I cannot count how many times I have told kids, be it my own or my students, that tantrums accomplish nothing and will get them nowhere. Something I failed to recognize until yesterday was the inaccuracy of that statement. Tantrums do accomplish something. Whether that something is getting energy out, expressing a feeling, or learning a lesson about self or life, ultimately something is gained. What is gained may not always be positive but it is still something.

So how did this change in understanding occur for me? What prophetic moment sparked and brought this topic to mind? I wish I could say that it was just something that popped into my head, or that it came up in conversation, but both of those things would be a lie. The truth is, it came about because I, yes me, a grown ass adult, threw a tantrum yesterday.

Okay, so what was this tantrum over?

Well, it was over my workout at the gym. Yes, that is correct, I threw a tantrum at the gym.

What seems like forever ago, but in reality was just 12 short weeks ago, I had major surgery. A hysterectomy at 26 where not only my uterus was removed but pounds, yes pounds (12 to be precise) of scar tissue was removed. This scar tissue had attached itself to my uterus as well as my bladder, causing my stomach to expand as my bladder was slowly ripped in half as it was being stretched across my body.

During the time prior to my surgery I had been working out through my pain and hoping to keep energy and momentum in order to get healthier. I was proud at my progress and found determination in hitting awesome benchmarks. The one I had found myself most proud of was being able to complete a 3 minute and 9 second plank.

Cleared and feeling good at 8 weeks post surgery I went back to working out. Frustrated at a huge amount of weight gain my body experienced post surgery I was ready to get back at it. I had gained over 30lbs. For me that type of gain was unheard of. To be fair any gain was unheard of. Prior to my surgery I had to actively focus in order to not LOSE rapid amounts of weight, gaining weight for me was impossible. Post surgery that is definitely not the case.

So back to that tantrum.

Here I was at the gym. 12 weeks post surgery. I came in ready to push myself and feeling confident. It was AB day. Push-ups, planks, bicycle crunches, planks, burpees, planks, leg lifts, planks. That was my workout. For an hour. 90 seconds a piece. 2x.  And there I was unable to even make a plank for 30 seconds. I found myself comparing myself to pre-surgery me. I could do over 3 MINUTES before surgery and now I couldn’t even make 30 seconds. I felt defeated. I felt sad. I felt ultimately like I was failing because post surgery me couldn’t plank like pre surgery me could. And no matter how much prior I had heard, “you just had major surgery, you’ll get there” I couldn’t get that to make me feel any better. I felt as though if I wasn’t making that then I wasn’t trying hard enough.

The 2nd plank hit in round one and I dropped to my knees about 20 seconds in. I felt the tears coming. They weren’t sad tears. They were angry tears. I was getting angry. By the end of the first set I was pissed. The 2nd plank was worse than the first and I decided that if I couldn’t do those than I would put everything I was feeling into my other exercises and so I did. I hit my burpees with anger, with determination, and I think in the hopes of somehow telling myself it was me making up for something I felt like I was failing – my planks. I slammed my feet into the ground hard with each burpee I hit just trying to work out the extreme amount of pissed off I was feeling and when that 3rd set of planks came around my trainer called me aside, and called me out on what ultimately had been a bit of a tantrum.

He reminded me again that the body takes time to heal, it had only been 12 weeks, and that I can only do so much right now. And I hated those words because I knew it wasn’t what I could do. I had planked for 3 minutes before I could do more than 20 stupid seconds. I felt fine so why couldn’t I work like I was fine? Why wasn’t it showing? That is when I said that I was feeling defeated but bottom line I was feeling like a failure. Like I wasn’t pushing hard enough because I wasn’t meeting previous work expectation. And to me that meant I was failing. Failing myself and failing him. That it meant I wasn’t working hard enough because I wasn’t back to where I knew I could be. He reminded me that I needed to work to my CURRENT level to avoid injury whether I liked it or not and I finished my workout with that in mind.

So what did my tantrum get me?

My tantrum gave me some clarity and a whole lot of emotions. I am a still really frustrated at my inabilities right now. I hate feeling as though I am behind where I know I can be. And I hate feeling like I am not ever going to get back to what little strength I had had. I hate feeling like my goals are so out of reach because it makes me feeling like I will never succeed to my end hope. But I am recognizing now that failing is a choice but it’s also a perspective. I am at the gym and I work every moment to the best of my current, sucky ability. I push hard and I always feel my workouts in the morning. That means I have to be doing something right. If I was failing I wouldn’t be there at all. My scale backed up this budding thought process as I hit another 3 lbs down. This is leaving me at only 15 lbs from my pre-surgery weight and 20lbs from my goal weight. That’s progress. That’s progress even though I can’t plank for 3 minutes anymore. And progress is my goal.

The reality is, I may never get back to that 3 minutes ever. And I need to learn to be okay with that. Just like my mind is different today than it was even a year ago so is my body. A body that has been through a whole hell of a lot in its life and has a lot of healing to do. And I need to stop comparing who my body used to be to who it is now. My tantrum helped to remind me that even when I felt weak I wasn’t. It helped to remind me that when I feel like I am failing I am surrounded by people who remind me that I am maybe being a bit unreasonable with myself. It helped to remind me that I’ve been through so much, but there is progress being made inside and out that is positive and that I have to keep fighting for that.

