Family · Uncategorized

Tales of the Injured Elbow


As I enter into my final week of summer vacation I find myself changing many of my plans. I had planned to take my daughter swimming everyday and to many parks in the evenings. I wanted to give her daily opportunities to soak up the sunshine while we still had a chance to do so together.

However, on Saturday morning I was on my way to a writing review session with my sister when my husband sent me a message: My daughter was swimming and popped her elbow out of socket and he was headed to the Emergency Room. (Not the message any parent likes to hear.) I contemplated turning back and canceling my meeting, but within a few minutes my husband assured me that the doctor had popped it back in to place and all was well.

She was tough and barely shed a tear through the process.

Later that night we got an invite to a pool party the next day. The voice in my head told me not to take my daughter because of the events of that day, but knowing that it may be one of her last opportunities to go to a pool party this summer I let her make that decision. Of course, she said her arm was fine. (After it was reset by the doctor she really didn’t complain about it.) I thought it was just some freak accident and we were out of the woods.

I think you all know where this story is going, right!?!

We get to the pool party and my daughter is off like nothing can hold her back. She’s swimming with cousins and having a blast when all of a sudden….yep, you guessed it–her elbow popped out of socket. She whined a bit, but didn’t cry. After a few minutes of dangling her arm and trying to pop it back into place ourselves we decided she needed to be seen by the doctor again.

We got her out of her purple Sofia swimsuit and headed toward the Emergency Room. Right as we checked in the doctor from the previous day came out and helped our daughter get her elbow back in place. This time, he wanted her to keep it wrapped for seven days and restricted her swimming and park play during that time as well. Seven days puts us right at the start of the school year so that means I will have to change my plans a bit to accommodate for her injury.

Before we were discharged from the hospital the doctor talked to us about Nursemaid’s Elbow. Now that her elbow has dislodged a couple of times it is more likely to happen again. That socket is weak and needs time to get stronger. It doesn’t take much for it to dislocate (a little hyper extension or a hit in the right place.) It’s a common childhood condition, but I had never heard of it before this weekend. If any of you have experienced this with your child I’d love some advice. We have learned how to reset it at home so hopefully we won’t have to head back to the Emergency Room with this issue again.

As my daughter rests, I’m working on new plans for this last week at home that will be safe for her little injury.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Dear Daughter · england · Family · Uncategorized

Dear Daughter (Part 2)

Dear Daughter,

Not many three year olds can say that they’ve enjoyed seeing the world the way that you have. From a young age you’ve been a traveler. Along with Mommy and Daddy you take in the sights and enjoy the scenery with a big, beautiful smile. You understand several cultures, and get that just because people look and act differently to you that they are still people and should be treated as such. Instead of a cold shoulder you give the world your smile. Never ever forget the power of your smile.

Your smile makes the world happier, clearer, and calmer. In the face of adversity your smile makes things light. The cackle of your laughter fills the room with sunshine.

In a world captivated by fear you remind me everyday of the beauty in being brave. When we visited Paulton’s Park and you saw a roller coaster blazing away on the tracks instead of cowering in fear you grabbed my hand and said, “When can I ride that?” A few minutes later you were hanging onto my arm assuring me that you weren’t afraid as we descended the first hill. I aspire to have that kind of bravery. To see the mountains in front of me and cling onto God without fear.

Everyday you make me a better mother because you are a wonderful daughter. Each day I learn something new as I attempt to see the world through your eyes. Because in your eyes everything is beautiful, new, and exciting.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Family · Uncategorized

Road trip to Chicago

Last week our family loaded up our luggage into a compact rental car and drove six hours west to the beautiful city of Chicago. Even though we only spent two and a half days in the city we were able to visit so many sites. We chose to travel to Chicago for a couple of reasons. First of all, we were in need of a direct flight to London for our annual trip to stay with my in-laws. Secondly, when looking at the list of direct flights we chose Chicago because it is the location where the novel I’m working on takes place. During our stay we ventured to many places mentioned and important to my book. I’m really excited about being able to weave authentic, intricate observations and research into my writing.

I’ve been to New York City a couple of times, but I must say that Chicago was by far a cleaner and more beautiful city in my opinion. I’ve been to Chicago a few times in the past, but it’s probably been fifteen years since I last visited. It was fantastic for my book to look at the city through a more fresh lens.

