Every Mom. On Every First Day of School. Ever.

A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh

In the backyard the quiet backyard 
My children pose tonight 
In the backyard the quiet backyard 
It, of course, started a fight 

A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh

Hush my children just fake a smile 
And hold the stinkin’ sign 
Hush my children we’re almost finished
Yes I hear you complain and whine

A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh

Let’s just get one photo one simple photo 
To document the day 
Ok you’re over it, I’m over it
I got the snap –go play 

A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh

Happy School Year Moms.  

$202 in School supplies!? Yep… with a smile and a thank you.

Amazon Order Total = $202.65
Free Prime 1-Day Delivery = Convenient
Two 2nd Graders school supply shopping = Done

…ask me how much I’ll complain about paying over $200 in school supplies… I’ll wait…

Right. Never. Not once. You will never hear me complain about purchasing school supplies for my children. Ever. Wanna know why?

I buy those supplies in the comfort of my home, with the click of a mouse, and have them shipped directly to my home the next day. I make that purchase ONE TIME in the course of an entire school year. ONCE.

Teachers… teachers make purchases 10x that amount to begin the school year out of their own pockets. They then continue to purchase supplies throughout the year, sometimes every week, to ensure our children receive the best experiences possible to enhance their education.

You know what else teachers do? They buy the extras. The stickers and books and posters and smiley faces and decorations. They buy the goody bags and pretty baskets and organizational tools. They do all that and then some because they go above and beyond for our children. For your children. Every. Single. Day.

So no, you will not hear me complain about purchasing school supplies. Instead, I’ll throw in a few extras for the classroom that weren’t on the list and continue to do that throughout the year. Because that’s the least I can do.

I’m a working parent. And I can never express my gratitude for the amount of time, energy, heartfelt compassion and personal finances from the people teaching and loving on my children day in and day out.

Do yourself a favor. If you catch yourself starting to complain about the amount school supplies cost… stop it. Be thankful for the person who makes his/her classroom look like a virtual wonderland for your kids.

*This post is dedicated to my sister, both of my brothers’ wives and my best friend who are part of the special group of humans we call teachers. I see you and I am thankful for you.


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It’s OK to be Both.

Side by Side

Lean in ladies. This is important.

We all know motherhood isn’t glamorous. Yeah, ok, understatement of the year. You’re right. Let’s rephrase. We all know motherhood is dirty, sticky, frazzled, mucky, tired, greasy, soiled, grubby… it’s gross. Motherhood is gross. It’s beautiful, but it’s not glamorous.

Remember who you used to be before you had kids? When you had time to do your hair and makeup? When you made time for yourself to work out and get the appropriate amount of rest? When you could sit quietly and read a book or treat yourself to a new outfit? Remember her?

I am a mother. I have 3 small people who rely on me to feed them and bathe them and teach them and play with them and hold them and discipline them and all the stuff in between.

You know what else I am? I am a woman. One who likes to do my hair and makeup and put on a shirt sometimes that isn’t covered in residue from toothpaste face smashes or dirt covered fingerprints. I enjoy feeling feminine. Does that make me less of a mom? Nope.

It’s ok to be both.

A little louder for the people in the back.

IT’S 👏🏼 OK 👏🏼 TO 👏🏼 BE 👏🏼 BOTH 👏🏼

You are not neglecting your children if you choose to take care of yourself too.

Shhhh… scroll up. Read that again. Slower this time. Ok, now continue.

I’m not suggesting you get dolled up every day of the week or paint your face because you’re trying to impress anyone. But girl if it makes you feel better to slap on some mascara and throw some curls in your hair – don’t you dare let anyone make you feel bad about it.

I’m also not suggesting you do any of the above if it doesn’t make you feel good. Maybe it’s throwing your hair up and reading a book in complete silence. Maybe it’s pulling out your computer and typing a blog post that helps you process your thoughts. Maybe it’s a yoga class or a peaceful 20 minute walk with fresh air. For me, it’s doing my hair and makeup and getting done up now and again. Whatever it is… don’t be ashamed to want it and don’t be ashamed to DO IT.

