A Positive Pregnancy Test?!?

The pregnancy test was positive. The response I received from my assigned “fertility buddy” was negative.

Just don’t get your hopes up.”

The worst advice I received during fertility treatment was to not get my hopes up.

To me, to not get my hopes up meant to not fully feel the emotions that I was during the most difficult journey of my adulthood.

To not get your hopes up leaves the other option of always expecting the worst and to ignore your faith and positivity.

To not get your hopes up allows the black cloud of loneliness to swallow you whole.

To not get your hopes up means to ignore the power that maternal instinct has on your mind, body and soul.

To not get your hopes up means turning your back on speaking out for a cause that is already muffled in society.

To not get your hopes up is denying the choice to be an advocate for infertility.

Without hope how can support nourish and flourish to comfort the broken pieces of a woman’s heart?

So I can only forgive and forget the words of that assigned “fertility buddy” while embracing others on the most difficult journey of their adulthood by screaming, “YES!!! DO GET YOUR HOPES UP! YES, IMAGINE THAT LITTLE BABY IN YOUR ARMS! THOSE HOPES WILL BE A REALITY!”



Polka-dotted Necks of Hope.


Giraffes. Simple and elegant animals, but in 2009 for me they were a sign of hope, a positive focus in a world that seemed to be falling apart.

During the fertility treatments of my first pregnancy I kept focus on my baby goal by stockpiling giraffes. Keeping focused on the baby I knew we would come to have and fighting the demons of sadness that threatened to turn my world upside down, I stockpiled stuffed, plush, ceramic, DIY, musical, pretty and ugly giraffes. I would wander into Targets to Walgreens to Oscos to boutiques stockpiling, leaving with little polka-dotted necks hanging out of bags or in my arms.

Feeling alone, feeling angry and out of shame and self-pity I hid the secret purchases in the spare closet of our town home. It may have been sad to others but for me it was only preparation. I was preparing for the baby that I knew in my heart we would come to have. I wasn’t crazy, I wasn’t a hoarder. It was all I had in a world that felt so empty.

Those giraffes that filled the dark corners of that spare closet were meant to see the light of day, to hear the cries of a baby and to witness the love of a mother. After one wrong diagnosis, two doctors, three rounds of treatments, eight months of ultrasounds and sonograms, twelve purchased giraffes, over 100 used needles, 200 band-aids and endless days of hopeful yearning we became pregnant with one sweet little boy.

Those polka-dotted yellow necks of hope found a new home in a bright airy nursery. They left their dingy closet for the smells of sweet baby skin in April 2010.

For the rest of my life the beauty of a giraffe will mean something more to me. The beauty representing a time of pain that was overcome by a dream nourished by hope.

For those who find their self on such a painful journey, never give up hope, always stay focused, even if that means stockpiling wild animals.


You Are Not Alone – A Different Kind of Love Story #NIAW

As we know love comes in all shapes and sizes, for me it came in a pair of soft, cotton, stretchy, faded, wide legged yoga pants.  Incredibly comfortable, as if wearing a second skin, a cloud of air around my lower body. I love them for the times they represent in my life and the journey that they literally carried me through. The beginning of this love story started ten months before I would even come into contact with my “one and only”.  The initial start can be summed up with one word, one of the most taboo words of mankind, infertility. No one talks about it, at least no one in real life but the truth is that 1 in 8 of the U.S. population deals with this monster.  For years I had been missing my period, a seemingly great thing for a newly engaged 24 year-old with a wedding to plan. Yet six months after the honeymoon ended, it wasn’t so terrific for a wife who longed to be a mommy.

After moving along the disappointing game board of gynecologist to fertility specialist, my husband Erik and I found ourselves in the office of Dr. R.  A gifted specialist with a team that not only knew their stuff but also had a bed side manner that made us feel cared for rather than helpless. Dr. R walked us through the scary and intimidating world of fertility treatments, teaching us how and when to administer shots, mixing vials to be sure one hormone rose while another flat lined. It was like conducting a symphony while playing an instrument at the same time.

