Outings with Kids:: Bricks and Minifigs

Imagine the place of a 6 year old boys dreams: might you be envisioning rows and rows of little colorful bricks, tiny yellow faces with varying expressions, and even more miniature weapons and accessories of every kind? Yeah, you snapped the correct brick into place, because basically, we found Haden’s LEGO dream land at Bricks & Minfigs!

When Kellen’s cousin’s oh so nonchalantly mentioned they had a lego store just minutes from their front door, I was ecstatic in a “man my kids are gonna love this!” kind of way. I was imagining a tiny little shop with a few boxed LEGO sets, but boy was I wrong! Immediately upon entering Bricks & Minifigs I knew we’d hit the LEGO jackpot!

Lining the counters are completed sets and creations behind plexiglass, some even with cool movable pieces and lights. Haden ran straight to the bins full of bulk legos-every shape and size you could imagine- to fill up his allotted container for his custom creation. On the other side of the store, more bulk bins with minifigure pieces were available, one bin for heads, one for torsos…you get the idea. Behind a gated area was an elaborate set up of a castle, complete with a button to press to make the dragon fly and the hot air balloon fly up into the sky.

They certainly had something for everyone! Even their little 18 month old cousin Clara found the mega blocks section and laid eyes on a very adorable mega block elephant. I think it was meant to be!

I was thoroughly impressed with this store- not even close to expecting that my children could have spent several hours just searching through bins and coming up with creations! We will definitely be back since Haden has already decided he needs a job just to afford an exuberant amount of mini figures and plans to sell A LOT Of lemonade this summer to make that collection happen!

And cool enough, even though we hit up the Canby, Oregon store, apparently Bricks & Minifigs are popping up all over the place, including right here in the Seattle area! Everett and Monroe to be exact for you Washingtonians! But do not give up hope, because on their site they have a list of all their locations and good news: IT’S A LOT! You can check out their store locations here, and get to dreaming! There’s a lot of LEGO creations to be made!

**I have no affiliation with Bricks & Minfigs, I just thought it was stinkin cool. 🙌🏻

Kids Hike Kitsap::Olympic Resource Trails::Port Gambler

Over the next year, I’m planning to post reviews of hikes I’ve done or plan to do with the kids in Kitsap county and the Olympic National Forest! Hopefully my fellow Olympic Peninsula hiking parents (or visitors!) might find it useful! Up first is our adventure to the Port Gamble trails!

Name of Hike: “Olympic Resource Trails”

Length: 2.8 Miles (took us 1hr & 20 minutes)

Elevation gain: minimal to none

If I know one thing about the month of February, it’s that we get antsy! There is just no doubt about it, we’ve pulled through the holidays and long fall/winter PNW days and by February every single year Kellen and I are ready to GO OUTSIDE! It’s no wonder we usually find ourselves on our first family hike of the year just around this time, and 2018 was no different.

We made up our minds last minute to do a family hike right before a super bowl party, so we had little time to prepare. I hopped on the alltrails app and pulled up one we hadn’t done before: titled the “Olympic Resource Trails.” Its a 2.8 mile loop near Port Gamble, just off Port Gamble road. You’ll want to look for the big orange gate, when you see it, you’ll know you’re at the start of the loop!

This loop is actually a part of a giant series of trails in that area that are used for biking, horseback riding, and runners/ hikers. For this reason, I highly suggest charging up your phone and getting the alltrails app to track which turns to take, as I could imagine getting lost could be super easy! Here’s what the loop looks like on alltrails:

Pro tip: my friend who hikes often told me to always snap a pic of the physical map when you start a hike. You can always refer back to it if your gps isn’t working!

The loop starts out on a wide gravel road, but once you get about halfway through you’ll end up taking a smaller path that is much more like “hiking” through the forest. It’s a beautiful route and you’ll pass lots of little creeks!

Haden decided to carry his special walking stick the entire way, and marked our trail for us. We even found it on the way back, so he was convinced we had gone the right way (haha).

