This past weekend was by far our favorite weekend in Columbus. Every year, thousands of people descend upon central Ohio for ONE GOAL. END CANCER. Pelotonia is much more than a weekend ride, it’s joining a team… a team we consider to be the Greatest Team Ever.

This year marked the 10th year of the organization’s powerful fundraising event. It also marked our family’s 4th year of participation. My husband did the first ever Sunday ride, which was great considering the crowds were significantly smaller, and he ended in our home town!

But first, a little about the organization. Pelotonia is a grass roots organization that’s raised more than $117 million for cancer research. The model of the 3-day event is simple: Pelotonia’s operating expenses are covered by generous funding partners so that 100% of every dollar raised by riders, virtual riders, and volunteers goes directly to fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

I know that’s a lot of jargon to really say, we are big supporters of this amazing cause. Not to mention, there is a shift in the air in the entire city with all of the surrounding communities who participate in Pelotonia. The weekend is filled with love and support. You meet so many kind strangers, volunteers, riders, and people who just want to come out and witness the powerful movement.

The kids look forward to watching their daddy cross the finish line every year, this year they wore previous year’s riding jerseys. With cow bells in tow, we cheered rider after rider rolling across the finish line with ONE GOAL. END CANCER.

If you happen to be in the Columbus area the first weekend of August, or would like to learn more about this amazing event… I encourage you to check out Pelotonia’s website!

http://pelotonia.org/

Here are some photos from the weekend!

17-Gallery-05IMG_3192IMG_3182 (1)IMG_3177

IMG_3205

When I was a kid, my mom would take me to the Ohio State Fair once a year. I don’t remember ever riding any rides, and the smell of the fair food always made me feel sick. What a lame kid! But I loved going, every single year…it sort of marked the end of summer.

Now that I have kids of my own, I still love going that one time a year. Our trips look completely different from when I was a kid. I pack lunches…not because I’m cheap, but because my kids will want something from every single food vendor. From cotton candy to deep-fried everything. It’s challenging enough to get them out of the carnival game section without spending a giant wad of cash. I do splurge on the giant fresh-squeezed lemonades. I just can’t go to a fair without those cups of lemony sugar goodness.

My kids have their favorite spots at the Ohio State Fair. We have to start with the Goldfish game. I only let them play the “Win Every Time” games. I learned my lesson a couple of years ago. $10 drains fast with little kids and horrible aim. There is a great Goldfish/Hermit Crab win every time game in the middle of the game area, past the giant slide. For $5 both Luke and Eden won a goldfish and their own containers! It was a challenge to keep Adam from shaking the goldfish. After about 30 seconds, the new pets had names (Ladder & Flower) and we were on our way to the next stop.

*Editor’s note: Ladder & Flower have since passed away. RIP little fish who gave our kids a whopping 8 hours of joy. #neverforget*

The AG & Hort Building is their favorite where they can watch the large electronic train, learn about zoo animals and ride little tractors. The pedal tractors are a big hit with Luke and Eden, no joke…they remember them every year! The kids also like seeing the bunnies, little chicks and learning about zoo animals.

Next stop was the Natural Resources Park where we attempted to wait in a long line to fish. About 10 minutes in the line, Eden decided she didn’t want to walk…or stand…or cooperate…so after a major meltdown, we left…sans fishing trophies.

We stopped to eat our packed lunches, which in itself takes a solid 45 minutes. There is just so much for the kids to see, it’s hard for them to concentrate on eating. I don’t blame them…people watching at the fair IS. THE. VERY. BEST.

This year we didn’t make it into the livestock barn. Last year, Eden cried because of the smells (perhaps the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree) so we made one last stop at the kiddie “win every time” games where the kids won their favorite blowup toys. A princess doll, a sword and a puppy power hammer. Two giant lemonades on the way out and that was a wrap!

All in all, we faired pretty well! (See what I did there?!) And now we’re good for another 365.

DSC_3277

Ladder & Flower (RIP)

DSC_3280

Cute kid multiple called a girl. haha.

DSC_3289

Sword & Puppy Power Hammer

IMG_2947

I blame the little one for shaking the water bags. eyyyyy.

IMG_2960

Win Every Time games for the WIN.

IMG_2961

Duck, Duck, Goose.

IMG_2986

A Family Af {Fair}

I’m embarrassed to admit, but it’s been a really REALLY long time since I’ve made my way into a dental office. With so many moves, it’s something I know I needed to do, but it kept falling down the priority list. And then I’d forget. And then I’d blink and it’s been a couple of years, YOW!

Last week, that all changed as the kids and I made our way to Dental Reflections Dublin for exams and cleanings. The office is conveniently set in an office park in Dublin. It’s pretty close to the zoo, which is a win for us!

When you walk in, the waiting room is very clean and has a feeling of freshness with the pale blues and white theme. There are a ton of Legos for the kids to play with…honestly, any place with Legos is a fan favorite at our house!

Inside the office, there is an adult area and a place for the kids to be examined. Luke and Eden and I were separated since we all had appointments at the same time. I was a little nervous, as this was their first time but they did excellent!! The amazing hygienist took several photos for me, and I could hear Luke (no surprise there) asking lots of questions. The staff was so patient with my kids. Not to mention, the kids had no cavities and a clean bill of health! YAY!

Dr. Rudi As-Sanie was so kind and understanding as I sheepishly admitted how long it has been since I’ve seen a dentist. I really appreciated how non-judgmental the entire staff was. Let’s be honest, how many of us REALLY floss everyday, anyway?!

After x-rays, a full exam and deep cleaning I met with Dr. Rudi who chatted about Luke and Eden’s appointment and then mine. She was so helpful and pulled up pictures of my mouth to explain some potential issues I may face down the road.

The entire experience was amazing. The office space was clean and modern, while the staff was friendly and accommodating. I cannot rave enough about this practice, and I am happy to say we finally have a local dentist who we all love and trust!

*This post was sponsored by Dental Reflections Dublin. All opinion are my own.*

DSC_3188

Legos for the W I N!

DSC_3194

Such a beautiful and clean dentist office.

IMG_2767

They had such a fun morning at the dental office!

IMG_6455

X-rays can be scary, but the team was there to ease the kids’ fears.

IMG_6458

Luke was a rockstar!

IMG_6459

Eden was so brave for her first dental exam.

No Cavities!

No Cavities for me!!

 

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.