Another Year In The Books

This past weekend, my bubbs and I celebrated that beautiful day when we decided to promise forever to each other.

H A P P Y  A N N I V E R S A R Y ,  J – B U B B S !1934837_527922961658_1201333_n

I won’t gush or say how he still makes my heart swoon. :) Although we are still newlyweds, only four years into this wild ride, I’ve learned a few things along the way. Great lessons {and maybe a cliche’ or two} that are constantly carried in our hearts as helpful reminders.

Although we wrote our own vows and made promises to each other that were uniquely ours, the backbone was rooted in faith and tradition.1936703_526672283028_2840970_n

There are good days and there are bad days.

However, the summation of the good days + the bad days creates the most memorable journey that is uniquely yours. No one else will celebrate a good day like the two of you. No one will tolerate or try to weather the bad days like the two of you. The journey is yours and yours alone. So awesome.

You are a team.

Something my dad said years ago continues to stick with me. “You’re on the same side,” he said.  We work towards common goals. But it’s much more than that. As a team, you challenge your partner to work hard for personal and professional accomplishments. Your growth does not stop. It’s encouraged. After all, that teammate is also your number one fan, your biggest cheerleader, at times your biggest critic, but always on your side.

Hang out with your friends.

A favorite. Such an important one. I’m a huge fan of group dates or some one-on-one time with bubbs, but those times cannot replace the precious moments with my pals. Don’t forget your friendships. Don’t forget to be a friend to those who helped get you through the rain and to the sunny side of life. And encourage your significant other to do the same.

Drop the nitpicking.

I always try to pick my “battles,” and I often find that when I just dismiss something that was bothering me, it was something so minor and not worth the hassle. I don’t remember this every time but taking a moment to breath and think if it’s really worth it definitely saves a few moments.

Celebrate each other.

I love just loving him. And I think it’s because I’m excited to love and cherish him. I’m not taking about the hanky-panky part here. It’s the moments I can profess my love from the rooftops {like my blog ;) } or send him to work with a note. He comes home at least once a week with fresh flowers because he knows I just adore this. It’s just the little things that put the biggest smiles on our faces. What puts a smile on his/her face?

Date and have fun!

This could also be just get in some quality alone time away from kids and/or technology. Enjoy great conversation, laugh oh-so loud and just do something together – just the two of you. I’m all for having fun and making fools of yourself. You ARE in love, after all.1931185_514424986708_6147_n

Hope you enjoyed my short + sweet list. Feel free to use often and throughout the daily yucks + yays. And enjoy spending forever with your best pal!

Linking up with Tiffany, Anne and Jessica.


Confessions from a Working Mom

The post is entirely and completely inspired by Scarlett’s confessional post. And I think a lot of us could benefit from just getting it off our chest, knowing we are not alone in this wonderful but sometimes exhausting journey of parenthood. I must admit to myself that I’m still in disbelief that I’m a mother. Not that I never wanted to be a mom. Opposite. It’s one of my callings, what I was put on this earth to do. It’s still a surprise, a heart-drop, a second-take to hear my little girl call me mama.

My second calling after a family? A career. I never really doubted this, but the temptation to stay with my daughter sometimes makes me weak in my knees, bringing me to tears, pulling at my heart and pleading with me to just figure out a way to make it happen. This moment is fleeting. I soon realize that what I ultimately want is … well, I want it all. I need it all. And, really, the definition of “all” is subjective. How I define “all” could be the complete opposite to you. I think that’s great. It’s perfect. And I’m completely satisfied with my all.

But having it all forces a person to adapt to change. Why? Because my two worlds often meet…every day, in fact…

Confessions from a Working Mom

As moms, whether you work out of the home or a stay at home, I think we sometimes take ourselves too seriously. We stretch ourselves thin, playing the comparison game, forgetting that we are pretty amazing in our own right. We get up and show up for our kids/family/friends every single day.  That in itself is pretty powerful. I continue to find sanctuary in that thought and place the mama guilt out of my heart’s reach. I can’t deal with that.

I refuse to let guilt get the best of me. Because the best of me is reserved for the loves of my life.

I’ve accepted…

.My daughter has one huge independent personality. She runs through a store and sometimes shouts. I don’t care. I love it. I’m not sorry if you get annoyed.

