Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm gonna let it shine

This little blog of mine...
I'm gonna let it shine...and me too!
This blog is literally helping me to shine!
I process life by sitting down and writing.
Maybe some of you are the same, maybe not.
It is extremely therapeutic for this momma.
Through my writing I am able to get my emotions down and that is an amazing feeling.
Being able to get down how I'm feeling, my struggles, my victories all in one place has really helped me, not just through my latest struggle, but to process life in general.
Writing it all down- and keeping it real- usually lets me walk away feeling lighter than when I first sat down.
You know what else?
I have a new found confidence that I certainly didn't have 2 months ago :)
2 months ago I would never have even thought about going so far outside of my comfort zone
 so frequently.
I used to have all of these ideas and notions in my head that I thought were silly.
Now I actually speak them and put them into action.
I am growing and it's beautiful.
A few months ago I was resting on a laurel.
It's sad to say but it's true.
I was content with where I was...
 but not pushing myself to be all that I am capable of.
Now I want more.
I want to see, do, and explore!
Now I wake up in the morning {sometimes with a plan, sometimes not} and take advantage of each and every opportunity that presents itself to me.
2 months ago I would never have taken so many pictures of myself for fear of no makeup, not having perfect hair, and rejection etc. 
Nowadays I have the opposite outlook.  
I forget all of that jazz and focus on
And I couldn't be happier!
I embrace those candid shots not caring or even thinking twice about it.
Who cares?  Not me {at least not these days}!
I know what I am doing makes me happy.
I'm accomplishing and filling a goal of mine.
I am developing this little blog of mine.
This blog might be little but it's my own.
My own space.
My own world.
And us momma's don't get that too often :)

Now without further ado a very first on this little blog of mine.
Some candid shots {taken by our 6 year old!!} of me during a family outing.
I'm embracing this new found confidence I have and love for growing!
Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lions and Tiger and Bears, Oh My!

Yesterday was gorgeous- hardly any humidity-it was only a high of about 80 degrees- and a nice cool breeze.
So we decided to spend the day out of the house =)
You know to let the kids get some fresh air and run around.
Get rid of all that built up energy.
{Who am I kidding? It was for our sanity too!}
We decided on the zoo which is only about 30 minutes from our house...and FREE :)
With 3 little guys Free is always good!
Now unfortunately we live at the "Jersey Shore" {and no we do not resemble Snooki and J-Woww or any of their friends!} so summertime and "shoobie" season here in Jersey mean we have to carefully plan when we do anything out of the house because everywhere around us becomes extremely crowded.
Extremely crowded + traffic +  hot weather + 3 kids= no fun!
So we hopped in the car and hit the zoo at about 3 o'clock.
Let me tell you we couldn't have timed it any better!
It was a weekday and most of the people in the zoo were headed out as we were headed in-score!
The kids were able to walk/run at their leisure, see the animals that they wanted {most were out for us to see} and we even let the baby run free from his stroller too!
The zoo, my kids, our family {no fighting-well hardly any!}...

P.S. Sorry for all the exclamation points//happy face but I can't stop smiling and being grateful for how great of a day yesterday was :)!!!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On My Heart

That is how I feel today.
Let me preface this post by saying that today was my first day of Occupational Therapy.
Today was a series of tasks and questions related to Gross motor skills.
Looking at pictures figuring out which didn't belong, putting keys into the correct holes, matching up shapes-you know Sesame Street kind of stuff.
Sounds easy, right?
Not the case.
It was hard, like really really hard
and super frustrating.
Tasks that I normally wouldn't have to think twice about doing prior to July 23 have now become huge mountains for me.
Or when given an activity I think to myself I'll complete this with no problem.
And then when I can't make a choice fast enough, then comes the frustration, and later comes the wanting to give up completely-even though I know I have to complete said task.
And then I have to try to regroup and compose myself {easier said than done}
Do you know how frustrating it is to think you are going to ace a test and then fail?
It's just so hard to come to terms with how much this stroke really has set me back.
I guess days like today make me realize more than other days just how much of an emotional roller coaster I am on.
Yes, physical therapy has helped out tremendously and from the outside you would probably never be able to tell this all happened.
Yes, I am able to move around more easily and am more self sufficient that before.
The inside though, that is different.
The fine & gross motor and cognitive skills are hurting.
It feels as though my mind is constantly filled with cobwebs and fog.
Fog so thick you can't even see your own hand in front of you-let alone where you are going.
Forget about multitasking-and as a mom that is one of our survivor qualities.
Each and every day is a battle to make it further than the day before.. even just the tiniest bit further.
Some days are better than others.
On good days I'm down on the floor playing with our kids.
But my bad days are really really bad.
Like drop an entire tray of lasagna out of the oven bad {last Friday}
feeling defeated because I can't do things how I once used to.

