Ask me how I am a leader.

My sweet, responsible 9 year old popped into my bathroom this morning.  She woke up on her own, got dressed down to her shoes, brushed her teeth, and realized she had not heard me stirring about the house yet.  She was coming to make sure that I had woken up.  She is just so responsible and caring like that.  As I brushed and braided her hair, she very nonchalantly started telling me a story about something that happened at school the day before.  No big deal. Like most classrooms there are different jobs that each student performs.  In her class you get paid for performing your job.  Each student has a bank account and your money accrues throughout the year.  There are different things that you can spend your money on like treasure box items, the chance to sit in a “twirly” chair or on a bouncy ball all day, a pizza party for the class, etc. One of the jobs is Manager.  Managers make $25 more per day than the other jobs.  Anyone can be a manager when a manager is needed and apparently EVERYONE wants to be a manager.

This particular morning, the teacher said she needed a manager.  She explained that there was a student that needed some help getting their daily tasks done.  They needed reminding when and how to do certain things.  For example, when it is time to write down your homework in the agenda, it is your job to make sure that the other student also writes their homework down.  When it is time to put your backpack away, you make sure the other student puts their backpack away.  When it is time to take your math book out to take notes….well, you get the idea.  Sounds like the PERFECT job for Piper.  She has lots of practice being the Manager at home since she has a little sister that isn’t quite as responsible and needs LOTS of extra reminding too.

When the teacher asked for volunteers to be this student’s manager no one raised their hand. Apparently everyone wanted to be manager, just not for this student. So Piper raised her hand. Of course she did. Because that is who she is.  She is the first one to understand what is happening, what someone else might be feeling, what is the right thing to do.  She is responsible when it comes to getting things done, but she is also a responsible and caring citizen. She is not naïve in knowing that she is setting a good example for others because we talk about it all the time. She is a thinker and a worrier like her mama and although I am so very proud of who she has become as a little human, I sometimes want to tell her the truth.

I want to tell her that sometimes it doesn’t feel worth it.  Sometimes you will get walked all over despite your kindness.  Sometimes you will get left out despite being an includer.  Sometimes no one will care, even though you always care.  Sometimes when you are thoughtful, others will be thoughtless.  Sometimes people will be selfish regardless of how giving you have been. Sometimes people will use you and sometimes people will abuse you. Sometimes you will think of everyone else, but no one will think about you.  It is an exhausting existence being an empath.  You will carry the weight of other’s problems.  You will forget to take care of yourself.  You will struggle with your emotions. People will think you are weak.  And so, you will spend your life choking back tears because no one likes being called a cry baby. You will bottle up your emotions until you feel like you might explode.  And then you will.  You will have mood swings that you can’t control because you get so caught up in your emotions. And when you do, people will be unforgiving. People will even call you crazy.

But here is the actual truth.  You can’t help being an empath, it is something inherent in you, not something you learned.  So you will make the best of it.  It will be your advantage in life. Your sensitivity is a gift.  You will be a listener. The person people come to when they need help.  You will always find the answers.  You will take care of people.  You will be a leader.  You will be a volunteer.  You will be a giver.  You will be an example.  You will be strong.  You will fight to be heard. You will stand up for others when no one else will. You will root for the underdog.  You will be a lover.  You will be a fighter. You will be a problem solver. You will always look for the truth.  Luckily for you, you have the rare gift of intuition.  Believe me, you will instantly recognize a lie. You will always know that there is “more than what meets the eye.” Always trust your gut.  You will be creative.  You will love intensely.  You will know that you can do anything that you put your heart into. You will do great things.  I have no doubt that you will do great things.

