Monday, September 1, 2014

Liberating Working Moms

Hello again! Two blog posts in one day is not the norm for me, but I just couldn't wait to share my exciting news...

I am thrilled to announce that I was selected to participate as a monthly contributor to the Liberating Working Moms site, a blog designed to try get the word out about all the trepidations and rewards that come with being a working mom. LWM covers topics not only stemming from the working mom, but also style, beauty, simplicity, breastfeeding and more. 





I stumbled upon the LWM blog one day and it really resonated with me. I found myself reading post after post, loving what all these ladies had to say, and wondering how I could share my voice with other working moms too. I sent in my submission to become a regular contributor with some ideas I had for blog posts, along with a few samples of my writing, and a few days later heard back from the founder and managing editor, Tracy, that I was selected. 

The really cool thing is that once I learned that I was selected, I went upstairs to my little office area and started to read through the manual and take some notes. Jumping right in! I started writing in my notebook that stays open on my desk at all times. (I usually jot down ideas and things so I don't forget in the open notepad on my desk.) After I wrote down a few things of importance, I flipped back a few pages to my notes from my 30 Days to Clarity workshop and discovered my list of hopes and dreams from the first day of the workshop. 




And right there at the top of the list was a dream to write more. 
(You can't see it in the photo, but this list is dated 12/1/13.)

I wanted to write more. I want to write more. I feel very creative and expressive when I sit down and write. I started blogging six years ago with my first published post on June 10, 2008. Blogging was a way for me to get the word out about life and career coaching, but over the years my blog became more of a personal journal for me and an adventure into pregnancy and motherhood. 

As I looked at my list, there are things I would like to eliminate, things I'd like to cross off — indicating that they've been completed — and things I'd still like to pursue. I've also got new hopes and dreams to add. 
I've started a new list and dated it 12/1/14. 

I am super excited for my new experience as a contributor to LWM and I look forward to connecting with an amazing team of women who have so many wonderful things to share and are a great resource. I hope that you'll head over to the LWM site and check out the awesome team of contributors
Plus look out for my first post coming later this month. 


Like LWM on Facebook
Follow on Instagram and Twitter





Hello September

Can you believe that today is September 1? Yea, me neither! This time of year I mourn the summer, but I also crave the back-to-school feeling of structure and schedules. 

Today I am saying hello to a new and super exciting venture for me as a professional. I'm so excited to share it with you! How about some hellos? Linking up with Lisa Leonard, who created hello Mondays as way to welcome a new week with a fresh heart and embrace the imperfectness that is life. 


Hello new preschool! 
Molly is starting a new preschool next week and we went to the Open House to meet her teacher and her other classmates while taking a tour of the new little school. We are so excited!


Hello September calendar filling up with dates and friends and many things to do. 
I am grateful that we can try to achieve a nice balance of business with people to see and things to do. But I also love being at home, enjoying the quiet times and special memories we make in the backyard. 

Hello soaking up summer. 
We went down to the dock the other night and went crabbing. It was fun to see all the people with their nets and buckets, filled with excitement, and families spending time together. 


I enjoyed sitting on the sand listening to the waves crash as the sun set on that lovely summer day.  



Hello food shopping.
Hello packing lunches and preparing dinners.
Hello new shoes for back to school.
Hello crisp summer evenings, although last night was humid and hot here. 
Hello movie time. Have you seen this movie
Our babysitter lent it to us and I got half way through it before I fell asleep. I'm looking forward to finishing it today. 
Hello sleeping in. Thanks Mom for watching Molly! 

Hello September and Happy Labor Day to all. 


I'll be back later on today (two blog posts in one day!) with a special announcement. 



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

On Motherhood: Workday

Do you read Working Mother magazine? I enjoy it very much. 
My August/September issue came last week and I had the chance to read it over the weekend. I enjoy their Workday section, especially in this issue because they interviewed a college president! In my years as a higher education professional, many of the women I have worked for were not mothers. I am loving reading about how the president of a college makes it work.

This post has been inspired by Workday in Working Mother magazine.


{MY JOB}
I am the Director of Alumni Relations at a liberal arts college on Long Island. I love my job. There is really no typical day at the office. I do not work the typical 9-5 desk job on a regular basis. We create programs, offer services and host diverse events for over 32,000 alumni from two campuses. I work late nights pretty often. I work weekends at least once per month. Doing so affords me the flexibility to attend functions at my daughter's Montessori school and allows me to take time off when needed for other things, like picking my daughter up at school or staying home with her when my babysitter is not available. (I do luckily have a few back-up sitters just in case!)

 Molly at Mommy's messy work desk


{HOW LIFE WORKS}
My husband leaves the house around 4:30 a.m.every day for a long commute into Manhattan via the Long Island Railroad, so it's just me and Molly in the morning. Some mornings are tough and some are really great, like today! Molly loves helping make breakfast. Pancakes are her favorite! Three days a week I drop Molly off at the babysitter one town away and then I head to work. I'm so lucky to have a short commute and a great sitter who lives local.




{STAYING CONNECTED}
Our babysitter is wonderful. She has been watching children in her home for years and truly enjoys it. I love getting text messages and photos from her during the day. Molly always has a big smile on her face. They do lots of fun activities like circle time in the morning and singing songs and walks in the afternoon. Now that it's summer they play in the sprinkler and on the slip n slide, which Molly loves!

{ME TIME}
Things I love doing when I have time to myself include: watching HGTV or reruns of Sex and the City; decorating my home and coming up with DIY projects; reading magazines like Real Simple; getting a pedicure; writing/blogging.

{IN MY BAG}
I carry a large Longchamp bag around, have for years. I love it. In it you can find tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer, three different lip glosses, white tic tacs, mail that I need to sort through, my sunglasses, and my I phone in my pink floral Vera Bradley zip pouch.

{MY FAVORITE THINGS}
Sushi for lunch; family dance parties in the kitchen; collecting shells at the beach; a fresh haircut.


 June 2014 
Moving up ceremony at school.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A New Week

Saying hello to a new week today and looking forward to enjoying lovely sunny weather here all week on Long Island. Since I only have two more weeks (cue the tears) of my summer schedule at work, I fully intend to enjoy each day.

A certain little girl has been challenging her mommy (and daddy) these days and I have been feeling really defeated, frustrated and guilty. But this week I want to put that all behind me and focus on smiling and feeling satisfied with my daily choices and embracing my role as Mommy, wife, employee, sister, daughter, friend.

We took this photo two weeks ago while on vacation at Seaside on the Jersey Shore. We had such a fun trip and great weather. Molly swam so much in the pool and loved it. We ate great seafood and fruity drinks. It was so fun!

Our little family — all smiles.




hello sandy car. We are beach goers and my car is full of sand. I love that.

hello baby powder. Do you take it to the beach with you? It miraculously takes the sand off your body!

hello iced coffee. You taste yummy on summer days with a pump of hazelnut in you!

hello calendar. We're making room for some cousin visits in and out of state this month and visits with good friends too, as well as a Birthday party and a visit to the zoo.

hello backpacks. Molly is starting preschool in a few short weeks and while in Target was drawn to the back-to-school section. I wonder what backpack she'll pick. I wasn't quite ready for that yesterday, so I plan to take her back and let her pick out a new backpack for school. Molly loves structure and is a little creature of habit. I know she is going to love her new school and be so excited to meet her new teachers and new little friends from our neighborhood. Michael and I will be attending the back to school meet and greet in a few weeks to meet her teachers and review the schedule. I'm so excited for my little girl!

hello gluten free eating. I've been pinning some recipes and food ideas on my Pinterest board.

It's a new week. What are you saying hello to?


Monday, July 7, 2014

hello {lovely summer} Monday

Although I've been less active in publishing posts on my blog the last few weeks, I have been writing here and there in draft form, keeping a gratitude journal, and thinking a lot about starting the memoir that I dream of one day publishing. 

On this lovely summer Monday I'm saying hello to some summer favorites and creating my summer fun list — a to-do list of things our family hopes to do this summer.

..............................

hello long summer days and lovely summer evenings.


We went down to Blue Point Dock after dinner and ate frozen yogurt. It was windy, but so lovely. We are so lucky to live a short walk away from this. This girl loves the beach just like her mommy!

hello easy summer outfits. I've never been a shorts a t-shirt kind of person (I'd always preferred skirts and dresses) until this year. I love how simple it is.

hello longer hair that I can pull back and pin up and off my face. It's been so, so long since I've had long hair and I'm loving how easy it is for me, especially this time of year.

hello part-time work hours. I am so thankful that I work part-time in the summer. It feels great to have three days off to enjoy a long weekend every week and come home early during the week. We will be at the beach this Friday!

hello fruit and veggies. This time of year we always have blueberries, strawberries and watermelon in the fridge. Molly loves watermelon! We planted our garden a bit later than normal, but we are seeing lots of growth and can't wait to start picking our fresh veggies and making great meals to enjoy on our back deck. Do you eat dinner outside this time of year?

hell turkey burgers and salad for dinner. I enjoy my turkey burger with avocado. My husband likes his with Frank's hot sauce. He really does put it on everything!

hello creating our summer fun list of things we want to do this summer together. What's on your list?


Be sure to check out the hello Monday series on the Lisa Leonard blog.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Life: You asked, I answered

My friend Jamie nominated me for a Liebster Award (thank you, Jamie!) and I've got to answer a few questions of hers... 


1.  What is something you are afraid of?
I am afraid of being lonely and dying alone. 

2.  Did you end up in the career you dreamed of as a child?
When I was a kid I dreamed of being a dance teacher because I loved dancing, still do actually! As I got older my dream job was to have my own talk or radio show. I did not end up in the careers I dreamed of, but having said that, I am very happy in my career path. I enjoy working in higher education. I enjoy what I do. I like the people I work with. And first and foremost, I love being Molly's mom!

3.  What is your favorite snack or dessert?
I'm a salty person. I love chips and dip! My favorites are sour cream and onion and guacamole.

4.  What is the toughest lesson life has taught you?
Marriage is hard and takes work and dedication. It's just like anything else in your life that you care deeply about and needs to be nurtured and cared for. Michael and I have quite a past (one day I'll write a book, I promise!) and we've been through many ups and downs. I believe that God chose us for each other and wants more than anything for us to be together 'til we're old and gray! 

5.  How do you want to be remembered by your grandchildren?
I'd like to be remembered as someone who could make people laugh! Life is tough and there are lots of demands and stress and hardships to face. Life is also short and we need to take time to smile, be silly, laugh and add a little humor form time to time. Laughter is great! 

6.  What do you dislike more: going to the doctor or the dentist?
I don't like the Novocaine shot, so I guess the dentist.

7.  What is your favorite thing about your sibling (s)?
I am so lucky to have a sister! My sister is so beautiful — inside and out. She is very smart. She is great at what she does — she is an English teacher. She is worldly and loves to travel. I love that about her. I'm more of a homebody and enjoy stay-cations! 

8.  Do you have a cool skill that most people don't?
Animal sounds. It's a gift. I'll say no more. 

9.  If you could travel anywhere where would you go?
I'd love to visit Ireland one day. I also desperately want to return to Martha's Vineyard and relive some of my childhood memories. 

10.  Do you have any memories of when you were in Kindergarten?
Mrs. Weiser was my teacher and she had bright red, curly hair. On picture day I wore a gray dress with a big red bow on it. I also accessorized with a Miss Piggy watch that had a pink leather band. I had long blond hair with a curl on the end, no doubt from the curling iron that Mom brought out for the special day.

11. Would you encourage others to start a blog?
YES! I've encouraged a few people I know to blog. I think it is a creative outlet and love reading blogs too. 

A few other things you (maybe) didn't know about me... I love the color pink. I love to decorate my home and mix things up. I frequently like to change the colors in a room, move a table from one room to another and change out accessories for each new season. I'm a Pisces and so is my husband. (My husband and I recently had our astrological charts done and it was awesome! More on that in another blog post.) I wish I was more of a morning person. I don't drink coffee. I love where I live and consider myself very lucky to be able to do so.  


That was fun! Have you checked out Jamie's new blog yet? She's a new homeowner and shares lots of stories about cooking, baking and life on the north fork of Long Island with her husband. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Three

My baby turns three years old today. 

And since you are reading this in the blog world and cannot sense what just happened, it was a long pause, a sniffle and a smile.

Three years ago I became a mom to a precious little girl, Molly Eileen.
I can remember everything about that day, and also the day leading up to her birth day. I can remember my visit to Target a few days before giving birth, what I was wearing and what I bought. I can remember cleaning my car the day before she was born and scrubbing the wheels, something I've never done before! I can remember {almost} going to bed, waking my husband, calling the doctor, getting out of bed to shave my legs and blow dry my hair (yes, crazy, I know!) and heading to the hospital just before 4 am — but not without a quick stop to 7-11 for a cup of coffee for my husband!

You can read my birth story (all five chapters) here.



The memories are everlasting and always will be. 

So, my daughter is now three years old, and in honor of her Birthday I created a little Q&A...

Q: How would you describe Molly? 
A: I would describe my daughter, Molly as the most beautiful child I've ever seen. {My blog, my child, my bias!} 
From the time she was born I knew she would have a strong personality. She looks just like I did as a kid. She is outgoing, but sometimes shy. She is inquisitive and asks a lot of questions. She remembers things, which amazes me every day. She has amazing leadership skills — thanks Sheryl Sandberg!

Q: What does Molly love? 
A: She loves being outdoors. She loves playing in the chicken coop, playing on the slide and the swings. She loves going for walks. She loves going to the Library. She loves eating fruit snacks! What kid doesn't?! She loves playing in my car in the driveway and pretending she is driving while cranking up the music really loud. She loves technology and computers and Iphones and Facetime.  She loves Ariel the Little Mermaid, though she does not watch the movie, or any movies really. She loves munchkins from Dunkin Donuts.

Q: What frustrates you about something Molly does?
A: I get so frustrated when we are having a great conversation or she is singing or dancing or reciting the alphabet and I try to video it and she doesn't let me. Hello strong personality! I never want to forget these moments.

Q: What are you looking forward to?
A: Everyday is an amazing gift — albeit challenging and adventurous. It's so fun being Molly's mommy! I look forward to her growing into her role as a little girl. I look forward to her being a big sister one day. I look forward to her learning how to pedal her bike. I look forward to cute bathing suits and sandals this summer.

Q: What do you want for Molly?
A: I want her to know that she is a special person. I want her to know that there is no other love than the love between a mother and her child. I want her to know that even when she gets older and is in her tween and teen years and we argue and fight, that I will always love her the most and that she will always be my baby.
I want her to sing and dance and have fun.
I want her to know little to no stress in her life for as long as possible and to make the most amazing memories in her childhood. I want her to hold her childhood memories dear and talk about them when she is my age.
I want Molly to be kind to other people and treat them as she would want to be treated.
I want her to love others and always know that every person in this world is different and unique and brings their own qualities to the world.
I want her to be empathetic and compassionate.
I want her to be curious.
I want her to serve others and know the meaning of giving back.
I want her to be respectful, playful, strong and spirited.


This weekend our celebration will continue with a party for Molly and some of her little friends.
We'll head to the beach for the unofficial welcome of summer 2014.
We'll barbecue and eat coleslaw and burgers.
We'll make memories....

Monday, May 12, 2014

hello Monday

I'm starting off a new week feeling refreshed after a lovely weekend. We are having some great weather and taking advantage of extra time outdoors. This week Molly will perform in a little spring concert at her preschool. Invitations were sent home in her backpack. The other night as I was putting her to bed I got a little glimpse of a song that she'll be singing — something about m-o-m-m-y.
It's going to be so cute!  I'm so excited!

How about some hellos and a link up with Lisa Leonard...?

Hello eggs.
Our chicks have started laying eggs again after a long, cold winter. Have you ever bought farm fresh eggs? They are the best! I'll be trying this recipe very soon. Check out more yummy ideas on my Pinterest Yummy page.



Hello complimentary stroller parking!
We visited Brooklyn last weekend and had a great time in Fort Greene.
This adorable sign was just outside a great little shop.


...and did ya catch that sign behind it? No need to put on pants, they deliver! Very clever. So, what do you do when they get to the door? Answer in your undies?

Hello new book.
My girlfriends and I have an unofficial book club and we've just decided that this is our next read.
Have you read it?

Hello getting ready for Molly's 3rd Birthday next week. We are so excited!


I cannot believe my baby is turning three years old!

Hello shoe shopping. Can't wait to go this week.

Hello more small changes to the living room. I'm going to take some pictures and share some updates on the blog this week, hopefully. I am loving my new color scheme.

Hello prayer.
There are a few people in my life hurting and I'm praying deeply that they can find peace and comfort during this difficult time.

Have a wonderful week!