My days are now filled with lists, timers, and sticky notes.
And feeling physically and emotionally drained by noon.
This post is not meant to be sad, or to throw myself a pity party {not completely!}
I want to write all of this down, get all of my feelings out so that 3 months from now I can look back and say "Wow, I did overcome a lot.  I can't believe how frustrated I once was."
So I decided to come home from pt//ot, make a cup of coffee, and sit down to share my feeling with all of you.
And you know what?
I feel better already, so thanks for listening :)
I also found some really inspirational quotes on Pinterest to help me get through these tough times.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Have you ever had one of those days where everything was off, just a little? 
Your plan for the day and the universe's plan had two very different blue prints? 
You tried your best to see the positive in every situation that came your way but at times you though it just wasn't possible? 
Today was one of those days for me.  

I woke up determined to make today productive.  
Our first stop was to meet up with someone who was selling two mirrors {future craft project} VERY cheap!  Check. 
 Next stop (unplanned-but hey I was going with it right)? The bank. Check.  
Next stop? 
Oh wait I forgot to throw out the garbage and we were now lugging around trash in 90 degree weather...
so that's what that smell was :( 
Back home we headed to the dumpster.  
Now we were on the road...a quick pit stop at Wawa and we would be good to go.  
Only these days with 3 kids in the car a stop to Wawa is never quick.  
One kid wanted this, one kid wanted that, both kids wanted to go inside-it went downhill fast.  
Throw in my trying to have a conversation with a work friend of mine on the phone while being in the car with 3 small kids and it.was.not. fun! 
Next stop? Pediatrician's office to pick up Ayden's shot records for his new preschool...and queue the teaming rain just as I needed to run into the office-as well as for the remainder of our trip to run errands!  

I'm sure you can imagine the slew of events that continue to happen for the rest of the day with 3 very active,  loud, and strong-willed little boys so I'll spare you the rest of the nitty-gritty.
The point to this story is I chose to have a good day.
I chose to keep the day upbeat and light in the midst of the chaos.
I could have taken one look at the first chain of events and said to our kids, "that's it.  Let's pack it in and head home." 
But I didn't.
And that shows character.
New character for me at least.
Character that I didn't have 5 weeks ago.
Character is something we develop.
It's not something that can be bought at every convenience store, or over -nighted to your front door via Amazon.
Character is something that takes discipline, work, and for me-prayer.
As soon as I had my stroke and realized tomorrow is never promised I made a pact with myself to make the best out of each and every situation.
A pact to develop my character for the better.
Also, as a Christian and a mom I need to show my children and others that it is always right to have good character-even when we don't feel like it, or even when it's not easy.
It's not always easy, but it's always right.
Sometimes {who am I kidding most of the time} it doesn't come easily!
So today I know I tried my darn hardest.
I put on a smile and brave face through the loud car ride, the fighting, the thunder and the rain.
When my head hits the pillow tonight yes I will come before Him and pray for forgiveness for raising my voice, not having more patience, and not relying more on him to get me through the tougher times today.  
I will pray for more strength, patience, and character for tomorrow and when{at times} I could have had more good character today.
But the great news?
That doesn't make me a failure.
I know He sees me progressing.
As long as I keep trying, that is what matters.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Today was a successful day.
We accomplished back to school clothes shopping for 3 kids :)
No temper tantrums...well almost none!
No melt downs.
Not even anxiety attacks from me with overly crowded stores.
Not even from Mom and Dad.
And that my friends is a huge success.
We found a dirty water hot-dog lady for lunch with soda's and chips too!
Today was fun - it was just a great family day!
We took advantage of the gorgeous weather and  we had and even played the part of shoobies posing for pictures that we usually wouldn't have!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I've got a lot of free time on my hands these days...between the physical therapy, occupational therapy, doctors appointments, kids, baths, getting ready for back to school, etc.  
Well maybe I don't but I certainly feel like I have more free time on my hands lately because I'm not adding in the 40 hour work week!  
There has been a lot of date nights with Pinterest and oh how I am in LOVE
Like that butterflies in the stomach new puppy love...
I need help, I know!
My interest is quickly becoming an addiction- but don't tell Mr. Wonderful Life!
Reading through all of these boards, DIY's and tutorials makes this house-ridden mama feel like I can rule the world with some paint, hot glue, fabric, and my creativity!
I can't drive yet so if I'm stuck in the house I might as well go Martha Stewart on it :)  

