Dear Luke, 

You are the one who made me a mother 6 years ago today. I can say with complete honesty, it is my favorite job and greatest adventure. 

Now, where do I begin with you? 

Luke, you are a very very special child. Of course, all mothers think that about their children…but there is something truly unique about you. There is not a jealous bone in your body. Sure, you rival with your sister as siblings tend to do, but at the end of the day you just want to make her happy. Sometimes you get in trouble for doing something for her, it makes you cry and you’ll say to me: “Mommy, I was just trying to make Eden happy.” You would fall on a sword for her and it makes my mama heart melt. 

You don’t like being the center of attention, but oftentimes you are. You are loud, and hilarious. The imaginary games you come up with amaze me. You and your siblings have a basement full of toys, but you’d rather create a scavenger hunt for your brother and sister or battle it out on a board game. Gosh, do you L O V E board games. 

Speaking of games, sports are your passion. Since this letter is a way to brag on you, son… you’re pretty darn good at them too. You started hockey this year. Your favorite sports are still golf, baseball, hockey and soccer, but if we’re being completely honest there isn’t a sport you don’t enjoy. 

Some mornings you wake up before me and rewatch Alabama football games or the Golf Channel. You love Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar. Matt gave you a high-five once… you like to remind us of this fun fact often. 

Luke, you are smart. You learned to read this year in Kindergarten, and you have mastered math. You are obsessed with math. If I’m being completely honest here, I don’t enjoy math so you are going to need to be patient with me. You like to tell me 43+2 is 45, but also 44+1 is 45 and also 40+5 is 45. It amazes you that so many numbers can have the same solution. Santa brought you an additional and subtraction calculator for Christmas, you take it everywhere with you. 

Luke, you love learning about the human body. You had a hospital stay at Nationwide Children’s earlier this fall for your respiratory issues, and actually really enjoyed your stay. You asked the doctors and nurses 5,938 questions and wanted to absorb every single moment there. You recently hit your hand on the table by accident and said to me: “Mommy, did you know that I just hit my hand and I could see the blue blood in my veins? It’s actually always red, but it looks blue. Did you know the blood is working hard to circulate back to my heart.” My jaw dropped, you want to become a doctor at Children’s Hospital and I don’t doubt you for one second. 

Luke, you are so caring and inclusive of your friends. Your teacher shared a story with me this school year that made me cry. At the end of the day you like to have the class sit in a circle to play “rock, paper, scissors” once you lose you like to pick a friend who is being a good listener. This child is usually one who hasn’t been included in many activities for the day. It’s important to you that everyone is included. You are extremely sensitive to that.

We watched Prancer this holiday season. A simple 80s flick about a girl and Santa’s reindeer. You came over to me and told me you wanted to shut the movie off. I asked why? You told me you didn’t like the way the little girl was disrespecting her father. As I mentioned… extremely sensitive.  

Luke, you love to make people laugh. You adore your sister and brother. You love listening to music and dancing. You love Star Wars and LEGOs. You love the Columbus Blue Jackets. You love learning about geography and historical figures. You love eating at Bibibop and you think the Rusty Bucket is the nicest restaurant in the world.

I can’t believe you are 6, but I also love that you are 6. You are learning and growing and becoming such a wonderful young man. I could sit here and write a complete novel with stories and accomplishments, but I know it would continue to embarrass you. 

Luke, you are the greatest leader and set such a remarkable example for your siblings. You make us so proud. You make us so happy. You made us a mommy & daddy, and for that we are forever grateful. 

Happy 6th Birthday, Luke Myers.

Love, 

Mom

I recently posted a picture of my kids making a mess with Play-Doh and captioned it: “Don’t mind the mess, my kids are busy making memories of me yelling at them to clean up their mess.” Obviously, this was in good fun– but it had me thinking. What will my children remember me by during this time of their lives?

Do you worry your kids will remember you by something negative? Be it nagging them to clean their rooms, pick up their dirty socks, or brush their teeth… are these the things that will stick in their brains forever when they think back to age 4, 5, 6 and so forth?

I know the obvious answer to this is, no. But I decided to write out 8 things I hope my children remember me by.

