Mom role? Dad role?

I grew up in a home where my dad handled the outdoor work and mom handled the cleaning and cooking. Well until us kids were old enough to help. We seemed to have roles based on our gender. The boys went outside with dad and us girls helped mom inside with the cleaning and cooking.

The boys were older so as they started to move out, I jumped on moving outdoors and helping with the grass cutting or helping with the hog market over cleaning or cooking. I value the life skills I learned on taking care of our home outside and inside.

Today, as I raise my kids there are no gender roles. The girls don’t just work inside the house and the boys don’t just work outside. There are no tasks that are only for men. Women can cut grass and weed eat, too. There are no tasks just for women. Men can clean a house, do laundry or cook the meals, too. My kids are learning all life skills on caring for a home and family. My kids are learning the value of teamwork. In our home we work together to accomplish the work. You do whatever work needs to be done whether you are male or female, inside or outside the home.

We are a team. Some days I cut the grass because my hubby is taking our son to baseball practice. Some days all 4 of us are outside getting the work done. Some days I handle the laundry. Some days my daughter handles it. Some days it’s all hands on to clean. Other days it’s half of us getting it done or 1 of us if the rest are busy. We both handle scheduling. We both make money. We both work together on our our financial goals.

All days we tag team and share the load of work, home, kids, our lives.

Someday our kids may see we function a little different than some families. I know a lot of mom’s that handle all the cooking. In our home, my hubby does unless he’s not home then I step in. Most days I handle the laundry to even that out. I know a lot of homes that the mom isn’t outside cutting grass either. I also do photography on the side so the kids see the extra hustle I put in for that as well. I’m proud of how we are raising our kids. There is nothing a woman or man can’t handle or can’t do just because society has labeled some roles as a mom role or a dad role.

We are teaching our kids life skills. Male or female (mom or dad) they need to know how to handle all these tasks on their own so they can take care of themselves (and not depend on another) in the big ol’ world.

My hope is as they go out on their own someday they never feel pushed into a certain role because of their sex. I hope they both grow into independent adults that can and know how to take care of themselves. I also hope and pray each of them when they do find someone, they find someone raised with the same work ethic that equally helps in and outside the home.

10 questions to ask yourself…

10 questions you should ask yourself to stay in “check”…

1. What about myself do I like the most? The most important goal in life is inner peace. Accept yourself and accept yourself as a whole…not just the parts you like the most.

2. What aspects of my life do I wish to see a change in? Now work on those…

3. What am I grateful for? Practice gratitude daily…thinking about what we are grateful for allows us to practice on the positives vs negatives.

4. Am I happy doing what I am currently? If no, can you make a positive change so you are happy.

5. What are my fears? What is holding me back? Now face your fears so you can move on.

6. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years? Write those goals down to hold yourself accountable.

7. What would your 90-year-old self tell you to do? No regrets is the goal!

8. Do you remember anyone you weren’t so fond of 10 years ago? Does it matter now? Let it go and move on.

9. What sets you apart? We are all unique in some way. Be proud of your unique self.

10. If today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it? Now live each day with that mindset because we don’t know when that day will come.

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6 Positive Tips to Help You Start Your Day

As Sunday evening rolls around my mind starts working on what I need to do to prepare for Monday morning. I start some of my prep work the night before. Start by choosing your work outfit and packing up those things you need for the work day (purse, gym bag, lunch – all but the cold stuff) and loading into your car. I try to go through the kids’ binders the night before. My kids are older but if yours are younger you can lay out their outfits as well to save some morning time. I like to get to work early so I try to eliminate those last minute pop ups that occur as we are trying to get out the door.