My first plan of action is our living room.
With all of the {ahem} free time I mentioned before I'm even hoping to do a before and after as well.  
Our living room doubles as a play room for the kids so that will be the tricky part.
I am going for modern chic look-but still kid friendly and somewhat spill/dart/wrestling proof!
I'm also still in the process of figuring out how to separate the kid part of the room from the adult part of the living room.
Suggestions are most welcome!
Right now we have a forest green color which I was in love with about 3 years ago.  
Fast forward to now and I'm not so in love with it.
It's time for an over haul...
An update if you will.
In 3 years our taste has changed, my sewing/crafting abilities have changed, and so has our family.
I'm a person who craves the sunlight, trees, and fresh airy spaces.  
I would love to do a grey/teal/yellow color scheme and am thinking of incorporating the following prints, wall decor, colors, etc.  
I've already got my mind set on light grey walls, and handmade teal chevron curtains to let the light come through more.  
The rest will fall into place...hopefully!
I can hear the peace, tranquility, and openness calling my name already-or is that one of my kids?!

And the best news of all?
I ran the plan past Mr. Wonderful and then slipped in the "so do you think I'm crazy?" {to see if he was on board} and other than having horrible flash backs to his last painting of our living room 3 years ago and me saying I would NEVER let him paint again {poor guy} 
he gave his usual answer, "I always think your crazy...but I'm always behind ya!"  
I'm pretty sure that was a compliment :)  
And so we are moving forward with the living room re-do.
What room in your house would you love to re-do?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Coffee Shop

Guess where I am writing this post from today?...I am at a coffee shop.
Yes, you heard that right a coffee shop :)
  Not the coffee shop I have created in my own kitchen with my Kuerig and flavored creamers where I pretend to be the worlds best barista and speak in my finest Italian accent... 
 I'm talking about my absolute favorite coffee shop-
 with the most gorgeous marble counter tops,
 most scrumptious croissants,
 and most delectable blend of coffee it is out of this world. 
I'm here for 2 hours...2 whole hours!!!! 
{I don't think there are enough exclamation points to follow that last sentence}  
The icing on the cake?  
The View is on in the background and I can actually hear what they are saying whilst typing!! 
And next is the news, oh how I love the news but have not watched it in months!
 Today this is exactly what this momma needed.  
I realized as soon as my feet hit the floor this morning that I needed a break. 
 I think hubby realized it too (is that a good thing?) 
Don't get me wrong I am head over heels in love with our family (most days anyway- I swear!) 
But every once in a while it is nice to just unplug from them.  
From the spills, the messes, diapers, butt wiping, breaking up the fights, feeling like a live in maid (who is unappreciated), digging through the buckets of toys to find that one action figure they just have to have, or their favorite green Hotwheels toy because it's the only one that will stop their tears.
It is nice once in a while to regroup and refresh on who I am.
It is nice to not be covered in mac 'n cheese {that I did not eat}
It is nice to not hear screaming at the top of someone's lungs because said brother took their toy and is hanging it over their head because they are too short to reach it.
The coffee shop is a whole different world.
It's like I've taken the momma rocket ship to another planet and landed with a whole new species of people...
At the coffee shop everyone smiles, cleans up after themselves and uses their manners!
I've also got the most lovely window seat in the whole shop too...oh I am on cloud 9!
 So ladies I want to encourage you to do something for you this weekend.  
Take that 20 minutes to enjoy  your coffee and book on the porch, lay in bed for an extra 10 minutes while your husband makes them breakfast, whatever your outlet do it!  
I promise you, you will not regret it!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


We all have them everyday.
We can choose to be angry, sad, upset, mad, overjoyed, pleasant, etc.
How many times in your life have you chosen to be happy? 
 Have you ever woken up one day and the day just started off awful?  
What if instead of continuing your day based on one tiny moment that went wrong you chose to be happy.  What if we chose to live every moment to the fullest and always look on the bright side? 
Imagine spending an entire day looking at the good side of everything?  
Having to wait in line for a long time?
 The upside could be time to make a mental checklist of things you need to get done at home? 
 Gone to the store to buy something and they are sold out? 
Perhaps you weren't meant to buy that exact item that exact day for another reason. 
 Stuck in traffic?  
Maybe extra time to say a few prayers for friends and family. 

