To my son on your 6th Birthday

Dear Brayden,

I can’t believe today you turn six. What’s even harder to believe is you were diagnosed with a heart defect when you were only in my belly for six months. 

This day six years ago we couldn’t wait to meet you. We were excited to see if you would look like daddy or if you would resemble more of me. We hoped we’d be able to hold you and kiss you but we knew those hopes were uncertain to take place. My greatest hope though was that you would be breathing, thankfully you were! Hearing you cry from across the room while your team of doctors worked on you was the greatest gift. 

Fast forward to now, here I sit six years later at your tackle football practice!! How amazing!!! At one point we didn’t know if you would be able to play contact sports but just as you’ve done this whole journey you proved everyone that you’re a strong fighter who will never give up. 

I have to tell you what I’m most proud of and it’s your academic accomplishments. We moved to Arizona not knowing much about the schools and hoping you would adjust well and then there you go the first month of school getting student of the month! Like who are you?! It is so amazing to watch you come home excited about what you’re learning and then watching you practice those skills all on your own. Daddy might tell you sports is most important but know mommy thinks academics comes first! 

The world around us has been crazy lately and I want you to know that daddy and I will continue to do everything we can to protect you. We will not teach you to live in a world of fear so know that if you look back and realize there are things we didn’t tell you it’s because we wanted you to be a kid and enjoy your life free of fear

I hope that when you read this when your older you are still thriving. I have the highest hopes for your future and I can’t wait to see all that you will accomplish but for now I look forward to what this next year brings because I know it’s going to be awesome😃

Always remember you’re my warrior, my fighter, and my hero.

I Love You,

Mommy

Ps – I love watching you love life❤️

Parenting in 2017

Parenting isn’t easy. When you have a baby they don’t come with an instruction manual and as they grow and get older there is no guide on how to change your parenting as they grow and something that I have learned in my almost 6 years of being a parent is each child is different and needs to at times be parented differently.

I may only be 27 years old but I can say with certainty that my kids are growing up in a different world then I did. For example technology, my kindergartener has come home from school and already asked for a cell phone because he sees other kids in his class with them.  Um I didn’t get a cell phone until middle school and that was only because I spent more time at the dance studio then I did at home. 

A hot topic of late has been the protests going on in the NFL and I know you’re thinking how does this relate to parenting. Well since my son was at the age to be able to understood the concept of the national anthem he has stood in front of our tv every Sunday with his right hand on his heart and his left hand behind his back as he follows in the footsteps of the players he looks up to, my daughter follows by my sons example. 


Now that being said I am fully aware of our freedoms and rights in this country I have a bachelors degree in legal studies and I get it but I am a human and I have my own opinions on the actions of the players. 

Last Sunday was the normal standing in front of the tv for the national anthem because he saw his favorite Eagles players stand for the anthem but it was Monday night that changed things. As I stood in the kitchen finishing dinner I caught out of the corner of my eye my son get into a kneeling position instead of standing tall and proud. I have to be honest my reaction was to yell to him to stand up and the confused look on his face kind of broke my heart. He yelled back asking why he had to stand when the players on the field were kneeling and that’s when I realized that the actions of these players were now affecting my home. 

No we don’t talk politics with our kids they are little and we try to protect their innocence. We explained to him why we stand for the anthem and after a few minutes he accepted it and we moved on. Unlike last week today we didn’t wake up to news of who stood and who took a knee during last nights games instead we woke up to news of another massacre on our soil, the same soil we told our 5 year old to stand and show respect to just a week ago. 

How am I supposed to protect my children’s innocence when I constantly have explaining to do and no not the simple explaining like 2+2=4. 

It wasn’t until I was in 6th grade when the terror attacks of 9/11 took place did I encounter the first traumatic attack on our soil that I actually can remember. Since then there has been no shortage of sad devastating news on the tv about our world. Between the attacks going on in other countries and the shootings here at churches, schools, movie theaters and concerts how can I protect my children? How can I let them be kids?  How can I send them down the street by themselves to play with a neighbor? How can I send them to school and be confident I can pick them up at the end of the day? How can I take them to the movie theater and really enjoy the experience when I’m looking for sketchy people? And now how can I myself go to a concert with my husband and hope I make it home to my kids?

