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No, you’re not the woman I married—you’re so much more

I love you today for who you are and I’ll love you tomorrow for the woman you will be. ❤️

No, you’re not the woman I married—you’re so much more

You’re not the woman I married, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s what I hoped for.


I hoped that you and I would grow together, day by day, taking the complexities of life and learning how to simplify them.

I hoped that we would respect each other more, care for each other more, anticipate for each other more, during every day of our union—and that’s exactly what we are doing.

I had no reason to doubt that I would learn a little more about you every day, just as I had on the first day I met you. I knew you would continue to develop and learn more about yourself, your dreams and your passions, as we experienced life together.

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Our personal growth and our growth as a couple is both individual and a team effort. Watching and supporting you (while certainly being supported by you) has been rewarding on more levels than I can even explain.

Although I am a little older than you, I feel as though we came of age together. Once we became a team we were, and still are, equal partners on the playing field. We may handle different responsibilities (i.e. you send the Christmas cards and I take care of the recycling) but together we are a unit.

It started out with proving that our marriage could endure our crazy work schedules. I watched you work incredibly hard and graduate from a student into a nurse. You fought for those children you worked with, and by doing so, you realized that you wanted to help even more—that you were called to help pregnant women and mothers. And watching you realize your dreams has been a gift.

Then we split our lives in half with the arrival of our daughter. You changed jobs and shifted into midwifery—helping all the ladies have all the babies. You were growing, chasing the idea that you could do better, help more, make it ‘further upstream’ to maximize your impact. We wondered if we could manage it all, handle it all.

Now, look at us. Now, we somehow juggle 3 1/2 jobs between the two of us while somehow also keeping track of three kids and a dog.

(We’re pretty awesome, BTW.)

Your ‘voice’ has grown, developed, matured. You are not the same woman I married, and I couldn’t be more proud of you.

You’ve started to reserve parts of yourself for when you need it and by doing so, not giving all of yourself away.

You’ve learned how to say no to things that distract you from what you value.

You’ve also learned that my dance moves are actually as fly as I have been telling you they are—admit it, I am basically JT. ?

You’ll look in the mirror after a shower and ask me “Am I still beautiful?” Of course you are, my love. I’ll say it right here right now—your body is not the same as it was when we got married, and neither is mine. I don’t want it to be.

It wouldn’t be representative of how you’ve become a mother three times over. You better believe that if I had a chance to show any scars I got from childbirth I’d be showing those bad boys off on Instagram every chance I got. I love your body. I always will.

The times I have cherished most with you are those quiet morning moments when we have five minutes to ourselves to wake up, talk and connect. You may think I miss you taking an hour to get ready for some fancy night out (ahem)—but, spoiler alert—I don’t at all.

I love going out with you, no matter whether you perfectly curl your hair or throw it up using one of the kid’s hair ties. I’ll continue to kick my (still) horrendous game and make you laugh.

You’re not the woman I married and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Because I love you today for who you are and I’ll love you tomorrow for the woman you will be. Just promise me that the only thing that won’t change is how much you love me (and my ‘JT-like’ dance moves).

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

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

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

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

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

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$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

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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