Raising boys one pee filled cup at a time

One of my seven-year-olds came upstairs to let us know the other seven-year-old has been peeing in red solo cups in the basement over the past few days so he didn’t have to take a break from playing to come upstairs to go to the bathroom. There was, in fact, a row of urine-filled red solo cups hidden down there. To which the guilty one looked at us, shrugged his shoulders and said “what’s the big deal?”

And that pretty much sums up what it’s like to raise a house full of boys.


Motivation Level = 100

Brace yourself for this true story.

The twins have a book fair happening at school this week. They each made a wish list and brought it home yesterday. Braylon chose 2 books that were $6/each. I told him he would need $12. He only has $10 saved. He let it go. Conversation casually ended.

{{Fast forward to today}}

Braylon came home with a missing front tooth.

*Important Note* he DID NOT have a loose tooth prior to today

Me: “Bray, what in the world happened to your tooth?”

Bray: “Oh I ripped it out at school today” (as casually as anyone has ever said a sentence)

Me: “You what?!”

Bray: “I was bored so I ripped it out. There was a lot of blood”


Bray: “Do you think the tooth fairy might bring $2 instead of $1? …. just asking”


Now please take note to the fact that I was fully planning to send $20 with each of them to pick out books. But he literally took it upon himself to yank out his non-loose tooth thinking he could get $2 for it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… this kid is going places 😂🦷💰

“Geesh Mom!”

Me while trying to wrangle 3 soaking wet little boys running around the bathroom after their bath…..

“Get your foot out of the toilet!”


{{dog dunks her head completely under water, takes it out, shakes it everywhere… uncontrollable laughter and running from dripping boys… bathroom reeks of cologne…}}


Braxton (7) looks at me calm as can be with the cologne bottle still in his armpit and says:

“Geesh chill out mom you look like a crazy woman. This is not a good look on you.” 👀

Mom Guilt…it’s real.

“Mommy you work too much. Can you try to spend more time with me?”

…mom guilt is a real thing. To all the working moms out there, I see you. I see how hard you’re working to provide. I see how you can’t always be two places at once. I see how hard it is for you to miss something important. I see you trying to be the best mom and the best employee at the same time. I see the hurt in your heart when you hear phrases like I heard tonight. I see you.

I know I’m making the right choices for my kids and my family. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Nothing in life is meant to be easy, and we are all on different paths. Mom guilt is real but it comes in all shapes and sizes and it will be there whether you’re working, staying at home or balancing both. Remember that.

Keep on keeping on ladies. You are doing amazing and your kids see how hard you’re working. They see you. They may not always have the right words but they know how hard you’re working for them. Don’t ever forget that. ✨

From 10,000 Feet


From 10,000 Feet.

Someone I know uses this phrase often. The 10,000 foot view. The big picture. The high level perspective. It’s used most often in work settings when you shift your focus from the day to day detail and focus on the overall goals and initiatives of a company. The Birdseye look.

But today, today I saw YOU from 10,000 feet. As we were out looking for birds in the rain I stepped back and I saw you. Much like the focus on my camera, I became laser focused on you as the background faded away. Not the day to day of watching you grow. I saw you from 10,000 feet.

I saw my baby who cried for the first 6 months of his life with colic and reflux…who only wanted to be held, nursed, and comforted by his mama. I saw my toddler who struggled to speak and voice his emotions because he didn’t function exactly the same as other kids his age were “supposed to.” The toddler who relied on his twin brother to speak for him because he couldn’t pull his words together just yet. I saw my preschooler who was slightly socially different than many of the other kids who often got frustrated because his teachers didn’t always understand his high flux of emotion. I saw my little boy who found his footing as he entered elementary school and started to blossom in a way we never saw coming. My boy who is exceptionally good at reading, remembering details and anything involving numbers. My boy who is so athletically gifted he thrives in every sport he has ever tried and makes me wonder which one he’ll enjoy most, because he is destined for greatness. I saw my almost 8 year old with a take charge attitude who always wants to win and is meant to be a leader. I saw my beautiful son with his hand in his pocket nonchalantly looking out into the distance.

Braylon Cole… you are a marvel to me. You are special and unique and have never cared what anyone thinks of you. I have always known it. I have always believed it.

Today I saw you from 10,000 feet. And what I saw was spectacular.

3.24.19. Take the time to see your children from 10,000 feet. You won’t be disappointed.

Truth Bomb. Wait for it…

Truth bomb.  Wait for it….

You will never be organized enough, prepared enough, strong enough, presentable enough, pretty enough, successful enough… but you know what you always will be?  ENOUGH.

I am a self proclaimed perfectionist.   I strive to be the absolute best at everything I do.   To a fault.   When I am not performing at 110% (yes I’m aware this is physically impossible) in every aspect of my life, I feel as though I’m failing.   When in reality, I’m not failing.