Hoping to be pregnant by the Easter holiday, my first treatment began in March 2009. During those weeks of timed shots and sex, I secretly bought and hoarded baby items and maternity clothes. I felt that if I was optimistic and prepared for a baby that the universe would somehow reciprocate and I would become pregnant. It was during one of these secret shopping sprees that I met my adoring companion made of black stretchy cotton. I’ll never forget wandering through the aisles of my favorite department store when I came across the seemingly ordinary pants in the athletic section, they weren’t even maternity (which is funny and serendipitous all at the same time) but something about them just felt right.

Soon my first round of treatments was over and the waiting game began. Each day I woke and went to sleep hoping that I was pregnant. Finally two weeks after my first IUI (intrauterine insemination) I took the pregnancy test that would hold the answer I had been waiting for.  There I stood in a brightly lit bathroom staring down at bold letters, NOT PREGNANT.  It was such a lonely feeling. Even those closest to me, my husband, my mom, my friends could never really understand. No one had been in my shoes, I felt like I was failing as a woman and as a wife. It’s hard to stay positive when you feel so alone. I kept thinking that if I had done one thing differently Erik and I wouldn’t be in this situation. Having a knowledgeable doctor, a supportive husband and yoga/meditation practice brought me through those dark times.

While the tantalizing black fabric of my loving yoga pants waited in the corner of my closet yearning to be worn, I faced another disappointing negative pregnancy test to end my second treatment round. Following at the heels of that gloomy outcome was another setback. We would have to wait some time before trying again due to hyperstimulation to my ovaries, a side effect caused by the fertility treatments. So we waited another two months before trying for a third time.

In the month of July, shortly after my 26th birthday, we started and completed our third round with Dr. R. This time for the scheduled IUI I decided for comfort and found myself in my closet pulling out and slipping on the inky black fabric. After the procedure I laid on the exam table with my hips propped staring at the ceiling panels when over the clinic’s sound speakers the song Erik and I danced to on our wedding day began to play. At that moment, wearing my beloved yoga pants for the first time, I knew this time would be different.

With summer trips and a full work schedule the two-week waiting period seemed to fly by. Before I knew it I was taking a pregnancy test with Erik waiting just outside the door. We sat together on the edge of the bed hoping for a positive result. Some how I just knew that this time things just felt different and that I was pregnant. To our joy the pregnancy test confirmed my gut feelings. We were going to have a baby!

I wanted to tell the world so badly, to say to every human being that passed my way that I had a tiny life in my belly. Finally at 12 weeks pregnant I busted those brand new prized yoga pants out and topped them off with the tightest belly emphasizing shirt I owned. For the rest of my 42 and half weeks of pregnancy those pants carried me. As my belly grew and I developed a deep love for my unborn son, those pants encased my swelling tummy. I wore them to and from my daily swims, where I decorated the nursery in my head. I wore them to prenatal checkups and to baby stores. I wore them as I watched movies and stuffed my face with the intoxicating taste of Golden Graham Smores bars during the 8 days that my first-born was late.

Finally on April 27th 2010 I wore  my darling and comforting black leggings in a labor pained car ride to the hospital at 5 am in the morning and two days later I wore them home as I rode in the backseat next to an infant carrier holding my sweet Braxton Gerard. Though not being able to fit into my jeans, my beloved stretchy companion fit and embraced my new postpartum body with a lovely ease. They were there with me through the late nights of breastfeeding, diaper changes and mother/son bonding. As the weeks wore on and my jeans started to fit, my dear friend went into hibernation.

