Where do I even begin with this hotel?! From the moment you walk into The LeVeque Tower in downtown Columbus you feel as though you are transformed into a 1940s movie star. The theme song from the 1954 Sabrina movie song came to mind, as I entered the revolving door. You know, the Louis Armstrong trumpet version.

My husband and I received the royal treatment for our 7 year anniversary “stay-cation” last night at this incredible hotel. The rooms are uniquely decorated with dark wood, grey fabric walls, gold fixtures and mustard yellow chairs. There is a “star” theme in every little detail, from the framed photos to the evening stars illuminating the ceiling. Even the bedside chocolates have little stars printed on them.

The marketing team treated Jeff and I to a bottle of champagne and a beautiful candle for our anniversary. We ate dinner off site at Milestone 229, but returned to the hotel after a gorgeous stroll along the Scioto Mile. We enjoyed a nightcap at The Keep, and I couldn’t help but ordering the French Onion Soup. YUM!

After a very restful night’s sleep, we ordered room service this morning. THE VERY BEST FRENCH TOAST EVER!!!!!! Y’all, this is no exaggeration. Batter soaked brioche bread with seasonal compote syrup. I devoured it….

Now, it’s time to say goodbye to the most beautiful stay-cation as we head back to the chaos of our three little humans. At least we are refreshed and looking forward to another year of marriage.

xx

*This post was sponsored by Hotel LeVeque, all opinions are my own.*

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I still can’t believe it’s been 7 years since we said “I do.”

We recently found the tape our wedding was filmed on and watched it with our kids. They asked all kinds of questions like, why did we get married on the beach? Where were we? Where were they? They loved watching us in a younger version taking an oath to make a life together.

Our wedding was small and simple. We were married at a beach house in Destin, FL on July 23, 2011. Only our immediate family was in attendance and your dad married us. My dad was so nervous and forgot to walk me down the aisle. I literally had to call for him to come back to get me! My mom did all of the flower arraignments and I purchased my dress online for $90. It was perfect and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.

We are officially celebrating our anniversary tonight with a little Staycation…sleeping through the night like WHAT?!? But I wanted to write a little note about the last year. Our 7th year together.

Truth be told, you and I both know it hasn’t been an easy year. Our relationship is stronger than ever, but exterior factors make it a challenge for us to spend time together. You are now working 6 days a week, many days you leave before the sun goes up and come home just in time to tuck the kids in bed. On your off day, you like to sleep or spend time with our kids…as you should. I don’t resent you. I know you are doing this for us, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the time to spend together. I know we both miss that so very much.

In the last year, we have helped open a new business and challenged each other to set new goals. You’ve pushed me to work harder on my writing, blogging and public speaking, and I’ve pushed you to stay focused on our future regardless of how tired you are.

You already know what you need to work on in terms of spending more time with the kids, so I won’t harp on that. I already know I need to be patient and value the little time we do get with you.

Tonight we will sit down to dinner and spend the evening talking about us. Not the kids, or the mortgage…just about our goals for the next year of marriage. I’m curious how often other couples do this, or if they do at all?

Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused in the eye of the storm, no matter how calm or rough the winds are. I’m looking forward to setting new goals with you. 365 day goals, 2 year goals, 5 year goals and so forth.

Thank you for asking me to marry you all those years ago. Marriage isn’t easy, but it’s a lot easier when you marry someone who looks forward to the future as much as you do.

xx

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I fulfilled a dream last week that I didn’t think would ever be possible. I single handedly organized and planned an event that raised almost $2,000 for Nationwide Children’s Hospital Infectious Disease Center.

The event was magical, and went smoother than I could have ever imagined. Friends, family and a few people I’ve never met before joined me at NOAH’s Event Venue in New Albany for one special evening.

We laughed, we cried, we laughed some more as I stood in front of nearly 100 women talking about my past life in news, the things I struggle with and some of my most embarrassing moments, and how I’m able to “Juggle It All”. You know, the career, the kids, the husband, the house, the friends and attempting to keep my sanity. It’s no surprise to many of you, juggling it all is hard work!

My main objective for the evening was to raise money for RSV research — which is a VERY important cause to our family. If you’re not familiar with our experience with RSV, you can read about it here.

It wasn’t all about the fundraising though. I wanted to share some personal stories to encourage ladies that I don’t have it all together either. I think it’s so important to give ourselves some grace when it comes to attempting to Juggle It All. To understand we are all IMPERFECT.

The algorithm outlines the steps I attempt to take on a daily basis while Juggling It All.

I- Instill Confidence– kill negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. 

M- Make a Calendar– the best way to stay organized when juggling so many things. 

P- Prioritize– knowing full well that priorities shift with different life cycles. 

E- Eliminate the Guilt– oh, the mom guilt. Y’all, it’s real and it needs to stop! 

R- Ready to go with the Flow– life throws you tantrums, I mean curveballs, I think it’s critical to be able to go with the flow. 

F- Find your Army– finding mom friends is hard. But when you find them, you must nurture them without judgement and always have their backs. 

E- Eliminate Comparisons– the ONLY person you should ever compare yourself to is yesterday’s version of yourself. 

