Easter is already next weekend which means Mother’s Day is right around the corner. It’s hard to believe how fast spring is moving along this year.

As a child, I always struggled with picking out the perfect gift for my mom and usually settled on a trip to the nursery to help her plant her yearly flower pots. It was something meaningful to her and it shaped years of memories for me. We always chose experiences over presents.

Now that I’m a mom of 3 (almost 4!) my husband seems to struggle with the same problem and usually just asks me what I’d like for Mother’s Day. If you’re reading this and searching for a wonderful gift this year that will surprise mom and tell her how much she means to the family, I may have an unique idea for you!

I recently stumbled upon an awesome company called PatronArt. PatronArt is on a mission to make original and commissioned art accessible to everyone while helping independent artists thrive. PatronArt was built to connect talented artists with passionate art buyers, and make original art accessible to everyone. Their online concept is simple and inviting as it always helps hard-working artists thrive by purchasing their original pieces of art.

A commissioned piece of art would be an amazing gift idea for mom this year! It sort of combines the present and experience idea I always struggled with for my own mother. PatronArt makes it really easy to get in contact with the perfect artist to make your mom’s masterpiece come to life. Turn your mother’s photo into a beautiful custom artwork through PatronArt as hundreds of independent artists are ready to create that once in a lifetime gift for mom.

We all know mom deserves the best this year, so treat her to a thoughtful, creative Mother’s Day gift she’ll cherish forever!

*This post was sponsored by PatronArt, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Mother’s Day gift she’ll cherish forever.

Of course I knew it all back then. Don’t we all? It’s human nature to think at any given time during any given circumstance we know best. I can say with certainty that’s absolutely been the case through motherhood.

During my second and third pregnancy journeys, I wrote about the differences of baby #1 vs. #2 vs. #3. A couple of years and many, many, MANY sleepless nights later I’m revisiting the topic with recent observations on how different the third child really is from the first and second.

Child #1: Reading every book on parenting.
Child #2: Reading every article on siblings.
Child #3: Reading how-to survive manuals.

Child #1: Absolutely no TV or screen time until age 2.
Child #2: Starts watching TV when the older sibling is viewing a screen.
Child #3: Came out of the womb with a tablet in hand.

Child #1: Brand new clothes.
Child #2: Hand-me-downs from child #1 regardless of the gender.
Child #3: Here are some rags, the seasons don’t match up, so I apologize you’re wearing sweats in July.

Child #1: Listening to everyone’s advice on what it’s like to be a mom.
Child #2: Listening to everyone comment on how busy you are.
Child #3: Not listening to anyone. Three children deep, and I’m pretty sure I’ve encountered some serious hearing loss.

Child #1: Beautiful baby book filled with “firsts” and lots of photos framed around the house.
Child #2: Beautiful empty baby book, remains empty on 4th birthday.
Child #3: The child’s birth certificate has provided a wealth of information.

Child #1: Strangers lovingly ask, “Is he your first? How precious!”
Child #2: Strangers say, “Awww- two looks like a handful!”
Child #3: Strangers don’t even talk anymore. Instead they look at the 3 hood rats running wild through a crowded supermarket and scurry away hoping to avoid being hit by a flying cereal box.

Child #1: Please don’t let him play with those crayons, he could ingest them.
Child #2: Please keep a close eye on the baby to make sure she doesn’t eat the crayons her older brother is playing with.
Child #3: Did you know crayons are non-toxic?

Child #1: Hop in the stroller, let’s go shopping!
Child #2: Hop in the double stroller, be sure to strap in I don’t want either of you to fall out!
Child #3: Hey kid, can you sit on the ledge of that double stroller? If you fall out, at least you’re close to the ground.

Child #1: Hold my hand, we’re in a parking lot.
Child #2: Hold my other hand, we’re in a parking lot.
Child #3: Hold your sister’s hand, yes she’s only 4 but hopefully she’s responsible enough to not leave you behind.

Child #1: It’s so easy to find a sitter, people are thrilled to watch a baby.
Child #2: Sure, I’ll watch your two beautiful children.
Child #3: Grandma is really the only one brave enough to take on the tribe on a regular basis.

Child #1: It’s so easy to tidy up the toys.
Child #2: Let’s work together to clean up after ourselves.
Child #3: I walk room to room stepping over debris and whispering: “WTF happened in here?!?”