We’ve got two very eager hikers that really enjoy all things nature, but they aren’t the quickest bunch- that 2.8 miles took us about 1 hour and 20 minutes, with some stops for pinecone collecting along the way. I was pretty proud of the slightly minimal whining toward the end- these kids like some exercise!

We are definitely planning more local hikes with the kids, some ones we’ve done before and some new ones around Kitsap and beyond as well! Stay tuned!

Boating With Kids::Kids on the Puget Sound

Last spring Kellen went from perusing the boaters classified section of Craigslist to a serious buyer- faster than we maybe expected, but just in time for Memorial Day weekend and a kickoff to what would be an epic and amazing summer cruising the puget sound on a (new to us) boat.

Of course as Kellen’s main focus was getting together his fishing gear, I, on the other hand, had one thing in mind: how are we going to keep these kids entertained in a space with less square feet than one of their bedrooms?

Kellen and I wanted to spend many evenings relaxing on the boat, and luckily, we figured out pretty quickly it was one of the best ways to fit in family time with an activity we all could enjoy.

As entertainment goes, just being on the boat seems to keep our kids occupied in itself. They have fun helping dad “drive,” to dipping their toes in the puget sound, to helping mom BBQ and serve dinner right on the bow. For those times they get antsy, we lay on the small padded bow area together, snuggle under blankets, and read.

It’s pretty simple really. Boating has proved to be one adventure where we don’t need to pack much to have a really amazing time. That’s kind of the beauty of it!

But just in case you’re interested to know what is our *go tos* for cruising the sound, here are a few things I tend to pack every time we head out!

-A small cooler like this one is helpful to carry our dinner! A typical dinner for us on the boat is some kind of meat (steak, chicken, pork) and a bagged salad. I find the bagged salads the most convenient as a quick side dish for taking in the cooler. Sometimes I’ll grab another noodle dish from the deli or pack some precooked noodles from home (pesto is our favorite sauce!)

-a small propane bbq for cooking. We keep ours on the boat during the summer (careful not to leave propane canisters as they can explode if left in the heat).

-a lightweight set of dishes for serving. I’m actually still looking for the perfect set, but I’ve been eyeing these ones here. Along those same lines, these glasses are also on my wish list because nothing is better than enjoying a glass of wine while watching the sunset over Mt. Rainier from the water

-our “boat bin” (a big plastic Rubbermaid tub) which we always grab for the boat contains essentials like water, bags for garbage, paper towels, sunscreen, layers of extra clothes and a few good books for entertainment. I also like packing flash cards for the kids so we can work on reading skills while we’re cruising. Card games are also fun and lightweight, just have to make sure they get packed before dad hits the gas 😂

-lightweight sleeping bags. Ok, this might seem a little crazy, and we haven’t been adventurous enough to actually sleep on the boat over night, but boats are COLD sometimes and honestly nothing keeps me more warm than a good jacket and a down sleeping bag on the bottom. As long as we’re sitting, sleeping bags can get pulled up over our legs and torso and keep us toasty warm when the boat temps drop!

Other than that, we try to keep a pretty light load since we’re walking from our parked car and down to the dock! We keep the kids lifejackets in our truck and have them wear them all the way down, that way we never have to worry when they are around the water.

We are counting down the days to summer 2018 for more boating adventures!

Woodland Park Zoo::Things to do in Seattle with Kids

Today we went on a little adventure to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA. I hadn’t gone to this zoo since Haden was a baby- so I was so excited to share it now with the kids now that they are 5&6! It was supposed to rain today, but I figured we would get our rain gear on and expect it to pour the whole time! We actually got pretty lucky, however, and the sun even popped out a bit for a bit! I also opted for the Woodland Park Zoo instead of the Point Defiance in Tacoma, since I knew it offered much more covered exhibits.

