Sepia-Tone Memories

Birthdays are always a reminder of the passing time, the embrace of another year. Having four kids means there are more birthdays, and each one brings about a feeling of nostalgia, a lust for time to stand still if only for an instant. Not always, but often, I will catch myself in awe of a moment in time. In all its messy beauty, like a finger painting from a 3 year old, a spotted treasure. There are certain moments where time swells, and you can feel the pause in the film where you get to take it all in.

Their little faces are aglow from the shine of their candles. All eyes are on them, and they’re staring back at the joyful expression of every person they know loves them. The celebration is to welcome the passing of a full year of their life and to honor the incredible opportunity to do it again. The singing stops, and we meet eyes for a split second before they’re reminded to “make a wish.” Their eyes close, and I stare at them, in all their radiant beauty, as the light from the candles go out. Time stands still, and my memory logs a moment in time that I want to save forever.

Sometimes my boy’s childhood feels like watching a VHS tape, I’m front row, watching through sepia tone, at the most sentimental moments of my life. I always wonder which parts they are going to remember or which moments will be the ones that stick. The ones that are most overpowering to me are often the moments they don’t even know are happening.

I find myself staring, my head on a swivel, taking in the sights. The deep cheek dimple, the sticky fingers reaching across the table for a hand full of scrambled egg, the reveal of the “guess the soccer player” game causing jubilation, the sound of a sports commentator from a T.V. in the room over, the, “mom, mom, mom, mom.”

When I shuffle sleepily to each of their rooms, the house quiet. I pull their blankets up to cover their arms and tussle their hair with my fingers. I admire their cheeks and their eye lashes, and I whisper to God and the Universe to cradle them in safety and happiness and warmth.

When I watch them struggle with a challenge for weeks or months on end, my mind running rampant wanting to protect and shelter them. And then through perseverance and time and effort, they resolve it on their own, and their character builds. Do they know when they score the goal, or make the friend, or say the word, or take the step, that I’m watching? That I’m beaming with pride and jumping for joy? Do they notice the way I figuratively collapse to my knees in my soul as my mind captures the moment forever?

When they do something kind, for each other or for others. When they stop to help a kid they barely know, when they choose to make someone feel less alone, when they give grace to me when I fall short. When I bear witness to them making the hard choice or taking the path less trodden. When they speak up and show tenderness and strength, I’m noticing.

Do they know that when I drop them off to school, I stare at them walking until I can’t see them anymore? That I’m the parent that holds up the car line? Last week, I realized from afar that Hudson’s shoe came untied. In that second, did Jaxon know that I saw him bend down to re-tie his brother’s shoe? That it comforted me? That I caught my breath?

When they’re going about their business, in their little routines, do they know my brain is storing their seemingly mundane moments as core memories? As the souvenirs from my life that I would most like to keep? When Leo is trying to jump in the kitchen but can’t get off the ground, when Beckham lays down beside me and lifts his shirt for a back scratch, when Hudson looks up at me in the car and we share a closed-lip “sweet” smile, when Jaxon tells me all about his day from the walk from pick up to the car and all the way home.

The way each of them reaches for my hand, their little fingers laced uniquely around mine. The way they get frustrated so differently. Their different limits. The feeling of their hugs as their hands wrap around my back. The way each of them looks at me from across the room or the field or the parking lot.

I keep journals to them that it seems I have less and less time to write in. Will they read them one day through tear-filled eyes and envision me using my only spare 15 minutes to tell them about the funny thing they said when they were three?

Will I get a pardon for the times I overreacted and yelled about something that didn’t matter? Will they choose to see me instead for all of the times that I made them belly laugh after bath time or was patient in a melt down or laid awake as they tossed and turned in my arms?

As they grow, every version of them that I have ever known makes my heart swell with pride and a rare type of heartache. It’s pure and bittersweet and nothing short of magic. I wish they could see themselves through my eyes if only for a moment and witness the love and growth and wonder. I wish they could innately understand the meaning their existence has in defining mine. Being their mom is the greatest honor of my life and the fleeting moments, the sound of their giggles and the look in their eyes when they see me, are the things I’d most like to remember and will tuck away to keep.

Embracing this Season

Life is hectic. With four kids and three jobs and sports and master’s degrees and goals and plans, it seems that we are always coming or going. There is always a soccer game or a sick kid or a comforter that needs to be washed. We always need coffee creamer and diapers. We are always watching Bluey, falling asleep in different beds with different kids. The phone chargers are never where we put them. The van always needs to be vacuumed. The toothpaste is always in the sink. There are always clothes in the dryer that need to be moved to make room for the clothes in the washer. The dog always has to be fed. The amazon boxes always need to be broken down. There is always some unexpected bill that’s like $600. There is always a covid exposure. The toys are always in every single room. There’s always a random bat man in the shower. Where is the other shoe? Why is there always only one?

Before having kids, you don’t realize all of the moving parts that exist when having a family. The parts that make life grueling but also captivating. It’s like the good times are the most beautiful, joy-filled moments of pure bliss. The bad times… well, all the kids are screaming and yelling while Jack and I look at each other belly laughing, joking about which kids get their stubbornness from me, and signing him up for vasectomy appointments online.

Usually I’m too busy to notice, but once in awhile, I catch people watching us. When we are sitting at breakfast, cutting up sausages, and turning on Niki and Vlad so we can eat a hot meal. When we are holding hands crossing the street to go in a store and resembling The Wringling Brothers Circus. When we are at the park or pushing the stroller through the mall. When we are trying to manage our world and hanging on by a bobby pin. Here and there, I catch people watching us… and they always have a smile. Maybe they’re thinking, “These two are in way above their head.” But, I like to believe that they’re usually recalling fond memories of their children and thinking, “Boy, they have it all.”

Sometimes when we make eye contact with the watchers, they’ll say, “4 boys, huh?” or “Wow, you guys have your hands full!” But often, it is the line is, “Enjoy them. It goes so fast.”

The thing about life is that it all goes in phases. It’s like mountains that turn into valleys, the highs and lows that blur together. By the time you get around to solving a problem you thought you had, that problem solves itself and you’re on to the next thing. What no one tells you about parenting is that you’ll drive yourself crazy to make sure your kids are okay. Happy, safe, healthy, understood. How lucky are we to have a love that is so profound and deep that there is literally nothing we wouldn’t do for our kids? In the same breath, you get caught in this whirlwind of thoughts. It seems your to-do list is never done. You brain can never shut off. I run around tying shoes and filling water bottles and the next thing I know it’s 9 pm.