So what am I doing?   I’m multitasking in a workthroughthecrazy stage of life raising 3 little boys in the prime of what can only be described as the ew phase, a demanding full time job that I absolutely love but is time consuming and hard to ever shut off because I put my heart and soul into my career, a husband of nearly 12 years who needs me to be a wife sometimes and not just a working mom, a house and all the crap that comes along with that, a puppy who thinks she runs the world and uses my shoes as a midday snack most days, a subpar workout and self care routine because I am a woman and I like to live a healthy lifestyle… you name it.

Am I perfect at all these things?  No.   Does that drive me crazy?  Yes.  But guess what…that’s life.   I am enough.   I am surviving this unbelievably difficult stage in life and would like to think I’m doing a good job.   I will never be the best at everything.   I just won’t.   You will never be the best at everything either.   I struggle with this daily.   But I’ve learned to count my successes instead of my failures.   I strive to always bring a smile and positivity to every situation even when it would be easy to fall apart.  So to all you other overcommitted, overstressed self proclaimed perfectionists out there… today’s message is this:  you are enough.    Sleep soundly tonight knowing that.

Also… no matter what else is happening in life – these 3 will aways help me find my “enough….”


Love & Hugs

Do you know your kids as individuals or just “my kids”?

Sometimes as moms, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle of feeding “the kids”, bathing “the kids”, doing homework with “the kids” or just keeping “the kids” alive.  If you have more than one child … so often we forget to stop and look and those kids and remember that each one is unique, rare and genuinely special in his own way.

My husband and I have 3 very different, very special little boys.  I try hard to make it a point to spend one-on-one time with each of them but sometimes life gets in the way and I’ll catch myself staring at one of them thinking “Wow… this little boy is amazing.   He is going to make a difference in the world.”  And quickly the guilt of trying to rack my brain for the last time I had a meaningful one-on-one conversation with him consumes me.

Yesterday as we were walking into church was one of these eye opening moments for me.   You see, our oldest two boys are twins.   They don’t look alike, act alike, have the same friends, the same talents, or even the same interests most of the time.   But as a twin, it’s so easy to lose your individuality.   It’s our job as parents not to let that happen.    I have a strict hold hands in parking lots rule.   I don’t care how uncool it is to hold your moms hand.    The older two are only 7 so I still don’t entirely trust them to be completely aware of their surroundings.

The parking lot at church was a little wet yesterday and I had one of the older boys on either side of me, as I held out my arms Braylon (twin A) grabbed my hand as quickly as he could and linked his fingers through mine, squeezed and hugged my arm, hopping happily through the puddles proud to be holding his mommy’s hand.   Braxton (twin B), barely touched my hand, kept his head straight down and as soon as we got on the sidewalk yanked it away from me and looked around to make sure no one could see.   I had one of those gut-punch moments.   These are two completely different individuals, am I taking the time to remember that?   And what about their little brother?

Braylon.  Age 7.  Twin A.  Braylon loves to play rough, is naturally athletic and is exceptional at pretty much any sport he has every tried, and loves to dance ridiculously for all to see.   He has already broken a bone and had 2 sets of stitches.   He is our rambunctious one.  Braylon snuggles and hugs me often, isn’t afraid to laugh obnoxiously in front of his friends, and is better at math than me (I recognize that isn’t saying much as I don’t do numbers and like to say I math at the level of a toddler).    Braylon is kind and always means well but he struggles to show his emotions appropriately at times.

Braxton.  Age 7.  Twin B.  Braxton is very socially aware and has the ability to light up a room with his smile.  He is much more emotional than his brothers and embarrasses easily.   He is artistic and empathetic and so very kind.    Braxton loves to draw pictures and absolutely thrives off of adoration from “the grown ups.”  He is mature for his age.   He does not like hugs or kisses from mama – especially not when others can see him.    We joke and call him captain question because he has to know everything about everything and asks a million questions to anyone who is listening.

Landon.  Age 3.   This kid is so much like me it’s scary.   He is stubborn and feisty and loves to be the center of attention.    Landon lives his life to make others smile and marches to the beat of his own drum.   He has always been way too smart for his own good and is as mischievous as they come.    If Landon wants something, he WILL find a way to do it.   He walked early, talked early and already thinks he’s a full-fledged adult.    He does what he wants, when he wants and does not let his older brothers push him around.    Landon owns the room.

These are our 3 beautifully unique and 100% different little boys.    Yes they are “my kids.” But more importantly, they are Brayon, Braxton and Landon.   They are not the same person.  And it’s my job as their mom to always remember that.