The Woodland Park Zoo is huge- we were there for just over 4 hours and didn’t cover all of the exhibits! It’s split into several different sections that are mostly themed with different areas of the world. We first hit up the “Tropical Rain Forest” area because the kids and I were stoked to see the gorillas- and they did not disappoint! In fact, there is a baby gorilla there now (she is about two years old) named Yola- she was a feisty and playful little thing, and even ran back in forth in front of the glass with my kids on the other side. The kids loved it! I really love gorillas and could probably watch them all day- we stayed and watched/played with Yola for at least 20 minutes!

Right next to Yola’s home is a tropical bird/snake/frog house- I actually have no idea what it’s called- but it was empty when we visited and the kids loved it. Especially, Haden, my little bird lover! Sadie was especially inspired and made me promise we watch Rio asap after watching the toucans!

Haden LOVES penguins- always has- and so next stop was a trip to feed the penguins! On select days, penguin lovers can live out their dreams and actually feed them! It’s $5 for four fish, but in my opinion, well worth the experience! I would much rather spend money on a special experience like that then toys from the zoo store (although sometimes my kids disagree with me, ha!)


Frugal is the name of our game (after all, we have to save all that cash for our adventures!) so we packed a picnic lunch for a mid day pit stop. They have tons of benches and tables all around the zoo, so plenty of places to stop and grab a bite to eat! I’m *trying* to say no to treats unless the kids bring their own money to get their own (I know, mean mom!). Haden brought his own cash and grabbed a giant bag of kettle corn from the cafe, cause that’s how he rolls.

We hit up the “Tropical Asia” section as our last exploration before we headed home- and so glad we did! Although some of the animals seemed to have retired for the evening (we missed the tiger and the leapord), the orangutans were our next favorite exhibit of the day! They were wrestling and the kids laughed their heads off at all of the mischief!

The Woodland Park Zoo has so much more to offer than what we saw today! Giraffes, zebras, bears, wolves and more! The rhino exhibit opens in 2018! We will definitely be back, it’s on our Seattle favorite must do list!

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Tea for Two:: Sadie and Mama in Victoria, BC:: Victoria with Kids

Well, it’s October 10th, people. And while most of you are out there busting out your rain boots and sipping on some pumpkin spice, I am feeling the blogger guilt of procrastination on epic adventure documenting. To break it down for you, its just another case of first kid, second kid syndrome: while Haden (my first) had his special mom/kid trip blogged within a week of arriving home, of course the second kid gets a bit of the shaft once again- and here we are, 6 weeks after my adventure with my little Sadie lady.

The great news is, the passage of 6 weeks time has yet to diminish most of the precious memories created on our very first mommy/daughter trip to Victoria, BC. I hoard special moments any way I can manage- the typical photos and video clips of course, but also in the way I repeat in my head at night the little moments- the way her nose scrunches up when she giggles or the way she prances- not walks- every place she goes. Needless to say, I am all set still to sum up the adorable mini vaca that was just me and my girl.

We arrived in Port Townsend early, it was a 1:30 ferry which meant we would have to kill a few hours, I mean, what’s a girl to do? Lunch and shop, of course, in case you wondered. We split a fresh pineapple juice and sandwhich at the local café and perused a local bookstore. I love the vast difference in taking my daughter versus my son to a store, in that their interests are so widely different. And having someone point out every unicorn they see with such excitement could make even the saddest person fill with joy (although I was far from the saddest person that day).

We boarded the ferry, off to a whole new country, or, for those of you that might not know…a small 1 hour jaunt across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We’re talking a whole new world, peeps. Or so my girl thinks 🙂

Those first travel days seem to be mostly about the journey, which is, in itself, a somewhat unpredictable experience, as most of you travelers may know. But add a kid and you have a whole new element of uncertainty, hope, but perhaps the best part of it all: experiencing it through them. As we pulled in the harbor, Sadie pranced to the front of the deck and yelled to me “It’s pretty!”