Here is a look at some highlights to our trip:

Lincoln Park Zoo And Nature Boardwalk

It was so cool to visit another zoo besides the Columbus Zoo. A major difference between the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Columbus Zoo (besides the fact that it is free) was that the animals were in smaller, more open habitats. Although, it may not suit the animal rights activists it was great as a spectator to be so close to the tiger and hear him roar as he dropped his bowling ball off a cliff. We really enjoyed this zoo. Arianna was taken aback by the slimy Hippopotamus.

We wrapped up our rainy trip to the zoo with a walk along the nature boardwalk. This was a scenic route around an pond in the center of the park. The walk culminated with a photo session from a pivotal location for my book. I may have gotten my cover shot here! (Obviously it will need a bit of doctoring)

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Chicago Children’s Museum (at Navy Pier)

The first day we explored the city it was cold and by mid day we experienced a downpour. Looking for indoor activities we made our way toward the famous Navy Pier and spent the afternoon at the Children’s Museum. It was made up of three floors of rooms aimed at providing educational opportunities. We all had a blast!


Michigan Avenue Shopping (The Magnificient Mile)

The following morning we woke up early and explored the shops on Michigan Avenue. Apart from the $39.00 parking we had a great day. Unbeknownst to us at 10am every morning when the Disney store opens they select a child (or two) to turn on the lights with a little chant and role play. We happened to be walking by just as this was happening and Arianna was chosen to open the store along with a little boy. They waved their hands and chanted famous Disney spells like, “Abracadabra” and “Bippity Boppity Boo.” And when they called, “Let the magic begin” the lights and music came on in the store. Before we went into the shop Arianna was given a medal to commemorate the event and the workers called her Princess Arianna until we left. It was a completely unplanned part of our trip, but it was one of Arianna’s favorite memories.

Unlike the day before, it was ninety-five degrees in the Windy City that day. So as we walked along the Magnificent Mile the biggest challenge was keeping ourselves hydrated.



Lunch at the American Girl Cafe

A few weeks ago we made a reservation at the American Girl Cafe in Chicago. Although it was a bit steep in price ($22 per person) it was a great time. The food was fantastic and Arianna truly was treated like a princess by the staff during our meal. Her smile really shows how much she enjoyed the experience of dining with her dolly.


The United Center

This pit stop was a pick of my husband’s. We drove a little west of the city to The United Center where Michael Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls. Check out his basketball trick video in front of the Jordan statue basketball trick video in front of the Jordan statue. In case you didn’t know my husband is a professional free-style basketball trickster and travels around doing shows and provides clinics and private training as well. He grew up idolizing Michael Jordan so this was a monumental moment for him.



Overall it was a great trip.

We were able to accomplish so much in a short amount of time. Now life is slowing down and we are staying the rest of the month with my in laws in England. I’m looking forward to sharing memories from this trip with you as well.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Faith · Uncategorized


We all follow a person on social media who seems to have it all together. Six kids, a book deal, the immaculate house. Their constant posts invoke instant envy for those of us REAL people out there. We find ourselves scrolling through our news feed rolling our eyes and muttering under our breath.

“I could never keep my house that clean.”

“Their kids are always dressed so well.”

“They never seem to run out of ideas.”

Before we know it and without meaning to we invite bitterness and resentment into our lives. We begin to take for granted the things God has blessed us with because in our eyes they will never measure up to the witty taglines, filtered photographs, or crafty projects that invade our senses when we indulge in social media.

Over the past year this topic has been heavy on my heart. Not only have I found myself falling victim to these attitudes and situations, but I’ve also talked to so many other women who have struggled with feelings of inadequacies rooted in the fact that they’ve allowed social media to define the perfect housewife, mother, or friend.

The silly thing is that we try to mimic “perfect posters.” We struggle for every cute shot we post of our families and expect that those photos we scroll through with picturesque lighting comes naturally for everyone else. We bring ourselves down because, “Gosh darn it, we are going to get a shot where everyone has their eyes open!” Or we thank heaven for the cropping features so that we can cut out the fact that we forgot to dust the banister for the stairway shot. We struggle to make our lives measure up to those we see out there in the world of social media and forget that those people who post those perfect pictures have access to filters and cropping just like we do.