Fast forward a year and half later after a cross-country move to Texas with a new life my husband and I found ourselves facing the taboo world of infertility yet again. In October of 2011 we started the emotional and physical exhausting process with a new clinic.  Doing some research we found a new specialist and gave him our trust.  The first round of treatments started in November of 2011, a painful and tiring round to say the least, the swelling and discomfort was intense. I didn’t question and went along, I thought I was surely pregnant since the only time I had ever felt a twinge of discomfort during my experiences with our first doctor was the day we knew Brax had been conceived. With the thought of possibly carrying a little one, I invited the expansion and swelling of my belly. The denim of my jeans was unforgiving so I happily found myself relying on my old friend.  My stomach tender and round under the consoling cloth of my yoga pants, I awoke two weeks later on the designated day of my pregnancy test, to find that my period had come.

Devastated I pushed on completing another painful treatment round in January of 2012. Little did I know that I was being prescribed the wrong treatment and drugs. The emotional and physical pain I experienced during those treatments is something that I do not wish upon any person, it could not be relieved by any comfort from fabric or human. My stomach was constantly swollen and my loving pregnancy yoga pants were now a constant in my pre-pregnancy wardrobe.  After sleepless nights, long discussions and arguments with the doctor we decided to seek help elsewhere.

Once again, faith and research lead us in a new direction and into the office of Dr. M. She had been on the infertility journey herself, experiencing it mentally, emotionally and physically first hand. We trusted her and took the leap of faith into her knowledgeable hands. Completely hands on and watching my progression closely, we started our first treatment with Dr. M in the middle of March 2012. Not once did I need to seek refuge in my inky black trousers of comfort. Before I knew it the treatment period was over and Erik and I were walking hand in hand out of the clinic after an IUI procedure towards a two-week waiting period.

Two weeks later and two days after our first-born turned two, I picked up the phone and called Dr. M’s office for the results of a pregnancy blood work panel I had drawn that morning. My prayers were answered with that call, the test was positive and according to the numbers “way” positive. The result numbers were high indicating that it was a possibility that I could be carrying twins, but we’d have to wait another three weeks before any confirmation could be made through an ultrasound.  As planned, Dr. M conducted an ultrasound on my five week pregnant belly. I lay on the exam table wearing my dear soft yoga pants out of hope and superstition. My heart skipped a beat. The ultrasound, to our surprise, didn’t show two heartbeats but three. At first Dr. M wasn’t sure if there was an actual third beat. After some maneuvering and focusing, she determined that there was a third. It was weaker and much smaller than the other two. Dr. M decided that it was best to wait another week to see how each baby progressed before jumping to any conclusions. However she did warn that in her medical opinion, carrying triplets did pose a threat to not only the mother but to all three babies. After filtering as much information as we could through the adrenalin that fogged our minds, my husband and I again walked hand in hand out of the exam room, down the hall and out of the clinic.

Feeling a rush of emotions, excitement, fear and happiness, Erik and I drove over to a coffee shop to process the news we had just been told. He reassured me that everything was going to be okay. We both knew in our hearts and minds that we would be keeping all three babies, we would never choose. We said that we would let it rest in God’s hands, following the path that our family was destined for. After the longest week of our lives we found ourselves back in Dr. M’s office looking at a screen holding only two heartbeats. The weakest of the 3 was no longer present it was hard to describe the feelings I felt looking at that monitor. Erik and I don’t speak about it much, it’s a sad topic that doesn’t sit well with our hearts. It’s something private that I can’t due justice with any words that could be placed on paper within this story but only felt by the heart.

The fall brought cooler temps and a bigger belly which lead to the joyous reappearance of my soft black stretchy love. My fondest memory of that autumn was wearing those black yoga pants as I waddled down the streets of our neighborhood trick or treating with my son dressed as a magician. My belly kicked and rolled as I made it, 31 weeks pregnant with twins, an hour and walking up and down sidewalks and entry ways.  It could have been the extra kick from the Halloween candy he shared with me but I’m pretty sure it was fueled by the pure enjoyment of watching my son zig zag down the sidewalk with his red and black cape flapping behind him in the wind.

