Monday, September 29, 2014

How NOT to Prepare for an Event

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend my first blog conference, Blog Elevated. I was super excited to learn all things blog, meet new people and just have a fun little weekend.

l-r: Me, Justina, Kristen, Jessica

In preparation for this new adventure, I read a lot of great blog posts like 8 Tips to Rock Your Blog Conference and In My Conference Bag and When Your Style Goes From URL to IRL. Ya'll, I'm a seasoned traveler and a preparation nerd. I'm an over planner. I have been since my competitive diving days, and it's carried over into the few family trips we've taken.


Something has started concerning me in recent weeks. I've been trying to deny it and keep it a secret. But it's gotten to a severe enough stage that I can no longer avoid discussing it. I seem to have developed a mild-to-moderate health condition.

There's this old wives tale that when you become pregnant you can develop a condition called "baby brain." I scoffed at this. I never had any issues remembering things in my first pregnancy. Then I birthed the kid. And not too long after, we went and got another one. Just a year later, we had number 3. In the months since number 3's birth, my brain function has severely depleted. In fact, I've discovered that my mental state seems to be a direct reflection of the number of times number 3 wakes up during the night. If number 1 or number 2 get up as well, I'm almost catatonic the following day.

I've mentioned my Mommy Burnout on here before, but now we're beginning to see the fallout.

I think some all of you parents reading this can probably relate. If you can't, well, I may not be able to talk to you for a few years out of sleep envy.

The conference was just a hop, skip and jump from our neck of the woods down to Galveston, so we decided to make a family trip out of it. I researched Moody Gardens til I had it memorized. I knew everything there was to know about our destination AND the conference. But in my sleep deprived stupor, I apparently neglected a few important details.

View from our floor at the Moody Gardens Hotel.

Every once in a great while, we will have moments of brilliance. Unfortunately they are generally followed by equally incredible moments of absurdity. We packed every single thing in the house needed to possibly take care of the kids while we were away. We managed to leave right at nap time which meant all three kids promptly fell asleep in the car. Perfect. Beautiful. Hubby and I even got to have long conversations on the drive down while sleep was happening in the back seat.

When we arrived at the hotel, I bounced happily into the lobby to check us in while my family patiently waited in the car. I gave the lady my name and waited. And waited. She asked me if it could be under a different name. I tried my maiden name. She looked concerned. I started to panic. She asked if I had a confirmation number. I started to look through my email on my phone and dread set in. I didn't remember ever getting a confirmation email. As many times as I checked out the hotel and called to ask questions, I don't remember ever going through the booking process. And there it is... we didn't have a room.

Fortunately there was a room available, though, phew...

Me with the littles in the sprinkles wandering around.

We hauled everything up to the room, wandered around a bit, ate dinner, then went back to the room so I could get ready for the welcome reception. After discovering that I had forgotten to pack some... ahem... unmentionables, we also realized that we hadn't really told or prepped the girls that I would be leaving at bedtime for an event. So my poor husband was left to put three mildly upset kids to bed, in one room, in the dark, in a strange place by himself. This became the norm for all sleep and nap times for the weekend.

But this is why I'm nominating Hubby for Daddy of the Year. Count 'em- 1, 2, 3!

All three sleeping peacefully in the hotel room.
Although I was up almost every hour each night we were there, I had the honor of an early breakfast date with a daughter each morning.

Friday morning with Zoe.

Saturday morning with Arella.

And I met awesome new friends each day and night.
l-r: Me, Becky, Maureen, Bon, Cathi

Although I wasn't all put together and may have been sporting super attractive bloodshot eyes from lack of sleep, I still received a boatload of education, had a blast and left feeling more confident and with a lot of very cool new friendships.

Thank you Blog Elevated (Bobbie and Lisa) for creating such an awesome conference that I could enjoy and learn from even in my current state of lunacy.

Hoping to check it out again in 2015 with a little more sanity in tow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

10 MomNinja Skills

When you become a parent, you magically acquire a set of skills, kind of like you just powered up on Super Mario Bros. You are suddenly able to do things you could never do before... or maybe just never thought or tried to attempt.

I've talked about our alter egos before in Mission: Impossible Baby. But with these alter egos comes a set of weird and fantastic skills that temporarily turns us into MomNinja and the occasional DadNinja.

In my short three years and three kids worth of parenting, I have so far acquired the following set of skills, some of which are temporary but, I believe, some may be a permanent new talent:

  1. Catching mosquitoes with two fingers.
  2. Hearing a crying child through brick walls from a block away.
  3. A look that stops a child in her tracks.
  4. Kisses that heal wounds.
  5. Ability to sense a fever by swiftly brushing my cheek against a forehead.
  6. Catching throw up with a single hand without looking.
  7.  Sensing a urine stream or poopsplosion about to strike before taking off a diaper.
  8. Ability to complete any task while almost fully asleep.
  9. Holding sleeping baby in awkward position for long periods of time with little to no fatigue.
  10. Immediate knowledge of where any lost toy or blanket can be found.

More experienced ninja parents, what have you acquired that I may look forward to in the future?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Another Great Mom Parody- "All About That Bass"

As I'm sitting at a cafe having some much needing "space" from family, I stumbled upon this.

