Discover Me Challenge

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 / Leave a Comment

Once upon a time, not too long ago, my bestie (Skaty) and I used to have writing challenges that truly honed in on our deeper selves. They made us think, reflect, and share. We called these challenges "Discover Me Challenges". I loved these challenges because not only did I have to dig deep and learn more about myself but I learned so much about my bff. 

As if you didn't already know where this is going... I am happy to say that we are going to resurrect the DMCs (Discover Me Challenges). YAY! I've been wanting to do this for so long!!

Every two weeks, starting this Thursday, I will be posting a prompt/topic for the challenge. In the past, these topics ranged from: Childhood Memories, Letters to Your 13 Year Old Self, Charitable Organizations / Causes You Believe In, etc. There are no hard rules - just to write your post before the next prompt is up. Easy enough!

I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun!! Linkup and discover more about yourself!!
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Just Breathe

Monday, August 29, 2016 / 7 comments
A girlfriend of mine is just 8 short weeks away from her due date of her son. This is her first child and even though I am a new mother myself, she has come to me with many questions and asking for loads of advice. I recall that while I was pregnant, I looked to Google and mom forums with most of my questions. It's not that I didn't have anyone to ask questions - I just liked having a multitude of responses, ranging from one extreme to the next. It was enough to make you crazy! That said, I love that she comes to me with questions. I feel that in the nearly ten months that I've had my child, I've learned a great deal. That and I don't want her to make herself crazy by poking around Dr. Google. There's a lot of scary stuff out there!

I've done my best to always be honest, while trying to not scare her at the same time. I have advised her to take breastfeeding and parenting classes because I found them to be helpful. I coached her on her glucose testing. I've warned her about some of the more uncomfortable things that we experience before and after delivery. I've told her how her heart will grow a million times over. I've told her that she will fall even deeper in love with her husband.

I would like to think that my advice has been helpful.

Today, however, something struck me. There is one piece of advice that I wish someone had given me and something that so many new mommies need to hear. I had not given her that advice yet but to me, this is the most essential thing to remember. So, during a messaging conversation where we were discussing visitors after having the baby and feeling a bit territorial, I thought this would be a good opportunity share my most important advice.

My message and my advice to her went like this:
"OK, truth… You are going to have moments where you are so frustrated with yourself and with the baby and with (husband)... Being a mom is a crazy transition that is emotionally pulling. When things get to be too much, take time to breathe. Seriously. Just take some time to collect yourself and take some deep breaths. I never knew how important it was to just breathe."

This advice is as real as it gets, mommas. It's no wonder we forget to take some deep breaths when we are overwhelmed by a crying child, lack of sleep, messy everything and the need to find a moment to pee. But when things get overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating... and they will, take a moment and just breathe. Breathe. I promise, it helps.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016 / 4 comments
I think it is very important to start off saying that the choice of being a SAHM vs. a working mommy is something I consider to be very personal. Not every mother wants to or is able to stay home with their babies. Just the same, not every mother wants to or is able to work after their babies are born. One decision is not necessarily better than the other. 

Each family and their needs are unique. The decision is personal.

No matter what your work status is - as long as you do your best by your child - you rock.

Life before motherhood revolved around my not-so-9-to-5. My career was incredibly important and many sacrifices were made to get to my position. With no college education early on (that would come later), I had to work exceptionally hard to prove myself and position myself for advancements. Before baby, I was an AVP for a financial group. My expertise was in Information Security/COBIT/ITSM/ITIL. For the most part, I developed Disaster Recovery Plans/Scenarios. I also wrote policy and ensured that my organization was working in compliance to meet regulations at a Federal level. At least on the surface, my job was pretty darn important.

The idea of being a stay at home mommy was one that appealed to me from the beginning. I could not stomach someone else watching over my angel while I worked - especially when my hours could be unpredictable. Perhaps, it is because I am too controlling (have I mentioned that I am a control freak?!) or maybe too paranoid - whatever the reason, the mere idea sent me into panic mode. Thankfully, my husband was prepared for me to leave the workforce and never discounted the importance of the work and benefit that went along with being a SAHM. He even preferred that I stay home. For this, I feel incredibly blessed because I know that this option is not available to so many parents who want it.

Never could I imagine what this new life would be like. As a new SAHM, I find my days to be even more demanding than before and much more stressful than before.  However, I realize the importance of what I do in a day is not diminished, rather is so much more meaningful. It is so rewarding. I do not miss the corporate world (most of the time) and my views of SAHMs has changed so dramatically. Honestly, I never knew how much was involved. How could I? This is my first rodeo! I have even more respect for all mommies now and especially those with multiple children or special needs children.

