Reasons Why Preschool Teachers Are “Real” Teachers

I’ve had a few people say I’m a glorified babysitter. That my job is basically just watching kids while their parents are at work. That teaching 3 year olds doesn’t require a degree, and that it’s not being a “real” teacher.

Oooooh… I disagree. Sure, I’m not teaching Shakespeare and syntax, or when Columbus sailed the ocean blue (oh, wait… I do that…), so I will admit that some teaching fields do require a degree. But to say preschool teachers are not “real” teachers is just cruel. So, here are the reasons why preschool teachers are real teachers,  too:

1. We create our own curriculum.

I’ll bet many parents don’t even notice the time and effort we put into our curriculums. They just sit pretty in their little page protector sleeves up on our boards, a testimony to what we HOPE to do. And then, of course, there are the parents who demand, “Why isn’t any of this artwork done this week?” Oh… I’m sorry… I had 13 minions bent on chunking crayons at each other’s heads while simultaneously screaming at the top of their lungs. It was a little hard to do our gingerbread hand print ornaments. But I’m glad you noticed!

2. We take work home with us.

Our work day (for most lead teachers) is 8:30 – 5. If we’re lucky, we actually do nothing during our break. If we’re lucky… If we’re not, we’re cutting out clouds for our “weather” week or prepping craft folders for the following week, or doing curriculum, organizing our rooms, making sure there’s no crayon on the walls (seriously, crayons are the devil sometimes), or any other myriad of things. And that often includes after our day is done, clocked out. We’re scurrying to H.E.B. to pick up coffee filters for a flower project, snagging that cute bunch of stickers, grabbing stuff out of our pantries and cabinets for your kids to use.

3. We take your kids home with us, too.

Obviously, not literally, but we do. This isn’t a job you just leave at the door and go about your life. We deal with children’s minds and hearts and lives. That means something to us. Just like school teachers, preschool teachers think about their kids while they’re off the clock. We think about ways to make it easier for our less focused students, our autistic students, our easier students. We figure out ways to help the ones struggling. We worry about how they’re doing at home. It doesn’t stop.

4. We teach your kids JUST as much as any school teacher ever will.

If you’ve ever tried to teach your child their colors or their letters, you know both the joy and frustration it can bring. Magnify that by 10, at least. Often, by 15 or 20. (My age can have up to 28 children with two teachers. Fun times… I’ve had 25 max, though, so that’s good…) Starting in infancy, we teach them to roll, crawl, stand, walk, eat with a spoon, know baby signs, recognize colors and shapes, form words, express their independence, potty-train, begin forming proper sentences, work together, share, respect each other, listen, follow directions, jump twice on one foot and switch to the other, write their letters and numbers, recognize their name, and sometimes begin to read. That’s just the basics. That doesn’t count the daily circle times where we endlessly repeat the days of the week, the weather, the calendar, and the holidays, where we read to your children, where we encourage their sense of curiosity and adventure. That doesn’t include their free play where their brains explode with learning as they act out different scenarios, or the science activities, or the magnet play, or the snuggle time. Your child’s kinder, 1st, 2nd, 10th grade teacher picks up where we leave off, and sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes, it’s not.

I won’t pretend that every school and every teacher in the “daycare” realm is fantastic. Lord knows that not all elementary and above teachers are great at their jobs either. But, we all try. And we preschool teachers put just as much heart and soul into your child as any other teacher will. (Maybe more, because we get to snuggle them and see them from 6:30 to 6:30.)

If you have a child in preschool at any age, thank their teacher today. If she looks like she’s been attacked by flying monkeys, especially thank her. Thank your directors, because they keep us all in line. And remember, we are doing our best for your kids and would love the recognition of being their teacher, too.

prek teacher


Uni-mom and the Attack of the Facebook Clones

I haven’t written in a while, not because I have nothing to say, but because most of what I have to say seems so negative. While I created this blog as a place to write my journey and be real with y’all, it feels wrong to dump all of my worry and yuck onto a page. It’s so easy for something like that to color the way someone else sees the world.