A few weeks ago, Jack took the boys camping and it was just Leo and me. In 8 hours, I did 5 loads of laundry, put the dishes away, mopped the floor, cleaned out the junk drawer, painted my toe nails, wrote in my journals, and accomplished basically every other to-do that had been on my list for months. When I put Leo to sleep, I ordered take-out and watched Grey’s Anatomy. When I woke up, Leo was still sleeping and it hit me, I didn’t have anything else to do. So you mean to tell me that when my kids grow up and have lives of their own and they pack up and leave, the only time I’m going to be able to fill is roughly 8 hours before I call them and tell them it’s time to come back?

The truth is that time is fleeting, and in the middle of the most hectic moments, when I want to shout in frustration over repeating myself about the toys I’m tripping over, when I’m ushering kids out the door and into the van, when I’m vacuuming up sand from the playground AGAIN… when I’m trying to figure out how I have NO fruit 24 hours after grocery shopping, and I’m logistically trying to work out how I’m going chaperone the trip, get a kid to a friend’s birthday party, and be at two overlapping soccer games. In all of the chaos and crazy, those are also the moments where my joy lives and always will.

To the Teachers making it Happen

A few weeks ago, my son’s teacher set up a drive through between the hours of 4-6 at his elementary school. The parents were able to stop by and pick up a bag put together by her. When I pulled up, there was a car in front of me, and I couldn’t help but notice the locked gate in front of the school. In her back seat she had brown grocery bags filled with materials for each of her 2nd graders. Every bag had a name written across the top.

I’m a teacher, too. We have all had to do something similar to prepare for a substitute teacher. We count out the copies we need for each kid on a daily basis, even. When I got home, I sat in my driveway and looked through the bag. There it was. Every single lesson laid out. Every subject separated by paper clips and dates. A huge zip lock filled with plastic coins for learning money, expo markers, sharpened pencils, yarn for estimating measurement. There was a letter to parents and a schedule. Then I pulled out a zip lock of skittles. There was a note:

“As you left my room each day I would hand you a skittle and say, ‘Have a good day!’ At the end of your ‘home school’ day have a skittle and say to yourself, ‘I did great today!'”

I just stared at it.

Then before I knew it, I was staring at it through blurry vision caused by my tears.

I didn’t know. I did not know that she did that for my child every day. I pick him up every single day, and not once did he mention that he received a skittle.

What a thoughtful sentiment.

All I could do is imagine her. I imagined her sat on her living room floor counting out 19 of every lesson that she planned to teach for literally the rest of the year.

My heart broke thinking of the classes I’ve had in the past, and the way I would mentally prepare myself for the inevitable “goodbye” right before summer.

The truth is, you’re never ‘ready’ to send off a group of kids. But you can stomach it, because you know that you did your part and they are moving on to learn more and to do greater. You know you’ve given them what they need to prepare them to go to the next level. You’ve meticulously planned and you compare their work from beginning to end, and you know that your job is done. And the only way that your job can be done is if they move on to the next grade, to the next teacher, to the next chapter. And let’s be honest- summer is sounding damn good after 9 months of blood, sweat, and tears.

The thing is- these teachers sent their kids away for spring break or for the weekend, and they didn’t know it was the last time they would have them all together. They said, “Have fun and be safe.” They didn’t get to the finish line, they didn’t get to finish their content, they didn’t get to write notes in year books, they didn’t get to give hugs, they didn’t get to say goodbye to that class.

Truthfully, it’s almost too much for me to bear.

The following weekend, I was using my extra quarantine time to organize all of the boxes I put in my garage when my mom died. I was looking through papers, and I found a report card. It was mine. I was so excited to see it! I was even more delighted to see my mom’s signature showing her approval for each “marking period.”

That’s what we used to call it, anyway.

Then I found a note from my 2nd grade teacher to my parents:

When I read it, I was in awe. It made me laugh and it made me cry. She knew me. How could that be? How could I have always been who I am now? And how did she know?

It just proved everything I know to be true about the profession that I love. It made me beam with pride. It made me think of all of the things that led me here, and how my 2nd grade teacher invested in me enough to know who I was as an individual. She knew about my strengths and weaknesses. She knew about my extroverted nature and willingness to help. She even called me, “Sam,” which is so emotional to me because that is so, so rare as I started to introduce myself as Samantha in high school.

I was so moved by it.

But then my heart made the connection between the ending of my second grade year and the ending of Jaxon’s 2nd grade year.

You see… my teacher got the “goodbye” moment. She got the chance to hug me and to write my parents and to end a chapter of her life that she holds so dear to this very day.

Yesterday when I got the news about school being closed through the school year, I texted Jaxon’s teacher.

“Just wanted to send my love about the schools being announced closed through the year.”

She called me.

We both sat there on the line.

It was completely silent. We couldn’t talk because of the lumps in our throats.

We couldn’t talk because of the understanding of what this news meant for her and for her class. We couldn’t talk because sometimes the right thing to do still hurts.

Then she said… “It’s just that I usually do a memory book for each of the kids to have…”

…and then in complete teacher fashion, she started brain storming ways that she could make it happen.

That’s what teachers do. They continue to make it happen for the kids.

If you’re reading this and you’re a parent and you’re struggling with home schooling and frustration and you’re in way over your head, all I can say is I’m with you.

But also, when the first bell rings and they have a class full of kids again, these teachers are going to make it happen like they always do.

If you’re a teacher and you’re trying to do it all with no closure and a broken heart, you are supported. There is no one else that can do what you do, and your value is more apparent than ever. These kids will have a memory that bonds them to you in a profound way. You still have the power to change lives and make your impact. Go do the impossible, and make it happen like you always do- and before you know it, you’ll have a class staring back at you and a new appreciation for the profession you love.

Letting go of Toxic People in your Life

There are articles all over the internet about allowing yourself to cut toxic people out of your life. If I’m being honest, my personality requires it. If I find someone toxic, I cut them out like a tumor. Plain and simple. I’ve always been that way. Sorry, but if you hurt more than you help, you gotta go.

I was especially that way with my mom. You see, my mom and I were very different people. She didn’t see things the same way I do.

My whole life we were somehow at odds with one another. We never had the mother and daughter relationship I read about.

You know?

The one where you get pedicures together and share your deepest secrets.

We didn’t bake together and go to yard sales on Saturday mornings. She didn’t coach my softball team, and actually, come to think of it, I don’t have clear memories of her playing outside with me at all. I also never played softball, but you get the idea. She didn’t come over my house and cook dinner with me and enjoy a bottle of wine. My mom didn’t pick my kids up from school and take them to chic fil a.

