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Dear Husband: Most of all, thank you for the things no one asked you to do

So often during our busy days, the little phrase of “thank you” is thrown around without restrain. Thank you for taking out the trash. Thank you for reminding me you’re the one picking our son up from childcare. Thank you for granting my request for 10 minutes of alone time.


Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s no cost attached to “thank you,” but a great one that comes in its absence.

But recently it occurred to me that “thank you” does often go without saying—when it actually deserves to be said the most: Those times when you do things without asking. Without expectation. Without need for notice.

Because I still do notice. And, My Love, thank you...

Thank you for quietly walking with our son outside to play after you notice I’ve fallen asleep on the couch.

Thank you for volunteering for more hours at work after you saw me anxiously checking the bank account following unexpected expenses.

Thank you for modeling how to balance interests and responsibilities—and then empowering me to do the same.

Thank you for never accusing me of being hormonal, even though that’s probably what caused my irrational breakdown over our toddler’s misplaced hat that I just loved so much during my first trimester with baby No. 2.

Thank you for telling me I’m beautiful, even when it’s 7 a.m. and that’s probably spit-up on my robe.

Thank you for encouraging me to buy a new outfit for myself “because you don’t buy many clothes for yourself,” even though you would never ask for something in exchange.

Thank you for doing the dishes that were left in the sink overnight first thing in the morning—when I’m still too groggy to notice they were ever left behind.

Thank you for wrestling with our son one minute and then joyfully reading him a fairytale the next.

Most of all, thank you for doing this life with me as we figure out just how much the better in “for better or worse” really is when we’re in it together.

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Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

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I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.

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I'll put it like this: The escapades I had before my husband were a lot like fast food—quick and unsatisfying. On the other hand, married sex is like having a five-star, live-in chef. So, why is it so hard to sell the idea married people are having the best sex of their lives?

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