Daily Dose of Awesome

When you first get married you think, WOW! This is the best day ever! We are going on a honeymoon every year. We will always feel this happy. Life is good!

Fast forward 10 years.

Married life is a little more complicated than that. No more honeymoons. Forget time alone. We feel old as shit sometimes. The wrinkles plus gray (or no hairs) are settling in.

But life is still good! In fact, it is better than I could have imagined 10 years ago on our wedding day.

So when I came across this free event from Today’s 101.9, I jumped on it! Then I ran it past my husband, who has never really been on ice skates. 🤞

But we did it. And so did many other couples. Some married for the very first time and others over 30 years! It was an experience I think we’ll always remember.

Not to mention my parents and our children got to be there with us! We held the “reception” at Dave & Buster’s afterwards. At least it was less expensive than the original!

Point is, make sure you take the time to let your partner know how much they mean to you. We get lost in the day to day. You begin to wonder if they still feel the same way…

I’ve learned that love is something you do, not something you feel. It’s a coffee, a note or a full tank of gas. It’s sickness and health and all the kiddie germs in between.

I’m glad he decided to marry me all those years ago but I am THRILLED he wanted to marry me again. Here’s to the next 10.

For more info, visit:

https://todays1019.radio.com/blogs/valentines-day-wedding-ice#//

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Boys Will Be

Boys will be crazy and boys will be loud. Snakes, snails and puppy dog tails – isn’t that what they say?? Naked laughter, endless snacks and a whole lotta farting.

My boys LOVE to jump in puddles. They feed wild animals and chase big bugs. They are obsessed with climbing and jumping off things. It makes my heart flip upside down!

These boys get angry and lose their temper and can be so mean to one another. Oh, but these boys can forgive. They can hug it out. They are learning to use their heart when necessary.

I love all the many things about being a #boymom. But raising them as good humans is my only goal. Is 3 boys some kind of punishment and we should be trying for a girl?? NO THANKS.

They do chores, they know it’s not always up to mommy to get everything done. Daddy works hard all day every day and he still can do the dishes. So these boys follow suit.

They like watching American Ninja Warrior but they also snuggle up with us to watch Frozen. It’s called balance.

They like games and puzzles and building things just to knock them down. They still adore their stuffed animals and are super gentle with babies. They are everything I could hope for in a son.

But don’t just assume “boys will be boys”. They are as loving as they are wild. As dirty as they are creative. And as genuine as they are cute. They are my pride and joy.

Because one day these boys will be men. Friends, husbands, fathers. So today they need a mom. One who is tough but still leads with her heart. Who lets them cry in her arms. A mom who really doesn’t know what she’s doing but she really cares to do it well.

Boys will be kind and caring and patient. Boys will be curious and smart. Boys will know there is a time for work and a time for play. You boys can get as nasty as you want, but I’m still going to make you shower!

Boys will be… whoever they want to be. All that matters is we love them regardless. 💕

Thankful

Thankful for waking up this morning to a new day. Bright and early, warm coffee with a little writing.

Thankful for my husband, out the door already. Always giving me a kiss goodbye. Always working hard.

Thankful for our sleeping babies upstairs. It’s been a rough couple weeks (I say that every week) but we made it!

Thankful for good schools and good friends close by. Making this town feel more like home every day. Helping our children grow and succeed.

Thankful for the witching hour, when things get wild and crazy. When laughter shrieks throughout the house. When floors get pounded by little feet.

Thankful for the nap time, to slow things down. Giving us moments to relish in the silence.

Thankful for cold snow days followed by warm hot baths. Talking about silly things. Drinking (and inevitably spilling) hot chocolate.

Thankful for warm days in the sun. After melting away from winter, the beauty of spring is indescribable. Thankful for the privilege of watching the world bloom around us.

Thankful for sleepless nights. Yes, I am. Because someone still needs me. Because in the middle of the darkness they call out my name. And I am here.

Thankful, also, for sleeping in. DUH. For a husband who will cook breakfast, lunch and dinner. Who will take care of me when I’m down.

Thankful for sick days, warm snuggles on the couch and movies for days. For access to doctors and medicine within hours. For healing together and bringing the smiles back.

Thankful for the crazy amount of memories. For laughing so hard I pee. For being scared out of our damn minds. For every single moment together.

Thankful for learning to trust. And to have patience. Endless amounts of patience.

But most of all, thankful for being parents. Thankful for understanding the true meaning of unconditional, undying, do anything, can’t live without you kinda love.

Thankful for making mistakes. For showing our babies that we are human too, and we are doing our best.

Thankful for you! Everything that you are, on good days or bad days, is special to me.