IMG_3743

Piper and her new “Leadership Necklace” – September 25, 2017

Advertisements

My 35th Unbirthday

I think that you always try your best as a parent and hope that you raise gracious, caring, generous, thoughtful, compassionate and giving children.  Unfortunately leading by example is sometimes difficult in this crazy, busy world.  I realized recently that I have become so consumed by all of the stuff I need to do, places I need to go, and things I need to have, that I haven’t taken the time to set a good example for my children of how to be thankful and giving.  Sure, I made the decision for them this year that in lieu of gifts for their birthdays we were going to collect donations for local charities.  I did my best to explain why they couldn’t have the toys and clothes that were donated by our family and friends.  I explained that there were children who were sick or didn’t have mommies and daddies and that those kids needed these things more than they did.  It was interesting to watch a 4 year old and 2 year old digest this information.  And then it was difficult to watch my 4 year old open the few small gifts that she received and say, “Mommy, where are the rest of my presents?”  This was not the kind of child I thought I was raising.  It was at that moment I became fearful that we were creating a home of material overindulgence. Can you give your children too much stuff? I firmly believe the answer is yes, I would like to enter a picture of our toy room as my piece of evidence, but I will save that argument for another blog, on another day. Anyway, this got me thinking that I needed to start finding more ways to set good examples of being gracious, caring, generous, thoughtful, compassionate and giving.

So, as my own birthday was approaching, I was wallowing in self-pity as I realized I was going to be one year closer to 40.  I am not sure what it is about 35, but it just made me a little depressed.  Yes, I know…apparently 40 is the new 20.  Growing up, 40 always seemed so distant, so old, and so “never going to happen to me.”  Now I find myself rationalizing and talking myself into believing that somehow the human race has evolved and 40 is actually the equivalent of the former 20.

Image

As I wallowed, I was thinking about how I was going to avoid celebrating getting older.  I happened upon a blog that a woman had written about her 35th birthday and got some great ideas for my own non-celebration.I dragged my partner in crime/BFF and our kids along with me, and we set off on my 35th Birthday Mission to spend $35 (or less) doing random (and not so random) acts of kindness to make at least 35 people happy.  Here is a photo montage of our day:

Random Act #1: It was officially my birthday at 12am, so I decided to pop into one of my co-workers classrooms and grade some papers for her.  (FLVSers, you can appreciate this one)

Image

Random Act #2: We love our mail lady Karen. Piper often leaves notes for her in our mailbox.  We decide to leave her a few snacks with a note telling her to have a good day.

Image

Random Act #3 and #4: We had pizzas delivered to the staff of my daughter’s school for lunch.  We ordered the pizzas from our friend’s restaurant, Steve’s Pizza, which is near the school.  This was actually two random acts because we were hoping to help generate some business from the school for lunches, parties, etc. as well as surprise the staff.  When I called my friend and explained to her what I was doing for my birthday she loved the idea so much that she decided to perform an act of kindness herself and sent the pizzas free of charge.  We love Steve’s Pizza! Thanks again Lori!

ImageImage

Random Act #5: We purchased three scratch off lottery tickets and gave one to the clerk of the gas station.

Image

Random Act #6: We paid for the coffee of the lady in front of us at Starbucks.  We really enjoyed this one because we got to see the reaction of the recipient of our random act of kindness.  I will say that it was a bit awkward approaching this situation.  I had to interrupt just as she was about to pay and ask if I could pay for her drink.  At first both the barista and the lady were confused so I had to explain my whole mission. Once I explained the lady was super surprised and it created a fun conversation with this complete stranger about her 40th birthday and the bucket list she created. Fun fact: her favorite drink, the one she ordered that day, is the EXACT drink I ordered with all of the same customizations.  Oh and I also paid for Lisa’s drink and introduced her to the coconut mocha frappuccino.  I think this will count as making 3 people happy!

ImageImage

Random Act #7:  I collected stray shopping carts and pushed them to the cart corral at Target.

Image

Random Act #8: We left some diapers and wipes on a changing table for a mommy in need.

Image

Random Act #9: We placed dollar bills around the Dollar Tree.  They were strategically placed based on things I love: my kids, cleaning and Coca-Cola.  I love thinking that maybe some little kid was on the toy aisle and found that dollar bill.

