*Warning: this article contains graphic photographs that may not be suitable for all audiences.*

They say “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Perhaps my dear husband takes that saying to heart and strongly believes his own trash is indeed my treasure. Or, perhaps he suffers from a highly classified disease. One, not yet technically recognized by scientists and is currently under review by the FDA. Yes, for the sake of this article I will just convince myself that his condition is a common disease.

It was early one Saturday morning when I found 3 photographic pieces of evidence in our refrigerator. Upon a little investigating, I diagnosed my husband with “Refuses To Throw Sh*t Away Syndrome.” Or RTTSAS for short.

I know my husband is not alone. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people are carriers of this disease. Who are the sufferers you may ask? Their poor, innocent partners who spend their precious free time discovering the “treasures” throughout the house.

If we’re being completely honest, I first noticed signs of RTTSAS in our early dating days. As most naive partners do, I chalked it up to the bachelor life and enjoyed cleaning things like his bedroom and refrigerator. I basked in the domestic duties with sheer joy and admiration for the new man in my life.

However, the RTTSAS condition did not seem to improve as the years ticked on.

If RTTSAS sounds somewhat familiar to you and you fear as though you have fallen victim or are perhaps a carrier of this disease, listen up. I’ve jotted down a short list of signs and symptoms. If you answer “yes” to 2 or more of these questions, you may need to seek immediate help:

  • Have you ever found a bag of chips with a few crumbs left in your pantry?
  • Have you ever found a bag of pretzels in your pantry with no pretzels left, no crumbs, just salt?
  • Have you ever found a jar of salsa, hummus or any sort of dip containing less than one scoop left in fridge?
  • What about tabasco bottles? Ever find one with one drip left in fridge?
  • Have you ever found a milk jug or orange juice bottle with approximately .5% of one swig left in fridge?
  • Empty Amazon boxes left in odd places?
  • What about appliances? Ever find an empty vacuum cleaner box belonging to a vacuum you no longer own?
  • How about an empty iPhone 3 box when you and your partner are on the 8th version?
  • And my personal favorite, empty and torn open envelopes left on kitchen counter….

Now, I wouldn’t be doing my journalistic duty without seeking expert testimony regarding RTTSAS. So, I found someone who has been suffering in silence from RTTSAS for much longer than a person should have to. With more than 40 years of experience, allow me to introduce everyone to my mother.

Me: When did you first start noticing signs of RTTSAS?

Mother: The second week of marriage, circa 1981.

Me: Did you feel alone, like perhaps you were the only victim or dad was the only carrier of RTTSAS?

Mother: No, I immediately knew that I joined a club. A tribe of wives suffering from the same disease.

Me: When did my father hit rock bottom with RTTSAS? Or did you have a breaking point?

Mother: Your father hit rock bottom probably 15 years ago. My breaking point happened around the same time. Despite my breaking point, your father was beyond help. I appreciate what you’re doing here, honey, but there is NO cure for him.

Me: What do you want to tell other wives suffering from RTTSAS?

Mother: Be very watchful for early signs and please nip it in the bud.

After interviewing my expert, I confronted my husband on my findings. He was in denial. Totally understandable for our first intervention. Would you believe he even blamed our 5 year old on being the culprit of some of my findings? I hope my innocent 5 year old son is not an early carrier.

In conclusion, I’m writing this article to let you know I’ve taken the appropriate steps to fully diagnose this disease and I’m proud it finally has a scientific name. RTTSAS is very serious and it’s currently being reviewed by the FDA. I am hopeful researchers will develop a pill, vaccine, or DUMPSTER very soon to help put us all out of our misery.

Shanisty Ireland RTTSAS

My weekend fridge findings….

I confronted my husband

Photographic Evidence #1 and step 1 toward intervention.


Photographic Evidence #2 and husband’s denial.


My genuine concern for his wellbeing.

I admit, February is my least favorite month. The cold weather is alright for the holidays and the New Year, but by the time February rolls around…I’m like a 70-year-old snow bird flying down south for some sunshine.

Kidding. I wish I could fly to Florida for the entire month. #goals.

In the meantime, I live vicariously through Luke and Eden as they swim on at Goldfish Swim School during their weekly lessons. Are you itching for spring and ready for your little goldfish to learn how to swim? Summer will be here before we know it.

Good news!

Goldfish Swim School’s unique Jump Start Clinics are specially designed for families looking to get their kids water-ready in a hurry. They’re a great way to introduce kids to the fundamentals of water safety, take full advantage of school vacations, get peace-of-mind before a water-centric vacation or even start the journey to an Olympic gold medal. (I admit, we didn’t watch one second of the winter Olympics. But summer….we’re all in!)