Thankful to God, for answering our prayers and not our questions. For instilling a sense of hope in someone hopeless. For listening to my heart.

Being truly thankful has nothing to do with anyone else. It’s simply seeing what was always there, regardless of the situation. Accepting YOUR reality without reasoning, and choosing the brightest side of it.

Thankful for a job well done. For my aching body in bed at the end of another long day. The hardest job I will ever love. In the midst of bat shit crazy, step back and breathe.

Let go of expectations and embrace life in this moment. Exactly how it is. We have so much to be thankful for.

Daily Dose of Cuteness

You know, sometimes the tiniest gesture of kindness can make all the difference.

On a random morning rush into preschool, I got this lovely note from one of the aides.

Before attending this school our paths never crossed. She’s a grandmother of at least 10 and has lived here her whole life. I am a mother of 3 who is still adjusting to life in Baltimore with no family nearby.

But every day she is smiling, so happy to see us, so sweet with the kids… it feels like we have known her forever.

This day was no different and although I always say this, it is so true… life is crazy. Life kicks my ass. And life can be hard.

I feel like I never catch a break. I feel like I can’t do it all, even though I try so damn hard. And I feel like I am falling behind.

And as these thoughts run through my brain as I rush out the door to the next thing, she hands me this note.

With a picture of Our Lady of the Unborn, she writes, “Dana, you are a wonderful mother. Your boys are the best. And the cutest.”

And just like that, my perspective changed. It doesn’t always make sense to listen to the opinions of others. But this is one of those times we should.

So often we take the negative comments to heart, but what about the positive?

This cute little note helped set the course of my day on a better path. A little boost of confidence and I didn’t let the mindless inconveniences of the day being me down.

Never underestimate the power of kindness. You never know who might need to hear it. Love works through us ❤

Start Again

You know, this blog has me feeling like a liar sometimes. It’s like I am speaking through some secret identity, which is super positive and encouraging. You can almost see the light beaming out of my eyes. But I am not always that girl.

It started off with little things. Cut my finger while slicing strawberries. Kids stepping in dog poop. Leaving for school to find out I have no gas. Freezing cold wind that hurts my face. The typical morning routine.

Yet we powered through the day. Checked things off our list. With a smile nonetheless. Life is so good, I thought. And it is. But later on, things took a turn and I somehow became overwhelmed with my emotions and it was OFF WITH MY HEAD.

I wanted to treat the kids (and myself) to Chick fil A. The drive thru line was packed and took waaaaay longer than I thought. The anxiety of being late started making my heart pulsate through my shirt. I rushed back to the bus stop and made it just in time with a car full of deliciousness.

Somehow, in the 2 minutes of shuffling kids back into the car, they decided to go apeshit. Spilled lemonade. Milkshakes upside down. Nuggets everywhere. 3 little boys with straws in their mouth, yet all 3 maintain their innocence.

I was pissed to say the least. And I let them have it. Everyone was crying and/or screaming. I threw a blanket over my soaking wet seat, put it in reverse and backed up… right into another car.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuucccckkkkkk.

I am not playing the victim here. I felt so terrible. I let this happen because I got overrun with anger. Angry at the kids, angry at myself, angry at the world for the way this day had unfolded. I put everyone inside, cleaned out the car and then… I cried.

It always comes to this doesn’t it?!?! Crying. Thinking I am so terrible. Thinking I need to have a good excuse for messing up. Since when do we need to validate being imperfect? All my life it has felt like this. Like I am walking a thin line between who I am and who I am supposed to be. But trying to live your life through someone else’s eyes will only make you go blind.

Live and learn. Don’t let your emotions take over your logic! It’s hard for me to keep a level head all the time. There’s just too much going on. I try and I try but some days just get the best of me. All that matters is I keep trying. To be the BEST ME.

What’s important is that I talk through it with my kids. I apologize for overreacting about their simple mistakes. I will do better next time. All I care about is being the mom THEY need, at any given moment. It’s not easy managing 3 different personalities!

When they see me screw up or lose my temper, they love me anyway. So I want to be sure they know it is reciprocated. That we will ALWAYS love them, no matter what. It’s okay. We all have those moments of weakness when something builds up or sets us off. We are only human. We have the permission to be REAL.

I say it all the time, social media is just the highlights. Do NOT be fooled. This #madmom is giving you an exclusive look behind the scenes. It can get a little nasty. But a little lighthearted honesty never hurt anyone. I just want you to know, I’m a hot mess too. Still learning to let it go and move on.