My mom and I had a relationship that people close to me would describe as toxic. My mom was an alcoholic while I was growing up. She also had MS. She also had a really traumatic upbringing. She also had depression. Talk about a concoction. She wasn’t dealt the easiest hand, and I think looking back now, I’m beginning to understand her more.

Despite all of this, she always did what she needed to do. I always had dinner on the stove. I always knew I could call her. I always knew she would have my back if I needed it. I always knew she did love me.

The thing with toxic relationships is that they hurt and then once you identify that, you build walls to protect yourself. I had such a small tolerance for my mom. My patience with her was basically nonexistent. I felt like she didn’t do her part to show up for me. I felt like I could never connect with her or relate to her. I felt like she never made the effort I wished she would. My ability to show her affection lessened each year as we grew apart. I had an unwillingness to accept our relationship for what it was. I felt like she was never open to meeting me half way, in the middle of two completely different worlds.

My whole life, I have kept a comfortable distance from my mom. I removed myself from the toxicity because I always felt that I had to tiptoe around what I said to avoid offending her or to dodge a potential argument. But, within the last year, I got better at handling her. Maybe I got more mature or maybe she got easier. I’ll never really know.

It got to the point where we were okay in small doses. She would come to my son’s soccer game or my parents would come over for dinner.

We spent my entire life going through ebbs and flows. When we were on good terms, it was SO great. It felt like we were getting somewhere. Then time and time again our relationship would come toppling back to square one. It seemed I was always one opinion or comment or action from sending us spiraling out of control. Maybe she felt the same.

The last time I ever saw her, we were going to swim at the pool where my parents lived. Usually when we went, only my dad would come. When I called, my dad wasn’t home, so he said my mom was there and to call her. To my surprise, she said she would come down and hang out with us- and she did. We were only there maybe an hour. It was so nice. We talked and she spent time with the kids. I remember thinking, “I wish it could be like this all the time.”

It was like the scene from Frozen where Ana and Elsa are beside each other. Ana wants so badly to have a relationship with her sister, but Elsa is fighting battles that are deep and complicated. The audience knows that, but Ana doesn’t.

That’s kind of how life works- sometimes you don’t have all of the information, or if you do, you don’t know what to do with it.

Anyway, we had our pool date and a week later, my mom died.

My toxic mom died.

Every single memory has played through my head day after day. All of the bad and all of the good. I don’t know that I would do things differently, because I did what I thought was right with what I knew at the time.

But do you know what’s important to share?

My mom and I had some BAD times. Low. The kind of moments that are the reason we “let go” of toxic people.

And do you know what I can’t get out of my head?

When I’m laying in bed at night, when I’m shampooing my hair in the shower, when I’m driving home from dropping my son off at school, when I’m literally doing anything when I have a free second to hear myself think?

I can’t stop thinking about the sound of her laugh.

It’s LOUD. It is filled with so much joy that it creates hurt.

I’ll never hear her laugh again.

I always record when we sing “Happy Birthday,” and I find myself rewinding over and over just to hear her voice.

Also, there is an image that sticks with me. This is so strange. But, do you know if you are watching someone hold a baby and they are face to face with the baby, you can see their hands on both sides of the baby’s back. You can’t see their thumbs, but you can see their 4 fingers on both sides of that baby, surrounded by squish.

For some reason, I picture her hands.


Why is that what I picture?

I don’t have the answers. I’m not an expert. I’m just sharing the fact that I have 28 years worth of toxic ammunition, and if you want the god’s honest truth, when it was really time to let go of the toxic person in my life- I wasn’t ready.

You guys can do with this information what you want.

But I literally hear her laugh and I see her hands holding my kids.

Even when I don’t think she liked me, my mom was always so proud of me and proud of my writing. But more than anything, she loved me for who I am as a mom. I can only hope she is proud now of who I was as her daughter, despite the lifelong distances between us.

Are you going to keep having unprotected Sex?

That’s what people ask me all the time.

Am I the only one?

Okay- so it isn’t EXACTLY like that- but that IS what they’re asking.

I get the questions ALL of the time.

“Are you guys done now?”

“Are you stopping at three?”

“Are you going to try for your girl?”

“What if you don’t have a girl next, will you go for five?”

If you’re reading this right now and you’re like, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!” I’ve asked her these questions! It’s about me!

Chill. It’s not. I’m not talking about you.

I’m talking about the lady at the restaurant with the face that has the look on it. The one with the furrowed eyebrows.

Here’s the thing- I’m not really a sensitive person. I’m really outgoing. I like to talk. It doesn’t bother me that I’m endlessly confronted with the fact that I have my hands full. I know. I take it as a massive compliment. I’ve been waiting for my time to shine. Often the comments about my hands being full are made in the grocery store by a dear, elderly woman who I imagine once had her hands full and was staring longingly at me from afar- reflecting on fond memories of her own children from long ago. I actually love the comment. And it’s pretty obvious that my hands are full as they are most literally full and there’s an open bag of chips that are being given out “nest style” to my cart full of baby birds with open mouths.

Whatever! I don’t care. My hands are full. I kinda like it. It doesn’t offend me. Actually, the aforementioned questions about whether or not I want more kids don’t REALLLLY offend me because I’m hard to offend in this category of conversation.

See, I haven’t been burned in this area of my life.

I’m super out spoken, and pregnancy has come easy to me. I don’t have a hard time talking about my body. My journey has not been an emotional one.

Nope, we’re not done now. Nope, we’re not stopping at three. Yeah, we kinda do want a girl one day, God-willing.

But, this isn’t about us.

It’s about them.

There are couples who struggle with infertility. Whose pregnancy tests don’t give them the answers they long for. People who spend thousands of dollars on in vitro fertilization. There are pregnancies that didn’t go as planned that end in disappointment and heart ache. There are women who ARE pregnant but they don’t want to say because “what if?” There are women who are paralyzed with fear of possible miscarriage who cry that their own stress could harm their baby. There are husbands and wives that literally have awkward conversations because the gender wasn’t what one of them hoped. There are women who I know personally who feel SO much pressure because they know that their husband REALLY wants to have a son… and IT’S A GIRL. There are couples who decided that they only want to have one child and continuously question their choices because you’re inadvertently telling them that one isn’t good enough. OR people who have decided that they don’t want kids- that it isn’t for them, and you suck the meaning from their lives and tell them they can’t “just travel” or “just be a dog mom.”