The days grew longer as their due date grew closer. Unlike my soft loving yoga pants, the books I had been religiously reading on twin births and upbringing were far from reassuring.  I certainly wasn’t prepared emotionally or mentally prepared. I had yet to come to terms with my “twin fears.” I didn’t want either baby in ICU and was fearful of an emergency C-section. I also wasn’t sure if I would be able to divide myself in terms of time, emotionally and physically among all three. What if Brax hated the babies or me? What if the hospital wouldn’t let me bring them home? What if I favored one baby over the other?

An induction date of December 26th 2012 was scheduled. My skin itched and the soft broken fabric of my yoga pants felt like a haven against my fragile skin. I was having Braxton hicks on a regular basis and the second I stood up my legs ballooned from the weight and pressure of the babies. My mom was scheduled to come help out during the birth so we decided to move her flight up a week earlier than planned, we just had a feeling these babies would be making their grand entrance sooner than later.  Seeking relief from the weight of the babies, Erik and I sought refuge in the community indoor pool. Slipping off the yoga pants to uncover my swollen body in all its glory, I’ll never forget the look on Erik’s face as I waddled out to the pool. As we enjoyed our alone time and floated weightless around the pool we discussed the possibility of moving the induction date up. We decided that once again we would leave it to a higher power and what would be the hurt in just asking? Once we arrived home we made a phone call to our OB. To my relief she agreed that with my progression, discomfort and the fantastic health of the babies she felt confident moving the induction date to the 23rd, less than 48 hours away.

On December 23rd I walked into the maternity ward adorning my precious black yoga pants.  On December 25th I was wheel-chaired out in the beloved pants nestled between two miracle babies, Travis Christopher and Hailey Noelle. It only snowed once that year and it was on that day. A duvet of white enveloped the streets of Frisco as Erik and I made our way home with our new little spawns of delicate beauty.  Upon walking in the door my two year old wrapped his little arms around my tired legs covered in that soft black fabric that was now fitting a bit loser.

I wore my precious yoga pants often during those first four months of chaos.  Becoming a patchwork quilt of spit-up, breast milk and love they helped me survive long nights and early mornings, along with the fights and doubts that came along with three small children.  Those precious pants gave comfort while witnessing unconditional love, the growth of bonds that would last a lifetime and the strength that became our family of five.

My lover now sits on a shelf in my closet. Stretched and worn by love those comfy pants are still a reflection of where I am at in my life. With their shape and size changing as my heart, mind and body have they still have questions to be answered. Will they be worn again around a swelling belly, will we have more children? If we do, what will that journey entail?  Even though I may not be pregnant, there are still chilly days of self doubt that lead me to find comfort in the soft intertwining stitches of those pants, what future events will occur that send me into that soft refuge?  What I do know is that I spent 20.00 on some stretchy black fabric, becoming the best purchase I ever made.  I also know the love and affection held within the stitches of their fabric will carry on, I plan on wrapping those pants up along with this story under the glitz of a big red bow and gifting them to my daughter the day she tells me I’m going to be grandma.


Mommy Fell Off the Wagon.

The thing about breaking up with an unhealthy fixation, is there’s the chance of going back. There’s the chance of falling off the wagon.

I had a piece of ice cream pie and fell of the wagon.

Like a drug addict I gave into a feeling that had beaten me down so many times before.

I didn’t fall from the wagon from the action of eating the pie but from the feelings that overcame me from eating the pie. I cheated on myself and gave in to the call of a past lover and lethal fixation.

The pie tasted awesome and was enjoyed on an afternoon date with my husband in an old school ice cream shop while we took a walk in the sunshine after a morning full of storms. Though the entire mood and environment surrounding the actually eating of the pie was pleasant by 3 pm I was feeling the suffocating thoughts that I have known all to well in my past.

I fell off the wagon … hard.

As I laid in bed that night I felt as if I had swallowed a balloon full of toxins that weren’t filling my body but rather my mind. I felt a sense of shame and anxiety for eating the pie. It was clouding my perception of everything. I went to bed and woke up thinking about that pie, thinking I was disgusting for eating it.

