From a Mother, On Mother’s Day

I woke up to the smell of bacon and a soft sizzling sound coming from the kitchen. I quickly rolled over as thoughts of young children attempting to cook flashed through my mind. I was relieved to find that my husband, Russ was not in bed next to me. Now that I had ruled out a kitchen fire, I lay in bed wondering if I should get up or pretend to be asleep until breakfast was brought to me in bed. I finally decided to head to the bathroom.

About 30 seconds after locking the door and sitting down, I heard someone attempting to turn the locked doorknob. Even on Mother’s Day I can’t pee in peace.


After heading back to my bed, I heard my baby from down the hall. He was babbling to himself in his crib. “I have to get that happy baby in my arms.” I thought. But how was I going to obtain him without being seen? If Russ caught me going to get the baby or changing a diaper, I might get sent back to bed to “relax”. I peeked my head out of the door to be sure no one was coming, then I darted down the hall to the baby’s room as quickly and quietly as possible. I slowly opened the door to find Ethan standing in his crib grinning from ear to ear. I scooped him up in my arms and squeezed him, smothering him with kisses. We then sped back down the hall to my bedroom.

As I was snuggling with Ethan, I peered down at Logan, my 3-year-old son. He had slept at the bottom of the bed near my feet. I don’t remember him there when I fell asleep, but he was there when I awoke this morning. My heart swelled with emotion. I am SO grateful to be a mom.

Then a thought came to my mind.


Mother’s Day isn’t about escaping from motherhood for a day of rest and relaxation. Sure, it’s always nice to be waited on hand and foot, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s not about sleeping in, silencing the children, or showering in peace.


Mother’s Day gives my family the opportunity to fully express their love for me both verbally and through sweet gestures and gifts. And, I love that! But today I learned that Mother’s Day means so much more.

Mother’s Day is a day to hold my babies a little longer – to look more deeply into their eyes and listen more intently to their words – to spend more time with them and really relish in the amazingness that is being their mom. It brings awareness of the wonderful blessing and opportunity I have to be a mother. My heart is so full of gratitude today.

I hope that you can find a reason to be grateful today and always. Never forget how amazing you are.

Happy Mother’s Day.

This Picture on my Phone Surprised Me

I’m usually a really happy person by nature. 
My mom called me her “Ray of Sunshine” when I lived at home.
I love to laugh, and I consider myself a positive person.
That’s why it surprised me when I found this photo on my phone:
This is a picture taken by my 3-year-old as I was taking my phone from him. I wasn’t happy with him because he wasn’t listening. (Remember my last post?)  Sometimes it feels like he doesn’t have ears at all! (I’m sure you can relate.)

But, what really strikes me about this picture, is the perspective it gives me. I thought,

“This is how my child sees me.”

Then I realized that this is often how I look (and feel) when I’m with my kids. Not because they are bad kids, but because it’s stressful to be a parent. We don’t have a game with all the pieces in tact anymore. None of our videos are in the right cases. Clothes are strewn all across the bathroom floor right now, and there is NO WAY that I can keep up. Sometimes I let that get the best of me and forget what’s really important. Because honestly, no matter how many times I pick up the living room, sweep the kitchen floor, or scrub the toilet, it will probably all go back to the way it was within 24 hours.

You know what will never be the same?

My little boy.

He’ll never be 3 years 7 months and 11 days again.
In fact, before I know it, he’ll be dating and driving.  (I really don’t want to think about it!)

Why is it so difficult sometimes to allow myself to be happy in the chaos? I can hear all the wise women who have gone before. “Enjoy them while they’re young!”; “These are the best days of your life.”; “I wish I could go back some days.” – they say. I’m crying now just thinking of it. How could I know all of these things and still, day after day, feel overwhelmed? The pressure of wanting to enjoy it all the time and the unfortunate fact that I don’t always enjoy it is discouraging. I know they’re growing. I try to capture every moment. (I wrote a song about it!)