I don’t think people mean to do it.

I’ve done it. And I didn’t know.

I’d like to think they just. don’t. know.

Let’s get it out on the table. ❤


4 Steps to being better Today

Usually I write about things that I think are more so geared toward moms, but this one applies to everyone across the board.

Lately I’ve been considering what makes people happy and successful- two really broad topics. I feel like I’m really happy in my life, but I have so many dreams inside me, things that I talk about and some that I don’t. I identified some “killers of happiness” and figured I would sort of start unraveling them. All of my ideas comes from how I would parent my kids, but somehow I have to also constantly remind myself.

First of all:

Other people can be happy or successful, and it has nothing to do with you.

One thing that I have noticed is how much people compare themselves to others or judge where they are based on the progress of other people.

My son is an incredible learner. Reading and math come easy to him. He often scores 100’s on everything he does. Last week he scored a 97% because he forgot to capitalize the first letter of the sentence. The first thing he said to me wasn’t that he was annoyed that he forgot the capital letter, it was that he was annoyed that his friend hadn’t.

Literally who cares what your friend did?!

See, I had to explain to him to focus on personal growth. That what mattered was how he did compared to last quiz and whether or not he includes the capital on next week’s quiz.

And then it hit me. WE ALL DO THIS. WHYYYY?

This is something that I have gotten way better with over time, but I have to tell my thoughts where to stick it. Other people can be happy or successful, and it has nothing to do with me.

I’m going to be a bit harsh here:

If you are not happy for other people’s happiness and success then you are the problem.

Social media allows us to see how everyone we have ever known is doing. It is so cool, but it has the tendency to document growth or lack there of.

I have a friend named Raya from elementary school who is living a dream life- traveling the world with her boyfriend, reading about goddesses and women’s empowerment, going to festivals and dancing the night away. That is not my life- but MY GOD, I am overrrrr the moon for her. Do I want to ditch my kids, move to southern California, and grow out my arm pit hair? No, not really. But, her happiness brings me joy from afar and I love seeing it.

ANDDD she empowers me! She writes to me about what a Queen I am for being such a great mommy to my babies. We chose two different paths and yet we still lift each other up when it would be so easy to be a naysayer.

There is another girl I know from high school! Her name’s Jordan! I remember seeing her working out at the YMCA next to me in like 2009. Now she makes a living on her social media empire, influencing others on work outs and living a healthy lifestyle. Do I work out? Nope. Do I do her challenges? Big nope. Do I follow her anyway? Yep. I love to see her growth and success, like, yesssssss, girl. Do big things! Who knows! Maybe one day I’ll start working out again! Guess who I’ll call!

Be happy for other people. Their success and happiness is their own, and it has nothing to do with you. Support people and lift them up. If it’s their budding photography business, their college class, or their 30 days anniversary being sober- whatever! Be supportive!

Stop being annoyed at someone else’s life or glory. It says something about you and your personal opinion of your own journey if you are unable to find joy in seeing other people live their dreams out. You get back what you give out in the world. Don’t be the person worried that someone else remembered their capital letter and you didn’t. Worry about yourself and be glad for others.

Know your strengths and play to them.

What a simple thought. I heard my husband tell this to our son the other day. He was all pissy that he didn’t score a goal on the soccer pitch. Guess what? He’s a center back. Scoring goals isn’t his job. Will he get a chance now and then? Sure. But, his talent is being a big, bad defender.

Not that he can’t decide he wants to be a striker and start working at it. But, every day for the last two years, he’s been practicing being a defender.

I’ll be the first to tell you, I am NOT a math person. I recently found loads of trig and precalc work I saved from high school, why? I was probably REALLY proud. HAHA. I have to work really hard at math to get it. But you know what comes naturally? This. I sit down with my coffee and start banging it out. Do I need practice? Yep. Am I still learning? You bet. But, I don’t have to pull my hair out to get an idea on the paper.

Tim Notke said, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

Figure out what you’re good at and work on it. If you don’t know, make a list and narrow it down- Runaway Bride style. Get to know yourself. You can’t be annoyed if you aren’t living out a dream that you haven’t put grind into.

God gave everyone talents, and if you find out what yours are and use them to your advantage, you’ll taste the fruits of your labor. But you can’t just sit there and wait for an opportunity to come find you.

And what if an opportunity DOES come, and you haven’t been cultivating your craft for your moment to prove yourself?

Share your ideas with people.

The other day a mom messaged me asking advice about breastfeeding. Here’s the thing- I’ve put in my time in this arena. I kind of know what I’m talking about. But to be honest, I only know what worked for me and MY kids. Do you know what that means? I’m not an expert on what’s going to work for you and your kid. The only thing I can do is share my trial and errors, what worked for me and what didn’t work for me. Like, I don’t KNOW everything- but here’s what I’ve gathered so far.

When I first started teaching, my department head, Bonnie Watkins, was the business. I had no idea what I was doing and I was SO SCARED I was going to be the reason students didn’t learn. Do you know what? She made me copies of everything she had, and she shared EVERYTHING with me. Why would she do that? I didn’t deserve all of this help. I hadn’t put the time in to be able to use all of these resources. I kind of felt guilty taking them from her. After all, they were hers. The resources were a result of her time and effort throughout many years of teaching.

I finally just asked her, “Why would you give me all of these resources?”

Her response is one that I replay often in my head.

“If I give you everything I know- it forces me to keep learning. The day I stop giving out my resources, I am saying I don’t want to grow anymore.”

Freaking WOW. What a poised response.

Do you get it? If you share everything you know, it requires that you learn more and grow more.

Not only that, but she wanted me to be successful. She didn’t want to see me fail.

What a blessing to be that person for someone.

And, by the way, this reinforces the idea that you are your own competition. What a way to live! Share your ideas so you can make other people better and force growth upon yourself so you can be better, too.

Mind your words.

It’s self fulfilling prophecy, people! Self fulfilling prophecy is by definition a prediction that causes itself to be true. The mind is a powerful vessel. If you are constantly telling yourself that you aren’t good enough, then your mind actually believes it.

In the book Start, by Jon Acuff, he talks about the negative voices that everyone has, the parts of our brain that list all the reasons that we can’t accomplish something. It encourages writing them down and proving them wrong. THEN, telling people you love about them. He states, “…never waste time trying to battle a voice alone. In some cases that voice or fear and doubt will have had a ten year start on you.” GEEZE, that’s powerful.

You mean to tell me, I have to battle a negative thought that I’ve had for years?