It is so hard now a days to feel safe. The purity of childhood is gone and that’s why as parents our parenting decisions are as important as ever. We can pick and choose what we share with them based on their age all while making sure to teach them things to be aware of when out of the house, like not going to strangers. For the older kids I can imagine it’s harder because that’s when kids talk at school and based on what the other parents are saying your kids may find out more about the world then you were ready to share. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is parenting is hard and you’re not alone. Between technology devices, the internet, politics, terror attacks both internationally and on home soil and throw in the crazy natural disasters there is no shortage of explaining you’re going to have to do. My best advice is hold on tight and get ready for the ride, think before you speak, be available to your children if they have questions and be aware of changes in their behavior. Hug your babies and give them extra kisses every night. 


Keeping all those affected by the many tragedies in the last few weeks in my thoughts🙏🏻

– Brittany 

Letting Go

If you know me personally or spent even just thirty seconds scrolling through my Instagram you know that my kids are my everything. Some may think parenting doesn’t change you but from experience I can say it does. My experiences may have changed me a little more and or differently then others but I can guarantee you I’ve changed.  With all the beautiful things that motherhood brings I got the don’t have time for anyone’s crap attitude, cause really life is to short to play games, and the protective and comforting qualities to a severe degree. Again maybe the severity of these qualities came from having Brayden, my first born, be diagnosed with a heart condition before I even got to meet him followed by his years of treatment then having Makayla, my second born, be diagnosed with a heart condition after birth.  Regardless of any parents personal story I believe to some degree there is the feeling to want to protect their children when they are born but its the as they grow older part that I am personally struggling with.

Throughout both of my children’s lives I have been there.  I have been to every doctors appointment, sports practice, school function, I am the first person they see in the morning and the last person they see before they go to bed. I try to support them building friendships and in turn have built my own. I have been there for every boo boo that needed to be kissed and every no reason just because belly laugh. Now suddenly I feel that part of this is being ripped from me.

The reality is we can’t stop them from growing up.  With every day that passes they are learning a little more, growing a little taller, and hopefully showing signs of becoming all you know they can be. My reality is hurting my heart.  Not because they are bad kids but because they are growing up and I as their mother am not ready.  That protective quality I talked about in the beginning is hindering my excitement for my kids and for myself.  Brayden whose future was uncertain at one point is starting kindergarten and Makayla who has been with me everyday since birth is starting preschool and I for the first time ever will have a couple of hours in the mornings by myself to have peace and quiet, but I think thats what scares me the most, peace and quiet. They have become such a part of me that time alone on a daily basis seems scary. Actually no, what scares me the most is giving up control, dropping them off everyday at school and not knowing what they are doing, how they are feeling, if they need to be comforted – cue protective instincts – not being in control and being able to protect them not only scares but hurts me.  

I don’t think I realized how much all of this was bothering me until Brayden’s first football practice the other night. It being his first football practice ever I knew he would need help figuring out the exercises but it wasn’t until a coach grabbed him and put him back in line that I realized how much having those protective instincts can hurt. It was my almost ready to jump out of my chair body reaction that made my husband turn to me and say “you need to let him go”.  I don’t know how those words felt coming out of his mouth but hearing them was like having my ears stabbed with knives repeatedly but it was then that I realized everything in this post.  

So where to go from here? When you realize your issues it should be easy to address them right? Well almost 6 years of protective mommy mode will definitely not go away over night or ever entirely and the idea of letting go is one I’m continuing to work through. What I do know is my kids are growing up and I can’t stop that nor would I want to so I need to learn to accept that I can’t control every situation. I need to focus on what I can control and that is teaching them things at home that will help them be able to navigate situations on their own as they continue to grow.

Find your strength,

Brittany 

My 5 Latest Obsessions!