Have you taken the time to see the special qualities in each of your kids lately?  If your schedule is anything like mine, this may fall down too far on your priority list.  I am the first to admit I don’t do it enough.   Don’t wait for a walk in a wet church parking lot to give you a gut-punch reminder.    Stop and soak them in.   You are raising these amazing small versions of you and recognizing and emphasizing what makes them unique and different makes all the difference in the world.

❤ Mom Reminder of the Day ❤




Guys I live in the Chicago Suburbs.   I’ve been working from home for the past week because my kids are basically intermittent fasting school right now… go 1 day, stay home 2, go 1 day, stay home 2.   I feel like today we got initiated into Chicago life.

Let me paint this picture for you….

Polar Vortex = 1
Snyder Master bathroom pipe = 0

Me: {{in the living room working away with my headphones in}}

Twins {{upstairs quietly watching tv in our bedroom}}

Braylon appears out of nowhere screaming frantically, and I quote: “the floor is exploding and there’s water everywhere!!!” “Mommy we’re all going to die!!!!” <— he’s a bit over dramatic, no idea where he gets that from 😏

I jump up to run upstairs, forgetting to take out my headphones and thus yanking myself backwards pulling my entire body weight entangled in wires onto the floor, in the most graceful way possible of course.

Got untangled and now in a bit of a panic myself because now both boys are running back and forth screaming and crying because our house is forsure going to spontaneously combust at any moment.

I get upstairs to evaluate the situation. There is, in fact, an EXPLOSIVE waterfall coming our from under the floorboard of the middle section of drawers in the bathroom. Not either side. Not a pipe. The motherflippin’ floor people! No hole. How do you even access that?!

Told one kid to run get as many towels as he could to shove against the water and the other to run to the kitchen and fill as many cups as he could with water while I ran down and turned off all the water to the house. Albeit they still think we’re going to die.

Now we’re not only housebound. But housebound with restless children, no running water and about 10 cups of water 😂🙌🏼

Thanks to a panicked, crisis-induced call to my husband, Plumber will be coming tonight.


Do the thing. Because let’s be honest, you want to.

I ran today.    I ran 4 miles, it took me every bit of 47 minutes and I half collapsed about 32 times.   But I did it.   Wait… we should backtrack.   I live in the suburbs of Chicago.  When I say I ran, I mean I did a heavily strained walk-run interval on a treadmill in my sunroom because it’s -25 degrees outside with 5 inches of snow and I have 3 little boys who constantly need my attention.   So let’s start again.   I walk-ran 4 miles on my treadmill with my golden retriever puppy nipping at my heels the entire time while I was grunting heavily and almost died.   But I did it.  I tell you this not for accolades for getting myself off the couch and working out in the middle of a lazy Sunday.    I tell you this because I did the thing.   Because I wanted to.   So I made myself.

Let’s discuss something for a moment.   I often hear something along these lines from other moms when we talk about working out: “Why should I work out?  I’m not trying to impress anyone but my husband so as long as he finds me attractive why should I care?” My husband is the only one I’m trying to impress.   FALSE.  ME.  I’m the one I’m trying to impress.  No one else.  ME.  It’s not about attention or outside praise, it’s about forcing myself to do things I know I want to do.   It’s about feeling good about myself because as a woman, as a mom, I deserve that.   It’s about doing the thing.

Angry side rant:  let’s note that my husband has been working out for exactly 3 weeks, cut out all drinks except water and has already lost 20 pounds because life is just that unfair and men are dumb and apparently superhuman.   **side rant over**

I am a working mom of 3 crazy little boys, we know this.    But I am also a woman.   And before I was a mom, I was a woman who loved working out and staying active.   I have always been an athlete but I have never, and will never be, a runner.   But I don’t have time to go to the gym or join a fitness class or play pick up basketball every other night like I would like to.  So instead, I run.   I’ve learned my body responds well to running.  I force myself to run, to do the thing.  I do it slowly and while streaming FRIENDS episodes on Netflix with my bluetooth headphones on full blast and more than likely am interrupted 5 or 6 times to open fruit snacks or type something into the search bar on a tablet because it just can’t wait, but I do it.

Right now, right now I’m happy.  Not because I’m the skinniest I’ve ever been or because I have rock hard abs after birthing 3 children.   I’m happy because I’ve been forcing myself to do the thing I know I want to do but have to get myself motivated to do.   I’m happy because I know myself well enough to know I love donuts, am addicted to coffee and don’t drink enough water.   So running offsets that if not only just a bit.

Maybe running isn’t your thing.   Maybe it’s meditating or writing or just getting out of the house to breathe once a week.    But whatever it is, whatever roadblock is stopping you from doing it, do whatever you have to do to get over it.   It’s going to be hard because the things are never easy, but don’t forget that just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you stop being a woman.

Do the thing.  Because let’s be honest, you know you want to.