31 May 2016

6 Tips for Moving & Getting Your New Home Organized

Since November of 2011, our family has moved four times – two of those moves were cross-country and our latest move happened when we moved to Pittsburgh from Georgia. Michael and I also work full-time so it’s not as if one of us was home during the day to pack, unpack and get our home set-up and organized. It took a lot of extra work but more importantly – it took planning. By now, it’s safe to say that I’ve picked up a few tips on organizing a new home that I’m happy to share with you all today. I hope you find it useful! 

30 May 2016

Maddy (Memorial Day) Monday

Dearest Madeline,

Today, you will laugh, play at the park, express your mind in about a million different ways, enjoy lots of great food, and enjoy the safety and security of your home and family. This past week, you also graduated preschool; you wore a cap about two sizes too big for your head and walked across a stage to receive your diploma – an accomplishment which signifies your ability to move up to kindergarten. You’re a happy and healthy little girl with so much potential ahead of you.

Today is also Memorial Day and it’s the gateway to summer. You will spend endless days swimming, blowing bubbles outside, running and playing with all your best friends and celebrating a fifth birthday, all while enjoying the simple life of being a kid.

These freedoms you enjoy, the laughs, the freedom to express yourself, your education, your safety and security however are not free. They have come at a great cost to many. Millions of men, like your great-grandfather PaPa who served in the Air Force for 20 years, and millions of courageous women have sacrificed their lives and time with their own families to ensure that you can live in prosperity, safety and freedom. Many have paid the ultimate price by losing their life so that you can have yours. While this is a day to celebrate, it’s also a day to remember and to honor those men and women who have given you your freedoms.

So yes, run wild and free, my love and always remember the sacrifices of others that have been made for you. 

27 May 2016

Finally Friday! Five Facts to Know About Me

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had some new followers join the blog {Welcome!} so I thought it would be fun to share five tid-bits about me. These are some of my favorite posts to read from other bloggers and they’re always fun to put together for you guys, so without further adieu… 

Five Facts to Know About Me. #parenting #motherhood #workingmom

26 May 2016

Three Thoughts on Thursday

Three Thoughts on Thursday. #parenting #workingmoms

ONE. Let’s talk about Chewbacca mom for a hot second. I’m just going to be “that person” and say out loud that I genuinely have zero clue why this woman has gone viral. I also have less of an understanding of why her video is considered “funny.” Am I all for joy? Absolutely. Is it the little things that sometimes mean a lot? Yes! But as I watched her video, I honestly starred at my screen with a blank look on my face. It was definitely an *insert cricket noises here* kind of moment. I wanted desperately to like it. I tried so hard to find the humor in it but…nope. So if you’re reading this and have been thinking the same thing but have feared saying anything for concern of backlash, there. I said it. And I regret NOTHING.

24 May 2016

Go Home Dinnertime, You're Drunk! (And I Wish I Was Too!)

A true story of how dinnertime really shakes down for the average American family. #dinnertime #family #workingmoms #parenting

Parenting magazines, commercials, rich moms with nannies and Pinterest would have you believe that dinnertime in America looks something like this...

Or maybe something like this...

And let's not forget the tranquil, peaceful and cry-free kumbaya daddy-child bonding moment...

Yeah, RIGHT.

I've only been a mom for a few years now but I've been around the block enough to know that that's not how dinner unfolds for most families. For most of us, it's the desperate flight of the bumblebee from the moment our tired, dragging, sleep-deprived asses hit the door from a long day of work, or if you’re home with your kids, it’s balancing the afternoon grouchiness with the WTF am I cooking for dinner dilemma.

And let’s be even more honest: we’re barely able to remember our own names half the time to be forced to figure out what we're going to feed ourselves let-alone the little carrier monkey leach that's attached to our hip screaming for food.

On that note, let me give you a sneak peek into dinnertime for the REAL American family - OURS.

23 May 2016

Our Choice to be One and Done and Why It Works For Us

With every year that passes, I am more and more convinced that our decision to be one and done is the right choice for us, and that’s the part I’d like to emphasize – the choice to have only one child is what works for us. If you want 20, by all means knock yourself out. Or up. Every couple has to determine what is right for them and them alone because at the end of the day, they are the ones left dealing with the ramifications of their choices. Having children is a deeply personal decision that should be understood and respected by all. In as much as you and your spouse may want 20 kids, some couples don’t, and when it’s all said and done, both sides should respect the other. As I said earlier, no one has to live your life but you.

It started around six months after Maddy was born.

“So – when are you guys going to have another?”

Truth be told, I was still struggling with becoming a new mother, returning to work full-time, coping with the sleepless nights but most of all, my body was still recovering from Maddy’s C–section. The thought of having another child with all those life adjustments going on was the furthest thing from my mind.

20 May 2016

Five Reasons Why I Love Being an Older Mom

Five Reasons Why I Love Being an Older Mom. #motherhood #parenting

I found out I was pregnant with Chickie at 35. 

In July, Maddy will be five.

On June 4th, I’ll be 40.

I’m an older mom, and I’m okay with that.

To most, 40 is considered ancient in the mommy world. I mean, I'm like that old-broad-throwing-jewelry-off-the-ship-in-the-movie-Titanic old. 

But it's cool. 

