Movin’ and Groovin’ and Living Life the Best Way We Know How

Good News Showcase Thursday, March 23, 2017

Heyyyy! Thanks for stopping by Ms. Mary Mack. I have posted less and less here, as you might have surmised. The short answer for why is this: Things have changed in the last couple of years. I’ve moved out of the parenting blog space (it was a good time indeed), and now I’m focused on writing books and a new podcast. Head over to my website for more on all of that: Nicole Blades.

~Nicole Credit: Nicole Blades


To 44. (Or, Farewell, My POTUS, and Thank You)

Life As Mom Thursday, January 12, 2017

My toes were frozen, but my heart was warm and full. I was standing on the National Mall, just behind the Reflecting Pool, huddled with countless other teeth-chattering citizens there to witness President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. This was history happening, once again, and I was part of it—this time live.

Instagram | nicole_blades

I wanted to be there four years earlier, giddy and cheering and sobbing like everyone else, but I was three weeks away from giving birth to my first child. A son who, like the newly re-elected president, is mixed-race. Obama’s 2008 landmark victory confirmed it: My kid, this toffee-colored boy, could grow up to be the leader of the free world, if that’s what he chose. Politics aside, this president, number 44, symbolizes so much to my little family. He’s the precedent—this president—for what it looks like to reach beyond the idea of possibilities and potential and grab hold of the fact that greatness is real, and it’s there for our children, no matter what this lopsided world might try to tell them. 

I’m going to miss my POTUS and the Obama Family more than words can say. I am just so grateful to have witnessed this presidency, to have watched excellence in action. Thank you, President Obama. Thank you.

Everywhere, Everywhere, Everywhere

Real Talk Friday, July 15, 2016

It seems like every other morning we are waking up to heartbreaking, horrible, horrible news from this world. We start to really consider how much more our spirits can endure.


Photo by Nicole Blades

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered

Warsan Shire

Play-Well TEK Knows the Way to Kids’ Hearts: LEGO

Life As Mom Friday, July 15, 2016

Last month, we hosted a little “School Is Out — Oh, Yeah!” gathering for our son. It involved some fun snacks, a little juice, a handful of his 7-year-old friends, and one key ingredient: LEGO. And lots of it.

Actually it was a workshop happily disguised as a party. But you know 7-year-olds and details. Uh, they don’t need ’em. Just pass that box filled with LEGO bricks, parent!

Photo by Nicole Blades


Jokes aside, we were really pleased with all it all turned. Thanks wholly to Play-Well TEKnologies, a LEGO-inspired engineering group. Play-Well comes to your home and runs an Engineering with LEGO workshop. The group sends a master builder or two carting along approximately 20,000 pieces of LEGO to teach a 90-minute engineering workshop.



The boys got right to work and did a fantastic job of listening to their master builder (who was super patient and kind). Like when it was time to clean up, they totally did. I think I even heard them singing the “Clean Up Song” and everything!

(Yeah … sorry about the Barney flashbacks.)

Though no one is paying me to say this, I highly recommend Play-Well to any parent looking for birthday party idea or a major Winter Is Boring Us group play date that has a healthy mix of fun and education. Two thumbs way up!

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