beth equals bossWELCOME! I’M GLAD YOU’RE HERE.

I’m Beth.

I’m a writer, a reader, and a laugh-out-louder. I’m a truth-teller, a swearer, and a kindness monger; I’m mouthy and broken and strong and brave, usually all at the same time. I rarely know what I’m doing, but I’m learning that’s not a prerequisite for this magical, messy life.

I’m also a mother of five. I never planned to be a mother of five. Not ever. Greg and I were going to have two kids. Maybe three. But life is funny and things don’t always go according to plan. That’s OK; plans are for reasonable people and it turns out we’re totally ridiculous.

This picture, for example? I’m in a chicken coop. Standing in chicken poop. Which exemplifies our life, really, because we can kind of pull off looking like we’ve got it together, but we’re also ankle deep in crap.

The trick is learning to find the magic in the mess and the wonder in the wild. If that’s what you’re looking for — weird truth-telling, a whole lot of laughing through the muck, and an entire Village of like-minded friends, you’ve come to the right place.

Ultimately, I’m here for you: to provide the comic relief, the grimy truth, and the sweet reality of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan. 

Because if life can’t be easy, at least it’s awesome.

You know, eventually.

Welcome to the mess!



P.S. This blog used to be all about parenting our five kids — Five Kids Is A Lot Of Kids, friends — but only ostensibly. In reality, it was always about learning to live fully and authentically, even when life throws stuff at you you never saw coming. That said, many posts revolve around Abby, Ian, Aden, Cai and Cael; the first adopted (turns out, fraudulently ) from Vietnam at 9 weeks, the next two (who experience disability) adopted from Guatemala at 3 years and 15 months respectively, and the final two, our biological twins, created in a moment of weakness. I blame Cai and Cael’s matchy-matchy twin-names on lack of sufficient prep time and the fact that I choke under pressure. And that’s it. Just the 5 kids.

P.P.S. If you’re new, WELCOME. You can always begin reading with these favorites. And if you’re curious why people read here, these are some of the unreasonably kind things people had to say:

  • You capture the mom experience with all its pathos and humor!
  • After reading your blog, I feel like I’ve just had a good laugh with a girlfriend.
  • I read this blog because it makes me feel like I’m not alone. I appreciate your complete honesty on topics that I’d probably lie about!
  • Because kids basically have a knack for making us question our sanity. And it’s great to know we’re not completely wrong at this parenting thing; and if we are, we’re not the only ones! We’re in great company.
  • Your blog is hysterical, and I relate to it so much that sometimes it feels like you’re writing about me.
  • You are authentic and genuine; you share things that a lot of moms deal with but just don’t admit or talk about. You have a fresh approach and optimistic look at life and it is refreshing.
  • It is comedic and real. I’m not a mom, but I often find connections to my own life in your stories.
  • I love your blog! It usually makes me laugh. I love that you can find such great humor in the craziness of raising 5 kids. And it makes me feel less alone when my kids do crazy things. Oh, and it makes me feel even more grateful we stopped at 3.
  • I greatly enjoy the tone of your posts, and the “message” that you constantly are putting forth, which I would describe as “Family, it’s why we’re here.”
  • I’m your dad… and Mom makes me. 

No matter how you ended up here, I’m glad to have you along on this often-bumpy, always-entertaining journey.

P.P.P.S. The very best way to stay up to date around here is to join my email list. We’ll be in direct communication, and you’ll receive content like “The Day I Peed My Office” — a story exclusive to email. Scroll to the bottom of this page for details.



  1. …and I found your blog while (apparently) searching for the end of the Internet…but I know when to tell the truth and I will say this: There is no way you’re old enough to have five kids, two teenagers in the lot. Holy MOLY you look 22. 🙂

  2. I don’t know you but I love you….that sounds weird! Oh well!!! I also have a boy named Cael….not a common name! Good minds think alike, I guess. He is a perfect snuggler as well and he is 10 years old. Still snuggles his mama and for that, I am so grateful. I also have 12 year old, daughter. Those are my bios. I am patiently waiting to bring home our other two children from Ghana. Should get visa approval any day now and then we will be welcoming our 8 year old son and 5 year old daughter. God brought your blog to me at just the right moment!!!!! I am going to spend some of this painful waiting time reading old posts and laughing my bootie off. You are hilarious and inspiring and a little crazy. I totally love you! Thanks!

