Greek-Style Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki

July 1, 2015
by vicki, family, motherhood

Greek-Style Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki! #joyofmom

 

This recipe originally caught my eye because it claimed, “even the kids will eat this!” I thought of so many of my friends whose kiddos are picky-eaters and the recipe sounded delish and so healthy, that it was on my must try and share with you list!

I recommend using ground turkey with a bit of fat in it. I have used the 99% fat free variety and the burgers were a bit dry in the end, even 97% had a preferable texture. Instead of using sliced red onion on the burger I prefer to chop it up and put it in the burger – it tastes even more savory. And I use big leaves of Bibb lettuce to wrap it in instead of using a bun (my husband isn’t the biggest fan of bread).

When I started making this recipe I did not have a grill so I baked them in the oven on a broiling pan to drain off the fat. Now that I do have a grill I still bake them! Also, the tzatziki recipe is incredibly simple, but if it’s not your thing the burgers are still delicious without it. Or, here’s a secret– Fage makes a super tasty tzatziki. It can be a little tricky to find though.

Recipe:

Prep time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4-6

For Burgers:
1-pound ground turkey
4 ounces crumbled feta
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen spinach
Sliced tomato and red onion (optional)

For Tzatziki (yogurt sauce):
6 ounces plain yogurt
1-tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup minced peeled cucumber
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8-teaspoon dill
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425° (or fire up the grill).

1. Combine turkey, spinach and feta in a bowl. Mix well, season with salt and pepper.

2. Form six patties and place on a broiler pan (or on the grill).

3. Bake on center rack for 25 minutes. If you’re grilling, cook about 7 minutes on each side.

4. Meanwhile, combine all tzatziki ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and adjust flavors to taste.

5. When burgers are cooked through, stick ‘em on a toasted bun and top with tomato, onion, and a hearty dollop of tzatziki. Or make smaller patties and serve two on a bed of lettuce.

Accompany with one of your family’s favorite veggies dishes ~ a nd that’s dinner!

Courtesy of DailyWorth

Best Skincare Tips for Moms: Interview with Dr. Paul Nassif

June 29, 2015
by vicki, motherhood

Best Skincare Tips for Moms: Interview with Dr. Paul Nassif #joyofmom

 

There is just something about seeing the bright, happy face of children that warms our heart. Kids just have that natural glow that can’t be bottled because it’s part pure wonder and never ending joy!

With the focus on wellness now, I know all moms out there want to make sure that their children and the rest of the family are taking care of their largest organ: their skin. What should you eat? Drink? Avoid?

We thought it would be great to get the 411 on all things skincare for both moms and kids from Dr. Paul Nassif of the hit show “Botched.” We asked Dr. Paul for some great tips.

Q: Dr. Nassif, why does stress play such a big part in skincare for moms?
Dr. Nassif: “When your stress becomes at a high level, you’ll find that your skin doesn’t look great because you’re not functioning properly. You really need rest to repair your body and your skin at night. It’s important for everyone, old and young, to get good, quality sleep.”

Q: What should moms omit from their own diets and the diets of their children for good skin health?
Dr. Nassif: “The first thing is diet cola. You don’t want to be drinking chemicals and it’s all chemicals. If you must drink it, practice moderation. But you do have to get off of it as your go-to beverage. It’s the worst thing for you.”

Q: What should you limit with children?
Dr. Nassif: “Try to get rid of excess sugar. I have a sweet tooth, too. But you should really watch processed sugars and not allow too much. Have a small amount of dark chocolate. It’s good for you even if it’s sugar. Remember that most smoothies are full of sugar, too. Limit them or make them at home, so you’re sure of the ingredients.”

Q: How important is drinking clean water for your skin? And what else should we add to our children’s diets for their skin?
Dr. Nassif: “Anything that hydrates you without the sugar or chemicals is great. Water is the best thing for a human being. Make sure to also add some fruit and avocado to your family’s diet. Your skin and their skin will thank you.”

Mommy Summer Tips: Part 2

June 25, 2015
by vicki, family, motherhood

Mommy Summer Tips: Part 2! #joyofmom

 

Yesterday’s blog focused on some of my favorite mommy summer tips. There wasn’t enough space for all of my faves, so here are a few more!

