I was ten minutes late for my first date with my now-husband.
My husband isn’t much of a social media guy, which is hilarious considering the fact that I’ve made a career out of it. He pretty much only uses the internet to look at funny fail videos, read updates on the Steelers, and look at dream homes on Instagram. I once referenced an IG story I did to him, and he looked at me like I was speaking in tongues.
So he’s a pretty good sport about how open I am about our family and how many photos I make him take. Still, every single time we have a photo shoot scheduled, a little piece of him dies inside. The outfit changes, the nice clothes, the props— he loathes it all, but he does it for me anyway, because he loves me.
When I was telling him about this year’s popular theme of ultra glam in insanely gorgeous sceneries, his eye began to twitch. I knew it was at the thought of making him wear a tuxedo on a mountain top, or in the snow, or period. You see, I was smart. I lead with that, so that my real idea wouldn’t seem half as bad to him. So then I told him about my vision for an ultra cheesy, 80’s styled shoot instead and he was like, uhhhhhhh. But then I threw this out there— my kill shot, if you will:
“Let’s make a Christmas card this year that is so funny, so outrageous, that nobody wants to throw it away because it’s THAT good!”
You see, he complains every year about me wasting money on Christmas cards that either:
A. Never even get sent out, because I’m terrible. or B. Get thrown away by people anyway, because he’s convinced that nobody actually likes to receive Christmas cards in the mail.
Boom. That’s pretty much all it took. (Let’s be real— he rocks and probably would have said yes anyway!)
One of my favorite things about my husband is that when he commits to something, he really commits. 100%. All in. Let’s go, kind of attitude.
I was literally crying when Brenda sent these photos over to me because I was laughing so hard. Reason number 5,363 why I love her: She ALWAYS sees my vision and she is always up for it! Our first photo shoot with her was for Christmas two years ago, and I consider myself so fortunate to have met her.
We decided to dress the kids in normal clothes, so as not to traumatize them later in life with terribly embarrassing photos of them in outdated attire. Instead, we chose to do the embarrassing stuff for them, and let them just be their perfect, adorable little selves.
I mean, come on.
We shot the entire thing at Derek’s grandparents house and I had this vision of getting the entire family in their jacuzzi with all of our clothes on, because I’m insane and I thought it would be hilarious.
But his grandma was sick, so we didn’t come to their house early to turn on the jacuzzi as planned, and thus the water was freezing. But when I have a vision, I have a vision— and we promised Brenda some hilarious water photos, so we had to deliver.
As you can see, Derek was thrilled. But like I said earlier, he really loves me, and he also is the master of all things, so he quickly warmed up to the freezing jacuzzi photos.
Can’t. I just can’t.
This photo shoot is probably my favorite, to date. It was just so fun and we were laughing the entire time. And I’ll probably forget to send our Christmas cards again this year, but in the event that I don’t, I hope people get a kick out of having these photos on their fridge.
Have you ever done a funny photo shoot? If not, you have got to give it a try! It’s way less stressful than a serious one, and the memories will be hilarious.
Happy holidays, friends!
While Donald Trump was being announced as the next president of the United States, I was holding a nebulizer to my son’s face in the ER— singing the words of “Songbird” softly to him as he cried and begged and pleaded in fear of this foreign device on him.
And though it was my delicate little three year old who couldn’t breathe in that moment, it felt like I was the one who was suffocating. As he cried and begged and pleaded— so unsure of what he couldn’t understand— I felt the same emotions pulsing through me. Little did he know, his time with the nebulizer would stable his heart rate and breath. If only we had both been so fortunate.
I’ve read countless articles and personal social media posts from people stating that everyone needs to “just get over it”. They’ve compared our future and our children’s future to previous elections, the Starbucks holiday cup, etc. They have encouraged people to leave our country, buck up, and/or shut the fuck up. They have assured their grieving loved ones that this is what America needs with declarations such as “TRUST ME, this is best thing for us!”—the ultimate gift of apathy. And it took reading all of these things for me to realize that we have been brushed aside like this our entire lives. That I myself, as a women in a male dominated society, have been told “trust me, I know what’s best for you”, my entire existence.
Hush little woman, don’t you cry—
Papa’s gonna feed you a little lie.
And if that lie don’t make you sing—
Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.
And if you still can’t sing a tune—
You must be starting your period soon.
What are you mad about anyhow?—
You’re acting really crazy right now.
Hush little woman, you’re far too loud—
That’s no way to make your father proud.
Hush little woman, don’t say a word—
Nothing that you say will ever be heard.
Hush little woman, I’ve already won—
Wouldn’t want to have your mascara run.
I can’t. I can’t and I won’t just stand still, look pretty. I refuse to go quietly into the night. I will not sit on the sidelines as minorities are being attacked by their fellow Americans.
