I Suggest You Show Up

It is a strange thing to travel for work when your ‘work’ in this space includes attending conferences that allow you to learn, connect with friends you love, meet people face to face for the first time who you’ve known virtually for months or years and network with potential partners and clients who have a hand in growing your business exponentially.

It is a see-saw of give and take, commitment and reward. Every time you choose to leave your family, the business you are growing, you must weigh the cost, you must assess the potential benefits.

For more than seven years now, I have had this debate with myself multiple times a year – as conference times roll around – should I stay or should I go?

This time it was BlogHer 2014, but it is always an event I want to attend.

BlogherBloggy Boot Camp (now: Women Get Social), TypeAParent, Mom 2.0, Blissdom, EVO (Blissdom was my first ever conference in this space – both it and EVO are no longer)

And then New Media Expo, SXSW, AdTech, WOMMA, SOBCon. All events I’ve attended, but with a different goal in mind.

While at home, sitting in my office, surrounded by stacks of work, a full inbox, a slew of video that must be shot and edited, posts that must be written, clients that need my attention, deadlines that need to be met, children that require feeding, taxiing, uniform cleaning, cheering on at sporting events, hugging, love and attention, my heart urges me to stay put.

The financial commitment is not a marginal one. At first glance you think conference ticket, flight and hotel – all of which can be minimized if you are speaking at most events, live within driving distance or are sharing a room with a friend. But there are also taxi fares from airports, to and from meals, meals themselves that may not be included, and of course the odd coffee or cocktail as you meet up with people.

But before you stack the deck against yourself, feeling overwhelmed by the costs – to your time, your family and your wallet, consider something I firmly believe:

There is no substitute for showing up.

There is no substitute for investing in yourself.

There is no substitute for hugging a long time friend, for looking her in the face and allowing her very specific form of inspiration and kindness to flow from her heart to yours.

Nadia Carriere

Jenny Ingram

There is no substitute for sitting in a room full of your people: the ones who get you – who understand your hours, your workload, your writer’s block, your form of pay structure, your clientele, your insides and your outsides.

Andrea Fellman, Nicole Feliciano, Kristin Swenson, Nadia Carriere, Erika Diamond

There is no substitute for putting a face with a name after three months or three years.

There is no substitute for the partnerships that can be formed in the hallways, the expos, the coffee shops, the lobby bars and the late-night gab sessions over cupcakes and wine.

There is no substitute for meeting someone new, forging a new connection, understanding how someone new operates, owns their space, wins on their platforms.

Riese Bernard - Autostraddle, her girlfriend Abby and Me

My Co-Presentor from Pathfinder Day – Riese Bernard of Autostraddle.com, her girlfriend Abby and Me

There is no substitute for reaching out to new contacts, in person, to showcase the very specific brand of you.

There is no substitute for the energy that exists when a bunch of like minds get together to exchange ideas.

Without fail, every conference I have attended over the course of the last seven years has paid for itself in some capacity. Not in the following week. Not always in the following month, but always within the following year. An introduction will turn into a paying campaign, a hug will become a partnership, someone I meet might send a message months later that turns into a book, an inspired late-night idea will become work that I do for months.

And more than all of this, inspiration.

From each event, from each conference, I walk away better.  Better for the conversations, better for the ideas, better for the willingness of the women who surrounded me to share, to encourage to push and support. They offer nuggets of wisdom as we talk, they happily share.

I return home overwhelmed, but full. It is like being hungover with happy. I’ve learned over the years to allow the energy to settle, to write when I can, to do the work that is necessary and to settle in with my small people.

I know it isn’t possible to attend every event. And I would never recommend you do that either – the see-saw of commitment and reward must be weighed, but find the events that work for you….

And Show Up.

Show up for Inspiration.

Show up for Connections.

Show up for Your People.

Show up for You.

Sangria Tastes Like Summer: A Soiree with Eppa Sangria

85 degrees is the perfect temperature. Blue skies. Sun shining. If the ocean is nearby and I can hear the waves, I am one happy girl.

Now surround me by girlfriends.

This is bliss. This is Summer.

I’ve just described the taste of Sangria.

Sangria tastes like Summer.