In this I learned that tantrums, they do get you something. Sometimes good and sometimes bad there is always a lesson, always a reason, and always something to be gained. Now that doesn’t mean I recommend them, but it does me that I now respect what they have to tell me. Not just in myself but from my kids, from my students, from my friends, and from my family, because in them is always something more than just those hard landings during burpees, in them is some of the biggest fears, challenges, and struggles people hold in and don’t know how to express.

Thank you to my amazing trainer for never giving up on me. For always pushing me not just to be fierce in the gym but to be fierce in my soul and to recognize the connection between what’s manifesting outside as a result of what is happening inside. For smiling through my tantrum and taking that time to remind me again no matter how many times he has before, that I am not in competition with myself or others in this journey to health and that I am not a failure to anyone including myself. I can’t promise I will always have good days, but I can promise I will always work my absolute hardest, whatever that level may be in order to become a better and healthier me inside and out. Thank you for not giving up on me even when I wanted to give up on me.


There are commonly two ends of the spectrum when it comes to people taking medication. You have those that will willingly take medication prescribed to them in order to heal their ailment and those that do everything they can to find a natural alternative to cure their ailment and avoid taking medication. As long as there is no abuse of medication occurring neither of these methods or avenues are bad. What is bad however, is the rising stigma against mental health disease.

We may not be aware but we all know someone that suffers from a mental health struggle of some kind. We likely aren’t aware because of the shame and stigma that surrounds mental health in our society. Last month a women named #ErinJones became tired of that stigma. Posting a photo of herself holding her anti-depressants she spoke out about her personal mental health journey. This post has now inspired thousands of other people to respond with their own photos and stories. From this single post the hashtag began of #medicatedandmighty. This hashtag isn’t about glorifying pharmaceutical companies, it is about recognizing that there is nothing wrong with those that need a little extra help with what they are facing in life. Needing anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication, or anything else for mental health, doesn’t make one less of a person or less of a fighter and survivor.

Three emotionally and physically challenging pregnancies, surgery struggles, illness, difficult relationships, and a myriad of other things in life left me foggy and unable to understand why day-to-day activities were such a struggle. I fought alone for many years before recognizing that there is zero shame in needing a little extra help. Placing myself on anti-depressants was one of the best choices of my life. Allowing me to be a better mother and a stronger women I felt myself returning to a state of normal. A state I had not felt in a long time. I was able to be off of them for over a year before life events made me notice somethings in myself I was not okay with. I was continually anxious and my moods were struggling. I was able to acknowledge that at that point, with everything life was throwing at me, I needed a little extra help again. I put myself back on my anti-depressants after speaking with my doctor and have noticed a huge shift in how I am processing myself and the world around me. I am no longer ashamed of needing that extra help because it makes me a better person and a better mother when I take care of myself.

  • It does not make me weak.
  • It does not make me a druggy.
  • It does not make me incapable.
  • It does not make me unhealthy.
  • It does not make me brainwashed.
  • It does not make me crazy.

 It does however, make me strong, and capable and fierce. It reminds me of the battle I am fighting and winning every single day of my life. The mark of a strong person is one that can ask for the help they need even if others have something to say about it. So stand up! Receive the help that you deserve and do not be afraid. The stigma for mental health must come to end.





I will WIN!

I am #medicatedandmighty

2015-11-02 10.58.49

Together we can end the stigma on mental health. Together we can change the world. Together we can heal.

I recently read an amazing blog post by one Chad Ashby that moved me very much and I feel called to discuss it. His article, entitled “Brothers and Sisters, Unwed Pregnancy is not a Sin” is about as on point as one can get. I urge each and everyone reading to click his link and read his powerful and ever so true words. This thought process is a huge flaw in the pro-life movement and in the mindset of many people in general.

When I was pregnant with AG, my birth-daughter, I was young, alone, afraid, and not ready for the world to know I was pregnant. Raised in a very religious household and within a very strict community I knew what people would think, or say, no matter what was actually the truth. Once people started to find out the whispers began. And it wasn’t outsiders that whispered, it wasn’t members of my town or strangers. No, it was people I had once called friends, it was family, it was the congregation at church. It was easier to shun me and call me names than dare accept me or the child in my womb. And yet each one of these individuals called themselves “pro-life”.

I was chastised on a regular basis for being joyful about my pregnancy despite its struggles and difficulties. This was unfathomable to me. Why wouldn’t I be joyful? It’s a life. And yet I had people around me telling me to not be happy, that things were horrible, that I was horrible.

It was this point in my life where my faith was truly tested, and quite honestly it was at this point that it started to first crack. I saw around me, constantly, members of my church, people of my faith openly condemning me for my pregnancy and my choices in that pregnancy. I struggled to rectify beliefs with the actions of the people I was surrounded by. It was in this darkness, feeling utterly and completely alone and abandoned that I found my safe haven.

