My Thoughts on Being a Stay at Home Mom

So many thoughts.  Good thoughts. Frustrated thoughts.  Scary thoughts. Silly thoughts. Wonderful thoughts.  FOMO thoughts. Unforgettable thoughts. Questioning thoughts. Breathing thoughts.

It’s funny, if you think too much how crazy you can drive yourself.  Staying home to me has been one of the biggest gifts, blessings, passions, best and most wonderful thing!! At the same time, it can be a tad lonely, scary, worrisome, and if I let it, questioning.   In today’s world, women are told we can be and do anything.  Yay!  No I am not a feminist (far from it) but I love that we have the ability to do whatever we want.  I think the hardest part is that you have to find what you’re happy with.  Throughout the last 5 1/2 years I have had thoughts cross my mind that maybe I should go back to work. I will admit that it’s mostly when things are hard, (duh life is hard!) but also as teacher friends get ready to go back to school in the Fall, I have a twinge of “what if…?”

But as with anything, I allow myself to work through my feelings.  I write, I talk it out, usually with my husband and good friends, or my mom.  I try to figure out why I may feel a certain way and go from there.

I will say that running a business and staying home is not for the faint of heart.  I truly believe there is MORE than enough work to do taking care of a child, or children, cook from scratch, clean the home, care for dogs, and take care of a husband who works crazy intense hours.  It’s hard to find time to do things that need to get done, things you want to get done, plus play with the kids, enjoy the time with them and possibly give yourself some down time too.

I believe it takes a village to raise children, and villages don’t really exist in my world, so other than an awesome sitter who actually just had a baby of her own, it’s hubby and I.  Family lives far away and so a lot falls onto my shoulders.

I had to take a good look at our life and pick and choose what and where I want to spend my time.  For me, there are several non negotiable terms when it comes to our home life.  I find it extremely important for the kids to eat a warm breakfast most days.  Even if it’s a bagel and cream cheese or one little egg.  I think that a hearty meal first thing in the morning sets you up for success.  I also will always be here to greet the kids off the bus.  Until they are in high school, I truly find that after school time to be crucial.  Is this the only way to be a mom?  Absolutely not! But in my heart, it’s the way I want to be.

I’ve recently discovered my true need to break a sweat at a gym.  We had a monthly membership to the Y, but I decided it was a tad expensive and canceled it in August.  Well, September was absolutely nutty trying to get into a groove with one in Kindergarten and one in preschool a few hours each week.  Once we settled into the swing of things, it was all of a sudden Halloween.   I would make lame attempts to do at home workouts, or walk the dogs and play with the kids, but I missed socializing with people! I haven’t even been there a week yet, but I can tell you in the few times I’ve gone, my smile is bigger and my mind is quieter. I’ve also implemented a few more things, but I’ll touch on those later.

Bottom line, being a momma is hard.  We worry even if we don’t want to and I always want to do the right thing.   I will tell you it’s difficult to not give into the tantrums, the junk food, the instant gratifications.  But it’s so worth it.  Stay at home or work at home, moms are amazing.  (Dads are too, but this post isn’t about them!)

Like I’ve stated before, there is not “right way” when it comes to staying home or working as a mom.  There is only what’s best for you.  For me it’s a crazy combination of staying home, and also working.   I believe that once the kids are both in school full time I will be open to even more opportunities.  I have quite the ‘bucket list’ of dreams I’d like to accomplish and the ultimate dream being to work with my husband every day.

Regardless of what your “job title” may be, the best advice I can offer is to stay focused.  Don’t get caught up with what other people are doing.  This I am learning, is very tricky with social media in my hands.  I can very quickly get down on myself for not being where I would like to be.  It’s good to push ourselves, but it’s a whole different ball game to compare and lose sight of what is right in front of us.

Would I stay home or go back to work if I had to do it all again?  

I’d stay home 100%.  Even on the hardest of days where I feel like I accomplished nothing, I know that I am making the right choice for my family.  If you stay home and feel like you’re in a rut, then I highly suggest shaking up your routine.  Get out more; have more fun; meetup with some other mommas or do a baby or toddler class.  Leave the dishes be and get on the floor with the kiddos.  Snuggle them on the couch and ignore the laundry.  It’s all gonna be there anyway.

Also, mamas, ladies, women friends, do not ever feel guilty for filling your cup!!  Take the bubble bath and lock the door.  Pour a glass of wine and play the jazz music.  Sneak off to the coffee shop and bring your laptop.  Join that gym and go do your favorite class.  Read that book or follow that dream inside of you.  You are worth it!!  If you’re so caught up in your crazy busy life and don’t even know where to start, then you definitely need to stop and take a pause…

I’ll be sharing more on my pause in an upcoming post.  Until then, feel free to comment or reach out to me. You are not alone!! Motherhood aint easy, and there are way too many mean girls out there competing.  Life is not a competition; it’s your journey and yours alone.  Tune out the negativity and quiet your mind…I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Make today beautiful friends.