I fell off the wagon and opened the door to negative self talk (and I shamefully admit that I even went as far as calorie counting the bites taken that day).

It wasn’t the pie that was eating me alive it was the negative feelings I associated with eating the pie.  I needed to recollect myself and my thoughts. I needed to catch a ride back onto my wagon.

I recently celebrated a year after starting a whole30 lifestyle one free of calorie counting and negative self talk. Eating clean and really enjoying food for the first time has changed not only my menus but also my moods and energy levels. No more restricting feelings associated with eating out or in front of others. I was able to enjoy fancy meals and the occasional ice cream scoop with my kiddos without even a second thought. I have been feeling amazing physically and mentally but …

I fell off the wagon.

After the a visit from a large bunny who handed out Paleo cupcakes and chocolate covered almonds I began looking over the edge of my wagon. For the last week I haven’t been sleeping well with my moods taking ups and downs like a roller coaster. Finally, falling completely off the wagon I found myself in a spiral of a dark cloud. But this time was different, this time I was able to stop the rain. I was able to supply my own umbrella. This time I was able to catch sight of my wagon. This time I was able to stop the obsession before it ran out of control. This time I had a bag of tools and the confidence to use them.

I fell off the wagon BUT this time I got back on. Unlike before, I was able to stop the negative talk and self abuse.  It was okay that I ate a piece of pie, I wasn’t going to die. I wasn’t lesser of a woman, mommy or wife, in fact I was better because I was able to acknowledge what I was doing before I allowed myself to deem myself lesser. I was able to break the cycle.

As I said before, the answer isn’t found overnight, the habits aren’t broken in one day. The fight is never over. But this time I won. This time I fell but I didn’t break, rather I broke the cycle and jumped back on my wagon.


0.0 I am Not a Runner.

As spring is in the air I see more and more runners out. My fitness magazines are filled with articles on running, how to achieve your best time, what to wear while running, what are the best running shoes and what to eat before and after running. It appears the rest of the world is running but 0.0 I am not a runner.

I am not a runner nor do I pretend to like running. However, I do have respect for runners and those who go beyond just running to completing marathons. In fact my best friend is a runner and even completed an Ironman, though I love her I do not love her hobby.

0.0 I am not a runner.

Even though my boobs may be the size of misquito bites I still hate the bouncing and tugging of my skin I feel as I scamper along the sidewalk or treadmill. While running my mind always seems to match the speed of my feet, racing with thoughts that never seem to come full circle. Did I mention I am also not a huge fan of sweating? What produces more sweat than running? I am not sure, but count me out. I also managed to find, date and marry a man that also despises the act of running. I’ve actually witnessed my husband saying the words, “If there were a hell and I was doomed to be there, it would be running on a treadmill for me.”

0.0 I am not a runner.

My thighs would probably be smaller, my stamina might be stronger if I were a runner. I would probably have one of those really awesome runner bodies but woe is me that is never meant to be.  Those triumphant selfies with marathon numbers and stats are tempting but it’s just not for me. I’d probably have more in common at dinner parties if I liked running but that is so not me.

0.0 I am not a runner.

Runners don’t get all crazy on my non-running ass, because I get where you are coming from. Runners talk about a runners high, your high just comes in a different form for me … a yogi high.

0.0 I am not a runner BUT I am a Yogi.

Yoga is my running. My high comes not in the form of my feet pounding pavement but in the lengthening of my hamstrings through a Downward Facing Dog. Or in the tightening of my shoulder blades through a Swan Dive. Or in the expansion of my chest as I concentrate on my breath as it fills my belly. Or in the stretch of my mind. Or in the spread of my toes against the mat in a Warrior stance. This high overtakes my being, renewing the person I am and bringing every feeling and thought to peace.