This morning I scribbled down on a paper, “Your blog sucks.”

Then I wrote- LOL, “Well, it doesn’t, does it? I’m not even done yet.”

It actually really helped me to poke fun at my negative ideas before they could snow ball into something significant in my mind.

You see, the other day my first grade son said, “I don’t have weaknesses.” (Boy is he in for a shock! HAHA) But, at the minute, he really believes it. What an incredible thought that at one point, we all believed there was nothing that we couldn’t do. And then what’s so sad, is one day we were “intelligent” enough to know better.

I really would love to be an author one day. My husband and I joke that it could happen! Am I an author right now? Nope. But, why not? Why is that somehow not in the cards for me? 7 year old me would really have words for 27 year old me. “What do you mean? You don’t have weaknesses! Go for it!.”

Your words matter- but so do the words and actions of the people you love.

One day my husband shared one of my blogs and no one liked it… except me (AWKWARDDD.) BUT, I shared with him that my blog had 107 more views because he shared it AND someone private messaged me saying it helped them. When I told him that, he was stunned! How come no one liked it?! I don’t have that answer. BUT, now he shares every single one of my mushy-gushy-pro-mom-agenda blogs on his manly facebook page where the literal only other thing he posts is facts about Lebron James. My blogs don’t really mesh with the theme. BUT, He believes in my dream. God love him, he’s the best there is. He knows that what he says and does matters- if only to me- and it becomes a part of my reality.

Words are so important. What if we told our kids, “No, Jaxon. Sorry- you’re flawed and not good enough. You DO have weaknesses. That dream is going to be really impossible for you.” What would that do to his spirit? You would never say something like that to your children. I’d like to think no one would.

Why do you allow your thoughts to speak to you that way?

It just isn’t true. Not for Jaxon and not for me and not for you.

Words are critical- choose them wisely.

Today I could have said to myself, “No, my friend. You write mom blogs- stay in your lane.”

I didn’t! I wrote what I wanted. I feel so much better for it.


Why YOU shouldn’t Settle

WOWZERS. So, I was writing this morning and perusing through some of my old work! Remember how I mentioned why writing things down is SO important?! I freaked out when I read one of my old posts.

I feel like it is SO important to share because this is a true testimony of never selling your dreams short, no matter how small you think they are. What you want for your life is a BIG DEAL.

The post I am about to share is from my old platform written May 2014! Hint: I didn’t meet my husband until 10 months after it was written. THIS IS SHOCKING.

I wrote about him before I even met him.

Here goes nothing!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Why I don’t Settle

A few months ago, if you asked me what I wanted in a husband, I would have said, “I don’t know what I do want, but I know what I don’t want.”

I thought that I was giving an honest answer,but the more I think about it, the more I know that I was selling myself short. I was subconsciously pushing away my true desires for a man because of my disbelief that this person actually existed. When I said I know what I don’t want, but not what I do want, that was a bunch of garbage. Every woman knows what she wants. Deep down inside, even if it is in the places that only she knows about, or even if it has been so covered up by the wrong thing that she doesn’t even remember it’s there.

Relationships have been tossed around in the wind throughout the years and some things that made dating and falling in love special are so seldom experienced anymore. This blog isn’t intended on being a comparison between love before and now, but a definitive statement that I refuse to accept anything less than exactly who God hand picked for me.

My favorite Sonnet regarding the way I see love is written by Pablo Neruda:

I love you without knowing
how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly,
without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know
no other way than this:
where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand
on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close
as I fall asleep.

I don’t know about you, but if that kind of love exists, I don’t want love if it isn’t that.

So, if I have a say, I pray for the following-

The man for me:

Him. First of all, he’ll know. It won’t be confusing for him. I won’t be part of a line up. Dating is a really rare thing in the culture we live in right now. I’m not saying that the moment he sees me he will know that I am going to be “it” for the rest of his life, but I am saying that it won’t be a game. He will say what he means with confidence and his interest in me with be unfaltering.

He will be a Godly man. No one is perfect, but I want him to be perfect for me in the eyes of God. I want him to consider God’s plan in his decisions and choices, and I want him to consult me and value my opinion. I want others to look at our relationship and see the kind of love that could only be made with a blessing from God.

He’ll love his family. How can a man ever love me if he doesn’t love the people who are literally a PART of him? He will speak well of them and value the relationship he has with them. He will have an unwavering adoration for the people closest to him because assuming that he might one day be the leader in our very own family, his heart has to be in the right spot. That being said, I see myself with an all around family man. I see him holding my hand with a toddler in his arm an an infant in a carrier around my body. I see family vacations and beach days and pumpkin patches and picnics, but I also see date nights, lots of them.

He will be athletic and take care of his body. In my opinion, God gave us our body as a chamber that we are supposed to take care of. I don’t want a guy that would rather go to the gym than be with his family for dinner, and I certainly don’t want a guy who values my physical fitness over all of the things I have to offer from the heart, but I will not settle for someone who does not appreciate their body and work toward self improvement. In Ephesians 5:28 God tells us that a man should love his wife the way he loves his own body. I really hope the man I choose loves me like that.

He will be heroic in the eyes of little hearts. Kids will love him. I have a child, so nothing is more important to me than knowing that my child is adored by whoever enters my life. A lot can be said about the way that a man interacts with little children. I once read a quote that said, “No matter how big and bad you are, when a toddler hands you a play phone, you answer it.” I believe this 100%. Not only will the guy for me answer the phone, but he will call the kid back and he will be the dragon or Santa or the kisser for a boo boo because that is in his nature.

He will have a deep understanding of the world around him and compassion for people. The man for me will pull over to pick up a turtle and help it cross the road. The man for me will help someone off the ground. The man for me will not scowl at the homeless person on the corner. I have a giving heart and I believe it is way more special to give than to receive. I pray that the man for me can complement that and encourage that quality in me. If I want to give my umbrella to a homeless woman downtown, then please, hold my hand and run with me in the pouring rain to dinner.

He will value the little things. He will appreciate his coffee sitting on the counter just the way he likes it, he will value the fact that I did something that makes me uncomfortable just because I love him, he will see the small joys in moments that are fleeting and the most important of all.

He will think I’m pretty. He will like the way my freckles splash my face and he will know me by heart. He will know my looks and my laughs and my smiles and he’ll know my heart even better than that and likewise.

He will be a naturally happy person who is friendly. I’m not saying he can’t have a bad day, that’s what I’m here for, to lift him up, but it would kind of be nice to have someone who is a positive role model and someone who is looking forward to great things while still taking time to enjoy the present.

