Go On the Date.

No really, call the babysitter.  Pay the babysitter.  Get dressed up.  Put your phones away. Make a 9pm dinner reservation.    Do whatever you have to do.   Go on the date.  It’s that important.

Too often once we become mom and dad, we forget we are also still a couple.   Now that life is about packing lunches, cleaning up messes, policing YouTube channels, and pretending our kids aren’t smarter than us, it’s easy to lose sight of who we were before.

Do whatever you have to do not to forget.   Don’t forget those two college kids madly in love going on adventures, spending every second of every day getting to know each other without a care in the world (except Statistics 101… I had a lot of cares about that class…I don’t math).  Really though, it may be 16 years later with 3 small people you have created, but you’re still those people.


Last night we went to a local winery.   It was the first time we have been able to spend time just the two of us in months between school, kids, work, kids, schedules, kids, extracurriculars… did I mention kids?     But last night my husband arranged for us to have a much needed night out.    We enjoyed conversation.   We laughed.   We held hands.  We dressed up for each other.  We put our phones away (after our babysitter snapped a photo to commemorate the occasion of course).   Our dinner reservation really was at 9pm.    We went to a shoe repair shop then walked the mall for 45 minutes before dinner… because there were no kids in tow and that never happens.    Where you go and what you do doesn’t matter.     Who you are with matters.

We are Mom and Dad.   But we are also Cory and Nicki.   And the more we take the time to nurture that relationship, the more our boys get to see what a relationship should be and recognize the importance of it.

Go on the Date.

Pro tip… this is my sister’s prom dress from 19 years ago.    You don’t have to shop to go on the date.   Recycle – every 15 years or so everything comes back into style 😉

“You’re Gonna Miss This.” …Am I Though?

We hear it all the time.  From the seasoned moms.  The grandmas.  The warriors.  The ones who have been here and come out on the other side.   They look at me with my frazzled face attempting to wrangle 3 boys in public and they gently smile and say: “You’re gonna miss this.”  Am I though? ….am I really?

Realistically, I know I will.   I’m sure I’ll look back on this time of my life and the only things I’ll remember are the tiny voices, the endless hugs and the beautiful memories.   But right now, in the thick of it, I’m tired.     Like… really tired.

People call them seasons in life.  I’m not sure why.   There are clearly 4 weather seasons and they come the same time every year (well… maybe not for those of us in the Midwest, but you get it).   This “season in life” has been rockin and rollin in my life for the past 8 years.    I think of it more like a level.   Ya know… like when you defeat a level in Super Mario Brothers and the little flag slides down, fireworks go off and you move on to the next level.    These are life levels.    And right now, this level is exhausting.   I’m just trying to make it to the flag and go down the tunnel alive.

Before you get all worked up, don’t.  Let me clarify:  I am eternally grateful for my life and the blessings that come from small children.   They are my whole world.    And I do take time every day to be thankful.   I smile and laugh every single day

But let’s be honest, we are what I like to call middle-middle aged.   Those of us in our mid-30’s to early-40’s who are done having children, done with the baby stage, not quite to the teenager stage and have houses littered with toys, stuffed animals, half ripped art projects, stains, and broken Target decorations that lasted about 4 days before someone decided to use them as weapons.   Can I get an amen? ….I’ll wait.

So yes, I probably will look back and miss this.  I know I will.  I miss Junior High too but that doesn’t mean I want to go back to one strap bib overalls, butterfly hair clips, trapper keepers and no eyebrows.   I mean.. do you even remember how long it takes to fold a hand written note into an arrow?   That was exhausting.    Yes, I miss it.   But I don’t want to go back.    I want to appreciate it for everything it was and the beautiful memories I have now.

For now, if you see me in the check-out aisle or at the park growling at my small people under my breath, you can just gently smile.     I’ll know what it means.

And to my other middle-middle aged mamas… let’s level up with grace girls!  We’ll get that flag and watch the fireworks.    We’re all in this together.    Enjoy every drop of coffee and wine while you close your eyes for 30 seconds and call it a nap.    I know you’ll miss this.  But I also know how exhausted you are.    It doesn’t make us any less grateful.

Take lots of pictures, because when we look back on this life level, we’re going to want to remember the precious moments and right now, we can’t even remember whether or not we turned off the flat iron.

boys level up.jpg

My husband. My friend.

