True Love is…a smoldering dishwasher, puking child, & exhaustion!?!

Based upon the title you might be thinking what kind of twisted freak is this woman? Lol! And trust me; I would have thought the same thing just days ago, Sunday to be exact. On Sunday life was perfect but of course I didn’t realize that because I was frantically getting ready for the week, meal planning, doing laundry, helping kiddos with their Valentine’s, etc. I am a sucker for all holidays and Valentine’s Day is the Olympics of holidays for me. I find so much joy in smothering all my sweethearts with love, heart shaped everything, gifts, surprises, and of course a fabulous meal. I had everything planned out perfectly, this year I was going to surprise the kids after school with balloons in the car, take them to a movie, and come home to a dinner table adorn with heart shaped waffles, eggs, strawberries, X & O shaped bacon (yep, I am that mom…coming to terms with it is the first step), chocolates, etc.


It was going to blow them away; it would be my best surprise yet (even better than taking them to Boyd’s for the Retro candies for school), we are talking Pinterest Perfection!  But life had other plans, turns out the surprise was on me!


Sunday: Nothing like traumatizing the kids during bedtime!

Sunday night the kiddos headed up to bed after dinner and I prepped leftovers in the kitchen for lunch the next day. I was standing by the sink and suddenly, out of know where, the dishwasher made a spark followed by a sizzle, and then started smoking. The darn thing wasn’t even running!?! I called in my husband for reinforcements and rushed downstairs to turn off the breaker. (Something about water and electricity just didn’t sit well with me). Apparently like most things in our household the circuit breaker is a bit wonky when it comes to the labels. What seemed like a minute to me must have felt like an eternity to my husband because he frantically yelled down, “just turn it off!”.  So naturally, I panicked. I just started flipping switches two at a time, including the one to the upstairs and basement. The high pitched screams that pierced my eardrum were clear indications that I flipped the wrong switch and now not only were the children freaking out in the dark upstairs, but, I too was in the dark downstairs.  Meanwhile the dishwasher continued melting & smoking while my husband stood by helplessly. I eventually managed to manipulate the switches in the dark, turned off the electricity to the kitchen, and turned back on the electrically to the basement and upstairs. As I made my way back up to the kitchen I could hear the dog’s paws rushing down the stairs from above, he had left his post upstairs with the kids to check things out. After knocking a few things over with his cone of shame that he obtained thanks to double ear infections he came barreling around the corner to a dark kitchen with one path of light streaming from a flashlight on the floor that illuminated the cloud of smoke coming from the dishwasher. Once he saw that smoke he started barking ferociously which resulted in the kids practically sliding down the stairs in fright. And there the entire family stood at 9:30pm assembled in the dark kitchen in shock and amazement. It felt like a dramatic scene from a play. The flashlight gave the dishwasher the perfect spotlight and the smoke added a nice dramatic effect.  The smell of plastic burning began to fill the room. Thankfully my husband was able to pull the dishwasher out from under the counter and unplug it, but when doing so the dog saw this great beast of a smoking appliance as a threat and tried to attack, retreating in fear each time but none the less barking his cone of shame head off. Crisis mostly averted.


Monday: She’s upstairs puking!

Monday night after dinner I cleared the table and carefully stacked the dirty dishes on top of the other dirty dishes…I am getting quit good at balancing them; it’s almost an art, lol! And then I sat down with my 5th grader and we put the finishing touches on their Valentines for school the next day. valentines201All three kiddos were super excited for their Valentine’s Day party the next day, since they kind of got robbed of their party at Christmas time due to a snow day their anticipation was super amplified. They checked the forecast for the next day and let out a huge sigh of relief when they saw that fog, snow, and ice were nowhere on the radar. Each sat out their clothes…pinks, reds, and even a tutu with gold glitter hearts was the preferred apparel for our little fashionista.


Everything was going so smoothly and then it happened. My husband came downstairs to let me know, “She’s puking upstairs”. My heart sank. I knew what that meant; someone wasn’t wearing her gold glitter heart tutu tomorrow, wasn’t passing out Valentines, and wasn’t going to be attending her Valentine’s Day party.

Tuesday: Calgon take me away!

So here I sit, Tuesday morning and I am absolutely exhausted after getting up 8+ times with my poor baby girl. My kitchen counters are filled with mountains of dirty dishes, laundry needs to be done, rooms need to be cleaned (and sanitized), that darn dog just managed to annihilate his cone of shame, and my Valentine’s Day plans that I was so looking forward to are a bust. And yet I am over the moon, and no, that’s not just the ridiculous combination of exhaustion and caffeine talking.