  3. Just found your blog because my friend posted about rules for pee for boys. when I saw that this was also about having five kids, I had to read further. We also have five — four boys and a girl. All came to us through domestic adoption. Right now they are six, four, three, three and two. Next month one of the threes becomes four. No twins, but close enough. Looking forward to reading more and commiserating with you.

    Oh and thanks for standing up for all of us at the DMV. I would have been horrified.

  4. Beth – you are hilarious! So happy to have found your blog – did I click on a link while on FB…? I have 2 girls – one adopted from Vietnam, the second biological surprise – they are best buds. Your VN daughter is absolutely beautiful and I love the photo of her ‘leaping gracefully’ on the beach – my VN daughter loves gymnastics and amazes me with her moves. My husband is middle child of 5, so I’m hoping I’ll get some insight into his peculiarities through your blog…Enjoyed your DMV post as well – thank you for standing up for adoptive families everywhere – you da woman! And who knew it, but DMV ROCKS!

  5. Just found you via Twitter! Love this. Guess what?….I have five children, age 20 through 10. And youngest two are twins! Son, 20, daughter, 17, daughter, 13, boy/girl twins 10. Fun isn’t it!! We live in WA so just up the freeway a bit….

  6. I was so excited to find your blog!! I am also a mother of five – my kids are 5, 3, 2, we went to even it out and now have 7 month old twins! Two boys and three girls. I have a feeling I’ll be able to relate to a lot of your posts. Thanks for sharing your life and reminding me that the chaos is normal 🙂

  7. I just discovered your blog, and I LOVE it! I too have five children, and like you #’s 4 and 5 are twin boys! They are two months old now. It’s a bit of a circus, but you know how that is. 🙂 I read the first two blogs under the “funny” category and was in tears laughing so hard. Especially the pee one. You see…my oldest is also a girl, and the other 4 are BOYS. 🙂

  8. Beth,

    I found your site through a post on Facebook. I don’t spend that much time on Facebook (OK. That is an exaggeration, I spend waaay too much time on Facebook!), but after seeing all of the posts by people who are ignorant and un-American because their religious and political views and affiliations are not exactly like mine (;-) ;-)), I find your blog completely enjoyable and a breath of fresh air. Over the past 15 years, my wife and I have adopted 5 children. It hasn’t all been fun and games, but there is no satisfaction like that of raising kids.

    1. Thanks, Dave. What nice things to say. Welcome here. And congrats on your adoptions. I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned it yet, but 5 kids is a lot of kids, man. 😉

  9. oh, and ps, my children are ages 17,16,14,13 and 9…..4 boys, 1 girl.

  10. ohmygoodness!! we have 5 kids too, so I knew
    a) we’d be instant friends and
    b) I just HAD to keep reading.
    I love your writing, I read your article “20 things parents should hear”, once I read it, I instantly wanted to read more. Thank you, for most of all pointing out how it isn’t perfect all the time, but there are moments of pure, blissful, joy. And that love is love is love…..and the love we feel for our families is fierce and wonderful. You have many gifts, thank you for sharing them with us…..it’s a journey, full of learning and my children have stretched and forced my heart to grow in ways I never though possible.

  11. Your family reminds me so much of my family. I have five kiddos, too. Ages almost 11 down to 12-mo-old twins. Blessed with three bountiful, beautiful boys and then blessed unexpectedly with twin daughters. I can’t say that I love “every” minute of it, but I’m still here and still smilin’ most days. 🙂 Thank you for this blog. I just happened upon it and it brought a ray of sunshine into my day. God bless you and your fantastic family!