The Nurturing Network gave me hope again. Pairing me with a peer counselor, helping me make doctors appointments, and reminding me that I was worth it and that my life would be okay and so would my child’s. Mary and Ann helped me beyond measure and through them and my counselor I met the women my daughter would call mom.

I had many people tell me what I should do, what I needed to do, even commanded of what I had to do. But through the support of the Network I was able to make those decisions for myself. It wasn’t easy, but my knowledge of child development, life, and my ability to see where I was at in it I knew in my heart that adoption was the best possible thing I could do for my child. I was unsure of how it would work but through the support of the family and the Network I am blessed to have an open adoption and the ability to see my first daughter grow up every day.

I am blessed beyond measure to have found an outreach that reminded me that unwed pregnancy isn’t a sin and that I had no reason to allow myself to be cast aside or treated as infected. If one is going to preach “pro-life” in any capacity one must know truly what it means and how to advocate for it. Because if we condemn a mother for being pregnant we condemn that child inside her and there is nothing pro-life about that.

Mr. Ashby had a very good line in his article stating

When we overlook sexual immorality but condemn unwed pregnancy we spread Satan’s lie: “Fornication is fine, but babies are bad.”

How true that statement really is.

It’s time the the “Pro-Life” community, and the Catholic community especially realize that unwed pregnancy isn’t a sin and that by continuing to operate under that overly pious belief and react in manners that tear down unwed pregnant women or make them feel ashamed, you contribute to the destruction of life. And therefore have no right to call yourself “Pro-Life”.  Additionally in that condemnation you pull people from the faith. It is our job as as Catholics, as Christians, to lift up people. To make them feel the love of Christ, a Savior born to an unwed mother himself. Perhaps it’s time to look back on that fact my Catholic brothers and sisters and see the grace, the humility, the love, and the reaction we are supposed to be giving these women.

For Elizabeth said unto Mary “Blest is the fruit of your womb” Luke 1:42

Not what the hell did you do? What were you thinking? How could you? How dare you? For shame? What are we going to do with you? Get out. Not let’s hide you away so no one knows. But “Blest is the fruit of your womb” … with open and loving arms Elizabeth met the unwed Mary. And with open and loving arms so must we meet every pregnant mother that comes our way, wed or unwed. For it is in that we spread the message that life is Scared. Valued. And Irreplaceable.

In case you didn’t know, I’m a control freak. Ask my husband, my girlfriend, my family, hell ask anyone – there is no denying that there is nothing I relish more than control, except maybe organization, well let’s be honest it might be a close tie. Anyway what it comes down to is that I need systems and structure to function the best. My lists have lists. And yet I function in a lifestyle that gives me the least amount of control humanly possible.

I grew up in a home with a father who is a railroad engineer. This mean that he could go to work at any time 24/7 365, no schedule, no days off, no consistency. As I grew older it began to bother me a lot more. No planned family events, no guarantee of anything. Despite my discontent it prepared me for the life of a soldier’s wife another lifestyle with little to no guarantees or schedules.

So, how do I cope with it? How do I maintain my sanity and my deep seeded need for control in an environment so out of my control? And most of all, why do I do it?

Well- the easy answer is adaption. I have learned the importance and the value in being adaptable.

Things won’t every be exactly how I want them: I may not like that fact but that doesn’t make it any less true. Not everything I go to will go perfectly smoothly, start on time, be organized the way I would like, or be full of people I will enjoy. Now, I can be cranky about that and throw a tantrum, or I can accept the reality of life which is that people are all different and I cannot compel someone to act or react as I do. Trying would be pointless and being angry about it is a ridiculous and miserable way to live, for you and for everyone that has to be around you.

WHY? Why do I take this outlook? Because it’s the only way to have a successful life. If I cannot be adaptable I teach my children that they can’t either. I set them up for failure by allowing them to think everything caters to them when that just is not the case. If we are out somewhere and it’s past their bed time and they are tired and melting down, I validate and acknowledge that, but that doesn’t mean we will always drop what we are doing and get them home, instead we teach them how to manage their behavior. I help them settle down where we are, or hold/comfort them, we converse about it because the reality is we can’t and won’t always leave the moment they have a behavior, or when I am ready to have a behavior for that matter, and it’s important to learn how to properly handle that without a fit or tantrum, from anyone.

It’s not easy to relinquish control and it’s not easy to always let things go, but I try my best to  maintain a balance. I focus at home on the things I can control. ME. I can control how I react to situations, how I organize my home, meals, activities, routines and the like. Maintaining the control and organization in those aspects helps me accept the lack of control in other avenues. This is a lot easier the days SCM is away because I don’t have to share my control within my house routine but when he is home I am trying hard to be better at relinquishing house control and exercising some more compromise.

Being a control freak is hard and it has it’s ups and downs but taking the constant time and effort to remember that it isn’t all about you is an important part of a healthy, functioning life where people don’t want to strangle you because your attitude sucks. So be adaptable, it’s okay. Start small but you can do it!!

