Holy Crap… I Missed It!

I swear, I blinked and the first month of the year was gone…. *poof* GONE! 

There were so many good intentions I had geared up to kick of 2018, and well folks – we are running a little behind schedule! It is what it is.

It was a busy month, but I didn’t really get started on all the STUFF that I had planned.


I turn 40 very (very) soon.  I told myself I was going to get back into a gym routine – haven’t stepped foot in there yet! I wanted to do 40 Random Acts of Kindness before my birthday – but I should have started a week ago!  I have every intention of sharing more of the Young Living Oils and maybe grow that side gig a bit… Nope, haven’t done it.  Write here more often… *crickets*

What I did do – a quick work trip to the freezing parts of the country, a week sick at home (with a sick kiddo too), volunteered at little league try outs, ER visit with my love (for when he tried to cut his finger off with a knife while working in the garage), moved a bunch of crap out of the garage and into the house to organize/put away (it is still sitting in a pile)….  a whole lot of busy, with no traction on my goals.

I am a planner. I like to have a plan, even if it goes to crap.  The plan is still a guiding light in all the chaos.  I am a go-with-the-flow kind of person, but I get a little anxious if I don’t have a vague outline of what is next.  Okay, maybe more than a little anxious…  It freaks me out to not have a plan.

So…. It is a new month.  I still have 11 months to make 2018 kick ass.  I am not at all stressed that I haven’t gotten things started yet.  I still have a plan.  It will still happen.  If I start going to the gym now, all those New Years resolution people should have flaked out by now, and it will be less crowded.  I can still do 40 Random Acts of Kindness in honor of my birthday – but I may not get it all done before – oh well… it is more important to plan them to have meaning and impact than to fit a schedule.  And, I will work on that side gig – because everyone I love needs some oils in their life (I promise)!

It isn’t going to be easy, but I know I can crush my goals this year.  And I will plan for new goals along the way.  Getting old isn’t easy, and the number of tomorrows gets shorter and shorter….


You have a choice.  You can spend your days wishing you had done things, or you can spend your days remembering all that you have done while planning for what the next day brings.

A challenge for each of you…. Get out of your own way.  Live each day with potential.  Tell people you love them.  Show people your true colors.  Don’t waste your life putting on a show, when you have so many better things to do.  Here is the bottom line….  If you choose to be happy and be yourself, NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT FROM YOU!  NO ONE!  If people say you can’t do something, you should take complete pleasure in proving them wrong. You can do anything you set your mind to, and you don’t have to do it alone – just ask!

Happy February my friends…. go out and do something good!

#CrazyAsAMother #DoGoodThings #KindnessCounts #MyHairNowGrowsGlitterySilverStrands #ChooseHappy #FierceFebruary

Keep On, Keepin On

2017 wasn’t a great year.  It wasn’t perfect.  It wasn’t a total disaster.  It was definitely full of challenges, growth, learning – but I really cannot complain (and if I did, who would want to listen to me anyways)….

In 2017 – I lost my job.  I spent 6 months, looking for the right opportunity.  I stressed  – about money, about being out of work too long, about not having my degree…  I was depressed because I could not provide for my family in the manner that I was accustomed to.  I had to ask for help, and that is hard.  I had to depend on someone else, that was very hard.

But…. I got to spend 6 months, enjoying time with my kids.  I got to spend a summer vacation at home with them!  Granted, we didn’t have money to do a whole heck of a lot, and sports schedules kept us from doing anything longer than a day anyways – but I was able to spend quality time with my tween-agers… who won’t appreciate that as much in the years to come.  AND – I ended up with a kick ass job that I love (after some long interview processes and a lot of waiting) – but in the end, that challenge of losing my job turned out to be a multitude of blessings.

I spent a lot of my “time-off” at the hospital with my Pops.  As you know, 2017 kicked his ass repeatedly.  Any problem I thought I had last year, paled in comparison to what my dad was going through. It’s always great to have perspective.  We almost lost him.  He struggled for a long time to “recover”.  He is still in need of medical assistance, but MOST days he accepts that and is making the best of it.  His communication is clear.  Most days his mind is clear…. he is really coming back strong!  We took the grandsons over to see him this weekend, and he was happy – he is itching to see them all playing sports again soon!  Almost losing him sucked.  It scared me, more than I can ever put into words.  His recovery frustrated the hell out of me – there are still more questions than there are answers… but, he is here.  He is healthy enough to put up a good argument with us kids.  And for now, things are looking pretty good for the old man.

There were a million other little challenges, and two million other little good things (I got to help start a non-profit, which I LOVE; it is my last year volunteering at our elementary school, which is bittersweet).  Without touching anything political, I have to say that 2017 was a pretty okay year.  If nothing else, the opportunities that came from my challenges in the past year, have set me up for a pretty kick ass 2018.  I am looking forward to a really great year!

I did not set any bull-shit resolutions for this year – my only real goal: to be the best ME that I can be.  To take everything good in my life to the next level, and let go of any of the crap.


I really do love my job.  I love the challenges it presents, and the opportunity to grow and learn.  I really feel like I found my place and my people!  I have professional goals that include certifications, and possibly working towards that degree (finally)! When you like what you do, it is a lot easier to show up and do your best….