Child #1: Oh, I’m so tired!
Child #2: Ugh, motherhood is so exhausting…I can’t wait to get a good night’s sleep.
Child #3: I haven’t slept in 5 years, and probably won’t for another 18.

Child #1: Love with all your heart.
Child #2: Love with all your heart.
Child #3: I didn’t think it was possible, but my heart just expands and has no boundaries with each child who entered my life.

Who’s ready for #4?! HA!

Real life with 3 small children.

My life motto as a mom of 3 small children.

The Midwest didn’t get the memo that Spring has sprung. Would you believe we actually had snow on the first day of Spring? I know my friends in the Northeast are dealing with a lot more than our dusting, but still, cold is cold is cold.

The kids’ Spring Break is next week. If I didn’t have a busy week, I would totally pack them up and ship out to Florida for a few days. Hmmm…. excuse me while I see if I can switch some meetings around and make this happen.

Okay, I’m back. Ain’t gonna happen.

So, we’re making our own Spring Break, complete with cheap pink flamingos, sunshine and waves. Don’t hate on our spring break, and we won’t hate on yours.

This week was “Water Safety Week” at Goldfish Swim School, so they had to practice swimming without their goggles. Fact: if your child is in danger, the chances of them actually having their goggles on is slim, so it’s important they know how to get to safety without them.

Since spring is here, whether mother nature wants to acknowledge it or not, it’s a great time to enroll your little ones in swim lessons.

Next week (March 25-31), Goldfish Swim School’s has their Jump Start Clinics again which are specially designed for families looking to get their kids water ready in a hurry. The clinics are 5 consecutive days of 30-minute swim lessons focusing on fundamentals and water safety.

Here are a few benefits of teaching your kids to swim:

  • Building confidence.
  • Learning how to stay above water.
  • Treading water (mine aren’t to that level yet, but it’s so important!)
  • Getting out of the pool safely.

So whether you are heading to the water this spring break, or pretending in your living room…summer is right around the corner, and it really is a wonderful time to enroll your kids in swim!

*This post is sponsored by Goldfish Swim School. All opinions are my own.*

Goldfish Swim School

Eden floating during her lesson this week.

Swim Safety Week

Luke didn’t use goggles this week for “Swim Safety Week”.

Our spring break is lit.

Our spring break is lit.

I’m turning 35 years old this week. Some will say, shut it sister… you’re a young pup. Some will say, whoaaaaa…old balls. Some will say, I totally feel ya.

I’ve never really been one for my birthday, but this one is kind of hitting me in the jugular. Holy schnikes, I’m getting up there. Halfway to 70 years old. So, I wanted to put something in writing about this season of my life, mainly to have something to look back on when I reach 40, 45, and dare I say….70 years of age.

So I turned to my favorite person in the world (most days)…my husband. I asked him interview style to answer 15 random questions about me. Most are ridiculous. Some are funny. All are 100% accurate.

I encourage you to do something similar at some point during this season of your life. It didn’t take us longer than 5 minutes. Heck, you could even copy these exact questions if you’d like. That way you, too, can have something to look back on when you’re 70 and smile at how beautiful this messy life is.

(His answers are first, my thoughts are in bold italic.)

  1. If I could have one super power, what would it be?  8 hours of sleep. I know this isn’t a super power, but getting it would be! –Yeah, I would venture to say this would be a pretty kick ass super power.
  2. What is my favorite part of being a mother? Laughing with your children. -This one he didn’t even hesitate on, he answered it right away, and the answer was perfect. Absolutely, hands down, my favorite part of being a mother is the laughter and life my children give our home.
  3. What is one of my dreams? To write a book. I’ve never wavered on this since I was 8 years old. It’s always been my dream. One day…. one day…. I will write that book.
  4. What makes me feel overwhelmed? A cluttered and messy home. –100% true.
  5. What would be the hardest thing for me to give up? Your home. –I never thought of this as my answer, but he’s right. Giving up my home and this life we have built would be the hardest thing to say goodbye to. 
  6. If I could give money to charity which one would it be? The Humane Society. I love dogs, but I don’t think that would be my answer. Children’s Hospital and especially RSV research is what I’m most passionate about during this season of my life.  
  7. What’s my hobby? Writing. He paused a long time to think about this one because I don’t really have time for hobbies. Between juggling our home, laundry, cooking, working from home, and 3 kids…there isn’t a lot of time for hobbies. 
  8. Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would I want to have dinner with? Leonardo DiCaprio DUH. And let me just say, it’s not because I think he’s Titanic Hot, I just find him to be the most fascinating person in the world. 
  9. What is my favorite movie? The Departed- as it should be everyone’s. What about artist? Bob Dylan –Anyone who knows me knows this answer without skipping a beat. I love Bob Dylan, his writing, his music, his bizarre nature and misunderstood voice. 
  10. What is my favorite thing to eat? To drink?  Sushi and a nice bottle of wine. Heaven.
  11. Where do I want to retire? Savannah, and her oak lined streets we lived there for about 6 months a few years ago, and I fell madly in love. We will be back to stay longer next time.
  12. Am I on time or always late? Never on time, but also never really late. –again, 3 kids.
  13. What makes me happiest? Your family. Being a wife, mother, and loving every minute of it. -no comment needed!
  14. What is one random thing about me people might find interesting? You were a news anchor for 10 years. Honestly, I don’t miss a day of it. I miss my friends and the communities we lived in, especially Birmingham, but the job itself is H A R D. Much respect to all my newsies. 
  15. What is your word of advice to me? To remember that social media is 90% bullshit and real life is unfiltered. It can be both heartbreaking and triumphant. So decide what to be and go be it. –I love him. 