This year I finally get it! I finally realize the true treasures of Valentine’s Day, granted I had to go on one twisted, crazy, exhausting scavenger hunt to find them but find them I did! And it turns out they have been here all along but I have been so distracted by my own expectations that I couldn’t see them. The dishwasher dying it’s slow smoky death revealed a part of my husband I had taken for granted, he is not only our family’s provider but our protector, he is willing to risk his life for our family…there is no amount of roses that can equal that!  I learned that in my regimented ways I have missed out on precious moments…sitting with my 5th grader and putting together Valentines while talking about life brought me more joy than a million boxes of chocolate.  But the biggest take away from this crazy week (thus far-God may have more lessons in store!), and it was something that dawned on me when I rushed to my daughter’s side for the 5th time at 4:30am, I learned that I am enough! My children don’t need fancy balloons, food shaped like hearts; the best gift I can give them is my unconditional love, day, or night, no matter the circumstances, no amount of store bought anything or fancy food can replace a mother’s love.  Thus I am over the moon, bursting with blessings & love sans the typical Valentine’s Day garb.

I know it sounds so cliché but this Valentine’s Day the gifts I am most thankful for is my husband, children, my family’s health, and all the amazing people in my life…dishes be damned! 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day, loves! Cheers to finding the REAL treasures in your life!



30+ Acts of Kindness in 1 day! (Cool Video)


This is how I spent my  birthday……it was amazing!!!!


What I absolutely adore most about this experience is how many people said they were going to pay it forward. And the fact that when I logged onto Facebook that night a friend had said that someone paid for her coffee and she paid it forward with the customer behind her…I can’t help but wonder if she wasn’t somewhere in that same drive-thru line as us.

Want to see change in the world? You can! It all starts with you! I challenge you to do an act of kindness each day and see how your world changes, see how many people you can touch…who knows, maybe that simple smile and a quick hello was all a person needed in order to rethink something drastic they had planned on doing…sometimes we never know the extent of our actions which is why it is so important that we make them positive, good, kind!

So, are you up for the challenge? If so please feel free to share your acts of kindness…or perhaps a way someone else’s act greatly impacted you.


You won’t believe what I overheard!

After a long day of running kiddos around, helping with homework, mediating sibling quarrels, laundry, making dinner (you know the drill) I was just about spent!  I had no patience left. I was feeling overworked and underappreciated. I was questioning my self-worth as a mother (3 year olds will make you do that ha-ha!). Wondering why it is that I bother doing half the stuff I do or say? Wasn’t it all just in one ear and out the other? It had gotten to the point that it seemed like the dog was the only one listening to me anymore. So I did what any mother would do when they hit their breaking point. I sent the kiddos up to brush their teeth and get ready for bed.


Since they did not have school the next day we had said it was okay for them to have a sleepover, which basically entails all 3 sleeping on the girls’ bedroom floor.  Not really that big of a deal but to them it is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Lol!

So I sent them up to get ready and a few minutes later the laughter started. My blood started to boil. I made a mad dash up the stairs. I halted suddenly when I overheard…..

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Guide me safely through the night. And wake me with the morning light. God bless, mommy, daddy, grandma….

They were saying their prayers. I stooped down on the step. I managed to get a visual of the children sitting on the floor finishing up their prayers.  I was so proud of my little ones in that moment. With no direction to do so they knew that prayers are an important part of the bedtime routine.  I decided to stay on that step for a few moments longer and eavesdrop on the children.  Real mature, right!? But who knew, maybe I would finally know who dropped their gum between the cushions of the couch or who tore a hole in the leather couch, or who dropped the toothpaste in the toilet, there are quite a few cases still open and it would be nice to finally close them. Ha-ha! So I stood their basically waiting for them to incriminate each other (not exactly mom of the year material…it wasn’t one of my finest moments). But to my astonishment the opposite played out. They illustrated….

Faith-They said their prayers together and asked God to watch over every family member.

Compassion– The youngest tripped and her siblings came to her rescue and share their own stories of tripping on things and told her it would be okay.

Love– Big sis, our 2nd grader, read a book and helped her younger brother to sound out a few of the words and patiently answered her little sister’s persistent questions.

Gentleness– Big sister gently took out little sister’s hair bow.

Compromise– They had a discussion on who would sleep where and made some compromises.

Pure Selflessness– It was adorable. Our little Kindergartener let his little sister have his pillow pet and then made certain she was covered up with her blanket.