My kids are awesome.  Sure, they are occasionally a pain in the ass – as many 10 year olds can be…. but they are really growing into pretty cool people.  I like that we have open communication and can be straight forward with them as much as possible.  They are hitting their strive as independent thinkers – and while that can be challenging, it is rewarding as hell!  I love hearing from their teachers and coaches that they are doing well.  They are funny, smart, competitive, artistic, lazy, sarcastic, challenging little (or not so little) dudes & they make my life AMAZING.

Jerritt and I are doing great.  Sometimes, we are not on the same page, or even in the same book – but we are pretty darn good at figuring it out.  We have a whole bucket list of adventures on the horizon this year, and I am looking forward to whatever and wherever with him….. More on these planned shenanigans soon.

I turn 40 this year. While part of me feels like I am turning the corner to being OLD, part of me feels like my life is just getting started!  It is weird, not going to lie. Inspired by a friend, I will be doing 40 random acts of kindness, leading up to my big day.  Because why the hell not?!?  I am super excited to get this underway and have a draft of ideas already in the works!  And, to celebrate the big day, we may or may not be planning a good old fashioned “kegger” party….  just like the old days (you know, the 90’s).

Here are my ideas to help me with my resolution of kicking ass this year:

  • I plan to grow my Essential Oils business. Seriously, it’s not about making money (but of course that is always nice), but people need to know about this stuff. Life changing!
  • I plan to actually freaking exercise (I know that sounds cliche, but seriously – I lost 100 pounds, and need to start kicking butt on the last 40 that needs to go!)…. and let’s face it, I feel better when I work out.
  • I plan to visit with more friends and family – like actual travel to your house or meet you somewhere and spend some in person time together!  I only want to see phones to take pictures to carry us through to the next visit.  Even friends I see often, I plan to do more with….  Know who your tribe is, and make sure they know you are there for them no matter what!
  • I plan to write here more often… because y’all love me, right? Seriously though, I love sharing, and having this to look back on.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t plan on 2018 being all sunshine, rainbows and a bottomless wine glass!  I just plan to make the most of every single day (even if the MOST I want to make of a day is lay in bed and watch movies).  I CHOOSE to be happy.  I CHOOSE to not let others pull me down. You can either join me or get the hell out of my way – you cannot hold me back or be surprised when I cut you out for trying.  When there are shit-storms in life, you can either stand on the sidelines and complain about your situation, or you can get in there and muck your way out – and why not help others along the way?!?

So, go ahead and set your goals for 2018.  Make your resolutions…. but most of all, make yourself a priority.  Make your happiness the ultimate goal.  

Happy New Year!


#CrazyAsAMother #DontBeAVictim #ChooseYourHappy #LifeGoalsNotResolutions #Freakin40 #BeTheCorn



‘Tis The Season

It is such a busy time of year.  That isn’t news to anyone, right?!? I don’t know of any one of my friends that doesn’t have a list a mile long of things that need to get done between now and Monday….

Last minute presents to buy.  Stockings to stuff.  Stuff to wrap.  Laundry. Meals to cook. Shopping for food.  Entertaining littles while they are “enjoying” Christmas break from school.  Cleaning. Work.  Parties. Baking.  Cleaning. It goes on and on and on…. Does anyone really enjoy the Christmas Season?  Or have we gotten so far removed from what it SHOULD be about, that we forget to stop and just be…..

img_0342 I saw this image shared on Facebook this morning, and it gave me pause.  I really have been trying to scale it back, but really…. this is my Christmas bucket list moving forward.

I think the reason we drive ourselves crazy with making the holidays perfect, is for the right reasons.  We want everything to be perfect.  We want our kids to have these perfect, well wrapped, perfectly decorated holidays – the truth is, what will they really remember and cherish?  Will they remember ALL the crap you bought them?  Or would they remember when you got them a board game, and spent a few hours playing and laughing?  Will they remember the hours you spent in the kitchen, making the perfect turkey and all the fixins?  Yeah, the food was good – but were you even THERE, enjoying your family holiday?

When I think back to Christmas as a kid – I remember the time spent with family.  I don’t really remember any gifts.  I remember my Grandma and her siblings working hard in the kitchen all day, and us not getting to spend time with her until late – when she was tired and cranky… and didn’t seem to enjoy the day at all – it was like it was their duty, their calling in life.  BUT, we spent the holiday with an incredibly large extended family.  We laughed at how this well prepared meal (that literally took 2 days to cook), was cold by the time it hit the table… so, what was the point?!?

I miss the crap out of those big family holidays.  I miss my Grandma at this time of year, more than words can express.  If she were here, she would be 89, and she would be still insisting on working her ass off in the kitchen all day to serve a cold meal to anyone who walked through the door (sometimes the meals were warm, but it was always comfort food)…

Here is the thing.  My boys no longer believe in Santa, and that is okay.  It is sad, but our Christmas is still full of magic and fun.  We have talked a lot about giving this year, and both boys have cleaned out their rooms to make donations to those in need (without being asked to y’all #ProudMomMoment).  We put a lot of thought into their gifts this year, and tried not to over do it.  I have about 80% of my wrapping done.  There is still some work to do for sure, but I am trying to NOT stress about it.  I am trying to be in the moment and enjoy the people in my life amidst all the chaos.

This year we are not stressing about food.  We are going to order in…. go ahead and judge.  I cook my family some pretty darn good meals all the time.  For Christmas, I don’t want to spend my time in the kitchen (unless it is to refill my wine glass and grab another cookie).  I want to spend time with those I love.  I want to take pictures.  I want to play games.  I want to laugh and make real, solid memories.  My kids will spend part of their day with their Dad’s part of the family – I LOVE that they get to do that.  But I am going to be darn sure I spend the time I have with them, being present.

