36 Things I’ve Learned to Celebrate Turning 36

Thirty-six.

I woke up Monday morning after a late night of fun with my husband and some friends, dining at my favorite restaurant in the world (Il Tinello) in my favorite hotel room at the Omni Berkshire in NYC. Room service had already delivered my coffee, my husband had gifts waiting for me, and it was glorious to sleep in, wake up at my own discretion, and spend the morning doing nothing in particular.

I took a walk down Fifth Avenue and picked up another birthday gift at Tiffany & Co. I watched the opening of the doors at FAO Schwartz so I could run in and grab my little loves a few gifts to bring home. I had breakfast with my people in the hotel restaurant, and I toasted my birthday with mimosas. It was 60 degrees, it felt so much like fall, and it was sheer perfection following three days of NYC fun.

It was such a good weekend, but I was so excited to board our late flight and get home to my babies for some birthday love. And rest. I needed some rest. I mean, guys, I’m 36 now. Even if I did stay up late all weekend like I was only 21, I was feeling it at that point. As I sat on my flight listening to the pilot ask us to remain seated as we flew off and on through some storms for a marginally shaky ride home, I realized a few things I wanted to share in honor of my 36th birthday. Thirty-six things I’ve learned in the past year.

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  1. Every year is such a good year in my life, and I’m so fortunate. I get to end every year of my life with the realization that it really was better than the year before, which was already amazing, and that gets to be my every day. I love that.
  2. My son asks a ton of questions about every single thing, and it might be the most obnoxious thing in the world.
  3. I could never work for someone else. I love the freedom of working for myself. I love being able to get up and go, pick up and leave, and travel when I want. I would lose my mind if I had to ask permission to take a day off or travel, or if I had to arrange my schedule around other people (my kids don’t count). I like being my own boss, and I’ll never work for another person and lose my freedom.
  4. I lost a lot of my ‘free time’ this year, and I’ve realized it was not ‘free time’ and I do need that time to get things done. I’ve lost 21 hours a week because I have to pick my middle school daughter up much earlier than the little kids in elementary school. I’m leaving my house a full hour and 45 minutes a day earlier than I did when they were all in elementary school, and I’m losing a lot of time. I’ve also given about 5.5 hours a week to my kids’ cheer teams as a coach this year, and I’m also losing about 3 hours a week in the after school car line because it’s so long this year, and I’m losing valuable work time in the morning because my husband takes our daughter to middle school and I’m spending that time breaking up arguments between my kids and my nephew – who I take to school every morning. I’m really struggling without that time.
  5. I really dislike being hot. (is summer EVER GOING TO END?????)

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  1. I love school vacations. There was a time I detested them, but now that all the kids are a little older, they’re so much more respectful of my time in my office, and they know how to behave and handle themselves so I can get my work done before we can have some fun.
  2. I don’t want my kids growing up faster than they need to. I’m seeing a lot of girls who are a little too mature for their age, and it makes me sad, scared, and worried for them. Let them be little. Let them be immature. Let them have a few more years before they’re worried about the things some of these girls are worried about.
  3. Kind people are my kind of people.
  4. People who have to say it repeatedly are doing it to convince everyone else.
  5. I like people who keep their social media pages positive. It’s not fake, it’s just better than the depressing shit that’s everywhere else. Keep up the positivity people! And for the love of all things, stop vague-booking like you’re 16 again.
  6. Working out is really important to me.
  7. I’m much nicer when I’ve had 9 hours of sleep and a good work out.
  8. My husband is really hot (I mean, I knew that, but it’s like he just gets better every year).