I have been neglectful to my blog devotion and it’s rather pathetic. It isn’t a difficult thing to keep up and yet I easily allowed myself to stop posted by saying I had no inspiration or topics, but the truth is, while that sometimes is the case, I also got lazy and I let all the other must haves in my life push aside something I actually enjoy, and that’s blogging. I may not do it well and certainly not up to the amazing standards of many but it is something I enjoy and I hope that with 2015 and the massive changes coming to our family that I will be able to maintain it, for myself.

It’s been a long time coming but a few months ago SCM was accepted to transfer from Reservist status to full time Active Duty Army. It’s been a wild ride and aside from a quick week and a half home over the holidays he has been across the country busting his butt training for the new aspects of his job. We couldn’t be more proud of him. It will be difficult having him away from most of this year but we are excited for all the changes and great things it is going to bring.

LM is now 3 years old!! I am not sure how that happened so quickly but it did and it’s amazing to me. She is full of attitude and spunk and attending school twice a week. She loves it and it’s a godsend to me as well, my sanity appreciates it greatly.

MM is nearly 11months old!! He is all over the place and full of laughs and giggles and squeals. I really cannot believe that he is almost a year old. The time has flown and life is moving ever so quickly.

Amongst all this chaos my school has begun. Graduate school is intense and being on quarters has me moving at a very fast pace. I enjoy the pace and the studies are fascinating to me but there are days that I absolutely feel like there just aren’t enough hours to do it all. I am blessed to have my best friend staying with me helping me transition and hold down the fort, I wouldn’t be able to juggle it all without her.

In addition to the crazy we added a new family pet to the equation. Sabre is amazing and we are working on finishing up his training so that he can be a service animal. He is an amazing help to the family in many ways and a struggle in many others. Unfortunately his previous owners were unkind to him and he suffered a large amount of trauma and abuse as a puppy. Due to this he suffers from extreme separation anxiety and trust issues. He doesn’t do well with being left alone and in fact has eaten quite a few things, including his metal crate, due to the issue. We are working closely with his vet to find him a balanced set of medication and a system for the times we do have to leave him at home. It hasn’t been an easy, simple, or inexpensive trail and error process but it certainly has been eye opening for me. It may sound funny but everything I am studying in school for helping those struggling with trauma and PTSD has been a great help and insight into his suffering. We have had him since October and he is making great progress, like with anything or anyone it’s one day at a time. He’s SCMs best friend though and they are great for each other. He’s the perfect quirky fit for our home and despite his moments and struggles we couldn’t love him more.

Sooner rather than later I plan to be back, until then from our family to yours I hope that you had a blessed holiday season and Happy New Year!!!

Christmas 2014


Well Autumn has arrived in my neck of the woods and I am loving it. It is by far my favorite season. With the Fall breeze, the changing leaves, and the hustle and bustle of life though bittersweet sets in. In twelve short days we say farewell for now to SCM as he embarks on a journey he has dreamed about for four years. We wont see him again, likely, until next year. I will have to adapt to it just being me, the children will have to adapt to daddy being gone and when able to be seen it is only through technology. I have no doubts that this is the direction our family is meant to take, but it is still challenging nonetheless.

It’s been a great while since I have posted last, as I have allowed life to get in the way and my time management skills. I have lacked slotting in time to focus on writing that isn’t part of my scholarly work. Graduate school is going well thus-far and my biggest obstacle is making quiet time for me to truly focus on my work and put all that I know I am capable into it. I am four weeks in to a twelve week quarter though and so far, so good.

The children are growing up faster than I would like to admit. LM is nearly three and has hit the chaos that goes with that age frame. We have frequent episodes of dramatics, yelling, screaming, overwhelming (for us both) times and she is still being stubborn on potty use but is still working on it. On the flip side to the CRAZY threes (seriously twos have nothing on threes) she is making huge developmental strides. LM’s newest fascination is dressing herself, she loves to change a million times a day all by herself. It isn’t always right side in, or on just right but the concept is growing every day and I am very proud of that fact. She also is attending a play-school taught by a friend of mine twice a week. She is able to play with her friends and do some learning and activities, it has been fantastic for her and she absolutely LOVES it. Her conversational skills are also quite amusing – she is totally 2 1/2 going on 15.

First Day of “School”

MM is almost 8 months old, which is hard to believe. He has two bottom teeth and is working hard to get the top two to pop in as well. He crawls like a madman and regularly gets mad that he can’t walk like LM can. He wants to get around so badly and do everything. He is still quite the chunk and has a huge amount of personality. He also is still his daddy’s little clone.

Mini Mister

I fill my days with child rearing, school work, and spending time with my best friend who is staying with me at the moment. My days are often overwhelming and I find myself needing to take more time to rest and reevaluate than I have in years past. I feel myself reflecting on things differently than I have at previous stages of my life, and I feel myself grateful for where I am right now, as crazy as it can be sometimes. I don’t know how SCM leaving will be on the family, on me. I don’t know how the time between us seeing him again will go. I don’t know how I will fill my days and not lose my cool when the littles decide to lose their mind. But, I do know that the days will pass on and the sun will shine through, even on the days that are cloudy or stormy, and everything will be just fine.

