by steph on June 4, 2014


Hi friends! It’s been months since I’ve written, but this post has sat on my heart and in my mind, so I am finally taking the time to write it.  The ‘Mom of the Year’ title might be deceiving.  You might think I’ll be writing about myself and how great I am.  I mean, I got to Target {before school} the day Frozen the DVD was released.  I was waiting for an award from the cashier,  but let’s be real, my kids lost site of how cool I was within minutes of getting in the car.  This is a post with true meaning, not just my crazy mama ramblings.  I have to share the story of our friend Lonna.  If I could get a drumroll please……She’s my Mom of the Year 2014! Lonna has known the hubs (and I) since our college days.  She was the academic advisor at Georgia Tech for the athletes (TOUGH JOB, I KNOW), but she loved the heck out of the guys she worked with.  Lonna and her husband Joel had their first son while we were in college and at that time in our life, it was so cool to see an early sign of the next stage of life for us. KIDS!  She has a beautiful family and a beautiful heart.

Her oldest son is now 11. He’s such a big boy and so handsome and is proving to be just like his mama.  He’s making his mark on the world at such a young age.  For the past couple years we’ve gotten an email that he’ll be raising money for pediatric cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and when he hits his goal, he and some of his 11 year old friends will shave their heads.  Each year we are so impressed by him and what he stands for! It’s a no brainer to donate and celebrate when he reaches his goals!

This year there was a new twist in the fund raising.  Lonna sent a follow up email that stated she too would shave her head with the boys if she could raise a certain amount.  I was surprised, but had no doubt if anyone would do this, she most definitely would!  Fast forward a few weeks and all the kids (and Lonna) had surpassed their goals and the time had come to celebrate (and shave their heads).


The pictures of that day brought tears to my eyes (ok, maybe I boo-hoo’ed a little) and all I could think about is the age old phrase…“Actions speak louder than words”.  (Now to my point….)  What a beautiful way to show your children what kind of a person/woman/mama you really are.  It’s one thing to joke about doing it, but SHE DID IT! And looked UH-MAZING by the way.  That was a huge message to me to ‘walk the walk, not only talk the talk’ around my children.  I want my kids to know that I have a loving heart and am a kind, compassionate person and not just  ‘a crazy lady that yells at her kids everyday after school because the run away from me :).’  In all seriousness, it makes me think, what can I do, so they will know what it means to stand for something and promote what you believe in.

Here are a couple examples:

My friend Olaf, well, he gives warm hugs.  That is a wonderful gift and his actions bring comfort and love to people.  I’m a huge Emily Ley fan.  I love her message, her work and all that she stands for.  She promotes the #whatmattersmost message and I love that her son thinks her job is to “make people happy”.  Simple, yet profound.

This story totally inspired me in so many ways, and I hope it does the same for you. Happy Wednesday friends.





by steph on February 12, 2014

Hey all! Happy Wednesday.  I hope when you read the title of the post you also did the imaginary quotes around the words that mom (kinda like Joey from Friends).  Those quotation marks are the bigger statement!  When I say “that mom” I kind of have a few different versions.  I am {luckily} all 3.  My first “that mom” definition  is the mom getting looks at Target, sweating while quietly begging your baby/child to please stop yelling or is staring in absolute horror as your two year old has opened and spilled an entire box of cereal in the grocery store!  I am her!  I have had it all happen and know that every mom around me is feeling my pain and every non-parent is thinking really terrible things about me. :)  I had a Target moment the other day with both kids in the cart (my first mistake) and my son – who has a really good arm for a two year old – is chunking Method hand soaps out of the cart as we are walking to the registers.  It was comical, mortifying and I was definitely sweating, while begging him to please stop.  I know that I judged people like me pre-kids, but you learn fast never to judge, because you’ll be there (no matter what the situation) one day.

Next “that mom” is the one that feels like she can’t seem to get her s*!t together.  I too am her, more often than I want.  Not enough hours in the day to get everything done.  Be a mom & a wife (#1 priority), a cook, house keeper, laundry do-er, work, and attempt to stay connected with friends and loved ones.  Who can do all that.  I can’t and it makes me mad some days, but other times I accept that some days aren’t going to be as ‘productive’ as others, but they are still good days.  This leads me right into the “that mom” #3.

