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Why Every Adult Woman Should have a Best Friend, best friend, friends, girlfriends, niki, best friends, mom life

There are some things that just cannot be argued, like the beauty of a sunset, the love for your child and the importance of a best friend, even when you are all grown up. There some things in life that are absolute and though we may think that we become self-sufficient as adults because we are taking care of children, at our core, we still need those besties we had when we were children; that one person that you could be completely yourself with, tell all your secrets too and she’d love you and support you still, no matter what, even if you are dead wrong and full-on crazy. When we grow up and get married, our husbands fill that role to an extent but there is just something about a girlfriend that cannot be replaced.

This is why every adult woman should have a best friend.

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miscarriage, loss, motherhood, daughtersAs I lay here cramping, a cruel reminder, stifling my tears as my 5-year-old brings up an old topic; one that we try not to discuss but has been lingering around my heart lately; the miscarriage we had last year.

It was this time last year that we conceived our third child. I know that. I’ve thought about it every day since Fat Tuesday but tonight, my 5-year-old asked me a simple question as she lay on my stomach and I read her a bedtime story, ” Mommy is there another baby in your tummy?”

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My Daughter

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My Daughter

My New Favorite Photo of My Daughters

That’s my daughter in the water, both of them

That’s my daughter is what I want to scream every single time anyone looks at my daughter, either one of them. Anyone who’s ever had the honor of being the mommy to a daughter knows that our little girls leave us in awe on a daily basis. I can’t even explain the pride and love that I feel for these two little creatures. At their very core, they are pure good. They are everything that I love about the world, about people, even about living. Everything I do is for them.

This past month has been such an emotional roller coaster for so many reasons, least of all because of our miscarriage. I say ours because it wasn’t just my loss. It hurt our family, at it’s core. Thank God,I have so much to be thankful for. I am so freaking blessed that sometimes, I think it’s not fair that I should have so many blessings in my life, especially my daughters and husband. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows over here, hardly. But even when it’s hard, it’s still really, really good because I have the girls and the Big Guy to love me. They love me regardless of the time, day, weather, whether I am fat or skinny. It’s unconditional and that is truly something to be thankful for.

So, I am not going to go on mushy on you and talk about what I’ve lost. I’ve done enough of that. You have all been such a great sounding board. I have shouted profanities at life and collapsed in a pool of snot and tears and I have had so many people to lift me up. I finally feel like I can stand alone and shout my profanities. I know y’all have got my back and I don’t feel sorry for myself anymore. I feel sad at what I will never know and I feel the void but I know that I am strong enough to survive. I know that I am a stronger and better person for having survived it, like so many other shitty things that I have survived.

This is about so much more, this is about my daughters and all the reasons that I had to celebrate this month. No, I am not crazy or delusional and believe me, I didn’t think I could celebrate anything but how could I not. My husband celebrated his 37th birthday. The Big Guy is my soft place to land in a life of never ending rocks and hard places. I celebrate his birth because, he is responsible for my rebirth. He is the part of me that holds me up. He is my foundation.

That’s My Daughter, Who’d Have Ever Thought Her?

I had to celebrate Mother’s day because look at the two daughters I have been blessed with. My girl’s bring me infinite love to give and to receive on a daily basis. They have made me better than I ever could have hoped to be, more than I could have imagined was even possible. With them, my heart grows to the point that it feels like it may swell and burst out of my chest.

The Big Guy and I celebrated 13 years of marriage. This man came into a moment in my life when I was not expecting love. Up until him, what I thought was love was a faint shadow of what love truly is. Love is all consuming and easy. It’s a submission of your heart, body and soul with a complete reciprocation.It’s a soft place to land. It’s good times and bad. It’s the big things and the little things. It’s sharing a near death experience in order to create a perfect, living breathing , walking around and breaking your heart culmination of your love. It’s holding hair, holding hands and holding your heart together with chewing gum when it’s breaking into a million different pieces. It’s silence that fills a room and noise that fills your heart. It’s all day, every day and it is unconditional without reservation, hesitation or question.

We celebrated Gabi’s birthday. My tenderhearted baby turned 5 this past week and if I were on my dying bed, I would will myself up and celebrate that child’s life. She is strong, witty, funny and amazing in ways that I’d never thought about before her. She is my baby and that is worth celebrating. She is here to be held and loved. I will do it every second and in every way for as long as I take breath into my body.