Be a mother. Give the snuggles. Hold the hands. Make the food. Wipe the bums. Clean all the things. But in the process of all that, don’t forget to be you. You are still that woman, just a newer, more enhanced model.

I felt beautiful in both of these pictures. And it’s ok to be both.

To the Angriest Man I’ve Ever Encountered

An open letter to the angriest and meanest man I’ve ever encountered in first person.

I got into a fender bender tonight.  Let’s start with that.  It was my fault.  I was stopped at a stop sign after getting groceries and turned around to look at Braxton who had opened a box of donuts in the vehicle and was laughing at the chocolate on his face.    When I turned around, I rolled forward, bumping into the car in front of me at about 1mph. Less if possible.  Totally minor.  One scratch.  But nonetheless 100% my fault.   I got out of my vehicle and apologized immediately, expecting to exchange information and insurance cards and be done with it.  You could have just accepted it, reported the minor damage and moved on.   But you didn’t.

So to you, the overweight 60 year old man who felt it appropriate to charge at my vehicle and cuss me out with my 8 year old in the car,  I see you.  I saw you.   And so did the little eyes hysterically crying and panicking in my back seat as you verbally berated his mother in front of him while charging at our vehicle.    I hope you can look at yourself tonight and recognize your reprehensible behavior.    What you just modeled for my son is the behavior I never want him to know exists in the world.

I have never been spoken to like that in my life.   IN. MY. LIFE.   You attacked me and called me an ***’ing **** bleepidty-bleep distracted driver, told me I shouldn’t have a license, etc etc.     All the while literally using your body weight to come toward me, arms flailing, while the woman driving your car sat in the driver side with her window up, no doubt embarrassed or fearful.   It makes me sad for you sir.

Yes, I was distracted by my son for a second, while stopped, and let my foot off the brake.  I admit that completely.  That does not make me a distracted driver.  That makes me a parent.

So yes, sir, I did call my 6’1 bearded, muscle-clad husband who quickly packed up the other 2 kids from home and drove to my defense because you legit scared me and had my son in absolute hysterics asking me why “the meanest grandpa ever is screaming every cuss word in the book” at him.    I knew you would back down when you saw my husband.    You did.   You sat quietly in your car after he arrived.

It takes a lot to get me upset.   It takes even more to get me infuriated.   But let me tell you right now, if you ever, EVER speak to me or one of my children like that, you will get to see the other side of my mama bear personality.    I am thankful the police arrived when they did to report the accident (I hesitate to even call it an accident, but clearly the 3” scratch on the back of your car was worth the uproar).

We live in a small town.  Very small actually.    Less than 9k population.   The chances of me  running into you again at some point are high.    I hope before that time comes you can find some sort of peace.   Because whatever is going on in your life that would cause you to have that sort of a reaction to a mother and her son in a small suburban grocery store parking lot must be really awful.

So to you, the angriest man I’ve ever encountered… know that I was able to calm my son down after you backed off.   And we laughed at your actions.   Thank you for helping me teach him a valuable lesson on how to never act regardless of the situation.     Find your peace.    You need it.

Mom, Can I take you on a date?

I try hard to be mindful that my sons are all unique, individual people and not clump them into “the kids” or “the boys.” I especially focus on this with our twins, because I never want them to feel like they’re only part of a pair.

One way I do this is to actively spend one on one time with each of them whenever I can. I have done this since they were barely toddlers and continue to do it now 8 years later. Summers are especially difficult with extracurriculars, trips and my work schedule. But I make it happen whenever I can. Sometimes it’s just to the grocery store or a bike ride.

Tonight, after watching my husband play in 3 softball games, we went to a church party at a local water park. It was an exhausting day. Braxton came up to me at 7:15 and said “mom, can we leave now just the 2 of us and go on a date? we haven’t done that in a while.”

