I Owe You One, 2015

I began 2015 anxious, excited, nervous. With a belly 9-months full of love, I had no clue what was about to happen to me. I hadn’t the slightest idea that my world, my being, my existence – would be shaken to it’s core, flipped upside down, turned inside out and all around again.

I just simply thought, “I’m having a baby.”
Silly, silly me.
Three weeks into this year, I had my baby, alright.
At 8:34am on Monday, January 26th, she came into this world, eyes open and peering straight into mine, instantly reaching out for me, with a cry that sounded a hell of a lot like, “Buckle up, guys – Bella has ARRIVED.”
All six pounds and nine ounces of her seemed to carry this magical force. She seemed filled with intent, determination and purpose from the moment we met – and oozing with love and sweetness. So much like the man she was named for – a grandfather she would never meet.
11 months later, as I look back on the year that is now getting ready for closing time, it’s hard to find the words to even describe what 2015 has meant for me.
 Yes, it was amazing. It was absolutely the best. The most significant. Like the strongest mind-altering substance you can imagine that gives you that really good high – the kind that never goes away.
But none of these words or metaphors really does it any justice.
Here’s why 2015 was every bit the most life-changing, mind-altering year of my existence:
I found my purpose. My purpose was her. Motherhood. To finally transfer the obscene amount of love in my heart to the being that I created.
I learned. I started the year unknowing, unaware, and lacking confidence. With the power of motherhood, I learned the power to nurture. The power that my body possesses. The strength that comes with taking care of the being I created.
I became a superhero. Supermom, actually. At least I felt like one. Navigating the throes of new motherhood while balancing my marriage, friendships, work and everyday life -shit, I should be earning a Nobel Peace Prize.
I said goodbye. To a past full of pain and struggle. To the 31 years prior that made me question my worth. To anyone and anything that no longer served a positive purpose in my new, little, happy world – because nothing else really mattered but us now anyway.
I watched my marriage solidify. You never really know how much you love a person until you see them crying tears of joy for the life he helped you to create. Until you learn to be parents together. Until you both speak the same unspoken language of love for something else. Until it becomes clear that this REALLY is your person, your meant-to-be experience in the short time you’re given on this planet to love so hard it hurts to breathe.
I found my voice – and with that I found ME. And with that, I found my confidence. Something I had been searching for my entire life. Something I thought I was destined to live a life without.
So 2015, I say thank you. I say “I don’t know what I would have done without you!”
As I kiss my husband tonight at the stroke of midnight, peer in on my (hopefully sleeping) little one, hug my friends and welcome in the start of a fresh, new year, I’ll do it without the anxiousness or nerves or even the excitement that I started this year with.
Because I am not asking much of 2016. Nothing more than “Please let me keep enjoying what I’ve already got.”
Because 2015 gave me all I need and more – I’ve got no need for anything else. I owe you one, 2015.
Happy New Year!

Thank You, Readers!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

We Don’t Do Resolutions Around Here

I saw a meme on Facebook this morning that mocked the idea of resolutions, and I loved it… It went something like,

“It’s almost time for that ‘new year, new me’ bullshit.”

Bullshit is a great word for it.  The idea of becoming a “new me” seems rather pointless and vapid, if you ask me.  I like the “me” that I am, the me that I’ve been, and the me that I’ve presented since 32 years ago.

It may as well be 1983 up in this bitch because I plan on bringing all the same goodness, kindness, and generosity to the world that I’ve brought since way back when.  Since I learned as a child that it is important to be your best self always, not just at the start of a new year.

Change is good.  I get it.

Change your hair, change your job, change your style…Fine.

Sure I’d love to be in better shape, keep a more organized home, clear my debt and repaint the playroom. And if all of these things really mattered so much to me, I would have done them already.

This is exactly why I could never quite understand the idea of “resolutions”.

What happened to now? To carpe diem? To seizing the fucking day and then some?

WHY WAIT FOR THE FIRST OF A NEW YEAR TO BE BETTER?

In my house, we’re not doing resolutions.  My daughter will be taught that if you want to be better – start now.

If you want to be happier – start now.

If you want to make a change in any part of your life – do not wait.  Time is not guaranteed.

If you want something, need something, or think you can make something happen – do it today.  Not tomorrow.

And if you want to look a different way – you’re wasting your time, because I think you’re perfect as you are – but shit, go for it, and don’t wait – make yourself happy.