"I Just Need Some Space" by Meghan Trainor
"All About That Bass" Mom Parody

You can follow her over at

Monday, September 15, 2014

An Enchanted Journey

This sign hangs above the front desk at the girls' preschool.
It's pretty much their life motto.
So it made me want to share with you a peek at
the enchanted journey they're on... together.

nce upon a time
, there were two little girls in a land called Texas.

They came from very different places, but their love was instantaneous.

Though they loved each other, some days they tried to hide and not let their feelings show.

But they soon realized that they were better when they put their heads together.

They came up with an idea, to take a giant step of toddlerkind...

...and set off on a journey together.

On their quest, they ventured into magical lands,

discovered new creatures,

seized castles,

and rescued their little Prince Charming.

Along the way, they realized they were stronger together, an unbeatable team.

They learned to wait out the storms of life,


lift each other up,

shelter each other from the rain,

take care of each other when they're sick,

and face the waves head on.

When they do life together, they can conquer mountains.

Some days they feel invincible, like they can fight crime

and fires.


They're just kool kats.

 Then there are days when they feel conflicted,


like they need a get-a-way car instead.

 The journey may not always be comfortable.


They will need someone they can trust to listen,

someone whose shoulder they can cry on,

someone who will pray for them at any time,

and someone they know will walk out this life right next to them.

They want to love on people of all sizes and stations in life,

and to give that love away

until their cups overflow.

 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
-1 John 4:11

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." -Romans 15:5-7

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Workin' Mama

Most days I'm a stay-at-home mom. But on occasion, I get to travel, make speeches and talk about diving on tv.

Sometimes, I feel like I have an alter ego. That might also be why I'm slightly obsessed with being a superhero. I digress...

At home I'm just an everyday, regular mom trying to keep up with my kids. On good days I may attempt to shower and get dressed. I'm constantly making dashes to the toilet with toddlers or asking for privacy in my own bathroom. There is constant repetition, constant repetition, and I'm usually trying to translate toddler speak to English in my head. Although my house may not look it, I am in a perpetual state of cleaning.

Just to show you how un-Pinterest perfect I am, here's a little snippet of my real, everyday life. This is me in all my smelly, unshowered, greasy-haired glory sporting a Tom Petty shirt with USA pajamas attempting to do an ab exercise. And this picture was taken after Hubby got home from work one afternoon.

A few weeks ago I flew with just the baby to Connecticut to be a working mom of sorts. You may have read about that lovely travel experience here. My mother-in-law came to watch the baby while I went to work. It was so weird to have someone there ready to watch the baby every morning as soon as we woke up and even at night so I could go to dinner a few times with colleagues. I could shower each day, take my time, drink an entire coffee before it went cold and talk to adults on a regular basis. It was kind of like summer camp for moms.

 And I think Grandma had a little fun, too!

I won the lottery on mother-in-laws ya'll, seriously.

Basically, I got to hang out at the NBC Sports building for a week to watch and commentate diving for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. I thought it might be fun to give you a little behind-the-scenes look at life in the studio.

And yes, I'm a dork.

We had a special "green room" just for us. That pretty much means "waiting room" in non-tv talk. Although there is a little brainstorming that goes on here, too. Plus you get to hang out with cool people like 2008 Olympic silver medal gymnast Alicia (Sacramone) Quinn, 2008 & 2012 track Olympian Nick Symmonds, 2000 Olympic beach volleyball player Kevin Wong, sportscasters Jim Watson and Jason Knapp and, of course, our rockin' producer Lena Glaser.

l-r: Jason, me, Alicia, Jim

l-r: Lena, Kevin, Jim

Since the competition was in China and aired prime time in the states later that day, we watched the competition in a sound proof booth while commentating. I would always rather watch a competition live and be in the middle of the action, but voicing over is fun, too. It's not the same adrenaline pumping pressure as filming live, but we're still watching the event for the first time and calling it like it is live.

Jim & I in the booth- our home for the week.

It's always easy when you have the opportunity to work with a great team! Jim was a terrific partner to call diving with. While it was his first time working on diving, he's covered nearly every other sport, including three Olympic Games (2000 Beach Volleyball, 2004 Indoor Volleyball and 2012 Weightlifting), professional and collegiate sports. So he picked it up quickly and every event went smooth. Our producer Lena, the voice in my ear Lee Ann, the almost nerdier-than-me researcher John, the magic editor Rob and the logistics queen Kate put together five great days of diving that showcased junior divers from around the world and gave us a glimpse of what we might see in Rio in 2016.

This is just another cool area in the building near our little booth that kind of looks like mission control for sports. Actually, I think that's exactly what it is.

But it wasn't all work and no play. My friend and 2012 diving Olympian, Cassidy Krug, came to hang with us one morning. We always have fun together!

And even though I was working, I came home each day to just one little one, so I got lots of extra snuggles that made my mama heart happy.

Overall, it was a ton of fun, and I truly hope to do more diving events in the future. But as much fun as we had, I couldn't wait to get home and squeeze these two dolls and kiss them to pieces.