I sent Christmas cards this year.  A whole crap ton of them…. why?  Because who doesn’t love getting cards in the mail?  It is the only time of year I look forward to opening the mailbox!  And, I baked a whole lot of sweets… we delivered to several houses and yep, it was a lot of work and my kitchen was destroyed – but I REALLY enjoy doing it.  So then, it isn’t really like work, right?  AND… I take my time wrapping gifts, and making them all look beautiful with tied ribbon, and whatever extras…. I don’t care if I am giving you a stupid, cheap gift – It will look good under the tree damn it!  Again, I enjoy this part of the holiday, so it is what it is!

My house is a mess right now.  Just surface clutter, but still….  I was looking at it this morning, wondering when I will have the time to get it all done – tonight we have a pizza party for Nate’s travel baseball team (gifts and games all prepared last night), but there is stuff to clean!  Stuff to wrap!  UGH!!!!  But then I thought… who cares?  It will get done, it always does. I am going to enjoy my evening with our baseball family and not worry about anything else.

The boys spend Christmas Eve with their dad.  But when Jerritt called me yesterday and asked if we wanted to spend the day at a 49er game…. I almost said no.  Too much to do!  Stuff to get done!  It’s freakin Christmas EVE!!!  There is magic to create DAMN IT, don’t be ridiculous!  BUT… then I thought about it.  What better gift than a day with my love, watching my team (who has managed to start to look like a professional football team again)….  Shit will get done.  Or it won’t.  Either way, it’s okay.

It has taken a lot to get to this point in my life.  And I kind of love it.  I will be 40 in a few short months, and I am really prepared to make it the start of the best part of my life.

So to all the parents out there, who are losing their shit to have the perfect holiday – stop.  Just freaking be there and spend time with the family.  Let the mess wait, it will still be there.  Take pictures.  Be IN pictures (who gives shit what you look like)!  You don’t get this time back with family and friends, so don’t waste it being busy.  Let that be your gift, that you actually are ACTUALLY THERE, enjoying it all.


Know that my house is open for any friends, family, neighbors (who are like both)… Everyday, and yes, even Christmas.  We may be drinking in our pajamas, eating Chinese food, and playing games – but we always have enough to share.  If you need a time out from drama or grumpy people, please stop by.  We are embracing our crazy this year, and will be enjoying every minute of it.

#CrazyAsAMother #FrickAndFrack #SlowYourRoll #MerryElfinChristmas #AlwaysWelcomeAtOurHouse #CrazyIsOurSignatureColor #MakeMemories #EnjoyEveryMoment

Holiday Traditions, With a Side of Guilt

I love Thanksgiving.  Part of me misses the huge family gatherings with generations upon generations of family, cold food, and usually a dash or two of drama – but, they never were the same once we lost Grandma Millie.  But, I also really love our nice, quiet get together – where we eat what we want, when we want – we play card & board games, our home is open to whatever friends and family want to stop by.  No drama.  No stress.  A chance to truly reflect on the holiday and all that we have to be thankful for.

We had a super small group this year.  Just Jerritt, my mom, my sister, my nephew and the boys came by in the late afternoon for some desert and to play some games (and of course adventures of the new pup, Sophie & Cooper).  That’s it.  It was pretty awesome, and the food was delicious & plentiful.

After the big turkey day, we have a jam-packed weekend of tradition, kicking off the Christmas craziness….

  • Friday: Black Friday shopping with my sister
  • Saturday: Picking up our tree, Lights On Parade
  • Sunday: Decorate the tree & every freaking available surface in the house

I actually enjoy all the hustle and bustle.  It sets my spirits right for enjoying the next month of Christmas fun.  I didn’t buy a whole lot on our Friday excursion (except stuff for myself), but I did get some good deals, and enjoyed the day with my sis.  But buying for myself isn’t where my guilt came from, nor is it from eating entirely too much this weekend….  ugh. #FML

Remember how I told you about my Real Nightmare Before Christmas …. well, it happened.  I had the chance to spend a one on one day with Kevin before Thanksgiving.  We chatted about Santa, Christmas magic, tooth fairy, everything…. he was 100% certain that Santa was’t real – that it was all mom & dad.  He had caught Rich as the tooth fairy before (knowing where the money was stashed one morning when Nate couldn’t find it), and he had “scientific proof that the North Pole was nothing more than an uninhabited iceberg….” Well, crap.  Kevin is normally my sensitive soul, and I didn’t expect this from him.  But, he wasn’t upset.  He didn’t believe, and he is ready to help spread some Christmas magic of his own this year.  We did talk about him keeping the secret of Santa, and not telling people that he has “proof” he isn’t real.  This is OF COURSE after he has told his brother a few times this season that it isn’t real….