Hair Rising: Moms, it’s summer and there is a lot of running around, and a lot of humidity. This means less mommy time for us, which is fine. But what are you to do if you have a big business meeting or a major summer event looming? Your hair actually looks better after you slept on it and the natural oils provide the shine. Don’t wash, just go! It frees up time and the look is perfect.

Move It: Studies show that when you’re dragging, a summer nap might not be the best thing. So ditch those pillows and have the entire family grab their sneakers. Regular exercise actual boosts energy levels. Even a walk or bike round around your neighborhood, playtime at the local park, or a little yoga video in the living room will boost moods and energy.

Your Wee Master Chef: It might be tempting to eat out more in the summer, but that means extra calories and extra expense. Why not encourage your kids to become little master chefs? Kids love to cook dinner for the grown ups in their lives. Have the little ones be your assistant chefs and the older ones can work to make salads, side dishes and even put the dinner on the plates. Other children can host and another act as the waiter or waitress. Everyone has a job and each child can help decorate the kitchen that day to make it your own special “must try restaurant” located in your very own kitchen.

Theme Park Bound: If you have Disney or another theme park on the summer agenda be a bit strategic about when you go. Kids (and their parents) hate to stand in long lines so consider visiting in the morning or evening where you can avoid the crowds and the heat of the day. You can easily fit in some fun pool time at your hotel to occupy the afternoons. Also bring along some clip on fans for strollers to keep your toddlers cool.

For Pregnant Mommies: Consider taking off your rings on those extra hot days. Fingers will swell in the heat and some mommies to be have even had to cut off their wedding rings because soap, water or even lotion didn’t work. It’s easier to remove them for a few months to avoid that situation. Also future mommies should ask their doctors about using a SPF that’s higher than 15 as the sun increases melanin production, which leads to pregnancy mask. Best yet is to stay out of the sun.

Chore Jar: One of our mommy readers sent us a fabulous idea! She told me she writes down 10 to 15 chores for the next seven days and then folds the paper and puts them in a jar. On Sundays after dinner, the family holds a “chore lottery.” Each of the three children reaches into the jar and pick their chores for the week. It’s fair (and fun!) way to divvy up the chores plus when the work is done the piece of paper is put into a special mom jar to let her know. Add some fun things to the jar like: 1 frozen yogurt if your chore is done by Wednesday. Surprise your little love bugs with a slip that says: You Have the Week Off! Love, Mom!

Photo courtesy of Leah Zawadzki/Lily Blue Studios

Mommy Summer Tips: Part 1

June 24, 2015
by vicki, family, motherhood

Mommy Summer Tips: Part 1! #joyofmom

 

It’s the season of beaching it, holiday weekends and having fun in the sun. Who doesn’t love summer, where the days are warm and the nights mean running the grass trying to catch lightening bugs.

This is Part 1 of my favorite list of random + best of mommy summer tips that will truly make your living easy.

Set A Routine: Make sure to keep some kind of routine that keeps everyone on track including times for meals, outings, etc. Despite how some family members may feel, a schedule (even a relaxed or flexible one) actually is a good thing. It ensures that you and your family don’t miss out on any special things on your summer to-do list.

“Bugging” Out: Who doesn’t love playing in the sandbox? The only issue is those bothersome bugs that scare your child or even bite him or her. Stop bugging out by first removing the old sand. Get rid of or sift through it to make sure there aren’t any bugs. Then mix a small container of cinnamon into the sand. Cinnamon actually repels bugs, and, most importantly, is safe for your kiddos.

Beach Babies: I love to romp around a sandy beach with my kids, but I’m not so thrilled about sand all over the car. Here’s a great way to keep the sand where it belongs: When your kids are done for the day dry off their feet and legs in the parking lot. To avoid any residual sand take a simple bottle of corn starch baby powder (that you can keep in the car) and sprinkle it on their feet and hands. Sand and powder repel each other.

Road Trip: I just love the essential oil aisle at Whole Foods! And summer is the perfect time to put those yummy smelling oils like orange to good use. I put a small amount on my fingers and lightly dab {my car} air conditioning vents plus place little drops on the floor, in both the front and back. Every time we get in the car we smell a fabulous, sweet and, just simply, happy smell!