He will be versatile. The man for me can sit with me in a cafe and drink coffee without feeling out of place, he can bust out laughing while I make a fool out of myself dancing, he can go to a nice restaurant and dress fancy and later that night he can sit beside me on the couch when I sport my XXL tee shirt and plaid boxers, he can enjoy standing next to me in church while I sing, he can chaperone a field trip, he can watch sports with my Dad on Sunday afternoon, he can sky dive out of a plane with me, and listen to my latest blog. He can see the good in me on the worst day of my life, support me, love me, put me in my place, tell me when I’m wrong and apologize when I’m right and if ever there is something he can’t do, he will tell me and I will forgive him.

He will claim me. I will be his person. He will yell for my attention from 30 feet away in the grocery store produce section, he will look over at me when the DJ announces a slow dance, he will introduce me to people I don’t know. He will support me and be proud of me and when I fail, he will still be there. He will be goofy and intense about his love and his friends and family will know, he found “her.”

He will lead me. I am a confident woman. Sometimes I dance to the beat of my own drum and I get so far into my idea of what life should be like. I am a strong personality and I want so bad to “meet my match.” I want a man that my laugh complements but doesn’t drown out. I want a man with a strong hand shake who people notice when he walks in the room. I want to be a sort of dream team. People gravitate toward  fun and energetic people and sometimes I feel like I overstep the men I’m with. I want a man who will be my rock. I want someone who I don’t over power but someone who empowers me. Someone who leads me in my faith, who protects me, supports me, lifts me up. I want a man who makes a strong personality like me want to be submissive because there is a level of such respect involved between us.

He will be devoted. Being devoted means to have an impeccable loyalty and enthusiasm for something. I hope to have a man that doesn’t even let a crack get in the foundation of our relationship. A man that can have a guys night and be so focused on the blessings in his life that it radiates around him. Someone that knows what they have and isn’t willing to compromise it. Someone who can walk in the house when I’m asleep, pull my covers up higher and whisper, “I’m home,” to which I can respond, “I’m glad” and turn back into my slumber. On top of that, he will be trustworthy beyond all measure. He will have no question about my character and will know without a shadow of a doubt that there is no place that I would rather be than wherever we are together.

He will be accepting. He will not see life as a one way road. He will know my flaws and understand them. He will not try to change me, but will see my flaws as things that are somehow manageable. We will have an understanding. We will have the type of exchange that is so powerful and full of meaning. He will not look down on me and he will expect me to lift him up and make him show him the good in him, even when he can’t see it in himself. In Romans 5:8 God says, “I loved you at your darkest.” What is better than that? What is better than a love like that?

Now, I am of the very strong belief that I do not want anything in this life if it is not in God’s will. I don’t want my idea of a perfect person, only to discover that the way God envisioned my life was different. However, in Matthew 7:7 God says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” My dreams about “my person” might be so intricate that sometimes I wonder if he exists, but anything is possible through God and there is no chance that I am about to not ask for everything that I want from the person who will one day lead my family and if it’s in God’s will, I will get everything I ask for, and more!

My favorite bible verse in relation to love is found in Ruth in the Bible:

“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
and wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
and your God shall be my God.
Where you die, I will die,
and there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death departs you and me”

This is what God intended for a relationship, for two people to have such a devotion to each other that they feel that the Lord DID that to them and therefore they can never forsake each other.

I guess what I want in a man is something that I have never seen, I want to feel a way that I have never felt before. I want someone who I can’t imagine my life without. I want to make someone feel like they are the most special person in the entire world to the person that they value the most.

I have never completely given myself to a person, but there is nothing that a lot of prayer can’t change.


OH MY GOSH! Fast forward into my current reality, and it’s like God provided every single detail, down to the very last word. Jack is everything I could have ever imagined and EVEN MORE. 8 countries, two births, four Christmas mornings, 1,392 sleeps, thousands of coffees and diaper runs, millions of memories, and 4 arguments over our obnoxious bull dog later. We are living the dream- and I knew it before he ever even asked me to dance.

For Christmas this year, we even had the bible verse I quoted (in 2014) made on a canvas above our bed!

Moral of the story, when you remember how far you have come- it’s impossible to NOT feel SO thankful for your journey. Never stop writing down your dreams and the things that are important to you- the universe will make it happen and TEN FOLD.

Every Move you Make, Every Step you take- I’ll be Watching you.

It’s early Sunday morning, my husband made me a latte and we are listening to acoustic covers on spotify while life happens around us. Jack realized we didn’t have beans for breakfast (American readers are so confused, but in England, they eat beans with breakfast- at first I hated it, but now I’m hooked.) Anyway, he ran to the store to get beans and Beckham was fussing, so I was standing up rocking with him, more like a slow dance. I do it with all three of my boys. Every mama does this with her babies, but I’ll get back to this.

Many people don’t know, but I get really nervous about doing things for the first time. I always have. I get pits in my stomach. It doesn’t matter what it is- if it’s my first time doing something, I really doubt myself, and I have to talk myself through it. I have to say in my head, “You will not feel this way when you get going.”

Since Jaxon (my seven year old) was little, I’ve noticed that he has the same characteristics in his personality. He would scream going anywhere for the first time, and I began trying to teach him some of my coping skills. Whenever he doubts himself, we talk about self fulfilling prophecy and how what you believe about yourself becomes reality. Last night Jaxon had his first football game. He’s been playing soccer for years and is really quite good. But, it was his first football game, and I knew he would be filled with self doubt. And then I watched him run out on the field. He was so brave. He looked like he had been doing it for years and had such an eagerness to learn, and I thought to myself, “Sweet Lord, that’s my baby out there.” I just wanted to run out and tackle him to the floor and bring him into a cradle. Like, no can do! You are my little child. I couldn’t believe it. He gave me a thumbs up, and he didn’t look nervous or skeptical or concerned, and I thought- he’s better than me. What an emotional thought. See as parents, often we don’t see the fruits of our labor. There are times where I think my kids clearly don’t absorb a single thing I say. But, when he looked over at me- I felt it. I know he did, too.

That brings me back to this morning. I’m slow dancing with Beckham, not even two months old, and a song comes on in acoustic that every single person knows. But, today- I heard it differently. Sit down, moms because I’m going to save you the suspense- this sparked an ugly cry.

I’m swaying my newborn and I hear-

Every breath you take…

Every move you make…

Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you.

Every single day…

Every word you say…

Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you .

