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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Girlfriend Vows

My dearest friends, I promise you this:

I promise to know when an occasion calls for ice cream or wine and the wisdom to know when it needs both.

I promise to be honest. Never brutal. Never painful. But to tell it like I'd like to be told.

I promise to be me. Broken, open, raw, vulnerable me.

I promise to accept you. Broken, open, raw, vulnerable you.

I promise to not vacuum before you come over. Unless it is almost a health code violation and it is in absolute dire need of it. Only then.

I promise to always be kind to the person that you are in love with. Even, and especially when, I don't think he/she deserves you.

I promise to be in your corner for your battles.

I promise to let you know when I am struggling through a battle of my own.

I promise to celebrate your victories.

I promise to never order a salad when we go out to eat. Unless it is followed by nachos.

I promise to love your children.

I promise to support your choices, mighty and small, even if they don’t mirror mine.

I promise to laugh with you at all the appropriate times. And especially at the inappropriate ones. 

I promise that when life is slippery and fragile and hurts too much to keep going forward that you are not alone.

I will be there. I will listen.
I will hold your hand. 
I will dance with you.
I will cry with you.
I will toast with you.
And to you.

I will attempt to be all that you are to me.

I love you sister.
Always will.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Coffee Shop Thoughts...

Life is so very short.
Wear the red heels. Be present. Take a selfie in a faraway land and then put your phone away. Say thank you to your mother. Compliment a stranger. Put a pen or paintbrush to paper. Leave a mark. Tell a joke to a child. Let a child tell you a joke. Don't forget to laugh. Hold someone's hand. Learn to forgive. And let go. Listen to your gut. Love yourself first. Find a way to move your body every day. Read more books. Create something with your hands. Release yourself from guilt. Tell the people you adore why you adore them. Buy the coffee for the person behind you.
Tomorrows are not infinite.
Live out loud. Now.
Celebrate what sings to your soul. Now.
And smile.
Starting now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Own It Sister

My four kids boarded the bus this morning. The first day of the last year at the same school. 5th, 3rd,  and 1st grade times 2. Just. Like. That. I was thinking that the stars would align again in high school; that they would share the same halls again, maybe pass one another in the cafeteria, to have one another's backs and limbs and be the protectors of each other, just in case. But Lucy that too smart girl straightened me out like she usually does and told me that when the twins start high school that she will be in college. COLLEGE. Sweet mother of all things holy. Back it up time. I can't handle the mere thought of saving for college, let alone that she will one too soon of a day be leaving for it.

Today as I watched that bus pull away lugging my favorite cargo, loud, booming and stunning, my thoughts turned to motherhood. The bittersweetness of it all. The being pulled in two directions like a marionette puppet of it all. The anchor of the roots, the releasing of the wings. The balancing act that somehow leaves you never feeling balanced. The dirty, clean, sick, healthy, arguing, giggling, late, sleepless, time too fast, time too slow, all encompassing gravity of it all.

Motherhood has the ability to heal us and make us bleed. Sometimes all at once. Your sensations are more awake while the mind is more asleep. You have a superhero sixth sense about you that allows you to feel all of the things. Every. Thing. You absorb it all: lightness and heaviness. Joy and heartache. Frustration, fierceness, closing and opening. It is all magnified.

And somehow we compare other mothers without thought. We judge like we have it all figured out. We judge like we are somehow perfect or our children are or that somehow that other mother is and who does she think she is. Like we've never had a rough day. Like we don't know what it feels like to be broken. Like we want to break someone else.

The new school year is an opportunity for a fresh start, not only for our children but for ourselves. How about we give each other a beautiful gift of judging one another less. We are all trying to keep our heads above the water and the last thing we need is more weight yanking us downward. The idea that someone else has it easier, faster, skinnier, richer and all things better than you is a destructive game that is based on perception. It is a game that no one wins. I'd rather see women owning their strengths and their weaknesses and raising a glass to one another in all that makes us different and the celebration of what unites us. We are all part of the same tribe and how glorious it would be to see every woman flaunt it.

If you are crafty, own it.
If you are working outside of the home, own it.
If you are working inside of the home, own it.
If you haven't figured out this whole being an adult thing, own it.
If you are insanely proud of your child, own it.
If you are just trying to survive the day, own it.
If you go to yoga or just prefer to wear the pants, own it.
If you order pizza for the 3rd time this week or you make your own organic baby food, own it.

Natural births, epidurals, c-sections, adoptions, surrogates, we have all earned our battle scars. It is not a competition. Be. Who. You. Are. And protect each others backs and limbs like you would want your children to protect one another. The world needs more of that. It is not a slight thing to see the power that is a woman supporting another woman. We can be inspired by one another without tearing another one down. Let's retract the claws and unleash the fist pumps. We all deserve the accolades.