1. Starbucks Tumbler

I was at the Starbucks in our grocery store the other day and this new pink tumbler totally caught my eye! Not ready to make the splurge I didn’t get it and thought about it all night so the next day I got one! Not a pink one since I decided it’s nice to be able to see how much is left in the cup. I got it filled for the first time and Oh My Gosh I am in love😍 If you’re an avid frappuccino drinker you know that the cup sweats as it melts and can make a mess and be annoying well with the tumbler this didn’t happen! Even while I was sitting at the park in the 105 degree weather my cup stayed cold but also dry – amazing!! I’m so glad I made the splurge! Head to your local Starbucks to check out the available designs and get a ten cent discount every time you use your cup!



2. Sweet Ava’s Paper

This ones for my planner girls! I have been ordering from Sweet Ava’s Paper on Etsy since October of 2016 and here’s why I’ve stayed a customer: 

  • Great original designs with the cutest brown haired girl named Ava (lots of other great characters too)
  • The colors are so vibrant and really pop in your planner
  • Always has a discount code for her Instagram followers ( @sweetavaspaper)
  • Quick shipping and super cute packaging

These are just a few reasons why I love this sticker shop. If you don’t use a Happy Planner or an equivalent but want fun stickers to use on a family calendar on the fridge definitely check out Sweet Ava’s Paper, place your first order and trust me you will be hooked!

Some of my favorites!

3. Sally Hansen Diamond Strength French Manicure Pen Kit

I’ve been neglecting my nails since we got to Arizona since I was constantly opening boxes and knew they would get ruined. Now that the unpacking is basically done I really wanted to give my nails a good French manicure but there was one problem, my nail polish was still in Pennsylvania. So I drug the kids along to Target, as if thats hard to do since they’re obsessed, to find a kit and to my surprise the only French manicure kit with everything needed for the perfect manicure was the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Kit. I’m not going to lie I was hesitant because instead of a white nail polish bottle for the tips it included a French Manicure White Tip Pen.  I’ve never used the tip pen before but since the whole kit was only $9.99 I figured I’d give it a try. I did my nails last night and let me tell you the White Tip Pen is awesome! The instructions say to roll the pen along your tip but I did a dab method which worked really well. There are tip guides included if you arent comfortable doing the tips free hand. If you’re ready to conquer a French manicure by yourself this is the kit for you!

4. Cinnamon Roll Waffles

I was looking for some fun but easy 4th of July treats to make with my kiddos so I went to my Pinterest page to check out the boards I had created, you know the random things you pin then never look at again. Anyways on one of my food boards I saw Cinnabon waffles and they looked so easy I had to try it! All you need is a waffle iron and a tube of cinnamon rolls with the icing, preheat your waffle iron and separate all the cinnamon rolls from eachother.  Once the iron is ready place one cinnamon roll on each corner of the iron, close the iron and wait until it’s done and then take each corner off of the iron. Lather it up with some icing, which you don’t need to heat up because it melts as soon as it hits the warm waffle! They were so quick and easy to make that I can see this as a good school morning option to switch up breakfast. The only downside is you may need a few tubes of cinnamon rolls depending how many people you need to feed but if you get the store brand its still a really cheap option.




5. Outdaughtered
 

One night this week I was scanning the tv at night looking for something to watch and as typical summer tv schedules there was nothing so I clicked on TLC and instantly got hooked on the show “OutDaughtered”. Adam and Danielle are so normal and real that it’s enjoying to watch plus their girls are adorable! You get to go through their ups and downs with them and even though I only have two kids there are certain conversations between them that are so similar to conversations I have with my husband. If you are looking for a good real show head on over to TLC on Tuesday nights and hang out with the Bugsby’s!! 


If you already love or try out some of these obsessions let me know!

Happy Sunday!

Brittany

One Month In

So there’s all these weird superstitions revolving the number 13, the most common one being when the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday, you know the dreaded Friday the 13th?  The 13th of the month has a whole new meaning to our family significant to our new journey in Arizona.  Yesterday being the 13th marked one month since the kids and I got on a plane and arrived in our new home but it also marked four months since my husband started his job here. It’s hard to believe we’ve only been together again as a family for a month but I guess no matter how long you are apart if you really are family it will always automatically be right again.  Don’t mistake that for its been easy because transitions like this with young children are hard.  It has been and is still at times hard for them to accept that I am not the only one that can help them.  They relied soley on me for 95 days, give or take the few days daddy was home here and there, so the adjustment back to having two parents being able to do things for them is hard.  The most difficult time for this is bedtime. We had such a routine about how shower, pjs, teeth brushing, story time, and getting tucked in went that trying to add in the second parent was something neither of them were willing to accept, if it wasn’t mommy doing it then it wasn’t happening. It seems that having daddy help certain nights doing certain things works for them so if thats what makes nighttime not so stressful we will go with it plus I love reading to them at night even if I know the books by heart.