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  1. I’ll probably always have at least one sick kid at a time.
  2. I’ve got some severe anxiety at times.
  3. I love Botox.
  4. I worry for my kids and the things they’re exposed to sometimes. I see the way other people live their lives – and while I don’t care how other people live their lives – I hurt for their own children. They’re seeing their parents make horrible choices, and they’re teaching their kids horrible habits and those are the kids my kids are growing up with. Destructive parents raising the future of our world scares me to no end…
  5. I’ll never be the wake up and go type. I need to do my hair. I need to put make up on. I need to get dressed in something I love. I feel more confident, it’s polite, and I enjoy it.
  6. My biggest pet peeve is when people complain about their lives (their weight, their appearance, their marriage, their finances, their whatever) yet they do NOTHING to change it. Don’t complain about it if you’re not willing to get off your ass and make a change. Otherwise, you’re just complaining, and it’s unattractive.

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  1. I really have the best people in my world.
  2. Monday evenings are my favorite. They’re the only weekday evening we are home without any of the kids needing to be somewhere for sports or activities (or our beloved Wednesday night dinner tradition) and we spend that evening cooking dinner together and sitting in the formal dining room, we take a family walk, and we just spend time together. I really, really love it.
  3. My kids are all so different, and that’s what is so amazing about them.
  4. Anything can happen at any time, and everyday should be lived to its fullest potential.
  5. Fall is still my favorite.
  6. I will never get over my cleanliness OCD. I thought I might over time, but it doesn’t seem to be happening for me. My car must be spotlessly clean inside at all times. My house must be spotless at all times. I can’t stop. I just can’t.

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  1. I think messy houses are lazy. I know that’s not a popular opinion and that will offend some, but I cannot see how it’s even possible. I just can’t. I have four kids, a business, a husband, and we host people in our home at least once or twice a week, and it’s always clean. I mean, the kids bring things out of their rooms to play with and stuff, but they always put them back when they’re done, dishes are either washed or put in the dishwasher as soon as they are finished being used, and everything is easily wiped down, cleaned off, vacuumed, or mopped at the end of the day. It takes us like 15 minutes a day to keep a clean house even with all that, so I literally just cannot and do not understand how it’s possible for people to have messy houses.
  2. I hate lovebugs. I mean HATE them.\
  3. I really love the traditions in our lives.
  4. I don’t really love Amazon that much. It’s okay when I need something I can’t find locally, but otherwise, I don’t get the fuss that much.
  5. I like Target, but I don’t love Target. There, I said it.
  6. I’ve been into an Ulta one time, and I hated it. What a mess. Give me Sephora any day.

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  1. I’m a minivan mom, and I never thought I would be, and I never thought I’d want to be, but I’m so in love with it, and I’m loving it.
  2. I love rainy days so much more than sunny days – and I’m not a fan of summer.
  3. I do try so hard to hear people when they speak to me, I really do. However, I so often find myself wondering about people’s priorities when I hear them speaking. There are so many things that are just so much more important in life, and I don’t get why people don’t realize that.
  4. Nothing is more important than a strong family foundation and a family base. A strong marriage, strong parenting, faith, and a strong home are the most important things in our lives.
  5. I’m happy. The simplest days and the littlest things bring me so much joy and happiness, and I love those things. It’s the little things like knowing my husband and I have been going to be at the same time, together, every night for 18 years and neither of us would have it any other way, or the fact that our kids know he will always get up in the mornings, make my coffee, and make them chocolate chip pancakes from scratch before he does anything else, or that he will always be fine with them going to his side of the bed to wake him up first because they all know I’m the one who needs her sleep most, or the fact that we will always decorate our home for holidays as a family and it will make them the happiest little people in the world while we’re doing it, but that my husband will always help me take it all apart when they go to bed and do it my way so that I’m happy, too. I love the big things. The travel, the adventure, the fun. I love that, but I love the little things so much more. Those things make me so happy, and they bring me so much fulfillment and so much pleasure, and I’m so happy.

Friday Fifteen: Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Happy Friday!

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Does everyone have amazing plans for the weekend? We’re doing the date night thing tomorrow night. My husband booked a sitter and he’s taking me to dinner, and then we are spending the rest of the weekend at Disney with the kids. It’s going to be COLD, but what a nice change from our usual Disney weekends filled with sweat and sunburn – and we haven’t been since before Christmas and the kids are a little impatient.