As for me, you can find me sometimes in heels, more often in yoga pants, working in and out of the home trying to make careers out of passions, all the while glowing in the shadows of this radiant crew that is growing up faster than my soul can catch up. I want to raise them in a world that builds instead of breaks.

Here's to owning it.



Thursday, August 13, 2015

How to Survive Back to School Shopping

I am a girl that loves summer. I love a break from the constant crazy of the school year. But I have four kids and somewhere around the 4th of July it strikes me that it would be amazing to complete a thought in the next few months. By the time the first week of August rolls in I get excited, borderline orgasmic, in seeing those glossy ads with shiny new Ninja Turtle notebooks on their covers. But what is the best way to shop for 26 glue sticks (true story) and about 800 other items while still keeping your kids happy and you sane? Of course you could go alone or do it online and if you can pull it off I commend you. Godspeed. But my “angels” love to pick out all of things for back to school. All. Of. The. Things. I can’t really blame them. I used to love picking out things too as a kid but somehow I remember picking out a single Rainbow Brite pencil and one pink Trapper Keeper. 

The times have changed and the lists have grown to beyond a Santa level long. Last year I left Office Depot in tears. Actual stream down the face over the cost of dry erase marker tears. Here is what I learned:

1.    Go to Target. For three reasons: 1. They have everything you need. 2. They have everything you never realized how much you need. 3. Starbucks. 4. Palazzo pants. Okay that was four reasons. Math is hard. This is exactly why these kids need to go back to school.

2.    Go early. Have you ever been to the back to school section of any store that prides itself in having a back to school section in the prime heat of an August day? It is one of the scariest sites you will ever see. It literally could be a bad scene from The Walking Dead. Zombies are clenching their school’s token list, dressed in head to toe yoga wear wishing they were at yoga or anywhere else in the entire world mumbling about how many sharpened #2 pencils they need for their zombie children who are shouting that they need poly coated, one with prongs, four without, notebooks, the most expensive pencil pouch and they have to go to the bathroom. Simultaneously. Go early. Get yourself some caffeine and smile, one of the only people there mumbling will be you. 

3.    Get yourself something happy. First. I made the mistake this August of looking in the grown up palazzo pant section last. Like a fool. We’d already been at Target for 4 hours; khaki clad employees were getting off their shifts that we rode the escalator in with. There wasn’t one drop of patience left between the five of us for this grown up on trend pants smorgasbord. We had to abort. Never again will this rookie error occur. Live, learn, shop palazzo numero uno.

4.    Give each older child their own list and basket. It’s about time they started pulling their own weight. Cut up that giant list from hell into smaller lists of hell and let them have at it. It will be a scavenger hunt and the real winner will be you. It looks like someone will have 8 less composition books to seek out to and have more time to find the perfect 4” blunt end scissors for your first grader. Boom. Game changer.

5.    Don’t obsess over seeing the exact item cheaper somewhere else. This  is a surefire way to want to take one of those freshly sharpened #2 pencils straight into your eyeball. That 5 cent glue stick at your local office store seems like the greatest bargain of all time until you get in there and realize they charge triple for all of the other shit you “need” and you’ve spent hours analyzing the cost of glue sticks instead of enjoying these last moments of summer. All equals out in the back to school retail wars. Go to a place that can reward you with a latte beforehand and have time for a cocktail poolside afterward.

Here’s to a beautiful school year ahead and savoring the last taste of summer while it still within our grasp. And to the tireless teachers, I raise my glass to you. Thank you for always being more than we could hope for. I look at every item on that back to school list as one less thing that you have to purchase for your classroom. It is the very least we can do to begin to give back to you. Thank you is an understatement. In the future please feel free to include your favorite store to shop at (or your favorite cocktail) on those back to school lists so we can remember you throughout the year.

Here’s to the survival…


And this was the result. Momma's going to need something stronger than caffeine.

Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Survive Your Twins This Summer


Oh wait... you are a mother and every day is exactly the same as it was the day before. There is no summer break. There is no break even ahead in sight. Even a bathroom break happens with someone staring at your vajajay at all times. So what do you do when you need to escape the house before you lose it? Somewhere that could be entertaining to any one of you, somewhere overall free of danger and a place that doesn't have to completely welcome but won't turn away your cute yet destructive "angels." Does such a place exist? My warrior friends it does.  My twins are now 5 years old and these are the places that helped us all survive each and every summer.

1. The Water Park of an Amusement Park. I'm kidding. I'm laughing so hard at that one. Sorry about that. Just don't do it. The best time to take twins to the stressful circle of hell that is the water park is when they are old enough to drive themselves there. A much better option for young ones is the splash pad. Sprinklers and running, have at it mini ones. You'll actually be able to see them and look mom- no drowning!