Too Much Fun In the Sun?: Of course, contact your pediatrician immediately for a serious sunburn or if your child is a baby. For mild sunburn, Moms need to remember that it’s crucial to keep your child hydrated with water and out of the sun after a burn. You can also take a bag of frozen veggies out of the freezer, wrap it in a towel and place on the burn. It’s important to use the towel, so the icy veggies doesn’t cause more damage.

Tomorrow: Part 2 of Mommy Summer Tips

Photo courtesy of Leah Zawadzki/Lily Blue Studios

Yellow: The Color of Joy

June 18, 2015
by vicki, family, lovely

Yellow: The Color of Joy! #joyofmom

My friends were having a backyard wedding and on their intimate list they included Daisy, their 84-year-old widowed neighbor from across the street. She arrived in her spry way holding a big box with a note on top. The bride and groom opened the presents later that night and smiled at their new yellow dishes, bowls and coffee mugs. The note read: “For those days when you need a little yellow in your life.”

Daisy was absolutely right. Yellow has been called a “joy ray” which appealed to me at Joy of Mom! It has also been dubbed “the color of being happy and blissful.” And, since I can remember, yellow has alway been my fave color.

Just the other day, I was in the Container Store and needed a little yellow in my life on a rainy and cold Chicago {almost} summer day. Thunderstorms were looming and the sky was a greenish-black. I just love these cozy days and was excited to bring a little yellow home with me. I bought 18 bright yellow hangers for $5.76 cents and I was quite excited to get home and sprinkle a little sunshine in my closet. (Plus I always love me a little organizing!)

What is it about yellow that warms or brightens us? First, it’s not just in our imaginations. According to studies done in Amsterdam, adults reported feeling happier around both green and yellow, which are natural mood boosters because they remind us of green grass and life empowering sunshine. A report in Psychology Today said that the color yellow naturally brightens spirits.

Now that we know yellow is something sanctioned by science, in addition to how we know it can stir our soul, how can we add more of this fab color and feeling into our lives?

Here are a few ways:

~ Paint your child’s playroom your or their favorite shade of yellow to bring the sunshine in, especially if you live in a colder climate. Or be on the lookout at sales or even garage sales for a giant yellow throw rug to put into a child’s room, basement or family room.

~ Treat yourself to a bunch of daffodils or yellow tulips. It’s a great way to bring that pop of yellow into your kitchen where you can look at them all the time. Or if you prefer a strong flower why not buy some large yellow sunflowers and keep them in your bedroom, so you can wake up to yellow even on gloomy days?

~ Use yellow strategically. Hard getting up in the morning? Why not try a yellow soap or scrubbing puff in the shower? Or buy a piece of pottery painted yellow to put next to your alarm clock? Have that big pot of daisies as the view while you eat breakfast.

~ Buy a bag of lemons and keep them in a bowl in the kitchen or even a few in the bathroom. By the way, scientists also have proven that the scent of citrus wakes us up and sparks our creative juices!

~ Buy a favorite article(s) of clothing in yellow including a T-shirt or soft, comfy sweat jacket as your go-to grab after the gym.

~ Plant a garden with your favorite yellows including sunflowers, yellow peppers, or even try a small lemon tree, which will last for years of all that good lemon mood boosting!

As for me, I’m yellowing up my closet tonight. It’s the perfect way to bring a pop of happy each time I open the door. (And, I’ll be pulling together a bag of clothes although I really like, I haven’t worn in a while. I do this regularly… Even tho I don’t have a lot of clothes, I love going through what I have and passing them on to other moms and women who would love or need, like business clothes I rarely wear, etc. {Will share more on the gift of giving, recycling, and passing it on in another blog!}

Fab plates, cups and bowls courtesy of: Anthropology

Saying So Long

June 9, 2015
by vicki, family, motherhood

Saying So Long! #joyofmom

 

Saying So Long

How do you say goodbye?

It’s a lesson I’ve tried to teach my daughter over the years. Yes, she has said goodbye to her teachers, close friends who’ve moved, beloved and cherished pets. What happened the other day was a different kind of farewell. My daughter just graduated from college and it’s bittersweet to say so long to a place that has been a home for four years. Even more so to leave two roommates that are now family.

The girls have done much more than live in an apartment together. They’ve grown up together during the years when their families were far away. They shared their hopes and dreams, fears and traumas, joys and sorrows during a time when they were taking those first shaky steps as independent young women.