As of lately, I’ve begun to recognize the toxic habits that social media can create in my life and the lives of other women throughout the world. I would say that when it comes to women that I have a fairly healthy self value, but if I’ve spent too much time on Pinterest or Instagram I have tuned into my natural instinct to pick apart every detail of my life. I want a bigger, cleaner house or a picture-perfect family shot in front of some amazing DIY project I just completed. And when things don’t turn out that way feelings of bitterness can quickly seep through.

I’m being very candid with you today, Readers, because conversations I’ve been having lately lead me to believe I’m not alone in this struggle. This can be a real cause for anxiety and unhappiness among women (and men) and even those who are fairly secure in themselves are affected. Social media hits us from so many directions every day that it is hard to ignore. And after so long we begin to trade truth for a lie. We begin to believe that we are below others. We begin to see ourselves as less than who we are. We wrestle with contentment and idolatry. All on account of wanting what someone else probably doesn’t even really have.

Social Media allows us to capture the bits and pieces of our lives that we wish to share with the world while discarding all of the unpleasant moments. It allows us to boast in the good and hide the bad. All the while teaching each of us to portray ourselves only in a positive light. We have a one-sided view of the people we follow on social media, and oftentimes we forget that. It’s easy to make it seem like you have it all together when you control what is being seen.

In Matthew 6:31-33 Jesus tells us, “do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

As a Christian I’m called to seek God and His Kingdom in all I do. That means that I should be content with what He has blessed me with in my life. I should not run after what I think I lack because God takes care of His own. He has written a unique story for me and for each of you as well. It’s time to stop living in a world of comparison fueled by social media and time to focus on the person that God has created you to be.

Social Media when used correctly can be such a good thing. I’m not here to tell you to delete Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Rather my hope is that we are all able to understand the mind trap that can occur when we allow social media to paint our view of perfection.

In light of this issue that so many people struggle with I’ve started a hashtag: #PostRealLife. Dedicated to undoctored photographs, and uncensored life this hashtag is to celebrate our imperfections. We are real housewives, mothers, and friends. We don’t need filters or cropping. Our lives are beautiful and perfect just the way they are. So join my movement and courageously hashtag all of your no makeup selfies, messy rooms, and candid family moments without judgment!



The Ameri Brit Mom

Family · Uncategorized

Adventures of a First Time Soccer Mom


A few weeks ago my family embarked into uncharted territory. For the first time our daughter was going to participate on a sports team. A lot of emotions came into play when making that decision. The worst of the emotions was realizing that she was actually old enough to sign up. I’ve always known that once she was around other kids her own age that my daughter would thrive, but I had no idea how much she would enjoy and look forward to all things soccer.

Anticipation built as we neared the commencement of the season. We spent weeks traveling from store to store looking for the best deals on soccer gear. Financially, it’s a little bit of an investment. Soccer requires shin pads, socks, balls, and specific colored shorts. The trickiest part of the whole ordeal was locating ensembles in her itty bitty size.

For weeks we built up excitement for the first practice. We counted down with our daughter and every day she woke up asking if she had practice. It was a fun time. When the day of the first practice finally arrived so did a massive thunderstorm. Minutes before the practice was scheduled to begin the coach e-mailed to cancel. It was so heartbreaking to our three year old who could barely do anything except think about practice all day.

As a family, we decided to practice anyway. We passed the ball. Worked on scoring, and had a blast.


Her first official practice was a cold one. The wind was blowing and all of the players showed up in jackets. As parents, we sat huddled under a blanket cheering our little player on through chattering teeth. However, she wasn’t bothered in the slightest about the inclimate conditions.


The coach approached us and asked my daughter if she was ready to play. Her response was a chanting, “I am, I am!” while jumping up and down and raising her hand in the air.

I watched as many children shied away from the others. Like my daughter, this was the first experience for most of the team. Unsure how to respond to one another each player kept to themselves and close by mom and dad for that first practice. Except for our daughter who took on the role of “Team Cheerleader” as she encouraged her new teammates and herself (we will work on humility at a later age) during each drill and exercise.

We are two weeks and three practices into her inaugural season. With each time on the field she has become a more confident and aggressive player. She’s one of the smallest kids out on the field, but she plays with heart.