 

Hello November!

Well, October came and went….pretty damn fast!!

I could say, “sorry I didn’t blog every day in October,” but you know what? I’m not sorry.  I did what I could; I had a few rough moments, days where life turned into a blur and things just didn’t turn out.  So ya know what? You get yourself up, brush yourself off and start again.  Don’t quit.  You can rest, just don’t quit.

I feel like I needed to take a few steps back, re-evaluate where my heart and mind were at and just be.

I really had such a great time trick-or-treating with my gang last night!!  We went to our friends’ house and we basically just started an awesome new tradition.   Their little ones are 2 1/2 and 6 months, so it gave me all sort of feels and flashbacks to when our life was like that!! It was so cool to see our two, who are 3 & 5 run to each house and really get excited over their costumes, candy and all things Halloween.

I will remember this Halloween as, “Black Panther & Mavis.”

We enjoyed pizza, cider & donuts as well as some much needed hanging out time.  All work no play is never good for anyone and I am realizing that this mama NEEDS MORE TIME WITH OTHERS!

How cute is this little dalmatian!?

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The trees are really changing and it’s quite lovely!

This has got to be one of my favorites.

Baby’s first Halloween!

It’s crazy when you can step back for a bit and reflect, you can come to some amazing conclusions.

I enjoyed a much needed pedicure, latté and even read a bit of a book earlier today.

Tomorrow Brooke has off from school and hubby’s staycation begins.  *Let’s pray he gets a big buck sooner than later!!

Here is to the last 60 days, the final months of the year.  We have so much to be grateful for this year and in this season, I hope to find the magic all around.  I look forward to an amazing Thanksgiving with family and a joyous Christmas spirit.

May your days for the next two months be Merry & Bright!

Family Vacation: Charleston, South Carolina

Back in August, we headed South for my mom’s wedding.  Her and Mark got married on Folly Beach, which is about 20 minutes or so from Charleston.   It’s a super cute little beach town with fun little shops, restaurants and of course an amazing ocean view.

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We stayed at the Tides Hotel, which is one of the only hotels on this beach.  We enjoyed our stay and the wedding was held here too!

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We grabbed a quick dinner since the 4 of us were starving from traveling all day.  This was our first “officially on vacation” photo.

The kids enjoyed their kid friendly strawberry daqs.

Brooke was LOVING all of the seafood!

That night we checked out the beach and the kids of course loved swimming in the pool.

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The next morning we headed out for some girl time!! Pedicures and a tea room lunch with the bride to be…my mama!

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Brooke loved it.

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My sis and I snuck out to grab a quick “Folly Vice” at the beach bar.  Gosh it was tasty!

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Later that night was the rehearsal dinner.  We all had dinner & drinks at the Pier which was next door to our hotel…I never did get to walk that damn pier! haha

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After that we played in the ocean…I mean, figured out who went where for the next day!

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The wedding was beautiful! If you missed that post, you can catch up on that here.

We had a semi-early morning the following day as well, as we had a carriage ride/tour to catch.

The kids loved their new hats.

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They did pretty well on the carriage tour, but it was hot (obvi) and history isn’t exciting to them yet.  They did pretty well though!

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We had so much fun and were very grateful that my mom and Mark put together this activity for us to enjoy.  We only wish we had more time to go back and explore the old streets and sights!

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They loved getting to pet the horse.

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After that, we walked the market, hit up the Charleston tea & spice shop –yum!! We also enjoyed a nice lunch together on a rooftop–which I am totally blanking on. Mom?

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That was our final night in Charleston.  I believe I ordered this AMAZING Low Country dinner that night, which happened to be at our hotel restaurant.

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When we got up the next morning, Joe & I went off to Savannah, which I posted about here.

When we returned, we picked up the kiddos and checked into a Marriott in historic Charleston.  It ended up being a good place to walk to a lot of places!  We walked over to this BBQ joint which was quite delish!

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We made sure to make plenty of pit stops for ice cream, because, vacation.

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The next morning Joe found this amazing little French breakfast place, it was SO good!

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Brooke & Daddy basically had dessert for breakfast.

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I was pumped to have some Orangina!  It has been YEARS since I had this.  I’m thinking the last time was when we were in Paris on our honeymoon, 2010!

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We walked up to the market, hit up a Starbucks and let the kids rest here and there.  We stopped at this old water fountain and of course read the history all about it.

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We found some little Raw bar and the kids sort of ate whatever it was we ordered them.  Joe really enjoyed his lobster roll & I had a divine glass of rosé and some ceviché.

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That night we had a fancy dinner at the Charleston Hotel.  We all got dressed up and walked there.  On the way, Bradley kept seeing these bicycle guys and was throwing a FIT because he wanted to drive one!  We promised him on the way back to the hotel, we’d get one.

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The kids were PUMPED for their big bowls of popcorn!

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Mark, mom & us

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Our fun little ride back to the hotel.