They’ve also shared the world’s traumas that were a little too close for comfort including the Boston bombing. Then there were natural disasters including the hurricane, which coincided with their move in day! And the record-breaking snowfall in Boston. As well as the countless days (over the past two years) where Bostonians were mandated to stay off the streets for their own safety.

They grew from it all. In the coldest parts of the winter, there was often a warm bowl of soup waiting when you got home. If the news was scary, there was another roommate on the sofa next to you. When school was stressful there was an open ear and heart at the kitchen table.

These girls were not just an amazing support system for each other, they were a long-distance mom’s best friend! If one of them wasn’t around, we moms could easily ask either of them, “Is she OK? “ The moms trusted their answers because the happiness of everyone in that little apartment meant something to each of them.

Their friendships were beautiful, real, wild and complex and also delicate. Living together brings all the little life issues to the bigger moments. It warms my heart to know that the girls weren’t alone and could walk into another room and find someone who deeply cared.

Last week, graduation was a happy and sad event as the girls are leaving Boston and scattering to different parts of the world. They’re starting new lives as they continue on their separate paths to make a mark, and a difference, in the world. There was the inevitable packing up of the apartment as they also put away their day-to-day bond. No, it will never be the same. As usual, time moves us along and people scatter. Of course, there are phones and iChats, but it will never be the same as walking in that front door and saying, “I can’t believe what happened to me today.”

This is another life lesson our kids learn. Friends will come and go. Bonds will strengthen and occasionally break.

How many of you moms reading remember an old friend you haven’t spoken with in years? Did you remember to keep in touch? Did you have time? Could you still reach out?

I shared with my daughter the importance of cherishing the beauty of close friendships as one of life’s true gifts, and the importance of adding action to those feelings. In other words, pick up the phone, make a plane reservation, and don’t allow too much time to slip by. She already knew this. She’s been an old soul. Always.

As I write this, my eyes are welled with tears as I think about one of my best friends from college and how we lost 25 years of precious time. We reconnected two years ago when her beloved mother passed on. Another friend from college reached out to me to let me know, as she feared I wouldn’t hear the news. I literally dropped everything and ran right over to be by her side. I would have traveled around the world to do so. When our eyes finally met, we agreed in an unspoken look (that only old friends know) to never lose touch again. We haven’t. And we won’t.

When the last box was packed in Boston just days ago, I hugged the girls and told them that I loved them. And I thanked them for being there for my daughter and for each other.

Ines (one of her roommies) left a little note in each of the girls’ rooms the last day reminding them to keep striving for their dreams and to remember that the other two are only a phone call away no matter where their journeys take them – and that they must vow to call each other.

I guess that’s how you say goodbye.

With a note.

And a promise.

The Power of Organizing

June 1, 2015
by vicki, inspiration

The Power of Organizing! #joyofmom

 

The Power of Organizing

There are things in life that instantly make us feel better. A warm hug. The smell of lilacs this time of year. Chocolate!

I want to add one more to the list: De-cluttering. There is a power that comes with organizing that is truly day, month and year changing. Nothing makes me feel instantly better than organizing and arranging. If I have a ton of things to do, I’m the type of mom who will stop for a few minutes and know what needs to be done first: I’ll organize.

Even if it’s tackling one drawer, one corner of a closet, or one cozy nook at a time. When I was recently in Boston helping my daughter pack up after graduation, she looked (and felt) overwhelmed with the proof (aka piles!) of how four years of living can accumulate pretty quickly. Plus there were so many things to do in order to move her life back to Chicago.

In the midst of all this chaos, I couldn’t help but notice her purse (open on her kitchen table) and how it looked like a microcosm of the clutter around her apartment. We gave each other a knowing look (afterall, she is my daughter!) and then we dumped the thing. It was actually fun to remove all the old gum wrappers and dust bunnies while tossing the unnecessary receipts. She said she actually felt better! A lot better. And instantly so.

My rule: If you don’t need it, toss it! The good news is that science backs me up here. Researchers at Princeton University Neuroscience Institute conducted a study that indicated that clutter is actually bad for your brain. They found multiple stimulations in your visual field at the same time compete for your neural representation and limit your ability to process. My other rule: if it doesn’t bring you joy (looking at it, using it, living with it) it’s time to pass it on to someone who will be happy to have it and use it.

