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.

holy smokes

It just hit me.  In about 6 weeks I’m going to have a baby.  The countdown has been on the entire time, but something just got real.  This Sunday I’ll be 34 weeks.  6 weeks away from my due date.  6 weeks is nothing.  Holy smokes.  I think I’m really doing it this time!

At 29 weeks I had a maternity photo shoot done by Samantha Makenzie Photograpy.  I love how the photos came out and am planning on hiring her to do Hannah’s newborn photos when the time comes.  She does beautiful wedding photography and family portraits as well.  Check her out at

Trisha (11 of 35) Trisha (19 of 35) Trisha (28 of 35)


Trisha (23 of 35)

Trisha (20 of 35)

When I look back at those photos I remember thinking I had a pretty big belly then.  But the growth spurt is ON!  Just about 3 weeks later someone took this photo of me and I can’t believe how much bigger I look.

My awesome team at the CrossFit Hingham Bowling Social

My awesome team at the CrossFit Hingham Bowling Social


Every time I look in the mirror I just can’t believe it’s my body reflecting back at me.  Sometimes I wake up in the morning and think to myself, “I don’t feel like I have a huge belly right now.”  And then I roll over and get out of bed, and rest assured, it’s still there….which is a good thing.  It’s just so mind blowing at times.

Growing another human being inside you is honestly one of the most amazing things.  I truly don’t think you can appreciate it until you go through it yourself.  Everyone always told me, but I didn’t respect the immensity of it all until my journey into motherhood began over a year ago.  To feel her moving around inside me all the time, and knowing that a little creature is literally living inside of me is so….I have no words to describe the depth of what I feel.  It is the most important, most profound thing I have ever done.  Nothing has ever made me feel more alive than being pregnant.

I have imagined the moment I get to hold my little Hannah Rose.  And every time I imagine it, I cry.  I cry for my Thomas and my James.  I cry because I know that holding Hannah for the first time is going to be such a bittersweet moment.  A moment of promise.  And a moment of memories.  A moment to cherish what we have and a moment to grieve what we have lost.  Looking in Hannah’s eyes, for the first time and every time, will remind me of my boys.  I imagine their spirit will live on in hers.  I imagine I’ll hear their laughter in the echoes of hers.  I imagine I will see them in her.  And that will be comforting and challenging all the same.

But I can’t wait.  I am so eager to meet my baby girl.  To hold her.  To hear her breathe in my ear.  To feel the warmth of her body. It will be worth all the aches and pains, all the heartburn and constipation, all the cellulite and lost muscle.  It will all be worth it when I can hold my little one for the first time.  To hug her tight and smother her with kisses….and continue to do so for hopefully a long, long time.


The first of many of Hannah’s presents from her mommy. I just couldn’t leave this little piggy in the store!

my babies

I sent my mom this photo at the end of May accompanied with a text that said, “Don’t remember seeing this last year.  What is it?.  She replied, “Azalea, I think.”


It was growing in my backyard and I didn’t remember seeing it the previous spring.  It struck me at the time because the blooms just seemed to appear out of nowhere, and they were so bright and vibrant.  More than anything though, I had this feeling in my gut that it might be something I had been so desperately wanting…

I had just had a conversation with someone at work about how I really wanted to have a dream about my boys so that I could see them again.  Eric has dreamt about them.  Other people I know who have lost someone have dreamt about that person.  But I have never dreamt about my boys and I want to have that connection with them so badly.  So my colleague said I should ask them.  Ask them to show up in my dreams or ask them for a sign.  So I did.

When I saw this in my backyard I remember thinking that it was strange that I didn’t see it the previous year.  Then I remember noticing the blooms.  Three.  Two clustered together on the left and another little one on the right.  Could it be?  My twins and their little sister?  Probably not.  It would grow more flowers.  This was just a coincidence.

I was just out in my backyard again today looking at my plants, remembering these thoughts.  All spring and summer that plant never had any other flowers than what you see here in this photo.  Just those three.  That was it.  Maybe it was my babies after all.  That’s what I want to believe.

zucchini babies

What happened to June?  It was gone in a flash.  I feel like it was just the beginning of June and now it’s over.  It’s been a busy month.  School came to a close for the year.  We hosted our Grand Opening Event at CrossFit Hingham-a lot of work, but a success, I think.  My mom and I ran our only week of Art Camp for the summer.  I turned 35 on the 30th.   Yikes!  And now I’m looking forward to a very lazy July.

Actually, who am I kidding?  I will fill up my July with all sorts of commitments and projects.  That’s just how I operate.  But in the grand scheme of things, it will be a lot lazier than the rest of my year.

Things with baby Hannah are going well.  So far, so good.  I go for another ultrasound this week.  They’ll be taking growth measurements so we can know exactly how big she is.  It’s so crazy to think about having this mini human inside me.

I remember being shocked at how big the twins were when they were born.  Not because they were exactly big (just over a pound a piece).  But more so because I just couldn’t imagine how all of that was inside me.  I never really got very big with the twins so I was shocked that those two little guys were taking up that much space inside my belly.  I imagined giving birth to preemies that were the size of my hand.  But they were much bigger than I imagined.  Just over 12 inches long.  Still very tiny, but bigger than I’d pictured.  Which made it so much harder to accept that we couldn’t save them but….we couldn’t.