Now, though, I’ve gotten a little distance and feel like it’s time to share. Why? Because I know I’m not the only one who goes through stuff like this, even though I often feel like it’s only me.

I know I’m not the only mom that feels like a failure. I know I’m not, but it seems like the people around me are doing so much better than I am! They get their laundry done, folded, and put away (gasp) all on the same day! My colors load is still in my washing machine. Four days later. I think… Might be longer… And their houses are always spick and span, floor boards polished even as their four-year old calmly water colors at the table and their homemade minestrone soup bubbles on the stove. They’re popping up pinterest experiments all over Facebook, taking their kids on cool excursions during the day, looking super cute, working out.

Me? I’m over here taking advantage of the baby’s nap cycle to quell the 15 billionth headache that’s spawned by me cooking up a little human inside my body. Wash? Ha. Hahaha. Right… When I’m out of underwear, #1 has no more dirty socks to wear, and the hubby’s jeans start walking on their own, that’s when it’s time to wash. Otherwise, it’s just a pile of stuff for the kids to jump in. Clothes leaves, rather than tree leaves. And I’m lucky if I’ve managed to sweep my floor once during the day, not that it’ll show. Chips and crackers and raisins are my oriental rug, yo. My one accomplishment? Home-cooked meals 3 nights out of the week. Yes, stir fry counts. So does spaghetti, thanks. It has added canned tomatoes and mushrooms and olives and stuff. Homemade. The other 4 nights? Hot dogs are healthy, right?

super-mom-thumb20813777The thing of it is, I’ve been getting so wrapped up in everything going wrong. Facebook for sure doesn’t help. At all. Instead of seeing the real story of my mom friends – the baby food on the ceiling, the kid fighting, the bills all over the table, the unmowed backyards – all we see are the good things. And that’s no bad! What is bad is that I lump all moms on Facebook into a Uni-mom. Then, it’s not “Oh, So-and-so works out and does her own nails, so cool! And look, there’s a picture of this struggle that she has. See, she’s like me: has some awesome skills and hobbies, and isn’t Miss Perfect.” It’s “Uni-mom has gone to the pumpkin patch, run a marathon through Town Lake, created an organic meal fit for a 5 star restaurant, and run a successful business! I’ve not left the house at all except to get #1 and go to HEB, my back hurts from crappy ab muscles, we eat $.88 hot dogs regularly, and I wanna just be a Netflix bum.”

What I’m realizing is that I need to give myself grace. I’m a mom, not a superhero, as much as we like to tell ourselves that we are. Am I a chauffeur, cook, maid, teacher, lover, and judge? Yes. That’s pretty super. But I’m not everything all the time. And I most certainly am not a master of it all.

I’m great at being mom. I love my kids like nothing else. I make sure they have food in their bellies, clean clothes on their backs (though maybe not their feet), and are healthy little critters. When the urge strikes, I can make awesome gourmet foods. I can do cutesy little crafts. I LOVE taking them places. And, I’m not a failure for not doing all of these things 100% of the time.

Sometimes, I will have to sacrifice in order to take care of their basic needs. Soon, I’ll be getting a job. I’ll be sacrificing time with both of them but mainly #2 because I am unwilling to let my husband take the fall and I’m unwilling to face the possibility of losing our house. I am not a failure for not being a stay at home mom. I’m not even a failure for the things I fall short on. I’m just as super for helping to carry the load, and I hope my kids see that.

I am a failure when I shut down and shut them out. When I stop caring for them and let all of my self-hating get in the way of loving for them, that’s when I’m a failure. So today, I’m giving myself a little grace. The dishes are done and the kitchen is clean. Diapers are taken out (though not yet to the trash can, since it’s 1/4 mile away – yay apartments!). The kids are clean and fed. Is my floor spotless? Nope. Are my clothes all put away? Nope. But I’m ok with that. I’m not Uni-mom, and I know that each mom out there, though we put up our best moments, our funniest slip-ups, our cutest catastrophes, has a world we hide from everyone else because we’re afraid of someone saying we’re a failure.