Happiness CANNOT wait. Be happy now, now, NOW!

Starting now, you will have to be your best at being kind.  At being loyal, honest, generous and happy.  These things cannot wait for tomorrow, for another day, or worse, a new year.

We have today, and today only – because who knows what tomorrow brings.  So instead of bringing your best to 2016 – bring it to today.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

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Could it even get better than this, anyway?

 

 

Dave The Donut Dude

On the morning of my husband’s birthday, I made an early morning run to his favorite local gourmet donut shop to surprise him with a few of his favorite artery-clogging delights.
With my baby on my hip, I ordered 4 of their most famous creations, including the 420-stoner donut and the super-Miami guava and cheese. 
“Now I see why Daddy loves these,” I whispered to Bella, as I got closer to the register.
When it was my turn to pay, the sweet register gal held up a $20 bill, waved it around with delight and said, “It’s on Dave today!”
“Who the hell is Dave?,” I asked.
“He comes in every Saturday morning and leaves $20 for the first baby that comes in to the store.”
I was floored. Flabbergasted. Verklempt.
 I hadn’t experienced such a random act of kindness since, well – NEVER.
You see, it’s not that we couldn’t afford the $11 worth of my donuts for husbands birthday.- It was the fact that there is still extreme kindness left in this world. 
It was the fact that this Dave-Guy’s generosity put such a huge smile on face (all before 8am on a Saturday morning- nearly an impossible feat).
It was the fact that my favorite personality trait, the one that gives me so much pleasure and satisfaction, is still alive and well out there, existing and living within other humans who still believe in the power of kindness.
So, no, this is not a tale of motherhood. Or marriage. Or anything other than what I believe in wholeheartedly…
..Kindness.
It’s what I’ll raise my daughter on. It’s what I’ll raise my daughter to exude. It’s what keeps this planet spinning.
It’s what will, one day, heal the world.
Thank you Dave- for the free donuts, but most of all, for proving me to that kindness IS real. It does exist, and it lives within all of us. 
 

Damn, It Feels Good to be a Mama

This Starbucks tastes a lot like shut the F up.

No seriously, give me a minute …or 12.

This past Monday marks the first of my new stay-at-home mom life. It was a rough road, these last three months, but it didn’t take long before we came to the best decision for our family.

And damn, it feels good to be a mama.

I went to bed Sunday night with the same excitement and anticipation as a kid on Christmas Eve. With no alarm set for the next morning, no stress bogging me down, no need to check my phone 600x to see if the babysitter confirmed yet- I closed my eyes for a night of restful sleep followed by a morning of…
Nothing.

So naturally, my daughter got the memo. And she must have promptly tore it up, chewed it up and spit it out – because as luck would have it- she woke up at 2am screaming bloody murder. And then she was laughing. And then she was crying again. And this insanity lasted until 4:30am.

Annoyed, sure. Exhausted, absolutely. But freaking out about the lack of sleep? Nah. Not even close.

These are the moments, I thought.
The moments I can now enjoy, in all my overtired splendor, without the stress of having to be my best self day in and day out.
Without having to put a shit-ton of concealer on to leave the house in the morning.

Without having to get out of bed again until she commands me too.

Without wondering, what part of her will I miss the most while I’m gone tomorrow?

All that is behind me now, and I couldn’t be happier.

There is something so incredible about making the choice you WANT to make, standing behind it, and feeling real good about it once it comes to fruition.

Liberating and empowering to say the least.
Now, as I sit here in my beautiful home “office” surrounded by notes, blog post ideas and a calendar full of due dates and deadlines, I can’t help but feel like I’ve finally taken control of the ship- the one I created, the one I’m steering, and the one that makes me the happiest.

So please, Mr. Starbucks man, stop trying to have a conversation with me. I’ve been up half the night – with good reason. No, I’m not interested in Star Wars and no, I’m just not in the mood to chat.

Just give me my triple shot, let me go home with my baby girl, flip open my laptop – and get to work.
MY kind of work. MY way.

Namaste.

Is Sitting a Hobby?

I can barely walk today, let alone squat down to use the facilities, but it’s fine – I’ll deal.  It was a fun Pilates class, and I didn’t die, so I can’t really complain.

You see, I’m indulging in this new thing called “me time”.

For the better part of this year, I thought “me time” meant taking a shower.  Getting some sleep, maybe.  Driving in the car alone.