Kevin –  photo courtesy of Patty Schmidt Photography

So my Nate.  My cool guy, Mr. Popular, wants to be older, funny guy.  My Tater-Tot….. I sat down with him yesterday afternoon.  I told him what I believe as far as Santa, Christmas spirit, all the good stuff, trying to spin the positive, and not totally crush his beliefs – but telling him the truth…. He cried.  Like total, real tears, sobbing.  I thought I would die.  It is hard to try to cheer him up, when I feel like crawling in a fort with a bottle of wine and crying because I caused him pain.  He isn’t supposed to be my sensitive guy. He told me that he still believed, even though Kevin had done everything he could to convince him otherwise.  He told me he LOVED getting up each morning to see what shenanigans our Elf On the Shelf had gotten into.  I think he was more crushed about the elf than Santa.  I officially ruined the whole freaking holiday season for this kid.  And I feel like crap because of it.

Nate, my TaterTot.  (photo courtesy of Patty Schmidt Photography)

I know, I know…. several of you told me to let them keep believing.  The parental council (me, Jerritt & Rich) had all agreed that they were old enough (and we have had enough of the daily elf crap)… and I got to be the lucky person to break the news.  Well, it’s done.  Only one soul crushed.  No more nightly elf-escapades.  No more giving the big-guy credit for all the work we do.  Just disappointment and broken hearts….

Me & my boys! Photo courtesy of Patty Schmidt Photography…. look her up, she is awesome!

So, now I am on a mission.  I am going to make it the most freaking magical Christmas ever.  I am going to have them giving and feeling good about it.  I am going to show them the true meaning of Christmas.  And we will have fun doing it, damn it!

Now, if I can just get the new pup to stop eating all my Christmas decorations, we should have a freaking fabulous holiday….


P.S. The elf may make a few appearances this year – just some random fun surprises to brighten some days…

#CrazyAsAMother #ElfinRidiculous #MOTY #ThatDidntGoAsPlanned #MostWonderfulTimeOfTheYear


Be The Corn

I swear…. this is one of my favorite memories from this time of year.  It was a great teaching moment for my kids, and for me as a parent.

5 years ago, my boys were in Kindergarten… their first year at our amazing elementary school (this year is sadly our last).  We have had 5 years of awesome teachers, staff and volunteers.  Our Ladd Lane family goes above and beyond, and when people tell me how great my kids are, those folks played a BIG part in shaping their personalities.  I am so very thankful…

Each year at the school, the kinder classes learn the story of Thanksgiving, and craft costumes of either Pilgrims or Indians, and do a little parade around campus.  It is the cutest. The boys’ teacher that year, Mrs. Raper, asked each student what they wanted to be to represent Thanksgiving, and each child chose to be either a Pilgrim or an Indian.

Then, there is my kid.  I’m talking about Kevin. My sensitive, smart, crafty, sometimes moody little dude.  He has ALWAYS marched to his own tune.  He is an individual beyond measure – I think my twins really TRY to have NOTHING in common.  They have a lot of the same traits, that they show in their own ways – but never the same traits at the same time (can you say Gemini Twins?!?).

Kevin wants to be corn. In his 5 year old mind, corn represents Thanksgiving.

What Mrs. Raper did (or actually didn’t do) blew me away.  It might not seem like a big deal, but it really is.  She did not tell him that he was wrong.  She did not ask or encourage him to go along with the instructions and BE an Indian or a Pilgrim.  She let him be corn.  She went out of her way to help him make a “corn” costume so he could be himself that day.  Now, it WAS cute as hell…. but more importantly – it was Kevin.

Corny Kevin & Pilgrim Nate – 16 November 2012

I mean gosh – it would be so easy to make him go along with the class.  Do do what he was instructed to do.  To be who we want him to be.  But, who does it hurt if he wants to be corn? Think about it (I am talking BIG picture here people)….  


Yes, you should teach your kids right and wrong.  You should guide them to build their own moral compass.  But you should teach them that they can do it their own way.  They can be themselves and not be judged, but be supported.  Teach them that it is okay to stand out, and to stand up for yourself.  Teach them that there are times when the world will try to drag them down with judgement and ridicule – but to look for the good in people and use that to build themselves up.  You know what parents – you need to stick up for your kids.  You need to be their biggest cheerleader.  Know when they are faced with the hard stuff, teach and build and help them grow into strong & compassionate people.

It is a scary world.  I hate that there is so much evil to stress about in this world – maybe it has always been there – but technology has put it right in our faces 24-7. Sheltering your kids or trying to force them to comply to the social norm is (in my opinion) a big part of what is wrong with society today.  Y’all – the proper way to deal with bad feelings, bullying, disappointment, mental health issues… has got to be something other than a mass shooting.  That cannot be the answer, and yet it seems to happen EVERY DAY.  

So keep it simple:  Be the corn.  Or the tater(s).  Or whatever you want to be.  Do that. Be you.  Don’t let anyone tell you to be someone else. 

#CrazyAsAMother #FrickAndFrack #BeTheCorn #YouDoYou #Thankful #LaddLaneRocks #TeachersMakeAWorldOfDifference #BeTheChangeYouWantToSeeInTheWorld

Photo courtesy of Patty Schmidt Photography.  Kevin chose to wear some color while the rest of us wore black – because he is AWESOME!

Sometimes They Surprise Me…

Things are crazy as usual around here.  We are always, always, always on the go.  I have been doing pretty good with not complaining, and I have to say it feels pretty amazing.  No one needs that kind of negativity in their lives, and I don’t miss spreading misery.

As you know, I write shit down.  If I didn’t, we would all be lost.  Seriously.  I am the keeper of the calendar.  The meal planner.  The schedule monitor.  We have a lot of moving pieces in our family, and I use what tools are necessary to keep us on track.