If you feel like you can’t do it, take my hand. I’ve been there. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You deserve more. Today is another day. Let’s start again. 💕

How To Be A Mom

I can teach you how to roller skate. I can help you paint a picture. I will run fast with you down the road. But I can’t tell you how to be a mom.

I can assure you that they will eventually ditch the pacifier, get potty trained and be just fine. I can tell you things usually get super frustrating before they get easier. But I can’t tell you how to be a mom.

I remember going to the pregnancy classes and learning how to change diapers. I had no idea how to even change a freaking diaper. Bottles? Fevers?? School??? How am I going to manage all that?!?!

Now that’s like all I do. #bossbitch

I can tell you a lot of things. I can tell you about my favorite diaper bag or my comfiest leggings or that time I locked my son in the car (still feel terrible). But I can’t tell you how to be a mom.

I can tell you we are eating ice cream sandwiches for lunch and watching YouTube videos about sharks. We might eat ice cream tomorrow too. But I can’t tell you if that means anything at all.

I can tell you that I try my damndest to make every day positive for our kids but others days I get stuck in my own negative mess.

I can tell you that we take lots of trips and make lots of memories. We have too many toys and not enough time. We go to bed early and rise up before the sun. But does all this make me good?

Making the kids eat vegetables. Telling them to be careful 500 times while they climb to the top of the trees. Refilling coffee after coffee until it is time for something else…

Something stronger.

I can tell you that the way we choose to parent is not always by the book. Is there an actual book on parenting?! How can that exist?!

There’s no one way. But there are a million ways to make it fun and healthy and meaningful. You just have to do your own thing.

Because I can tell you a lot. So can the mom down the street. Or the dad at school. Or that crazy grandparent at church, who seems to think it’s cute to give the kids powdered donuts.

We can all give you great advice or tips and tricks but really… no one can tell you how to be a mom to YOUR kids… except you.

So we make it work.

Maybe that’s what it’s all about anyway. Falling harder, sleeping less, hugging deeply, crying frequently, laughing hysterically and somehow figuring all this shit out.

Somehow being the only one they need. Somehow knowing what’s best. Someone who really can do it all. Someone irreplaceable. Someone like you.

And me.

Even though I may never be the vision in my head of a perfect woman, I can still give it everything I got.

That’s love in action. That’s courage. That’s strong. That’s how to be a mom.

The Way Love Is Now

I’m feverishly cooking a two and a half pound meat loaf. He’s viciously chopping firewood to last us the whole winter season. And he looks damn good doing it too.

It’s different than it was. Not any better or worse. It’s just the way love is now.

Less about gifts and more about time. Text messages to know we’re on their minds. Cooking and cleaning for one another. Even though we eat most meals separately.

Not caring about how we get it done, just that we do it together. Regardless if it’s something new and exciting. Especially when it all seems impossible. Together, we will.

Sure, we used to go out late and sleep in. But now you give the kids a bath so I can actually get a few things done. So I can have a few minutes to myself. That means the world.

And that’s the way love is now.

I’d say I miss you wining and dining me, but I don’t. I just miss when you’re not here. You are my better half. You are my saving grace. When it’s been a long day and I can’t take anymore and I’m feeling in secure, I can count on you to have my back.

I used to want you to think I’m sexy or whatever-but now I just want you to love me even though I have bedhead, baggy eyes and the same food covered clothes on for 4 days straight.

I’ve always got dinner waiting for you Babe. Don’t you worry about that. I’ll keep buying your favorite treats and your new underwear. I got you.

You know, I had this whole vision of married life and being swept away by some ridiculous prince charming.

But honestly, you are even more charming when you sweep. You are more amazing when you clean the snow off my car. And you are my dream come true even on the bad days.

That’s how love is now. And I don’t want it with anyone else.

And although I may not always speak your love language, I can tell you this…

I fucking love you. Forever. And ever.

Happy birthday to my Big Chief!!

Daily Dose of Awesome

Snow day anyone?!?! A lot of times we complain about the SAHM life. But days like this are like the cream in my coffee. Sweet, simple and worth sipping slowly.

Here is our favorite snow day breakfast request, since most days we are shooting out the door late for school or have a million other obligations.

From the kitchen of Big Chief, he grew up eating these and calls them Bullseye Eggs.

Take a wine glass, fill it up…

Just kidding 😉

We actually don’t use the glass for drinking in this recipe. Strange right?!

First preheat the griddle or skillet with some butter to about 300°.

Then prep the bread! Press the rim of the glass firmly into your choice of bread, we stick with the cheapo white. Leaving a circle in the middle.