For the first time on Wednesday I actually felt like this was home. Dying to know why? My daughter had dance class. Its kind of crazy right that after a month its taken a simple dance class to make Arizona feel even remotely close to home. Even after registering my son for kindergarten and my daughter for preschool and doing dance and football registration, having my grocery store and don’t forget Starbucks of choice and the Walmart I favor and I of course had to find the closest Michael’s which is conveniently smack dab between a Target and a Starbucks (thank you shopping Gods) it still just didn’t feel like home. Maybe because the last month has been filled with unpacking, having no schedule and not knowing anyone that the lack of emotional attachment to this new place we call home just wasn’t there. But Wednesday when I got her dressed for dance class and we got in the car and pulled into the studio parking lot and I put her ballet shoes on and she went into class like she knew exactly what she was doing did it finally seem real.  She walked in with such confidence like this new studio and teacher and classmates weren’t going to stop her from doing what she loves and this is why having kids is so amazing.  It took my 3 year old to show me that this new place doesn’t change anything.  It doesn’t change the things we love or our ability to do them we just have to be open and adjust to this new adventure. Boy was she open, she kicked butt in class and I’m so proud and thankful for the confidence she is able to radiate, my star in the making.  Of course the no family thing is hard but as we start planning our first trip home and we continue to FaceTime with those who are making the effort to stay active in our lives I know that we will see eachother again and be able to embrace the time we have together.   


As we put this first month behind us we have so many things to look forward to. Football practice starts in nearly two weeks followed by school starting just a week later. We get to do fun things like school shop and open house night at school and get the family pictures taken I’ve been secretly dying for since we made the decision to move.  I know as time goes on things will get easier and hopefully this new place we consider home will truly start to feel like it.

Stay confident and kick butt,

Brittany 

The Stay at Home Mom Stereotype

I need to take a minute to discuss the stigma/stereotype behind being a stay at home mom…


Quite frankly I’m sick of people asking what I do and when I say I’m a stay at home mom get this look of almost disgust. Now a days you hear great things about working mothers and they get all this praise because they work all day and take care of their family at night. This praise is rightly deserved as I’ve briefly been a working mom and I understand how hard it is to juggle it all. Now as a stay at home mom it so frustrates me that some how me staying with my children and taking care of my home has been so glorified that its not seen as a job. I may not get up and go to a 9 to 5 job but I can guarantee you I don’t spend my day sitting on the couch watching tv, going to the nail salon for a fresh mani and pedi, and having lunch everyday with my girlfriends.  Everyday I get woken up by my little bosses voices already making their demands. These little bosses don’t care if I need to pee or have to change out the laundry they want their juice when they want it and they don’t want excuses as to why they cant have it immediately. So as a stay at home mom not only are you acting as servant but you’re also the cook, the dishwasher, the cleaning service, the laundry service, the personal shopper, the taxi driver, the referee and most importantly the teacher and caregiver. Does it sound like a lot now? 

People wonder why I have my planner and believe in it so much and it’s because setting goals for yourself even when being a stay at home mom is so important. How am I going to get anything accomplished if I don’t have a plan? It is so easy to get sidetracked when you are constantly being asked for something or just simply being followed around that knowing what you want to get done keeps your day moving forward in a way that you ‘should’ feel accomplished when its over.