ImageImageImage

Random Act #10 and #11: We surprised our kids with a trip to Chick-Fil-A.  We used to frequent our local Chick-Fil-A what some would consider too often,  but in has been quite a while so this was a special treat for the girls.  While there we got to see our favorite Chick-Fil-A employee, Deniz, and we gave her the other 2 scratch off lottery tickets.  Deniz surprised me with a birthday sundae! It is over a month later and we haven’t been back to Chick-Fil-A, but I can’t wait to find out if she won anything.

ImageImage

Random Act #12:  We dropped off some donations to the local collection truck.

Image

Random Act #13: Don’t be deceived by this picture.  We DID NOT donate our kids, although some days we might think about it.  We delivered 55 sets of pajamas and over 70 books to Kids in Distress (KID) in Fort Lauderdale.  We collected these items for the Pajama Program this summer at Piper and Olivia’s 4th birthday party.  We spent a lot of time talking about why we collected the items and who we were going to be giving them to.  Unfortunately we didn’t know what to expect when we delivered the items and the girls had been hoping to “see the kids”.  They were disappointed they didn’t get to meet any kids, but we know that lots of little ones are snuggled up in new PJs reading bedtime stories now and that makes us happy. Please consider making a donation as “Danger Season” has begun.  Temperatures are dropping and there is a long wait list for pajamas.

Image

Random Act #14:  We placed some money on the parking meter at the local college.  We hope this made someone’s day!

Image

Random Act #15: We made a donation to the 365 Food Drive.

Image

Random Act #16: We sent our friend a certificate for some baby formula.  That stuff is expensive, so every coupon helps!

Image

Random Act #17: We gave blood at our local blood bank.  This is one of the easiest ways you can help our community.  Blood has a limited shelf life and therefore it is difficult to keep an adequate supply in case of disaster or emergency situations.  When we showed up at the lab with 4 kids, these people must have thought that we were crazy.  As we were lying down with needles stuck in our arms our kids were basically running around the place like maniacs.  It was late in the afternoon, 0 out of 4 kids had a proper nap, and those poor lab workers didn’t know what to do.

ImageImage

Random Act #18: Proceeds from my kids clothing line, Pippy & LoLo, sold on Way Tutu Cute  will be donated to two different causes. The first is Praying for Maddie’s Miracle.  This is a fund set up to raise money to help support Maddie’s family while she seeks treatment for her illness.  Eleven month old Madelyn Davis was diagnosed in May with a type of leukodystrophy called Krabbe Disease. This is a rare genetic degenerative disease that affects the nervous system and brain cells. There is no cure for Krabbe. There are three stages of this disease and Maddie is already in Stage 3 so she is unable to receive any transplants

The other cause is Kristen’s Wellness Fund.  Kristen Winkel is the daughter of a friend.  Kristen was diagnosed about one year ago with a rare form of Lymphoma. She had a very large tumor in her chest cavity and endured several cycles of chemotherapy and radiation to shrink the tumor, as well treat the aggressive cancer. Unfortunately Kristen lost her battle on September 20, 2012. Kristen’s family is in the process of creating a new fund in her memory which will support a family with a child that is going through cancer treatment.  Kristen’s family cherishes the memories they were able to create even through her illness and want to help another family make those same kinds of memories. They will be providing more hands on and personal support to allow another family to spend precious moments together.

(If you would like to donate to either of these funds please contact me.)

I have to say that this turned out to be one of the best birthdays ever.  It felt good to do nice things and to make people happy all day and it was amazing to see how our random acts of kindness easily prompted others to pass it on.  I rounded out the day by having a low key dinner with my entire family and at bedtime had a chat with my girls about nice things they can do on a daily basis to make people happy.  My point seems to have gotten lost somewhere along the way because when I asked Piper what we could do to make people happy she said, “You could stop working mommy.”  Yes, that would make Mommy very happy.  But that too, is another blog, for another day. Ugh.