Along with all that, there were end of year programs, preschool graduation, ballet recitals, firsts performances, last days, life and death and through it all, I am so glad that you are here to share it all with. Which reminds me, The TRUTH about Motherhood just turned 3 and Throat Punch Thursday (Which I’ve been too emotionally drained the past month to dole out but will resume next month) is officially 2 years old. I have truly enjoyed getting to know all of you and I look forward to many more years of growing through motherhood and life with you.

What would I do without to you? What would I do without the Big Guy or my daughters? I don’t know and I hope I never do know life without your community, the Big Guy or my daughters.

That’s my Daughter, Every time she fell I caught Her, Every time


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unexpected, family, life, change


unexpected, family, life, change

Last week, the Big Guy had an unexpected job interview. Unexpected because he loves the job he has, it’s his dream job. The past three years have been insanely chaotic for our family. I started this blog, the spring that my husband first had to leave us for a job; my daughters we’re 2 and 4. They are currently, almost 5 and 7. Many of you know the story of our two-year commuter marriage and all the upheaval that has come with that. The moving, the separation, the hurt and finally, the reunion, we have survived as a family. It’s been really hard.

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change, life changes

change, life changes

Life Changes~What do I want to say? It feels like I’ve been missing from here a lot lately. I miss my home. This blog is my home. I miss my people. I miss the interaction and the back and forth. Lots has been going on behind the scenes lately. As many of you know, I have started writing at a few different places around the internet; Smart Mom Style, Aiming Low, Modern Home Modern Baby and the Stir. I am truly blessed, even if unexpectedly so.

Changes Come Unexpectedly

There are lots of other changes going on too here at our home. We’ll be moving this summer and our house has still not sold and that is weighing heavily on my mind and my heart. I’ve been doing a lot of praying for patience and understanding. The girls are growing up fast. I blinked and now our life is about Spring Breaks and ballet recitals. It used to be all about time together and having fun and now it’s all turning to obligation. I feel out of my depth on many levels and yet there is still more changes going on.Things that I can’t even think about with too much thought or my head may explode from all of the overwhelming possibilities.

This is where I have been lately. Then there was spring break. I so welcomed and looked forward to it. It started off amazing with a trip to Castaway Bay indoor water park. The girls adored it. The Big Guy and I had a blast just watching them run around from activity to activity, screaming and squealing all the way. Finally, a place they could run, jump and scream and it was perfectly acceptable, if not expected. We spent our days dripping water and surrounded by laughter and love. The Big Guy and I soaking in every single moment of togetherness with the girls. They will never be this age again. There will never be another first trip to the water park. Each night we collapsed into bed, snuggled together excitedly recounting the thrill of the day. Lots of sweet memories were made at Castaway Bay, not the least of which was my Mommy alone time spent in the spa with my pedicurist Laura Williams. Not only was there peace and quiet and an amazing pedicure to be had, Laura had a vibrant personality and a pleasing demeanor. She made the pedicure an experience.  Then we returned home.

Changes in plan

The next day, we spent with Grandma having lunch at our favorite spot and watching ,Mirror, Mirror; a special treat for the girls. We were relishing every single moment together, just as I had planned and then I got sick! Not just a little case of the sniffles, this is a knock down, drag out, can’t lift your head kind of illness. It was like the devil spawn of the worst head cold you’ve ever had the misfortune of catching and the flu on crack. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like I had been run over by a mack truck. I stayed there, in bed, trying not to die the entire day. The week pretty much plateaued at that point.

I’m slowly recovering from the illness, the girls are on their last day of spring break and I am still overwhelmed with a lot of choices that I need to make soon. How do you embrace the changes in your life?

Changes whether good or bad can be overwhelming


**Disclaimer I was given access to Castaway Bay indoor water park and their resort for review purposes but all opinions expressed are my own. All life changes are my own.

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mom fail

mom fail

I don’t want to Mom fail these two

The feeling of mom fail is inevitable at some point in motherhood. As a mom, I spend a lot of my time chasing my own tail. I am always trying to catch up. Just when I think I have a handle on this Motherhood gig, the rules change. This is not a complaint. This is a fact.

When my girls are sleeping, I look at them and my breath is taken away from me just by knowing they are mine. I made them. I grew them. They are amazing and that has to be in some small part a reflection of me, right?

On other days, when I just can’t catch up, I feel like a complete failure because it feels hard. We’re brainwashed into believing it’s not supposed to be hard. Then the guilt creeps in because I must be doing something wrong.

Mom Fail hurts

But then there are good moments that prove to me that I am not so bad at this motherhood job; days when I surprise even myself. Days when I feel like I was meant to do this. Days where there is no annoyance or heated reactions to bad behavior. The days that I actually think and breathe before I carry on are good days.