Jump Start Clinics include four or five consecutive days of 30-minute swim lessons that focus on everything from the teaching the fundamentals of water safety to fine-tuning stroke technique. These clinics are so effective, we guarantee you’ll see significant improvement in your child’s swimming skills in just four or five short days!

Registration begins March 1st, TOMORROW!

Here’s the link:



swim kids

low key post about where they’ll be spending Spring Break

“You have your hands full.” Five words I hear almost daily. From the post man. From the grocery store cashier. From a passer-by at the park. I always look down at my entourage and say, “Sure do. Full hands. Full heart.”

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, our son was only 8 months old. I was a little embarrassed. “How did THIS happen?” They warned me not to drink the water. But there I was standing in our kitchen, with a baby on my hip and a pee stick in my hand.

There was no Pinterest-y type announcement. No “surprise, honey! We’re going to be blessed with another child.” I legit waved that pee stick in the air and went, “What the hell are we gonna do now?!” We had just put our house on the market, I had accepted a new job in a new state, annnnnd we’re going to have a baby 16 months after our son was born. Brilliant.

When our daughter came into our lives, everything changed. I no longer wanted to work full time. I wanted to take a lesser role or stay home. Partially because I was so in love with my kids, partially because they were a ton of work.

Guys, I’m going to be completely honest with you. I like and I strongly dislike having my 3 kids so close in age. Here are the 10 reasons why:

1. Playing: 

Like: they play so well together. Since the older two are practically Irish twins, they have the same interests and enjoy the same things.

Dislike: because they are practically Irish Twins they fight and cry and whine like cats in heat.

2. Milestones:

Like: they reach milestones at the same time.

Dislike: because they reach said milestones at the same time, I’ve been changing diapers for half a decade.

3. Vacations and trips

Like: They all 3 enjoy the same activities while we’re out of town. So we don’t have one kid going here and another kid staying in.

Dislike: They’re still at an age where travel (especially in the car) is hella hard. I mean REALLY hard.

4. I have an excuse and “me” time

Like: I now have a legitimate reason for canceling plans. Or skipping things. Or going to bed at 8:00. I’m not saying I enjoy canceling plans, in fact, even with 3 small children I rarely do cancel….but when I do, people understand.

Dislike: I don’t have much free time. Scratch that, I don’t have any free time. Sure I get a girl’s night out with my mom to get our nails done or a dinner with friends, but it’s few and far between.

5. Shopping and outings

Like: Weird as it may seem, I actually really enjoy shopping with them because it’s hilarious. They talk about the most random things and I truly believe taking them on these outings helps them with manners, behavior, and socialization with adults beyond mom and dad.

Dislike: One tantrum can ruin an entire afternoon’s plans. 5 trips to the public restroom is enough to send me to the loony bin. Shopping with them is fun, adventurous and stressful at the same time. If I have a glass of wine at 4:00 after an all day outing, do not judge me.

6. School

Like: my older two are only a year apart, so they’ll enjoy preschool, elementary, middle and high school together. My first-born and third child are 3 years apart, so when my oldest is a senior, my youngest will be a freshman…which is kind of cool.

Dislike: fast forward 20 years and we’ll have 3 kids in college at the same time. So long retirement!

7. Their Friends

Like: they may have the same friends in school, or at least siblings of the same friends.

Dislike: sleepovers and drama. I’m already terrified for those awkward middle school years when my oldest’s friends may have a crush on my daughter, or vice verse. Can I just take an extended trip to the beach during middle school?!

8. Sleep schedules

Like: they’re on the same sleep schedules. My older 2 don’t nap, but they go to bed at the same time. My oldest wakes up every morning at 7 on the dot, but he does his own thing in the morning and doesn’t wake anyone up. Which is AWESOME.

Dislike: Buuuuut, it’s taken us 5 years to get here. I haven’t slept in 5 years. On the same subject, I also haven’t gone to the bathroom or showered alone since October. True story.

9. Built-in Best Friends

Like: I didn’t have siblings, so my friends and cousins were the closest things I had to a brother or sister. My kids have each other. Through thick and thin.

Dislike: I’ve been warned they won’t always love each other like they do. I know these moments of being best friends may be fleeting, but I can honestly say for now they love each other with all of their hearts and it literally melts mine.

10. Speaking of My Heart… 

Love: I never in a million years thought my heart could grow at such a rapid rate for these little rug rats. They stress me out, they exhaust me, they stretch my patience to limits I didn’t know existed. And just when I think I can’t possibly take anymore, the sun rises and I find a million new reasons why I love them like I do.