After settling into our adorable Air Bnb Victoria’s inner harbor, we did what any other logical parent and kid team would do on their first day of vacation: we ate ice cream for dinner. Sitting at the table, Sadie was turned away from me. I said “Sadie, don’t you want to look at me while you eat your ice cream?” She said “No mom, I want to look at these beautiful flowers!” I turned to see a line of decadent and elaborate row of hanging flowers. She said “Mom, can we come here every summer?” and since we were only about 1 hour into our Victoria journey, I considered that a good sign.

The next day was filled with all the adventure: hot coco, the butterfly garden, bus rides and pierogi tastings. Sadie noticed and sniffed every flower she could get her little hands on. More ice cream (naturally) and an early bed time in result of pure exploration exhaustion.

The most highly anticipated part of our trip was the last day, our afternoon tea, or, tea party, as Sadie liked to refer to it. We got up and started our beauty routine right away-showers and hair curling, but most importantly lipstick (or “lickstick” as Sadie refers to it). She is no stranger to my make up drawer, so putting on a few layers of bright red lipstick is easier to her than tying her shoes (Ok she doesn’t actually tie her shoes yet).

Once we were decked out like the queen and princess we are, we headed down to the Venus Sophia tea room near our Air Bnb in china town. Sadie spotted a pink umbrella with glittery details and asked for that to be her one special souvenir. I thought it went perfectly with her princess dress and hat, so I happily agreed.

We sat together, drank our tea and ate our treats from tiered china (I wish I knew the proper tea room name!) Sadie tried a bite of all her tasty treats, but was particulary committed to the chocolate strawberries (no surprise there!). Once finished, she pranced in her princess dress with her pink sparkly umbrella through the entire of downtown Victoria and danced like no was watching (trust me, they were! Who wouldnt want to watch that cuteness?). When the border patrol agent told her he didn’t think her mesh umbrella would be to good in the rain, she wrinkled her nose and said “It’s not for the rain!” as if that was the most absurd thing anyone has ever said to her! It’s for pure fashion purposes, obviously, sir!

What a special first “solo” trip this was with my girl. The word ‘precious’ does not even come quite close to what her little heart does for my world, but, I find it almost impossible to describe. She is positivity, compassion, and uninhibited joy. My time with her is better than I can ever put into words.

Why I Let the Kids See Me Cry: Redefining My Definition of Strength

What does it mean to be absolutely and unstintingly vulnerable? Are we born with the desire to be so open or does it grow as time goes on? I ask this because, to be quite frank, I don’t know what it’s like for others. For me, it’s how I’ve always been: to know Nicole is to know all of me, there’s little I don’t leave on the table to know for those that have entered my life.

I’ve always struggled with how open to be  in my writing, as we know the internet can be a beast of its own. And yet, it is at most vulnerable moments that I feel my words express themselves so clearly. There are definitely those who feel uncomfortable with raw and emotional confessions and true vulnerability. Often those people even choose to prey upon someone’s vulnerable thoughts and feelings that are shared and the internet becomes a whole new platform at which those that choose to prey can hide behind. They use others open position to their own advantage, belittling them for their openness or taking advantage of what they’ve shared to benefit themselves somehow.

We take this risk when we choose to be vulnerable. We learn very quickly who is safe to be our authentic selves around (and maybe sometimes it’s takes multiple bouts of mistrust to learn for certain who is safe and who is not) but nevertheless, I choose to continue to express my vulnerability because I know it is my healthiest and most rewarding state of being. I know it not only benefits myself, but those around me who are willing to be self reflective and grow. And so I continue to push forward through the other moments of realization of mistrust and pain of some, because I recognize the blessing of vulnerability from myself and others I have learned to trust.

Vulnerability has often been seen as a sign of weakness, and I’ve always been told to be “strong”- but what does that look like, as a woman, as a mother? Does it mean I shield my children from seeing my raw emotions? Does it mean when I feel the well of sorrow or the agony of turmoil arise, I just hide it behind a smile so they won’t know?