Generally, the way we start our day influences how we feel for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow is a new day. Here are 6 positive tips to help you start your day right:

  1. When you wake up in the morning, take a few minutes to chill. Take a few deep breaths and find something you are grateful for. (your kiddos, spouse, your health, the weather, etc). Take this time to pray and thank God for all your blessings.
  2. Take a few moments to just be present with your family. It feels good to have a few minutes of time vs rushing all morning. Start the day off with quality time instead of just chaos.
  3. Stay off social media.  Focus on you and your family.
  4. Have a large glass of water before you leave the house. Hydration is important and starting with a glass of water gets some of y0ur ounces in 1st thing.
  5. Spread some cheer. Text your mom, write a note to your kids/hubby and throw it in their lunch box, email a coworker or staff that you appreciate. Not only will this help someone else feel good, but it can help you start your day off feeling happy as well.
  6. Set your goals for the day. Get mentally organized or write your goals down if you need to.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Marcus Aurelius


Take the trip.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received? ‘Take the trip.’ Since my daughter was 2 years old we started vacationing. Going on vacation was not something I experienced growing up. My first time flying was on my honeymoon and I remember telling my husband when we have kids I want to take them places. I want these firsts for my kids to be with us so when a co-worker said her best advice was to take the trip, it stuck with me.

If you ever question whether or not you should take the trip, just do it. Spend the money. Take the time. You only have a limited number of years together as a family before your kids get busy with their own lives and building those memories and experiences together is something you will never regret.

Here are the benefits I see from taking the trip…

  1. Traveling is all about family time. Even the closest families sometimes have a hard time spending quality time together. We are sometimes pulled in separate directions with the kids being in sports, etc. There are always things to do at home, too. (Laundry, cleaning, grass cutting) Getting away from those schedules and chores means you can truly focus on your family.
  2. Leaving home gets everyone out of their comfort zone. Traveling to new areas are great experiences for all. It’s good to see different cultures and different sceneries.
  3. Dealing with the unexpected builds character. Traveling will always present some surprises. Funny story last year when I took my family to Mexico. There was a sign that if you left your items unattended the staff would take them off the beach. We found an empty hut and a lady came back and only spoke French. We had no idea what she was saying but it was very clear with the tone she wasn’t happy with us. Luckily another lady knew French and English and helped us but a great experience for my kids. Not sure their eyes could get any bigger though.
  4. Seeing how others live keeps us grounded and humble. Our kids have seen how some live with a lot less. When they think they don’t have as much as some of their friends I like to remind them they could have a lot less. Leaving our communities helps us see the similarities and differences we all experience.
  5. Experiencing new things builds memories. Our world is full of beauty. I can take pictures and share all day but nothing beats seeing the mountains or ocean in person. Pictures just don’t do it justice. When we travel we see, hear, smell and taste new things. Our kids love talking about the trips they have been on. We have so many memories together. We have so many firsts together. Two years ago we took our kids zip lining. They were asking all kinds of questions and I told my kids this is my 1st time as well. We were all 4 experiencing it together.

We are thankful for each trip we have taken. We don’t go crazy on the costs for the trip. We have an awesome travel agent that watches for great deals. If you can cut in one area to be able to take the trip, try it. It will be worth it. With that said, travel doesn’t have to be a big vacation. Even a weekend camping or the lake is great quality time together away from the to-do lists at home.

I also enjoy our adult trips. These trips don’t have to be big either but I think it’s equally important to spend quality time with your spouse. After our kiddos are grown and move out, I still want my marriage going strong. But, if we do adult, I don’t cut the kids. We still do a family trip so we have that quality time with our kids, too.

The tans will fade but the memories will last forever.

Whatever trip you are looking at (adult or family), book it!

This is ME.

Who doesn’t love this song from the sound track of The Greatest Showman??? I love the song and especially love what it stands for. This is ME is all about being who you are, standing up for yourself, being proud of who you are, loving and accepting yourself (the good and the bad). This is easier said than done especially if you feel judged or if you feel you have to be a certain person to fit in with those around you. This song serves as a reminder for all the things we should do but sometimes don’t practice.