eden winter 2

Pickle juice covered shoes.

3-year old screaming she can no longer feel her legs.

4-year old hollering for help after knocking over a giant Christmas display.

Wednesday.

Last week we were at the grocery just like we are every single week. Please don’t tell me about Amazon Prime Now or Kroger Click List. Dudes, I get it. I understand these grocery trips are my own fault because I do have ordering services available in our area. However, I like to pick out my own produce and my deli meat needs to be cut crazy thin. So, we shop. Honestly, we enjoy shopping unless we have a trip like Wednesday.

The biggest mistake I made here was taking them to Target first. I didn’t have food in the house, so we “brunched” at Target’s Starbucks. Cookies for breakfast resulted in 4 trips the restroom between the two of the potty-trained ones. You wanna know what hell on earth is like? Spend an hour in the Target bathroom.

My kids are guaranteed to be great at one stop. It’s when I push the limits to store #2, #3 or dare I say #4?! That’s when things turn dicey.

Stop #3.

Scene: spice aisle. Adam grabs a glass jar of Allspice off the shelf and throws it in the cart. It hits the sweet spot on the dill pickle jar, instantly shattering it. Glass goes all over my crazy thin sliced turkey, cheese, and grapes. Pickle juice soaks the mac and cheese boxes and floods the floor of the spice aisle. Luke runs to get help from the seafood man. “HEY! MY MOM SPILLED HER PICKLES DOWN HERE!” If you know my son, you know he has one octave.

We move on.

About 90 seconds later, Luke is looking back at the poor seafood man turned janitor as he starts mopping up pickle juice. Luke doesn’t see where he’s going and pushes the shopping cart straight into a giant saran-wrap and aluminum foil Christmas display. Boxes go everywhere. He runs back to the seafood man. “SIR! I KNOCKED OVER THE CHRISTMAS DISPLAY OVER THERE. I’M REALLY SORRY, GOTTA GO!”

We pick things up and move on.

Last aisle. Eden starts pulling on Luke’s hood preventing him to push the cart. I tell her to stop. She doesn’t.

We move on.

I ask Eden again to stop bothering her brother, this time there will be consequences. Immediately, Eden starts crying. Falls to the floor next to the ice machine. Screaming. “I CAN’T WALK! I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS!” Mean mugs and daggers start shooting my direction.

I give up.

You see, this isn’t anything particularly unique or out of the ordinary from our everyday routines, but it really got me thinking on how to savor these moments of chaos. Savor sounds like a freaking joke when I’m in the moment, but when I retell the story to my husband or friends it’s hilarious.

Serious question, why is it so hard to appreciate the little things when we’re in the moment? Like all of you, I know this season of chaos is fleeting, yet it’s still so damn hard to appreciate it.

I used to be great at journaling. I was religious with writing, but then kids happened. Now when I have a moment of silence, I sit and stare at the wall like a damn loon. The last thing I feel like doing is using my brain.

In the New Year I want to hold myself more accountable with documenting days like “Wednesday” — because I do know they are fleeting. One day I’ll look back and consider myself a superhero. And honestly, my friends, that is what helps me push through today.

  • What about you? How do you document every day chaos? Do you journal, social media or tell friends about it?
  • Do you want to hold yourself more accountable? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

grocery