A few weeks ago, I broke down in tears over life “stuff”-the content of which is unimportant, and yet what resulted were simply thoughts about what I was letting my children see in me. My mind raced to the place of the advice I had been given many times before “Be strong. Hold yourself together. Don’t let them see your pain.” But something about that felt so off….It felt wrong to shield them from seeing their mother like that. Of course I didn’t want to worry their little hearts about the stuff of adulthood- but the thought that struck me the most was this: can empathy exist without context? I realized in that moment: of course it can. And my children have taught me that.

“Is your brain telling you you’re sad, mom?”

“It is buddy. It’s feeling sad and overwhelmed. I think I just need to write and think. Maybe have some alone time.”

We had been studying the brain and how it affects our emotions, and Haden was applying what he had learned. We talked about coping mechanisms to when we feel overwhelmed- I had shared with him earlier that day that writing helps me and he said he feels better when he plays with his stuffed animals. Little did I know, I was learning right alongside him.

He ran from the room and brought me back two teddy bears and a note “I love you, mom!”

What will my kids think as they continue to experience those hard feelings themselves-that they are alone or wrong in expressing them? That they must hide them like I thought I should?

How do I deal with my big emotions? What are the tools that I use? What will they see me doing when I experience those feelings? They might see me writing, or taking a hot shower, or cleaning…they might hear me ask to be alone. They might learn and understand what it’s like to comfort someone whose hurting- to lean into the pain instead of fleeing from it. They might grow up not feeling awkward or fearful to see someone cry. They might learn what it is to embrace someone without knowing the right words to say, and that silence can often be exactly what a person needs.

He snuggled up to me later that night and whispered to me, in his raspy 6 year old sleepy voice “Whenever you feel bad, I’m going to come make you feel better. Because you’ve spent all my life helping me and I want to help you too.”

And so, I made a promise to them.

I will be strong for you. But I’ll use my ever evolving definition- strength to me is vulnerability, its honesty, it’s authenticity. It’s choosing empathy and compassion and love. Strength resides where all these things meet, and you will see me striving daily to reside in that place.

Life is laundry 

Infinity symbols seem to be all the rage these days, tattoos, jewelry, art. I’m digging the symbol a whole bunch, it’s sweet to see the different meanings of it for various folks, things like unending love, relationships, faith.

I’m gunna be real with y’all for a second here though: the only thing I can really count on some days to be unending is the laundry pile. No joke, since summer has hit that thing has grown like a unnatural phenomenon and is taking up some serious real estate in our downstairs bonus room.
Yesterday I had a kid over who legit asked if there was a couch hiding underneath. I said yes, the couch at some point was functional as a sitting place. That purpose is no more.

But seriously, let’s be real, I’ve decided that giant laundry piles are just signs of having a really epic summer. I mean, come on, who wants to be stuck indoors folding bath towels when there is life to live in the sunshine?

And while we’re on the subject of laundry, I text my cousin the other day to inform her that people who fold their underwear scare me. She said I would always feel safe with her. You underwear folding folks, i try to empathize with others as much as I can and so, I need you to approach me with actual and legit facts about how those precious minutes of folding your underwear are more important than other tasks that you could be using those minutes for, like, for instance, anything else. I just don’t understand your kind but I am willing to hear you out.

I’ve come up with a concept for myself to justify never finishing my laundry pile. Hear me out on this one: Isn’t there, like, some kind of animal or insect that has a purpose or task and then as soon as they finish it they die? I tried googling it and could only find that octopuses die after childbirth. Not totally the direction I’m going here.

Anyway, maybe, just maybe, if I finish the laundry pile my purpose in life will be done and I will just keel over and die. I can’t take that chance, people. And that’s one of those things you just won’t know until you know, and then, well, it’s too late. You’ve gone and died.