I am loving this new journey that I am on and even though my little one is just nine months old, I feel like we've already accomplished so much together. Yet, we've got so much to learn and I am excited for that, too!

Of all the promotions that have I received, motherhood has been by far the most rewarding.
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Life & Music

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 / Leave a Comment

I’ve always had a love for  music… music in all forms. I listen to music when I am happy, I listen to music when I am sad and I have always found that no matter how I feel in life – there is always something out there that sings to my emotions in the purest and most raw way possible. Music is life.

People turn to all sorts of things when they need to speak but cannot find words. I turn to music. 

Along with my love of music and the messages that have enriched my life over the years, I have also relied heavily on lyrics to learn and grow. There have been songs where lyrics tell me exactly what I need to hear. The advice buried in the melody stays with me as little reminders throughout life. For instance… “Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see…” a quote from The Beatles Strawberry Fields has been my constant reminder to truly live, grow… and feel life. Maybe it goes a little deeper than that, but that’s not for now.

At just nine months, my daughter already has a fondness for music. Even though the songs she enjoys are mostly nursery rhymes and hold no real deep message, she is learning to be expressive in dance and the simple lyrics are helping her grow. With the alphabet song, she can learn her ABC's, thus learn to communicate. And yes, even "The Wheels On The Bus" is significant to her.

I thought of some of the songs that connect me to others, even if they don't realize it. The words, the melodies and the emotions that go along with these songs belong to those individuals - in my mind, anyway. Each of these songs are significant beyond words, beyond their lyrics and they always make me pause and think of that person. Then I smile, or laugh, or cry, or simply hold them in my heart for a brief moment.

For the love of my daughter

For the love of my husband

For the love my my best friend/soul sister

For the love of my mother

For the love of my father

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Dear Best Friend... I Haven't Forgotten

Sunday, August 21, 2016 / 1 comment
Dear Best Friend, 

I originally wrote this open letter to you on May 17th, 2012. So much has changed, yet so much remains the same. I love you. You are my soul sister. I think of you always, even when I can't reach out to say so. 

p.s. I can't wait to see you in just a few weeks!!!!


Dear Best Friend,

Today you sent me a cute little web article called  Twelve Vows to Make with Your BFF. It made me smile and I agree with you… I love #9 the most.

The article got me thinking… thinking about our friendship and what you mean to me. I know I tell you that I love you each day. Do you know how much? You are a sister to me. You are family. You are my soulmate in a way that no lover can compare. How did I ever manage without you?

We have had our fair share of friendship tests. We have argued, cried, got mad and got happy with each other more times than I can count. Never once during the hard times did we stop supporting each other.

It’s funny how we “met” online in a very virtual world but became close so quickly. 

You transcended from a virtual friend to my real-life best friend so quickly. I feel like I have known you my whole life and maybe even in other lifetimes. We have always been so “real” and honest with each other. Sometimes we are brutal with our honesty – but always when it is needed most.

I’ve gone thru some very hard times in these last couple of years. You held my hand so tightly… how could have I done any of it without your strength? You listened as I sobbed in your ear about heartache, pains and life and when I couldn’t see the light at the end of a very bleak tunnel, you became my light. You gave me more of yourself than any one person can. You are my north-star. You really are.

When things got better and I found my happiness, you laughed and smiled along with me. And even though we have had limited time together… you have given me a lifetime of precious memories that I will never take for granted. I will need you for this again and again… and I will be there for you as you hit your highs and lows. Lord knows, we will both have more because that is what life is about. Highs and Lows.

I know I can be judgmental and frustrating at times. I know that I am protective of you. That is because you are special and you deserve nothing but the very best from everyone. Any person that doesn’t treat you like the beautiful woman you are will get the side-eye from me… and probably some heavy words. But that doesn’t mean that in the end I won’t support you in anything you do – I will just be that sometimes overbearing, protective sister friend that I am. Like you are to me. Well, maybe not overbearing… Just really there.

I want you to know that above all things… and people, you are one of the most amazing souls I have ever known. You are so generous with your heart, kind with your words and unconditional in the way that you love all people and things. I’ve never seen you hold on too long to a grudge. And even in moments where you may be critical, you never chastise… you are always fair. I could use some of those strengths. I wouldn’t mind being more like you.

I guess what I am meaning to tell you in all of this garble… I love you. I am so grateful for you. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have you as my BFF. Thank you.

I look forward to all the amazing memories we will have as we grow into silly old ladies… sharing songs, pointing out cute guys and watching our television shows together (even via Skype or phone). As we learned… distance does not get in the way of a true friendship… even though we are many miles away, I’d still call you if I were arrested for something stupid.

Thank you for being you. Thank you for being my BFF.
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