A few weeks ago, my husband sat me down.  He said we had to talk.  He had a very serious look on his face.

Here’s how the conversation went:

“Are you leaving me?”

“NO, dummy – but I am insisting you start taking some time out for yourself.  You need it. Find a hobby.”

“But writing is my hob-”

He cut me off there.  “Writing is not your hobby.  It’s your calling, and that’s fine – but get out of the house once or twice a week and get off the computer.”

Ok, so… what am I supposed to do?

Shop? Can’t – I’m on a budget.

Book club? Can’t – I’m a teacher (that’s what Summer break is for).

Knit? Uh, no thanks.

That’s when it hit me – I had no more excuses left.  It was time to get back to the gym.  Sigh.

Before baby, working out was totally my hobby.  It’s what my day revolved around.

If I wasn’t at work or asleep, I was on the treadmill, the elliptical, the Bosu ball, swinging a kettle bell or hanging off some TRX ropes.

Well now, if I’m not at work or asleep, I’m enjoying every second with my baby and my husband, writing these lovely blogs for you, and folding laundry.

Literally, that’s my life.

Until my husband snapped me back to reality.

That same night, a friend of mine posted information about her Pilates studio.  She told me she was “obsessed” and that they give a free first class.

Hmm… I could do “obsessed”.  And I could certainly do free.

Pilates.  I used to love it back in the day.  Knowing I probably wouldn’t be any good at it anymore, I decided to get this big booty back on the reformer anyway, if for nothing more than a laugh and a good stretch.

But after one session, not only was I hooked again, I literally fell head over heels for my instructor.  No, not a sexy, chiseled man.  A woman, actually – a strong, hot, HAPPY mama –  from my home stomping grounds of Long Island, with an energy that makes you want to be around her all the time.

So I did it – I picked up a new hobby.  My class is late at night and I’m usually exhausted before I even get to class, but each time I walk out of the studio, I feel strangely empowered and get home feeling like a bad-ass mama, despite my aching hamstrings and my burning buns.

And yes, my husband loves it.  He even complimented my “nice Pilates butt” the other day.

As a mama, we get so lost in the shuffle of day-to-day life and just trying to survive.  Full-time work schedules, food shopping, house cleaning, laundry folding and devoting your all to your child can really take a toll on you after a while, and there is NOTHING wrong with admitting it.

My advice to you? Go try something new.  Push your body to see how great it actually is, despite the extra baby weight.

And in the words of my sassy Pilates instructor…

…”Keep doing nice things for yourselves!”

FullSizeRender(2)(I promise you this is a happy face.  I just can’t smile AND balance at the same time.)

Click here for more info on this amazing studio and the classes they offer!

 

 

 

Negative Nancys Need Not Apply

I keep hearing all this crap about people who post pictures of their spouses/significant others/kids/friends on social media.

Basically, the underlying idea is – if you post pictures of any of the above people in your life, you are CLEARLY miserable.  You definitely cry yourself to sleep at night and you wake up each morning hoping for the worst – all while using pictures to cover up the truth of your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad life.

Well SORRY, this just isn’t true.

As a serial poster with a strong desire to share my life with my friends and family on Facebook, I can tell you that the exact opposite happens to be true.

I am the opposite of miserable.

In fact, I have never been happier, thankyouverymuch, hence my desire to be so open with my life.

Here’s the deal – I wear my heart on my sleeve – always have, always will.

This goes for being mushy in person AND on social media.

I look at the photos in my camera roll constantly, smile to myself while doing so, and think, “DAMN, this is too good to keep to myself.”

Yea, yea, I know deep down that you all could care less what my husband, daughter and I did for my birthday.

I know you roll your eyes at yet another post of my delicious daughter getting one month older.

I know my husband gets shit from his friends about being equally as mushy as his mushball wife.

And I KNOW, the gossipers, the haters, and the actual miserable people I am still “friends” with on Facebook use my annoying posts as reason to talk.

But guess what – it’s all good.

I hereby stand against the Negative Nancy’s who are claiming that other peoples display of happiness is a cover-up for something more.

It’s not. It’s as simple as that.

No hidden agenda.  No big scam.

Let the happy people be happy – let the serial posters post.

And when I stop overdoing it with the uploads, THAT’S when you’ll have to worry.

Namastay-happy, people.FullSizeRender(1)