devastating introduction to parenthood last October.  Over the last year, the outpouring of love and support has been astounding.  It’s hard to stay stuck in a dark place when you can feel the warm embrace of so many people who love you and want something better for you.  It means so much.  Hannah is already so loved, by so many.  We are thankful to have such amazing people in our lives, who care so much.  I wanted to share some of the beautiful gifts Hannah has received because they are just so awesome!

Made for Hannah by Hannah Kelly

Made for Hannah by Hannah Kelly

Blankie from Katie and star pillow made by Gramma Harris

Blankie from Auntie Katie and star pillow made by Gramma Harris

Love this rocker from the Warsofsky Family

Love this rocker from the Warsofsky Family

A gift from Nurse Andrea

A gift from Nurse Andrea

The doctors and nurses that we have met along the way have been nothing short of extraordinary.  We have had so much medical attention during this pregnancy that it’s hard not to build relationships with the medical staff that had been treating me.  I cannot say enough about the staff at the Atrius Health Women’s Center and the South Shore Hospital.  It truly felt like everyone was rooting for us, and hoping for a different outcome this time around.

When we arrived at the birthing unit to deliver Hannah, we were greeted by the same nurse that admitted us when we were pregnant with the twins.  She had prepared something special for Hannah, the hat pictured above.  She came to visit us in the maternity ward once Hannah had arrived too.  Dr. Hamar, the Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor who cared for me during my pregnancy, came to visit me too.  And I received a sweet note from Linda, one of the nurses in the Maternal Special Care unit, that cared for me a year ago when I was admitted into the hospital, pregnant with Thomas and James.  These people, and so many more, have left such a fond impression in my heart.  I am grateful that I was lucky enough to be treated by so many kind people.

Watching Eric with his little princess has been one of the best parts of becoming a parent.  He loves her so much, and it makes me love him even more than I already did.  We are loving every second of parenthood….even the difficult ones.  Being Hannah’s Mom and Dad is the best thing ever.  It’s been a tough road to get here, but she is so worth it!

These two love to snuggle!

These two love to snuggle!

dear baby hannah

I’m hoping today might be your birthday.  I’m hoping today might be the day I finally get to meet you.  I’ve yearned to be your mommy since I lost your brothers a little less than a year ago.  I hoped I would be lucky enough to get another shot.  I’ve worried about you everyday since I found out you existed.  I can’t believe we made it.  We did it baby girl.  We’ve got one more thing to get through love.  When you get here I am going to smother you with so many kisses.  I can’t wait to feel your warm baby skin on my lips.  I can’t wait to smell you and smooth out your hair.  I can’t wait to feel the joy I know you’ll bring.  I love you Hannah Rose Magee.


looking back


On September 18, 2013 I was in my 18th week of my twin pregnancy and was eagerly awaiting my ultrasound appointment.  Eric and I were going to find out the sex of our babies.  We were on top of the world when the tech told us they were both boys.  We had picked out the best boy names:  Thomas Bear and James Bane.  We couldn’t believe that we were getting blessed with two little boys who could be the namesakes of two beloved Magees lost far too soon, Eric’s Dad Tom and brother Jimmy.  I was beyond happy that I could repopulate the world with some Magee Men.

To good to be true.

What happened next felt at first like just a bump in the road but quickly progressed to the most devastating moment of my life thus far.  A little snowflake that fell and soon would turn into an avalanche on the mountain of my perspective.

The tech left and the doctor came in to deliver us some concerning news.  My cervix appeared to be softening and shortening, and if things didn’t change I could deliver the twins in 5 weeks.  5 weeks!  That would only put me at 23 weeks, that was far too soon…

But even still, I was skeptical that I really needed to go on bed rest.  I just couldn’t wrap my head around the severity of the situation.  I was rattled for sure.  Felt fragile in a way I had never before experienced.  But things would work out OK.  I just knew it.  I was meant to have twins.  I felt it in my bones.

A week later when I went back for my next appointment I was confident that there would be no change.  Probably no improvement, but I didn’t think my cervix could have possibly gotten worse.

Wrong.  It was worse.  And it wasn’t until that moment that I realized I could lose it all.  But I continued to follow doctor’s orders and I continued to be positive.  I was scared to death but not hopeless.

After another week on bed rest, surely my cervix would be holding up.  No.  Worse again.  After an internal exam, it was discovered that I was actually already dilated.  At 20 weeks.

Then came the options from the doctor:  Option 1. Terminate the Pregnancy this way.  Option 2. Terminate the Pregnancy that way.  Option 3. Head to the hospital and hope for the best.  When the doctors left the room to allow us to absorb what was going on, I just looked at Eric in disbelief.  This can’t be happening.  Luckily neither one of us are quitters so the decision was easy.  We were going to hang on to every last shred of strength we had and hope for the best.  We’d take our chances.  So we headed to the hospital where I’d stay for the next 15 days.

Not once during my stay did I ever envision I’d be leaving the hospital without my babies.  Call me naive.  But I believed I could hang on long enough.  They’d be born premature, sure.  But they’d be born, and they’d live.  They.  Would.  Live.  I believed it with every ounce of my being.

But I was wrong again.  After a night of fighting with my body’s agonizing contractions and grappling with the burden of the inevitable, we decided it was time.  On October 17, just one day shy of one month from the date that we first learned there was a problem, I delivered my twins.

James first.  And I wailed when I saw him because I knew then that it was over.  I knew then that I would be leaving the hospital without my babies.  Fifteen minutes later I delivered Thomas.  And then….it was over.  And something new was beginning.  Something so painful that I cry every time I think of it, and can’t bare to share the details of because they haunt my memories every day of my life.

So here I am a year later.  Eagerly awaiting the arrival of my daughter Hannah Rose.  Full term, at 37 weeks and counting.  And still, deep down, scared to death.  You see, I’m not fixed.  I’m lucky to have gotten pregnant so quickly.  I’m grateful to be pregnant still.  I’m really good at putting on my game face.  I’m optimistic through and through.  But I’m not fixed.  I’m still broken.  Part of me always will be.

I want to bring home a healthy baby from the hospital.  And I believe I will soon.  But I will always wish things were different.  I wish I could bring home all three.

Lu loves her doggies #minimagee #littlelu #tytheguardian My Roo #minimagee #hannahroo This old girl... #brygirl Five months!  #fotoswiththefox #littlelu #minimagee Big chillin' #littlelu #minimagee That's one lucky girl right there....#daddysgirl #hannahroo #hannimal #minimagee Lucy and her Gram.  #minimagee #littlelu Feeling sentimental and thinking about pregnancy number one.  Although things had already started to unravel, this photo, taken at my sister's wedding, always brings back sweet memories of a hopeful time. All of a sudden my baby has become a kid.  #hannahroo #Hannimal #minimagee



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