Eppa Sangria Soriee - Lucrecer Braxton Photo

Eppa Sangria Soriee – Lucrecer Braxton Photo

Would you believe I had no idea I loved Sangria as much as I do until recently? I’ve tried it before, but there is something remarkable about Eppa Sangria. It is the only organic premium bottled sangria made with real superfruit juices. My favorite is their white: a blend of peach, mango, mangosteen & blood orange. It is both sweet and tangy, yet it was so refreshing. It has three times the antioxidants of white wine – and their red has twice the antioxidants of red wine.

Eppa Sangria Soriee - Lucrecer Braxton Photo

Eppa Sangria Soriee – Lucrecer Braxton Photo

This Sangria is available at Whole Foods stores nationwide and through the month of August, Eppa Sangria will be donating a portion of their sales – up to $25,000 to the Whole Planet Foundation to fund poverty alleviation around the globe. Amazing. Every purchase you make and enjoy benefits someone in need. This is good.

Eppa Sangria Soriee - Lucrecer Braxton Photo

Eppa Sangria Soriee – Lucrecer Braxton Photo

Last week, I was a guest at Eppa’s first ever Sangria Sundown Soiree. A beautiful event co-hosted by the Whole Planet FoundationOne2One Network, and Soybu an active fashion apparel line for every woman. As I was wearing something from the Soybu’s line  – as were many of the women attending – it was so gorgeous to see how comfortable everyone was in their own skin.

EppaSangria Ann Imig and Danielle Smith.jpgSome wore dresses (my good friend Ann Imig and I wore the same dress – the Eden dress in black –  but styled it differently – adding distinct accessories) others wore active wear, and everyone looked so amazing and happy. 

Soybu’s goal is for you and I to feel at peace with our bodies…to transition from the yoga studio to the street and still feel beautiful and stylish. They have active and lifestyle clothing – the most comfortable dresses (you know I LOVE) sweaters, wraps, yoga pants, athletics tops and all kinds of goodness. Two more of my favorites: the dress Jenny Ingram is wearing here:

Jenny Ingram

And look at Ana Flores in the active gear. I cannot get enough.

Ana Flores and Me at Eppa Snagria Soiree

Because I love you (and clearly Soybu does too)… here is a promo code for Soybu for 25% that lasts through September 24, 2014. Enter #NamastEPPA Enjoy!

Can I change the definition of Summer Soiree to ‘event where I spent quality time with people I adore while enjoying Sangria in the most comfy clothing’?

Thank you to one of my favorite people on the planet – Barbara Jones- and her amazing One2One Network (in case you do not know: One2One Network is a leading social influencer network that has been connecting influencers with brands since 2008. They pride themselves on having long-standing, quality relationships with social influencers and matching the right voices with the right brand partners) as well as Eppa Sangria, Soybu and Whole Planet.

One2One, Soybu, Whole Planet

Disclosure: I’m honored to have partnered with Eppa Sangria, One2One Network and Soybu for their Soiree and this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

 

A Letter to My Husband on His Birthday

14,235.

I know how you feel about numbers. That’s how many days you’ve had so far. Impressive yes? I think so. 39 looks pretty darn good on you.

Family - Jeff is 39

But you know what looks most amazing? How you look as a dad.

JeffKids

Do you know that I remember the exact moment that I realized, even before we were married, that you were going to be an incredible father? I know how you love it when I’m right, so for your birthday, my little extra gift to you? I nailed this one.

Jeff, on this birthday, I want you to know what a gift you are to Delaney and Cooper. You aren’t simply their Dad. You are their friend, their mentor, their teacher, their coach. I watch how they look up to you, how they seek your approval, how they light up when you enter a room and how the sun dims just a touch when you are away.

Jeff Coach

You are living your dream right now as a guy who gets to spend as much time as possible with his kids. In fact, you just might be a great big kid yourself. I don’t know another dad who lives to PLAY with his kids as much as you do. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter….it doesn’t matter the season, it doesn’t matter the game, you just want to be WITH them, you want to be teaching them, you want to be making them laugh.

I see so much of them in you. Delaney shares your sense of humor, your silly faces, your desire to be strong on the outside and soft on the inside. The ‘no hugs policy’? She gets that from you. Cooper’s love of baseball (and really all sports), his math-whiz mind, his go-go-go and inability to sit still, his playful nature – it is all you.

Smith Funny

I don’t know anyone who makes their family the priority you always have.

As you enter your final year in your 30′s, know this – you are doing it right. You have two small people who, quite literally believe you can do anything.

And they are right.

You are their hero. Continue to find joy in every moment with them. Never forget all of the crazy-special-amazing we see in you.

For this year, I wish you nothing but the wisdom and peace that comes with approaching 40 (welcome!).

Big love,

Danielle

Is Heaven For Real? 5 Ways to Talk to Kids About Life and Loss

Just more than two years ago, my husband’s uncle passed away. He was a full presence in my children’s world, a bigger-than-life man who we visited for every major holiday and who was never short on a quick hair tousle or a good-natured tease. They didn’t see him every weekend, but they SAW him, they felt him. They knew him. His passing was a surprise and it left a void. That void still exists.

This was the first loss our family had experienced. As their mother, I felt ill-equipped to help them navigate what was sure to be a rocky road.

How was I to answer the questions, the whys, I still struggle with as an adult?

Why did this happen?

Is Heaven for Real?

This week my small people and I had a conversation about this very topic. Together we watched a movie with a similar title, Heaven Is For Real, just before it was released on DVD. (It is now out and one I recommend you see.) With the opportunity to see it as a preview, we snuggled on the couch and watched the true story of four-year old Colton Burpo who claims to have visited Heaven during a near-death experience. Colton’s shares his amazing journey first with his father Todd, a Pastor – recounting details of things that happened before his birth – things he couldn’t possibly have known. The story challenges not only this family, but their community, to think deeply about what they know of life and death.

Heaven is for Real The Movie

As I sat, arms wrapped around my children, eight and ten years old, I couldn’t help but think of what little they know of life and death….and how important it is that I, as a parent, am delicate with them in how I talk to them about it.  It took me back two years, to our loss.

What did I do right? And what could I have done better?

As children sometimes do, they initially seemed perfectly fine, unmoved by the circumstances, even. We attended a Memorial Service for Uncle Denny. They shed no tears. They played with their cousins. They looked at pictures. They asked no questions there or on the way home.

But it all changed when we arrived home. As I walked in to their rooms individually to check on their PJ progress, I found them each on their floor in tears.

Why?

Is he in heaven?

I miss him.

I sat and held them. I know this was the right thing to do, but I know now there is more. And part of what I know came from talking to THEM after watching Heaven is for Real. For my 5 thoughts on ways to talk to your kids about life and loss….visit me over on SheKnows where I’m writing all about this...

I look forward to hearing your thoughts…

 

How to Keep Your Makeup Melt Free

Now that we’re in the heat of Summer, one of my major concerns is keeping my makeup fresh. There is nothing worse than devoting a solid ten minutes to applying makeup to only to sweat it all off in moments, right? So here are my top five tips for keeping melt free in the heat!

summer makeup tips

1. Go light!

My biggest tip is probably the most common sense. The reality is: sweat is inevitable. Keep your makeup light and don’t worry about sweating off layers. Try a BB Cream, tinted moisturizer, or DIY your own tinted moisturizer by mixing lotion with SPF and a pump of your regular liquid foundation to lighten up.

2. Try waterproof!

There are so many waterproof options out there: mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow are the most commonly found options, but Tarte has recently released a line of Amazonian clay waterproof makeup including concealer, blush and bronzer. I’ve tried out the blush and can attest that it holds up in the heat.

3. Don’t forget to prime!

Applying primer before your foundation is a great way to give your makeup extra staying power. My favorites include Smashbox’s Photo Finish Light Primer and Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.

4. Switch to stains.

Sticky glosses or cream blushes can feel like they slide right of your face in the heat and humidity. Try out a lip stain or stain blush for long-lasting color without the stickiness or goop.

5. Setting powder

Don’t forget to set your makeup with a light finishing or setting powder to “seal” your finished look. It will prevent touch-ups throughout the day and soak up any excess oil. My favorites? Mary Kay’s Translucent Loose Powder or inexpensive option,  Coastal Scent’s Silica Powder Spheres!

How do you prevent your makeup from melting?

Clearing our Voices: Watching The Voice on Tour

I am an excellent singer.

No, not in front of you. But completely alone…in my shower…in my car….I’m good. Christina Aguilera good. I swear. I can’t prove it to you because a) it only happens when I’m alone and b) it’s top secret….but pinky swear.