  12. I too have an Aidan (mines a boy) and I too sometimes wonder why I thought giving my kid a name that means fiery was a good idea.

  13. I look forward to Thanksgiving 😉

  14. Hi Beth, I am also a mother of 5. 🙂 We just found your blog and are excited to look around. We just started a family.. Vlog I guess they are called 😉 http://www.veryinterestingfamily.com We aren’t sure where it’s going but love the inspiration we are getting from your blog.

    Much Love, A very interesting family <3

  15. Im new to this blog! And I so look forward to reading it! I to am a mommy to almost 5! I have 3 boys and a little girl and another boy due in April! YAY ME!

  16. Thank goodness for another down to earth mom blog! After reading several other mommy blogs who talk about perfect birthday parties (I’m sorry, but kids really don’t care if their name is screen printed on the goody bag, it’s about what’s in the bag) I’ve come to the conclusion that a. I want a huge glass of wine, because b. I’ll never be that kind of mom. I too am a mom of twin boys (as well as a twin myself) and blogger, although I’m fairly new to the blogging world. I look forward to reading more about you and your ‘real’ family!

  17. You have a beautiful family! I look forward to reading your blog more often!

  18. I too have five….one single and two sets of twins 2 years apart…we joke that we are the odd family, because we had one then three then five:) my friends called us the zoo hence the email address….:) Loved everything I’ve read so far and can relate to most of it!…lol….keep it up!…:)

  19. All I can say is THANK GOD!!! I am a mother of SIX! 2 through 15, two of which are teenage girls. I started a blog a long time ago called The REAL Real Housewife just because I was tired of all the picture perfect mom blogs out there. However, I stopped blogging bc I just couldn’t find the time. Your blog is a breath of fresh air! So down to earth and so very true! You’ve got a beautiful bunch! keep on keepin it real, girl!

  20. All I can say is THANK GOD!!! I am a mother of SIX! 2 through 15, two of which are teenage girls. I started a blog a long time ago called The REAL Real Housewife just because I was tired of all the picture perfect mom blogs out there. However, I stopped blogging bc I just couldn’t find the time. Your blog is a breath of fresh air! So down to earth and so very true! You’ve got a beautiful bunch! kepp on keepin it real, girl!

  21. Hey Beth! Thank you for posting this. Ever since I was directed to you by Amber’s blog, I have wondered what the whole awesome story was. There has to be a name for moms who covet international adoption like I do, and I always want to hear every word how it came to be! Your family is really terrific, I’m enjoying every post. No pressure.

  22. Another Mom of five kids here!! Really glad I found your blog, it makes me feel less insane when I can read about other families with lots of kids. We are a military family so we get the extra added fun of the occasional deployment thrown in there.

    I look forward to reading more!

  23. Beth,
    You are the perfect combo of your dad’s wit and your mother’s sweetness. I think having Jeff for a brother prepared you for motherhood. Every child is different, every set of rules has to be modified to be realistic and effective for each child… and parent! You make me smile, you make me laugh with your words and you are blessing five precious beings with your gift for parenting and finding humor in the chaos of this delightful ride we call, Life. Keep on blogging! From your way-back-when across the street neighbor in T.O. xo

  24. Oh my word Beth…I am smiling and have a wet face all in one. Kinda like an upside down rainbow. You are more than hilarious and I LOVE the fact that you made adoption a first instead of a second.

    I am already addicted to your blog and I have only read the “about us”. I am that mom too who’s life is real…I am constantly begged to start a blog because I have REAL LIFE stories and they aren’t sugar-coated and are mostly hysterical (of course, after 30 minutes or so).

    Excited to have found you…I will read when I have time (which may be when you have moved on to sharing your journey of your grandkids). *wink*

  25. Hi Beth! I’m not a new ready, but I am the only one awake in my house right now. ( PARTAY!! QUIET…. PEACEFUL….. PAAARRRRRRRTAAAY!) I was re-reading through some of your posts, and realized that I’d missed the invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. How sweet of you, what should I bring? ;-p

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