As the Autumn air fills my lungs I remember the big things and the little things I must accomplish. I acknowledge the feelings I have for everything going on in my life right now and I center myself in the acceptance of my abilities and the focus of my mood. This journey we are embarking on will not be easy, but it is more than possible.

From a young age children are taught to be gentle with others. To respect feelings, challenges, personalities, struggles, and everything else that make up the individuality of all other beings. We remind children to share their toys, to be kind to others, and to behave. We give children a set of rules and standards to live by. We do our best to make them “good kids,” and yet more and more we see the dark struggle of humanity around us.

Woven into the regular stories of crime, hate, war, poverty, politics, and economic statuses there are the many stories of death. Stories of death at the hands of others, and more and more commonly death at the hands of oneself. The rates of depression amongst people have grown as the years have gone by. A “silent killer” I have heard many call it; a “secret disease”. The shame and solitude around depression as well as its  many causes have been a sensitive and taboo subject for a great many years.

The recent passing of renowned comedian and actor Robin Williams who suffered from depression for most of his life has brought more light to the subjects of depression and suicide than has been shone on it in a few years. It is sad to think it takes a tragedy to open those communication channels. Reflecting on Robin’s passing stirred many thoughts and emotions in my mind and I began to think about somethings my dear friend and I have discussed at length over the last few months, especially in those moments where our own anxieties and depressive moments have kicked in.

We are always told to be kind to others, to be gentle with others, but why so often do we neglect ourselves? We forget to remind ourselves and one another that we must ALWAYS be gentle with ourselves. We must respect our own individual needs as beings first and foremost, whatever your role in the world is. If we are not gentle with ourselves, if we can’t fulfill ourselves respectfully, we can’t ever be there for others, and that includes being there for our children and our spouse, being present and fully active in our marriages and relationships with others.

Remind your own self to be gentle and others you may see struggling to be gentle to themselves as well. This concept is hard, but find a way that works for you – to bring that into focus each and every day, throughout the day. That constant reminder when things start to get bumpy to just, ‘be gentle’.

For my best friend and I this struggle is daily and sometimes hourly and with us being many hundreds of miles and many states apart we can’t always be right there for each other when that road turns a bit rocky, so this week while she was out visiting me we designed this tattoo together which we both had placed on our forearms. The constant reminder to be gentle with ourselves. The constant reminder of the love another person holds for me despite all my struggles. The constant reminder that we are enough, we are capable, we are strong even when we are weak, and we can do it all if we just remember to have love for ourselves as well.

be gentle

Depression has a way of stealing  fulfillment, joy, and love in all the worst ways, leaving you feeling isolated and alone. It is hard to pick yourself up some days and to keep trucking along. It’s easy to feel hopeless and abandoned and like you have no one to turn to. So in those moments of hate. Of self doubt, destruction, insecurity, fear, and any other emotion, remember that you are always worth it, you always matter, and even if no one else in the world will, remember to BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF.

Four years ago I didn’t marry my best friend, or my soulmate. I didn’t marry someone I knew all about or that I had a million interests in common with, in fact our interests are far from the same. We won’t ever like the same kind of music and I won’t ever be able to play the guitar or piano like he does and he won’t ever be able to rock the organizational skills that I do. We will always be vastly different individual people who sometimes struggle to communicate our differences, but our souls, our beings, those will always be our connection.

He challenges me every day to be better – We are so different that I have a spouse that constantly views situations differently than me. I am not going to lie sometimes that is frustrating as all hell but he challenges me to look at all sides of a problem or situation instead of just my angle. This has given me the ability to learn and grow in so many areas of my life and to be much more open minded.

 I didn’t marry my best friend because I didn’t want to marry someone I knew all about, that was me in another being, if I wanted that I would have stayed single. I wanted someone that I could learn, I wanted someone I connected with on a level so beyond understanding or explanation. I wanted a twin for my soul not just my personality or interests – and that, that is what I found. That deeper connection, that immoveable connection to my very being is the foundation of our marriage, of our life together, of our family. Interests are superficial, fleeting and unstable in comparison.

So, here we are, four years later. Every day has its own challenges, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Happy Anniversary my love!!!


Since I graduated college 3 years ago with my B.S. in Psychology, I have always thought about doing more, about the possibility of continuing on, but when babies, family, military, and moving came up it was pushed to the back burner.

I have tossed and turned about the practicality of continuing on with my education and finally set back and realized how badly I wanted to have something to focus on, to pursue, to do every day that actually used and challenged my mind. So, I applied for a M.S. program.

Today I received this letter:

I am beyond excited and also very nervous about what it means for the future. I know that with SCM being gone it will be some juggling and intensity but I am anxious for the challenge and cannot wait to see what the future holds by accomplishing this! It is going to be a wild ride!!!

I am so grateful for SCM for encouraging me and supporting me in wanting to take this on, especially with two littles and him not being here. 