0.0 I am not a runner BUT I am a Yogi.

Yoga has come to be the most grounding part of my life, I take refuge in the energy and comfort it brings me. My mat is where 75% of my writing begins as my thoughts, ideas, emotions and experiences all reach clarity and align with one another. The mat to me is what the trail is to a runner. Instead of working towards a new PR number I am in pursuit of a new pose or level of difficulty. Rather than working on form I am working on my pose.

0.0 I am not a runner BUT I am a Yogi.

No need for drooling over the latest shoes when my bare feet love the slightly sticky grip of my mat. I love reading about yoga and get all warm and fuzzy when my Yoga Journal arrives in the mailbox. I look forward to my yoga classes with as much zeal as if they were vacations in a tropical utopia. I am a much better human being when I get to do my yoga.

0.0 I am not a runner BUT I am a Yogi.


I Know You Don’t Want to Hear This But…


“I know you don’t want to hear this but …” is how a lot of conversations went while I was under going fertility treatments. Here’s how some of those went …

“I know you don’t want to hear this but …” it’s so easy for me to get pregnant that when we start trying it will happen in a snap so I won’t even have to think about it.

“I know you don’t want to hear this but …” my cousin’s friend who is 21 and single is pregnant with her third child and she is at the club drinking a martini.

“I know you don’t want to hear this but …” I’m pregnant again and didn’t even want my first kid.

“I know you don’t want to hear this but …” maybe if you just stop thinking about it or “trying” it will just happen for you.

“I know you don’t want to hear this but …” I hate kids and don’t understand the whole pregnancy thing and why you would want to be pregnant.

“I know you don’t want to hear this but …” don’t they have surrogates for that?

“I know you don’t want to hear this but …” couldn’t you get pregnant with multiple babies, imagine the stretch marks from that!!

“I know you don’t want to hear this but …” isn’t that unnatural, will your kids be “okay” if you do get pregnant?

Infertility is a disease. Could you imagine me walking up to someone going through chemo and saying “I know you don’t want to hear this but I’m cancer free” or “I know you don’t want to hear this but won’t you lose your hair and have terrible side affects, why do that to yourself?” OR “I know you don’t want to hear this but I have the flu and feel like I have cancer so I know what you are enduring” OR “I know you don’t want to hear this but cousin’s best friend drank a gallon of orange juice every day and cured her cancer” OR “I know you don’t want to hear this but don’t they have a Lumpectomy for that?” Get the point?!?

And because of those words and the feelings associated, I will never, ever use that phrase when addressing someone enduring a life changing experience. Let this also be a warning and a reminder to you all to also not use this phrase when speaking to someone when you can’t even begin to understand the pain they may be going through. If you find yourself thinking these words it’s probably best not to say them out loud. I know you don’t want to hear this but it’s the truth.



I Have Fertility Issues and I am NOT Ashamed


This picture was taken in 2009 within days of a negative pregnancy test. The negative result was a fail to my hopes after my second round of infertility treatments. I was not happy here, I was sad but I was NOT ashamed. I felt alone, but I did not feel that I was to blame.

I have fertility issues and I am not ashamed.

Being ashamed would make me unheard.

Being ashamed would make my journey a secret.

Being ashamed would mean turning my back on the heartache I have experienced.

Being ashamed would mean that I was to blame.

Being ashamed would mean I am alone in my diagnosis.

But I am not alone and I am NOT ashamed.

My journey was and is real. Infertility is not fake, it is a disease.

One in eight couples face infertility. Usually these one in eight are quiet, sometimes even ashamed and therefore alone. I speak out not only for myself but also for their unheard pain. I am not ashamed of the problem, I am AWARE of the problem. I not only celebrate the birth of my eldest this month but I also celebrate National Infertility Awareness Week (April 19th -26th) to let others knows they are not alone.

I resolve to not let others facing #infertility to be left unheard.

I resolve to have my #infertility story be heard this year.

#NIAW Let’s spread the word.

I Hate My In-Laws.


I hate my in-laws because they don’t suck.

I hate my in-laws because I love them like my own family.

I hate my in-laws because they welcomed me with open arms and hearts.