Last weekend, we were unexpectedly whisked out of town. Anyone who has children knows that an unexpected trip has a ripple effect of repercussions that you will be feeling the quake from for weeks to come. This was no exception. We were all exhausted and irritable.

Monday morning came and as I drove up to drop off, one of my worst failures as a mom was realized. It may not sound like much, but if you have a kid that has to wear a uniform to school, you know my pain. I sent my kid to school in her uniform on a dress down day.

We pulled up to see not only had she not worn shorts, after a lengthy discussion that included tears and bitter disappointment and me saying, “ Then just put on your jumper and let’s go. We are going to be late!” I’m certain this sounds familiar to at least some of you.

1st Mom fail of the morning.

Every kid was not only wearing shorts, they were wearing STREET*CLOTHES!! It was a dress down day. Catholic school kids live for these days. Major mom fail! Ella didn’t complain, she only exited the car. “Mommy, I love you.” and walked into the building, crushed. I felt failure.

I drove her sister to the pre-school and I couldn’t shake the feeling of letting her down. I was also impressed that she didn’t complain, even though I could see it broke her heart. After, dropping her sister off, I drove to the nearest Target (because we live nowhere near her school) and bought her an outfit. I drove back to the school, went to her classroom, took my daughter to the restroom and changed her into her shorts and t-shirt.

She was shocked, surprised and I completely impressed. That’s hard to do to a 7 year old. She was genuinely happy. In that small act, $25 and 15 minutes of my time, I created an unforgettable moment in her life. She will never forget that I took the time and care to make her happy. I will never forget that giant beautiful that she had, just for me. She is always loved and she knows that but sometimes it’s nice to remind them of just how special they are to you.

What’s been your greatest mom fail? How have you turned a mom fail into a mom win?

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Am I Ugly, internet, teens, girls, tweens, Youtube.com, body image, slef- confidence

Throat Punch Thursday,Am I Ugly, videos, teens

Am I Ugly?

Teen Girls are asking the world, “Am I Ugly?” ~ This is a recipe for disaster. As if the media is not already loading the gun with bullets of self-doubt with impossible standards perpetuated further by models and actresses embracing these standards, now our daughters are taking to the internet to ask a world peppered with miserable trolls, “Am I Ugly?

This scares the hell out of me. The potential for catastrophic long term effects from this seemingly innocuous question is beyond belief. I know how a simple critique can go into a young girls ears and get twisted and bent until it has burrowed itself so deeply into her psyche that there is no chance of recovery. To think that a young girl would willingly open herself up to this kind of criticism is unbelievable. I would take the computers and phones away, home-school, whatever it took to spare my daughters of the pain of  living with and suffering daily with body dysmorphic disorder.

Am I Ugly, internet, teens, girls, tweens, Youtube.com, body image, self- confidence

 Why Am I Ugly?

Let me assure you, there is no such thing as an innocuous question when you are opening yourself up to the world to ask  Am I Ugly? There will always be someone who will say yes, even if it’s just to go against the grain. To this new fad of asking the entire world, Am I Ugly? I give the throat Punch because I can assure you that somewhere in the world there is a young girl who just lost all of her self-confidence because the reply to her video was yes.

Somewhere in the world, seeds of self-doubt have been planted and are taking root in a child’s brain. Somewhere in your neighborhood, a 12 year old is crying because she was just told that her skin was bad. Somewhere else, a little girl is running before school and skipping lunch because her reply was that her face looked chunky. There’s a little brunette who is waxing her face for the first time because she was told that maybe if she didn’t have a mustache; she’d have a boyfriend. A blonde with natural curls is wearing a hat because somebody called her hair frizzy. A red head is trying to scrub the freckles off of her face. Another girl is hiding her smile because someone said her teeth are crooked. And yet another tween is crying because her bangs won’t lay right, last night she was told her forehead was too big.

Once these things have been said to these girls, you can’t unring that bell. The girl is changed and she is now self-aware of every real and imagined flaw that have ever existed within her. This is a slippery slope that many girls come to in life and fall down and never recover from it.

It will never end. Beauty is respective. The standard is impossible and the system of measurement is skewed. These little girls need to hear it from their parents, from the time they can hear, that they are beautiful; they are smart; they are funny; they are athletic; they are strong; they are miracles! They need to be self- aware that they are capable of everything, not made painfully aware of their one shortcoming.

What would you do if your daughter made one of these videos? How do you feel about these videos being uploaded by tweens? How do you encourage your daughters to have self-confidence? How do you foster self worth? Don’t let our girls fall victim to the internet by asking Am I Ugly?