So for today, I wanted to share a few inspirational items to get your organizational juices flowing.

Let’s get started!

xo, Vicki

~ Trust us, it’s really life-changing The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Clear bins help you quickly see what’s inside, and come in endless sizes

~ With bins this cute, getting them to help cleanup shouldn’t be too hard (we hope)

~ Modern, yet classic, for letters, notes and office supplies

~ Organize all your shower essentials

~ A lovely way to store + organize (and hide) towels and toilet paper

What’s In a Name?

May 26, 2015
by vicki, family, motherhood

What's in a name? #joyofmom

 

What’s In a Name?

I’ve always been a mom. I’m not talking about the feeling in my heart (which always pointed in the mom direction), but how my children address me. “Hi, Mom. Do you want help with dinner, Mom? Let’s run to pilates, Mom” This can be followed by, “Oh, Mom! Why Mom? Let’s chat Mom.”

But I hear there is a cultural shift rumbling these days. Moms are no longer just Moms.

It’s actually hip to be a Mama! Maybe it was Hollywood that started it because all the hot stars call each other “mama” and I don’t think kids even need to be involved here. There’s J.Lo calling everyone “mama.” Suddenly, everyone is doing it. The other day at a store, I got my change and the young woman behind the counter said, “Here you go, mama!”

Then the other day, I read that kids are actually part of this cultural shift because there is a “mama movement” underway. It seems that those who ask to be called “mama” are the new moms and consider themselves the most empowered ones. Mamas, it seems, are considered a driving force and an unstoppable one who better not be crossed.

Maybe it has to do with age. I loved the days when my children were little and called me “Mommy.” Who doesn’t melt when a toddler makes his way to his favorite person on earth and screams, “Mommy!.” As children age, we used to be just plain mom or even “Mother!” if the child wasn’t getting his or her way. I’ve heard a few “Mother! Everyone else is doing it!” Of course, I could easily respond that everyone else did not have me as a mom, mommy, mother!

I’ve been traveling a lot these days and it’s interesting that I hear all ages from wee ones to teens calling out for their “Mama!” The new phenomenon was cemented by an essay called “The Rise of ‘Mama'”—about the increasing cultural use of the term “mama” by Elissa Strauss — and I agree with her premise. The word mama is here because there are shifting views of motherhood now.

Just like that Mama Bear, moms protect, nourish, guide, repair and provide for their children, her family and her community. Mamas are in the driver’s seat guiding futures. Mamas are the rock and the force. Mess with her cubs, and there is going to be trouble!

Some are even calling it a mama lifestyle movement. One article pointed out that there are mom jeans, which mean something not-so-coveted, while mama jeans sound like something most of us would wear with pride.

So, what’s in a name? Personally, I don’t care if it’s mom, mother or mama! The name isn’t so much what matters as are the feelings that earned that title. And, it’s just a gift to be called any one of them. The very best gift.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Martin Photography

The First Crush

May 20, 2015
by vicki, family

the_first_crush_1

 

The First Crush

It’s spring when a young junior high school girl’s fancy turns to ….her first crush.

There is nothing more startling than when your child come comes home and announces that he or she has REALLY noticed a member of the opposite sex. Hang on, moms, I guarantee this is going to be a bumpy ride. I have a friend whose daughter Madison, 13, claims she is in LOVE with a boy in history class. Yes, the girl is using the l-word and her father is turning 13 shades of purple each time she says it. But she says it. She can’t stop talking about this boy.

His name is Aidan and he’s 13 with short-shaved hair and braces. He has already been deemed “way too cute.” He has also borrowed our heroine Madison’s pencil. Here’s the thing….he never gave it back. “That means he like-likes me,” Madison told Mom in the car on the way home from school. “Does it mean he like-likes me, Mom?? What does it mean?” Ut uh…

As a mother, there are moments as delicate as your grandmother’s white lace. They usually occur in the car on the way to soccer practice with 10,000 other things happening at the same moment. Mom usually doesn’t have time to dwell. She must hit the ground running…even when there is no time to think or ask or ponder. The topic was this crush. My friend didn’t want to discourage what were very natural feelings as her tween daughter continued to take shaky steps towards adulthood. At the same time, she didn’t really know this boy. Was this a good thing…or trouble?