I hate my in-laws because I can’t say I actually hate my in-laws.

My mother-in-law is strong willed and opinionated. She is loving and would give the shirt off her back if she thought a person to be in need. She loves her children unconditionally and loudly. She has stood by her husband through cross country moves, three babies, seven grandchildren, a lifetime of changes and forty years of marriage. I am so much like my mother-in-law that I now understand why my husband finds it so easy to deal with my “quirks”. I admire her for the mother, wife and woman she is.

My eldest sister-in-law is who I call when my children are sick. I ask her marital advice when I feel crazy because I have three kids. I admire her big heart and desire to make the world a better place by caring for others who have one way or another been left behind. I have admiration for the way she speaks her mind while keeping true to what she believes. I admire her nurturing heart and the woman she is.

My middle sister-in-law is wildly creative and a business woman who succeeds with her little boy in her arms. I admire the knack she has for living out her creative love. I have admiration for the friendships she cultivates and keeps. I find her ability to go from mommy to business thinker with such outward ease incredibly amazing. I admire her perseverance and the woman she is.

I’ve learned so much from these women. I’ve learned so much about myself from these women. I’ve learned that family is so much more than what you are born into.

Strong. Beautiful. Caring. Funny. Crazy. Loyal. I could go on, but hate is not one.

Though we may not always see eye to eye, there is always support.

Though we may not have the same skills or interests, there is always encouragement.

Though we may not have the same blood, there is always a bond.

I hate my in-laws because I don’t hate them at all. I love them the last number.

Mommy You Be Cray-Cray.


When my first little one was a baby it was easy to be more than just a Mother. It was easy to focus on entertaining my little man when it was just he and I. Things became difficult when two other minions made their way into our world, then became even harder to be a Mommy when all three grew older. Trying to ping-pong between the interests of three while focusing on all little ones at the same time. I found myself going through the motions of a Mother rather than fulfilling the intentions as a Mom.

As I touched upon in From Mother to MomI know how to be a “mother”. I am beyond capable when it comes to changing diapers, giving baths, providing medicines, fastening child seats and all the rest of it. But am I fulfilling the roll of a mom? Because a mom does all a mother can do but does it with love. A mom gives hugs and kisses, read stories, plays, tickles, listens, holds hands, teaches and protects and so much more.

In just a month my eldest will be 5 which means that he will soon be a Kindergartener. With this milestone on the horizon the taunting question of am I a Mother or a Mom is even louder. Ringing through my head as each day passes, drawing closer to when my time with Braxton will be cut in half as he attends school every day and all day.

I am at fault for just being a mother on some days but then I know that there are days when I am the best mom. When I am broken, tired and stressed it’s hard to be a mom and not just a mother. However, I’m going to toot my horn and pat my back because I’ve been pretty successful at being a Mom lately. I’ve been rolling with the punches of life rather than punching back. I’ve been shooting from the hip rather than following the rules. I’ve thrown expectations out while hugging and caressing the chaos of my children. I’ve been so Mom-like I’ve held worms in my hands with chalk on my face and yogurt smeared on my pants. I’ve been screamed at and slapped only to look my little offender in the eyes and ask for a hug rather than screaming back or dishing out timeouts. My kids have acted up in public and pooped at the park with the diaper bag left at home, but taking a cue from Jay-Z, I brushed that dirt off my shoulders like a pimp.

Instead of my kids thinking Mommy be cray-cray because she is screaming about crumbs on the ground and Legos covering every inch of the living room, they think I’m cray-cray because I died their food green for every meal on St. Patrick’s Day. Mommy be cray-cray because she let us eat donuts. Mommy be cray-cray because she read us 15 books in one morning. Mommy be cray-cray because she played Crazy Eights five times in a row and won all five times. Mommy be cray-cray because she spent two hours building a Lego truck. Mommy be cray-cray because she lost three times in a row at “Who Shook Hook?” Mommy be cray-cray because she keeps kissing and hugging us.

