As an adult, I find that there are so many reasons to shop at Aldi. When I was younger, though, I hated shopping there. Like, HATED IT. I always felt so embarrassed to be walking along with my mother as she popped a quarter in the stall to retrieve her buggy, and then utterly mortified when she made me choose between “Fruit Rounds” and the “Frosted Flakes” with the polar bear on the box. It was just too much for my 15 year-old brain to process. Like, why do we have to pay to have a shopping cart? Does this store really not give you bags for free? Ma, please tell me you’re seriously putting our groceries in an old box because you’re refusing to pay for 60 cent for 6 bags?

The struggle was real.

Now that I’m an adult, though, I’m not sure how I ever fixed my mouth to complain about such a treasure. Aldi is the truth. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Shopping at Aldi has become one of my favorite things to do. View Post

I’ve learned so many lessons from parenting a strong-willed child. Most have been by mistake or through trial and error, but they were lessons learned nonetheless. Like the time, after I cut my hair, that I told J I had an important meeting that day and needed to hurry home to get ready. “Okay Mommy. Well, have a good day,” she yelled as she exited the backseat, “And don’t forget to put your weave on before your meeting.”

:::Insert me dying of both laughter and shame as I drove away:::

Aside from “be sure to tell them what’s appropriate to say and when,” here are a few other lessons I’ve learned from parenting a strong-willed child. View Post

2017 is past the halfway point. Can you believe it? If the weather wasn’t so nice, I’d swear January was just last month! This year is zooming by and creating so many lasting lessons, memories, and experiences in its wake, I can’t help but be grateful.

When this year started off, I was optimistic but skeptical. Like many people, I had some goals I wanted to accomplish, some things I wanted to do, but I have those every year. And every year is usually like the one before…a swing and a miss. Plans undone, goals unaccomplished, and self-doubt growing larger and larger. So when I say I was optimistic but skeptical, I really mean it.

Things have been different in 2017, though. I have been different in 2017. First, I changed my mindset. I decided to stop fighting the same battles, stop having the same arguments, and stop doing the same things that were keeping me stuck. Secondly, I decided to try. Try new things, try old things that I’d forgotten about, try new people, etc. And wouldn’t you know, it worked and gave me some of the best times! View Post

This blog, in all its infinite randomness, is not turning into a travel blog. I honestly don’t travel enough for that. What it is turning into, however, is a place where I can share my journeys through motherhood, work life, marriage, and of course, self-care. And I’m slowly learning that travel, for me, is a form of self-care. So…sometimes you’ll get travel posts.

I had an inkling that travel was restorative, but I really didn’t believe it until my solo trip to Chicago recently. Now, I’ve traveled alone before but it was usually for a one day conference and was a quick turnaround trip by car. I didn’t really get out and explore the city and it felt more like a work obligation than an actual solo “vacation.” Even when I headed down to San Antonio for Blogalicious a few years back and I went alone, I didn’t really feel like I was on my own. It was weird because I was, but it just didn’t feel like it.

Chicago was different, or maybe I was different. I hopped on a flight after work on a Thursday and flew into Midway International Airport. My blogging buddy and Chicago expert, Natasha from Houseful of Nicholes, recommended Midway over O’Hare and I’m glad I took that advice. Midway is not huge, but it’s a pretty decent size and I appreciate the fact that it’s not a behemoth like LAX…because LAX had me feeling all the way overwhelmed. I’m thankful that Hubz and J were with me for that one.

I’m also thankful that they weren’t with me on my trip to Chicago.

chase chicago sign downtown

Does that sound bad? I’m sure it does, but it’s the truth. From the time I boarded the flight to the time I grabbed my luggage when I made it back to Omaha, I didn’t wish they were with me. Of course there were a few times when I thought, “J would love this” or “I wonder if Hubz would like xyz,” but I never once wanted them there. I needed to be rejuvenated without the pressure of being “mom” or “wife.” I just needed to be me for a while, to be completely selfish in what I wanted to see/eat/do/buy or where I wanted to go. And it was lovely. View Post

I am so excited about summer. For the first time in years, I’m excited about summer for me. Not for my kid. Not for my family. I’m excited for me.

This summer is going to be a bit different because for about 3 weeks, I will be kid free. Yup, J is heading down south for a couple of weeks to hang out with the other side of her family and later in the summer she’ll be going away to camp for a week. Couple that with the fact that J has been making friends, attending parties, going to sleepovers, etc, it’s like she really doesn’t need the constant go go go summer that we usually try to provide. She’s spreading her wings and I’m spreading mine.

adult summer bucket list View Post