With the news of our upcoming move and SCM’s transfer to full time Active Duty coming to public knowledge there have been some interesting things being said to us. You always hope and pray for support when big changes come and when you are working towards what is best for yourself and your family but alas that is not always what comes. And since I am tired of repeating myself or being tactful I am just going to answer it all right here.


1. How could he leave your kids like that? I mean they are only little once, he is going to miss their whole childhood.
Here is a statement that I have heard a lot recently and honestly it makes me want to slap people.

How do you leave your kids every day to go to work? How do you leave your kids to go out on dates with your spouse? How do you leave your children to do anything? Why is it so much worse that he is leaving them for his work than when you leave your kids for your work? On another note he will be away from us for training and when he is deployed, same as he is right now, the only difference is every other day of the week when he goes to work he does it for the Army and not for John Smith at some corporation.

How could he leave, well, he leaves to put food on the table, to support his family, to show his children the value of not just working but the value in working doing something you love and are good at, he helps the people around him every single day and that fulfills him and makes him an even better father and husband. I am going to guess it’s the same reason someone in your family goes to work every day too.

Yes childhood is fleeting and he will miss moments in the kids’ lives and in mine but that also allows him the ability to value the time he does get even more and it allows the children to cherish their father even more. He will not miss their lives, he will miss moments and those are vastly different things. Everyone misses moments no matter their job but that won’t make him any less involved or dedicated to his family because that is marked in the man not in the moments.

2. How could you possibly let him do that?

Excuse me? How could I “LET” him do that? I do not control him, nor him I.

First of all he isn’t imprisoned that isn’t how this works. We are a couple and a family and you better believe we discussed and talked about what is best for our family and how this situation would work for us as a family. This is not one of us deciding big things on our own, that isn’t a marriage.

Second of all, I absolutely support SCM in everything he is doing and working towards and am beyond proud of the strength and determination he has shown in taking this step. He is an amazing medic, an amazing person, an amazing soldier and he is a hard worker. I knew that this was a dream of his from the very beginning and I have always 1000% supported that because it makes him better and it makes our family better. And even if I wasn’t totally sold on it I trust him and know that he will always do what is best for our family.

3. I am so sorry!

What the actual fuck? Why? Why are you sorry that he will be supporting his family while doing something he enjoys? Why are you sorry to ME because he will be doing something he loves and supporting his family. Why is it such a bad thing? Why is it so absurd to think that we are happy about this change? Don’t tell me you are sorry, if there are no other words you can manage to muster up, like support, then just keep your mouth shut because all “I’m sorry” is going to do is likely get you punched in the face for your stupidity. This is a choice we made and one we are very excited about.

4. Why would you do something like that?


This job gives SCM the ability to do what he loves and is good at every single day. This job gives him the ability to make an even bigger difference. This job gives our family a steady paycheck, as well as the ability to travel, and to give our children more than we had growing up.

The biggest thing this gives us is that our children are able to see, through their father, that they can do absolutely anything they set their mind too. They will know that  they do not have to hide or restrict who they are or their dreams in life, ever for anyone, and that anything is possible for them.

5. Has he ever thought about just actually working instead? Or maybe going back to school to find a better job? There are so many options out there. 

Yup, there certainly are many options out there and in the midst of working full time at insane graveyard on call hours at the hospital, while going to college full time for the last 2 years (hey there is that going to school bit), he has researched those options and thought and discussed long and hard what he wanted to do, and guess what? This is the option he chose. This gives him the degree he has been working his ass off towards as well as so many other things.

“Actually working instead” EXCUSE ME! You want to lose some teeth and that is a great phrase to try to tell a military service member. I tend to find that those that use this statement have never themselves actually been in the military and have zero understanding of the constant, hard, sacrificing work they do non-stop. Of the jobs they do under immense pressure and stress and many times under imminent threat. You don’t want to call that work? You have your head in the clouds.

Why did you decide to be a grocery store clerk, or telephone repair man, or blacksmith, or stay at home mom over doing something else? You know there are more option right? Oh, you chose it because it works for you? Well shocker – us to.


While there are more beautifully stupid things that have been ask or said to us in recent weeks these are just the top 5. I understand that many people do not understand or want to understand, why we have wanted this and why this is an amazing experience for our family, and that is fine you don’t have to understand it, but if you are rude about it or put down my husband or family because of it you better be prepared for a hard reality check because that shit is not going to fly.

When SCM joined the Army 4 years ago he wasn’t sure what he would think of the lifestyle or how it would work with our family as it grew and developed. Quickly after joining though we both realized that being a Reservist was not what he wanted, nor was it where he or our family was happiest. After starting the paperwork multiple times to transfer to full time Active Duty status and having missions, deployments, and training dates put it on hold it often felt like a pipe dream to think the transfer would every happen. The challenge of the transfer however didn’t stop SCM and in March his paperwork was once again sent up the ladder. As with anything military related we didn’t hold our breath but rather assumed that in 6+ months we might hear something back. Much to our surprise however it only took half that time for him to get his answer back.

approved-stamp-8591025So, a few weeks ago he received his letter of approval of transfer. What does this mean? This means that he will now undertake reenlisting into the Army for a full time job instead of just as a Reservist. He will go through MEPS processing again and in the next few weeks should learn his actual dates that he will be leaving for further training before obtaining a final and temporarily permanent duty station (as they all are).