This is something that I am working on for me...
Something that doesn't necessarily come easy for me.
With 3 kids, a husband, a home to keep organized and clean, work, and a full activity schedule it's easier to get caught up in the nitty gritty of everyday life.
But quite frankly I'm sick of that.  
I'm tired of always being pessimistic.
In my last post I said it's time for changes, and this gal is changing!
 I have started to become more appreciative, thankful and just plain happy on a daily basis...
and it's a phenomenal feeling :)
 Yes my children might be fighting constantly, screaming "mommy" 1,000 times a day, and I don't ever have a moment of privacy-even to pee- but hey I have to remember that I have 3 healthy, most of the time happy children. 
 It's thoughts like this that make me happy.  
So why not try it?  
Wake up and make a promise to yourself to be happy for 1 whole day-no matter what is thrown your way...then come back here and share your story-I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Yesterday we got the phone call we have been waiting for since June.  
Ayden won the lottery (not the real one-the kid lottery lol) and got a place in our Township's Pre-K program!!!! 
 You see our town has so many kids and a realllllly tiny budget so they don't have enough room for all of the kids to attend their Pre-K program.  
What they do is let everyone who wants to enroll their children sign up and then they literally pick names out of a hat type of thing to see who can attend. 
 This is a HUGE relief for us.  
Especially considering we took on a larger car loan for my new car in May. 

 On the other hand while this will be a huge relief financially for us it also means leaving the only preschool family we have known for the past 3 years...and that is a unsettling thought. 

I've mentioned before that I am not great with change.  
This will be another time where I am going to have to put my faith to work-hard. 
 Another time where I will be challenged to grow through change.  
After all isn't that what life is all about? 
 Growing and changing so that we can be the best we can be?
Showing our children that it is okay to go somewhere new, to meet new people, to expand ourselves?
I think so! 
I am ready-I hope!

 I've done my research and I have friends whose kids have attended this same program Ayden will go to this fall and they have said nothing but good things about it so that is helping to put me at ease.  
But like any Momma I personally don't know the teachers, staff, or other families which is not putting me at ease...
 At our former preschool everybody was like one big family.  It was run at our church so our kids were familiar with their surroundings and the teachers had so much love for each and every little one!   
I know we will make it through this transition-thought I don't know who it is going to be worse for Ayden or us :(  
I will keep you updated!

Now the only thing left to do it get started on our back to school shopping :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Do Good

I always want to do good-for others.  
It's a feeling I've had inside of me since I can remember.
Ever since I was a little girl I remember always wanting to help others.  
But lately, this is something that has been heavy on my heart.

Dorky FYI shhhhh!:
I remember being in 3rd grade and getting my first karaoke machine.  My best friend and I used to "host" our own radio show called Helping Hands where our fake clients could call in with their problems and issues and we would help them...
In 3rd grade...I wanted to (Help them.}
Instead of singing to Whitney Houston and Patsy Cline (which occasionally we did dressed in our wigwams, frizzy hair, and neon tights-of course!) I created a talk show to help people!  

Now that I am older and I see the world on a larger scale my thought immediately goes to the fact that "little things" don't matter.  
That they are too petty or small.  
That someone will look at me like I'm strange for trying to help with something so small.
I always think that my impact needs to be exponential...and then my mind wanders to helping large amounts of people and then the next thought is how can I reach a lot of people? 
And then I become super frustrated because I don't know how to help a bunch of people...
and then comes the thought that this is overwhelming.  
It doesn't make sense to help just one person, I have to help a whole bunch of people.  

Well guess what?  We have to start somewhere. I have to start somewhere.

My new, simpler outlook:  I don't have to help an exponential amount of people, I just want to be exponential to one person.  

That is where I am going to start.  I'm throwing out my old outlook.  Unless I start becoming proactive and start putting some of my thoughts into actions it will never happen.  Even if I start with one person, maybe that person will in turn help somebody else who will help somebody else and that my friend will become a movement.  
Right now there are a lot of things on my heart.
A lot of ways I would like to help someone.  
It's time to start living them out. 
Putting them into action.

Thanks to Pinterest I have found an easy-peasy way to help someone, or a few people I should say!  
My plan is to make up a bunch of these and hang them around our town where people might need them!  How cool is that?! 
Feel free to join..and share your stories! 
I'll let you know how it turns out :) 

{Source Unknown}