Even with Hannah, I still am in awe when I think about a little two pound body being inside me.  Where is she?  I mean, I can feel her, and I know my belly is growing and I’m getting bigger, but still….it’s crazy to think how much bigger she must already be than the twins were when they were born.  And yet, I struggle to really picture her in there somewhere!

I guess what I’m getting at is that we picture these little tiny things inside us.  But they are really not as teeny as we think.  You picture a pound and think it’s nothing.  But yet, when that pound comes out, and it’s an actual baby…it’s amazing.  And that little pound becomes larger than life.  My pregnancy apps tell me that at 26 weeks my baby is now the size of a large zucchini.  But I’ll tell you what.  My twins at 22 weeks were bigger than a zucchini.  So unless they are talking about a blue ribbon, prize winning zucchini at the state fair….I know my two pound little Hannah is bigger than what many of us would imagine.


I can’t wait to meet her.  I’m so curious!  I wish I could take her out and look at her right now and compare her to the twins and what they looked like, but then put her back safely inside me to finish the job.  As eager as I am to meet her, I’m hoping to keep cooking this little bun in the oven right up to the 40 week mark!



“Ah, no one knows who makes evil storms.  We only know that they come.  When they come we must live through them as bravely as we can, and after they are gone, we must feel again how wonderful is life.  Every day of life is more valuable now than it was before the storm.”

-Kino’s Father from The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck




I’ve hit a major milestone today.  I am 22 weeks and 5 days into this pregnancy.  I’ve never been here before.

There is so much I could say.  So much about how I’m feeling.  But ultimately, all I want to say is thank you.

I am so grateful.  For all of this, for all of you, and for this gift of life.

happy me in may

I love May.  It might be my favorite month.  The weather is warmer, the sun light sticks around longer, and I get to spend more time out doors.  I am, without a doubt, a summertime girl, and my heart just sings a completely different tune this time of year.

But my heart has been singing an especially happy tune lately.  Let me share with you some of the little pleasures in my life this month!

10. CrossFit Hingham opened the doors to it’s new 10,000 square foot facility mid-April.  This month my focus has been to work on promotions and community outreach.  It’s exciting to see the gym grow and brainstorm ideas for the future.


9. Baby K will be here soon and will make me an aunt for the first time.  We had my sister’s baby shower at the beginning of the month.  I got to spend some quality time with my mom making the favors for the shower, and they came out so cute.  Everything pulled together beautifully and it was just what she wanted.  Yay!


8. Eric turned 30 on May 9th and I enjoyed spoiling him with gifts and good food all weekend!  I bought him a big expensive gift but I think what he liked most was the basket of 30 treats for his 30th that I put together for him.  We also discovered a great restaurant , Orta, right around the corner from us and had an outstanding birthday dinner there!


7. Giuseppe’s Cakes didn’t disappoint!  I found out about this great bakery last year and I’ve ordered several birthday cakes from them. This year, though, I decided to ask for a custom cake with PBCs on top and in the middle layer.  Holy cow was this cake awesome!



6.  I’ve been taking the dogs out for a walk on Sunday mornings.  It’s been beautiful out the last two Sundays and they get some much needed exercise.  We have a nice little loop that we do that takes us about 45 minutes and I think we all feel better after.


5. We just wrapped up one of my favorite projects at school.  I have the kids imagine themselves as a super hero and write a story  featuring their super hero self.  They always come up with great stories, but this year’s crop of kids were just really into it.  The stories and pictures were some of the best I’ve seen in several years doing this project.


4. The grilling season is here!  Food always tastes better when cooked on the grill.  My go to lately has been burgers, dogs, and grilled pineapple.  We started buying these Apple Gate hot dogs and I can’t get enough!


3.   I just turned 20 weeks and am still allowed to work out with just a few restrictions.  All things considered, I have gotten some really good workouts in lately and still feel relatively strong.  Hoping I can keep it up as long as possible.


2.  To celebrate the fact that I’m still in the gym and not on bed rest, I bought myself a new pair of kicks.  Can’t wait for these to arrive!!



1.  ……and the single most important reason that my heart is just full of happiness and purpose……I’m growing my little Hannah Rose, complete with the cutest little button nose I’ve ever seen.  So in love already.


Word. Anyone need a smile today?  #minimagee #brygirl #bestfriends Lunch with Grampa! In my happy place today.  Nothing super heavy, but I just love lifting weights.  #girlswholift #jackedandpale #personalarmour Think she's afraid of dogs?  #minimagee  #tytheguardian 9 months.  And she's not sure what's up with the pig.  #pictureswiththepig #minimagee #HRM Happy FOJ!  #minimagee #HRM #FOJ Looking back to the first time I met my nephew.  Today this little guy turns 1....where has the time gone?  Happy Birthday Brooks! Someone's officially crawling....and not happy about it!  Just like her mom....when the going gets tough, cry!  #minimagee #HRM



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