My small girl and her friends…well, they are a different story all together. They sing out loud, all the time, to every single song they know. And they truly are very good. That’s why it was beyond fun to have a date with my small girl and take her friends and their moms along to The Voice Tour Concert sponsored by Clear here in St. Louis this past weekend.

The Voice Mom Delaney

The Voice Tour - Girls

We have all been addicted to the show since its very first season. It could be the raw talent, the singer’s stories, the emotion they pour in to each and every performance, or the comedic timing of the judges.

The Voice Tour STL2

Or quite simply, it could be that the show is simply about one Clear thing: The Voice.

The Voice Tour STL1

I found myself mentally capturing moment after moment, almost smiling between tears as I watched the girls grab each other in excitement over each song, open their mouths with complete abandon to sing along, wave their hands in the air, and still find time to smile at me.

The Voice Tour STL Girls Sing

I’m keenly aware that there will come a time when my presence will feel out of place, when my small girl won’t pose for a picture for me, won’t grab my hand as we are walking to the car, won’t beg for just a taste of soda at dinner like her friends, won’t thank me over and over again for the ‘very best time’, she might even wish for me to be elsewhere. But for now, I’m grateful for glimpse after glimpse of the joy I was lucky enough to witness.

The only thing missing from this Voice Tour? Our favorite friend Chris Mann. Though I did see him tweet he’ll be joining the San Diego Voice Tour stop next Sunday, July 27th. For other tour stops….check out The Voice Tour concert page.

ChrisMann Danielle Blissdom 2012

Many, many, MANY thanks to Clear for not only sponsoring the tour, (you can follow the hashtag at #ClearVoice) but for the true gift of our concert experience. This was a night four girls and three moms won’t soon forget. You can find Clear on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram.

Disclosure: The tickets to The Voice Tour were a gift from Clear, though all thoughts and opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.

 

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint With Only Two Ingredients

HI everyone! It’s Kasey from All Things Mamma here.  I’m here this month to share a fun, easy and cheap project to do with your kids while they’re home enjoying the summer!

With the mild temperatures here in the Midwest lately, it’s been great to spend so much time outside with the kiddos! We’re riding bicycles, swinging on the swing set and doing lots of art projects outside. All of my kids – no matter the age – love to use sidewalk chalk but only until it gets down to about 1/4 of the normal size. So, we have lots of little pieces of chalk in our chalk bucket. It seems like such a waste, until we decided to turn all those little pieces into paint!

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint with Only Two Ingredients

Mixing up your own batch of sidewalk chalk paint doesn’t require lot of ingredients or time and it’s super simple to make! Here’s how!

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint with Only Two Ingredients

Take all of your broken sidewalk chalk pieces and divide them up into like colors. Once divided, take one color and place the chalk pieces into a ziploc bag and crush up really fine with a hammer. This is a perfect job for the kids!

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint with Only Two Ingredients

Once the chalk has turned into dust, place it in a cup or container.

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint with Only Two Ingredients

Add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until the chalk dust resembles a thicker paint. Depending on how much chalk dust you have in each container will depend on how much water to add. Don’t add too much or it will be really watery. But, if you do – just crush up some more chalk and add it in. No worries!

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint with Only Two Ingredients

That’s it! It’s really that easy and doesn’t require a trip to the store for special ingredients! Now you’re ready to give your little ones a paint brush and let them go to town!

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint with Only Two Ingredients

 

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint with Only Two Ingredients

What’s great is that this paint won’t stain your clothes or skin. It washes right off with water and hoses off your concrete with ease! I love that this sidewalk chalk paint dries nice and bright and vivid AND it doesn’t some off on your shoes or feet when you walk over it once it’s dried, so I let the kids use it right out front on our sidewalks and driveway.

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint with Only Two Ingredients

This simple DIY sidewalk chalk paint with only two ingredients is sure to keep the kids busy and having fun all summer long!

Enjoy!!

Coffee Shopping

I don’t drink coffee.

I now know what’s it’s like to be a true foreigner.  I now know how scary it is when everyone else is speaking an indiscernible language.  A few words would be spoken.  Laughter would erupt.  Satisfaction would creep across all of their faces.  I had no clue what was going on.

For the first time in my life, I entered…

A Coffee Shop.

Yesterday morning, I was trying to be nice, pick up a couple of beverages for two of my colleagues.

Coffee

My wife, Danielle? Even she drinks coffee….

I approached a pleasant young woman playing the dual role of order taker/cashier and I asked “May I have 2 coffees, to go please?”

Then.  Came.  The questions.

Grande?  Si por favor (I can speak other languages).  Iced or Steamed?  Huh, I thought all coffee was hot.  Isn’t an Iced coffee called… a Popsicle?  Let’s go with steamed.  Cream and Sugar?  Sure, who doesn’t like that?  Both please.  How many honeys? Well in college, I had… Wait a minute, how many honeys in the coffee?  Heck if I know, Isn’t honey a liquid?  Do I need to define the 3 states of matter to this person?  Wouldn’t the proper question be “How much honey?”  Sir, there are honey packets.  Yah, I had packets of honeys in college… darnit, there goes that flashback again… or maybe that was a dream… anyway, 1 honey please.  I’m married.

The man behind me interrupts.  Are you almost finished?  No sir, but I visited Helsinki once.  I turn back to the Bilingual Coffee Order Taker who states, “I think he wants to know if you’re almost done ordering.”   Ooooh, I thought he was speaking “coffee.”  I turn back around to engage my newest fan and state “Same answer as before.  No sir, but I visited Helsinki once.”  Shockingly, he wasn’t amused.  Boy, someone should get him something to drink.

Back to my coffee class, okay Madame Professor, what else?  Would you like an ice cube, sir?  I thought I already said “steamed.” “Yessir, but we have a steamed option that includes an ice cube.”  This “Matters” of course because you may want to cool down said coffee or maybe you really do want to conduct a science experiment, liquid coffee plus solid iced cube plus steam equals the 3 states of … Matter of fact, miss, I will take an ice cube in each of these Grande, Steamed, Cream and Sugar Filled with 1 one honey coffees to go.  I’m on a roll… Would you like anything else with that?  She stares at me… along with the other 21 persons behind me that now seem to be a little agitated, clearly they need to drink more de-caf.  That’s my question to ask you, sir. Oh, sorry.  Go ahead, your turn.  She peers through me, would you like anything else with that?

Can I have one small cup of water, preferably cold, ice cubes are optional, go ahead and surprise me.

It’s for a good friend of mine who doesn’t drink coffee.

 

How to Travel without Leaving your City

I talk a lot about exposing your kids to other cultures, seeing the world and how great it is to expand your mind. I do believe all these things, however, I realize it isn’t possible for everyone to simply head overseas for a nice history lesson. If my husband wasn’t playing basketball overseas, we wouldn’t travel there either.

But I believe it is possible to experience other cultures without overseas travel. So I’ve come up with a few ways to do so without even leaving your home city.

How to travel without leaving your City

how to travel without leaving your city

Little Passports

If you haven’t heard of this program, it’s a pretty awesome one. It’s a subscription service that your kids can follow the characters, named Sam and Sofia, around the US or the world (depending on what edition you get). Each one comes with educational activities and you child gets to “explore” the world via Sam and Sofia. It’s so fun to see your kids run to the mail box each month to learn a little more about our world. And hopefully open their eyes to the world that awaits!

Friends

Being American we have so many cultures right at our doorsteps! And it could be a sensitive subject, but if you have friends that are willing, ask them to teach your family a little about their culture. If you are the family who is from or has relatives from another country, be willing to share! I think it’s how we learn to be more loving and accepting of other cultures around us.

Groups

When I was getting ready to come back to America this year I started researching French groups. Turns out there is one called Alliance Francais and they are all over the world, not to mention that there’s one close to me! This particular group is for every level of French, francophones or people who are just interested in the language and culture. Simply put, you never know what’s in your backyard. Pick a culture or language you’d like to check out and see if there’s anything in your area. Bring your kids along and experience a little bit of another place!

Do your Research

Now, it is great to use all the other resources I mentioned, but I think the most fun way to ‘travel’ without leaving is to bring it to you! Pick maybe one culture or country a month. Research outfits, food, cultural activities and try to integrate them into your life. Do what works for your family, a few here and there or maybe one big night full of activities from that culture. This will start to open your kids eyes to other places and how they do things, hopefully making it a fun and positive experience.

Holidays

Holidays are a perfect time to learn more about other countries. Ask friends who celebrate differently than you do, spend time online, make sure to respect the specific traditions and see what you can do about incorporating a little bit of new culture in to your home.