You’re not a failure.

You are awesome.

You are super, even though you’re not doing everything. Because you’re not doing everything.

You’ve got this.

My Mental Nickname is Fat-Pants McGee

mirror mirrorYesterday I broke a zipper. While wearing a dress. Like, to give you the mental picture of my horror, I’d already tried to put on one dress, a beautiful pencil skirt/blouse combo dress with a creamy satin top. I nearly got stuck with it at my shoulders, and the moment it hit my hips, I knew it was going to be one of those exorcist moments when you fail about helplessly, wriggling up and down like one of those balloon men at a car dealership as you try to get it off. That straight-jacket sadness now on the bed, I grabbed my second skirt/shirt combo dress, this time with a maroon satin top. Not my favorite, but I hadn’t done wash in a while and before #2, it had been way too big. I slither and struggle my way into this one. (And let me tell you, I’m still not entirely convinced that the zipper up the skirt but stopping at the shirt is a logical idea. Take it to the armpit, people. If you can’t manage to hide that with good seams, then don’t design it.I swear I thought I was going to pop the sleeves before I EVER thought I’d break the zipper.)

After some tugging and shrugging, I got the skirt down. Blamed freshly-moisturized legs for the sticking. Grab the zipper, fully confidant that it’ll go, and – POP!

I swear to you, I nearly started to cry. Tears welled up. I nearly lost it, right then and there. Why?

Three days before, I’d gotten out of our truck at my parents to be greeted 10 seconds later by “Are you gaining weight?” Not by my mother, mind, who has decided that bikinis are no longer for me and my flubby, stretch-marked belly. This from my father. The man who is supposed to build up my (fragile now) feminine outlook. Usually, it’s “are you pregnant?”, so I’m not sure if he was trying to avoid the entire idea of another grandchild or has just started to pick up my mother’s lingo. But there it sat, heavy and horrible. Summoning my best strength, wobbly as spaghetti noodles, I lifted my chin, smiled, and said, “Yes.” Because I am. No clue why, but I am. He frowned. Closed the car door. And said, “Why?” 

No really, Dad, please punch me in the gut. It’s flubby enough that it shouldn’t hurt.

Fast-forward back to last night, and I discovered that I was too out-of-shape (and possibly too shapely) to sit up in the tub without using the sides to help. My abs, my abs, why have you forsaken me?!

And then the dress. There is nothing so terrible a sound as the pop of a broken zipper followed by the sound of the zipper undoing all. the. way. down.

I mention all of this in honest query: I work in the beauty industry. My entire life’s mission is to reveal each and every woman’s (and man’s) inner and outer beauty. I love people, and I love finding the things about them that are amazing and wonderful.

Yet here I sit, a pile of clothes on the bed that I’ve finally given up on and one of my most depressing post ever on the screen.

HOW, people, should I or any of us feel beautiful when everyone looking at us doesn’t see that beauty? When strangers on the street see our smile and our eyes and our beautiful personalities, but the people who are supposed to be our rocks – our family and closest friends – ask questions like this? I don’t mind people telling it like it is. Constructive criticism is great. Sometimes I wear dresses that are too short or too low or not cut right. Sometimes, a helpful tip like, “I love the way you look in that high-waisted dress! The flare makes your waist look tiny!” can both change my wardrobe to be more flattering and boost my ego. Why can’t we all do that instead? Compliment what we DO like and not mention what we don’t. Or find a way to mention it that doesn’t bruise our friend’s esteem. Why can’t we say, “I love your heels! But… I love you, and I’m not sure that they work the best with that dress… The pattern on it’s super cute and looks great with your skin, but the heels and the skirt together make it look a little shorter than I know you usually go.” Then, she loves her shoes more, she knows what pattern or color looks great on her, and she doesn’t feel slammed. Instead, it seems like I hear, “Ummm… So I don’t know if you realized it, but you look like a hoochy-mama in that dress. Girl, too much skin!”