So just in the very slight possibility my real purpose in life is to finish the laundry, I’m extending my life at slacking at it. It’s a real genius concept I think. And it makes me feel a heck of a lot better when I see that mountainous pile growing towards the ceiling. Self preservation, baby. ✌🏽

My Breakdancing Mad Scientist

It’s been a few hours so I feel like I’ve had enough time to process the events of this mornings shenanigans. I was getting ready for the day when Haden came upstairs 

“Hey mom, we can’t  eat breakfast at the table. We’ll have to find somewhere else” 
I was instantly concerned- this couldn’t be good. 
“Um why, Haden?” 

“Well, I was doing science. And there was an explosion. And so, it’s everywhere”

I ran down stairs and the smell was the first thing to hit me. I can’t even describe it. I have a very, very strong stomach- I can’t remember the last time I even vomitted and trust me, I’ve cleaned up some gross stuff as a mom. This one tested my stomach in a way I can’t even put to words. Lying on the table was an empty bottle of carpet shampoo, a jar of basalmic vinegar, an empty container of salt, a bottle of vegetable oil, and LOTS and LOTS of spices. The smell! I tried to hold myself together, I just kept saying “oh my gosh” and then this logical part of me which kept reminding me not to squash his little budding scientist spirit. He could tell I was upset (read: on the verge of puking and slightly horrified at the mess). He said “Are you mad, mom?! I’m sorry!” I said “No bud, I love that you are so curious and love science so much! But next time I need you to ask for assistance when you want to do science, ok?” 

Life with Haden never gets old, it is literally new every day. Every day brings a new and exciting project we must DO RIGHT NOW!!! His zealous for life is both overwhelming and rather inspiring. It’s a very confusing feeling as a mom :). I would say, whoever coined the term “spirited” child must have had a lens on the future of my parenthood. He is literally the most determined person I know, all wrapped up in a small little 6 year old body. 

His “calling” changes daily- from YouTube breakdancing star (yes, he specifically asks me to upload his dancing to YouTube “for the world to see”) to mad scientist, from performing in his rock star band on our “stage” (aka back porch), it’s a never ending series of exciting and thrilling stages of excitement around here. I love him and his ability to throw himself into ever part of life that peeks his interest. 

It’s exhausting sometimes, to be completely candid. His ideas are relentless, like, no exaggeration. Even last week he saw a 5 hour energy in wal mart and REALLY thought he needed it. He begged me for a solid 15 minutes until finally giving up on the idea. Ideas aren’t just something to give up, ok mom? I’ve been placed on this earth to remind you of that. (This is what I imagine he’s trying to tell me). 

I did a little post experiment interview with him, if you’d like to hear his personal thoughts:

Also, if you haven’t seen his most recent breakdancing performance, you can see the epic-ness here:

Haden, you inspire me to never give up. You inspire me to keep dreaming. You remind me that life is exciting and thrilling and should never be taken for granted. You are amazing, kid. ❤️

Hiking with Kids:: Fallsview Canyon Trail::Olympic National Forest

Sadie crawled in bed with me early this morning to snuggle. She said “Mom, do I have to school today?”

“Nope, we’re going for a hike! But please, don’t share that with your brother (he has to go to kindergarten)”

So of course, she blurts it out over the breakfast table. Haden looked at me with the saddest eyes, as if to say “it’s not true, right mom?!?” And I looked back at him with heartache. He pulled the cereal box in front of his face and started to silently sob.

“Of course you can go with us, buddy! I’ll call the school now to let them know!” His face lit up and he jumped up to pack his bag for the hike ahead.

Cruising down the highway, we did a U- turn to the ranger station before we entered the National Forest. We picked up the essentials- a map, a safety whistle, and of course, two pair of Smokey the Bear binoculars for the expert wildlife observers.

The Fallview Canyon Trail is just past the entrance to the National Forest near Quilcene. It used to be an operating campground, but doesn’t appear to have been up and running for a few years now.