It’s 7:37pm.

I just got home from work.

I’m not stressed.

I get to enjoy my family.

Why? Because of this guy.

This guy right here.

My best friend and my partner in crime.

I kid you not…

My laundry is done. Mine, not his.

My kids are fed.

They all played outside.

Homework is done.

Lunches are packed for tomorrow.

The bushes and trees are trimmed.

The grass is mowed.

Dinner is on the table.

More laundry is in the washer.

He doesn’t complain.

We work different schedules and we work at home as a team. He doesn’t make me feel guilty for my demanding schedule. He knows my work drives me.

I don’t have to ask for help…he just does.

I get asked often how I do it all and manage to keep up with everything. I don’t. I have an equal partner.

Thank you for being you. And for letting me be me. 16 years later and we sort of have it figured out.

Lando photobomb = level expert.

What’s a wordhole?

This morning this kid told me to shut my wordhole.

1. What’s a wordhole?

2. When did my 7 year old son become a 13 year old girl?

After being reprimanded he proceeded to justify his actions by explaining to me (in detail) how word is not a cuss word and hole is not a cuss word. So putting them together does not form a cuss word.

So I guess my point is… what do you do when you’re outsmarted by your 1st grader?

Stop it.

Don’t stress

I whisper to myself as I deep condition my hair while sitting on the countertop looking at unwashed dishes

Don’t overthink

I gently remind myself as I wait for my noodles to cook at 8:47pm to feed myself dinner because I forgot to eat today

Don’t compare

I kindly reaffirm myself as I listen to my boys still chattering and bickering in their beds when they should have been sleeping an hour ago

Don’t be anxious

I will to myself as I sort through the 20345 checklists I didn’t accomplish today

Don’t judge

I say quietly under my breath as I try to remember the last time I got a good hard workout in or took time to read a book and smell the pages

Just breathe

Remember you are only one person. Your checklist got smaller today. You finished 2 projects. You took all the calls, and returned the others. You made someone smile. And another person laugh. You made it to the baseball game… barely, but you made it. You saw your sons look back at you and smile when they got back to back hits (it’s coach pitch, this is a big deal in their world). You put the laundry away. 3 days after you washed it, but you put it away. You ran the dishwasher. You didn’t unload it, but you ran it. You washed your face.

Stop being anxious for no reason and go enjoy your noodles. You deserve the carbs. And ps… eat a cookie if you want to. You earned that too.

Stop it. Be proud of yourself.

The Sloth Flipped Me Off?!

This is not a joke…

Before bed tonight my twins (7) were peeing into the toilet at the same time, turned toward each other and started using their pee streams as weapons in water gun fashion, shooting them at each other and thus, all over the bathroom.

When I was finished scolding them and putting them to bed, Braxton got very quiet then used his stuffed sloth’s fingers to flip me off… without making eye contact.

I had to leave the room so he wouldn’t hear me laughing. Momming boys 101.

Little Eyes

Little Eyes

They see you mama

They see how hard you’re working

They see your sacrifice

They see how much you love them

They see what it means to continue the fight

They know what it means to chase your goals

They know what it means to give it your all

They know what it means to fall short sometimes

But take it in stride and still stand tall

They watch you sweat the details

They watch you accomplish your dreams

And still be the mama bear they need

They know what unconditional love truly means

Don’t ever feel bad for being true to yourself

You know what makes you a better mom

Don’t waste any more time feeling guilty

Because soon these moments will be gone

Little eyes are always watching

They have been from the start

And don’t worry mama, they know you’re there

Those little eyes can see your heart

Dear Nancy in the Blue Lexus

Dear Nancy in the Blue Lexus,

Yes I saw the light turn green. Ya know what else I saw? I saw my 3 year old drop his sippy cup on the floor ensuing what could only be described as a level 10 emergency. I saw him demanding I “turn off the sun” to get it out of his face. I saw him screaming bloody murder and telling me to listen to him because “he’s the boss!” So yes, Nancy, I saw the light turn green. I saw your middle finger fly up at me as you zoomed past because I took .02 seconds to turn around and scold my irrational losing-his-mind toddler before I moved forward. My 1st graders saw that finger too… thanks for that. Here’s a piece of advice for today: chill. Find something to make you smile. Don’t live your life so angry. You’ll thank me someday.