Today, I’m trying to remind myself that I am beautiful. Am I the same as I was in high school? No. Am I perfect? No. Am I fearfully and wonderfully made, with a body that bears wear and tear from creating and nurturing life? Yes.

Do I have bad habits? Yes, but I’m working on it. Am I aware of the way I look? Ha. Hahaha. Who isn’t? Seriously.

If it wasn’t for the sincerity of my husband, though, I think I would have completely lost it. Not only are the HEB shelves lined with magazines telling me that my size (even at a 10) is too big, but my parents and others are shaming for the weight. People, it is time to wake up! What good does it do me or anyone to point out what I already know? What good does it do to tell any woman that she’s put on weight? I can guarantee that her clothes told her LOOOOONG before you ever noticed. Pointing it out does nothing. Well, does nothing except add fuel to the “I can’t beat this” fire. This coming from someone who has had all of the training in positive mental talk and affirmations. I can affirm myself all day long, focus on my goals, work towards them, form new habits. One careless comment, regardless of how it is meant, can seriously shake if not destroy all of that. After all, why try if everyone just thinks I’m fat? If everyone just thinks I purposely wear short skirts (that are short because the girth is greater)? If everyone assumes I’ve gotten lazy and have no work ethic? (The number of times I’ve heard THAT one are astounding.)

I know the majority of this post was one huge rant, but I am beyond frustrated with myself and with others. I hate hate HATE that those words echo in my head every time I look in the mirror. I hate that a broken dress makes me want to cry. Even more than that, I hate that I feel like a hypocrite, trying to show you guys your beauty, while hating myself.

I don’t know how to fix it other than avoiding certain people. I don’t want to do that. I don’t know how to fix any of this except to fix the way I interact with the world. My truth is that I am beautiful WITH all of my imperfections, and so are you. Everyone has room to grow and learn. Mine right now is physical growth, relearning how to take care of my body. Or, learning how to love the body I now live in. I cannot control the words of others, but maybe – JUST MAYBE – one person will read this or share it, and that one person will change the way that they talk, too. 

One person can change every single person’s life that they touch.

So, today my affirmation is “I love my body, flaws and all. I am not who I used to be. I am better. I have room to grow, and I love myself for doing it.”

Are you willing to take that challenge? Will you start listening to the words you say? To the thoughts you have about yourself and others? Because, people, our bodies change. If we can’t love them at every stage, then we will live very sad lives indeed. Bringing other people down with us in our self-hate does nothing but spread the misery. So, are you willing to bite your tongue with those snide comments, those hurtful things you say to make yourself feel better, those gossipy comments you say behind people’s backs? Are you willing to ignore the negative with the attitude that it’s something they’re changing, and focus on the positive? Are you?



** I am not in any way supporting unhealthy lifestyles. You can still love your body and image while working to make it better. And, sometimes our bodies are just fine as they are, and a focus on getting that “perfect” place is actually more unhealthy than where we were to start with.

I Am a Little Princess

I’m a little princess. Rather, a Princess.

I bet some of you smiled. I know my mother probably rolled her eyes and nodded her head. “Yep, that’s right. She’s definitely got a flair for the dramatic.”

But that’s not what I mean. I don’t mean the little girl in pig tails throwing a hissy-fit. I don’t mean the woman who whines and complains and prances around in fashions she can’t afford with accessories and all sorts dripping off of her. I don’t mean that characteristic “It’s All About Me” princess.

I mean a true princess.

I am a true princess. A princess from the days of monarchies and dynasties. The princesses back then were not these spoiled little creatures we have become now. (Because, let’s face it, I have more history as a modern-day spoiled brat than I do as the princess I truly am.) No, these princesses were trained from birth how to lead. They were trained in the art of court, in the ways people would attack them and in the use of networks and guards. They were trained how to dance and smile and curtsy. They were dignified and noble, and they faced their reality (usually as a pawn of their father) with grace. 

Thankfully, my Father won’t be pawning me off to any neighboring princes, but that’s because there are no princes. (And thank goodness for that. I’m quite content with my prince.) He does, however, ask me to act like His daughter: noble, compassionate, passionate, strong-willed but open-minded, gentle but firm, strong in my beliefs, kind, and most of all, confident in His power.