  1. Her life didn’t stop for us, she took us along to enjoy OUR life together: When I was pregnant with Luke, I remember a neighbor of mine in Birmingham who had two very small children. I was still working in the news business and working the evening shift, so I was around every morning until about 1 PM. I remember every single morning that mom waking up and loading up her children to have an adventure. They would go to the library, park, mall. I remember being so inspired by her ability to take her kids with her on daily adventures. I vowed then to do the same. I know many people don’t understand why I take my kids with me to the grocery store, shopping mall or on business errands… but my life doesn’t revolve just around them. It’s important to me that they understand I will do lots of fun things with them, but at the same time, I have a life too. I have things I need to do, and I don’t want to hire a babysitter for those simple things. I want them with me, I want them to learn from our daily outings. My mom worked from home and I would go to the bank, DMV and utility company with her… just like my kids do with me. We can make any errand an adventure!
  2. She had her favorites: Calm down! Let me explain first. I take the time to individually connect with my children so they know they are my favorite. You see, Luke is my favorite big boy and the very best big brother there ever was. Eden is my very favorite girl and the very best sister to her brothers. Adam is my very favorite baby and the very best baby brother. I tell them this. I spend the time to point out amazing qualities each one of them possesses. They like the individual attention, but I also make it a point to let the other children know what makes their sibling so special.
  3. She squeezed us and kissed us multiple times a day: First thing in the morning, each one of my children gets a giant hug and kiss. Throughout the day, I make it a point to set down my phone and give them physical attention. Children need that. They need to feel your love, not just hear the words.
  4. She let us help with everything: I will be the first to tell you, it takes patience. It is so much easier to cook dinner on my own without little ones scampering under my feet, but my daughter loves to cook. She has an apron she pulls out every single afternoon when she knows it’s time to start our meal prep. She looks forward to cracking eggs, grinding meat, and stirring pasta over the stove. YES! She is supervised. Trust me, it would be so much easier to shoo her away, but I want her to develop a love for cooking and I want her to know I will always say ‘yes’ to spending that time with her. Same goes for my older son. He loves helping his dad in the yard, so he is out there once a week pulling weeds and cleaning grass clippings.
  5. She loved to laugh and play: The laughing part is easy. I’m biased, as every mother is, but I think my kids are hilarious tiny humans. The playing part is a bit trickier. My kids are finally getting to an age where they enjoy fun board games and coloring. My sons love sports and my daughter enjoys it when I help her dress her baby dolls. I secretly don’t “love” playing with them every day… but they will never know that.
  6. She was in love with our daddy: Listen, some days I don’t have the energy just like the next person… but it’s so important that our children see my husband and I in a loving, healthy relationship. We speak to one another with love and respect, we spend time with each other away from the children, we have adult conversations while they are around and teach them to not interrupt. It’s important to us they know our relationship matters and takes priority.
  7. She helped others and used her talents to make a difference: Yes, I am a stay at home mom but that doesn’t define me. It also doesn’t mean my life is over for the next 18-20 + years. I write this blog for you. I share my thoughts and experiences to connect with you and hopefully to help others. Even though I live in Suburbia, I want my children to know I utilized my voice and God-given talents every single day of my life. My absolute favorite quote of all time is by Erma Bombeck. (Who also is a personal hero of mine!) “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say: ‘I used everything You gave me.'”  AMEN!
  8. She prayed with us and for us: I pray every single day for my children to grow into amazing humans. I also pray with them. I pray that they live their lives with a loving heart. To be kind and find joy in their day-to-day lives. It is so easy to get wrapped up in things that do not matter. I hope they always stay focused on the important things in life and always love and support one another. And always know how much their mommy loves them.

Shanisty Ireland

Memories in the making…

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I want them to remember most of all their mommy loves them very much. 

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?

 

 

Wake up.
Creep downstairs.
Hold my breath, don’t wake the bears.

Coffee brews.
First sips are best.
Finding my computer is the next morning quest.

Tiptoe to my office.
Fire up my laptop.
Quickly responding to emails before I have to stop.

Shhh. Quiet.
Is that what I think?
The first little bear rubs his eyes between blinks.

Emails on hold.
Coffee turns cold.
I remind myself I will miss this when they grow old.

Milk is served.
First little bear is content.
Back to my office where my mornings are spent.

Emails fire back.
I’m typing quickly in between sighs.
Second little bear lets out a weak little cry.

Milk number two.
It’s a quick decoy.
Little bear really just wants a toy.

Breakfast requests.
I tell the bears, “take a number”.
Just then the third bear wakes from her slumber.

Eggs and fruit.
No, cereal and bagels were their plan.
Didn’t you know mom is a chef on demand.

Breakfast is over.
The bears want to play.
This is how we start each and every day.

Mama, I feel you.
You are not alone.
And honestly, the chaos is what makes a happy home.

Just know you’re amazing.
Wonderful and beautiful too.
After all, they love the and only you.

xx

An Ode to Mornings

Some how…some way… it always gets done. An ode to mornings as a busy mama.

For the first time in 3 years, I’m ditching my kids and husband and going on a girls trip. Can we say E X C I T E D!!! I am not sure I can sing it loud enough.

A million thoughts are going through my mind the night before I leave.

  • What on earth do I pack?
  • Do I have to clean the house?
  • What about the laundry?
  • Oh, since the kids are staying at grandma’s while my husband works…I guess I gotta pack their clothes.
  • I always do, but this time I probably shouldn’t forget their toothbrushes.
  • Pack the sunscreen.
  • Stock the fridge with easy dinners.
  • Finish up what work I can, so I don’t have to spend vacay at my laptop.
  • I’ll actually have time to read! That’s a lot of pressure considering I haven’t read a book in a year… what do I choose?
  • Gotta get my nails done, or at least paint them.
  • Don’t forget to shave! Yow.

I’m probably forgetting 9,000 things but I can’t focus due to pure excitement. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and husband but a little ‘girl time’ is good for the soul. So here I am, 10 PM the night before my 6 AM flight about to pack.

A couple of things I’ve noticed:

Trip for 5: start planning 72 hours in advance.
Trip for 1: start about an hour before bed.

Trip for 5: 73 loads of laundry to prepare.
Trip for 1: Everything smells fine, just throw it in the bag.

Trip for 5: largest suitcases in the history of transportation.
Trip for 1: carry-on.

Trip for 5: 10 pairs of shoes, at minimum.
Trip for 1: 5 pairs of shoes…I’m still a girl.

Trip for 5: 5-8 different electronics and chargers.
Trip for 1: the iPhone is all I need.

Trip for 5: bring enough snacks to feed a small army.
Trip for 1: enjoy a hot Starbucks at the airport.

Now excuse me while I throw some things in a bag and catch a few hours of sleep.

Bon voyage!

Bon Voyage!

Isn’t that the truth?!