So F-U Mother, this Mommy be cray-cray 🙂

When Mommy Has an Eating Disorder Past


Let me tell you about a love affair that has lasted more than a decade. A love affair that flowed from flirting to passion to obsession to unhealthy fixation.

My fixation with food started like any other habit, slow but repetitive. Like a video game, once a level was accomplished I moved on to the next.

In high school I discovered the world and fad of diet foods. Special K for breakfast. Slim-Fast for lunch and dinner. Senior year I discovered exercise. Naturally I combined the two, which then led to my beloved hobby of calorie counting.

In college it was a game of “In and Out” or “Indulge and Cancel Out”. I drank and smoked like crazy. Ate processed and cafeteria foods. Indulging beyond the brink and then playing catch-up to cancel it out during breaks and summers with the tactics I learned in the years before.

Looking back, high school and college had only been a time of flirtation with my fixation. The full-blown love affair came after graduation as I entered the “real world”. In the real world I chose the foods that filled the pantry and fridge. As an adult I had no one to answer but to myself when it came to workouts and body fat counts.

Notebooks filled with calorie counts and workouts became trophies and grotesque souvenirs. I recall the euphoric feeling of recording every little calorie that passed my lips. I was like a crack addict but invisible. Unseen because my obsession wasn’t illegal it was almost celebrated in a culture of thin and fit.

The thing was I never saw a problem eating 250 calories at each meal and never more than 900 per day. I never saw an issue with working out before work, during lunch and then again after work. I never saw the problem. When my better half told me I had a problem I ignored him and it.

At the age of 23 was the last time I had my period without the aid of a hormone pill or shot.

At 24 I was married at the healthy weight of 111. Four months later, I was hovering near just 100 lbs. standing a bit shy of 5′ 4 inches.

By 2009, the year I celebrated my 25th birthday, the harm I caused to my body was irreversible. I spent the majority of that year in and out of fertility clinics. Through the support of my husband and the care of the right doctor we became pregnant with a little miracle in August of 2009. Believe me when I say I am one of the lucky.

Becoming pregnant , “I had a come to Jesus” with what I had actually been doing to my body. I was carrying a small miracle within the same body I had cursed, a tiny being that I loved so much it hurt. I came to the realization that in caring for my body I was caring for this little keeper of my heart. I ate the right foods and did only what my body felt right doing. I nourished my belly with healthy foods including fat and ate what my little one craved. I pampered my joints and limbs with swimming and yoga. I finally slowed down, listening to what my body and baby need. In April 2010 it all paid off with the natural birth of an almost 9 lb. healthy little boy.

Fast forward two and a half years later. After the birth of my twins I fell into a pattern again. The worst was downloading an app called FatSecret. The name should have been a red flag, like being fat should be a secret. It’s every day weigh in reminders, charts of my progress and that ever-nagging goal weight highlighted in red. It fed my hungry fixation. Again, I was trying to outrun the beast when all I really needed to do was face the monster as I had before. I needed to break the cycle not only for myself but also for my children. I needed to eat to be healthy not to be thin. I needed to exercise to be fit on the inside not skinny on the outside. I needed to find help, needed to find the answer and I did.

Since everyone is different I’m not here to “sell” my way. It worked for me but may not be the answer for others. My purpose in sharing my story is to let others know they aren’t alone. To bring awareness to those who struggle silently or courage to the friend who knows a woman struggling but doesn’t know if they should speak up.

Talk about the problem. Know you aren’t alone. The answer isn’t found overnight, the habits aren’t broken in one day. The fight is never over. However, my virtual door is open. My purpose is to keep my unhealthy cycle broken while motivating, supporting and assisting others to break theirs (or help a loved one in need). I’m here to share and listen as someone who has been there.

Mommies are superheros but also human. We all have issues  and problems. Just like the children we raise and care for, there are times we need a helping hand to hold or guide us along a rocky path to a better self. Be that hand. Find that hand. Break the cycle.