I love fiction. I’m sure all of us at some point have either read a medieval story or watched a movie/show based off of it. And we’ve all seen the difference between the prince or princess who cowers behind his or her guards, and the one who commands with authority from behind them. The first has guards who keep glancing behind them, unable to focus on the attack at hand out of concern for their charge. Their attention is split, and they can only defend, shields up and heads down. The second, however, empowers her guards. They know that she is behind them in spirit, and that she will take care of herself. They trust that she will not fall down, and her confidence in them and in the authority of her father the King lends them strength.

I was not the second. I was the cowering princess.

I am a bit of a romantic, so the idea of an honor guard like the royal guard of the past appeals to me. And it makes sense. After all, why wouldn’t our Father send us a personal guard of angels to protect us from the every day attacks. Is he less of a father and king than even our own, earthly fathers? Every morning, then, I ask for my honor guard to surround me. I know, because I am such an easy target for the Other Side, that even just walking up is an opportunity for attack. (Sleeping in is wonderful, but not when you have a day to get started and responsibilities to do.) I ask for it, though, as if I’m asking to win the lottery. “Jesus, it’d be really awesome if you could protect me today. Like, that’d be cool and all. So… yep. Gonna go back to sleep now…”

No wonder I’ve been struggling so much lately! And before I confuse or shame anyone, having this honor guard does not mean that you will always be protected, or that you will never have struggles in your Christian life. We all have doubts and we all have struggles. But a team that has been built up time and again becomes the safety net when you yourself are not strong. We’ve seen it in families, friendships, and work situations. Why should it be any different spiritually?

My struggles were and are a natural part of growing. They are also, I realize now, a result of the fact that I was not actually trusting that my honor guard was real. (I’m sure, by this point, I’ve lost half of you, so hang in there!) The number of times I am told, through Scripture, that I am both worthy of protection and will be protected is insane. Tell me, after this, that you do not believe you have your own group of 5 or 10 or 20 angels constantly walking with you. (Bold is my own emphasis.)


2 Chronicles 20:5-6 – “Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard and said: ‘Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.'” 

Psalm 20:5-6 – Now this I know:
 The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
 with the victorious power of his right hand.
 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
 but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

Nahum 1:2-3 – “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
    the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The Lord takes vengeance on his foes
    and vents his wrath against his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;
    the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
    and clouds are the dust of his feet.”

Ephesians 6:10-11 – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Psalm 28:6-8 – “Praise be to the Lord,
    for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
    and with my song I praise him.
The Lord is the strength of his people,
    a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.”

Isaiah 45:24 – “They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
    are deliverance and strength.’”
All who have raged against him
    will come to him and be put to shame.”

Habakkuk 3:19 – “The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.”

Job 5:20-22 – “In famine he will deliver you from death,
    and in battle from the stroke of the sword.
 You will be protected from the lash of the tongue,
    and need not fear when destruction comes.
 You will laugh at destruction and famine,
    and need not fear the wild animals.”

Psalm 5:10-12 – “Declare them guilty, O God!
    Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
    let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
    you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”

Psalm 12:7 – “You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
    and will protect us forever from the wicked”

Psalm 20:1-3 – “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
    may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
 May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and grant you support from Zion.”

Psalm 32:7 – “You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Psalm 41:2 – “The Lord protects and preserves them—
    they are counted among the blessed in the land—
    he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.”

Psalm 64:1 – “Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
    protect my life from the threat of the enemy.”

Psalm 19:4-5 – “‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.'”

Psalm 116:6 – “The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.”

Psalm 140:4-5 – “Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
    protect me from the violent,
    who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
    they have spread out the cords of their net
    and have set traps for me along my path.”

Proverbs 2:7-8 – “He holds success in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.”

John 1710-12a, 14-16 – “All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. …I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”

2 Thessalonians 3:2-3 – “And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”

These are just some of the verses. He promises over and over and over again that he will protect me. If the God of the universe has promised it, who am I to doubt it?