We’re two weeks into the New Year, and it’s been good thus far. We’ve been busy! I’m always saying we need to slow down, but I’m over here signing new clients and agreeing to new collaborations and basically keeping myself busier than ever.

So I thought it might be fun today to do some Friday Fun Facts for my new subscribers and followers to get a better idea of the woman behind the blog (hi) and because sometimes I think of random things and need somewhere to put them. On that note, here we go.

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  1. I can always pick out the meth-makers – Anytime I see a drug bust on the news with photos of the people they arrested for running a meth lab out of their “home,” I’m just over here thinking I could have pointed them out to you in the middle of the grocery store and told you they were cooking meth in their bathroom. I don’t even need evidence…I can tell.
  2. I am a super cuddly sleeper – My husband and I go to bed together every night, and I need to be all up in his personal space or I can’t get comfortable. In the morning when our alarm goes off, I have to go right back into all his personal space for a few minutes if I’m not still there.
  3. I am filled to overflowing with very random knowledge – I’ve spent almost 10 years now writing for clients from the NFL to What to Expect to law firms to dental practices to insurance companies to real estate firms to tech companies to personal blogs to rehab facilities. I have researched just about everything you can imagine, and I am now capable of providing you with the most random facts ever. And if anything ever happens to me, my computer history is going to confuse the hell out of the police.

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  1. I always say I’m going to get plastic surgery, but I really wont – I’m always telling my husband I need Botox to get rid of my judgment lines and that I might buy myself a pair of small B cups, but I won’t do it. I really love a woman who ages naturally and beautifully. My grandmother is almost 100, and she is gorgeous – and the rest of my family has some pretty damn good genes, too. I like to think I’ll age as gracefully as they.
  2. I cannot tell how old people are – Adults. Kids. Whatever. I’m always shocked to find out how old people are. I either place them entirely too young or think they’re 15-years older than they are. Every. Single. Time.
  3. I love to play sports – Most people won’t believe that, but it’s true. I’m exceptionally athletic, and I love to play baseball, throw the football around with my husband and the kids, play volleyball, you name it. I love sports, and I love anything that brings out the competition.
  4. I cried the day of our oldest daughter’s first competitive cheer competition – Because putting makeup on my beautiful then 8-year-old daughter’s face killed me. Killed me. I loathe makeup on children. It made me sick to my stomach putting purple makeup on her eyes and bright red lipstick on her face. I made her wash it off the second they were off the mat after awards. I didn’t cry when I put it on her at any of the other competitions, but it still hurt.

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  1. I really love Disney – I love taking the kids. I love how much they love it. I love their smiles, and I love that they’re never jaded about it even though they’ve been a million times.
  2. I get a little sad in January – While I don’t have a problem with the months of January through August, I just really love September – December. I love the fall, even though we don’t have it here in Florida. I love the anticipation that ‘any night now’ might be cooler weather, we won’t sweat as much anymore, and the spirit of all the holidays from my September birthday to Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas.
  3. I would rather drive a stick – I’ve always been preferable to a manual transmission to an automatic. I like the feeling of power.

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  1. I might have a little road rage – And by a little I mean so much. Not in general, but I have this overwhelming rage when someone cannot follow simple rules of the road, such as driving slow in the left lane and refusing to get over and/or driving right next to the person in the right lane so no one can pass anyone. Also, when the speed limit is 45 driving down the main street in our neighborhood and someone is going 25-30 mph in front of me, it actually makes me hate them. Get off the damn road.
  2. I’m an obsessive neat freak – But I don’t spend much time at all cleaning our house. I read an article recently on Facebook (they suck you in, don’t they?) about tidy people, and it touched my actual soul. The author stated that she’s noticed something about tidy people, and it’s that they’re just always tidy all day long without even realizing it. You see, I’ve spent years trying to figure out how some people’s houses get so dirty and people talk about spending hours cleaning their home, blah, blah, blah. We have a lot of space, but it doesn’t take us 10 minutes to make sure our house is spotless after dinner. It’s because we tidy all day. Dishes immediately put away. Messes immediately cleaned up. Everything has a place and it automatically goes to its place rather than sitting on the counter. So maybe I’m not obsessive, but I’m super tidy.

