The title alone is a little depressing. We spent our Labor Day weekend on the water one final time before the cooler air sweeps in and we fall right into fall.

I have to admit, as every basic woman in America would agree, I do love fall. But the end of summer is the most bittersweet of all the seasons.

This summer we spent countless hours in the sun and in the water. At the beach, the lake, and the swimming pool. Thanks to the kids’ ongoing swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School, I wasn’t nervous at all this season!

Luke has become quite the fish in the water, and while Eden is a little behind his skill set she is gaining confidence with each passing weekly class. The most amazing thing about Goldfish is the instructors’ love for the students and their attention to detail. They smile and welcome my kids in the water every week and they remember what they are struggling with and help them overcome obstacles. After several months of swim lessons, it’s still something both of my children look forward to week after week.

We fully intend on keeping the kids going in swim lessons, so they don’t lose any of their skill set.

What about your little swimmers? Will they end their lessons as we fall into fall, or will you keep them going?

boatpool .jpg

Calm down, stop dialing social services because of the title of this article. Listen, I love my children very much. It’s really hard to quantify my love for them because my heart literally bursts at the seams for each and every one of them. They are loved and cared for and live in a very safe home.

But, here comes the boom. I love my husband more. Let’s begin with the reasons why:

  1. He doesn’t ask me to wipe his butt.
  2. He understands what an “inside voice” is and exercises it when deemed appropriate.
  3. He respects the word “no” (trust me, sometimes he doesn’t want to hear it either).
  4. He picks up after himself (most of the time).
  5. He doesn’t throw himself on the ground in the Target parking lot when I tell him he cannot have another Rapunzel doll.
  6. He can go on a walk and not ask me to hold him every 30 feet.
  7. He can have an intelligent conversation with me beyond golf, Disney princesses, and what he ate for dinner.
  8. He likes the same kind of movies, and doesn’t ask to watch the same scene in one movie 4,837 times.
  9. He is a great date.
  10. I chose him.

Obviously this is very tongue and cheek, but number 10 is so important and really the focus of this article. I CHOSE HIM. God chose us to be the parents we are today, but wchose each other. Now, let’s ask a question.

Do you ever sit on the couch (probably watching Netflix, probably not “chilling”) and wonder who the hell the person is on the other side of the leather lounger?

You step back and suddenly realize you are so caught up in life (diapers, potty training, soccer games, ballet, preschool, carpool, doctor appointments, making meals) that you literally forget about your significant other. The one partner in crime who actually helped you get where you are today…love it, or hate it.

Dudes, life is hard. Raising humans is hard. Jobs are hard. Paying bills is hard. It’s easy to put your significant other on the back burner. I mean, they are the other adult in the household…surely they will understand.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Now, making more time for my husband doesn’t mean I stopped caring for my children because my husband needs his underwear washed. I also do not lay out the newspaper, kick off his shoes and rub his feet. Sick. Rub your own damn feet. It just means I work really hard at making time for us a priority.

It’s taken some undercover (not those covers) digging to figure out how this can be done with a job and three little monsters fighting over my attention. For us, it’s mainly quality time. We spend a lot of time when they kids go to bed sitting outside by the fire. Sometimes we drink, sometimes we don’t. We talk. We plan. We write down ideas. We discuss the future. We focus on us. Sometimes we kick the kids to their grandparent’s curb and get a date night. Whether it’s a 5 star restaurant or pizza at home, the focus never changes.

Two reasons why:

  1. These tiny humans we are raising are going to grow into school aged humans. And then off to college and the work field aged humans. And then it’s just us. Back to square one. One of my biggest fears is we’ll become strangers. I want to be more than a friendly “hello” in the morning and a polite “how was your day” in the evening. This is the person I plan to spend the rest of my life with.
  2. A healthy marriage translates into a happy household. It’s very important to me our three kids watch our relationship and learn. How we talk to each other, how we respect each other, how we interact with each other. Sure it’s not perfect. We argue just like the next couple, but it’s how we handle it that matters. I want our children to grow up and find spouses that are like-minded. I want them to have healthy marriages and happy households. I want them to take what they learned from us and implement it 30 years from now.

So, it starts now. I realize not all marriages are the same, but I do making your spouse a priority is important.

Want more, be more, do more. Our 60, 70, and 80 year old selves will appreciate the hard work we put in today. Not to mention, those tiny people are watching you.

Be the role models they deserve. Be the parents they aspire to be. Be the spouses they will one day become.

View Post

It occurred to me recently that I don’t have a ton of friends. Stick with me here. I have a lot of friends from my past. I have an amazing family who oftentimes double as my best friends. I have former co-workers who are a call or text away. And I live in a kick ass neighborhood with lots of little rug rats zooming around on bikes and scooters.

But as for the ultimate “mom-friend”…I mean, the stick with you in the trenches of blowouts and temper tantrums, I don’t have a ton. Why? I think it’s because I’m picky. Finding a true mom-friend is like dating on steroids….but with the extra baggage of 2-4 ex’s (ie…the needy children).

It got me thinking of a list of characteristics one would need to be a true mom-friend of mine. Remember way back when, when you wrote out your dream guy’s qualities? Here’s my dream mom-friend. See if you fit the mold, or can at least relate.

