Colby William surprised us with his quick arrival on Monday, January 31 at 9:15 p.m. (I almost didn't make it into the hospital in time for his arrival--just three hours of labor, and while I did get an epidural, it didn't take effect before he was born so this was my first full "natural labor" experience--ouch!)! Colby was a big guy for being 10 days early---7 lbs, 6 ounces, and 19.5 inches long. He's a unique little guy with slightly strawberry blond, a super-rare blood type (AB-, which all the medical staff marveled at), a heart-shaped face and the strongest little wiry arms and legs. You can already tell that he can't wait to get on the floor and wrestle with his brothers. Carson (4) and Russell (2) already adore him. Jason and I are so happy and in love with this new little guy in our lives. And we feel absolutely outnumbered here. :)

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, along with the freak Thanksgiving week snowstorm in Seattle (fun, but it's nice to be back in the 40s again!), the boys and I sat down to write our letters to Santa. Here they are, in their own words: To: Santa From: Carson, age 3 Dear Santa, I would really like a pizza cutter, and my very own tape and pen. I would also like a white puppy, a blue teddy bear and a truck. And some salami would be nice too. I love salami. I love you, Santa. I will leave some cookies for you on Christmas Eve. I've been a good boy this year. Love, Carson To: Santa From: Russell, age 1 (as dictated by older brother Carson, with input from Russell) Dear Santa, I would like a cookie, and a doggie, and a bear. I like garbage trucks. Can you bring me a garbage truck? We have a big one that comes on our street. I would also like a Thomas book, and a garbage truck book. I will leave a carrot for Rudolph. I don't like carrots. Love, Russell

I’ve been busy, busy, busy this month, how about you? As autumn rolls in (love this season!), I’ve been working on some new assignments for Redbook, Marie Claire Australia, The Nest, and Kiwi (I feel like I’m forgetting something, but my brain is fried), along with my regular work for American Baby, and Oh, be sure to check out my newest article in Real Simple this month (the November issue)–the Winter Washing Guide (when and how to wash your fave winter clothing staples). In addition, my second novel is moving along beautifully–nearing the finish and so thrilled with this story (if I do say so myself!). More on that as soon as I can share!

Whew–I think I need a nap.

But, I’ve found time for fun, too. For example, my boys and I made these cookies this week. And, let me start by saying this post should come with a disclaimer: Do not make this recipe unless you are fully aware that by doing so, you will not be able to stop yourself from nibbling. Now that you’ve been warned …  I’ve been on the search for the perfect maple cookies for years, and finally, last week, made these. Amazing. Delicious. Satisfying. There are no limit to the adjectives I’d use to describe these beauties. And, my kids think they’re pretty swell too. Want the recipe?

I've been cutting hair forever, which isn't any indication of my skill, which frankly, isn't so great. Here's how it all started: I picked up a pair of clippers back in junior high and somehow took on the role of the family barber. I gave my brothers bowl cuts (shudder), cut my dad's hair (and made a zillion mistakes), even trimmed my mom's bangs and gave my sister some pretty stylin' do's! And, these days, I'm still cutting hair for my boys (my theory: why take them to a barber shop when they'll just scream and I'll probably do a better job at home, anyway?). But lately my haircuts haven't been so hot. Take Russell's haircut last week--when the above happened. He turned and giggled at exactly the wrong moment. Oh well. He doesn't seem to mind. And, here's a picture of Carson being

I write about health for a living (come on over and read my health and fitness blog!), so it may come as a surprise that I (secretly) have a mega crush on donuts. No, I don't indulge often, but when I crave a donut, well, I crave a donut. So when I read a tweet from Kathleen at Bookish Broad about apple cider donuts (follow her on Twitter--she always has lots of great stuff to say), I immediately started salivating. Not only had I never tried an apple cider donut in my life, but I also had no idea what they were. In any case, they sounded divine, so I got cooking. I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and employed the boys and their cute aprons to help with the dough-mixing and rolling. We fried them up after dinner and voila: apple cider donut bliss! We've all decided to make this a fall tradition. Love. What are your fall traditions?

We’ve had an awesome summer so far, how about you? Granted, I’ve been really busy, but that’s OK. I like busy. And, I’m blessed to be doing the work I love. It’s been the busiest summer yet with a ton of magazine work–currently juggling some terrific articles for Redbook, Real Simple, Woman’s Day and Glamour (stay tuned for future issues!), writing for (just agreed to do year #3!), finishing the edit process of my novel, and writing my second. Oh, did I mention we’re having another baby? I’ll be sharing boy/girl news here in a few weeks when we hear! For now, here’s a quick glimpse of summer in my casa–the slower moments with the kids. I want to remember all the silliness and beauty of these months, so here they are …

This is a question I get asked a lot, so I thought I’d try to sum up an answer. It’s a topic that many writer-mothers talk about. My writer friend Allison Winn Scotch wrote about it here recently. And Christina Katz wrote a whole book on the topic. It’s called Writer Mama, and you should check it out if you’re a mom and at all interested in writing.

But here’s the thing for me: I started my writing career before kids and just didn’t want to set it on the back shelf when the kids arrived. I wanted to both a.) continue writing, and b.) be a full time mom who was there for her kids as much as possible. So far, I’m making it work. Am I tired? All the time. Do I complain? Yes. Do I secretly long for the days of grade school? I’m not going to lie, yes, sometimes. My boys are 1 and 3 and I have a full writing career. I blog for daily (5-7 posts per day), write one to two magazine articles a week, a monthly column, and am now halfway through my second novel. Here’s how I fit this all in with the kids: