Wednesday, November 30, 2016

10 Real Facts About Your Honest Momma

Happy hump day my beautiful friends!

I don't know about you guys, but this month has been particularly heavy on me. Hell, 2016 has been heavy on me. Because of this, I wanted to lighten up the mood for this blog post. I thought it would be really fun to create a list of 10 honest things to know about your Honest Momma blogger, me! If we are going to continue to share this relationship with one another than you should really get to know me on a deeper level.

So here it is, a top 10 list of the good, the bad and the ugly of yours truly:

1)  I've never been particularly talented in the music department. I had a singing lead in a 4th grade musical production of the Lion King and I was utter shit, ending my singing career forever. I also had a short french horn hobby which landed me second chair in a two chair french horn section. Needless to say, I wasn't given a single drop of musical talent. However, for as long as I can remember, I have put every single special moment in my life's history, to music. Music has always had the ability to pull any emotion out of me at the drop of a hat. It's not uncommon for a song to make me suddenly start crying like a baby or make me laugh uncontrollably.

2) I have an insane and irrational fear of Pavarotti (the Opera singer). When I was really young, like five or six, I had a dream that Pavarotti forced me to marry him and be his servant?? So weird, I know. Ever since that dream, I can't listen to his music or see his face without getting the creeps.

3) When I was a child, I also had an extreme fear of my parents leaving me while I was sleeping. Can't explain this one either but my solution to this fear was refusing to go to bed until my parents said this phrase and only this phrase, "Goodnight. I love you. See you in the morning."In my mind, by saying these things, they couldn't possibly leave me while I slept right?! Years later, this transitioned into a fear that my first love would leave me so I made him repeat this same phrase to me for the entire five plus years we were together.

4) Anytime I am feeling sick to my stomach or hungover, the only thing that truly makes me feel better is to lay down in the shower and let the hot water run on top of me until it runs out. Try it!

5) I really dislike sweets. This is really odd because for a large portion of my life, I dreamt about becoming a baker and it was really difficult to get me out of the kitchen or away from my prized possession mixer. As soon as I became pregnant, even the thought of sweets made my stomach turn and to this day I would choose a bag of chips over a sweet snack every time.

6) For the larger part of high school and college, I paid my bills by waiting tables. Most of the time I was really great when dealing with difficult customers but there was one single time I was pushed over my limit and to this day, I regret the decision I made. I had a couple that frequented one of the many Asian inspired restaurants I slung sushi in. Every week they came in and every week they bitched about their food, ran their server like a dog and left no tip. After several months of this, I had enough and spit in their food. Yea, I know, that's totally gross... but so it the attitude of an entitled restaurant patron. Moral of the story, be nice to your servers. I promise this is tame compared to some of the other things I've seen happen to food in a restaurant.

7) I have ALWAYS trusted way too easily. In fact, I earned the nickname gullible Goble at one point in my life. When I was about 19 or 20, this ability to believe even the most far out lie, led me down a path of "selling" my laptop to a nice women in Nigeria... This woman was supposed to be purchasing this computer for her photographer son and she was going to send me the money as soon as she received a copy of my receipt from shipping it to her. Yea...never got that money.

8) I love animals. Often, I catch myself loving them more than humans. They are just so much more faithful through the thick and the thin... One time, my love of animals almost got me bitten by an opossum, probably raging with rabies. I lived in Florida at the time and I was walking out of a friends house when I noticed an injured opossum had crawled behind some bushes and was just laying there, on the edge of death. At the time, I figured if this opossum was going to die then the least I could do was give him his last meal. So I went inside and made him a roast beef and cheese sandwich. When I was trying to sit the sammie and a bowl of water in front of him, the little bastard tried to take my hand off at which point I threw the food at him and ran away. Later, when I went back to check on his progress, he has eaten the sandwich and taken off! Maybe he had crawled behind a different set of bushes to die in peace, but I like to think my sandwich saved his life.

9) Not once in my life have I ever touched a worm. In fact, right behind snakes, worms are my absolute biggest fear. Ew, I get the chills even thinking about them now. I also never told anyone this while I was growing up out of fear that I would be tortured with them as some sort of sick joke from mean kids.

10) I can belch bigger and better than any man. In fact, I won an award for this talent in high school, something my parents are extremely proud of, I am sure.
This is a good example 

There you have it! A handful of fun and interesting facts about the Honest Momma. This was definitely not meant in any way to be hard hitting or soul touching. I simply needed to write something a little fun and lighthearted this month. I hope you all enjoyed getting to know me on a little deeper level :)

Wishing all a very happy holiday season <3
- Your Honest Momma

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Where Is The Love?

Once upon a time...

There was a young independent woman who wanted deeply to meet a man, fall madly in love and live happily ever after. She had one failed relationship after another, meeting more frogs than princes and being given the gift of a child and then being left alone to raise said child. The young woman was seriously getting tired of this dating bullshit...This wasn't the love that had been presented to her all her life by cheesy romantic comedies or sappy romance novels. Fast forward to present time, our young independent woman still sits alone, sadly swiping through popular dating apps to feel something other than disappointment. 

Isn't that just the saddest fairy tale you've ever heard?? 

I can't only speak of my own personal experiences but hearing stories shared on nights out with friends and seeing social media posts from jilted lovers, I can't help but feel that romance, dating and commitment may all be a thing of the past, lost in a time before the instant gratification of Tinder, Bumble, Grindr or what I like to call "fast food dating". Is finding your prince (or princess) a concept lost in time?

My parents divorced when I was very young. So young that I don't ever remember a time when we were a happy family. Because of this, I never got to experience what a healthy and real relationship was supposed to look like. The only information I had to go off of was the over-romanticized version of love that is in movies, on the TV, in the the music I hear or the books I read. As you can imagine, this has set a real lofty goal of what I think my love life should look like. But after being disappointed too many times to count, the truth of the matter is, I'm having a hard time hanging onto my faith in love.

Relationships are hard, they are messy and they take work. That is one thing I have learned and still see to be true. I happen to be an individual who loves commitment. When I find a man that I really like, I commit. This is part of my love language and I can't help it, I just like the idea of being true to one individual at a time. Over the years however, I have really had to adjust my expectations of the kind of commitment I am going to get back from these relationships I'm investing in. With the popularization of the fast food dating apps, it is too easy to log in and instantly get an ego boost when you have a handful of individuals who have liked your picture well enough to swipe right. This type of behavior and mentality towards dating are making it near impossible to get a commitment back from someone you are interested in. The swiping, the ego boost, the thought of "what else is out there for me?"...makes having a genuine relationship with anyone difficult. Why would you commit to something you know is going to be hard and take work when you can have the instant gratification of someone who is attractive, giving you attention??

I once "dated" a guy for a few months. In my head we were working towards a relationship but when I started to notice that he wasn't willing to give up the attention from other ladies and really make a commitment to me, I confronted him. Laid it right out on the table that I wanted to be with him and only him. If this wasn't what he wanted then we needed to move on. He acted shocked that I would ever expect him to commit to just me, he even said that he never meant to make me think that the relationship was going anywhere other than the bedroom...He had told others that he was dating me and made comments to me about us dating but apparently I was the one in the wrong for getting my hopes up??

So what the hell is dating then?!

My idea of dating had always been working to get close to someone that you are interested in and could possibly see yourself being with in the future. That means putting in time to ask them questions and getting to know them on a deeper than appearance level, going on dates and sharing experiences with one another and for the love of all that is holy, committing to that one single person until you decide if they are worth pursuing a future with. The problem: when I ask guys what their idea of dating is, commitment is never a concept mentioned in their response... I can't even count the times I've been taken on dates and not asked a single question about myself, not to mention, being taken on a true date where I don't have to pay for my half of the meal is something short of a miracle. The worst part is I continue to let it happen, something I would kick my own daughter in the butt for ever putting up with. 

I recently wrote a Facebook post asking friends for their views on love and dating in today's society. I was hoping to find some glimmer of hope from my fellow comrades navigating the world of relationships. I did receive plenty of positive feedback about love and relationships but the only catch was, the majority of people leaving this positive feedback found their significant other years before fast food dating was a problem. It wasn't as easy to get this instant gratification by logging into an app on your phone. Individuals were forced to put in actual work when they found someone they were interested in. So I still sit here, scratching my head. Do we need to succumb to the rules of today's dating game and lower our expectations of what kind of relationships we are going to get or do we hold onto the dream of what we believe we deserve in a mate, a committed partner who is devoted to you and only you...

Obviously, I wouldn't be writing this post if I had all of the answers and I realize that this post makes me sound very jaded. In a lot of ways I am. I've been hurt repeatedly and I've been on a ton of really terrible dates but the fact of the matter is, I do it because I'm hopelessly in love with the concept of love. I want to give my daughter an idea of what a real relationship is supposed to look like and a tiny part of my being still believes it exists. 

So! Why even write this post you ask? I've basically just filled your time with a long winded rant about my love life. My hope friends is that you read this and take some time to examine the kinds of relationships you not only accept for yourself but are also willing to give out in exchange. Don't let technology and fast food dating apps make you lose sight of one of the most beautiful parts of life, creating genuine relationships with other individuals. 

Thank you so much for taking time to read the ramblings of this hopeless romantic :) 

Until my next rant,
--Your Honest Momma

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Goal Digger


Wow has it been a hot minute since my last post and for that I apologize. So much has happened in the last few months, it's hard to know where to start.

To avoid a long winded rant about my life as of recent I want to talk about setting and crushing goals. My entire life has shaped me into the woman that I am today. There is much about me that has changed for the better but there are those small details that remain constant and one of the biggest is my competitive nature. I give credit to my dad for letting me stay up late on my weekends with him so we could watch our Chiefs play football, a lot of the time suffering heart breaking defeat. By the time I was in second grade, I was addicted to the soccer field and absolutely despised when any of my classmates would read faster than me or get better test grades. Maybe it's my type A personality or my extreme fear of letting people down. Whatever the case, failure is not an acceptable word in my vocabulary.

As many of you know, I work as a Navigator of the Affordable Care Act. Aside from the fact that President Obama is my ultimate dreamboat, I love my job very much. When I started this job, I was working under a lead Navigator with a group of Navigators, in Southwest Missouri. I can honestly say that I have the greatest team of all time. We work for a non profit, on a federal grant and so it goes without saying that no one makes a lot of money in this job...However, you would never be able to tell by the effort and try hard that is given. It's truly something special to watch. Recently, there were some troubles with our lead Navigator (please review my post on being a mean girl for a better idea of said problem). After her departure of our team, I took the opportunity for advancement and ran with it. I have never been one to settle for mediocrity and no matter how scary the venture, I have always wanted to push myself to be the best. It was only natural that I apply for this lead role within my team.

I knew that if I got this role, it would take more hours away from my daughter and that is something no parent wishes for themselves. I also knew that if I didn't try for this job, I would regret it for a long time and living a life of regrets isn't something I believe in. Not only does it waste energy but it also makes it impossible for me to be the best parent and role model for my girl. So I took the leap...and I got the job. I set a goal for my life and I achieved it and the feeling of doing so was and is unreal.

I think many single parents probably shy away from setting these types of goals for themselves or fulfilling their dreams because they are afraid of the sacrifices. I believe it is best to weigh the sacrifices but in the end, you will be a happier human and a better example for your children if you are teaching them to reach for the stars instead of resting on what's average. I hope to be someone Sawyer looks up to when she is older, being proud that her single mom helped give her the best possible life I could achieve.

Along with my career goals, I also feel that it is important to set more personal goals. If you have read any of my previous posts, you would have picked up by now that I am a huge advocate of health and fitness and before getting pregnant with Sawyer, I had just completed my first half marathon. Naturally, a goal that I set for myself after having Sawyer was to get back into running long distances again and to begin competing in some of the races that I had once flown through without hardly breaking a sweat. Not only did I want to achieve these races for myself, I also felt compelled to make a promise to myself that I would bring Sawyer along with me to each race. If it wasn't hard enough training  my body to run distance again, add a huge stroller and a now 20 lb child into the mix... I was beginning to doubt myself and my sanity.

We huffed and puffed our way through a few of the local 5k's in town, getting faster and more efficient with each race. Soon I began to find my stride and once again, not wanting to rest on mediocrity, I signed up for our first 10k. I hadn't been training for a 10k but something inside of me was telling me I needed to push myself harder so I took the leap. The week before our race, I tried on two separate occasions to run the distance without a timer pushing me. On both occasions, I hardly made it 5 miles and needless to say I was scared that I had just made a huge mistake.

Let me take a second to go back in time and tell you about one of the first 5k's I ever ran. My mother and I signed up for a race in our home town of Nixa. Keep in mind that I had always been the athlete in the family and was actually the one who got my MOM, who is now a health coach, into running. Well it turns out that my mother, fairly new to the running game, beat the pants off of me! Talk about embarrassing. Not only did my mom beat me but I couldn't even finished the race. I swore to myself then and there that she would never do that again and I would never stop running during a race. Seems easy enough right??

Fast forward to the week before this 10k and I couldn't finish the distance. What did I just do to myself?

The morning of the race I was nervous but kept telling my mom that I was just going to have fun and probably wouldn't even finish the race. I don't think she bought it, she knows when I'm lying and she probably knew that I was scared of letting myself down more than I knew. I had Sawyer settled in with her snacks and a few toys, had my favorite running music streaming into my ears and adrenaline crashing through my veins when the gun fired for us to begin. I told myself to start out in a crawl so that I wouldn't tire to quickly but let's be honest, I was parting the runners like the Red Sea with the stroller trying to make it through the thick of the crowd. About two miles into the race, I was feeling great! My breathing was perfect and my stride was showing perfect technique. Then I spotted the biggest hill that I had ever seen in my life and they were making us run it!

I made it to the top and to my surprise the runners around me were cheering me on! It was so exciting and gave me just the boost of confidence I needed to keep trucking along. I blazed through the rest of the course, thinking to myself along the way that this was just too good to be true! I was surprising myself at how effortless this felt and then it happened. Those jerk people who mapped this race were going to make me run up that same freaking hill for a second time! This time I wasn't surrounded by people, it was just me and Sawyer. So I put my head down and sprinted up that hill as fast as I possibly could. After making it to the top this time, I was on such a high that I don't really remember the last mile of the race. I know that I finished and the craziest thing happened! The clock said that I finished in 53 minutes. WHAT? That had to be a glitch right?? But it wasn't. Not only did I surpass my expectation of finishing our first 10k but I also did it in 53 minutes. I felt on top of the world :)

I share these experiences with you because I want to show you two separate instances where I set goals for myself, pushed past all that scared me and surpassed my greatest expectations. I'm not any more special than any one of you reading this post so I encourage you all to do the same. Set goals for yourself. Set goals that even seem impossible and then smash those goals. Do it not only for yourself but for all those around you who look to you for guidance and inspiration. Even if you don't have children, you never know who is looking at you for example so why not give the best example?

A new goal I am setting for myself is to post more often. It may not be a few times a month but I promise to give my dedicated readers some more consistency :)

Now, enough talking! Go crush some goals people!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Finding Strength and Fighting Back

Happy July 1st friends!

I love this month so much. Not only is it the month of my birth, which is slowly becoming less and less exciting to celebrate, but it is also the month of my daughter's birthday! My little Sawyer bean is going to be ONE! I can't even believe that a whole year has gone by since I had my beautiful girl. As I have been preparing for the 1st birthday bash of a lifetime, I have been very reminiscent of all that has happened over the last year, how much has changed and what the future still has in store. I can't even sugar coat and say that this first year of Sawyer's life has been the best of mine. This year has seriously and honestly kicked my ass...

My parents split when I was very young, too young to even remember any strife or hard times leading up to the split. I never knew what a whole and happy family was meant to look like but I for sure knew that I wanted one of my own some day. I promised myself from the time I knew what marriage was that I would be married once and only when I was married would I have a child, if I ever even decided to do that. Don't get me wrong, I always knew that my parents were better apart than they were together and I was thankful that they hadn't created a huge, messy divorce situation which would have left us even more torn apart than we were. I was also lucky that I was blessed with a dad who couldn't stand to be away from me for longer than a week or two. I know the importance of that more than ever, now that I am going through being a mommy and a daddy to my own child.

The day that I found out I was pregnant was the day that I felt more emotions than I had ever experienced, during a single moment, a moment that would forever change my life and my outlook on love and relationships. FIRST, there was shock because my troubled hormones were supposed to make it nearly impossible for me to get pregnant without help from reproductive specialists. Guess what! Not so much trouble it seems. Then there was excitement, but two different kinds of excitement. The first was excitement that I was able to actually get pregnant! I had written it off and had been giving my pets the names I had once picked out for children. The second form of excitement was caused by the fact that I had created this embryo with someone who I genuinely believed I loved and felt in the depths of my heart that he loved me in return... I've always been gullible.

There was fear, OH the fear! I had spent so much of my adulthood thinking that I couldn't get pregnant on my own so I lived every day of my pregnancy in fear that my body would do something terrible to extinguish it. Being the practical woman I am, there was of course some apprehension in there. The little girl who promised herself she would never bring a child into a broken home was peaking her head into my heart and putting doubt that this man who I was having a baby with, the same man who had left his fiance at the alter and who so easily lied and cheated on the woman who believed he loved her so, would be faithful to me and devoted to our new little family. I probably should have listened more to that little girl but when it came to the nuts and bolts of the decision that was before me, I could never part with a child that I never thought I could have in the first place... even if it did end up just being me and her forever.

When my gut first started to tell me that something may be up and I wasn't being doted on like all the pregnant women in those happy movies or books you read, I fought the feeling. NO! No way was I going to accept that I was going to be alone in raising this child. But, by month five of my pregnancy and when the girlfriend started calling me on the phone, I knew it was time to swallow the bullet and face the facts that I had officially become the single mom that I so feared, knocked up out of wedlock and another startling statistic. I cried a lot over the last four months of my pregnancy. I cry now thinking back to that time in my life. It was definitely an all time low. Thankfully however, my momma bear instincts kicked in before the sadness could truly take over and I began to get angry. I decided that there was no point in loosing one more nights sleep over a man who didn't want to take care of the family he helped create and I put Sawyer at the forefront of my mind and every decision I had to make from that moment on. This instinct saved me.

Fast-forward to the absolute BEST day of my life, the day I learned the meaning of true love. July 6th, 2015, during the wee hours of the morning and after two whole days of labor, Sawyer was finally in my arms and every ounce of sadness or anger I had felt over the last nine months had vanished. At that very moment I met my girl, I knew that everything I had gone through was for her and was for a reason. Sawyer's dad came back around during that time. His girlfriend wasn't giving him the time of day so he grasped at his second best option, us. To be truthful, I am thankful that he came back around, even if it was short lived. I had help from him for the first three months of her life and I was grateful, I didn't care how much he had hurt me before. When he decided to leave us the second time, it didn't sting as much. I didn't have high expectations for him anymore and I was content as long as I had my little bean pod :)

Today as I look back at the whirlwind of baby daddy drama, I am thankful. I count my blessing and thank my lucky stars every single day that I didn't end up with this man. The man who could never be trusted, the man who wouldn't teach my daughter how men should properly treat women and the man who puts himself first before all else. I also thank this man because without him, I would never have Sawyer, my saving grace.

Looking over the last year, I have learned that I can do anything, that I am so much stronger than I ever knew. I successfully attained and have maintain my dream job, fighting for women's rights every single day. I have enrolled over 50 people into the affordable care act, most of which had either never had insurance or hadn't had it in 10 plus years because they couldn't afford it. I maintain the role of both mom and dad to my little pea pod every single day (wine helps make this easier). I have set and broken health goals, feeling better in my body than I ever did before I was pregnant! AND I am constantly teaching myself about the power of positive relationships. Not just relationships with men, but with coworkers, friends and even family.

Going through the experiences I have, helped me be more thankful for my parents than I ever had been before. No matter the hard feelings or the arguments, they never let me be in the middle. I was never a bargaining tool or used to leverage. I was in the middle of a broken home but it never felt broken! We did everything together as a family and it was all for my benefit. I know NOW, that the ability to do this for 28 years of my life should be equivalent to super hero status and I stand in awe of their unselfishness. I've learned to really cultivate and appreciate the good friendships I am so lucky to have, squashing any of the negative influences that may have once been in my life. You really see who your true friends are when you can't leave the house, are covered in spit up and have a baby screaming in the background 22 out of 24 hours in a day but they come help relieve you of mom duty for a few hours so you can sleep or even just get out of the house.

Is seems so cliche to say that everything happens for a reason but because I do not believe in organized religion, this phrase and the idea of karma are what have helped me through the hardest parts of my life. I believe that some of what has happened to me over the last two years was probably bad karma from decisions that I had once made and I can accept that. But I also accept that it has ALL happened to make me a better human being and influence for not only my child but for other individuals as well. We can do anything we put are minds to and we can get through anything that is presented to us. It seems simple enough in concept but this ideology has gotten me out of the darkest days. I never thought it would be possible to be a single mom, but I am doing it! and loving every single moment :)

With all my love and honestly,
- Your Honest Momma


Friday, June 10, 2016

Let's Get Physical!

Hello friends!!

I am so excited about my post this week!

 If there is one thing I love more than being an honest momma, it is talking to people about health and fitness. I have been an athlete, well... probably since the first time I kicked a soccer ball in second grade. I've always loved getting outside and moving around or working off a stressful day at the gym. On the flip side, I have equally enjoyed learning about new ways to be healthy in the kitchen! I just love taking old faithful favorites that may not be the most heart healthy meals and putting a creative spin on them to make them better for you. (Check out my fiesta potato recipe to see the creative spin I put on taco night in my home!) I know that I am lucky to have this love affair with health and that not all people share my same appreciation but my hope is to show people that you can slowly build this relationship with being a healthy human being and not rush or get discouraged when it doesn't happen overnight. 

**Quick warning before you read too much further into this post. My opinions on fitness and health may be a little hard to swallow for some so I give you my heads up now in hopes that I do not offend any of my readers as you continue on with this post.

It has taken me many years to have the healthy relationship with food and fitness that I do now. If you haven't read my post on my struggle with an eating disorder, I did face a rough couple of years with bad body image, the urge to OVER work my body and a very restrictive diet. As I have said before and I will continue to urge others to follow, FAT is not a word that should ever be used in a household, not about yourself and not about other people. I try hard to stick to this, especially as Sawyer continues to grow and hear things from other little girls about body image. It is very important for me to pass on a healthy appreciation of fitness and food to my daughter and using words like fat or skinny just do not promote this healthy attitude.

When I was growing up, I remember very well when my mom would try a fad diet or talk about being unhappy with her size. As I got older, it wasn't just my mom and her friends talking about these diets, but also my peers. I will never forget the first time I was at a high school soccer tournament and one of my friends pulled out an Abs diet book from her soccer bag. We were 15 and 16 years old and she was worried about having the perfect body already. At first I remember thinking, how boring! Who wants to do all of that extra work to get abs?? But as soccer came to an end in high school and I was left with no team sports to keep me active, I too began to search for ways to stay in shape and have to admit that I even picked up that Abs book to see what it was all about.

Through my struggle with body image, I have now tried just about everything to stay "skinny". I've taken the diet pills, tried the restrictive diets, cut out ALL carbs, all sugar, all gluten, blah blah blah... I've gone vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, PALEO! You name it, I've probably tried it and here is what I'm going to tell you. It is ALL crap. Sorry to burst bubbles but there is no PILL, patch, wrap, "fat blocker", supplement, etc.that will make you "skinny". These diets are crap, these pyramid schemes that people push on you are CRAP! If you work at a job that has you sitting down all day long, eat foods that don't push your body to work as it should and then go home and sit in front of the TV until you go to bed then it doesn't matter what you take or how much money you spend on get skinny quick schemes, you will fail. I've seen people pay thousands of dollars for lipo, tummy tucks or even gastric bypass which all eventually fail because they go home after surgery and continue to sit on their bottoms, eating terrible food and doing nothing to help their new bodies work at capacity.

Bottom line: being healthy doesn't happen overnight and it isn't something you can sidestep your way to. Being healthy is about making lifestyle changes. Being healthy is taking your family or friends outside for an evening stroll or a game of kickball instead of sitting inside binge watching TV or playing video games. Being healthy is choosing a well proportioned meal with GOOD fats and quality proteins, leafy green veggies and putting down the empty foods like frozen pizzas or fast food burgers. It is most definitely a great idea to splurge every once and a while! Get a pizza, eat donuts for breakfast, have a foot-long meatball sub all to yourself BUT, do this once a week not once a day.

Life is all about being balanced in all things and that is especially true for diet and exercise. I am living proof that with balanced diet and good activity, you can be healthy and happy.

One of my most proud success stories is my mom, the honest yaya. When I was in high school, my mom finally made the decision to turn her life around and start to make healthy decisions in all aspects of her daily routine. As I said before, it takes time to build a relationship with exercise. My mom did not start off running 5K's like she so easily does now. We started slow and every night would go run the high school track. At first we would just run one lap then walk a lap. Next she would run two and walk two. This went on until she was lapping me! She fell in love with running as time went on and later fell in love with creating healthy recipes and finding natural ways to stay free of sickness. NOW, she educates people on how THEY can live healthy lifestyles! My mom is walking proof that you can be in your 50's (cough cough, sorry mom) and still attract attention from men in their 30's ;)

Exercise doesn't have to be boring. If you hate running, that's not a problem. Find another activity that you do love! I have been lucky enough to continue playing soccer in adult leagues as I've gotten older and even recently, helped start a coed softball team. These are both fun examples of ways that you can get out of the house and your body doing some physical activity without running laps around a track. YUCK.

You can DO IT people! I am here to be your biggest cheerleader and remind you as much as you need that with a few life style changes, you too can achieve the healthy life you strive for. I can pass off healthy recipes to try with your families or fun activities to get you moving. Just let me know what you need and I will always do my best to help. Remember! Nothing that lasts is quick and easy. You are wasting your money and time with these get skinny quick gimmicks!

Now, enough of my ranting! Get off your butt and go outside :)

All my love and support,
-Honest Momma

Friday, May 27, 2016

Finding Your Framily


So happy to be back writing :) I've been discussing a lot with my mom, the Honest Yaya, what my next blog topic would be about. I've been very interested to write about relationships, friendships to be exact. On one of our walks recently we were discussing the idea that people don't know how to have genuine relationships anymore. Making a new friend these days seems to take a lot more effort than it once did, why is that? Are people just so non-committal and waiting for something better to come along? Maybe I am the only one who thinks about these things... but as someone who takes my relationships with people pretty seriously, I find as I get older, friendships come to me in a a few different forms instead of a clear cut mold.

Maybe it is just my love of science and classification but when I look at relationship patterns with people over the last ten years or so, I can't help but notice that gone are the days when you have one kind of friend. Also gone, is the ease behind getting and maintaining a quality friendship, Why is this?

From the time we start to really build relationships with people, until the day we die, we will make hundreds if not thousands of connections. Some of these connections will be meaningful, long lasting and true friendships and some will be fleeting, diminishing once one or both parties have gotten everything out of the relationship they need or want. I've personally had more friendships than fingers to count, but only a handful continue to make a genuine effort to truly be a good and present friend.

It is these types of friendships that I put into the "one-sided" or "self-serving friend" category. You all know what kind of individuals I am talking about. These are the people in your lives that maybe at one point in time, you made a connection with, talking every day, getting together a few times a month and then WHAM. It stops. If you aren't the one to reach out to them then contact is not going to happen. This is the point in time when your  friendship starts to become more of a job and you are the only one doing the work. I would say about 90% of my connections made since high school have turned out this way and that is OK! I am not here to judge and I am positive that somewhere there is someone who feels like I have been this kind of friend to them. The truth of the matter is this, people get busy... lives change and sometimes, you lose your commonalities that once brought you close to someone.

On the other side, you have your framily. The first time I ever heard this term was from my now very dear friend Madison. I giggled when I first heard this but when I thought more about it, this word perfectly described a subset of people in my life. In my college advertising classes we talked a lot about how people live by a tribe mentality more so than sticking close to just your blood relatives anymore, your urban tribe. This was me! I can say with absolute honesty that I have never been a huge "family" girl. I'm an only child who never really found anything in common with my mother's side of the family. After my paternal grandmother died, so did my connection to a lot of my dad's side of the family too. I have stayed close with my dad's sister and her sons but that is truly about it. This isn't something that keeps me up at night, in fact, I think it helps me sleep better! My entire life, I have found my family in my friends, my framily.

Much like the mentality behind a blood family, your framily is composed of those individuals that you may not talk to every single day of your life. They could live on opposite sides of the country and the stints between visits are month if not year long. You could disagree on important topics like, who is the ideal candidate for our next president, who JoJo should pick as her Bachelor or how the Chiefs were robbed another Super Bowl title. Whether you face all or none of these road blocks, it never matters to your framily at the end of the day. These people are there to listen when you've had a hard day or hold your hand through the best times of your life. They NEVER judge you. With framily, time is never a factor weighing on your friendship. It could be a day since you last spoke or a year and you are able to just pick back up, right where you left off :)

When I started high school, I remember it was so important to me to be friends with as many people as possible. Like friends were something collectible and the more you had, added to your worth. By the end of high school I started to see that quantity did not equal quality.  Fast forwarding to today, after having too many of these "one-sided" friendships to count, I can't help but think that people just don't like to commit to things anymore. I once thought that only men struggled with the concept of commitment but after a plague of unreturned texts or one-sided hang out invitations, it's starting to become clear that this may be an epidemic with no gender boundaries to be seen.

What's the point to this you ask? Honestly, I don't have an agenda other than to send a message to all the other bleeding heart sensitives like me...When someone truly cares is the time when they make an effort. Gone are the days when we need to be wasting hurt feelings and energy over these one-sided friendships. Put the effort into cultivating your framily because those are the people who will be by your side for a life time. Everything happens for a reason and everyone is sent into our lives for specific purposes, or at least this is what I choose to believe. Instead of wasting your time trying to figure out why someone won't put the effort into you anymore, turn it into a positive! Figure out what you learned from the time you spent with that individual and use your new found knowledge to create and maintain more meaningful relationships. After all, it takes a good friend to have a good friend :)

That's all I have for today beautiful people <3 Wishing you all a fun and safe Memorial holiday. Go make some friends!!

-Honest Momma

Friday, May 13, 2016

Hello again beautiful people!

Work has been picking up at a rapid pace for me with tons of different outreach events. It has been a little difficult finding time in between it all to write a new post but I wanted to make sure to get something out since Mother's Day just happened and what is a honest mom blog with no Mother's Day post?!?

Real quick, I have to tell you that my first Mother's Day was wonderful and I hope all of my mommy followers out there had very special days as well. I honestly could have been happy just spending the whole day napping while someone entertained the kiddo but it was nice to get out in the yard with my momma, beautifying my new house and sipping mimosas while Sawyer giggled at us in the background. I always celebrated my mom during this holiday but how special it was to see others recognizing all the hard work we do as mothers on a daily basis. I felt very loved for sure :)

During your day to day routine as a mom, it is so easy to lose yourself in the shuffle. I was recently trying to explain to someone that as a mom, I really don't feel like there is a whole lot of time to give to myself anymore. Sawyer is in a stage where she doesn't want to be detached from my hip and when she is at daycare I am giving my all to my job because I am the only one bringing in an income for my family, I feel like I have to work extra hard. Then it is time to come home and haul Sawyer around while I try to keep a clean house and get dinner prepared. By the time I put her down to sleep, it is already 8:00PM, I realize I haven't even taken a break to pee since I got home and all I can muster up the energy for is dragging myself to the sofa to relax before bed. I see the look on my boyfriend's face when he walks through the door from working a long day himself and I don't jump up to greet him at the door. I know he is feeling neglected himself and it breaks my heart... but how much more of myself do I even have left to give by this point? This is a thought I often face multiple times during a given week and I know that I am not alone in this.

I've had the discussion many times with one of my good friends in Florida. She is the mom to three beautiful girls, all still under the age of 5 and let me tell you, if any woman needs praise and a medal of honor, it is her. I've watched her kick ass over the years, making everyone in her household happy first, even if that means pushing her own happiness to the side time and time again. I've always been amazed at how she got it all done without losing her mind. I look at the pictures she posts of her perfect family and her perfect life in Florida, catching myself wishing for what she has! BUT it wasn't until the last time I went to visit her that I could tell something was different. My friend had finally hit her limit. She felt completely lost as a woman, feeling trapped on the merry go round of being a mom. She was breaking up the same fights, doing endless loads of laundry, cleaning the house only to have it destroyed again an hour later...she had enough. Now, how many mommies can relate to that?? I know I can!

It wasn't until Sawyer came and I entered into a new relationship, that I truly understood how hard it would all be, keeping life in perfect balance while trying to grasp onto whatever remnants of yourself there are left.

I used to love to read. I could get lost in a book for hours on end... but now, anytime I pick up a book, I am asleep before I can even finish a chapter. Running has always been a passion of mine. I ran my first half marathon right before I got pregnant and I have never felt more alive than after completing this goal I had set for myself. It was so easy to go for a run anytime I wanted to or hit the gym for a quick sweat session, but now the planets have to perfectly align if I want to work out. The weather has to be just right so I can take Sawyer on a run in her stroller. She needs to be fed so we don't get down the road and she starts screaming which may happen anyway since she is 10 months old and her only method of communication is crying. I have to make sure to pack toys in the bottom of the stroller so she doesn't get bored which also may still happen anyway and then there is the whole fact that I used to only worry about getting my own body weight around but now I have to push an 18 lb baby, her stroller and all her crap. By the time I weigh the pros and cons of going on this run, I lose the motivation and decide it's just not worth it anymore.

Cooking!! Oh, how I used to love to cook! Fast food was an abhorrent thought to me and I could spend hours walking around a grocery store, smelling the fresh produce, sparking ideas for my next meal. Now, I feel like every time I go into a grocery store, it is an absolute miracle if I get out of there without spending $200, also! Walmart happens to be Sawyer's favorite place to blow out a diaper. Meaning we have to go into the nasty bathrooms where she continues to scream at the top of her lungs because all of the toilet flushes scaring her to death. By the time we get home, my nerves are shot from trying to keep my child happy and there is sweat dripping down every crevice imaginable, I have no energy or will to make anything for dinner so I end up eating a bag of popcorn out of my yearning for something quick and simple.

My mission is not one of gathering pity from my followers.  I do get some help with Sawyer every now and again which occasionally allows for me to go be myself for a few hours and for this, I am extremely thankful. My mission IS however, to create awareness and urge acceptance.

Awareness: For those of you who may only have one thing in common with this post, and that is, you came from a mother who you just celebrated on Mother's Day, way to go! It is totally awesome that you took a day to celebrate the woman who gave you life. BUT! Maybe think about showing your dear momma some recognition more than one time a year. She did after all, give up most of herself for you!! I honestly have never been very good at this. I have always celebrated my mom on Mother's Day and her birthday of course but it took me becoming a mom and seeing how much is sacrificed to truly appreciate how wonderful my mom really is. Love you mom!!

Acceptance: Moms!! You have the most thankless job on this planet. Give yourself a pat on the back and make some freaking time for yourselves! Gone are the days when you need to give up everything you love about yourself for your children and your significant others. It is time to once again celebrate the things you love the most about yourself and accept that your family will survive if you go to your yoga class once a week or hire a sitter so you can meet up with your friends for drinks every now and then. Remember my friend in Florida that I told you about?? She has finally started doing this for herself and I am so so proud of her. Just last month she and another one of her mommy friends went to a the concert of her absolute favorite artist and left the kids home alone with dad for a WHOLE night! Not only does mom get a little rejuvenating trip but dad gets to see just how hard mom is working all the time. It's a win win :)

No go out there and show those mommas some love!

With love and honesty,