This past Friday as our country prepared to honor and mourn the lives lost at Sandy Hook one year a go, another school shooting occurred at Arapahoe High School in Colorado, leaving one 17-year old girl in critical condition. As if the usual worries of sex, drugs, and driving weren’t enough, parents today also have bullying, violent video games, guns and school shootings to worry about. Like many other parents today, this reality breaks my heart and makes it just a little harder to sleep at night, just a little hard to send our kids off to school and just a little harder to find the balance.

Friday December 14th 2012 was a day I am not sure I will ever forget. A day of incomprehensible horror and loss and a day in which my fear grew as a parent along with the uncomfortable reality that there is only so much I can do to protect my child. On that very day, now one year a go, my parenting perceptions and ideals were hastily challenged and changed. This past Saturday was the 1st Day of Remembrance since the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre last year, which left 20 little children and 6 adults dead and parents around the country shaken with loss, sadness and fear. Some of us couldn’t sleep at night. Some of us made headway in our school districts in regards to security. Some moms decided to homeschool! And some of us simply made changes in the way we parent our kids as we realized yet again the fragility and the gift of life. However we reacted, we all gained new perspective as a parent that day and many of us have been forever changed by the tragedy. This piece is a collective reflection of our parenting in the year post Sandy Hook. 

Like many other moms that day and in the weeks and months following I was shaken to the core. I cried a lot and hugged my child more often and more tightly than ever. Throughout the year I have continually thought about and reflected on Sandy Hook. It was not one of those horrible news stories that I was able to just shake. As a mom, it has stayed with me; it has changed what I think, what I fear, what I appreciate and how I parent today. Today when my son climbs in bed with us in the middle of the night I embrace him, rather than send him back to his room, and sleep far more peacefully knowing he is there snuggling with me even if I almost hit the floor. I have far more patience and sweat far less small stuff. I enjoy every moment, even those seemingly less desirable ones as I can only imagine that the parents who lost their children that day would give anything for one of those all out tantrums today. I freak out about school security and I am angry that I even have to consider it at all, but with a heavy heart I accept that this is part of our new parenting reality and I make informed choices accordingly to the best of my ability. I accept that there is only so much I can do to protect my child. I hate it but I accept it. Today I kiss and hug my child tightly at every goodbye and at every single morning drop-off even if it means chasing him down for it after he’s already run into class. Today I have reaffirmed trust in myself as a parent as it relates to living my values of no toy guns, no aggressive or violent pretend play and no violent media. Sandy Hook taught me to sweat what really matters and to enjoy and be truly present and grateful for each moment with my child.

I spoke with several moms across the country about their experience of Sandy Hook and the ways in which it has changed them. Amanda (mom of three, Dallas) shares: “That shooting was the turning point for me as far as my son and toy guns….I will not encourage that type of pretend (play)…by giving him toy guns”. Michelle (Michigan mom) says the massacre reminded her that she cannot keep her children safe alone and that it is “incumbent upon all of us to rear happy, healthy, loving children so that they may become those types of young adults and protect each other”. Jennifer (Arizona mom) shares “it was incredibly heartbreaking for me as (my son) is about the age group of most of the kids who died. The event reinforced my decision to homeschool even more. There’s too much violence in schools and especially public schools”. Yael (mom of two, Dallas) nearly shed tears as we spoke about Sandy Hook’s impact now almost one year to the day later. She too was shaken to the core and no longer sweats the small stuff with her kids in the middle of the night and otherwise. Amy (mom of two, Michigan) says she couldn’t wait for her kids to get home that day and was scared to send them to school the next day, “even though I feel we live in a safe area”. Amy’s school district made immediate changes to security, which made her feel safer. Kristen (mom of two, Texas) also shared that her kids’ school made rapid changes to security that allowed her to feel safer “knowing the schools are trying to protect my precious kids,” amidst the sadness and fear. Michelle (California mom) was “horrified” and “scared about the adequacy of our school security systems….makes me want to teach (him) survival skills…to trust his instincts….and to get him outdoors more and teach him to run fast!” 

As we remember, mourn and honor the lives of those precious children lost just one year a go, I invite you to look at the ways in which this tragedy has impacted you, your parenting and your family. What future do you envision for your child and what can you do to support that?
Please share with us! 

Galit Birk, PhD is a PCI Certified Parent Coach® who walks folks through parenting with wisdom and grace in her private practice CORE Parent Coaching.



I just received the newest issue of The Loop. It's a newspaper that's like a really cool highlights magazine. It's packed with colorful illustrations that teach kids facts about sharks, scenes of city streets they can complete with their own drawing and an illustrated feature story of the future of food. It's for kids ages 8 - 13 and it's published in London.  It can be ordered here.

The Loop News



Local mama Jen Coleman (she was our Nesting feature for November) has launched Ascot + Hart with Cali mama Wiertzema. It's an online shop curated by the masterminds behind Target Does it Again. If your familiar with both stylish woman you know they have an incredible eye. The shop is stocked with their own designed tees (pictured above) and artwork along with boots, wallets & jewelry - items they truly wear on a daily basis.

Ascot + Art



Hi you guys! Brooke here of Pure and Noble with a Christmas DIY. I love adding a little bling to my Christmas gifts, especially since I use kraft paper from the Dollar Tree for all my wrapping. I love being able to draw directly onto the paper or add creativity in the accessories (bows, toppers, gift tags) versus the paper. Here’s an easy DIY for all you crafty Mommas that are looking to make big impact without spending a lot of cash.