A tear ran down my face.  I had just witness the most beautiful thing. My children illustrating genuine faith, love, and compassion. They didn’t rat each other out or point fingers. They looked out for one another. So maybe the huge hole in the leather couch case will never be closed. But you know what I can close is the case of, am I even doing this mom thing right?  I am sure many moms can relate. You question yourself. You wonder if anything you are saying or doing is sinking in to those little souls. And just when you are ready to throw in the towel and race up those stairs, and lose it the most miraculous thing can occur. Reassurance! Reassurance is what we all want.  And God sends it to us if we are willing to listen.  This means you have to shut off those negative thoughts in your head and be open to the good.

Have you ever found yourself at your wits ends? Questioned your worth as a mom? How do you snap out of it? Or maybe you witnessed a genuine moment between your kiddos? Please share.

Kings Island,I-75 Scavenger Hunt, and a Lesson on Love

For Father’s Day this year instead of doing the typical backyard BBQ my Dad invited the entire family to Kings Island for a fun-filled Family Day. What a Dad, right!?! In order to honor my hubby’s side of the family we went to King’s Island the weekend after Father’s Day.  Which couldn’t have worked out more perfectly, we had such a gorgeous day at King’s Island while Father’s Day ended up being a little soggy.

So, in preparation for our road trip to Cincinnati I printed off a scavenger hunt for the kiddos in hopes of keeping them occupied during the drive. I did a quick google search of the various images located near I-75 of the city/towns we drove past and added a few expressway affiliated symbols we would pass along the way. I then pasted the images to a word document, printed them off, pasted them onto construction paper for better durability, and glued an envelope to the back of one of the construction papers, and placed stickers inside the envelopes to act as markers to mark off the images as we passed them on I-75.

Then, at the completion of the Scavenger Hunt, which just so happened to coincide with the end of our road trip they each received a prize. No, your eyes do not deceive you, that is Christmas wrap, lol!  (Side note: Kroger’s has a lot of toys on sale. I purchased a Green Lantern action figure for $5, our son loved it! He wants to know when we are having another Scavenger hunt).

At the halfway point, Lima Ohio, I included a snack, mini-M&M cookies, Yum!

So we stayed the night at the Homewood Suites in Miamisburg on Friday night so we could wake up  revived and spend an entire day at Kings Island. But on our way to Kings Island that morning we receive a surprising phone call. Our Yellow Labrador did something to his leg and he was in the Animal Hospital.  Thankfully our good friends were watching him and took exceptional care of him, even medicated him twice a day and yes, they have their own family of 5 to care for, Big shout out to the Reeds and thank you for taking such good care of our Deuce while we were away.

So once we entered the park our minds were a little distracted since nothing has ever happened to our 9-year-old Deuce and he has never had surgery or been medicated in his life. But was had a decision to make, a mental decision, we could either allow our fun-filled family day to be hijacked by thoughts of Deuce and the “what ifs” or we could enjoy our time with our children, my parents, and siblings.  It took a moment, I am not going to lie, and yes, I had an image in my mind of our poor dog limping everywhere and needing assistance and wondering why we had abandoned him.  But I tried to focus my attention on the amazing gift God had blessed me with, my awesome family, the beaitufl weather, and the possibilites that lay ahead, and I realized it would be insulting to all parties involved, including myself, if I rejected this gift.  So I chose joy, happiness, and the opportunity to make some new amazing memories knowing full well that our friends at home would take excellent care of our four-legged family members.  And memories, boy did we make some exceptional memories…..




It was amazing how joyful my day became once I adjusted my demeanor and reflected on the love that was exuded in this fun-filled family day. For it was the love I knew our friends had for Deuce that eased my worries and comforted my spirit. It was the love my father had for his entire family that brought about such a wonderful day. It was the patience and love my mother has for our marriage that encouraged my hubby and I to have a family moment with our children. It was the selflessness and love that my sister and brother exuded for me and my children when they patiently waited in line and road the roller coaster, swam, and swaddled our toddler (they are young, not married, and have not children they could have chosen a selfish route, they could have disappeared the entire day, but they did not, they stayed, they helped, they loved).  It was the love I have for my hubby, children, parents, and siblings that encouraged a manifestation of joy within me. What an amazing gift to be given, love, when you are truly loved and loved in return you are the richest person on this planet. No amount of money, fancy clothes, cars, houses, purses, exotic trips, or materialistic things, can compensate for the riches of truly being loved. For without love you are bankrupt, and that is a torment within that I pray to God that my children and loved ones never experience.