Misadventures of a 20-Something Mom   

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Child-free Mother's Day: A Girl Can Dream

I'm going to voice what is probably a wildly unpopular opinion.

I've always marched to the beat of my own drum, so I don't mind, but you might need to brace yourself.

Ready? Here goes:

This Mother's Day.....what I want most in the world....is to get the hell away from my kids.

That's right. No need to read that last line again. I said it. I'll own it.

I don't want a macaroni necklace, a fancy Pandora bracelet, or breakfast in bed. I don't need an $8 Hallmark card to prove how much my family loves and appreciates me.

I don't need any more reminders that I'm a mother.

It is literally etched on my skin.

For the past 4.5 years, I have been knee deep in the trenches of motherhood. I have been pregnant and/or nursing for most of that time, which means that my body is a perpetual reminder that I am a mother. The stretch marks, the loose skin, and the leaky breasts are indelible tethers to my role.

The dark circles, that have permanently taken residence under my eyes, and the haphazardly braided (unwashed) hair, that now comprise my daily uniform, serve as further reminders.

 No. On Mother's Day, I don't need any reminders of my role as the mother to two little boys.

I need freedom.

I need to put on a cute outfit with no fear of maple syrup or snotty noses ruining it.

I need to toss every Mickey DVD out the windows of my minivan, and peel out of the driveway with reckless abandon.

I want to crank up the radio and blast the 80's classic rock songs that I know and love.

I need to roll the windows down and let the wind wildly dance through my hair.

I want to shed the shackles of responsibility and to-do lists. I want to live as if I did not have a care in the world.

I want to explore hidden gems in my city. Places where a double stroller won't even fit through the front door. Maybe find a secret coffee house where the hippie and writer elite, rub elbows, and pen their next great novels. I want to have an actual, adult conversation with the barista or fellow patrons. I want to sip my hot chocolate and watch them all interact. I want to breathe every little bit of it in. To resuscitate and revitalize my own hopes of being a writer.

For Mother's Day, I want to remember the person I was before I had my beautiful babies.

I want to remember that I am so much more than a mom. I need to know that under this scraggly, vagabond-looking exterior, that passion and zest for life is still there.

That I'm still there.

I promise that when I have my break, I'll come back.

I'll be happy, and refreshed, and recharged.

I will be ready to take on the endless laundry, the sleepless nights, and the clingy toddlers again; with no little complaint.

For 4.5 years, I have invested  my mind, body, and soul into two beautiful, little boys. And I wouldn't change a bit of it. I adore them. They are working tirelessly to make me into a better person.
They must think I am a diamond in the rough. They have taught me to be patient, flexible, and kind to everyone. They have shown me that there is beauty to be found everywhere, I just need to look for it. They have proved to me time and again that the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is my attitude.

And I am so grateful for this journey. I just need a breather.

You guys can make me a macaroni necklace while I'm gone.
If you need me, I'll be sipping my hot chocolate at the coffee house.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"I'm Sorry I'm a Twat Sometimes...." and other things you shouldn't say in an anniversary letter

Today marks 10 years of being together with my husband. (It's not our official wedding anniversary, but we've been together for that long. Let's not argue over technicalities, alright?)

 TEN YEARS! For the love of God! Do you know how incredibly old that makes me feel?

This man....this incredibly beautiful and patient man....has put up with all my crazy for all those years. And I've put up with his.

I would be lying if I told you that since we've put in all those years, we can now kick back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. The ten year mark finds us smack dab in the middle of some of the most difficult and tumultuous years of our relationship.

I absolutely adore our babies and I not-so-humbly think we are rocking this parenting gig. However, parenting two children under 3 takes everything out of us. By the end of the day, we are both exhausted and ready to decompress. After breaking up wrestling matches between the boys, singing along with Mickey and handling the biohazardous contents of the baby's diapers all day, I have little left to give.

Seriously. There are Amazonian Sloths with more energy than I have by the end of the day.

All the marriage articles I read on facebook tell me I have it all wrong. That I simply need to put my husband first and all else will fall into place. I try to do this. I really do. But its so hard to give my husband my undivided attention. My children are perpetually screaming at my feet or eerily quiet in another room..working on some sort of disastrous masterpiece

"What about date nights," you ask? Date nights have become as fantastical an idea as flying unicorns and calorie-free chocolate. We've had a crap-ton of sitters just up and quit on us, because our boys are too much for them to handle. (Pansies!)

Anyways, this never-ending parenting shift makes me a little kookoo sometimes and I lash out at the only other adult around. My husband always lets my moodiness and exhaustion roll right off his back. He swoops in and hugs me and is always doing his best to lighten my load.

Love changes over the years, I think.