Nothing warms my heart more than watching my daughter enjoy learning something new. This has truly been a wonderful experience thus far, and I am so thankful that a friend told me about a league open to her age bracket. I could get used to the soccer mom life.

The Ameri Brit Mom






Family · Uncategorized

Inaugural Zoo Trip 2016


We woke up this morning with the anticipation of our first zoo trip in 2016. Arianna was up and at ’em early. We awoke to the sounds of her bounding around the house excitedly. Before long my husband and I were up (although I wouldn’t consider our reluctance to get up early as quite the level of excitement our daughter possessed.) We all showered, dressed, and packed lunches in the shortest amount of time possible. Then, we were off!

The Columbus Zoo is a big deal. It is the #1 zoo in the country and once you visit the place you understand why that is. Most schools in our area are on Spring Break this week and the weather was particularly sunny so we literally waited in line for an hour to get into the zoo. (I guess the rest of Central Ohio had the same ideas as us today.) I was so proud of Arianna because as we stood in line for an unforseen amount of time she waited patiently and made her own mental lists about what we were going to do once inside the zoo.

Before we entered through the gates we purchased our first Zoo Membership!

This is something I’ve been wanting for a few years, but because we are fairly cheap people it never happened. My grandmother knows I’ve been wanting a pass so over the Easter weekend I received my birthday gift a few months early and got a Zoo Membership card. There are so many things included with a membership. It works out that if you plan to visit the zoo more than twice in a calendar year that it pays for itself. Included with the pass is discounted entry to the attached water park, free parking, and an invitation to exclusive members only events.

Although it was crowded today we did not allow that to put a damper on our fun. Everyone was in good spirits and we truly enjoyed the entire experience.





Family · Uncategorized

How To Survive An Egg Hunt


This weekend my daughter took part in her first Easter Egg Hunt. In the past, I’ve had anxiety about turning her loose with a bunch of other kids in pursuit if plastic eggs filled with candy. I always envisioned a ten year old boy knocking her over and ruining the whole deal. But this year after some coercion I finally decided she was ready for her egg hunting debut. After all, these days she is a strong and independent girl and I pity any ten year old boy who attempts to get in her way.

The event went flawlessly.

We arrived about twenty minutes early. If you are new to the egg hunt scene heed this warning: Get there early!!  There are a limited number of eggs and many hunts involve standing in line. Give yourself an edge on others (and potentially get out of there quicker) by arriving before the event begins.

The egg hunt we decided to participate in is held annually in our town at a farm market/nursery. It’s great because they do divide children into age groups. In that scenario my daughter actually fell into the upper-end of her age bracket so I could rest assured that she was the alpha and many of my fears of bigger children were dissolved. Also, we decided to join my sister and her family. When in doubt make sure there is backup. If anyone tried to mess with my daughter in the chaos of egg hunting at least her bigger cousin would be there to protect her.

As we awaited the opening of the gates we were given free popcorn which served as a slight distraction to the fact that we were waiting in a line. Lines may be Satan’s way of punishing parents. It is nearly impossible to corral any antsy toddler into something like a line. Thank you, popcorn, you saved the day! Then, once the event began it was over within five minutes. All this build up an anticipation seems worth the five minute experience, right?

Afterwards we stepped to the side where my daughter insisted that she open every egg to take a gander at her spoils. We stood watching her open each individual egg when an employee of the market stopped us and let us know there was free pizza inside. It was fantastic!

This experience taught me many things, but here are the main lessons:

How To Survive An Easter Egg Hunt:

  1. Arrive early
  2. Call in back up
  3. Check to see if there will be free pizza

In all seriousness I hope you and your family are celebrating this wonderful Easter season and enjoying every moment. As we prepare our hearts for the upcoming weekend take a few minutes to remember why we go through all of the trouble of egg hunts, family dinners, and buying Easter clothes.

The Ameri Brit Mom


Faith · Uncategorized

Today at Covenant…Assurance

Today was a very special one for my little family. Arianna was dedicated this morning at church. An agreement was made between us (her parents) and the church family with which we belong. Together we solidified an understanding to raise Arianna in a way that points her to Christ. Since before she was born this has been my prayer as her mother, but to know that we belong to such a supportive group of people who have vowed to assist us in that hope means a lot.