C- Create Me Time — it’s not easy. But when you take time for yourself, you will feel recharged, refreshed and have a new lease on your chaotic life. 

T- The JOY — Finding the joy is simple. CHOOSE IT. Choose to be happy, choose to smile, choose to laugh. Choose JOY. 

So, let’s chat about the location! NOAH’s Event Venue was incredible. From the moment you step into the facility, it’s all first class. The interior is a beautiful grey with gorgeous wood floors. We had full access to the entire event space, including a prep kitchen, game room and the ball room — where the majority of my event took place.

Upon arrival, NOAH’s staff had the entire place ready with tables, linens and chairs. They were extremely helpful with my audio and visual components. I had so many people comment on the beauty of the space. I highly recommend NOAH’s Event Venue to anyone planning a party or event.

A special thank you to everyone who joined us last Thursday. Especially to my amazing sponsors. Thank you to Big Sky Express, Zest Juice Co. and Customized Girl for designing and supplying the amazing totes! Thank you to COOLA for the organic sunblock, Bliss Tans for supplying spray tan giveaways, We Make Up & Go for the hydrating skin masks and makeup, and Goldfish Swim School for the free swim passes!

My cup runneth over. You all will never know what kind of impact you had on my life by supporting my first ever fundraiser. I’d love to make this an annual event!

*Thank you to NOAH’s Event Venue for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.*

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I’m trying really hard to fight back the tears. It’s still so raw, and I’m not even sure if I’m ready to talk about it, but perhaps this will help with the healing process.

A couple of weeks ago, we put down my dog Amelia.

Amelia led an extraordinary life, to say the least. She was known by thousands of people, as she was a regular guest on my morning show in Birmingham, AL… Wake Up Alabama. I’m not even kidding. My producer, would look at our upcoming week and find a slow day. “No guest today! Let’s have Amelia on!”

Amelia would lay on the set, on-air, sometimes she’d chew a bone… most of the time she would sleep. A lot of times she would look at everyone with judgmental eyes. Amelia didn’t like other dogs. In fact, she didn’t like most humans. I loved her attitude.

When Amelia was two years old, doctors found a very large kidney stone that she couldn’t pass. We had a very difficult decision to attempt a risky surgery or to put her down. We opted for the surgery. And I’m so thankful we did. Amelia lived for 11 more years with just one kidney.

In her youthful days, Amelia good accomplish many tricks like fetch the paper, lay down, bark, shake, etc. Amelia lived in 4 different states with me. She was my only friend during my many moves and she was my only company during the many years working the graveyard and night shifts in the news business.

Amelia would always greet me at the door with a smile and her tail wagging. Unless someone else was with me. Then she would just roll her eyes and walk away. I adored her.

I know you all will think I’m nuts when I say this, but she could sense when I was upset or frustrated. Instead of coming to me for a sympathetic cuddle, Amelia would hide out in the other room to give me space until I calmed down. Amelia always knew what to do. I miss her.

She never really liked my children. I can’t say that I blame her. She was never mean to them, she just ignored them. Amelia didn’t have time for babies.

In her later years, Amelia fell very sick. She had difficulty walking. She had finally had enough. She never gave up, but her body did. We put her down on a Friday.

I wasn’t there to take Amelia on her last car ride. I was out-of-town, and honestly I am thankful for it. My parents took wonderful care of Amelia during her last couple years earth side.

I know this is awful, but we still haven’t told our children about Amelia’s passing. They still pray every night for our other lab Molly who we lost more than two years ago. I just can’t bring myself to break the news to them.

Today, I know Amelia is running with Molly…the only other dog she ever cared about. I bet they are going on car rides and eating bacon and eggs.

Thank you, Amelia for being my very best friend during some of my darkest days. You will never truly know what kind of impact you had on my life.

I miss kissing your nose. I miss your sass.

I will forever love you.

xx

The most beautiful, sassy dog who ever lived.

The most beautiful, sassy dog who ever lived.

Amelia loved looking out of the window at my parents' farm.

Amelia loved looking out of the window at my parents’ farm. Perched arm.

My first baby.

My first baby.

Fetching the daily paper.

Fetching the daily paper.

Amelia loved the beach.

Amelia loved the beach.

I will forever love you.

I will forever love you.

 

Last year at this time I wrote an article asking for mom-friends. It went somewhat viral and was shared hundreds of thousands of times thanks to a republish by Scary Mommy.
The outpouring of comments, positive and some negative, was overwhelming. Believe it or not, I am still receiving emails about that article today. That tells me one thing…this topic is something so many women, especially moms struggle with.
Finding an army, tribe, fellow warriors is so important for a mom. A mom needs a group of women who have blazed the trails before them and those who are just embarking in the scariest hood of all…motherhood.
My blog is a no-judgement zone. The opinions expressed in my article reflect the kind of person who would be my ultimate mom-friend…and it should be noted that I do have a tribe of these beautiful women already.
So here it is…my previous article. I’d love to hear your comments below!

Will You Be My Mom-Friend?

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!

Will you be my mom-friend?

Will you be my mom-friend?