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

A Sudden Whirlwind

Three weeks ago it was any typical Monday morning. My son Brayden was at preschool, my daughter and the kids I babysit were playing in the living room and I was taking a quick second to hide and chug my Capri Sun in the kitchen. It was a little while later when I got the text message that another plant in my husbands company was hiring for a position he had been commenting about for weeks prior.

First reaction: this is such a great opportunity! 

Second reaction: Arizona is across the country from Pennsylvania…

After lots of conversation the decision was made to submit his resume and see what happens. Little did we know a little over a week later he would be on an airplane to interview for this job in a state nether of us had ever been to. Sounds crazy right? Things got even crazier a week later when my husband received an offer that it didn’t seem we could pass up. More conversations about our life here, family, friends, baseball, dance, our house ensued and the lingering in the back of my mind was if we don’t try we will never know. Then there was the conversation of positives- our kids could be outside almost all year long of course except the afternoons in the summer when it’s 115 degrees, they had baseball and dance studios, and even some of the schools had higher ratings then our current situation and well I haven’t started my career yet so besides missing my babysitting kids my sacrifices were minimal in the work department. 

Then there were the dinner time talks with our kids consisting of daddy might be getting a job in Arizona, how do you feel about moving? Of course our 5 year old was hesitant he had just started to play sports and had school friends – those of which he wouldn’t be going to school with next year anyway but that concept he doesn’t quite get. Our nearly 3 year old doesn’t totally seem to get it, I explained to her that there are 3 dance studios we can look at and she can pick one and that’s all that really seemed to concern her. 

So what do we do? Do we pick up our life and move nearly 2,200 miles across the country? Is this an opportunity my husband would have here? Could the kids adjust? 

The new opportunities not only for my husbands career (huge opportunity) but for our kids and our life as a family outweighed our reservations about moving. Now don’t get me wrong leaving our family will be the hardest thing ever but agreeing to have a plan in place on when we visit home and a separate account to fund our plane tickets was reassuring.

Now I remind myself, if we hate it it doesn’t have to be permanent and if we don’t try we will always wonder what could have been.

And now I have to deal with my husband leaving in 3 short days to start this journey without us.

I look forward to sharing this crazy journey with you all.   

       – Britttany