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Overall Charleston is not extremely kid friendly, as it’s just a lot of walking, eating, history, and repeat.  I thought our 3 & 5 year olds did amazing!! They dined out at fancy restaurants and kept up with most activities.  My mom and Mark took them to the Aquarium the day Joe and I went to Boone Hall Plantation.

Joe and I had a drink at the Market Pavillion Rooftop bar that night and Saturday morning we went back home.

It really proved to us that we need to travel more.  Joe and I always went away a few times a year before kids and well, the idea of flying with babies terrified us.  We SO needed to get out and explore.  The kids are ready and it was so good for all of us to be in new places, get out of our routines and shake it up a little.

Not to mention, I really loved spending time with my mom.  We can’t wait to come back, or heck, just drop the kids off and keep heading South haha!!

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My Momma Got Married!

8:18 on 8.18.18 my mom got married!!

We traveled to Charleston, SC to be a part of her special day.

Bradley was the “Ring Bear.”

Brooke was the flower girl. We got her dress on Amazon. Miama Ivory Lace Tulle Wedding Flower Girl Dress Junior Bridesmaid Dress,Ivory,2T


They kind of stole the show!! They were so good and did a great job walking down the aisle together.

Joe escorted Jessica & I.

My grandma was escorted by two of my cousins.

My sister was close behind, but they didn’t need any help!

My Uncle Scott walked my mom down the aisle.

It was a bit hectic trying to coordinate a family shot, and this outtake was so funny.

We tried to get our family of 4, but at 8am in the morning, that’s asking a lot!

The ceremony was short, sweet & just beautiful.

Their first dance.

Cutting the cake.

Sisters.

My momma!

Ready for some Southern breakfast!

The DJ played all the Troll songs and we had fun on the dance floor. (although this may be Backstreet Boys ha!)

My sister grabbed a dress from David’s Bridal and my dress was from Venus.  I LOVED it and got so many compliments.  It was fitted underneath, but flowy on the outside, which was perfect for the beach. I thought I could wear it again next Summer! The ombre is so pretty. I got a size small.  Venus Dress

He also played our wedding song, “Then.”

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We finally got to meet Katie, a sweet southern girl my mom worked with.

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The wedding was beautiful and the weather was amazing!! It took place on Folly Beach at the Tides Hotel.  We welcome Mark into our family with open arms and are so happy for both mom and him.  Congratulations Mr & Mrs Williams!!

Pre-K Graduation

Somehow, our little baby girl has graduated preschool.  Back in May, we had a small celebration at her school and it was adorable!

I was on the graduation committee and helped put together a fun little night for kids and parents, grandparents, friends and family.

Our girl loves animals (She really wants a cat) and says she wants to be a Veterinarian when she grows up.  Sounds like someone else I know!  (I always said I wanted to be that until I actually shadowed in a Vet office in High School.  We shall see what happens though!)

Each student received a little bucket with some fun Summer items to enjoy after school let out.  Another mama knocked it out of the park and really went above and beyond for our littles!

The theme was “Our Future is So Bright, We’ve got to Wear Shades!”  So much love and energy with this group of kiddos, I honestly miss taking her each week.

It’s a cute tradition where each child wears Dad’s white button-down shirt backwards and a sash.  I went into the classroom and helped put little hands on the top of their caps.

Delicious and adorable cookies were snacked on!

Their yummy cake!

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Mama was so proud of all of the hard work she’s done over the last two years.

Little bro hung in there pretty well…the ceremony was kind of tough for him but he was super happy about the cake!

Brooke and her bestie, LiviRose.

Brooke Lynn,

Your future is SO entirely bright.  You will shine amongst all of the stars.  I know that this is simply the beginning really, not just the end.  You have blossomed from a little three year old baby girl into such a big, intelligent, & compassionate soul.

I know that you get frustrated with the things that you don’t yet know, but if there’s one thing (okay, there’s many…) but one of them is that you don’t have to be perfect.  There is no such thing as perfection. It doesn’t exist.  My main hope for you is to always keep going and that progress is always more important than perfection .

Work hard, play hard and love unconditionally.  You will meet lots of different people in your life and they will all teach you a lesson, serve a purpose or at the very least, leave an imprint on your path.

Daddy and I know that whatever direction you choose to go in life, you’ll be successful and our biggest is wish is that you do what makes you happy.

For now, we urge you to play, slow down, and enjoy childhood. You’re such a good helper, big sister and constantly wanting to learn new things.

Your love for numbers, reading books, riding your bike, playing creatively with your animals and water is so much fun to watch as you grow.

We cannot believe our oldest is off to Kindergarten, but we are so grateful to be your parents.  It’s hard to believe 5 years ago we were stumbling around with a 6 month old and here we are getting ready to put you on a school bus.

We love you with all of our hearts and will always do the best we can at giving you the world.  Great job baby girl, on two wonderful years at pre-k.  Let’s have an amazing year at Kindergarten!

Love,

Mommy & Daddy