Planning aside its not easy.  The other day in one of my mommy Facebook groups a mom asked if any stay at home moms resent their husbands? I have nothing to hide since its a conversation my husband and I have had before and yes there are the occasional days where I resent that he gets to go have adult relationships and he can stop for his morning coffee without having kids in the back yelling that they want their own frappuccinos, yes I’ve created mini Starbucks addicts. On those days my husband likes to tell me that those adults he deals with act like children so really it’s the same.  I have to be honest and say its not because you arent wiping those kids asses, maybe kissing them but not wiping them (insert giggle). Sometimes the longing for adult interaction can leave you feeling lonely and sad, I cant wait for sports and school to start so we all can start meeting people in our new state. 

Not only does my husband get that adult interaction but he also gets to leave his job! He may get the occasional email which warrants a quick reply but as a stay at home mom my job never ends. Even after the kids are asleep I still usually have to pick up toys or wash dishes and make my husband lunch, the job is never over.

Another thing that frustrates me about the perception of stay at home moms is this expectation that everything should always be perfect. Like what makes anyone think that staying home with children ALL DAY will result in a perfectly clean home? I will never forget one of my fellow Heart mommies saying “I have kids and my house is lived in” which was in response to a negative comment about her home not being perfect. That’s the thing people forget we are home with our kids and we are living! We are playing games and doing crafts and occasionally mommy gets daring and tries to bake something cool, yes we have household chores but we also play entertainer most of the day and sometimes cuddling with your babes and having movie day is what everyone needs. 

In reference to cleaning today I had written in my planner that I wanted to; finish organizing the playroom, clean the floors and the bathrooms, and finish laundry plus whatever school worksheets I picked out from the kids workbooks.  I spent the morning with the kids and doing some laundry and then after lunch I started my tasks. It took me 5 and a half hours to do the playroom, bathrooms and downstairs floors because I got asked for juice 4 times, a snack 4 times, had to break up 6 fights, change the tv channel 3 times, wipe 1 butt, pick up toys I already put away twice and ignore the door bell because I was in the middle of Swiffer Wetjetting my floors and I just didn’t have time to deal with anyone. By the time I was done my husband was walking through the door I had to start dinner and never made it to the kids workbooks. Luckily this was a day where I didn’t need to run errands because then I would have been lucky if half of this got accomplished. Adding in 2 different school drop off and pick up locations and times and the kids dance and football schedules will have these tasks I accomplished in one day feel impossible in three weeks when chaos ensues. So for those thinking houses with stay at home moms should always be perfect need to reevaluate what actually has to be dealt with besides the cleaning itself and remember our kids are living and making memories.

And here’s another thing, at work when you do a good job you usually get acknowledged maybe by an email or in a meeting and on those special occasions recieve an award at an event and heck even sometimes its with a raise! That acknowledgment is good motivation to pump you up and keep you going strong and focused on doing a good job. All I want is for my kids to realize I cleaned all day and that when I ask them to pick up their toys before bed that the world isn’t going to end and mommy is just trying to make sure they have a clean place to play tomorrow – appreciation. Or how about instead of fighting with me over what I made for dinner (which you had no problem eating two weeks ago) you say thank you and just eat it – appreciation. It’s not hard to say thank you and give your wife a kiss on those days when you do walk in to a sparkly clean house. If you really want to blow her away surprise her with flowers or her favorite pastry and drink just because – appreciation. Feeling appreciated as a stay at home mom really is a feeling equal to getting a raise, especially when it’s a thank you from your child accompanied by a hug.

To be clear I love being able to be home with my kids and being able to be the one to teach them things like manners and to watch them grow a little bit everyday. I am blessed to have such a hardworking husband that I get to be in the position where I can drop off and pick up my kids from school and to be able to take them to their activities without having to worry about a work schedule. I love those days where we can get out of the house and go on fun adventures and make new memories. So yes being a stay at home mom has its perks but don’t think its a stress free easy life because I am here to tell you that glamourous perception you conjured up is wrong.

Keep it real,

– Brittany

PS – think before you speak 😳 


4th of July🇺🇸

You were thinking 4th of July – let’s party – while I was thinking first holiday without- home, family, friends, and baseball.  The morning was hard, I woke up to an almost empty house since Jay was off being an awesome boss and taking breakfast to his employees who had to work and he took Bray along since he was up before us and is always asking about the new plant. Makayla was still sleeping so I picked up my phone like I do every morning to check my messages and emails and then I opened my Facebook app and up pops the On This Day. I of course have to click to see what comes up and it’s all of our great pictures from the last few 4th of Julys at the baseball field and the park and pictures of my brothers and I together.