I am always thinking and planning ahead…. how are we going to get one kid here for practice, the other up to a tournament?  Who is going to pick them up?  Drop them off?  Be home for dinner?  Plans are just plans, and they are thankfully VERY flexible – but I like to have a plan….

The meal calendar we have on our dining room wall, I update every Sunday.  Usually the end of the week and Saturday are spur of the moment (unless we have an occasion) – so I don’t usually plan much – but I also use it to write plans if we aren’t going to be home… more importantly, if I am not going to be home to cook dinner.

This week, I spied the cutest little update to the Menu board.  I don’t know for sure which little added it (I have my guess), but it sure made me smile & damn thankful for these amazing little humans we are raising….

the M is for Mom, because I don’t have an actual name, but the gesture is adorable….

#DateYourMate #CrazyAsAMother #MyKidsAreAwesome #WriteShitDown

The REAL Nightmare Before Christmas

Y’all…. I am stressing about the holidays this year.  Not for the normal reasons – this is a big freaking deal.

Our boys are 10 this year (well, 10 1/2 technically)….  I have my suspicions that AT LEAST one of them doesn’t believe in Santa Claus.  That means that the other has been told Santa isn’t real.  Ugh… twins suck, sometimes.  So what do we do?!? If we don’t come clean and tell them that Santa isn’t real, the one son will certainly torment and try to tear apart the magic for the other (little assholes that I love)…  So I guess this is the year that I tell my kids we are liars.


Parenting & adulting is the hardest thing – like ever.

In this day and age, I know they can look up whatever on Google, YouTube, or ask Siri….  In fact, they had me ask Siri a couple of years ago, thankfully she is shady AF and gives good answers!  Maybe they know, but not really know, you know?


So do I let them figure things out on their own?  Do I let their disappointment in us and our lifetime web of lies creep in and destroy their holiday spirit? Or do I find a way to break it to them gently, without breaking their hearts…. let’s face it, no matter how cool they act on the outside, finding out that something magic isn’t what you think , is crappy.

I don’t remember when I figured it out as a kid.  It obviously didn’t scar me for life – if I had to guess, my sister & cousin probably ruined it for me (4 years older).  But, I do not remember being upset.  I do not remember my parents worrying about it, and I turned out relatively fine (I think).  But, I feel like I want to give my kids more than that. I don’t want to be the Grinch who Stole Christmas….


So here are my thoughts – and I honestly would love to hear what you think.  I probably won’t go full-Pinterest mom and write a mushy letter about how much they have grown, and blah, blah, blah….  Let’s face it, my kids are smart and sassy (no idea where they get that), and also a little crazy (definitely not me).  But, I feel like I need to find the right way to tell them what I believe.

I believe in the magic of Christmas.  I believe that it is a time of year where people open up their hearts and are more thoughtful and giving than any other time.  I believe in going above and beyond to make lives a little brighter, and to keep the magic alive for everyone, but especially little ones.

I believe in Santa.  I do.  I believe that Santa is a lot of people, who keep the spirit of Christmas alive.  I believe he lives in our hearts – not at the North Pole.  I believe Santa is the magic and love and spirit of giving to others.  I believe that Santa teaches us to believe in something we can’t see or touch – and that is an important thing in life…  And I believe in the importance of carrying this magic on year after year, generation after generation.  No, we are not “the” Santa, but we are like his elves – Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness, we are just part of the team.

Yeah, I will explain that it was us that chose and wrapped their presents.  I will tell them that the gosh darn Elf On The Shelf was all us, doing our job to share the magic of Christmas (some very late and crazy shenanigan planning, that I will no longer stress about).  Seriously – I glued together Popsicle sticks last year to make him a freakin tree house….

Elf on the Shelf-Backlash

So, I know what I want to say…. I just don’t know how. It isn’t an “Oh by the way….” type of conversation.  But I feel like this is the year we need to tell them.  Rich & Jerritt are on board with telling them (because the elf).  And I actually KNOW that the elf will appear in some funny/inappropriate situations this year (because boys/men are gross & they share an odd sense of humor), but the kids will enjoy it on a different level.  And I am sure I will still have reason to be up until 3 am during the holidays, making some kind of magic happen – AND I AM OKAY WITH THAT.

It really sucks.  They can’t stay little forever.  I get that.  But I hope, beyond any other Christmas miracle, that I can tell them the truth and keep the Christmas spirit alive… I’m probably stressing over nothing.  They probably gave up believing long ago – but crap, let a mom hold on to their childhood a bit longer, okay?!?

So, what do you think?  How should this whole bombshell go down?  Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas?  Do your ideas involve wine, because mine do…. (for me, not the kids, I swear)! Help a momma out!!!

#CrazyAsAMother #IDontWantToBeAGrinch #ChristmasSpirit #TherapyForChristmas #HelpMeNotScrewUpTheirChildhood #GoodbyeElf

For Reals Though…

This morning, as I was snoozing through my alarm (for an hour or so), I was in the midst of a super annoying dream.  If you have read a post or two of mine, I am a pretty straight forward kind of gal.  If I want you to know something, I will tell you.  If it doesn’t really matter, I won’t go out of my way.  I don’t like to cause friction, but I won’t sugar coat life.

I actively avoid drama. But, this annoying dream made me realize something.  Maybe I AM guilty of complaining too much?