.I will be the first one awake and the last one to sleep. I don’t count the hours of sleep {or lack thereof} I get in a day/week/month/year. What’s the point? I’d rather save that amount of shock for some special occasion, like the first parent-teacher conference…first date…first traffic ticket…

.Dinners catered by the wonderful Ferraro’s or McAlister’s Deli is as good as it will get sometimes…and it feels wonderful. Tastes pretty fantastic, too.

.I do laundry all. the. time. It’s exhausting but my need to keep up with it so that I can have weekends free with my family and friends. If you can’t reach me in the weeknight evening hours, I’m most likely hanging out in the laundry room while my husband begs me to not do another load of laundry. {Yes, you read that right.}

.When you ask if my daughter has taken a nap today, what I really hear is, “Why is she fussing so much? You suck at parenting. DO MORE.” And I realize that’s irrational. But I can’t help it.

.Routines are important for little + big beings. But so are radical departures from those routines, like enjoying a day where we wear pjs all day, drink too much juice, have too much screen time and cuddle until we just can’t stand it anymore.

.Bribes work. But I call them “trades.” HUGE fan. She loves trading anything and everything with me.

.Starbucks dates happen. No, I don’t give her caffeine. She enjoys a huge oatmeal cookie or another sweet treat while I have coffee.

.During playtime, I sometimes pretend like I’m sleeping on the floor. She’ll put a blanket over me and say, “Night mommy,” and then plays quietly. It lasts about ten minutes. It’s pretty awesome.

.Picking out her outfits in the morning is sometimes a challenge. I L O V E getting her dressed, but every day she wants to wear a princess dress. It’s getting chilly so it’s just not in the cards. So every day, I let her wear a “princess shirt.” Every shirt she owns is a princess shirt…because I call it a princess shirt…

.My best friend and my partner in crime is the absolute best help I could ever ask for in my entire life. And I don’t tell him that enough. Love you, bubbs. {…and of course the rest of our amazing family/friends/schools are lifesavers.}

The list could go on and on and on as I’m sure you know.

It’s a sticky world but it’s all mine and I wouldn’t change it for 5 years the other way.

What about you – what’s your confession?



Linking up with Jessica.


A Writing Process

My computer bit the big one last week. It’s RIDICULOUS how attached we become to technology, but really, it was more than that…it held a LOT of information, like tons of pictures dating back to 2010, design files, word docs up the wazu, downloaded goodness…so. many. pictures. {Please wait while I pick up my heart off the floor…}

We are still going to see if there is a way to retrieve this data but during my down time, I started thinking about how this time away from a home computer helped re-energize the writing process of this part-time blogger. It opened my mind to a new process that I believe will allow me to craft more thoughtful, intentional posts. So far, the process is working out great.

A Blogger's Writing Process for Intentional Writing

01. Grab a notebook, a pen + 30 minutes of quiet time.

Outside influences help me with the brainstorming process. I’m a huge fan. However, the moment I grab my notebook, a pen and a quiet place for at least 30 minutes, my thoughts really start to come together. During this time, I’m able to outline the post or begin the draft. I’ve found that those first moments of quiet really help you focus on what your initial goal is for the post. Getting those thoughts out and then just starting to write  just to write about this topic for 30 uninterrupted minutes helps me a lot.

02. Give the post a “live” date.

This could absolutely go hand-in-hand with an editorial calendar, however for me, the editorial calendar process is more of a living document, changing as it goes and not plotted out too far in advance. An idea may suddenly come to me, something that really sparks my interest or a post that is relevant to our community. I absolutely welcome this. When this happens, I start to think about when I hope to have the post published and how many days I will give myself to draft the post.

03. Limit the number of “active” posts.

Several posts could undergo the drafting process concurrently, but most of the time, I only allow myself to focus on two posts at once. The rest of these will go on a master brainstorm list that will may be considered later and perhaps drafted at a later date.

{Not every idea that gets put down on paper makes the cut. Why? Well, time. And it’s possible several brainstorming sessions morphed into one dynamite post.}

04. Type it up + let it sit.

About two days before the post is scheduled to go live, I will type up the post and let it sit. For me, the wait time is 24 hours. It will sit in my drafts while I think about what I composed, what I hoped to achieve. I ask myself if I was able to convey my entire thought or if I left an avenue unexplored. This 24 hour rest period is not about editing; it’s about making sure the post is complete.