We may not be in a part of our relationship where candle lit dinners and long walks on the beach abound, but that tiny flame that started it all, ten years ago, is still there; bright as ever.

So after ten years of being together, I want to say to you, dear husband, I'm sorry I'm a twat sometimes. (You really should talk to the fruits of your loins...as they drive me to the brink of sanity on a daily basis.) But for real, thanks for putting up with my crazy for so many years. With each passing day, I love you a little more than I did before. I wouldn't want to be in these proverbial parenting trenches with anyone else.

Thunder Buddies For Life.

Your Loving Wife

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Year, New You: Roots Raw Juice Review

I start out most years, much like the rest of you, with promises and resolutions of grandeur. Of course, I always set my bar far too high and my initial motivation inevitably fizzles. Usually this means I swear off all carbs and my husband finds me binge eating ho-hos on the floor of the bedroom closet.

Not a great look for me.

So this year is different. I've vowed to make some small, gradual changes to improve my overall health and well-being. Not just to look banging in a bikini, but to feel better too.

Enter our local, up and coming Raw Juice Bar: Roots.
A girlfriend of mine told me about the place and I was initially very hesitant. I'm not a big veggie person and the juices and smoothies are, of course, fruit and vegetable based. No dairy. No water. No sugar. That did not sound very appetizing to me at all. However, being the ever adventurous type, I decided to give them a try anyway.
If I hadn't sat and watched the woman make my juice, with my own two eyes, I would have never have believed that  there was no added sugar. It was delicious!! Literally just fruits and veggies. Nothing else. And it was AWESOME! Even my notoriously picky, little boys loved it!
I also had way more energy for the rest of the day. My body does not tolerate caffeine well, so any natural pick-me-up this tired mama can get, is well received!
The juices are made to order and the owner makes them right in front of you with local, organic produce. However, she has also recently incorporated a juicing cleanse into her product line. There are a few different durations: 1, 3, or 5 days. For the cleanses, she pre-bottles the juices for easier pickup. The cleanses are an excellent way to reboot, recharge, and detoxify your body. Juicing cleanses aid in weight loss, and increase energy and general well-being by supercharging your body with superior and easily digestible nutrients.  The ingredients can also be tailored to your specific nutritional needs and/or goals.

So I've now replaced my ho-ho problem, with a juice addiction, but I'm calling that definite progress! Be sure to stop by and visit Jennifer, the owner, and help support local business. My favorite is the Sunburst but you can't go wrong with any of them. :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Mom's Night Out Adventure: Limocycle Tours

I think I speak for most moms when I say that we don't get out much.

Like, not at all. Ever.

I mean, I didn't go out much before the babies came along, but now the elusive night out is as magical as finding Willy Wonka's golden ticket. There are sleep schedules to consider and babysitters to coordinate. Breast pumps to contend with and mommy guilt to combat. Not to mention the fact that if I'm nursing a hangover the next day, my toddler completely lacks a snooze button. (Trust me I've looked.)

All this to say, that if I do manage to get a night out of my "cell" (I joke, I kid) I want it to be EPIC!

Enter Limo Cycle Tours.

Last night, I gathered some of my mommy besties and we set off to laugh, and pedal, and drink to our heart's content. No diaper bags! No strollers! No toddler tantrums or baby meltdowns. Just me and my moscato. With my friends by my side, the wind in our hair, we laughed too loud, and sang off key. We danced like all of Orlando wasn't watching and we remembered that we are all so much more than "just a mom." It was Blissful!

Limo Cycle is the limousine of party cycles. It is chock full of amenities to make your tour super enjoyable. With an awesome sound system and the ability to store food and booze on board, this is the new go-to place for a night on the town. Though we didn't utilize it, I'm pretty sure it even had a working barbecue on board! The Limo Cycle seats up to 15 and has two convenient locations(Orlando/Sanford and Daytona). YOU power the cycle by pedaling so you're essentially canceling out any wine calories you may consume. ;)
They are always running amazing specials....and  if you sweet talk the tour operator you might even score a free drink ticket to one of the local pubs. Be sure to check back frequently because they offer different package additions throughout the year that you wont want to miss. (Think Ghost Tours in October and Holiday Lights Tours in December!)

I am a firm believer in the power of a great Mom's Night out. It completely recharges you. Revitalizes you. Empowers you to be your best self. Burnout is common in our circles and "me-time" is the best way to combat it. New Year's is quickly approaching. A time for new resolutions and a time for change.

So stop making excuses and make yourself a priority. :)

And if you find yourself partying on the Limo Cycle, tell Steve I said "hi."