The trail itself is just to the left of the campground. It starts with quite a few switch backs, where I helped the kids in several parts to navigate because of the somewhat slippery gravel. Once you get to the bottom, you have a great view of the river.

The trail itself follows the river and goes to a 1/2 mile loop near the end. It is a fairly easy route with a small elevation gain (I believe around 475ft). The entire length of the trail is 1.3 miles.

My kids mostly spent the time collecting the fuzzy ends of ferns, because they decided they were really cool and worth collecting. The other half was mostly arguing about who got to be the leader- such is life with siblings.

But perhaps my favorite part of being in nature with them is all of the questions! A lot of them I don’t even know myself- like really, is that a banana slug? Why is it called that? Does it really taste like a banana? Why is it harder for girls to pee outside? Why do people glitter (aka litter)? Where do bears sleep? What exactly IS moss?!?

Burning questions, these two come up with! And to think- no service in the mountains to consult with Mr. Google!

Food is key motivation when hiking with kids, so making a goal of getting to a certain point before we ate lunch was key. This lunch was on a log bench overlooking the river. We ate strawberries and cheese and turkey and talked about what decomposing meant. They asked me how many rings I’d have if I was a tree (29, of course!). I made them crowns from ferns while they used their binoculars to spot birds in the trees.

We really had such a good time on the trail. They still don’t really get why mom makes them walk in the forest to no apparent real destination, but I think the more we do it the more they find enjoyment in it. I’m happy and proud to say I’m cultivating the love of outdoors in them at such an early age. I am so excited for all of our future hiking adventures to come!

Ode to the Hot Mess Mom

I once dropped a chunk of deli turkey on my newborn babies cheek while eating a sandwich one handed and nursing. I just plucked it right off and ate it, and he kept on sleeping. 
When Haden was 6 weeks old, I did an event with my moms work where I sold some products of which will not be named. Looking back now, I was just desperate to do anything other than caring for a baby for a little while, so I gave the salesperson thing a stint. What I didn’t really remember was how incredibly exhausted I was and how incredibly overwhelming just simply caring for a newborn was. Halfway through the day, I ran to the restroom to change his diaper. When I emerged I saw my mom mingling with some co workers and walked over to chat. My mom stopped me and said “nicole, you have poop all over your arm”- sure enough, I had washed my hands but somehow missed my arm. 

Oh the joy I take in being a hot mess mom. Seriously guys, I used to be embarrassed. I used to live in fear that someone would see the coffee stain on my shirt or scoff at my messy bun. I used to worry that I’d lose friends if they showed up unannounced at my house and they saw the disaster that existed within it. 

But yeah, that got old pretty quickly. 

Now my kids are older. And today Haden, on his way to kindergarten, said to me “mom, what if my friends laugh at my big bag of cereal?” (He had packed himself his own snack- a halfway filled gallon size bag of cheerios). I said “yeah, well, they might. But, you can laugh too. Because, honestly it’s funny. And then you can just accept that it’s gunna get the job done: you likely won’t be hungry after that snack.”

Here’s the deal my hot mess friends: maybe it’s messy, maybe it’s a little amusing, and maybe people laugh. But by golly, we get this mom job done and we do it well. So give yourself some credit! 
So yeah, maybe I can’t drink from a normal coffee mug (please give me a lid and straw) and maybe my car looks like a dumpster, but my kids know that my spontaneity and ability to not really care for things to be perfect, means their mom is likely to not say no to a last minute adventure. They know that I’m not one to turn down an art project even if we forget to do the laundry first. They know that maybe even if my ducks aren’t in a row, were still loving our crazy, messy, beautiful life. 

The truly awesome thing about us hot mess moms, is that when we can embrace ourselves, we can teach our kids to do the same. We can teach them to find those people who love us for exactly who we are. 

Those are the people who value authenticity and honesty. Those are the people worth investing in. 

So here’s to you, my hot mess mom friends. Find what you do well, embrace the heck out of it, and laugh at the rest. Your heart will be happy and so will theirs.