2. Grandma's House. It doesn't matter where your mom or mother-in-law live. Go to them. Find a way. Not only does this woman adore your children, she allows you to do something amazing: sit down. She may even cook for you. She may even help you fold laundry. She may even have wine. Bonus: she babysits. My mom and mother-in-law are the reasons I've kept any shred of sanity in having four kids. If they weren't already taken, I'd want to marry them. Yes, both of them.

3. The Mall Play Area. Don't knock it until you've tried when it's free of snot. A lot of malls open before the stores for employees and high speed mall walkers that will want you and your cherubs to stay the hell out of their way or you will get stomped on. Don’t make eye contact and just beeline it to the tot area. There may even be an open Starbucks at that time. You can sit with a macchiato and live the dream baby. If you go during prime sun hours, please proceed at your own risk. One time long but not long enough ago, our pastor was walking by and I talked to him for approximately five seconds while I was confined with my twins inside the sweet, safe play area when he says to me, “I think she just stole something.” And there it was: my Sophia had escaped the play area, ran into Gymboree and was standing there smiling, holding a new tank on a hanger like we had brought it from home. So proud. Go before the stores open. Trust me. 

4. The Beach. Fo real. That place will wear your babies out which will equal the best nap ever. Go early (again, this is the theme of your entire successful summer) and avoid the crowds. It will be much easier to get a good spot and to be able to see them while they run in opposite directions. Those brilliant arm floatie things that strap in the back will be your best friends. I’m pretty sure there were two solid summers where my twins never took them off. We also used to bring a small inflatable baby pool to the beach that we nicknamed “the baby cage.” Throw a little water in it to entertain and cool them off and until they realize they can escape it, it will be bliss. And at that point hopefully it will be nap time.

5. Your Own Backyard. I know you want to get out, I know. I do too. But think of it this way- bubbles and a baby pool = you being able to sit down. You can even put some Kahlua in that iced coffee in a judgement free zone. And your commute will be so short when it comes to that nap; no one will be falling asleep in their car seat on your watch. And one day your twins will be five and their siblings will be eight and ten. And you will be so excited for summer days that begin and end in your own backyard. Instill that love of being outside at home early on and they will never fall short of what they can discover within it. Nowhere to be with time to be can sometimes feel like the best gift ever. The first key though is surviving it. The second key is enjoying it. It helps to always have a happy drink in your hand. 

So keep on treading dear mommas, you’ve so got this.

Happy summer and cheers to you…


Pre escape baby cage... actually this is one of my twins with my nephew. Sophia did already escape.
Two out of three ain't bad.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dear Girls and Boys of the World

Dear Girls and Boys of the World,

There are a few things that I think you need to know. The things that you aren't going to find in a textbook or a church or maybe even your own home. There is power in the dos and the don'ts in this world. And it is imperative to know the difference.

Don't apologize for your wildness.
Don't apologize for your voice.
Or what makes you different.
Or what makes you the same.
Don't apologize for your style
And your smile
And all that makes you feel alive.
Don't apologize for saying no.
Or yes.
Don't ignore your gut instincts
Or the things that make the hair on your neck stand tall
Or the things that make you feel fear before any other emotion.
There is an endless strength in listening to what makes you afraid.
Please do not blanket your fear.
You are not alone.
If you have never felt at home in the body that you are born with
you can grant yourself the strength, courage and power to change it.
Your body is yours. Your mind is yours. Your soul is yours.
Love out loud so long as you love yourself first.
You owe nothing to anyone.
If no one listens do not give up.
Do. Not. Give. Up.
You have a voice and a choice
and you deserve to be heard.
Please don't apologize or make excuses for the people that weigh you down and tear you apart.
It doesn't matter if this person is blood, honey or water.
They have no right.
You do.
Burying your own secrets has the power to break us.
And you have far more important things to break:
Own that voice.
Scream if you have to.
Whisper if you must.
Just don't be silent.
Be who you are.
Release the you that demands to be seen.

You are worthy of so much.
You are a spark in this world.
You bring the light.
You overcome the dark.
This is your time, your story, your stage.
Your life.

The world is ready for you.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

A May Love Note

I still have moments when I feel like I'm drowning. I know I shouldn't. But I do. Because it doesn't always get easier; it evolves into another place with higher expectations. There is so much running around you forget to breathe. I am so ready for all of the sports to be finished and all of the commitments of school and lunches and reading logs and making projects with hot glue and homework to be finished. I'm not so much ready for the kids to be all up in my grill again but to have open days and open nights and nowhere in particular that we have to be. That is bliss. And ironically it is the same thing that I had when they were tiny and I felt like I was drowning in a different type of way. Oh motherhood, you are one crazy bitch how you turn those tables. So in the inbetween and the trying to wrap up all of the things that need to happen in these next few weeks, if you stumble upon a love letter that one of those wild ones wrote and hid it among the chaos of your office with no other intention than to make you smile, allow yourself to do that. 

Smile. Breathe. Repeat. 

Know that you are loved deeper than you will ever realize. 

We got this.