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  1. I’m an online shopping addict – I’m staring at my inbox on my phone right now, and I can see my 8 most recent emails. Five are from Nordstrom (three emails confirming package deliveries, one shipping confirmation, and one order confirmation), two are from Wayfair, and one is from Amazon. And not one of those emails has any association with the four packages delivered throughout the day today.
  2. I wish I was half the parent my husband is – I don’t think I’m awful at mom-ing, but he’s just really, really, really good at being a dad. He’s patient. He’s kind. He’s always on the floor with the kids, always throwing the ball, always wrestling with Carter, pushing them on the swing, patient while helping with homework, happy to answer their annoying random questions like “Why?” and “Why?” and “Why not?” They love him best of all, and it’s easy to see why…and I find myself wishing I was as good at parenting.

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  1. I’m very, very gray – After the twins were born almost four years ago when I was 30, my hair began growing in gray all around my face. Now it’s migrated to the back of my hair, the middle of my hair, and everywhere in between. I immediately went blonde to make it a little less obvious, but it’s gray. When I’m 50, game on. But I’m 34 and not particularly interested in being asked if I’m the kids’ grandmother, so I have a standing hair appointment with my 15-year-hair gal every five weeks. And I think we might need to start booking every four weeks for color since my hair grows so fast and my gray is so prominent.

 

Fifteen completely random things about me on this Friday Funday. Have a gorgeous long weekend!

Why Not Get to Know Me A Little Better: Here Are 20 Random Bits and Pieces of Me

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Happy Wednesday, you guys! It’s the middle of the week, the prettiest day, and my kids are being extra sweet today – so it’s a win over here. Hashtag winning.

So last week I began a Why Not Wednesday series dedicated to trying new things, going outside my comfort zone, and really shaking things up a bit. I did try several things I might not have tried before in the past week – but that’ll have to wait.

Because I’m the boss and I get to do things like that.

But really, because I have so many new followers and subscribers, and I wanted to re-introduce myself to everyone, open up a little, and let you in a bit more. Because…why not? I promise I think I’m more fascinating than I really am, but still. Getting to know people is fun.

So here’s the quick information you might already know. Feel free to keep ready past this to the fun stuff, but stick around for a sec if you don’t already know me.

I’m a wife to my high school sweetheart. We were set up on a blind date, I knew I’d marry him the night I met him – and I was right. We have four little ones. Our oldest daughter is 9 next month. Our middle daughter turned 6 in March, and our boy/girl twins turned 3 in March. We are lifelong Floridians who are living our little dream. We both work from home. My husband is a tech genius, I’m a writer, and I started blogging at the beginning of 2017 after almost 9 years of web content creation for a really long and exciting and kind-of impressive list of clients (not to sound full of myself, but I really do have a list of super impressive clients and I’ve gotten to do some of the most spectacular things since starting my company in 2008). I’m 5’3, naturally blonde, but then naturally brunette, now artificially blonde because I am now naturally silver.

Are you following? I like long walks on the beach, except I don’t because I’m not a fan of sand. I know, I’m the worst Florida girl ever, right?

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That said, here are 20 random facts about me (random is my middle name, guys).