I was tired. I was hot. I was looking forward to going home to my sweat pants and washing my face. But let me tell you… hearing those words from my normally stand-offish mr. independent son immediately shifted my mood. I couldn’t scoop him into the car fast enough. We left together 45 minutes early and went to a restaurant to enjoy chicken wings, fried pickles and chocolate milk (he ordered for us, ha). And he held my hand!

We put the electronics away and chatted about his friends, sports, the upcoming school year… everything. We laughed. A lot. My kid is cool. We got home and my heart felt recharged. I need to continue to push myself to do this. It helps both of us when we do. Regardless of which son I have with me, I can vividly see the individuality. I love my kids. But even more, I love Braxton, Braylon and Landon.

My warrior freakin’ princess battle scars

My stretch marks are part of my story.   And I love my freakin’ story!

Stretch Marks.  Tiger Stripes.  Battle Scars.    Whatever you call them mama, they are part of your story.   And you are a freakin’ warrior!  Your body did impossible things.   It morphed beyond it’s means to create life.   Stop and think about that for a second.   It MORPHED in Superhero, Xena Warrior Princess, Pink Power Ranger fashion and that….that is amazing.   YOU are amazing.

There is this stigma behind finding the best creams, fillers, lotions, and everything else under the sun to remove or diminish these marks.   But why?   Why would I want to remove the marks on my body that remind me that I’m a freakin’ superhero?!    You guys… run your fingers across those indents and remember what your body did.  And why it did it.


I love my stretch marks.  My mama bear scratch marks in my skin.  They cover both sides and the bottom of my belly.    And, full transparency, they’re also sprinkled all across my milk-makers that grew 8x their normal size with both pregnancies. These marks are the remnants of the pregnancies that gave me my babies.    Sometimes they’re more predominant and noticeable than others, but no matter what… they’re always there.

Stretch marks, saggy skin, shifted muscles, girls let’s be honest.. our bodies have seen some things.    But more importantly, our bodies have given us the most amazing things.   Rock those imperfections with pride girl!   You are a freakin’ warrior.   Love those battle scars.

I embrace the disarray of shoes.


I am an organized person.   Strike that.   Aside from a house littered with the aftermath of 3 little boys at all times, I am generally an organized person.    Hold up.   Ok let’s be honest.  I usedto be an organized person.    Then I became a mom.

In theory, I love to be organized.  I like things to be neat and clean.  In theory, my bathrooms aren’t coated in urine 22 seconds after I bleach them either, but we can’t have it all.

In theory, I would love to have all my ducks in a row… or in this case, the 16 pairs of shoes that are scattered about my entryway.   But let’s talk out-of-theory.

The disarray of sneakers, boots, sandals, slippers, and any other foot covering that makes its way onto that floor used to send my anxiety through the roof.   Like, there are 2 shoe trays clearly sitting right there.   This is not difficult.  I used to reline up every pair with its mate every time I passed or caught a glimpse of the mess out of the corner of my eye.   Not because I was trying to impress anyone, but because I like things to be organized.   3 kids, 5-6 pairs of shoes each… you get the picture.

But I stopped relining them up.   I stopped stressing out about it.   Why?  Because that cluster of random shoes represents the chaotic life with 3 active little boys that is our Summer.  And ya know what… that’s ok.   The world isn’t going to end if I leave the shoes a mess.

Do I teach my children to line up their shoes and put them in the correct place when they take them off? Yes, of course I do.    Do they listen?  Eh- most of the time.   But they’re boys.   And they’re 8, 8, and 4.  Sometimes getting outside to ride their bikes before the sun sets is more important than lining up their shoes.    I can align with that logic.

For those other moms out there who wish your lives could be filled with the organization of a Target-clad aisle with the beauty of a parenting style Pinterest board, we can all continue to fantasize and tell ourselves we’ll get there someday.