Monday, August 4, 2014

All Aboard the Dinosaur Train: A 3rd Birthday to Remember

This year, my "baby's" party planning was a little more difficult because he seemed to have an opinion on EVERYTHING! I thought I could skirt by with an iron on shirt and a sheet cake...but not on his watch! I love seeing more and more of his little personality emerge. It made this birthday extra special because he loved and appreciated every detail.
A HUGE shout out to Crumby Art who never ceases to amaze me with her adorable cupcake toppers! Its the little details that are always the biggest hit at these shin digs!
Feel free to message me with any questions on food or d├ęcor :)
Cake Courtesy of Cakes by Alicia Wilkins
Present Table
Shirt From Charlotte's Stitch Custom Embroidery

Cupcake Toppers by Crumby Art

Dinosaur Train made from Diaper Boxes
Chocolate Fossil Dig
Dino Feet: Paper Mache Silverware Holders

Monday, June 30, 2014

Fat Broads Can Do 5ks Too (3rd Ed.): SPLASH & DASH

For those of you who have been following my effort to lose the "baby" weight, you'll be happy to know that as of today I am 70 pounds lighter than I was back in December (at 42 weeks pregnant.)

I still have a long way to go, but I am really happy with my progress and excited to keep participating in "fun runs" like the Orlando Splash & Dash on July 26th, 2014, to keep me motivated!

Florida summers are HOT!!!! Running outside in the heat would not usually be something you'd  catch me doing. However, this particular 5k promises to keep its runners COOL! 
Whether you're an expert runner or a first timer, all ages and genders will start out hot and dry and end up soaking wet.
The Family-friendly course is made up of tons of "Splash" and "Dash" zones. This means that water gun snipers, hose sprays, and slip n slides could be waiting around every turn!
Runners are even encouraged to bring their own water weapon of choice and use it to soak their friends or running neighbors.

    Following the 5k is an after party you won't
 want to miss that includes an epic water balloon fight!!

Don't miss out on an awesome time! Sign up here and don't forget to use this discount code for $10 off the registration fee:



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Learning to Love with Reckless Abandon: My messy, beautiful

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!
In life, there are some things that you know in your heart of hearts are a bad idea. Nobody even has to warn you. You can discern it all on your own. Red flags shoot up in your mind, and plead with you to steer clear of these terrible, horrible things.

Like...perhaps...gas station sushi.

For a long time, marriage and children were like that for me. The thoughts both terrified and intrigued me... but mostly terrified.

I come from a long line of people who, for one reason or another, have trouble making relationships last. While in most cases, divorce might be the lesser of two evils, it is not without cost. Growing up in a broken home didn't just impact me, it shaped who I was, who I am now. Long ago, when I should have still been dreaming of prince charming and rocking plastic baby dolls, I swore off marriage and babies instead. I set my sights on college and the career world and scoffed at the idea of a family.

Eventually, a charming, young man stole my heart and I was forced to concede to one of those. But even as I walked down the aisle, I knew I had not given myself completely to him. I remained enshrouded by emotional armor and as I vowed to pledge my life to him, I also secretly vowed to remain childless; lest our relationship ever crumple like so many before it.

Years passed and through his unwavering love, attention, and commitment that husband of mine chipped away at my armor. Slowly. Surely. Steadfastly.

Until one day, there was none left.

My soul was naked and vulnerable and bared. He had seen all the skeletons in my closet, dealt with every mood swing, and sorted through all my "baggage." When I tried to push him away, he pushed back.

He didn't run screaming. He dug in his heels and said,

"I'm here. 
I promised forever and I meant it.
I will never leave you."

And finally it just clicked. I could have happily ever after if I wanted it.
My husband was ready and willing to be everything I wanted and needed him to be...if I just let him.

Not long after I began to feel safe and enjoy the fruits of living in a truly authentic marriage, I caught baby fever. Bad. I was consumed by thoughts of little bonnets and teeny socks. The white picket fence and the tree with the rope swing hanging from it. I was ready for a family.

Despite years of my anti-baby sentiment, my husband happily obliged. Two beautiful, bouncing boys later, and I have finally learned what it truly means to love and be loved. To love without armor. To love without pretense. To love with my entire self.

To love with reckless abandon.

And yet sometimes, when nights with the babies are long, and tempers are short, that nagging fear sneaks back in and threatens to consume me. A few words spoken out of exhaustion or frustration snowball in my mind and we are suddenly in a "rough patch." I allow myself to think that our marriage is headed for that dark place and I question why I ever thought I was capable of making a marriage work. I tell myself I am defective. I panic.

And when I'm in that dark place, my husband puts his own frustration aside, and swoops in like always.....to remind me:

"I'm here. 
I promised forever and I meant it.
I will never leave you."

With every year that passes, my fear assuages a little. I am no longer held captive. Instead, I'm happily learning, and growing, and loving with reckless abandon.