Well, anyway I hope that you all pass it on…..

XOXO

~Amy
P.S. Lots of love and thanks to my BFF Lisa for helping me accomplish my 35th Birthday Mission and making it such a fun success!


You’re an OGRE!

Last night when I was putting my oldest daughter to bed she told me I was the best mama in the whole world.  She tells me this often, nearly on a daily basis.  She doesn’t just tell me this when I give her a special treat or take her fun places, but also when I teach her rhyming words, help her write her name, or read her a book.  I really believe that she is being genuine, although either way, it makes me feel great.  We all like recognition and I work hard for that kind.  So, it took me by complete surprise when, a few weeks ago, she called me an ogre.

This particular day I was struggling to be patient and maintain my composure.  Nothing seemed to be going as planned.  I had woken up way too early, my phone was ringing incessantly with calls from needy students, and my girls were destroying the house while I tried to work.  All of this was sending me into an anxiety ridden hell.  I struggle with this daily, trying to juggle working from home and raising my two daughters.  I mean, I was not in the best of moods but an ogre I was not.  I walked into her room to find that she was “deciding what to wear” and “putting on make-up.”  There were clothes strewn across the floor and multiple tubes of fruit flavored lip glosses opened and smeared everywhere.  I think I screamed something to the effect of, “WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED IN HERE!?! I AM GIVING YOU 2 MINUTES TO CLEAN IT UP OR YOU ARE IN TIME OUT THE REST OF THE DAY!!!!”   I may have yelled some choice words not fit for repeating.  She looked at me, started crying and yelled, “You’re an OGRE mom!” Well that just sent me over the edge.   What mom hasn’t completely lost it and screamed at their kids?  That doesn’t make me an ogre!  I was shocked, heartbroken and mad as hell.

Now, I have seen the Shrek movies and love them.  Both of my girls have seen Shrek as well.  He is a lovable ogre right? Isn’t he married with kids, living the dream?  So let’s fast forward to a rare, lazy,  Friday night.  It was movie night. As promised we ate dinner, bathed the girls, made popcorn and all cuddled up in our bed.  While I was making the popcorn my hubby and the girls were searching through On Demand for something to watch. When I came back it had been decided – we were watching Shrek 4.  Seriously? There are four Shrek movies?  Where have I been?  My husband told me that the girls had actually already seen Shrek 4 but this is what they had decided anyway. Again, where have I been?  I know everything my children ingest, wear, or watch and I was pretty sure they had not seen Shrek 4 yet.  I asked Piper where she saw the movie and she said, “On the couch with Jaxon.” She was right.  We had some friends over one night and clearly I must have had too much wine to remember watching Shrek 4.

So anyway, the movie opens with Shrek and Fiona and their happy little family of five.  Just like I thought… living the dream.  Only in the movie the dream replays itself over and over and over again.  Every. Single. Day.  Shrek gets woken up too early by his kids jumping on his bed, one kid burps on him and another kid poops on him.  Every day he tries to eat a meal or take a bath and doesn’t have any privacy or peace and quiet for himself.  He goes to bed and it starts all over the next day.  Welcome to my life, I thought.  And then, about 15 minutes into the movie, it happened – Shrek screamed at the top of his lungs in absolute frustration and I saw myself on that fateful day a few weeks earlier.  Piper was right, I was an ogre!

After some reflection I realized that these things happen and you can’t beat yourself up over them.  We have good mommy days and we have bad mommy days.  Some days we have the patience of a saint and other days we are, well, ogres.  I am thankful for the lesson I learned from this silly movie and unlike Shrek, I wouldn’t trade a day in my current life for any other kind of day.