05. Revisit + add (if necessary).

DING! Post is ready. After the 24 hours , I’ll check this baby out and read it over, revisit notes I took and add/cut out elements that will benefit my little ol’ post.

I want to make sure I can shout “YES!” to at least one of the five questions:

Is it relatable? // Is it timely? // Is it for your readers? // Is there a benefit? // Would I enjoy reading this?

06. EDIT

And then of course there’s the edit. Up until now, I just added and deleted content, not really paying attention to the flow, style or images that could work with the post. Now is that time. I’ll read it a few times making edits as I go, take a breather – work on the image(s) and come back to read/edit again.

07. Go on – hit Publish!

And there you have it. It’s ready for me to publish or schedule.

Does every post go through this process? No.
Do I think one of my posts is better if it does? Yes.
It’s given that extra dose of care.

I find having a very simple process helps with 1. not feeling overwhelmed by the need to get a post out RIGHT NOW and 2. providing content that I would want to read and eager to share with all of you. Of course everyone’s process is different. And trust me – there are days when I just type up a post, maybe edit and hit publish. I definitely have those “share” moments and it’s gotta come out!! And that’s great, too. It’s about balance. {As is with everything, amIright?}

What’s your writing process?

Linking up with Tiffany!


Tumultuous Twos, Enter Stage Right.

I think the two year old, or rather the year itself, gets a bad rap.

I never really understood why people would call this age “terrible.” I’m sure there are enough moms out there that would like to slap my wrists and call me a newb. They hang their mama veteran status high and proud. “I’ve been through it all,” they say, “and those twos are terrible.”

To those veteran moms: I hear ya, loud and c l e a r. You paved the way and let us newbs know that the light shines at the end of that somewhat scary tunnel. I continue to look up to you, honor you, respect you. But I can’t agree with you…not on this.

Maybe it’s just the word terrible. Terrible. It just sounds…terrible. But through it all, was it really that terrible?

I’m opting for a search + replace of that word…

In September, we welcomed the tumultuous twos. A new stage in our Madeline’s life FOR SURE. This stage is a bit louder. IN YOUR FACE. It’s messy. Exaggerated. A roller-coaster. In short, it’s F U L L.

She runs around non-stop, sometimes shouting at the top of her lungs. A trip to the grocery story feels like a full-blown adventure. Skipping up and down aisles, asking “what is this?” to almost every single item on the shelf.

She’s also learning new ways to communicate, figuring out how to ask for things she needs and wants. At these moments, odds for a meltdown are at their greatest.

Life is still so new, so fresh. She’s still learning the ropes, but her eagerness to get moving, to “do it myself” as she says, gets in the way. Mama needs to remind her that some things require her to walk before she can run. Frustration and confusion start to overwhelm… and not just the little ones.

We are on this tumultuous ride with our babes. This is also our tumultuous twos. This is our time to figure out the wants, nurture the needs and foster the communication, for them and us.

Journeying through this stage in life creates opportunity to learn something new about our little ones every single day. This roller-coaster of emotions//actions will definitely take us for the ride of a lifetime. It will test our limits, challenge our sanity at times, force us to think outside the cardboard box that they have grown tire of and give us the ability to grow into kick-ass moms. We will forge ahead, kissing the bruises, sharing the laughter and giving all the cuddles while they shed a tear as they try to put their shoes on the wrong feet.

As I sit back and think about the upcoming year, I start to laugh a little. I know every day will not be easy. Every day will also not be terrible. It will just be. The continuation of our current chapter. A beautiful chapter. A journey into the tumultuous twos.

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Sharing with Jessica.


National Coffee Day 2014

Happy National Coffee Day, everyone! Whether you take your coffee hot, iced, loaded with creamer vs just a cup of joe, ice cream with the hint of the heavenly bean or just the aroma of a really great coffee-scented candle, it’s your day to celebrate.

I can’t get enough. I’ve been snappin’ photos of my lovely coffee drinks for awhile…so I’ve recently noticed…

I guess you could say we’re getting pretty serious…

Coffee Collage
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