2020 Vision

I’m baaaccckkk!!!

Well actually that’s not totally true. It’s a new year, with a new mindset, on the way to becoming a new me. I left the old behind & coming in fresh. The idea of a clean slate. A new beginning. 366 opportunities to strive at being the best version of ME. It’s refreshing.

I’m filled with Hope. Determination & Self Love. I’m focused on taking each day as it comes & truly reflecting on all it embodies.

2020 WILL BE BETTER. 🤩

I believe because I’m taking back control…from the ground up.

Mamas Open Heart♥️

XoXo💋

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National Ice Cream Day!!🍦

Did you know that President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream month as well as the 3rd Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day, back in 1984?

Guess what TODAY is?! That’s right…the day we all have permission to enjoy our favorite ice cream guilt free!! 🤣🍦😋

So tell me,

1) What is your favorite ice cream flavor?🍦

Mine is Mint! 😋

2) Favorite Ice Cream Shop?🍨

It’s a toss up…Hands down my two FAVORITE are Sophie’s Dough in Springfield Mall (I get the mint ice cream in a bubble waffle) AND Dunbri’s Dessert Cafe in Haymarket VA (We love the shakes & Pure Barry)!!😱😋 I tell ya what, Ice Cream isn’t what it was when I was a kid. It’s been taken to a whole new level.

Now go celebrate today!!

Enjoy & stay cool.😎☀️

Mamas Open Heart ♥️

XoXo 💋

Confession of an OCD Mama.

So this…

The kids were gifted this box of Legos for Christmas. TWO.YEARS.AGO. 🤦🏻‍♀️ They have never opened it…until NOW. Six individual bags beautifully packaged by color nestled within the LEGO storage box. Never ever to be found like this again. 😭 Seeing them so perfectly organized made my heart oh so happy. The thought of them mixing & becoming absolute chaos had me cringing like no other. My first thought was to tell them no go put that away, but I stopped myself because remember they have had this for TWO years. What’s the point of having this stuff if they aren’t able to play with it? So I took a deep breath & said “Oh, how fun!”

I sat down on the floor with them & watched them explore & be creative. The excitement on their faces, their tiny hands manipulating these pieces, the team work & way they coached one another, how proud & accomplished they felt…it was beautiful & also made my heart oh so happy.

I am striving each day to be better. To be more conscious, more present, more patient & more accessible to my children. I’m aware of the chaos & noise that fills my head & all too often allowing it to get in the way of me being who I want to be. It’s a struggle. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I’m not perfect. My life is beautiful chaos & I try to control situations in which I fear will only bring more chaos.

Through writing it helps me to process my thoughts & feelings. We’ve all heard the saying “Choose your hard”. It’s so true, right? So I was thinking about the opposite of that saying. “Choose your happy”. In letting go & allowing what I thought would be chaos, I found something completely different. Yes the perfectly organized legos by color made me happy, but seeing my kids learning & exploring so much together made me happiest. So I chose my happy & I’ll choose my hard & will continue to do my best each & every day.

“Quiet your mind so you can hear what your heart is telling you.”

Mamas Open Heart ♥️

XoXo💋

How to remove chewing gum from hair.

Who remembers the days of having gum cut out of your hair? The missing chunk that you hoped nobody would notice & would quickly grow back. 😬 Well next time you need gum removed from hair, put down those scissors & run for the Coconut Oil! This stuff is MAGIC! I scooped a glob onto my fingers & worked around the section of hair with the gum. The oils did their thing & with the help of my fingernails(a fine tooth comb) would be a great option, the gum was out & no missing hair! Praise the Lord! I’ve heard of Peanut Butter(it’s the OIL that’s MAGIC), so the choice is yours. Pretty much comes down to…would you rather smell like peanut butter or coconuts? 🤣🤷🏻‍♀️

XoXo 💋

Mamas Open Heart ♥️

One year, still tears, Oh how we miss & love you dear.

A year it’s been since you parted this earth,

two months I’ve had this angel from birth.

Make no mistake every thing has a reason,

even our grief doesn’t break for a season.

I feel you near when the Cardinals fly by,

But oh how I wish that I could call & say hi.

The sound of your voice isn’t heard with my ear, it’s deep in my heart year after year.

First man to love me & guide me in life,

you’d be so proud of your kids, grands & wife.

The bonds have been tested yet strong to the core, this Family you created is one we adore.

It’s hard to believe how the time has gone past,

but our memories live on & won’t be the last.

For each day that we’re gifted will be lived in your honor, our blessings are abundant & we couldn’t be fonder.

Thank You for your everlasting love & guidance. We love & miss you eternally.

XoXo 💋

Mamas Open Heart ♥️

To Write Love on Her Arms

An organization with a great mission. Here’s their statement…

You can follow their FB page at To Write Love on Her Arms.

Don’t stay silent…it’s time to talk. I am always here to lend a listening ear. You are never alone.

XoXo 💋

Mamas Open Heart ♥️

May: Mental Health Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans experience a Mental Health Condition. Every American is affected and or impacted through their friends & family. YOU can do something to help!

First things first…STOP THE STIGMA! Mental Illnesses come in many different forms. Allow the person to be seen for who they really are & NOT the illness.

This topic in particular hits very close to home. I am passionate about being an advocate for those who feel they don’t have a voice by bringing awareness & tearing down the walls that stigma creates.

I hope you’ll join me in becoming an advocate for Mental Health. Let’s replace the Stigma with Hope. 💚 #gogreenformentalhealth #mayismentalhealthawarenessmonth

XoXo 💋

Mamas Open Heart ♥️

Monthly Milestone

2 months it’s been since I pushed your nearly 10 lb self into this World. You haven’t slowed down since. We often hear people out & about say that they thought you were at least 3 months. They’ve said that since you were only a few weeks old. 🤣🤷🏻‍♀️ As the days go by I fall more for you. How it’s possible I’ll never know.

The way you look me in the eyes & smile with such intent makes time seem as if it’s standing still. My eyes well up as I smile back. It’s pure love & joy I feel son. I’m beginning to feel concerned that your going to associate your smiles with my tears as something other than what it is. I promise I’ll get it together. I truly feel nothing but pure happiness & am so incredibly blessed to be your Mama. Sometimes those darn hormones just get in the way.

Two days ago you were on your play mat tolerating tummy time when you decided to roll from belly to back. I think you surprised yourself, I know you did me! It was pretty effortless as if you knew what to do all along. It was Monday, your Dads first day back to work. It was a good distraction & Mama was so proud! Your timing is always right on.

Now I say tolerate tummy time because it’s definitely not a favorite of yours. You’ll let me know when enough is enough. However, I put a mirror down for you & you seem to really dig that. Your getting stronger every day. Even though you’re still sleeping a lot during the day, your sleeping well at night. Your definitely Mamas night owl though. I knew you’d be as you enjoyed late night parties while in the womb.

Your just as smitten with your siblings as they are with you! It’s the greatest thing to witness. You’re a blessing beyond measure & are the perfect fit for our Family. It always amazes me with each child how much love is possible. It’s truly the greatest gift & you son no doubt were hand picked for us. We love you!

XoXo 💋

Mamas Open Heart ♥️

The Dreaded D word…DINNER.

Who like me just dreads the question “What’s for dinner?” I’m like, let’s take this one meal at a time when asked at Breakfast what I want for dinner. I mean that’s hours away & we’ve got a meal between now & then soooo…

I try so hard to be good about browsing Pinterest for new ideas when planning out the weeks meals, but it can be so overwhelming & sometimes requires many ingredients I often don’t have lying around. Could I go to the store & get what’s needed, sure I could but let’s be honest, I’d come out with a cart full of stuff I didn’t need. Not to mention the planning & shopping is time consuming & who wants to drag the kids along? Not me.

When our fourth baby was born a couple months ago (gosh it goes by sooo fast & another reason I’d rather not spend my time worrying about dinner) a friend gifted us a trial meal delivery service. Little did I realize that gift was more than a trial. It was a gift of time, time that’s so valuable. Let’s just say after our first delivery we were hooked & realized this was just what we needed to survive those busy nights of soccer & synchro.

Say HELLO to Hello Fresh! I now conveniently log into my app & select my three meals for the week (you choose how many & how often you’d like to receive meals). It literally takes like 5 minutes & encourages us to try new things! Delivery is every Wednesday & arrives courtesy of UPS all packed & kept cool at my doorstep. Inside the box is three bags (one for each meal) & includes EVERYTHING I need including a step by step meal card to help even the most novice of chefs to prepare a gourmet meal that’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters!

Never tried Hello Fresh, but would like to give it a try? Message me with your email address & I’ll send you a code. No obligation. If you try it & it’s not for you just cancel. You can also look ahead on the app & skip weeks (we do this, & receive meals 2 weeks out of the month).

If you’ve tried Hello Fresh, let me know your FAVS! Here’s a couple of ours.

XoXo 💋

Mamas Open Heart ♥️

Reality: Keeping it real.

The other day a friend shared a post with a picture of herself with tear filled eyes. It broke my heart. It was so relatable. It served as a reminder that while so many share the good & the positive in their life on the daily that it’s just as important to share the opposite. THAT’s reality. We all have our ups & downs, smiles & frowns. Life isn’t all cupcakes & rainbows all the time. Sometimes it’s shit & rainstorms. It’s about balance & perspective. It’s those rainstorms that make the rainbows shine brighter. Ok ya get it.

I realized lately my feeds been pretty positive. Filled with gratitude for supportive Family & their help, sweet babes & amazing husband of the year moments, incredible night out at the MGM for dinner & a concert (bucket list ✔️). Life’s been pretty sweet, I’m not gonna lie. BUT…

Yeah here it comes. The other side to all that. I’m feeling it too. The supportive Family & help is gone. That feeling of thriving on our very own beautiful island with an abundance of goods has shifted to being dropped in the middle of a desert. All alone with limited resources. Ok…so maybe it’s not THAT bad, YET however I’m anticipating that’s exactly how I’ll feel when hubby returns to work. Lord help us. Anyhow, my point in all of this is I’m with ya. I have my share of good moments & bad just like you. We aren’t alone even though it can feel that way. So often Social Media has this way of filling our feeds with false expectations & feelings of loneliness.

Today for example, the kids were home. They were defiant to the core, sassy, messy, loud. I could go on. My house looks like a tornado blew thru here. Oh wait, it did. 3 times!! I’m overwhelmed by it. I hate the mess. I’m so angry by it & how it makes me feel. I CAN NOT allow this to control me, yet it is. Hubby left, Kids all asleep & I’m tired as heck. BUT…here I am surrounded by the destruction of today, alone & I BROKE. It got the best of me tonight & sometimes that happens. It’s ok, happens to the best of us. I need to remind myself that in addition, postpartum recovery takes TIME. Some days I feel great & close to myself, then others I very much am reminded that it’s only been just over a month since I birthed my beautiful almost 10lb. baby & I need more time & that’s ok. Healing takes time. More to come on Postpartum Recovery.

Keeping it real y’all. 😘

Mamas Open Heart ♥️ XO