Puttin’ on the Blitz

I have a serious problem. I love a clean house – a house completely devoid of clutter and chaos.  I have three kids.  Well, two kids and a husband, so clutter and chaos are inevitable.  I can be somewhat obsessed with having everything in its place, but I like it that way.  Unfortunately, once I had children I had to succumb to the fact that there would always be things out of place.  We don’t have a dedicated “playroom” where I can shut the door and pretend like nothing is out of place.  We have a dining room/living room/toy room area which I have transformed into a place where all of the kid clutter resides – neatly in cubes, categorized by type of toy, of course.  At least 100 times a day you will hear me say, “All of the toys stay in the toy room.”  This never happens.  The toys don’t stay in the toy room, ever.  It is also pretty much guaranteed that you can walk into any room and find a baseball hat, sunglasses, or a beer bottle that has been left behind by child #3, aka my husband.

I have spent a ridiculous amount of time picking things up and putting them away only to find them an hour later abandoned somewhere else, at which point I pick them back up and put them away again. It is a vicious cycle, but I can’t help it.  I have genuinely tried, I promise I have.  I know my friends won’t believe me, but one time I decided to just let everything be out of place.  It wasn’t fun and I don’t understand how people live like that.  I simply love to clean.  I could spend my entire day cleaning and organizing and ridding my life of clutter.  There are very few people in my life that can relate with me and it is a lonely place, a clean and lonely place.  On the other hand, there are so many people that either ask me 1) to come clean their house or 2) how I keep my house clean and organized.  I have a system that works for me and maybe it can work for you too.

I call my system “The House Blitz” and the idea is simple (FLVSers will get this) – one hour, one room, each day. Pick a room, find an hour and get to work.  There are specific things that you are trying to accomplish during this hour:

1.)    Clear room of clutter and anything that doesn’t belong– This is the #1 priority.  Once the clutter is gone the room will be easier to keep clean and organized.  Grab a laundry basket or better yet, I love my large utility tote from Thirty-One because it has handle straps.  Look around the room and put anything that doesn’t belong into your basket.  You will deal with this later.

2.)    Conquer cobwebs and dust bunnies – Halloween and Easter are long over so it is time to clean up the remnants.  Start at the top and work your way down. Grab a ladder.  Get the cobwebs out of the high corners and don’t forget about the baseboards.  I use my Magic Blue vacuum attachments to help me get into all of the little crevices.  It is my favorite toy. I have tried other canister vacuums, including the Dyson, and this works best for me because I can get in, around and under everything.

3.)    Dusting – make sure all surfaces are wiped clean.

4.)    Vacuum/Mop – I love a clean floor and vacuuming is one of my favorite things to do.

Here are some things to focus on depending on which room you are cleaning:

Bedrooms – wash the sheets, make the bed, purge the closet, clean out the nightstand drawer, gather the laundry and clean under the bed.   Once a month or so, I also try to clean out my girls’ closets and pack up any clothes that no longer fit.

Bathroom – clean out cabinets of any unnecessary items, empty the trash, wash/change the towels and bath mats, replenish soap, check the toilet paper roll making sure to turn all A’s to B’s.  (Read “Over is right, under is wrong” for more information)

Kitchen – clean out the refrigerator, empty/load the dishwasher, clean out cabinets and pantry for expired items,  clean water dispenser area on refrigerator, clear your counter-tops, empty the trash,and  shine your sink.

Toy room – throw away any broken toys, gather any toys that are no longer age appropriate or unused, get baskets or tubs for holding toys.  I have some reasonably priced shelving and  boxes from Ikea to house all of the toys. Even if they aren’t organized by type like in my house, at least they can all be off the floor.  During your blitz you should also get all of the crayon marks off the wall.  Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work wonders for this and have many other uses as well.

Finally, as with everything else, there are rules:

Rule #1: Find a place for everything and put everything in its place.  Generally, if you can’t find a place for it, you probably don’t need it and therefore it is something you should part with at this point.  Don’t be a hoarder.  Look through that laundry basket of random items that you collected and either put them where they belong or get rid of them.  This is the time to clear your cabinets and closets of unused items.  The amount of useless garbage that accumulates in my house is obscene.  I find great joy in getting rid of it.  Really, I have no idea where all of the stuffed animals that I find come from.  I know for sure I didn’t buy 99% of them and I didn’t want any of them.