*The best part is, you can reuse the circle center to make PB&J for those picky non crust eaters (aka like every kid)*

Add the cut out slices to the pan. Carefully crack the egg into the center of the circle. Season with salt, pepper and cook to your desired taste! Once I see the whites starting to thicken, I carefully flip them for a few more minutes of cooking.

You can scramble them or leave them runny, add onions or peppers, top with cheese… there’s always a way to win with these! I add a little hot sauce for a quick bite on the go.

These are a great start to some serious snow play! They also heat up nicely for your post outside hot cocoa by the fire snack. Let me know how you like them! Happy winter ❄

Mean Girls

I am not usually the one to engage in confrontation. I avoid it because I get nervous and uncomfortable and end up yelling or crying.

But I have decided, as of late last year that I am soooo done with that bullshit. Like, for sure.

If you’re being rude, I’m calling you out. Some of these almost 30 something girls trying to act like we are still 16 in the lunch room and I can’t sit at the cool table.

Well guess what…

I👏 DON’T 👊FUCKING 🖕WANT✌ TO.

Growing up, I felt like I was judged for everything. What I wear, my makeup, my friends, my love life, my family, my grades, my body, my emotions… you name it.

Someone always has something to say right?!

Well, to the few that are being real and accepting and awkward and honest and beautiful and strong…

Don’t let the mean girls get you down.

The worst thing for them to see is you WINNING. They cannot STAND to see you happy. They want you to do well, just not as good as them. Remember that.

I don’t roll with chicks like those. I don’t believe in being smiley one minute and ignoring you the next.

YES, I’ve been a mean girl too.

And I am so sorry for that.

I think we hurt others most when we are hurting or looking to find a place we belong. That never really happened for me. And maybe it never will.

I didn’t sit at the popular table back then and I sure as hell don’t want to sit there now.

I am actually fine sitting here all by myself. I am so confident with who I am that I don’t need you to like me. At all.

I know it sounds crazy but I really do try to love everyone. Unless you give me a reason not to. I will usually try to kill them with kindness at first.

But don’t think you’re getting one over on me just because I choose to be polite. It’s only because my mama raised me right. 😘

I can be sweet or I can be assertive… but never again will I be a mean girl.

Time to get off the high horse. To realize what I did long ago. That we all have our shit. We all struggle and feel insecure and want to feel wanted.

So can’t we all just be cool?!

If this rubs you the wrong way, maybe it’s time to stop worrying about what I’m doing and start worrying about what you’re doing.

Do you treat others how you want to be treated? Do you find the beauty in everyone, not just the pretty package that suits your needs? Are you guilty just as I was?

That goes for my boys too. I ain’t raising any bullies!!! No shallow human beings in this house.

Males and females, please count on me. I will show you my ugly cry and tell you my weight. I will let you know if you have lipstick on your teeth or if the person you’re dating is a jerk. I will support you even though I don’t have to.

Because real women lift each other up. Classy ladies know quality is more important that quantity. We know our worth. And we never, ever, ever back down.

Nothing But Love

This is a love letter to my last baby. Our sweet, fuzzy, little pickle. We swore up and down we wouldn’t call you Nicky. But it just suits you so perfectly.

I was amazed when you turned one, but TWO?!?! I feel like we must have missed something. Now you’re trying to get all big on me but WAIT.

You have to STAY a baby! Please!

Everyone is going to hate us right now but Nick is just the best. Sleepy, smiling, silly, soft & squishy baby boy. Oh my goodness how fast time has passed.

You are full of nothing but love. You bring joy to everyone we meet. You make each day brighter. It’s crazy to think there was a life without ya, baby. I just can’t imagine.

We always knew we wanted 3 kids. Now my husband would keep going and going, but I feel our family is complete. Because now you’re becoming a toddler and much more difficult for me to wrangle!

And the truth is, you can’t stay a baby forever. As much as I want to just hold you close and kiss you to pieces, once again I am letting you go. Letting you grow.

You love to make us laugh. You are obsessed with your big brothers. You are definitely a daddy’s boy. And you have changed us all for the better.

When life transitions, we all have to adapt. But when you were born it felt natural. Like we were always meant to be. Our party of five.

We got nothing but love for you, Knuckles. Even if we have to watch Boss Baby 500 times. I will miss hearing your little voice ask me for a binky or Lightning McQueen. The snuggle is so real with this one.

I’m going to hold you tight, kiss your cheeks and wish you the happiest birthday ever! 2 years ago you gave us nothing but love and a whole new reason to be grateful. And you’ve shown us just how much chaos we can handle 😛

Little Saint Nick – you have blessed us all. Happy birthday my sweet baldie! We love you so much more than you will ever know!