Today, I am taking on my role as a true Princess in My Father’s court. I choose to believe that His power is absolute, and that He loves me so completely that He has given me my own guard. That He will protect me from “the evil one,” just as he promised. I will be a princess in the original sense, a person of dignity, worth, and confidence, and a person with the greatest inheritance in history.


Today, are you cowering behind your fears and doubts, or are you willing to step into his promise of protection? Are you confident that the name of God is strong enough to protect you? Are you ready to step into the amazing power and promise of a prince or princess of God?



Super Awesome Birthday Day

Today, THE most awesome person IN the whole wide world has a birthday.

Who is this person? Is it the Pope? Katy Perry? Jesus?!? (Technically, Jesus is not currently IN this physical world, which is how I can say that the birthday boy is the most awesome.)


It’s my husband! 🙂

For all of you wives out there, just give up. My husband is so super awesome, and he’s more awesome than yours. (Disclaimer: I am obligated to say this as his wife, and though I personally believe it to be true, you probably think the same about your husband. I’m cool with that.)

Today, the list-makin’ bug has bitten me, so we’re going to do another one!


Things that make my husband awesome:

1. He just is.  Ah, I mean, he is super strong.

2. He has an amazingly generous heart. (I feel terrible, but sometimes the homeless scare me… My husband is never afraid and always has something for them.)

3. He’s a goof ball. (Ace Ventura and Norbit regularly make appearances at our house. “Hi ho silver AWAAAAAAaaaay.”)

4. He’s loyal.

5. He’s willing to change. (Wife note: so am I. One person changing a marriage does not make. But he’s willing. That is more than many men – according to their wives…. So yet again, a fallacy in and of itself…)

6. He helps with the dishes.

7. He lets me nap when I’m sick, and I don’t have to worry about the kids falling off the planet. (Their clothes might not match, their dinner might have been PB&J, and the house might be a right disaster, but my children and my husband are happy. Win!)

8. He likes the same things I do.

9. He likes somethings I totally don’t understand. We’re not siamese twins here, guys.

10. He’s incredibly handsome. And hott. And drool-worthy. But if you drool over him, I’ll have to cut out your tongue…. 😀

11. He is the best father. Ever. (When your children launch themselves out of their mother’s arms for you, you have succeeded in life.)

12. He always loves, always listens, always helps those around him.

13. He is amazing.


Happy birthday to THE best husband, son, father, and man in the world. I hope it’s an awesome day, and I hope I don’t seriously mess up these surprise migas. 



10 Things My Mother Taught Me

10 Things My Mother Taught Me

1. Always make your bed.

2. Always clean the toilet.

3. Always brush your teeth.

4. Moisturize, even when you’re young.

5. Always pick up something to throw away, put away, or clean.

6. Always look for the new kid.

7. Always hug your parents.

8. Learn a musical instrument.

9. Never settle.

10. Learn from your mistakes.

10 things I learned from my mother.

1. Always make your bed. When the biggest thing in life is taken care of, the little things aren’t so scary.

2. Always clean the toilet. Take care of the gross stuff you’d rather avoid. Do it before the “red streaks” appear, and it won’t be so bad. Put it off, and the crap just piles up.

3. Always brush your teeth. You can look amazing on the outside, but something small like bad breath can completely ruin your image. You can look completely put together, but if your heart isn’t in the right place, none of that matters.

4. Moisturize, even when you’re young. Create good habits early. Then, it’s simple to do them later on, when they need to be done.

5. Always pick up something to throw away, put away, or clean. A clean house is a clear mind. Small things done over and over again throughout the day make it much easier to tackle the big things.

6. Always look for the new kid. Be aware of your surroundings. Remember when you were new, and reach out to new people. Be the person to stand in the gap.

7. Always hug your parents. Love never fails. Like might. Your parents will love you no matter what they do. Remember that. Someday, they won’t be there.