Rule #2: Do one load of laundry every day.  This is not actually my rule; I got this from Fly Lady.  I try to follow it as closely as possible but sometimes there just isn’t enough laundry to warrant the use of water and energy.  In these instances I do a load every other day.  This really helps keep me sane.  The mound of laundry that my two kids accumulate doesn’t even make sense.  If I let it pile up for an entire week it is far too much to manage in one day and ends up taking several days to wash, fold and put away. Try it.  I did, and I got my Sundays back.

Rule #3: Do a sweep through the house at the end of each day.  During your sweep pick up those random items that are out of place.  Remember, once you have cleared your house of the unnecessary clutter this will get easier!

Rule #4: Don’t go to bed with dishes in the sink.  If there is one thing I can’t stand, it is dishes in the sink overnight.  It just grosses me out.

Rule #5: Get your family on board.  Make sure that everyone picks up after themselves.  Kids can be trained, and so can husbands!  And if they can’t, get rid of them too.  Just kidding!  I play the sorting game with my girls when we clean up the playroom.  I designate a different colored tub for different toys (pink tub = dress up stuff, green tub = kitchen toys, etc).  They love it, most of the time, and clean-up is fast and easy.  My loving husband is also well-trained (except for the aforementioned hat, sunglasses and beer bottles).  We both work full time and we both share the responsibilities.

When you first get started with “The House Blitz” system you will probably spend more than an hour in each room, but don’t panic!  I spent an average of about 2 hours per room during the first cleaning.  I promise you that the deeper that first cleaning, the easier each subsequent cleaning will be.  And by the way, you will be killing two birds with one stone.  I recently read that two hours of heavy cleaning burns the amount of calories equivalent to a fast food sausage, egg and cheese biscuit.  So, maybe that is how I stay skinny.

So, now all you have to do is decide where to start.  Think about the room that has been bothering you the most.  Maybe you have closed the door and chose to ignore because it seems too overwhelming.  Instead, open the door and blitz the hell out of that room.  Then, rationalize the junk food you eat later because you already burned off those calories while cleaning.

XOXO – Amy

Here is the dining room/toy room in the midst of a blitz. My daughter is helping sort the toys.

The hubby’s hat and sunglasses. This particular day I found them on my side of the bathroom.


Grandma Rules

I have so many great memories of growing up and almost every single one involves my grandmother.  She showered me and my siblings with so much love and attention and we can’t forget that she always made sure that we were dressed to impress.  My Grandma always followed the “Grandma Rules”.

Grandma Rule #1 – Spoil your grandchildren rotten.  It was a Saturday tradition to shop til’ we dropped, spend the night at Grandma’s and go to church on Sunday morning.  We would come home Saturday afternoon with bags of the best bargains we could find.  There wasn’t a sale rack in town that we didn’t ransack.  My sister Sara and I would cut off the tags and play “store” in the back bedroom while Grandma whipped up a nice country dinner – cornbread and pinto beans were always my favorite.  We ate fudge pops for dessert and then after practicing our routine, it was show time.  We always had an audience as Grandma’s living room was filled with close friends and family all the time.  After we entertained the crowd it was bedtime, but not before Grandma rolled our hair in curlers. She was determined to get our stick straight hair to curl, even if it meant pin curling every last piece until her fingertips bled.  Dressed in our new church clothes for Sunday morning service, we held Grandma’s hand so she could show us off to all of the church folk.  She loved to brag about her grandchildren…lord knows that all of her friends were subjected to flipping through endless pages of photo albums of us.

Grandma Rule #2 – Always carry mints in your “pocket book.”  (I think it is also a rule that grandmas call their purses “pocket books.”)  Whenever we got fidgety during the church service she would dig down into the bottom of her “pocket book” and find those random mints floating around.  This helped to keep us contained for at least a few minutes.  Sitting at the memorial service for Grandma today I could have used some of those mints to keep my girls in their seats.