But what can we do? What impact can we make?
Here’s my plan.
- I will NOT allow a post to flow through my social media that is unjust, racist, sexist, etc. Instead of ignoring it, I will speak up. I will respectfully and maturely provide insight, facts, and opinion that add value— not hate. I will do my part to fact check when I see something posted, and to correct the person if the post is incorrectly portraying things, so that more misinformation does not spread.
- I will lose friends. Yes, I will lose friends if need be. If standing up for others causes me to lose people, then I am prepared to do so.
- I will NOT attack the people I know who voted for Trump. Being profiled for your political affiliation is just as bad as being profiled for your race, sex, gender, etc. I cannot pretend to understand the vote for him, but to assume everyone who did so was well aware of what would happen if he won, is also unfair. Especially since, I myself, did not know how bad it would be. ** If you’re wondering what I mean by “how bad it would be” and are saying to yourself “he hasn’t even been sworn in yet!”, please take a look at the impact his election has already made: https://twitter.com/i/moments/796417517157830656 **
- I will listen. I will listen to anyone who wants to speak to me and I will do so with an open mind and an open heart. I will be an ear, a shoulder, a voice for those who are too afraid to speak for themselves.
Right now, those are the only answers I have.
And to my friends who are hurting, please let me know if I can support or help you in any way. I will follow you into the unknown, with eyes and heart ready for whatever may come.
This pussy ain’t for grabbin’— and I will not be hushed again.
Guys, I’m not going to lie— I’ve totally checked out. Derek and I leave for Costa Rica tonight to celebrate our anniversary and it’s pretty much all I can think about. I started packing ten days ago, I’ve got checklists for my checklists, and when I close my eyes all I see is monkeys and sloths and cocktails. I’m pretty nervous about being away from the kids for 9 whole days— considering the longest I’ve ever been away from either of them is a weekend— but I know they will be having a blast with their grandparents while we are gone, and I’m really looking forward to a vacation with my numero uno, my baby daddy, the guy who I said “I Do” to almost 5 years ago.
Typically, Derek and I sort of do this crazy thing when we take vacations— we unplug. I know, guys— I know. The shock! The horror!
But seriously, I know the struggle is real (especially for bloggers). Our business is creating beautiful feeds with relivant content and an every day prescense. Take a day off, lose followers. Take a week off? And who knows! Will you be back at square one? Will people forget about you? Like I said, I know the struggle is real. But I have to believe in quality or quantity here— and I know that quality time with my husband trumps having x amount of followers, always.
I’ll never pretend that I don’t LOVE seeing people’s vacation posts. They are gorgeous and exciting and I would never tell you not to post them because they are perfection. I will no doubt be overloading you with photos of my trip when I return. But you won’t be seeing any real time photos of my monkey-filled balcony or toes in the sand, and that’s because it is so much more important to me to be present on my vacation than it is to crop, edit, explain, and post a photo. When you’re not worried about lighting or angles or any of those things, it allows you to fully enjoy the moment you’re in. If I end up with GoPro images that are of only half of my body (which could totally happen before I’ve never used it before) that will be okay. It’s not something I’m going to stress or even give a second thought to.
Five years ago on our honeymoon, we crossed our hearts that no matter where life took us, we would come back to Costa Rica and stay in the exact same house for our anniversary. Five years later, we are off to make good on that promise. We’ve lost, we’ve loved, we’ve lived. Five years have been cold to us, but also so very warm for our love. We have experienced such great loss and such great joy together. And I can’t wait to spend the next nine days reminiscing on everything that has shaped us into the couple we are today.
Have you ever “gone dark” to enjoy a vacation? If you haven’t, give it a try! You’ll be surprised at how freeing it is not to be glued to blogs, or Facebook, or Instagram, etc. all day long. And at night? Oh man, at night time when you remember what it means to wind down without a device in your hands, it’s magical.
So here’s to a blackout! I’ll miss you, but I’ll be back. I hope you’re still around when I return, but if my lack of posts for 9 days is a deal breaker, then it’s been a privilege. (But I hope you stay!)
Be back soon, sweet friends!
Another day, another Facebook invite for protein shakes or mascara or cleaning supplies— am I right? Seems like everyone these days is involved in some form of MLM (multi-level marketing) or home business opportunity that they are just dying to get you on board with.
I always feel bad when a friend asks me to have a virtual party, because I know the general consensus is a slow eye roll when we see a notification for “Sarah’s LulaRoe” or “Amber’s Stella & Dot Bash”. I’m not sure if it’s over saturation or just our societies general distrust, but I know there is a lot of negativity around women who try to start their own businesses this way. But today I want you to shift your mindset— just a bit, and hear me out as to why I buy from mom bosses, and why you should too.