It’s by The Police but this particular version was a cover by Aaron Krause ft. Liza Anne. LOOK IT UP. I can’t tell you how hearing this song differently absolutely paralyzed me. Just looking around at my babies- all at different stages and growing and changing right in front of my eyes. It’s like the song spoke to me in a whole new way- like an awakening that I so desperately needed. It’s just the truth. I’m watching them. And often I’m moving them along from task to task and trying to teach them what I know. You go through all the motions as a parent. We are all out here just trying to survive. It’s hard, guys.
Kids are wildly tough. I never imagined how trying it could be.
Sometimes I’m like holy grail, if Jaxon doesn’t get up and brush his teeth right now, I’m going to absolutely lose my mind once and for all, or if Hudson dumps that bottle of water he just begged for- he’s only allowed cups with lids until he’s 17. I don’t care.

But my whole heart just caved as I listened to the words. It’s so hard to get caught up in the day to day woes. I was rocking my newborn and looked over to see my toddler playing legos- and he looked up at me and said, “Oh, mommy girl- I’m buildin’.” Then I thought back to last night at the football field when Jaxon’s eyes locked with mine and he put his little thumb up. The same thumb that rested countless nights on my chest just the way Beckham’s was now.

The days turn into nights and the time just slides through the hour glass and somehow like daylight robbery- they grow up and I’m just watching.

The thing is, I know there will be a time this week when all hell is breaking loose, and I’m trying not to fall apart as a mom. There will be that time this week for all of us. And you know what? We are allowed to fall apart. And then we need to get it together, And when we put those little babies to bed that night, we need to just watch them.

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you.

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you

I promise you that if you are a parent, you’ll never hear the song the same. I can only speak for up to age seven. But, to the parents with kids graduating high school, going to college, getting married, and reaching their dreams- I see you, too. The last time my mother in law was here, I said to her, “It’s hard for me to grasp that you see Jack the way I see my boys. Is it weird?” And her response was JUST WHAT I NEEDED.

She said, “It never stops being weird because you remember everything.”

The song continues on and the lyrics are:

Oh can’t you see
You belong to me
My poor heart aches
With every step you take

Nothing in the world is better than watching your babies grow. But my God, it stings. That little thumbs up was just him letting me know he’s okay at his first football game and before I know it, it’ll be through the glass window with news that his baby’s here. Now that’s bitter sweet.

Babies grow up, and even though sometimes I want to turn the clocks forward and shout, “bed time!” at 6:30, today I’m profoundly aware that my days with squishy feet in my bed and little thumbs on my chest are numbered.

Every move you make
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you

5 Things I learned about Motherhood from my Husband

YAYYYY! First brand new post on my new platform. I should have done this years ago, and to be honest, my last post made me realize I needed to just go for it. So here we are! If you have been reading my blogs for some time, I am going to be spending the first few weeks previewing some of my favorite writings so far and writing new material. 🙂 All of my inspiration comes from moments in my every day life, and when I was in the shower the other day, I realized my shower experience has changed quite a bit.

Showers used to be really stressful for me. When my first born was a toddler, he was SO attached to me and would just SCREAM and SCREAM. I would get so much anxiety, and I would start rushing. I wouldn’t shave my legs properly so it would leave me feeling itchy the next day. Showers were NOT relaxing.

Nowadays, my shower is my absolute favorite “me time” of the day. My showers are HOT, and I really take my time. Yesterday I was letting the water hit my face and found myself thinking about how different my life is now. It’s 100% due to my husband and what he has unintentionally taught me about my life and who I am as a mother and woman in general.

Many of you don’t know me well enough to know how special and divine my relationship is with my husband. Our story is pure bliss and romance. I promise to share more and more with time. 🙂 I have been made better through our relationship. We are firm believers in equality in marriage, and there is no one who inspires me more than him.

That being said, here are some life changing things that I have learned about motherhood through my husband. Every woman needs to remember these things, so if you don’t have a Jack Lyons- let me be him for you. 🙂 Consider it done.

  1. Motherhood makes you beautiful. Not like romper and wedges beautiful. Like, falling asleep during a night time feeding and cuddling a toddler crying about the way his socks feel- beautiful. When we came home from the hospital after having our third baby, my mother-in-law said, “Wow honey, you look so amazing!” He didn’t even direct it at me, but as he was walking by his mum (he’s British) he said, “She honestly looked like that two minutes after she had him.” *SWOON.* I’m sure I was far from glamorous, but what I mean is, my husband’s idea of beauty has transformed to match this time in our lives. As I was nursing our two day old baby, completely depleted, wearing a hospital grade pad (I just lost all the male readers LOL), and thinking about the daunting reality that I was now a mother of three- I was feeling pretty far from beautiful. His comment made me feel radiant on the inside and outside. Like, I just HAD A BABY. I am a queen! I can do this.

2. Motherhood gives you anxiety, and he always reminds me to calm down. Oh my gosh- literally from the second you find out you are pregnant, you question every single decision. Too much caffeine? What will happen to my baby if I just eat the lunch meat? And then it just continues on forever and ever. Am I just never going to have everything under control for as long as I live? Like, you never stop wondering. Is it bad my kid isn’t potty trained yet? Is this fever too high? How much screen time is TOO much screen time? Is my kid going to need therapy because of the way I just shouted? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten into bed and said, “Am I absolutely blowing it?” Sometimes you just need someone to tell you you’re not. No one knows what they’re doing- just calm down. Cool your jets.

3. You are not alone. It’s really easy to feel alone as a mom. That’s because you go along day to day trying to make the right decisions for your kids and it’s exhausting because what’s best for them is hardly ever what’s easy for you. Mom is always the last to eat. It’s tricky to remember to take care of yourself. My husband reminds me to do that. He shows me that I’m not alone. Before I had Beckham, I used to get Hudson out of the car every morning and walk Jaxon into school. I worried my whole pregnancy that I would have to get the double stroller out every day to get Jaxon to his classroom. Jack suggested the *GASP* car line. Surely not. Surely I wasn’t considering dropping off my child through the car line. How would I know he got to his classroom? Did he get to his little seat? Did he hang up his backpack? Oh, freaking hell- did he put his lunch box in the bucket?!?! Here’s the thing- I needed to let go a little. I needed someone to tell me. And guess what- we did it. My golden child. My first born prize got out of the car and walked to his classroom and I left (and texted his teacher to see if he made it, WHAT A DWEEB.) And let me tell you friends, WHAT A DREAM. Car line was absolute bliss. I’ll never go back. I know I’m not alone, we all have these moments- but you need someone to remind you that they’re right there with you and that what’s easy for mom matters, too.