“Mom, I’m sure he’s going to ask me out,” Madison boasted and her mom gulped. Mom wanted to approach crush-land in slow motion; daughter wanted to get moving. “How do you know he’s going to (cough) ask you anywhere?” her mom responded. “He gave me a thumbs up sign when he saw me on my way to the bathroom today,” Madison cooed. For a minute, the mom had to stop worrying and smile. Yes, this is what passed for seventh grade “like liking” someone these days. He celebrated her getting a hall pass?

It’s fun to smile about this, but moms know that moments like these are going to lead to discussions and decision. “She’s not dating until she’s 16. Her father and I won’t allow it. Should I tell her the facts of life?” the mom asked me, and there were no easy answers.

I reminded my friend that crushes are a natural part of growing up. Monitoring is a mother’s right and responsibility. And, as always, it was another time to get on that high wire and walk the line between encouraging growth, but in a slow and steady way.

Of course, sometimes life has a way of working itself out. The other day, young Madison came home heartbroken. It seems that her crush borrowed a marker from a girl named Holly and wrote “her” name on his arm. “They’re seriously going out now,” Madison cried, but she wasn’t too upset when her mom suggested a quick shopping trip and dinner to feel better. (Her Dad was also thrilled. A die-hard Bears fan, he had found out that the crush liked THE GREEN BAY PACKERS!)

As for Mom, she got a pause here and really think about her daughter’s future and all the rites of passage they were about to embark on.

Of course, Madison would have another crush, but her mom would decide now how to handle it so mom and daughter wouldn’t end up…crushed.

Photo courtesy of Gina Shuppert with Piper+Claire

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 10, 2015
by vicki, motherhood

Happy mother's day! #joyofmom
 

Happy Mother’s Day!

If you’re a brand new mama, perhaps this is your first official Mother’s Day…or maybe you’ve experienced 18 of these holidays and your babies have left the nest. No matter what age our children are, they will always be our babies. And every Mother’s Day (actually every day) is a precious gift, a privilege and honor, and a reminder of how blessed we are to be called “mom”. As I’m writing this, I’m feeling overcome with emotions about “firsts” so I’m just gonna flow with it.

From the very first moment I knew you were coming into my life, I was breathless. My life would forever be different. Indescribably better. And would forever more be “we”.
The first time I saw you, my heart burst open.
The first time you opened your eyes I saw a new world.
The first time you cried, I knew the true depths of my own pain.
The first time you got on that yellow school bus I learned of the strange mix of fear, dread, worry, hope and excitement – that would never leave me.
Then the bus pulled away. My heart pulled away too, and I cried. Big time.
The first time you had a crush, something within me melted.
The first time you had to deal with a boy or girl who broke your heart, mine was shattered.
I was devastated for you. And wanted payback. (Of course, I just wiped your tears.)
The first prom made me a proud, nervous wreck that could barely breathe until that front door opened.
The first drive to college was almost my un-doing, but I never left you know.
The first time you said, “Mom, I want to be a mom like you,” I silently wept.
My child, you were not my first love, but you are my forever love.

This brings me to what it means to celebrate Mother’s Day. Honestly, I believe that it shouldn’t just be one day. Mother’s Day is every single day, but perhaps the card companies have it wrong. Maybe we should be giving our beautiful children cards and pancakes in bed today. There is no greater gift, honor or privilege than to be a mother. When we feel as if there is nothing left to give because we’re human and exhausted, is when we always give more. Moms never sit it out. We stand up, get up and re-up day after day to do the job. And do it the best we can. In every imaginable way.

How do we know if we’ve done a good job? I quoted Dar Williams in my new book who wrote, “You’ll fly away, but take my hand until that day. So when they ask how far love goes, When my job’s done you’ll be the one who knows.”
My heart and hands are full today…and always when I’m with or think of my children.
So here’s to all the mamas who are warriors on the home front.
Here’s to our beautiful children.
Here’s to our mothers who led the way for us, so we could lead the way for our babies.
No one will ever know the depths of a mother’s love.

xo, Vicki
Photo courtesy of Colibri Photo

I had to add the caption of the beautiful mama and photographer, Valerie Baillargeon, pictured her with her two sons. Caption reads: “Where I belong.” It’s simply a perfect caption.

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