[ It’s not easy being away from family especially on the days where you typically have a tradition. I know that once we meet people that these things may get easier but probably never fully be okay.]

So after going through the pictures I chalked the day up to be a loss in my head and half shut down. Jay called and asked what I wanted him to get me for breakfast and unlike myself I said nothing just come home. By the time him and Bray arrived Makayla was in bed with me and we were watching Paw Patrol together. Bray comes upstairs and handed me my Starbucks drink of choice which I didn’t ask for but the gesture from my husband was nice. After talking about his visit to daddy’s work everyone left and I decided I needed to start the day. I ended up taking my sadness, anger and annoyance on cleaning my car and I have to say nothing makes me happier then a vacuumed, wiped down Pilot😍

Jay and I had a nice conversation about our plans for the next few weeks and where we want to visit followed by our plans for the day. I made fresh burgers which we grilled for lunch and then we all got to relax and take naps before we headed over to the entertainment area not far from our house. Side note- events don’t start around here until 4-5pm because it’s just to hot. 

Ready to celebrate!!!
We decided our first piece of business at Westgate was to get dinner so we went to Mama Gina’s Pizzeria and got a delicious pizza…

We did have to wait a few minutes for a table so the kids took in the sites and checked out the fire trucks shooting water on daddy’s shoulders


After dinner we joined the crowd and walked around the plaza ending up at these really neat fountains…

We hung out for a little while and listened to the DJ before we trekked back to the car to set up for the fireworks and boy were we in a good spot.  We happened to park right in front of where they were setting them off the downside to this was the hour wait getting out of the parking lot😐 Needless to say our attempts in not letting today go to waste were successful. We had a nice night as a family celebrating and experiencing new things together and that’s what makes this crazy journey we’re on so special. 


From my family to yours we hope you all had a great 4th of July too,

– Brittany 

Two weeks…

Two weeks ago the kids and I boarded a plane unsure of what life was going to hold. Now two weeks in I can tell you we are surviving and making great strides in becoming settled and also preparing for the looming school year. Don’t let my “were surviving” fool you, a lot of things are different in Arizona then back in Pennsylvania.

Let’s just get it out in the open – the H.E.A.T. – yes it is Arizona and it is hot. Temperatures have been anywhere from 110-120 and yes it’s HOT! The heat is totally different though, in PA as soon as you walk out of the house you get drenched with sweat from the humidity but here instead of getting sweaty you can feel the sun on your skin hence why on the 100+ degree days you stay inside, go to a park under a canopy or stay in a pool and don’t get out. 


Grocery shopping is different too, they don’t believe taco kits should come with soft shells so now I have to buy a shaker of taco seasoning and  a package of shells separately. Grocery stores also don’t carry Italian sandwich bread in their bread aisles which is all we use in our house so this was a major issue but finally I found some at Walmart and all is good on the bread front again. 


Street signs. In Pennsylvania we were used to seeing signs for Bethlehem, Allentown, Harrisburg, Quakertown and Philadelphia. In Arizona we see signs for Phoenix, Tucson and the one I still can’t believe I see is Los Angeles! It’s so unreal to me because I just never imagined I’d ever see a sign for L.A.  

You also have to be conscious of things like – will my electric bill skyrocket if I do laundry between 12pm and 7pm on a weekday? The answer to that question is yes since electricity is triple the price during those hours (in the summer months). So you adjust and do laundry first thing in the morning, late at night or save it for the weekend! 

I don’t want this to be seen as one big complaint because it’s not. So far I have loved being in Arizona, heat and all. I of course wish my family was here but thanks to technology texting, Facebook and FaceTime is making it easy to communicate with our family and friends. One of my favorite things is the amazing mountain views when I’m driving. They are so spectacular I don’t think looking down the palm tree lined road to the mountains in the distance will ever get old. 