Don’t ask Am I Ugly; ask What’s my most Beautiful Quality

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brush your teeth, teeth, brushing, toothbrush, kids

brush your teeth, teeth, brushing, toothbrush, kids

Brush Your Teeth!

Brush your Teeth,please ~The other night, my 4 year old and I were having a particularly specific conversation about the benefits of brushing your teeth. Not unlike the big reveal of the Boogie Man, I said something that went into her brain and got completely twisted. She’s not unlike her Mommy in this way. I’m pretty sure she thinks in my six degrees of separation way, as well.

It started harmless enough, my nightly, “Brush your teeth, please” before bed, was met with  a healthy dose of 4 year old, “Why?”

Me: ” You need to brush your teeth to take care of them because if you don’t, when you get old, they will all fall out!”

Her face kind of crinkled and she brushed her teeth. I didn’t even have to ask a second time for her to…

Please Brush your Teeth!

The next night, she wanted to watch a episode of H2O on Netflix. I tried to convince her to watch an episode of something I wanted to watch, I think it was Cake boss.

She answered, ” No, Mommy, you can watch what YOU want to watch when you are by yourself!”

Me, “Well, I’m never by myself.”

4 year old, “When we get big and leave.”

Me, ” Oh, so when I am old?”

Her, ” Old like GiGi ( who is 83) and Maxie ( who is 85)?”

Her face got really sad and her eyes got glassy. She was truly upset.

Her, “Mommy, Please Brush Your teeth! I don’t want you to get old and die!”

And I brushed my teeth with the supervision of one tiny concerned 4 year old who doesn’t want her Mommy to get old. Because obviously, when I explained the previous night that if you don’t brush your teeth when you get old your teeth will fall out; she heard, if you don’t brush your teeth…you will get old and die. And so I ask you for the sake of your life,


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Candy,kids, sugar, sweets as rewards

candy for children,Candy,kids, sugar, sweets as rewards

Candy for Children as a Reward for Good Behaviors

Candy for children as rewards is like giving candy to a baby, and about as responsible. In a world where kids are being put on diets and touted as being problems for their obesity, how is it tolerated that some teachers are still using sweets as a reward system for educational accomplishments or good behavior? Are you in shock? I am and I am pissed off.

I have encountered teachers who group children into different candy groups and if they accomplish their tasks for the day, they are rewarded with that treat. The treats range from sweet sugary cereals, to skittles, M&Ms, and gummy bears to name a few. Why?

Children accumulate tickets for good behavior or good listening skills, they can then cash the tickets in for sweets or special treats like lunch with the teacher or sitting in a special place. Of course, you have to save a lot more tickets to earn the non-sugary rewards. It is almost as if the children are being encouraged to take the easy reward, the route of instant gratification. Isn’t that how we’ve gotten to the current status of obesity in this country?

Candy for Children as Rewards should be Illegal

I am not a fanatic. I do believe that kids can enjoy the occasional piece of candy, in moderation. Candy is not the devil but it is also in no way a necessity in a child’s life. Candy for children as a special treat is fine but it should not be used as a reward system and given and withheld dependent on a child’s achievements. By doing this, we are teaching children to associate food with celebrations and achievement. We are teaching our children to eat their feelings. The 6 year old buying chocolate to celebrate knowing her addition facts is the same 500 pound woman who will be drinking a 32 ounce coke in the morning to “celebrate” waking up.

From personal experience, I know how hard it is to change your path of bad eating habits once they are learned. Those children that the teacher is giving candy and pop ( oh yes, they can earn tickets for pop too! I don’t even allow my girls to have pop at home and all they need to do is earn enough tickets, for doing what  they are supposed to be doing anyways, and they can buy soda pop and candy at free will) to are being expected to have self- control that is most likely beyond their maturity level. I think it’s ridiculous. I have had to sit my daughter down and explain that she is not allowed to purchase ‘treats’ at school that she is not allowed at home. I also explained the effects that sugar has on your health, your teeth, the sugar highs and crashes, etc.

This is being done in a first grade class. What first grader do you know that  wouldn’t eat themselves sick on sugar if given the chance? I’m pissed that they are given this option. Aren’t there nutrition guidelines enforced on school lunches for this very reason? This teacher’s reward system, undermines the entire shift in nutritional focus.How would you approach the teacher? I’ve told my daughter not to take the candy and she listens. But why should she have to feel punished? I think the candy should not be an option. What do you think about candy for children as a reward system for good behavior and good grades?

Candy for Children as Rewards should not be an option

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