8. Learn a musical instrument. Music is the word of the soul. It’s connected to the mind. Learn how to express yourself, how to focus, how to coordinate yourself. Learn to appreciate the simple and complex, the classical and the classic. And, do better in math.

9. Never settle. A person is worth far more and can do far more than they ever realize. When something seems “okay,” decide to reach for “amazing.”

10. Learn from your mistakes. Mistakes happen. Learn from them, and don’t do it again. Better yet, learn from someone else’s mistake.

58114_10150266104840012_4185372_n - Copy

Hug your mom today. Sometimes, we think they just know that we love them. Sometimes, we forget that they need a hug and an “I love you” just as much as we do.

What are some of the things your moms have taught you?

Keep Calm. You’re Beautiful.

Keep CalmI am SOOO excited for tonight! In the past few weeks, I’ve restarted my Mary Kay business (I’d taken a… *cough cough* sabbatical?) It’s been amazing! I love the products, and have no doubt that they are so worth the money. On top of that, the entire company backing it is amazing. Tonight, though, I am having my second True Beauty party, a party that I created on my own after realizing that so many women cannot stand the non-made-up woman in the mirror. Through talking with one girl, I realized something even MORE amazing about tonight’s focus, that of our true beauty without makeup: our daughters (and our sons) will see us learning to love ourselves, and will grow up loving themselves, too.

It is amazing that my job is literally to make people happy and change women’s lives. The beauty business can be so harsh, pointing out spots, wrinkles, dark circles, light eye lashes, WHATEVER they deem “imperfect.” We cannot open our computers without seeing articles like “Oh my gosh! Such-and-such Actress Stepped Outside Without Makeup!” or “Such-And-Such Actress Gaining Weight?” or “They’re Just Like Us: Look At Her Ugly Overalls!”


Our mothers were raised in a generation of physical perfection (whether it was the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, or up). There was, of course, the free spirit movement, but the 80s (a tragic decade for makeup….) brought it back with a vengence. Is it any surprise that women today cannot look into a mirror without an ever-present little voice pointing out our flaws? “Ohh… Let’s not wear that shirt, dear. It brings attention to your baby belly.” “Oh, lord have mercy… Have you not been taking care of your skin? WHY are there so many pimples?” “Oh, those BAGS! Let’s just cover those up, shall we?”

Are we perfect people? No, most certainly not. But, we are what we are. When we learn (because we are most certainly not born) to dislike the girl in the mirror, it doesn’t just break us down. It breaks down all of those who care for us and look up to us.

Our husbands and boyfriends start to feel ignored and like their opinion doesn’t matter. They LOVE us the way we are, and our constant, “Oh, you’re just saying that because you have to,” whenever they tell us we’re beautiful is so… frustrating to them.

Our children and younger siblings look up to us as the example of what womanhood is. Our daughters learn to copy us, so all of that belly shaming and sighing and trash talk we think only we hear? Our daughters are learning to copy it. And our sons are not immune, either. Not only are they learning what to look for in a woman (which I hope they search for a self-confident, determined woman, unlike what I’ve shown them), they ALSO learn how to see themselves from us. I was horrified the day my son grabbed his non-existent tummy fat, heaved a sigh, and said, “Mom, I’m just so FAT!”

Tonight, though, I get to focus on something OTHER than the makeup. Tonight, I get to focus on the WHY behind my Kary Kay: the reality that makeup is NOT necessary, but is fun. That we, bare faced and beautiful, are worthy just as we are. That my dark circles are a symbol of my dedication to my family, and maybe a piece of my genetic past. That my freckles are something beautiful, as is my (ridiculously awesome) pale skin during winter.

Just as all of you are beautiful in your own skin. Just. As. You. Are. And true beauty comes from inside. It’s in your smile, your laugh, your kind heart. It’s in the self-confidence of knowing that you aren’t perfect, but that’s what make you YOU!

I cannot tell you guys how excited I am for tonight. Even if no one shows up, I still get the chance to change women’s lives. And in the process, I am learning to love myself again. SO MUCH TO BE THRILLED FOR! 🙂

So, Keep Calm. You’re Beautiful.