  1. I have an abnormal fear of tubs. I can’t sit in them, look at them, or even bathe my own kids. They freak me out. It’s something about grout and corners and small spaces and sitting naked in water filled with your own filthe. OMG. I shudder even thinking about it.
  2. I’ve never had a C-Section, and I can’t figure out why this is so shocking to people.
  3. My husband and I spent 10 days in Hawaii for my 24th birthday in 2007 and never once stepped foot in the ocean. We spent every waking moment looking at it. From the pool bar, the lobby bar, the restaurants – but I don’t like sand.
  4. My favorite moment ever in life (aside from the super important things like getting married and having kids and stuff) was a Thursday night during Fashion Week in NYC in 2015. My husband and I were done with all of our events for the evening and chose to book a late dinner reservation at a little place called Il Tinello because Regis Philbin always talked about it on Live with Regis and Kelly. And I love Regis. So we booked, we ate, we ordered a couple bottles of wine, and we loved every second of it – but never more than the actual moment Regis and Joy walked into this small, completely spectacular, amazing little gem and were seated at the table next to us. And SPOKE TO US. Best. Day. Ever.
  5. We actually end up hanging out with celebrities all the time by accident, but I’ve never been impressed. Until Regis. I mean, we sat down next to Nicole Richie at the Chateau Marmont and had cocktails, had lunch at the table next to LeeLee Sobieski at The Ivy, had an entire conversation in an elevator with Bill Murray, had dinner at Tavern on the Green while freaking Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood were there, and dozens more. And I don’t even care. But OMG. I cared so much about my quality time with Regis.

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  1. I prefer to wear men’s cologne to perfume. I think I just like to smell like my husband. Well that makes me sound crazy and stalkerish and obsessed.
  2. I have cameras and parking sensors, and every device imaginable to show me exactly where to go and what to do, but I suck at parking. It’s really, really bad.
  3. I won’t park in the front row anywhere I go if I don’t have the kids with me. I feel those spots should go to moms with their hands full of little people. Less parking lot time, more safety.
  4. I always put the cart in the return at the supermarket. Unless it’s raining. Eff that.
  5. I think my husband is one of the most intelligent men I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, but I’m not telling him for fear he might (gasp) realize I’m not always right.

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  1. I wake up at 5 am every morning, but I like to sleep until 8:30 on the weekends – and my husband has never complained once about getting up with the kids and letting me do just that. I love that.
  2. I really have come to love being at home more than anything else. Maybe it’s because with four kids we are always busy and it’s not by choice. When I have the choice to be busy or to relax, I’d rather just relax. I have to find a happy medium or else I’m going to become a total recluse – and I don’t want that!
  3. My husband changes more diapers than I.
  4. I clean my car out every single day. Multiple times. Anytime I have the kids or someone else in the car with me, I pull into the garage, unload them, and grab my always plugged in shop vac and run it over the floors. It takes me approximately 30 seconds each time – but it provides me all the happiness. I get anxiety if my car is dirty.

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  1. I shower 3-4 times a day. I don’t like to be sweaty or feel dirty.
  2. I can’t even imagine being a small family again. I love being a big family. I love knowing we always have a house full of people we love so much – and we always will.
  3. I like people who love their life.
  4. I could never work for someone else. I’ve spent almost a decade working for me, and I love every second of it. I love being in charge of my schedule, I love working because it never feels like work, and I love making new connections, networking, and being in control of what I earn and how I live. It was always a pipe dream growing up, but I never thought it was possible to work for myself doing anything like this. I’m grateful for it every day.
  5. My 6-year-old is the funniest person I know in life. She is seriously hilarious, and I get why people just love her.
  6. I choose gratefulness and happiness each day – and I’m mostly good at it – but I do feel that I lack in one area. I’m working on rectifying that. No one in my life does the same thing I do, so no one gets just how much work, effort, and hustle goes into every waking moment of my day to allow for the kind of success I’ve had. I crave a community of people who do what I do, who get it, and who just get it.

So there you go. Now you know a little more about me, probably mostly that I’m really neurotic and anal-retentive, and obsessive about so many things. You also know that while I never hesitate to tell you my kids are sometimes assholes, I really do love them and wouldn’t trade any of them for the world (most days).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve taken advantage of my #bossbabe status this week and carved out some much-needed time with my family. Shopping and lunch on Monday, a movie with the big kids on Tuesday, and right now I’m shutting down and spending the day spending time with my father-in-law who is visiting us from NC this week before we head out to enjoy dinner with friends. Because (hashtag) sometimes I do stop working long enough to enjoy the why behind my work ethic and drive.

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