I am most proud to be “this mom”.  This is the mom who might be falling apart (in her mind), but loves her babies and her family more than life itself.  “This mom” loves to snuggle and loves to hug and kiss her little ones as often as she can.  “This mom” knows that this job is the most important and all the other ‘stuff’ out there doesn’t really matter.  The hubs & I are raising two good + loving little people and we care for them more than words can describe.  I urge you to take a minute to be mom #3 and focus on {as Emily Ley always says} “what matters most”.  That’s what a life is really all about.  Have a great one!




by steph on January 28, 2014

Happy New Year all! You may be thinking I am a little late, but a new year has started since I last posted, so it’s never too late to celebrate! It has also given me a lot of time to contemplate 2014 and dream up all 200 resolutions I could have for myself.  There are the ususal’s: lose weight, get in shape, blah, blah and don’t get me wrong, those are on my list, but I’ve gone broader, less specific and nit-picky this year. My goal for 2014 is to be the best ‘ME’ that I can be this year.  That might mean some of my flaws won’t totally disappear, but I am going to make a conscious effort to be just a little (or a lot) better in every area that needs improvement.  I would love to say that I am going to cook 5 nights a week and exercise 7 days a week, but I would be setting myself up to BOMB!  I have accepted that life with 2 little’s is hectic and the days are gone of ‘do what you want, when you want’….and I will get what I can done and as fast as I can.  This might mean things get done really slowly, but they will get done (one day) and if they don’t, well they weren’t that important anyway.  My family is my priority, and with that taking care of myself needs to be higher on my list so I can be the best version of myself for THEM.  The rest….well, it’ll find a place on the ever expanding to-do list.  My hope for you is to do the same, let’s just goal to be better! No need to be the best at everything, that is IMPOSSIBLE and there is no way FUN can be included!  Time is naturally flying by, so let’s slow it down, focus on the good stuff and take everything one day at a time.  Cheers to a healthy and blessed 2014 from my family to yours.




by steph on October 15, 2013

I was raised in very loving home.  Hugging and kissing is just what we do.  Meet a new family member and you kiss them.  Might be strange to some, but it’s just how it is.  I love giving hugs and the hubs and I hug and kiss our kids a million times a day.  It’s our job to raise them in a home as loving as the homes we were both raised in and we hope they stay as sweet and loving as they are at 4 and {almost} 2.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing #1 and #2, run up to their grandparents with open arms and hug and kiss them.  What joy that brings to their day as well!

On another note…let’s talk about hugging in a different way.  I’ve recently discovered a way to get to #1 while she’s in the throws of a meltdown……STOP AND HUG HER.  As affectionate as I am with her, this is not my normal reaction to her when she’s a little out of control.  I tend to get as upset as she does and this does not help anyone or make the situation better.  Hugging kind of does.  Maybe it makes her feel safe, or not alone, but she tends to calm down a bit.  It’s so interesting to me, but it works, so we’ll go with it.  At the end of the day, hugs always make things better, so hug it out more often!

Have a great Tuesday!



MOM essentials vol. 1

by steph on October 11, 2013

Times have changed…by go to essentials just aren’t what they used to be! I’m still a simple gal, but my wants and needs are different than they were before. For me personally & in our home I feel like we use and run out of the same things over and over again. Here are a few MOM essentials that keep me going!

Frozen Grapes (geeps…as #2 calls them).
Simple I know, but these are our go to snack. Super healthy and kind of taste like a treat. Green or red, big or small, stick them in the freezer and we’re a happy family!

The Sponge of all Sponges
The Mister Clean Magic Eraser sponge is a miracle worker. It removes everything from anything! Don’t really understand how they do it, but I don’t ask, I just scrub!

MOM’s Makeup Bag
It’s hit or miss if I put makeup on every day.  Sometimes I need the go to essentials that make me look awake (nothing more).  These three items are what do the trick…NARS Concealer, Lancome Mascara, and Laura Mercier Lip Gloss.  I’ve gotten terribly lazy and now order from and they show up at my doorstep (and I don’t pay shipping)..Genius!

Black & Decker Hand Vacuum
This is a hand me down from my sister and I don’t know how we lived before this (well, we didn’t have a boy!)  #2 is SUCH A MESS! He spills, drops and throws EVERYTHING.  Have no fear, the handy vac saves us every time.  Small investment, makes our life so much cleaner!

Baby Wipes
Like the vacuum, I don’t know how I ever survived without wipes.  I have no doubt that I’ll keep these as a staple long after the chicklets are out of diapers.  I use them for everything and keep them in the car for any boogies, sticky fingers or spills. I’m a Huggies brand girl, but any wipe will do!

Snack Bags
Normally my go to snack baggie is disposable, but I love the idea of these reusable bags for snacks on the go or in the lunch box.  We go through boxes of ziploc baggies and couldn’t travel with out them.

The ‘other’ Shampoo
I was recently introduced to dry shampoo….and then my life changed. It’s a simple spray that gives your hair an extra day (or two!) or life in between showers.  The reality of being a mom (especially the early days), is that showers can be hard to come by and this product helps you look semi-put together even when you are secretly not!

Fruit punch for Moms
3 pm is the usual time where I need a pick me up to get through the longest part of the day with pick ups, dinner, baths, stories and bed time.  Unfortunately for me, I am not a coffee drinker, but I have found a wonderful drink that add’s spark to your day.  It’s Advocare’s Spark Energy Drink and I’m crazy about it.  I usually drink 1 a day and it honestly helps to replace the energy lost in the earlier part of the day.  Victory for mom!


Happy Friday, what essentials can you not live without?


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