What a difference a year makes!


Dear Readers!

What a difference a year makes or.. this too shall pass.

I remember last Halloween with startling clarity.. it was very very scary.

I had hit the zenith of my frustration with the process of breastfeeding and so had my daughter. After hours of trying and failing to have her latch or feed, I gave up, cried uncle and said that is IT! I really don’t know how else to describe how helpless you feel when you can’t do the basic thing that you are supposed to be able to do when you are a mother, but let me try. It’s like you are a fisherman and you can’t bait a hook. It’s a seemingly simple process but for whatever reason you can NOT do it. You can’t blame the bait, it doesn’t talk or do anything other than what you direct it to do, and you just keep getting more and more frustrated. Not fun for anyone.

10/31/2016- We were both struggling and both upset and both crying. The picture above on the left is me looking at her in her bassinet and marveling over her lovely costume and sighing a very large sigh of relief that she FINALLY stopped crying.  (this was after almost 6 hours non-stop fussiness. It was on this day that I called in the experts and after getting a lactation consultant to help us, we were well on our way. I know some mothers where that is not the case so I consider us to be very lucky.

The picture on the right is one year later and to be frank, my husband had a pretty rough day with her but for completely different reasons.

She did not nap today and was an absolute terror. She did pull it together enough to come visit me at work and I sure hope that Daddy has had a better night with her tonight as he takes her trick or treating in her handmade ladybug costume.

(in case you read this later, my love, it pains me to write it, AND it’s true!)

So if she was fussy both times what has really changed, you may ask.. and it’s a good question..

A few things.

  1. My patience is a lot better than it was a year ago.
  2. My list of “wins” as her mom, are longer than my “losses”.
  3. She is starting to communicate, we aren’t much past Mama and Dada and Hi.. but we are getting clearer everyday with what we are trying to say.
  4. I am back at work and learning the balancing act of manager/mom
  5. Jeremy is home with her full-time, last year I was on maternity leave.
  6. I have learned to ask for help and to walk away* if it really gets hard.

*walking away – only after making sure the child is secure in her crib –

A year can bring a lot of change, and this year certainly has, I am excited to see what the next year will bring.. we might even get ourselves together enough to do our own matching costumes, but for tonight, we dressed as what we are.. TIRED PARENTS!


Dating Yourself!

datewithmyselfDear Readers

Two weeks ago, I went out on a date by myself. I was a little concerned about whether I would have a good time but I shouldn’t have been worried. I am wonderful company. Yep, I am!

I went by myself. I didn’t take a book, I wasn’t worried about someone else having a good time! On a whim a few weeks ago, I was feeling the need to something JUST for ME and just WITH me and I nabbed one of the last few seats of an event.

I went to see Eddie Izzard at the Paramount, this was a stop on his book tour and he was funny, entertaining and vulnerable.  I also found it very inspiring to hear about his journey from a duo act to a single and how he found great success but only after great failure.

As I walked away from the theatre, no one next to me to talk to about what I had just experienced, I marveled at how good it felt to be alone and do something just for me.

Then and there, I made pact with myself to do this more often and it occurred to me that you, my wonderful readers, might need the reminder as well.

Married or Single, Coupled or Engaged, Domestic Partner or Not!

My husband is wonderful company, AND I really like myself, a lot!

You must protect your relationship with yourself. You are a fabulous person and deserve attention, care and pampering.

Note the picture above, no make up, and of course, a foot picture.

When was the last time you had a “date with yourself” ? If you have to think about it, it’s been too long so go schedule it NOW and keep it!

Think About It….

Hashtags are a nice start. What’s next?


Dear Readers,

If you spend any time at all on social media, you will know that in the last few days a trend has been happening with the hashtag #metoo. Hashtags have come under fire recently for being toothless and I am glad to see that in this case it’s not.

The aim is simple. If you have experienced sexual assault or harassment, you post #metoo on your wall with this message. I have been overwhelmed and cried like a baby over some of the stories that have been so bravely shared and some not shared.

Some people have just posted #metoo without sharing their story and that is 100% acceptable as well. You don’t owe anyone your story. It’s yours to tell or not tell.

I try my best to be real with you on this blog but I also don’t share everything and that is a choice I make every week as I sit down to pen this message. I hesitated to blog about this because it’s uncomfortable.

So, (deep breath) I will tell you only that both of those things have happened to me and that I have experienced both and no one protected me from sexual assault.


It was the job of my family of origin to teach me to speak up and say something and it was their job to be on the lookout for this type of thing that was happening and they did not.

That’s a hard sentence to write. It’s even harder to sit with and live in that reality AND that was my reality until chance and I firmly believe, God brought me into contact with who I now know as my Mother of Choice, Joan Ellen Young.

I acknowledge no other mother.

Joan Ellen Young has helped shape me into the person I am today. I thank God every day that we crossed paths many years ago and she continues to be a tower of strength that helps support me in my journey of life.

My family of origin let me down over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Still, I gave them chance after chance to see me, hear me, and love me and they didn’t. Not ever. Not even a little.