  • Be real. This is the most important characteristic in my book. Cut the crap. Cut the “look how perfect my children are.” Cut the “#besthusbandever” b.s. Just freaking be real. See this pic I shared with this blog post? I legit didn’t have anyone to take it, so it’s fuzzy. My hair is frazzled. I’m carrying two bottles of wine and a baby, because real life.
  • Be chill, no high energy please. I have enough energy radiating off my three young children on the reg. 
  • Enjoy wine. And if you’re not a wine drinker, please don’t judge me when I go for the 2nd or 3rd glass. Raising kids is hard work.
  • While we’re on the subject of judging, let’s just toss out the white wigs. I judge myself enough already. I don’t need you, as a friend, judging me too.
  • Don’t get upset when I cancel. I’m tired. Like really, REALLY tired.
  • Don’t get upset if I accidentally leave you off an invite. Please know it’s not intentional, I probably just forgot. Because, I am REALLY tired.
  • On the same note, don’t comment about how fun it must’ve been. Or if I suddenly remember to invite you, don’t feel like an afterthought…I legit just forgot, because once again, I haven’t slept in 4 years. 
  • Don’t call. Let’s just text. Unless we set up a phone date and have a bottle of wine to share over the phone. 
  • You post a lot of crap on social media, which I’m cool with. However, I’m gonna pretend like I didn’t see it, because it’s so much more fun to hear it from you. 
  • Likewise, when I post a hilarious story (even if you don’t think it’s funny) just humor me and allow me to tell it again when I see you. I like to make you laugh. 
  • Your husband can’t be a douche. I want to have double dates with you dammit!
  • If my kids are acting horrible, scold them. I’m okay with that. I expect them to respect you.
  • My house isn’t always going to be clean. If yours is, I’ll feel like you’re trying too hard. Let’s just be equals here.
  • I appreciate your hustle. No matter what your job is…even if it’s just chasing the toddlers, I want you to know I support you in your ventures. It’d be cool if you supported me in mine.
  • We can vent, but let’s not fall down the rabbit hole of gossip. Let’s vent and then move on to something more positive…like what it’s going to be like to be empty nesters.
  • Let’s plan a trip together. Or at least a night away at a hotel to eat, drink and be merry. I think we both need that. Don’t make me feel like a bad mother for leaving my children at home. I NEED a break. WE need a break.
  • If we haven’t talked in awhile, shoot me a text. Let’s grab coffee. Let’s not act like it’s been forever…. let’s just catch up right where we left off.

We are an unique group of individuals trying to raise these tiny humans. Support me, and I promise to support you. 

I’d love to hear your qualities for that dream mom-friend. Let’s hear them, ladies!IMG_7139

It isn’t always easy to find shoes for babies. My son is 9 months old (wow! They grow up fast) and shoes typically do not stay on his little feet. We were first introduced to Kinbe a few months ago and I was instantly drawn to the company.

Let me talk about the moccs first. They are soft, stylish and adjustable for growing feet. Adam has the navy pair with white stripes, I love how versatile they are.

Now, allow me to chat about the best part. For the past couple months, I’ve been searching for companies that give back. It’s my goal to give as much as I can to these kind of organizations, but surprisingly there aren’t as many out there as I would have thought. When I was approached by Kinbe and learned about their mission, I was hooked.

At Kinbe, they believe in building loving homes for children without them. As a mom, it breaks my heart to learn there are 140 million children in the world without a loving home. Kinbe is dedicated to building a legacy of love. When you purchase a pair of their moccs, 25% of your purchase will go toward their mission.

Did you know most children under the age of 3 in an orphanage will likely sit in a crib all day long with little human touch? I can’t even fathom that. Due to the lack of resources, education and staff these babies and toddlers cannot thrive. This is why Kinbe has partnered with an orphanage in Guatemala whose mission is to build family style housing for these children.

Most of the children in Guatemala will never be adopted. Kinbe supports training these families on parenting and child development and hiring and vetting of staff so that they can provide the best love and support for orphan children.

Kinbe believes it takes a village to raise our children (and I couldn’t agree more!). If you’re interested in joining their tribe, I encourage you to explore their website. While you’re there, take a look at the adorable moccs!

Little steps to building a brighter future.

https://kinbe.co/

adamshoes

When my son Luke was born it wasn’t an option. I was adamant he would learn how to swim. That opinion never changed as time went by and we added two more children to our nest. We’ve always been water lovers. All of my children love the ocean, lake and swimming pools, yet they had never learned how to swim.

My past life in the news business is what really set the tone for the urgency of learning how to swim. Every summer, I would report on horror stories of small children and teens who drown. Be it at a friend’s house, on a local lake or even in the parent’s own backyards…simply because the victim did not know how to swim.

Did you know Ohio is one of the worst states for drowning deaths? Children are no exception. According to the Columbus Dispatch, during the month of May, 7 people drowned in Central Ohio and two were children. Another one of those deaths was a teenager. From 2012 to 2016, more than 500 people drown in Ohio. If this doesn’t scream the need for more attention on water safety, I’m not sure what does.

My oldest son is a real shark in the water and he has no fear. It would have been impossible to frequent our local pool again this summer if it wasn’t for his swim lessons at Goldfish.

He is now swimming on his own with little to no help, and he’s able to venture out of the kid’s swimming area without me fearing the worst.

Parents, this article isn’t meant to invoke fear, it’s to help raise awareness. Please put your children in swim lessons. Please stay on top of the lessons. If you have time, please practice with them. The swim skills can be easily forgotten, which is why it’s important to stay consistent.

I cannot rave enough about what Goldfish has done for our family and for our children’s confidence level in the water. That’s why learning to swim isn’t an option in our family, it’s a requirement so they will never become one of those statistics.

** Here is another great article about some Potential Water Hazards you may face as a parent this summer.

goldfishpoolIMG_1737

adam pool

Shark Bait