Land Marks

This kind of goes along with ‘do your research’ but the idea is to pick a monument that you want to study. Take the Eiffel Tower for instance. There is obviously no shortage of where you can find pictures of it. A quick Google search will provide you the information on how it was built, as well as its history. Have an “Eiffel Tower Night” and learn all you can about this cool monument as well as much about France. Next month, you can choose another monument and so on! Imagine how much we could learn!

While this type of cultural learning is not exactly the same as seeing experiencing it first-hand, it can give your family an opportunity to bond, to create memories and to make a list of the places you would like to see together. I live in France most of the time and still can’t find time and opportunity to see all the places I want to see! But with a little conscience effort, we can explore more of the world in the comfort of our own city and even home!

I hope you’re inspired to ‘travel’ some more! Tell me, how do you and your family explore the world?

Confessions of a Work-At-Home Mom

I crawled out of bed today full of all of the optimism that a Monday usually offers. New beginnings. Fresh starts. A full to-do list.

I end Monday defeated. Tears pushing at the edge of my eyes, the odd one dragging the day’s mascara with it to my chin. Figures. The tracks are the only marks of accomplishment on a day that was supposed to be.

The notepad to my right is full of the should-have-beens. I was sure today was going to be GOOD. Sitting here now, I’m fairly certain I was wrong on all accounts.

My office is a mess.

My brain is a mess.

Danielle_Office

The Advil I took 6 hours ago did nothing to dull the migraine that threatened with every, “Mommy!” someone yelled from one corner or another in my home today. They weren’t fighting, just checking in. Sharing the latest ‘Just Dance’ moves, asking for snacks, asking for help on math work, heading outside, coming back in, wrestling, laughing, telling jokes….SIMPLY. BEING. KIDS.

And I?

Well…. I was….SIMPLY. WORKING. FROM. HOME.

My house is loud. And messy.

AND MESSY. AND LOUD. And it is my office and my home.

And yet this is just what I asked for.

I have never wanted anything BUT to work at home. And even at this very moment, with a splitting headache I still want want to work from home.

I think. 

From the outside looking in, working from home sounds delightful and fabulous, decadent event.

Make your own hours? Check. Be your own boss? Check. Carve out time for important kid and life functions because you can? Check. Work in your comfy clothes, do conference calls in yoga pants, wash your hair every five days? Check.Check.Check.

I can duck out of my day early to make basketball games, baseball and softball games and the regular soccer tournaments. I can prioritize life. I can prioritize work. I can run out to the store mid-day for a teacher’s gift, flowers for a friend, for the last-minute poster board needed for a school project. I can work until 3:30am (and have many times) when a) either I want to or b) when it is necessary.

But as with everything good,  there are many, many challenges.

See today.

See today’s migraine and tears.

See today’s utter lack of patience. 

Never mind that many people think ‘work from home’ means some version of ‘not a real job’ or ‘since you’re home, can you…..watch my kids? run this errand? hang out?’.

I actually lost patience with the word ‘Mommy’ today. Really? All I wanted was to finish writing ONE article. Just one. Every time I made it one-hundred and twenty five words deep someone needed to talk to me. And not for any type of urgent reason. JUST BECAUSE.

Can I be brutally honest?

I lost patience with their singing. And their laugh-screaming. And their FUN.

BECAUSE TODAY I WAS NOT FUN. I just needed to do a little bit of work. And not one ounce of my reasoning with my eight and ten year old small people (an age I deem reasonable) seemed to resonate. I didn’t yell. I didn’t scream. I didn’t actually lose patience with THEM. I just cried by myself because sometimes working from home feels beautiful and amazing. Sometimes it is JUST what I always wanted.

And sometimes, like today….it feels impossible.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here are my caveats:

I KNOW that Summer is harder than the school year.

I know that my kids are actually easier now that they are a bit older, so having smaller children is even more of a challenge when you work from home.

I know that I could have hired help to be here with me, but the kids have been in many camps and I want them to learn some level of independence.

I know that I could have worked harder today to be more stern with them to set boundaries.

I know that so many moms who work from home experience some version of these challenges day to day and my hope was to say, ‘I get you’ and ‘you’re not alone’.

Today was hard. So hard. Working both in and out of the home is hard.

But I’ll get up and try again tomorrow. And I imagine you will too. Thanks for being here.