To my husband: I may not always say it, but—I need you and I’m so grateful for you

I need your long, warm hug after a draining day of messes and meltdowns, dirty diapers and dishes.

To my love, I may not always say it but I need ...

I stay up late, pretty much every night, because that’s the time I get to myself. I’m not making any special-request meals for anyone, I’m not forgetting then remembering then forgetting again to put the laundry in the dryer, and I’m not having to figure out the intricacies of our daily schedule.

It’s time for me. To sit in quiet. And hear myself think.

But this means I don’t go to sleep when my husband does. Sure, I may be in bed with him—but he is laying down, going to sleep and I am sitting up with my tea—writing or watching a show or scrolling social media.

The other night as we were saying goodnight, my husband said, “Are you coming to bed, or are you doing your whole tea and phone routine?” He seemed hopeful that I may be putting everything else down—to allow some time to focus on us—to chat and cuddle before we drifted off to sleep.

But, I didn’t. My hot tea and an episode of Scandal was waiting for me. I chose “me” time over “us” time. Again.

I disappointed him—I could hear it in his voice that in his voice as he sighed and turned over, ready to go to bed.

Life as a parent to three children is no joke. Throw in jobs, a house to tend to, bills to pay, schedules to keep up with, choices to make, etc.—it’s hectic. There’s little time left for “us” or “me” because it seems like it’s all about “them” right now.

But, my husband—I want you to know, with every bit of my heart and soul—that I need you.

I need that “How’s your morning going, toots?” text you send me everyday checking in on us. It brings a smile to my face 100% of the time to know you’re thinking of me.

I need your laundry mastery. You average about thirty loads of laundry each weekend. Thank goodness for you. Plus, Martha Stewart’s got nothing on your fitted sheet folding skills!

I need your long, warm hug after a draining day of messes and meltdowns, dirty diapers and dishes.

I need your questions at the dinner table. They make me feel seen and important—like I am an interesting person with things to say other than, “Get your shoes on” 500 times or “Did you really just eat that?” 30 times a day.

I need your company when I have a win. There’s no one else I would rather celebrate with than you. There’s no one else I want to share my success with than you and our girls. You guys are the reason I work hard every day.

I need to see your eyes light up when you look at me and tell me I’m beautiful. I don’t always feel like I deserve that compliment when I’m in a nursing tank top, sweatpants and greasy hair—but I know you mean it, and that helps me to believe it.

I need your hard work and sacrifice. Your commute is long, your job can be stressful, you miss things with the girls during the day—I know it’s not a walk in the park. I see the weight you bare on your shoulders and I just want to lift it for you. I might not always be able to, but I am able to tell you how much I appreciate what you do for us.

I need your dedication to our family. You are a family man and I adore this about you. What do you want to be doing on the weekend? Spending time with us—your wife and daughters. We all have so much fun together and I’m just so glad you enjoy family outings and activities with the kids as much as I do.

I need your friendship. You’re my sounding board, the person who can make me belly laugh like no one else, the one I commiserate with, my #1 cheerleader, the call I want to make when I need to vent. (And you graciously hear me out—thank you.)

I need your continuous determination to turn my cranky moods around. When something is bothering me, you know. I literally can’t hide it from you. Your detective skills are strong and I know I will hear “What’s up? I know something is wrong” continually until the end of time until I just tell you. So I do. And you help me. I need that. I need you to keep doing that.

I need you to “get” me. And you do. I know you’d do anything for me.

And I really want you to know that I am lucky. And grateful. And honored to be your partner.

I may feel like I have to prove to the world that I can do it all, and I may not be great about saying it—but please know that I need you. I want you. I love you.

So guess what’s happening tonight? I’m going to forego catching up on Scandal and I’m going to choose you.

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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids—so here’s what I did

We asked our three most pessimistic friends who have kids whether it's worth it or not

As told to Liz Tenety.

Around the time my husband and I were turning 30, we had a genuine conversation about whether or not we wanted kids. I was the hesitant one because I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's just hold on. Okay, let's talk about this. Because we love our life. We like traveling. Is this what we want?"

My husband said, "Let's ask our three most pessimistic, crabby friends who have kids whether or not it's worth it."

And every single one of them was like, "Oh, it's unmissable on planet earth."

So when I got pregnant, I was—and I'm not ashamed to say this and I don't think you should be—I was as connected with the baby in my belly as if it were a water bottle. I was like, I don't know you. I don't know what you are, but you can be some gas pain sometimes, but other than that, we're going to have to meet each other and suss this relationship out.

But all the cliches are true that you just know what to do when the baby comes out. Some of the times are hard, some of them are easier, but you just gotta use your gut.

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