Here is a snapshot of the crappy dream (which may be based on some real life events)…  Jerritt was bitching at my mom about the garbage can in the kitchen being too full, and the dog getting into it.  Then I started bitching at both of them that the garbage is always too full, and doesn’t get taken out, unless I do it.  So as I was mumbling at/about both of them who are talking about the garbage, I grabbed the bag to take it out.  In my dream, I walked past Kevin in the kitchen, who was making chocolate milk.  There was so much chocolate in there, that it hardly looked diluted…. so I made some sort of snarky comment to him about NEVER having chocolate milk again, and he just gave me a sly smile and said sure mom, while Nate laughed and encouraged him to add more chocolate….

That is all I remember (I don’t often remember my dreams, and I may need therapy – but that isn’t the point).  And I am NOT going to say that these conversations have taken place in our kitchen. But I can’t fully deny it either.  But – here is what stuck with me (when I hopped out of bed in a panic, because I was running behind)….  In my dream, I didn’t do anything to make anything better.  I didn’t fix anything.  I bitched and complained, and hinted at things that bothered me – and NOTHING CHANGED.

Crap.  Maybe I am falling into a trap, where I am expecting folks to live up to expectations that I don’t tell them I have.  Seriously – how can I expect a house full of males to KNOW that they are pissing me off, if I don’t explicitly tell them.  We all know that waiting for them to pick up on the signals will lead to a lifetime of disappointment.  I have even had whole conversations with Jerritt how it annoys me when I see this in other houses. Damn it!!! I hate when I realize that I have been a hypocrite!


So starting today…. I am going to make a very conscious effort to not complain.  For reals… it doesn’t solve anything.  I am not going to excuse it away, saying I am “venting”, not complaining.  It is the same thing.  Bitching about things, but not contributing a single effort to change things is a waste of time.  A waste of life.

Take a minute and think about the last thing you were complaining about…. did your words and attitude do anything to make your life better? Let’s take my dream for an example…. I can either mutter things under my breath about the garbage not being taken out, and end up doing it myself – OR – I can simply ask – “Jerritt, will you please take out the garbage?”(and possibly end up taking it out myself anyways… but hey, at least I tried).


My mom (I love her to death), is famous for making snarky comments and expecting change….  Really, I do love you mom! It drives me bananas.  I find it passive aggressive, and solves NOTHING.  And yet….  I think I have been falling into this rabbit hole lately, and it has been causing a strain on the whole house.  Think about how much easier life would be, if there were not a cloud of misinterpretation and misunderstanding?!?!

If I really want you to DO something – I can either make hints about it, or directly communicate my expectations or request.  I’m no genius, but if I were a betting girl, I would guess that the “hint” would miss the mark MOST of the time!

I will take it a day at a time…. then a week at a time.  I am going to replace my habit of complaining into a habit of changing.  If something doesn’t work – I can take steps to make it better, or adjust my expectations.  But – I no longer want to waste time with negative fillers.  Life is too short for that crap.  It will be a hard habit to break.  And, if I start bitching to you without offering a solution, please call me on it!  


Anyone else want to give it a try?  I expect to see some big (positive) changes in my life to come from this….  Come on – what have you got to lose?!? I challenge you (whoever read this to the end) – 24 hours without complaining.  Let’s do this!!!

#CrazyAsAMother #QuitYourBitchin #ForgetSubtleHints #BeDirect #NoComplaints





Hustle & Heart

This morning (just like yesterday morning), I did not want to get out of bed. I showered, got ready & snuggled back down for a minute…. I could have stayed there all day. I had slept just fine.  In fact, both the past couple of nights, I got a solid 6-7 hours of sleep, and that is pretty darn good!  And yet, I am just too tired to “adult” any more this week.

Why I am tired isn’t a great mystery.  I have been running around the past few weeks like a chicken with my head cut off!  People ask me how I get it all done, and why I push myself so hard.  The short answers are: I don’t get it all done (especially not alone), and I push myself because I can!

We have had a lot going on… I’m not talking about the job I am paid to do (which is busy and wonderful).  I am talking about all the volunteer stuff, kid stuff, life stuff.  I love being such an active part in my kids lives and activities.  I have already told you about my village that helps to get it all done in an earlier post called I Love My Tribe .  Seriously, I would have had to cut way back on my volunteerism without them – or I would die trying to do it all…. Either way, thank goodness they are here and have my back.

Here is a snapshot of the past couple of weeks for me….

First – I ATTEMPT to keep things organized.  I tote around this big ol’ planner, where I write everything down – color coded based on what or who the activity is for.  I also meal plan and try to keep the week organized based on what I think is going on that week. Sometimes the plan is just that, a plan – we go with the flow for the most part….

My planner…. a side note – I failed my goal of getting to the gym, but I drank wine 2x that week!

School Stuff – I have been a part of the leadership for Ladd Lane Parent Club for a long time.  Now, I only have twins, and they are in their last year at this beloved school – but I have been volunteering since the year they were born.  My sister is a single mom, and I was by her side, helping in Parent Club for 5 years before my kids started going there!  This is my tenth and “final” year volunteering with these amazing folks.  I have a few projects and events I am heading up – and help when and where I can with it all!  There is no slacking off for our final year – we will go out with a BANG!