This week we finished up a sermon series in Romans 5 about Friends with Benefits at Covenant Church. Seth Simmons brought the Word today and was on fire! This was a fantastic service for many reasons. Mostly because we all need reminders about our assurance in Christ.


The passage for today’s sermon comes from Romans 5:6-11:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!  Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Assurance is confidence in a promise. Our assurance is God’s love. This assurance is not based on works or anything we can do to earn his love. There are two ways we can know this assurance of God:

I. Subjected Evidence:

-The scripture above says that we have assurance because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

-This type of evidence is internal and not easily explained. It is that still small voice. It is a feeling that others cannot explain or deny.

-This evidence means that we can know God and have a personal relationship with him.

II. Objective Evidence:

-Romans 5:6-8 says that we can also know God’s love because of Jesus’ death.

-Romans 5:8 also says that Christ died while we were still sinning. He did not wait for us to get things all together nor did he give up when we messed everything up. God loves us now and always has.

-There should be no question about if God loves you. You have his assurance!!


In Romans 5:9-11, Paul goes on to say that Christ’s work gives us hope for past, present, and future assurance. That means that you’re going to make it. You can’t do anything to make him give up on you. In fact, Paul offers more promise on this ground later in Romans:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

Rest in your assurance this week. God loves you!

The Ameri Brit Mom

Family · Uncategorized

Five Minute Friday: Surprise

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Surprise. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:


My greatest surprise came on January 13, 2012. It was a chilly winter day. I was just settling back into my work routine which explained my high levels of exhaustion. The weekend had finally come and I found myself ready to sleep it away. I couldn’t explain the way I was feeling. In fact, I had never quite felt that way before. I was sick, but I wasn’t sick. I was tired, but I was energized. My life had become an oxymoron.

I was sitting around the long table in the staff lounge that Friday afternoon. After discussing our weekend plans I told a colleague I was looking forward to just sleeping the weekend away. I was a first year teacher and it wasn’t too off base to think that I was running on empty. However, the other teacher mentioned that she felt the same way I described when she was pregnant. And so it began…

Unable to get the thought out of my mind I stopped at a drug store on the way home. I rushed into my house careful not to show my husband what I had just purchased. I took a test and in less than two minutes the course of my life would change. I went from a newlywed new teacher to an expectant mother.

My daughter was a huge surprise. Originally we planned to wait a few years before becoming parents, but God’s plan was greater than my own.

Nine months later I would meet that beautiful surprise. She instantly became my purpose. I held her and none of my previous plans made sense anymore. I will be forever grateful that God gave me such a delightful surprise and I wouldn’t change His timing for anything.

Fashion · Uncategorized

My Thirty One Bag

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When I first started teaching it quickly became apparent that in order to make the trek from school to home efficiently each day that I would need to own a functional tote. For years, I’ve carried a Vera Bradley tote, which I’ve loved, but over Christmas break my VB tote finally bit the dust. I received it my first year of teaching five years ago so it was a good run, but it was obvious that it was time to purchase a new tote.

Last month, I was approached by a student who was taking part in a fundraiser to help toward an upcoming school trip. The fundraiser involved Thirty-One. This is a personalized bag and organizer company which works through direct sales. Their mission is to sell bags to empower women.

In my previous experience all of the Thirty-One bags I currently own have held up well, and have been extremely functional so I decided to support the student in his endeavor.

I decided on the large tote (which was the special for February) in the Navy Perfect Pendant print. Because it was a sale for the month they no longer carry this exact bag, but the similar tote that they carry continuously is the Go-To Tote in the same print.

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Since receiving my tote I’ve used it daily. I really like the pockets and sections within the bag. Most competitors’ bags lack the organization capabilities that my Thirty-One bag offers. I like when I can put items in a portion of a well-pocketed bag. It eliminates the time spent sifting through the contents in order to locate keys, pens, papers, lipstick, etc. With this bag it’s easy to place things where I want them and they don’t tend to move around once I’m on the go.

If you follow me regularly you know that I am a big supporter of direct sales. Personally, I do not sell anything, but I love the idea of helping women who do. I’m much more likely to purchase things if I know that my money is going toward a good cause. Women who use direct sales to support their family and their dreams is a big reason behind why I choose to support companies like Thirty-One, Origami Owl, Doterra, and Scentsy.

The Ameri Brit Mom