Archive - May 2017

» REVIEW: EGO Power+ Electric Lawn Mower
» Kindergarten Countdown
» 2017 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

» REVIEW: EGO Power+ Electric Lawn Mower

Electric lawn mowers aren’t a new thing for our family. In fact, we’ve had one for many years, my tree-hugging husband insisted on it. But ours is pretty ridiculous, you literally plug the mower into a 100-foot extension cord connected to an outlet and mow away. It’s tedious and I’ve almost run over the cord more times than I can count. The picture below (not me) features this interesting contraption I’ve used to mow for years.

Is she cutting the grass or vacuuming the grass? Even I’m not sure. Men in big trucks have had quite a few laughs at my expense as they drove by, some pulling commercial mowers behind them. My husband didn’t see any problem with this method of grass-cutting but he’s not the only one who mows the grass, I was fed up.

Finally, a mower we can both agree on.

We’ve been using the EGO Power+ lawn mower for a couple of months now and absolutely love it. Actually. I adore it. The EGO Power+ mower is powerful with the torque of gas, but doesn’t require gas or a silly extension cord. There are  a few different types of EGO Power+ Lawn mowers but we received the Power+ 21 inch with 5.0Ah battery. The 45-minute run time was more than enough for our 1/3 acre. Here are some of my favorite things about it so far:

Battery charges in 30 minutes flat: I never open my calendar app and schedule grass cutting time. Instead I usually realize it’s about to rain and quickly run out to take care of the lawn. With EGO’s rapid charger, I only need to plan 30 minutes in advance to get a full charge.

Ease of use: No more cranking the motor over and over again and pulling a muscle in my mom-bicep. With the push of a button, the mower starts up every time. Electric mowers are also much lighter so they are easier to push through the grass. My arms and legs appreciate it. Even our nine year old can expect to add cutting the grass to his summer chore list.

Noise level: I can listen to a great Spotify playlist while mowing without having to buy a pair of $300 headphones to actually enjoy it. I’ve always hated the loud noise, and smell, that gas mowers produce.

Folds up: With two cars in the garage, it doesn’t leave much room for lawn equipment. The EGO mower folds up nicely for storage purposes. If needed (for those friend favors), I can quickly load it up in the van, too.

EGO is not just a mower: EGO has a ton of other tools including blowers, trimmers, and chainsaws. The best part, they all use the same battery and battery chargers. This allows you to charge one (or more batteries) while using other batteries for the tools you need immediately.



We have used electric outdoor equipment for a long time but always being tied to a cord is getting really old. Time with family has become more and more valuable to us and EGO has allowed us to get the job done quickly without the awful fumes of gas. If you are looking to start with one unit, an EGO mower is a great foundation to build upon. We will continue to add tools from the EGO platform to our garage.

POWER UP YOUR SUMMER: From May 18th – June 4th, online or in-store at The Home Depot, you can get $50 off handheld kits (while supplies last).

EGO Power+ website

buy EGO on Amazon

EGO 21 in. Push Mower Specifications:

  • Up to 45 Minute Run-Time with 5.0Ah 56 Volt ARC Lithium Battery
  • Rapid Charger : Charges the 5.0Ah Battery (included) in only 40 Minutes
  • 21” Deck
  • Push Button Start
  • Compact Storage
  • Weather Resistant Construction
  • LED Headlights
  • 3-IN-1 Function: Mulching, Bagging, Side Discharge
  • 3 Position Handle Heights
  • One Handed Height Adjustment
  • Maximum Cutting Height: 4 inches
  • Minimum Cutting Height: 1 ½ inches
  • Grass Bag Capacity: 2 Bushels
  • Rear Wheel Size: 9 inches
  • 5 Year Warranty

» Kindergarten Countdown

I sent my first child off to kindergarten 4 years ago. I watched many mommas say goodbye with tears and lamenting Facebook posts. I, on the other hand, said goodbye with a pep in my step. I knew Elliott was ready and I knew he was going to have a great time. I also had two in preschool and one on the way home from China. My plate was full. I’m also a work outside the home momma and did not have to return home to an empty house.

A short 4 years later all my babies are home and in various grades at school. Our youngest is finishing up preschool and kindergarten is just months away for him. And I’m a bit of a mess over it. No one warns you what it’s like to let the baby go to real school. Sure, he’s been in preschool for some time now. But it’s sweet and small and special. He plays a lot and get smiley faces. Real school is big time. It means the baby is gone. It also means I have to grow up too. No more he’s the baby passes. I admit… it’s probably awesome being the youngest. I didn’t experience it myself but I do recognize the special treatment one receives as the last one with a little baby in them. Not special in a way that lets him out of consequences, but special in a way that gets extra drinks of water at bed time or more snuggle time. Because man… that kind of stuff just won’t last forever.

Letting go is an art I need to learn. And motherhood is teaching me. Girls, this is way more than I ever expected! My kids are growing fast, they are moody, they are needy and they are so unique and wonderful. I’m never ready for the next stage to start because what we are in is so good! This day, this month and this year will never happen again. And while, at times, I want to beg time to slow down I also can’t wait to experience all the other stages of mothering my kids. It’s a tug of war. Torn between anticipation of who they will be and the desire to rock them to sleep until they are 15.