Last week I finalized plans for our Mother/Son Halloween Dance, put together 700 copies of a See’s Candy fundraiser packet to send home with every student, put together a concise list of instructions for the See’s fundraiser – since I won’t be there next year, posted several social media reminders about school events, created tickets for the Mother/Son dance, purchased bags for the dance/dinner pre-sales, distributed the 700 copies to teacher boxes, counted the dance pre-sales to get our food order placed, and purchased costumes for the dance…. whew!

This week just finalizing the dance plans… Our Mummys & Monsters Dance is going to be a blast! I will be decorating on Friday and ready to enjoy my last dance with my kiddos at that school.  The boys (not just mine, but most of the male students), have been complaining for years that the girls’ dance is bigger & better – and it has been… we always try to cram these in after the holidays, the middle of baseball season.  My friend and fellow boy mom has been working with me this year to make our last boys’ dance the best one they have had!  We are leaving a legacy behind for those who follow…

Baseball – So you know…. we just started our own Travel Baseball team with a few other families.  It is so much fun!  We have just finished our second tournament, and we have such an amazing group of families!  I never do things half-way.  There is the potential (hope) that we will have this travel ball team for years and years to come. So that means I have been filing for tax id, preparing to file for tax exempt status, chasing sponsors, setting up fundraisers, setting up the bank account – creating an “executive board”, articles of association, a roster of parent “booster” members….  A lot of stuff.  But, once it is done, and we get through the initial craziness, it will be smooth sailing!  This past week, I have been wrapping up organizing our first fundraiser!  I have been chasing donations for a raffle, selling dinner tickets for/with my kiddo, chasing families for their money/tickets to be turned in, finalizing our banking, paying for our event in advance & gathering orders for sweatshirts and hats for our families to rock! That event is tomorrow, and I am looking forward to it!


Don’t forget we also have Soccer, Art Class, Scouts, Advanced Band…. so many kids activities and so little time.  Thankfully (sometimes regrettably), they don’t have the need for volunteers to help run things, but I do what I can when I can.  Sometimes we struggle just to be everywhere we need to be, when we need to be there!

And… last week Jerritt was out of town for work from Thursday through Sunday night.  That threw a wrench into our well-oiled machine!  While it did mean I didn’t not have to feed anyone for a couple nights, it meant that I had to figure out how to be everywhere for everyone – baseball in Santa Cruz on Saturday, soccer in Hollister Sunday morning, and then baseball again on Sunday….

My weekend kind of went like this….  I packed lunch for the kids and I and went to Santa Cruz on Saturday for 2 baseball games.  Get a call from Jerritt that he lost his ID and credit card in New Orleans. Home at a decent time, made dinner for the kids and had to wash uniforms & send Jerritt pictures of the ID stuff we had at the house.  Of course – Nate had a dirty uniform from 2 weeks prior (he forgot to wash at his dads)… It needed to soak, but we didn’t have time for that.  I went to wash Kevin’s soccer uniform – only to find he left it at his dads house.  After dinner, I decided to make up a big batch of my famous pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for the team and families on Sunday.  I let Rich know he had a dirty soccer uniform that needed his attention, and finally crashed out!  Up early Sunday – feed kids, pack lunches again, load up the car and go.  First to Rich’s house to drop off Nate (in his sorta clean uniform), and have Kevin change into his soccer uniform.  Off to soccer – which started 15 minutes late because the refs were not on time… I gave Jerritt a play by play of the game, because the coach hates missing a game!  Finish the soccer game and hop in the car to Santa Cruz.  Wouldn’t you know, they started early (of course), so we missed the first couple of innings…. but we made it! Both baseball games this weekend were intense (like the most stressful I have ever been to) – but we squeaked by a win with both and got first place (after losing 2 on Saturday)!



The only thing that allowed me to keep my sanity this weekend, was the glass of wine with good friends/team families when we got back to town on Sunday – without that, I am sure I would have taken a little longer to unwind!  That, and knowing that Jerritt’s flights had landed safely, and he was coming home.


Right now it is hard for me to imagine weekends without all the running around.  And evenings where one organization or another doesn’t need some of my time….  For now I will just give it all I got and try to not stress about the small stuff!

#CrazyAsAMother #VeryBusy #LoveMyTribe #CaffeineIsMyFavorite #IMayHaveBribedTheTeamWithAPromiseOfMoreCookies #LoudAndProud #MoreWinePlease

I Am A Serious Sleeper

I love sleep.  I really do.  It is my chance to reset, rest my brain, be still.  Being still is a challenge for me….

I sleep like a rock.  I fall asleep fast.  I sleep hard.  I can sleep anywhere – lights, noise, whatever…. most of the time at least (I will tell you about the things that do wake me in the middle of the night, and I am not very gracious when I am woken up)!

Last night, after work I ran all over town to take care this volunteer gig, and then another… When we finally sat down, ate leftovers for dinner, and watched TV – I was DONE.  We watched one recorded show and then decided it was an early bed night.  We don’t have the kids on most Wednesday through Friday nights… so I didn’t need to stay awake to adult!  By 9 pm, I was tucked into bed to read for a bit.  Half a page later (and before Jerritt ever walked into the room), I was OUT! I slept solidly through until my alarm started at 3:30 this morning.  I hit snooze at least 3 times before I could convince myself to start the day….  I need to be getting my ass up and going to the gym – but we will talk about that some other time!