The children and I will stay here at home until all of his training is complete and he has a final station, we are unsure of how long that will be- likely we will not be leaving until sometime the beginning of 2015, and then we will move with him wherever he is.

We are all extremely excited about this big change in our life and we know that it will mean many more wonderful and amazing things for us and our family unit. It will be hard to leave loved ones and the community we have become so comfortable in when that time arises but we know that it will be for the best. SCM has worked so hard for this transfer and is absolutely amazing at his job and I am beyond thrilled for him to be able to work doing something he absolutely loves and something that will help so many.

I cannot wait to see where this adventure will take us and I am so proud of SCM and all that he is working towards.



For many knowing their grandparents growing up wasn’t super common, for even more knowing their great grandparents was unfathomable, but for me, not only have I known my great grandparents I have been blessed to have them into my adult years. My great grandparents have always meant the world to me and as some of the most amazing individuals I know. I valued every time I was able to take the 6 hour trip to see them. Every phone call I would receive from them warmed my heart and touched my soul beyond words. As wonderful as my parents and grandparents are the ability to grow up with my great grandparents is truly one of the most touching things in my life.

At 19 just a few short months after my beautiful birth daughter was born I received a call I was not ready for, a call that shattered my whole word. At 88 years old, my great grandmother had shockingly passed away. I had spoken to her just days before, and had actually set up to call her that very morning. I was crushed that I never was able to say goodbye, that she would never be able to meet my soon to be husband SCM, or my children. I was crushed to know I would never again play a game of Rummy with the wonderful women who taught me the game. I had a hole in my being.

Watching my great grandpa struggle with the loneliness of losing his love hurt me even more but despite begging he vowed to not leave his home, their home. Living completely on his own and more spry than men a quarter his age he continued on, making goals through his sorrow. In July of 2010 he did me the incredible honor of walking me, alongside my father, down the aisle as I married SCM. It was an amazing moment for me, a true blessing.

8 weeks after LM was born he was able to meet his very first great great grandchild and the moment he held her I bawled like baby. I thought about my great grandmother and how much she would have loved to meet LM, whose middle name is the same as hers. I thought about how truly blessed and lucky we were in that moment for him to be able to meet LM.

Throughout the last nearly 5 years since my great grandmother has passed we have made that 6 hour trip to visit great grandpa many times and each time have valued it beyond belief. At 94 he was climbing his roof to clear leaves, living on his own, driving, gardening, and being a general badass. Nothing was stopping him. A week before his 95th birthday, a month ago, as we prepared to travel to see him, I received another unexpected phone call, he had had a stroke and things weren’t looking good.

The intense emotions that passed over me when I heard those words brought me to my knees. MM was 3 months old and hadn’t met him yet, I hadn’t talked to him in a week, our plans for going down to his birthday this year had started to unravel due to Army orders for SCM, and now, very suddenly, he was in poor health. I cried for days and tried to formulate a million different plans to be able to be down with him. Finally it was decided that my grandparents would bring him back to live with them so that they could care for him since he no longer could live on his own. They live half the distance, a mere 3 hours away from me.

This last week we loaded up and took the drive to my grandparents house. The moment I laid eyes on my great grandpa it took a lot to not burst into tears. I had been so afraid something was going to happen to him before we were able to see him. Much smaller, more tired than I have ever seen him it pained me to see the struggles he was facing. We stayed for the week and were able to visit and relax together. He was able to meet his second great great grandchild which he thought was pretty extraordinary and so did I. He was able to play and hold both MM and LM and I was able to remind him again just how very much he means to me.

I know that my great grandpa is not going to be around much longer, I can see it in his eyes and I know that he is starting to be ready to be with great grandma again. It breaks my heart to think of a world without him as well, and it breaks my heart to see him struggle so. I don’t know what I am going to do when that inevitable phone call comes, but I do know that in this time I have now where he is closer I will be there every moment I can. I want to spend time with him and I want the kids to spend time with him because I want them to be able to know the truly amazing and wonderful man that he is and that I have been beyond blessed to know throughout all my nearly 25 years on this earth and counting.


Holding his Great Great Grandchildren. Not many are able to say they have done that. <3

This week could not have meant more to me and couldn’t have been better. Our generations may be vastly different but the knowledge to be learnt from him, the love to be gleaned and given, the stories and memories to have, they are beyond measure. This week I have remembered just how truly blessed I am. I know that when God does call upon great grandpa to leave this earth and be with his bride, which I hope is many many more years from now, I will be secure at least in those memories and those moments that have made my life ever so rich and blessed for he truly is an amazing man.

A truly amazing man, my great grandpa Jess.


Well, I sure dropped off the face of the planet didn’t I? Things have been crazy and chaotic and I just haven’t sat down and dedicated the time to blogging every day or a least a few times a week like I should. Hoping to be able to turn that around.