I might if they will let me.

As our family approaches our last preschool graduation and kindergarten…. I have some thoughts for you, Liam. Thoughts that will also be written on paper for that special box I keep for each of you.

Buddy I remember where I was when I got a call about you. We had been waiting a couple years to know who you were. We were praying too. I was really, really ready to know you. And when I wasn’t expecting it my phone rang on a regular morning while I was playing with Elliott and Charlotte. They were so little at the time, just babies. Our family coordinator was on the phone and she told me that she wanted to tell me about a baby boy. I was so surprised because you were so little! We had given away many of our baby things because we thought you might be 2 or 3 year old… but no… when we got the call you were just 3 months old. I stared at your picture and printed a dozen copies for our home. We began to plan for you and anticipate meeting you for the first time. The next time I got a call I happened to be in Haiti. We didn’t expect to travel so quickly! I had to fly home and get to Ethiopia as fast as I could. Daddy and I were so excited… the long flight seemed even longer than usual!

We had to leave after just a week with you. We didn’t know when we would get to bring you home. The wait was so much harder after we held you. After we saw your eyes light up when we tickled your tummy. You were so completely our son and we were so completely your parents. God gives many good gifts in life and you are one of our greatest. Thankfully, as you know, Nana and I got to bring you home just 8 weeks later. You were pretty sick, very sick actually, and I petitioned a lot of important people to help us get you home quickly. We didn’t sleep much that week, in Ethiopia, I was worried and you needed a lot of care. The plane ride home was very scary but very joyful once we arrived home and knew things were going to be okay.

Liam, how we came together as a family sounds pretty adventurous at times. And you, my son, are definitely an adventure. You keep us on our toes. I don’t think anyone moves or dances as much as you do. But adventure isn’t our glue. It’s not what makes us a family. We are a family because we work hard every day, together. God gave us to each other and we honor him by doing our best. Buddy, every single day I wonder what I can do to help you be your best. And every day you show me the biggest, fullest love. I know life will give you a lot of questions down the road. I know everything in your life doesn’t make sense. And with every big step forward, like starting school, there will be more that we need to talk about. But we are ready for all the big and hard. There is beauty and there is brokenness… and those things make life what it is. I’m ready to walk all of those roads with you. It’s such an honor to be your mom. I know God made me just the way I am to be just the mom you need. It makes me confident that all of our pieces will fit together even if the puzzle is a bit difficult to work at times.

We have a few more months to get ready for the big K and it’s going to be so much fun. I know you’ll be ready. And I know this will be my hardest send off yet.But you’ll always be the baby. The one who changed my heart and shaped it to love in new ways.

» 2017 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

I realize we’ve committed to a year of less… but I have to interrupt for just a moment because I know some of you are desperately looking for Mother’s Day ideas. So in spite of promoting less I’ve rounded up a few ideas for mom that I would be happy to receive. Although… I won’t be this year. I’ve tried to bring a variety of things you may have never seen or thought of.

1. Clay Mug from Haiti

Clay cookies are a known “food” in Haiti. Feed My Starving Children has created a market for artisans from Port-Au-Prince to use the same process to make mugs instead. These coffee mug purchases enable these Haitians to sculpt their way out of poverty and support their families! I cannot think of a more meaningful gift for mom. Check out Feed My Starving Children’s other items, too. You’ll fall in love quickly.

Feed My Starving Children website


2. Magnolia Journal Magazine Subscription

I love a gift that keeps on giving. And I LOVE Fixer Upper. Magnolia Journal comes out four times per year and is full of all the shiplap and chippy paint that mom craves. Additionally, make sure that you serve up some quiet time and coffee when that magazine arrives.

buy on Amazon


3. Ninja Coffee Bar System

A coffee system complete with a variety of brew types and sizes (single cup to whole pot), a built-in frother, and tons of specialty (hot and iced) coffee recipes — Caramel Macchiato, Iced Mocha Latte, and a Vanilla Flat White just to name a few — you can create and enjoy at home. Read our full review here.

Ninja Kitchen website

buy Ninja Coffee Bar System on Amazon


4. Netatmo Smart Home

You know how much I love smart home products. Netatmo makes some beautiful products that compliment your home interior rather than cause a huge distraction. Now that our kids are getting older and more independent, the Welcome camera has helped me keep tabs on everyone. Face recognition technology has been really accurate so far so I know who’s inside (or outside) the house at all times. If that wasn’t enough, the unit also listens for alarms—whether it be a smoke alarm, CO alarm, security alarm or siren—it will send a notification and record a video. For the health-conscious moms, the Healthy Home Coach monitors the air quality level (CO2 levels) to make sure the home environment is healthy. I particularly love monitoring humidity levels for my son, who deals with asthma. The Healthy Home Coach measures what matters, notifies you (via phone app) of potential problems, and gives suggestions on how to fix them. I wish I had one of these years ago for an infant’s room.

Netatmo website

buy Netatmo on Amazon


5. Kitchen IQ

I love high-quality kitchen items that don’t need replacing every year. I finally tried Kitchen IQ’s knife sharpener after feeling the urge to replace an “old” set of knives. I also love their flexible cutting boards, kitchen scales, and graters.

Kitchen IQ website

buy on Amazon



All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal