When Your Year is Over

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This year did not go like I thought it would. That is to say, I did not think I would grow, crumble, find joy, experience gut wrenching heartache, burst with pride, and feel like the world was spinning faster than normal nearly every single day. I have to be honest. The southerner in me is compelled to write a Year in Review letter. I never have, I don’t think, but it’s only been because I never really felt like it was an authentic representation of my family and what had happened that year. This year, 2015, will be our first holiday letter. And it will probably be the hardest to write, but only because the high moments that we successfully managed to have are still so bittersweet because I feel like they were stolen from Andrew. I feel like I could try to summarize January through the morning of April 17th, but I honestly have a hard time remembering what life was like then. I went to work. Kids went to school. Dogs were fed. Work projects were completed. Beyond that, … [Read more...]

Hello From Paradise! #BeachesMoms

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Guys. So remember when I posted announcing that I was going to be attending the Social Media on the Sand conference in Turks and Caicos at Beaches Resort? I'M HERE AND O M G. Look. Ocean. DRINKS. MORE OCEAN. You guys, this is everything I've needed lately. I've been going, going, going, non-stop since Andrew died. I've put the kids into sports and extracurricular activities to keep them busy, and to help them acclimate to our new normal. That also means I have to cart them around to those activities ;). I love every minute of it, but man. It's so exhausting. I'm so lucky that I have Adam here to help me, and that the kids are such good buddies with him (for real, it's stupid-cute how well they all have blended). Exhaustion, though. It's for real. And this week, I will recharge. I have a busy week full of conference sessions, excursions, and NAPPING planned, so follow me on Instagram (that's where I'll be posting the most) and get into vacation planning mode, … [Read more...]

Because Now I’m Happy

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"When am I allowed to be happy in public?" I asked this question in the very first post-suicide blog that I published. The answer is today. Want to see a list of things that I'm doing now that make me happy? Lucky you. I have one prepared. I swim with my kids. I actually go out and do social things. I take my kids to events that I wouldn't have ever attempted before. I started working out again. I even signed up for my third half marathon. and I dyed my hair an avant garde color (gray!) because I wanted to. But you know another reason I'm happy? It's because I've let my guard down enough to experience life again. "Life," as I knew it while being married to an extremely depressed person, was spent keeping things under control. Making sure people were kept happy and even keeled. But now, I can actually focus on living MY life, instead of attempting to ensure that my husband's mood stayed room temperature. And let's be real. His life was never a perfect 70 … [Read more...]

My Supposed-to-be Anniversary

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Today is July 1st. On this day in 2006, just over a month after I graduated from high school, I married my boyfriend of a year and a half, Andrew. I moved to Nebraska to live with him and start our life together. I was 18 years old, and he was 19. We both had full-time jobs, and we had a cute little one bedroom apartment in the heart of a gorgeous historic neighborhood in the capital city of Lincoln. Life was pretty okay. We were so young, and so naive, but we were happy. And that's what mattered. Deeper, though. Deeper than what was on Facebook, and deeper than what we would let our families know, was that we had struggles like any other couple. Ours tended to center mostly around things that most newlyweds worry about --- money, how to split family time, and just the newness of living with another human being. But our speed bumps were magnified, it seemed, by the fact that each little hiccup was seen through the screen of depression. I didn't know how to handle it, honestly. The … [Read more...]

Things Have Happened.

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I know I haven't done a good job at all with keeping up with my once-beloved blog over the past year. I've been neglecting what was once my main source of income and my creative outlet. Here are things, ordered semi-reliably from least to most impactful, that have happened in my life in the past 6-ish months: I've gained 20 pounds, sitting at about 170 right now. The reason for this is, on paper, simply explained by overeating and not exercising enough. It's not an excuse, but a big factor is the fact that .... I work full time. More than full time, really, if we're getting picky, but I love my work, so I've got that going for me. I moved from the suburbs of San Tan Valley, Arizona to Scottsdale, Arizona. This was insanely life-changing, mainly because I work in North Scottsdale, and I was commuting about 2 hours each way, Monday through Friday. In the past year, I wrecked my Prius twice during those commutes, totalling it with the second wreck. It was pretty gnarly (we were … [Read more...]

Trying New Things in 2015: Vegan Plant-Based Protein! #GNCPlantProtein #sponsored

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This post is brought to you by GNC and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. It's a fresh year! I know a lot of you guys are as stoked about that as I am. There's nothing better than a fresh, blank slate at the start of a new year. And of course, one of the ever-popular resolutions is to lose weight. Work out more. Eat better. I'm vowing to eat better, and to pay closer attention to what I put into my body, including my protein shakes! GNC has introduced new plant-based protein powder that promises 20g of protein and 10g of aminos from five plant-based sources with no soy, gluten or dairy. BOOM. Plant-based proteins are perfect if you're already adhering to a vegan or vegetarian diet, or  even if you're just looking to build and support lean muscle and total body health. I've been drinking GNC PUREDGE Complete Vegan Plant Based Performance Protein in Natural Vanilla, and as a girl who's had her share of protein shakes, this one is just as good if not better than others … [Read more...]

Sound the alarm! Skinnygirl makes HUMMUS NOW! #NowThisIsSkinnydipping #Sponsored

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I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf ofSkinnygirl. I received a product sample and a promotional item to facilitate my review.  I thought it was impossible for me to love Bethenny Frankel any more, but she's proven me wrong (as she does). I've always admired her for her no-nonsense attitude, her transparency, and her business savvy. As a working mom, I have to admit that I idolize other successful women entrepreneurs a bit, and she's definitely one of my faves. Not only has she created a smash hit with her Skinnygirl brand, she's made it her mission to show that you can have it all -- go out with the girls, but do it without ruining your hard work that you've put in all week on your diet. Can you tell I kind of like her? I like her. And now I like her even more. 'Cause girlfriend came out with HUMMUS. SKINNYGIRL. HUMMUS. This is enough for me to nominate her for sainthood, pretty much. Once I caught Maisy, age 3, standing in the middle of the kitchen, licking … [Read more...]

A Few of My Favorite Things from #ZapposStyle #MC #Sponsored

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I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zappos.com. I received product samples to facilitate my review. Remember my awesome back to school scores from Zappos.com shopping experience? I am so pleased with everything from start to finish -- the selection, the convenience, and the super fast shipping -- that I went back and did some more browsing. So I found these really cute boots for Emma that would go with pretty much anything. And, uh, they sparkle, so she's pretty into them, haha! Stride Rite Mira, $49 I've always loved Stride Rites, and if I can get them with free shipping both ways, I'm on board! The gray will go well with her Tommy Hilfiger polo that she's already gotten from Zappos.com. Herschel Supply Co. Pop Quiz, $79.99 I am so in love with the Herschel Supply Co. bag that I got for Emma that I might snag her bag and give her this one! I love the look, feel, and quality of these bags and they have so many colors and prints to choose … [Read more...]

The one where I have no time and the kids need stuff for school. #ZapposStyle #MC #Sponsored

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I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zappos.com. I received product samples to facilitate my review. Remember how I totally admitted defeat and decided to knock out my back to school shopping at Zappos.com? It all came in!!!! And I LOVE IT ALL.  I scored ALL of this for under $300, and I was super pumped about the brands they had available: Nike Stride Rite New Balance Converse Keen Pediped Under Armour The Northface Patagonia Roxy Volcom Splendid Tommy Hilfiger Stuff that I KNOW will last long enough and stand up to the beating my growing kids will put it through! I was originally planning on schlepping to an outlet mall an hour away, followed up by another shopping center ANOTHER hour away, but I was able to pick up the high quality stuff I wanted while in my pajamas. I declare myself the winner. On to the clothes! Emma started off with this Tommy Hilfiger Hi-Low Polo in Fuschia ($24). Polos aren't required … [Read more...]

Guys. I totes conquered back to school shopping. #ZapposStyle #MC #sponsored

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Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zappos.com. I received product samples to facilitate my review. Summer is basically over now, ain't it? Labor day is right around the corner, so it's time to bid farewell to summer-y things. Like popsicles. And water parks. And ratty clothes. My kids are looking pretty busted, not gonna lie. They've been at a summer camp type place that just LOOOOOVES to let them use tempera paint without smocks, and while I love having 90847501938475 pieces of butcher paper covered in blue, red, and yellow streaks, I do NOT love the idea of sending them to school in clothes covered in blue, red, and yellow streaks. But here's the problem. I work a lot, and that means that even in the summer, my day consists of commuting, dropping off kids at day camp, working, picking kids up, commuting again, and then mustering enough energy to feed the fam. Notice how there's no time for massive back to school shopping trips? Yeah, … [Read more...]