My life is crazy busy – by my own design.  I hustle hard. I love my job, but going to work is work.  I am helping start a non-profit travel baseball team for one kid.  I do what I can to support soccer for the other.  I volunteer at school (it is our last year in elementary).  I take pictures at every event.  I do yearbook.  I help drive kids to practices, art class… wherever.  Fundraisers – for different things – ALL YEAR LONG! I do the grocery and other shopping.  I cook meals – for at least half the week (thank goodness for kid-less nights & leftovers).  I fold and put away laundry (Jerritt usually helps get it washed and dried).  The family helps me keep the house clean.  I am trying to figure out how to get stared with my advanced education….. I have a million things going on in my head at any given time – so when I am done, I am done.  And just like that – I am able to turn it off & get the rest that I need.  Pretty sure if I didn’t, I would die.


I think in addition to just being tired from all the crazy – I sleep well, because I am pretty darn content with my life.  I don’t stress over things that aren’t perfect.  I let things go and know that things will work out – one way or another & I have great people around me to help me through any challenges.  I’ve learned over the years that you aren’t going to “fix” anything by letting it keep you awake at night.  Being over tired leads to more stress.  More stress leads to more sleeplessness…  It is a viscous cycle, and if you are in it, you have to find your way out!

I have had insomnia before.  It sucks.  I am glad it only happens once in a great while, and I feel sorry for those who suffer from it for long periods of time.  Jerritt has a hard time falling asleep – so I am sure I drive him crazy.  Luckily for him, losing 100 pounds mean I snore a lot less!

Now don’t get me wrong.  I spend a lot of late nights working all all the extra in my life (and still have get my ass up for work). Don’t even talk to me about sleep around holidays or special occasions…. I’m the mom who will stay up all night to make sure Christmas morning is perfect – and usually the first one awake (damn it – wake up and appreciate all the hard work I did to create magic)!!! And I can (usually) stay awake in social situations. Occasionally I will stay awake watching something good on TV, or finish a really good book.


But USUALLY,  if I am sitting still, and especially there if our dog is snuggled up next to me – most of the time I am going to fall asleep.  It can be the most interesting thing in the world playing out in front of me, and I will crash out.  As soon as I stop working on one thing or another, I am gone.  It is kind of ridiculous, and totally awesome at the same time.

You can have full on conversations with me in my sleep.  I will have no clue.  I can sleep sitting up.  I can lay on the ground or couch and not complain.  I can usually sleep through the kids getting up at night – Kevin can be a sleepwalker…. and why we put a hotel lock on our front door when he was little.  I can sleep through whatever action movie or wrestling Jerritt puts on the tv in our room.  We have a huge, comfy sleep number, dual adjustable bed.  It is amazing.  Pair that with a lovely diffuser and some amazing essential oils – and there is no way not to sleep….

EXCEPT – I literally sleep on the very edge of the above mentioned large and comfy bed.  The VERY EDGE.  I hold on to my blankets for dear life, so I don’t freeze – thankful I don’t roll off.  While I do fight Jerritt for the covers, it is not him who puts me to the edge of the bed…. It is the damn dog that we love so much!

This pup loves him some snuggles… his sleep number is 35, by the way.

Cooper looks pretty small.  He shouldn’t take up much room, right?!? Apparently, my sleep number works so well for him, he has decided it is his side of the bed.  This dog LOVES to sleep under the covers (usually with his head on my pillow – ridiculous, I know).  He stretches out as long as he possibly can, his back right up against mine, and his legs out to the other side.  I am convinced he is trying to push me off, but he just hasn’t succeeded yet.  I can’t even move to push him over!  He has me stuck unless I get out of bed and pick him up and move him…. And then he will growl at me!  I wish I was kidding.  I have woken up to cuss at the cute little shit more than once – as my back was completely cramped up and I was freezing with no blankets….  It is a good thing he is cute, because the nights his shenanigans keep me awake, I am not a happy camper.


Speaking of middle of the night shenanigans….  Jerritt.  When he does sleep, he also sleeps pretty hard.  He is one of those that will roll over and take ALL the blankets with him.  Ugh.  But that isn’t even the worst part.  He freaking steals my pillow!!!  Right out from under my fucking head!  I instantly wake up – so mad!  Sometimes I can grab it before he can pull it all the way out from under me.  Sometimes he steals it and throws it on the ground on the other side of the bed!  One night, I grabbed it back so fast – I knocked over my lamp, diffuser, oil stash…. the whole thing went flying.  And then… in the morning he asks me how I slept….. I get sooooo mad!  He has NO RECOLLECTION of torturing me the night before. I want to punch him so hard when this happens – I really do.  I am not a violent person, but this about pushes me over the edge.  Oh, and did I mention that he sometimes sleeps diagonally across the bed?!? Its a good thing I love him, because some nights I feel like killing him…

These two often need a nap to recover from their middle of the night torment….

I am so crabby when my precious sleep gets interrupted.  It is very much not like me.  But damn it – leave me alone when I am sleeping!  This is a tiring season in life.  We have so much good going on, and not enough hours in the day to make it happen.  At some point this season will end, and I can catch up on sleep then….

For now, I will keep attempting to sleep hard when I get the chance!   I’m thankful the boys are reaching the age of sleeping in (not that our schedules allow us to enjoy it), but hey – there are occasions!  I will take the elusive lazy weekend days that we spend in bed and order food in.  Make every restful minute count!

#CrazyAsAMother #TiredAsAMother #CoopersSleepNumberIs35 #LeaveMyPillowAlone #IfYouLoveMeLetMeSleep