I may not have the energy I used to have in my 20's to be chasing around my little Tasmanian devil but at the same time, I consider myself to be a little older and a little wiser. I wouldn't go back to my younger years for anything. There are so many great things that come with age and in return, so many things I've found that I love about being an older mom.

16 May 2016

The Hardest Hour of My Day as a Working Mom (And Why I Love It)

It’s 5:00 pm and by now, I’ve already been up since 5:00 am, taken care of my family, been at work all day playing firefighter, ring master at the zoo and trash collector. I’ve probably made a million different decisions between these 12 hours, spent endless amounts of time on the phone and starred at a computer screen all day. I’ve run personal errands and made personal phone calls during my lunch hour so no down time there. I’ve sat in endless meetings and been pulled in a million different directions all. day. long. It’s safe to say that by the end of the working day, my brain is toast. You would think that with all of that chaos crammed into 12 hours, it would be the biggest majority of my stress, right? 

13 May 2016

What Working Moms Really Think About at Work. {A True Story}

What Working Moms Really Think About at Work. #WorkingMoms #Parenting #Motherhood

On most days, being a mom is like using a blender: dump everything in, turn it on and watch it all go whirling around. It’s safe to say that my mind pretty much looks the same way while at work: a chaotic collection of random and completely messy thoughts, ideas and opinions. 

When you’re a working mom outside the home, your brain is never turned off. You are rarely, if ever, able to focus and have tunnel vision on any one thought, idea or task. It’s a constant and endless cycle of meshing your two worlds together – work and home. Often times, I find myself thinking of the most random and useless things so join me today as I share with you a very small glimpse into the mind of a working mom and what I’m really thinking about while at work:

12 May 2016

Three Thoughts on Thursday

Over Mother’s Day weekend, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandburg openly admitted through a post on her own Facebook page that she got parts of her best-selling book “Lean In,” wrong. Specifically, that she didn’t realize just how hard it is to throw everything you have into your employer when you’re a single parent. Unfortunately, she found this to be true when her own husband passed away last year. For Sandburg, she began to see firsthand the reality that the majority of working parents, whether they are single or have a partner to raise kids, deal with on a daily basis; that “leaning in” is unrealistic and short-sighted.

11 May 2016

4 Bad Habits Bloggers Need to Stop Now

As a blogger and marketing professional, I see a lot of nasty little blog habits floating around on the Internet every day. In order to gain readers, sponsorships and notoriety, we abandon our own instincts, style and voice and instead, make it a habit to follow trends or what we perceive to be the “it” thing at the moment.

Don't get me wrong - I love blogging and I love my blog BUT if I'm being honest, we all have some really bad blogging habits that need to cease and desist. I know that I've been guilty of these four things in the past but I'm working on getting over it and moving forward. 

10 May 2016

An Interview with a 4.5 Year Old

A couple of years ago, I did an interview with Maddy. She was three at the time and since she’s getting ready to turn five in a couple of months, I thought it would be fun to ask her some of the same questions, with a couple new ones added, to see what she would say. You never know what will come out of the mouth of an almost five year-old!

09 May 2016

Currently in May...

Happy Monday, friends! As we head into the second week of May, here are a few things that are currently going on in my world…

06 May 2016

25 Lessons I've Learned Since Becoming a Mom

This Sunday is Mother’s Day.

In many ways it feels just like yesterday that Maddy was placed in my arms, making me a mother. In many other ways, it seems like the time has drug on, and on and on. In the wee hours of the morning when you're up with a screaming baby it feels like those long days and nights are never going to end, but a new day comes with a fresh perspective and a renewed will to move forward and before you know it, you've blinked and the years have flown by.

Preparing for my fourth Mother’s Day has given me a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the last four years of being a mom. I've learned a lot about myself during this time; my strengths, weaknesses and the kind of woman and mother I want to be. Some of my memories are great. Some, not so hot, but they've all made me the woman I am today and helped to mold me for the mom I want to be. 

05 May 2016

I'm Not Afraid of My Child Being Average. And Neither Should You.

A few weeks ago, I was reading through a few posts on a parenting forum I frequent where a conversation had sprung from a parent who was completely delirious and devastated that her child doesn’t seem to have a future as a “gifted” child. What kind of prospects could she possibly ever expect to have? What kind of life and future could she really obtain if she has to live her life as an “average” child?

Um… WTF. Seriously?

04 May 2016

Working Mom Organization: Practical Tips For Life That Actually Work

One of the most frequent questions I get asked as a working mom is how I keep our life organized. How do we get out of the door in the morning in one piece, sane and on time? How do you juggle work time and family time? How do you keep it all balanced? 

Well friends, allow me to be honest. I don’t really have a concrete answer to those questions because on any given day, life happens. The day care calls un-expectantly to ask me to pick up the sick kiddo. I get a flat tire. Starbucks is out of soy milk to make my chai tea latte (the freaking horror!). You get the drift – life happens.

02 May 2016

Letters to Madeline: The 20 Life Lessons You Really Need

Dear Madeline,

Allow me to cut to the chase on this one. By now, you know that’s just the type of mom I am: life, and people, can be a bit…challenging. 

Throughout your lifetime, you will read a lot of crap on the Internet (will that still be around when you’re my age?) and a lot of touchy-feely bullshit will be pushed on you all in an effort to cover up one slight error and false sense of security and entitlement because…