MM is official already 4 months old and quite the chunk. Nearly 17lbs already. LM is 2.5 years old already and quite the feisty little one. Her brother will soon catch up to her as she is only 27 lbs. SCM is home for now and we are soaking up the summer sun together while he continues to work on his degree and work at the local hospital.

Family 2014


So, there is the obligatory update to “get back into the swing” and real posts will follow in a much more timely manner than ever 4 months. :D Blessings to all.

We are used to goodbyes in this household though they have always been just temporary.

When LM was 8 weeks old, one week younger than MM currently is, a small black undernourished four legged friend curled up next to her carrier to protect her, it was then that we knew that he would join our little family.

Harley had his quirks to be sure and his adjustment from shelter to home was anything but an easy transition, nonetheless, he brought multitudes of joy to our family and formed a remarkable bond with LM.


We found at his first visit to the vet that he was a good 6 years older than the shelter had thought. We knew his age meant we might not have him for long but we never thought it would be only 2 1/2 years later that we would be saying goodbye to him.

In the last few months he had begun to go downhill in health quickly and I knew it would not be too long, last night however was the final event as he became totally unable to control himself and function, and so this afternoon I took him in and they put him to rest.

LM and I talked about it and though she doesn’t fully understand I hope it is not too hard on her. I have been bawling all day. With SCM away for work I’m saddened too that he wasn’t able to say his goodbyes. I know that he is at peace now and no longer suffering but it is still so hard.

So today our family says goodbye to our wonderful fur pet Harley, R.I.P





I have been looking into “E-Readers” for months now trying to find one that fit everything I wanted and needed. With a desire to read more books, but a lifestyle that makes it impossible I was beginning to feel as if my brain was slowly dying from lack of stimulation.

Now, I love paper books but as a mom of two who constantly has her hands full and has a toddler who LOVES to “help”, I either don’t have the free hands to read a paper book, or I am trying to keep it from being too well loved and covered in water, food, or general baby drool. Constantly worrying about books getting damaged, not having the time to run out and browse a library for hours on end like I did in my youth (ahh the memories), and not having a clue what to actually read has taken my reading time down to a shameful amount. In fact, in 2013 I read a whopping THREE books. Yup, that is right THREE. That is beyond pathetic.

So, I began the  e-reader search. I have an IPad but it doesn’t allow me to read outdoors because of the glare, it’s also heavy and cumbersome, at home I have nearly dropped it on a nursing baby on more than one occasion. My Ipad also has so many other things on it that, I am not gonna lie, I get distracted doing everything else.

The first thing I did was look at what I wanted in an E-Reader.

  1. Something JUST for books. I wanted to be able to use it for reading and only reading.
  2. A reader that allows me to read indoors or outdoors in all lighting situations.
  3. A reader that is compatible with lending, free books, and a has a wide range of purchase options for books.
  4. A reader that was simple. Easy to find and download books. Easy to handle.
  5. Lightweight and easy to use with one hand –  because commonly that is all I have free.

After a great deal of searching I had opted not to go for the Nooks because I didn’t like how pricey it was to buy books and the limited range for where to get books from that it offered. I checked the Kindle and Kindle Fire but just wasn’t a fan. They did *TOO* much. I wanted basic. And that was when I saw something for the Kindle Paperwhite. The more I looked into the Paperwhite the more intrigued I was.

The Kindle Paperwhite is a black & white E-Reader that has adjustable lighting so that you can read inside, outside, bright lights, darkness, without extra strain on your eyes. It’s small and compact. I can easily fit it in my purse, hold it with one hand and read while I am nursing, and it has a battery life of  5-8  weeks. I also love that it saves my spot when I have to leave it or shut it quickly, no flipping to try to figure out where I was before mommyhood called. The Paperwhite like all Kindle devices runs from Amazon which is where you can purchase books, or if you have Prime you can be a part of the lending library where you can borrow thousands of titles for free. Another great place to find books is Book Basset, and online shop that posts a handful of books a day that you can get absolutely FREE! With WIFI capabilities the Paperwhite allows you to download books anywhere you have a connection. You can also plug it into your computer via USB and upload books directly if you prefer.

At a retail price of only $119 this new piece of technology has become an instant best friend to me. I am already deep into a brand new book that I can easily read with one hand, in the dark, at 3 am, while nursing a fussy newborn, and it doesn’t wake him or kill my eyes. I look forward to loading up even more books of all genres and being able to expand and stimulate my mind continually while balancing and juggling all the other aspects of my chaotic mommy and wife life.20140228-172935.jpg

Paper books will always hold a special place for me, there is nothing like the smell of an old book or going to the library to browse the days away, and there will always be real books in my home but for the day to day and the busy times, the Kindle Paperwhite is the perfect solution to all my book reading needs and a very good investment.


What are YOU reading right now?

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A pale Irish girl and overachiever, former partying band geek turned mother attempting to raise a well-balanced and centered Byzantine Catholic Irish Czech family and balance the responsibilities of life at the same time.



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