I could be bitter about that or I could decide to forgive them, which I have because the anger would eat me alive otherwise. The decision to forgive but not reconcile is something I have been questioned about but you know what, I am at peace and will remain so.

In order to change things, we are going to have to do what’s hard.

Our daughter will own her body and that starts with her parents not “forcing” her to hug and kiss us or other relatives. As her father put it, “just because she is a baby, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have rights”

So for those reading this for whom, “Me Too” applies. Please read this, it’s just for you.





Notice a need? Fill it.

Dear Readers,

Yesterday I was in a hurry and forgot to close my trunk. I didn’t realize this till I was stopped at a red light a few blocks from my house and I saw someone get out of the car and heading toward my car, my first instinct was to panic but then I heard a “clunk” and saw my trunk closed. I didn’t even know it had been open! I rolled down my window and said, “Thank you” to the kindly soul who noticed it. Today I was in traffic and I let someone in and they waved. (I hate it when they don’t wave)

Today, our server dropped a glass and it shattered, someone else in our group went to help clean up. I really regret not jumping in to help, but as someone else pointed out, “I don’t want to get in the way.” and quite frankly, I was feeling lazy.

Yesterday, as I was walking to the elevator, I said, “Hold the elevator” and someone else did. None of these acts together are anything special but one at a time, they filled a need I had at the exact moment I had it.

It got me thinking, we could all stand to be a little kinder to each other, and one of the best ways I know how to do that is to notice other people. It’s a sure-fire way to help take the focus off of yourself and think about other people.

A few years ago, I heard Andy Andrews speak and one of my favourite things he taught me (and an audience of thousands) was to peel a banana the right way… From the bottom. All it takes is the act of  “noticing” that peeling it from the top takes longer and is more difficult. I also love this quote of his. “A people – all lives – are either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis or headed for a crisis.”

“A people – all lives – are either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis or headed for a crisis.”

So that may seem kind of depressing, but not to me. I think it’s an an opportunity to serve.

Your one kind act of –

  1. Smiling at a stranger who looks downcast.
  2. Texting a friend who is far in distance but close in your heart
  3. Letting someone cut ahead of you in line.
  4. Stepping in to help when you see a need.
  5. Holding the door open for someone.

could be just the “lift” they need to keep them going on a very rough day.

Think About it, Notice a Need, Do Something. motherteresaThink About It!


What lifts you up when you are feeling down?

Dear Readers,

I must confess it’s been a rough couple of weeks all around.

There have been deaths in the family, work stress, and parent stress and friend stress and well, quite honestly, just life getting in the way of my feeling good.

I suspect I am not alone.. so I wanted to give you my top 5 ways to feel better when you feel down….

  1. Listen to some music that literally makes you get up and dance. I don’t mean that makes you bop along in your seat, I mean, you hear it and you MUST dance.

Like this video for “Sugar” – Maroon 5 went around and crashed all these people’s weddings and it’s just so much fun!


or Happy-


2. Watch something that makes you feel better— like this guy.. who showed us the evolution of dance…

and this guy.. who danced in lots of places

or watch a truly artistic feat by OK Go when they perform in zero gravity


Disney.. this one always perks me up… probably because the vultures remind me of the Beatles…


This Disney movie is all about the magic and loveliness of New Orleans.

3. Watch a movie that makes you cry–(I know it seems backwards, but stick with me)

Crying releases chemicals and that helps flush it out of your body, and then you feel better.. some go to “make me cry movies”

Steel Magnolias


Morning Glory


There are tons that make me cry, because as it turns out, I am a bit of a crier when I let myself going as any of my friends can tell you.. In fact,  one of my friends has a saying, “McKenna, you are such a weeper” which goes back a ways.

4. Go talk to a friend (e.g don’t stay by yourself and isolate) that you can just vent to.. and then let them do the same, it may be that they are on a high and encourage them to talk to you about what’s going well, it will make you feel better. I will never forget the time I had a promotion and a really awesome speaking gig that I hesitated to tell my friend about (mainly because she was going through unemployment and some family drama)  on telling my down in the dumps friend who was going through unemployment about my good news .. and when she asked (after venting her spleen about her situation) what’s going on with you? I told her and she was super happy for me because I have good friends, not selfish ones. I made a mental note then to always share with the idea of abundance not scarcity.

It will switch and she will have joy and I will have pain and vice versa. That’s life folks.

5. Eat some ice cream or cookie dough or whatever it is that truly comforts YOU.

For me, that is Haagen-Dazs Caramel Cone-

Yep, I said it. I am all for health goals (documented well on this blog) AND when you feel like crap it’s really hard to get yourself up and motivated to exercise and keep to healthy eating so give it up (not forever) but recognize you are in a season that is stressful so honor that and meet yourself where you are and do some comfort for yourself.

I hope that you don’t need this right now, but the way life works, you will at some point so tuck it away so you have some “go to happy” when you need it.

Please share your go to ways to feel better. I think we could all use that right now.

Think About it…. IMG_0258