Enough said.


Something interesting happened on Wednesday at our weekly swim lesson at Goldfish Swim School. 

We were running late, per usual. We arrived 5 minutes before class started. I rushed to the changing area with all 3 kids in tow. I helped Luke and Eden change into their suits right before class was starting. When the announcement was made to enter the pool, they walked over to their instructors and hopped into their separate lanes.

I sat behind the glass with Adam as I do every week and observed the kids working hard in their lesson.

As I’m sitting there watching lanes 2 and 5 while juggling a baby on my lap, I noticed something I haven’t really noticed before. Luke can swim. I mean, he can actually swim. I’m not talking doggy paddle or float on his back or tread water, but he can do windmill motion strokes and swim from the entire width of the pool with very little help.

Listen, I’m not a braggy mom by any means. My kids are just as normal as the next 5 and 3 year old children…but it’s an amazing feeling to watch your child swim for the first time ever.

It got me thinking about our 2018 goals when it comes to the water. This March will mark an entire year of weekly swim lessons at Goldfish. I understand this may not be for everyone…but if you’re even on the fence about swim lessons, I really encourage you to try Goldfish out. I am truly AMAZED at how far Luke and Eden both have come over the course of a year.

We are signed up for another entire year at the school, and I’m so excited to watch them learn, grow, move up in classes, build confidence and continue to learn life saving skills.

*Thank you Goldfish Swim School for sponsoring this post.*


I’d be lost without you.

Today we celebrate you, on your 5th birthday. You are such a beautifully complex individual, it’s hard for me to even find a place to start.

You love Star Wars, especially the stormtroppers. You think it’s the coolest thing that you share a name with one of the main characters too. You still have a love for cars, trucks, and SPORTS. Luke you live for sports, and you honestly can’t pick a favorite. Golf, baseball and hockey are at the top of your list but you admit that you love them all. You also are proud to be an Alabama fan, after all you were born in Birmingham. You love games. Board games, card games, memory games everything to you is a competition and in typical first child fashion you MUST win. Your dad, especially is working on that with you.

You have a mathematical mind which is challenging for me to understand. Everything to you has some sort of number, where I have always learned by words. When learning the days of the week you were so frustrated because you couldn’t remember the order, however when we wrote it out with numbers you remembered the days right away. You love time and have asked for a new watch for your birthday. You like school, but recently told me you are bored there and are ready for a new challenge. You are so excited for Kindergarten, and I’m excited for you.

You are thoughtful beyond your years. You have an ability to sense people’s feelings and frustrations. When you can tell I’m about to lose my cool you put your hand on my shoulder and tell me to take a deep breath and say a prayer. “Ask God what to do, mommy.” Who does that??? You do, Luke.

You are a God fearing child, Luke. You love the Lord and teach your siblings about Jesus’s love. I can’t type into words how much that makes my heart explode.

You put other people first, especially your sister. When she is upset, you play her favorite song on your iPad, or go get her a glass of water and her blanket. It hurts you to see other people hurting…I just pray that sensitivity never fades.

You are funny. Oh. My. Gosh. you are funny Luke. You are quite possibly the funniest person I have ever known, and it’s not even a silly funny. You have wit and can nail a punch line unlike anyone I know. You have a belly laugh, a raspy voice and only one octave: LOUD.

You have a memory on you that is unmatched. You can still remember room numbers from hotels we’ve stayed in when you were 2 and 3 years old. You also told me the other day what I was wearing on my last birthday, and a quick scroll through Instagram proved you were right. I’m not sure how long your sharp memory will last, but for now I have to watch everything I say and do because you will NOT forget.

You are kind. Your teachers tell me all the little ladies in your class adore you, sure you are cute, but it’s because you are so kind to them. You help them on the playground and let them go first down the slides. I’m not super familiar with 5 year old boys, but it sounds somewhat unique and cool to me that you are that way.

I would truly be lost without you. You help me calm down. You help me see the brighter, funnier and more challenging things in life through a different light. You are my #1 helper in everything we do as a family.

I recently sat down and did those cheesy questions with you that’s swirling around Facebook feeds. You know, asking my 5 year old how old I am and what my favorite drink is. I then asked you if you could live without me. You paused for a second, started to tear up and said “no mommy, I could never live without you…I’d be lost.”

The truth is, Luke, I am the one who would be lost without you.

Happy 5th Birthday, Luke.






Your favorite place: the golf course


Funny, thoughtful and kind at 5 years old.