Grandma Rule #3 – Be a shoulder to cry on.  As I got older, Grandma became my confidant.  She was the person I called when I needed someone to listen.  She was the person I called when I was sad and the person I called when I wanted to share the happiest moments of my life.  The day I got engaged, she was my first call.  When I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter, she kept my secret for weeks before I announced it to the world.  I could always count on Grandma to listen and sympathize and then tell me exactly what she thought.  I respected that about her.  She didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear, she told you what you needed to hear.  She came from a generation very different from mine and while we didn’t see eye to eye on many things, she was always my moral compass.  She lived honestly, loved fully, and was the best grandmother I could have ever asked for.

I am so grateful that she was able to share so many of the important milestones in my life, most importantly my 2 daughters.  They loved their Gigi and were always excited to talk to her each week. Though short, I will always cherish the time they had together.  I will miss Grandma dearly but I will carry my memories of her with me forever – her laugh, her smile, her kind and generous heart and her unconditional love for everyone.  I knew I was loved, because she was my Grandma.

I know that she is in a safe, peaceful place now and that Grandpa is happy to have his “Bird” back.  I love you Grandma.  Rest in peace.

Mother Day, 2011


Just keep breathing

Written Friday, April 27th

I took my first deep breath today – my first refreshing, satisfying, complete deep breath in as long as I can remember.  I also wore all white today.  It was as if I was saying, “Dear Friday, I surrender.”  I work really hard every week.  Most days my plate is full and my tank is empty.  I make a list of things to do and am devastated at the end of the day when I realize that I didn’t fully accomplish one single thing on that list. I power through my day, usually with the help of a Red Bull.  Thank goodness the human body has autopilot, because otherwise breathing might not ever happen if it required that I remember to do it.

Before I was married and had kids my life wasn’t like this.  However, my brain no longer has the capacity to hold the memories from life before this.  I literally can’t remember what I used to do when I came home from work to my condo for one.  I really, really can’t remember. (Ask Lisa, we recently had this conversation).  I know I still made lists and I am going to assume I had much more free time to actually get “stuff” done.  I probably even had time to breathe.

But anyway, I felt that I truly deserved to take a few hours off from work today. My hard work made me worthy of some time away from my husband and kids, for a pedicure and lunch with my bestie. It was the BEST PEDICURE EVER!  A special thanks to all my girlfriends for the Spa Gift Certificates you gave me for my birthday.  (Yes, that was in September and April is almost over, welcome to my life.)  Gizmut tucked me into my zero gravity chair, tilted me back, placed an eye pillow on my face and did her thing.  She rubbed some fragrant oil on her hands and waved them under my nose.  She asked me to take 3 deep breaths…and like anesthesia before a surgical procedure, that was the last thing I remembered. The next thing I knew Gizmut was softly whispering my name in an attempt to bring me back to the real world. She asked for 3 more deep breaths of her fragrant oil and her hand gently shielded the bright light from my eyes as she brought me back.  I opened my eyes and it was like “HOOOOOONK!!!!! Welcome back, now get outta here!” (Thanks to Kim and Chad for that.)

It was amazing how revitalized I could feel with just a few deep breaths and, of course, a pedicure.  I never take the time to recognize whether I am breathing, both literally and figuratively speaking.  I am always checking to make sure someone else is fed, dressed, sleeping or breathing, but I tend to ignore myself.  Today I vow to make it a point to stop each day and just breathe, to check my pulse in a way, and make sure I am still alive. And if you are a good friend, would you mind asking me every so often if I am breathing?  Help me to make sure this just isn’t another thing that gets added to the bottom of my list of things that never gets done.

THE BEST PEDICURE EVER: Coldwater Creek The Spa


Hello world!

Every day another “momster” is born.  Join the crowd.  And join me here for stories about motherhood and inspiration for keeping semi-sane.

Lots of love,

Amy