Instead of seeking out the somedayof perfectly lined up shoes, I encourage you to  embrace the mindset of parenting in Summer, and let your kids be kids.     You can line them up after they go to bed if it helps you sleep better at night.

Remember… that gathering of mismatched shoes represents the childhood of your little people.   Embrace the chaos.    Embrace the Summer.  Embrace the mess of shoes.  The first day of school is right around the corner – you can line them up then.

Mom Wins 🏁

Ride go karts with your kids, they said.

It’ll be fun, they said. Clearly “they” have never met me and my overly competitive nature.

After about 20 laps of foot to the ground full speed cornering and trash talking as I passed them, the guy running the course said to me “whoa you were flying” …yep… 🏁

Note my smile and their not-smiles. I don’t think they appreciated getting smoked by mom 🤣💨

Editor’s note: the 4yo and husband were in another cart. I was nicer when I was passing them. But I still won.

PSA: Don’t get worked up. This is how I parent. I was an athlete growing up. Don’t get me started on participation trophies.

To my big boys on your 8th birthday

To the boys who made me a mama on your 8th birthday,

First and foremost, you will always be my babies and I don’t care how embarrassing it is… I will always hug and kiss you in public. Ok glad we established that. Watching you two grow has been a journey beyond my wildest dreams. From first steps and first words to reading and writing and maturing from babies to toddlers to preschoolers and now these amazing little(ish) boys. When the doctors handed me two babies at 26 years old, I had zero idea what I was doing but I knew just as much as I was overwhelmed with fear, I was also overwhelmed with love, adoration, and the commitment to providing you with the absolute best life possible.


Oh my wild, rambunctious Braylon Cole. Life is a constant adventure with you. You push limits by every definition. Physically you think you are invincible most of the time which is why you’ve already had 3 sets of stitches and a broken collar bone. You give persistence a whole new meaning. When you wanted to learn to ride a bike, you went out and did it yourself. Every time you fell, you got up and did it again until you didn’t fall anymore. When you were learning to read, you took a chapter book to bed with you every night to practice. You taught yourself to pour your own cereal and make your own sandwiches because you were too impatient to wait for someone else (you get that from your mama). You always want to be the best at everything. You will argue your point for days if that’s how long it takes to convince someone to agree with you. You never give up on anything. You still love to give hugs, hold hands and cuddle and have been that way from the very beginning. I love the sensitive side of you because you feel so very big. No matter what the emotion is, you feel it truly and whole heartedly. Don’t ever lose that. Your ambition, athleticism, persistence and drive is going to take you places sweet boy. Never lose your individuality. Because you are truly one of a kind.


My sweet Braxy Cal. So much of your daddy is in you and you’re lucky for that. You have a huge, compassionate heart and a mind that is always racing. You ask question after question and are always listening intently to the answers, eager to learn more. You have found a love in science and outer space. Your ornery smile, beautiful dimple and sun kissed brown skin could light up any room. Adults have always migrated to you because you speak well beyond your years and your self awareness is shockingly astute for your age. You aren’t much one for affection, but still let me snuggle you if you’re sleepy or not feeling well. You embarrass and scare easily and I love that about you because it shows your vulnerability and genuine heart. I have known from the moment you could talk how smart you were going to be and I was not wrong. You are wonderful with Landon. He idolizes you so much. You could drink nothing but chocolate milk for the rest of your life… but it has to be the right kind of chocolate milk or it is unacceptable. This is the only thing chocolate you enjoy, which I always thought was odd because I’ve never known a child to have less of a sweet tooth than you. But you’ve always marched to the beat of your own drum. Stay incredible my amazing, intelligent little boy. You are going to set people’s hearts on fire and move mountains one day.

Love you forever and always,



Even though you’ve both recently dropped the “-my” off the end and started calling me mom most of the time, I’ll always be your mommy.