Day Two (Summer Breaking Point)

We are on day two of summer break… MAY DAY! MAY DAY! Morse code… send in reinforcements!

I used to pride myself and question (yes, judge) the thought processes of those moms who were like “Ugh, summer break! What am I gonna do with these kids all day?!” Didn’t they WANT more time with their precious angels? Wouldn’t they thoroughly enjoy every extra second of quality time with their young children before their young children grew into teenagers who didn’t want to spend time with them?! Psshhh…

And then I had kids of my own.

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Choose To Lean In

The term “lean in” became a popular business motto back in 2013 when COO of Facebook Sherly Sandberg penned the book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. “Lean in” as a concept encouraged women to adopt strategies to help them succeed and move up in the business world. The phrase took on a broader meaning as time progressed, and now applies to other areas as well, in addition to its original construct.

I recently heard the term “lean in” in a country song, and it got me thinking about the more widespread use of this word today. I am hearing this phrase more often and wanted to pay homage to it, as lately it has appeared frequently in my own vocabulary.

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Leave The Light On

My oldest son was telling me about one of his final days of Kindergarten this week, emphatically describing the thrilling events of his field trip with hand gestures, excited tone, and a very loud voice.

“MOM! We saw a human skeleton! And we played at the giant playground! And we raced around a table and hit the buttons that lit up! And we ate lunch together! And we sang on the school bus and I sat with Liam!” And on it went for about ten full minutes.

At the end of his animated story telling, I looked at my growing child. I mean, really looked at him. Wow, has he really grown up in the past year. He has gone from a nervous, distracted, hyper little dude who could not read or write, to a 4 ft tall almost first grader who tells me about every detail of his day, takes the bus confidently like a pro, and cracks better jokes than I do (almost). I see the shell of the little kid he was melting away into an actual ‘big kid’. It is both wonderfully satisfying and insanely terrifying. All of you parents know this feeling, I’m sure.

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The Hug Connection

I love to read. Mostly fictional mysteries, but when I get bored, I will pick up a magazine and read the articles (and yes, the articles, not the dirty pictures). One day, I was waiting in a doctor’s office reading their outdated magazines and I came across an article along the lines of: “How to connect with your partner”. I thought, well I can give this a shot! Maybe they have tips and secrets that I don’t know about. Maybe I will razzle dazzle my husband with some mind reading skills to blow up, er, blow his mind. Or maybe I will just laugh at the silly ways people think work. In this case, it was the latter.

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I was particularly interested in the section about hugging. It said that if you hug your partner for 2 minutes per day, you will achieve a stronger connection. Now, it did NOT say whether these 2 minutes needed to be consecutive, but I got the impression that it did. My overly imaginative brain starts daydreaming off into a scenario of my husband and I standing in our kitchen, our three young children running around tearing up the house, a small fire ignites in the living room while the dog and cat are now hairless. And there we stand, blissfully in this embrace, eyes closed and feeling our relationship wrap a warm towel around us. And I bust out laughing. Like out loud. Patients around me give me the scolding glance as we should all be quiet because it’s a waiting room. I am not sure why I finished the article, but I was already invested, so I ventured forward.

Later that day, I get home and I tell my husband about the silly article of hugging for 2 minutes and we both laugh about it and continue our normal routine of 101 things we have to do to function as a family in the evening. It was a brief discussion of how hilarious that would be and that was it.

The next morning, my husband and I are getting ready and he gets upset over something I did. I can’t remember what it was because I was barely listening. To setup the important part of my story, we were standing in the kitchen and we have a stove top with a microwave above it. So, my husband’s back is to the microwave and he is saying something like “Why would you do that…blah blah blah…” and I just stop and face him. I notion for him to come here and I grab that burly man into a big hug with my arms around his shoulders. It was then that I reached out and hit the buttons for “2 minutes” on the microwave. All he can hear is “beep beep beep beep”. He lost it. He was trying to keep a straight face, but he couldn’t contain himself into full blown laughter. See, my husband knows I’m funny. But he won’t admit it. He says that it only “encourages” me to keep it up. So, when I say or do something funny, he tries very hard to brush it off. But I know better. As we are still standing there in this warm embrace, he breaks out of our love hug and says through his muffled laughter “Why do you have to do crap like this? I was all upset and you have to go and do this and now I can’t be mad anymore!”

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I am not sure how he puts up with me most of the time. I am a lot to handle with either goofing around or a hot temper. Some say he is a saint for marrying me. I like to think he enjoys the show. I mess with him all the time and he used to get upset, but now after nine years of marriage, he barely blinks an eye. It’s about time that I up my game. And now every time he gets upset, I motion with my hand for him to come in for a big “2 minute” hug and diffuse the situation. He laughs and tells me no. That’s a real marriage. Love from a distance.

 

Written by: Sara Garcia de Alba

Night Time Is The Right Time

I love being so feel-it-in-your-bones tired that you barely make it into bed, falling heavily into the sheets like you just climbed Mt. Everest, about to conquer your dreams. Waking a wonderful 10 hours later, stretching and feeling ahhh-maz-ing. Except yeah, that is usually not my experience.

I start each day so tired. I blink through sleepy eyes thinking, “I am definitely getting to bed earlier tonight! I have never felt so darn tired.” And yet, if you are anything like me, real life doesn’t seem to work out that way. Like many of you, I literally cannot remember the last time I felt really well rested and woke refreshed from a full night’s rest.

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An Anonymous Year

It all started innocently enough. It was my Dad’s birthday month last year, and I came across an anonymous gag gift. Send your friend an eggplant with any message on it. Sure to delight, so funny, completely anonymous! I was sold. And I knew just who my intended target would be.

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