Chances are you’ve been receiving lots of boxes in the mail due to all of your online shopping. Those corrugated boxes are perfect for all kinds of DIY holiday decor including these fun gift tags...

Materials needed:

corrugated boxes





markers (I used Sharpies)

ribbon (I used baker’s twine)


First clean all tape and labels off of your box and open box up so that it lays flat.


Next, using a pencil and ruler, make diagonal lines along inside of box. My lines are 2” wide.

Once your lines have been drawn, cut out all of your diamonds.

Next cut triangle tops off diamonds.

Then paint your favorite colors and allow to dry.

Once the paint is dry, add lines to create diamond trompe l’oeil. (I used metallic Sharpies in gold and silver.)


Using a thick needle, I poked a hole through the corrugated board and ran my baker’s twine (found at Target in their Dollar Spot section) through it.

 Using a black Sharpie, I added the obligatory “To:” and “From:” labels to the back of the gift tag. Here’s where you can play even more… add designs to the back of the tag, loves notes, etc.  



Florence Rolando is the rock star of the family lifestyle and children's design world. She's a talented writer, she pioneered the kids indie trade show movement, consults countless fashion brands, writes for THE coolest kids publications (hello MILK Mag) and pens the kids design/fashion/lifestyle blog Pirouette. Oh, and she is also a mom.
I am lucky to know her and I am thrilled that she is sharing with us what she is in love with right now.
If Pirouette is not on your blogroll, bookmark it today. Look for the parent and child interviews she does with families around the globe. Very cool.

1. Dandy Star Lightbox - Bedside lamps or ambiance lights, they bring a nice happy touch to the house!
2. Hat by Ryan Roche - Just the perfect accessory of the moment.
3. Rose Water by Jess Brown - My face’s best friend, morning and evening.
4. DVD : Top of the Lake - A Jane Campion serie, quite dramatic and very beautifully done.
5. Post-it for I-pad - These have just become indispensable - Love when I find a sweet note from my children on them!
Check out Pirouette and read more about Florence here.



I loved Brooke's house and found so many ideas for my own home. Here are a few more photos for you to admire...

Brooke covered a canvas with fabric to make this headboard/art over the bed in the guest bedroom.

The sewing side of the guest bedroom.

Wall of art in the bathroom.

Living room filled with mid-century modern finds.

Entwined antlers placed on the dining table.

 Detail shot of the living room where Adam Fish's photography hangs above the couch. I also love the spray painted mason jars filled with feathers. 

Check out Brooke's blog, Pure & Noble where you can find her DIY tutorials and to get inspiration for your life and home.

All photos by Carter Rose




  How I ruined "Frozen" for my kids

 I saw “Frozen” with my kids last week and fell completely in love with it. Honestly, I don’t remember ever being THIS excited about a kid’s movie, even when I was a kid. I mean, I ran out & bought the soundtrack the very next day & I’m already planning another trip to the theater so I can see it with my kids a second time. I’ve even developed a girl-crush on one of the “Frozen” characters, Elsa. Believe me, if I could bleach my hair white and start wearing glistening gowns to work, I would.

Sadly, it’s that exact enthusiasm which is killing “Frozen” for my kids. I know because we were driving around yesterday, blasting the soundtrack like usual when my favorite song “Let it Go” started. I said, “Oooo, it’s my SONG!” My daughter responded with a groan and then said, “You know, you’re kind of killing this movie for me.”


She wasn’t alone either. Her little sister, who was also sitting in the backseat, sounded off with something that sounded like “HARUMPH!”

I was so floored that I had no response for a minute. It had never occurred to me that my love of something might cause it suck for my kids. Makes sense though. When did a kid ever LOVE something that their parents LOVED? In their eyes, I was taking something that was rightfully theirs & claiming it for my own. It’s totally not fair, right? I get it.  

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t react like a spoiled brat.

I was quiet just long enough for my daughters to realize how upset I was. Then I asked my oldest, “How would it make you feel if I told you that I didn’t like something, just because you loved it?”

“I guess it would make me feel pretty bad.”

Then the 6-year-old starting back-pedaling. She yelled out, “EMMA SAID IT! NOT ME!”

Just to hammer my point home, I popped the CD out of the player and handed it into the backseat. “Here, you can just play it in your room.”

The guilt trip was thicker than peanut butter on toast, but it was effective. When we walked in the door, my oldest ran straight to her room & started playing “Let it Go” at full blast. Then she chased me through the house until I stopped and hugged her.

“I’m sorry Mom. We can always love the same things. It’s more fun that way. I PROMISE!”

I might have laid the guilt on thick, but it worked like a charm. Mission accomplished. Now, we can once again share our love of “Frozen.”  

But will she forgive me when I dye my hair white?

Hang with Julie on her show Zazza & Julie on 103.7 from 5:30am - 10am. She will be our guest ranting about being a mom of two here on Mom.Edit. every month.

LOCAL LOVE: #GivingTuesday


After all the shopping madness....Black Friday, Cyber's time to embrace #GivingTuesday and to think of charitable efforts instead of consuming. One local program we are passionate about is Wee Volunteer, a non-profit that encourages children to help out in their community with age appropriate volunteer opportunities. We profile Wee Volunteer in our December issue and tell you how you and your family can help out with Meals on Big Wheels this holiday break. Check out all the upcoming programs from Wee Volunteer here. What a great way to teach your kids about philanthropy.

image via Wee Volunteer

 P.S. Instead of the popular #selfie, why not post an #unselfie on social media to let everyone know how you are giving today!
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