In two weeks I’ve accomplished a lot. My Arizona drivers license is on its way, Brayden is registered for kindergarten, Makayla is registered for preschool, we took care of finding a new bank and the boxes are starting to disappear from our house. There is still a lot to do especially with the school year only starting in a mere 40 days. This life change hasn’t been easy but taking it one day at a time seems to work best. 

Stay cool,

– Brittany

I’m Done.

This is currently my view…


If you can’t tell I’m sitting in the corner of my sons room with my Starbucks with only one sip left sitting to my right. This is just a very tiny glimpse of my life, my disaster, my stress. I’ve got an overflowing laundry basket full of stuffed animals (we’ve already filled two trash bags and donated them), I have another (my 4th) bag from ThredUP that I’m packing and will ship off next week, Bray has trains (which he hasn’t touched in months) scattered on the floor, I have clean laundry in piles from vacation I can’t bring myself to put away because I need to be packed for an unknown amount of days in just 5 short days and well I’m done. I don’t want to sort anymore. I don’t want to take things out to put them back because I can’t pack myself. I don’t want piles of – donate – sell – trash – laying around. I don’t want to finish going through boxes in the basement. I don’t want to coordinate roofers, drywallers and property management companies. I don’t want to go through Toys for the fourth time and I definitely don’t want to be in this move any longer. 

It’s coming quick with only 11 days and 56 minutes until the kids and I arrive at the airport to start a new chapter, one I’m not sure the three of us are ready for. Regardless it’s coming and I try to remind myself at some point these trash bags and boxes won’t be my life. Until then it will be Starbucks, take out and plenty more trash bags for me. I never expected this move to be easy but I definitely didn’t expect it to be this hard but when you’re alone in a situation like this how can it be anything but hard? My exhaustion and lack of motivation will have to step aside because time keeps ticking and these things don’t take care of themselves. 

Happy Fri-yay everyone,

   – Brittany

Preschool Graduation

It’s hard to believe that last night my baby boy graduated preschool closing this chapter of his life. I am so proud of how hard he’s worked and the determination he’s shown, especially in the last few months where he really worked on the areas he was struggling most. He’s a social butterfly and will play with any child which is a quality that puts me at ease as we get ready to move. His love for learning is amazing and the way he absorbs information like a sponge is so impressive. I’m serious the facts he remembers during different class topics and lessons blows me away heck half the time he’s teaching me new things! 

As proud as I am I couldn’t let the opportunity to celebrate his achievements pass me by, yes even at this age I believe it is important to show your children just how proud you are. Let’s be clear though it wasn’t a blow out type of celebration. Who doesn’t love a beautifully decorated cake with balloons and plates matching the occasion? 

For me not only was it a celebration of his achievements but also a celebration of his life. Does that sound morbid? Well I apologize if it does to you but for me every milestone Brayden gets to hit is a celebration of his life and now I’m sure your asking yourself why. When Brayden was diagnosed with his heart defect I still had plenty of time left in my pregnancy to think. What a lot of people don’t know is that in those last 15 weeks of my pregnancy I had a lot of dark times. There were songs on the radio that instantly triggered me to cry. There were days where my brain acted as a tv screen playing reruns of the most devastating episodes of Greys Anatomy, you know the episodes where the patients don’t make it?  And even though his diagnosis had a high rate of successful outcomes it was hard not to fall into the slump of what-ifs. And for the record continuing to hear “it’s all going to be okay” and “he will be just fine” are really not comforting after about the tenth time. Fast forward 5 and a half years and here I am out of the dark slump I once found myself in being able to look at the little boy who I once couldn’t think about without crying sad scared tears thrive and bring me to the happiest proud tears I could ever imagine. These emotions I have during these celebrations are so much more then just the event, they are the overwhelming emotions of “we did it, look how far we’ve come together after all we’ve been through” because not so long ago I really believed I would never get to share these moments with him. 

So when you see the pictures of the pretty cakes and the balloons and decorations it is not to make anyone feel less about how they celebrate it’s just that these celebrations are everything to me because I’ve been given time with my child I never thought I’d have and I intend to make every part of this time -his life- a memorable celebration. 


Take the time now to celebrate anything and everything because time goes fast and these moments will be gone before you know it.

Brittany