4. You are SO needed. My kids absolutely LOVE my husband. He’s fun, ya know? He can throw them higher. He can kick a soccer ball harder. He plays the music louder in the truck. I mean, I can play hulk smash for awhile and then I’m done- I need a break. My husband could wear a hulk smash mask for three hours. He doesn’t care. He’s COOL. But you know what? I’m momma. You just can’t take that away. When all hell comes barreling through the door, where’s mom? We are important. Our middle son, Hudson, is OBSESSED with Daddy- but the two times he has been sick, he thought Jack was a fungal rot. He was like a little koala on me for DAYS. Dad was a little disappointed, but he’s the first to say, “he needs momma.” Similarly, when my oldest son, Jaxon, has soccer and they’re driving home and I’m on speaker, I can hear him begging for the phone so he can tell me about the goal he scored or how he skinned his knee. Sometimes the answer is daddy, but let me tell you- momma’s the one. We just never get old.

5. Moms are superhuman. Every single mom can name certain days where they still don’t know how they did it. One night a few weeks ago, the kids had a really rough night. We were both up multiple times. Who sleeps, anyway? It was two days later and Jack said, “I’m so tired, I think it’s still from the other night- you can operate normally on a shit sleep, but I just can’t.” It made me laugh, but how true is it?! I NEVER sleep more than three consecutive hours. Like, not in YEARS. A night’s sleep from two days ago? I don’t even know him. Those are old news problems- sailed ships if you will. A few weeks later we were talking about it to friends and Jack said, “She literally has one cup of coffee and it’s like nothing ever happened- she just does her day.

I’m telling you- he makes me feel super special. But, it’s not just me- it’s moms everywhere that just need a reminder. We are killing it! We are all just out here winging it, and we are making it look easy.

Falling in Love with Reality

***I am super excited because this is my first time using this new platform and site. As I reviewed and saved all of my work, I realized through the messages from readers that they were helping people. I decided that I would start taking my writing seriously and giving it the justice it deserves.***

Over the past few weeks I have been reflecting on why I don’t post more blogs. First of all, I absolutely love writing. It’s therapeutic to me. It gives me the ability to share my perspective. It also lets me record my words in a forum that will allow my husband and kids to be able to access them forever. What is cooler than that?

People ALWAYS ask why I don’t post more, and my response is that I’m just too busy. But am I? I’ve always said, “you make time for what you WANT to make time for.” If that’s the case, why don’t I write?

Yesterday I was scrolling through instagram under #momblogger, and it really dawned on me. I don’t fit in this category. I just don’t. I’m not knocking the moms I was seeing, because God knows we need to be uplifting each other. All I’m saying is that I don’t fit in the popular crowd in the industry, and I don’t want to.

Here’s the thing, social media today is all about perception. People see what is in a picture, and it creates a false idea of what actually exists. It’s not that I want to post unedited pictures of my kid having a tantrum, but I also don’t want to order matching outfits from Pottery Barn on my credit card and set up a beach picnic.

In terms of social media, can we fall in love with real? Can we fall in love with truth over a facade? Can we get rid of perception and just have reality? And in terms of each other, can we do the same?

Can we stop comparing or trying to emulate a lifestyle that isn’t true? Is there room for just the average mom? Moms who wake up trying their best to create memories and end up trying their best to make it to bedtime?

Can we just shamelessly choose to make choices day to day that work best for our families? Can I tell you that I sometimes yell at my kids and ask my husband if I’m an awful mother? Is it okay to share that our almost 18 month old baby still nurses 3 times a night? Can I admit that I sometimes don’t want to talk when I see you at Target? Is it okay that the extent of my workout routine is walks around the block with my family? Can I love God and not mention it every other sentence?

Can we just be unapologetically ourselves? 

Can I brag about my kids because they’re mine? Is it okay to stop trying to pretend that I don’t have clean laundry sitting in my dryer literally at any given moment? Our puppy is cute, but I would be a big liar if I didn’t tell you about the annoyed texts I sent my husband every morning for like three weeks straight. “Send help. Our house smells like six bags of pure Walmart ass.” Am I allowed to say “ass” publicly?

Is it time to admit that my husband makes dinner more often than I do and sometimes better than I do?  Can I tell you that he and I fight next to NEVER, without it being a competition in your head for what you experience in your own marriage? Can I share that our most significant disagreement in the last six months was over a stuffed animal rabbit, and I was so upset I cried? LOL (He will laugh when he reads this.)

Also, do you know how we afford to go on lavish vacations? We book them with a deposit. You have until a month before you leave to pay for it. We try our best, put whatever is left on credit card, and pay it off (or just pay the minimum balance), whatever we can afford that month.

Can I tell you that I don’t monitor screen time? That I had to borrow sun screen from another mom at soccer camp on the first day? Can I share that I stare at my kids and genuinely believe they’re perfect? That I play outside with them and kick a ball at a goal when I’d rather be doing literally anything else. Is it okay that everyone tells me, “You’ll get your girl one day,” and I don’t know if I want one?!

Can I tell you that I’m not going to yell at my kids in order to get the perfect picture? That my husband is THE BEST and lets our rabbit live in our walk in closet because I’m obsessed with him. Is it okay to admit that I don’t know how I will manage three kids, school, work, and soccer? Can I tell you that I drink coffee while pregnant? If I’m wondering how you keep your house so clean, can I just ask you right then and there? Can you tell me that you shoved everything in your closet and then show me?! And then stop doing that when I come over? Is there room for all of this in the blogging industry?

Is there room for downright raw and pure reality? I feel like I just crave NORMALITY. I want to be genuinely happy for your successes but also not judge if there’s a hanger and half eaten granola bar in the background of your latest picture. In fact, I’d prefer that you leave it there instead of trying to quickly create the perfect back drop because then I can relate to you, because, I too, have the same exact reality.

Am I the only one that thinks blogging needs more, “what you see is what you get?”

Can we just embrace uplifting each other? Live unapologetically? Can we all just throw caution to the wind and do the best we can? Is there room for that on social media and in mom blogs and in life in general?

Here’s to admitting that I had to rewash yesterday’s last load of laundry so my family doesn’t smell of mildew.

Here’s to welcoming the Christmas blanket in the picture year round.

P.S. It’s 80 degrees in Florida this week, so don’t call me a hypocrite when I post my picnic beach pics. It’s allowed if it’s REALITY. 🙂