You trusted their opinion before they started selling (insert product here)
I’m going to assume that the people you are friends with on social media are people who’s ideas and opinions you value. If this person posts a photo of a meal from a restaurant they love and recommends it, would you take that opinion as one worth listening to? Would the restaurant make your list of places to try next time you were out or in the area? If so, then why is a product they are referring you to that they receive an income from, any different? Every single person I see selling something uses it themselves. So if you trusted these women’s opinions before, them earning a commission off of something they love shouldn’t change a thing.
You’re probably buying a different version of the product already
Chances are, your friend is selling something that you already invest a little money into. Whether it be beauty products, jewelry, nail designs, clothes, cleaning products, food plans, etc.— most of us find ourselves either already purchasing things like these, or already seriously considering doing so before we are approached by a friend who is selling them. So why not consider trying out the brand your friend is selling? Especially if it’s something you were already investing in.
A little support goes a long way
Have you ever been in a position where you just needed people to have a little faith in you? Well, starting your own business is hard. You get told no more than yes, along with people being downright rude to you for no reason. It can be incredibly emotional and stressful taking a leap of faith with your career, which is why a little support goes a long way. Hosting that free online party to help a friend out won’t cost you a dime— but it will give your friend a boost of confidence and open the doors for an audience they wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.
All you have to lose is money
I know that sounds weird because we value money so much in our society, but think about it. Let’s say you buy something for $25 and you hate it. Chances are you can return it, but even if you can’t, it only cost you $25 to find out that that product line isn’t for you. Would you spend $25 on this person in real life? Say, for a birthday present or a couple coffees throughout the year? If this person is someone you would invest in on a personal level, then you should consider investing in them on a professional level as well, by investing in trying out their products. I personally, would buy all of you a coffee or two, or three— because that’s just who I am. So spending that same amount on helping your business is a no brainer to me. Obviously you can’t afford to support everyone at once. That’s why I usually choose one business a month (or every other month) to make a purchase from/try out.
You may just love what they are selling after all
Off the top of my head, I can think of about 7 different friends that I have bought from to date. Out of those 7, I have liked 6 of the companies and continue to buy. Like I said, you really don’t have anything to lose, but you have a ton to gain. Buying from my mom boss friends has opened my eyes to several wonderful products that I never would have given the time of day. I’ve saved time, money, and found products that are better for myself and the environment. And to top it all off, I’ve been able to help fellow mamas put food on their tables. That, to me, is worth every penny.
So go give a mom boss a virtual high-five and tell her she’s great. Book that online party or trunk show. Give her a chance, friends. You really have nothing to lose and it will mean more to her than you know.
I’ve probably been pulled over close to a dozen times in my life. I’ve got the speeding tickets, and fix it tickets, and traffic violations to prove it. I had a lead foot and a rebel heart, and I paid for it with a poor driving record and high insurance costs.
When I would see those patriotic lights flashing behind me, my mind would race to a thousand different places. My heart would pound.
What did I do this time? How fast was I going? Do I have a light out? Will this be the time they finally arrest me? My parents are going to be furious with me. I can’t afford another ticket!
The fear of license suspension, car searching, and even being arrested and sent to jail would creep in, but I never ever, feared that I would be killed. Because I didn’t have to. Because I am a white privileged woman.
It’s easy when you’re white in a world that values that. The emphasis on superiority based on melatonin levels is no new thing. It’s easy to pretend that being “colorblind” and “loving everyone” is enough. But it’s not. And we do not need to be colorblind. In fact, you need to very clearly see color in order to fully grasp what is happening in our world. Because this is so blatantly an attack based on it.
At some point, even the most skeptical white privileged folks have to be able to look at this and see a trend. At some point you have to take off the blinders and see the direct racism our country is facing. How many times can we blame a bad angle or “cut” video for a cops behavior? How many more people must die before we see that this is happening. That human beings are being slaughtered by the very people who are sworn to protect them.
Dear white people:
We need to start talking about this with each other. We need to start asking the hard questions and losing friends, if need be. We need to educate one another. It is not black peoples responsibility to ignite change within white people— it’s ours. Would you ask a Holocaust victim to help you care? Would you make that their responsibility? Could you imagine?
It is up to us to use our privilege to spark change. We cannot just stand by idly, despite how much more comfortable and easy it would be to do so.
And this is where I will start. And I’m sorry to all of my readers that it took me so long to publicly do so. If you somehow, still feel that these murders are justified, let’s talk. If you somehow, cannot see the very real racism our country’s black people are facing, let’s talk.
Say their names. We have to say their names. These mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons— they are very real victims of hate crimes and we cannot— I will not allow them to blur together into one white priveleged apathetic pile of mush.
Black lives matter. They matter just as much as mine and yours. And until they are treated as such, no lives will matter.