This is ME.I’ve got news for you. You are good enough. You deserve to be who you are and to be happy. Stop listening to the voices inside you that may tell you different. Everyone is different and unique in their own way. Accept who you are and embrace it. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s a must see.

Today I’m sharing who I am!  So here you go…this is ME.

I’m in my upper 30’s. 🙂 I grew up in a very small town and have 6 siblings. Life was crazy growing up in a big family. One minute everyone was getting along and next a fight would break out.  I learned hard work ethic being in a large family and at a young age starting babysitting. Through my high school years I carried 2 jobs.  In college I worked full time and went to school full time. I graduated with my Computer Information Systems degree. I worked at a retirement system for 15 years and been at the AGO’s office for 6.  Today I’m the Director of Information Technology. This job has been extremely busy, challenging and I LOVE every minute.  I had the goal of becoming a director for years so feels good to be fulfilling my dream.

I’m a mom.  Sometimes I do awesome in this gig and other times I feel like a complete failure. But I do know one thing…I’m doing the best I can and I love my kids more than anything. I’m their biggest cheerleader, I’m the hardest on them but love them the most. I want them to exceed, I want them to be hard workers and good people. I want them to love life most of all. I love experiencing life with them.

I’m a wife. I feel like this role fits the above mom role. Sometimes I’m an awesome wife. Sometimes I could definitely do better.  But I’m trying and I love my hubby more than anything. He’s my best friend. I’ve been married for 17 years and with my hubby for a total of 20 years. Quite proud of what we have accomplished as a team! Mostly proud of the 2 awesome kids we are raising together.

I love to travel. I love to spend time with my family. I love to have fun. I love to joke around. I love to keep my kids on their toes. They never know what their momma will say. I love to be goofy…life is too short to be serious all the time. I love to kick a**. I love to work hard. I love to accomplish goals. I love to have a clean home. I love to cut stripes in our grass.  I’m picky. I’m anal. I hate debt and bust it to pay everything off. I’m probably too much of a perfectionist. I have high expectations. I can have a short temper at home when my kids don’t listen. I wish I had more patience. I regret some things I have said. I don’t cook (Thank God my hubby does). I do clean. I’m a good friend. I love the outdoors.  I love our time together at the lake and farm. I love my family and friends.

I love many characteristics about myself and I have plenty I don’t. I embrace the good with the bad and say screw it. I’m not perfect. But I do strive every day to be the best person I can be…

And that’s the best we can do!

Enjoy your weekend.  Be you and love every minute of it!

Fav words in the song…

I am brave, I am bruised

I am who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come

And I’m marching on to the beat I drum

I’m not scared to be seen

I make no apologies, this is me


17 Reasons Why I Think Marriage is Pretty Awesome

My husband and I will be married 17 years in May. Marriage isn’t always easy but I believe the good times far outweigh the hard times. Here’s 17 reasons why I think marriage is pretty awesome….

  1. You have a best friend for life. If you read my last blog post, I talked about how you get to spend every day with your best friend.
  2. No more dating.
  3. You have someone to go to bed with every night.
  4. You can be yourself and your spouse won’t mind.
  5. I don’t have to fix myself up at home and he doesn’t mind. Actually most of the time he tells me I’m beautiful is when I have no makeup on and lounging in comfy clothes at home.
  6. When you’re sick, you have someone to take care of you.
  7. You have a date for everything.
  8. You don’t have to make difficult decisions alone.
  9. You have someone to share all the special memories with.
  10. You have someone to vent to/visit with every day.
  11. You can create your own family traditions.
  12. After years together, you can communicate with just a look.
  13. Work out partner!
  14. Constantly learning new things about each other. It’s so cool to see how far we have come and changed over the years.
  15. Having children together!!!  There is nothing more special than creating a human being together.
  16. Sharing the chores/responsibility. We make a great team!
  17. Building memories together. Our book of memories keeps growing and has many chapters/pages from the 17 years we have been married.