So, I’ve made a decision to change one thing. This one simple thing will change the way my kids see me. Because I don’t want them to see the girl in the photo my 3-year-old took. I want them to see this:

I’ve decided to smile more.

There’s something I tell my kids every morning before they leave for school.

“Do your very best, and be kind!”

It’s time for me to do my very best, and be kind.
Being a parent has been the hardest job I’ve ever taken on in life. But because it’s the most difficult, it’s also the most rewarding. I’ve decided it’s time to stop feeling so guilty for what I cannot control and start living a happier life. Every age and stage is so much fun. I’m so grateful for these beautiful souls.
I invite YOU to smile more.
Sometimes when you don’t feel like it, is when you most need it.
Don’t forget how amazing you are!

Children Will Listen


Earlier this month, I did my final show for Into the Woods. I played the Baker’s Wife. It was my first lead role in a musical, and it was a wonderful experience. Not only do I love the cast I got to work with, but I also love this show. The messages in this show are so deep and profound and meaningful. I want to share with you one message from this show that has been lingering in my mind this week.


“Careful the things you say,

Children will listen.

Careful the things you do,

Children will see and learn.

Children may not obey,

But children will listen.

Children will look to you

For which way to turn,

To learn what to be.

Careful before you say, ‘listen to me’.

Children will listen.”


You may or may not be a parent and have children at home, but regardless of that, your words and actions influence children (and adults for that matter) around you.

One example comes to mind. At my church, people from the congregation are often contacted, either in person or on the phone, by the church leaders to give a talk or speech in the main meeting on Sunday. As a child hearing these people talk, nearly every person who got up to the pulpit would mention something like this:

“I really tried to avoid Brother So and So, but he cornered me so here I am.”

“I knew I shouldn’t have answered the phone when the Bishop called.”

“I’d like to say I’m grateful to be here speaking to you today, but I’m not.”
“I don’t know why they asked me to be here. I should have called in sick.”


Thoughts like these may have been authentic, and may have even gotten a laugh from the audience. But, as a child, when I heard comments like this, they translated to:

“You should avoid phone calls from leadership”

“You shouldn’t want to speak in church”

“It’s not cool to like being in front of people”


I accept that these were my perceptions, and I take personal responsibility for that.

But, because of these perceptions, even though I absolutely love being in front of people, I stopped showing it. I’d pretend to be annoyed when I got asked to speak or teach in church or school, because that’s how all the adults acted. I thought I was supposed to feel that way.

It’s funny now, looking back, because it’s ridiculous. But children don’t know that. Children are building their world based on observations and words spoken from those around them.


Children will listen.

This is a hard line to draw, because authenticity is very important. If you are a person who truly struggles with being in front of people, I can understand possibly making mention of how terrified you are, or how hard it is for you to be in front of the audience. We can support each other. I also believe that we should feel safe to express how we are feeling.

But, sometimes kids don’t understand jokes or sarcasm. The jokes about avoiding someone who might ask you to do something important can be misread.

Maybe this example is far-fetched and a little too personal. But how many of you parents have experienced a moment where you hear your kid saying a curse word or a phrase that’s crude? Maybe the child picked it up from parents, TV, school, etc… But she was listening. She is forming her world based on the conversations and context happening around her.

Children will listen.

This is why I feel so strongly about positive self-talk. Do the kids around you hear you saying things like:

“I’m so fat. No more cookies for me.”


“I can’t keep up with everything. It’s never good enough.”


“Why doesn’t anything work out for us? We just can’t catch a break!”

How great would it be if our kids heard us saying things like,

“I’m getting stronger every day! I’m really thrilled that I beat my best time for holding a plank!”
“I really got a lot accomplished today. I feel great.”

or even
“Today certainly didn’t go as planned, but I’m happy I got to spend it with you.”


Children will listen.

My challenge to you (and one for myself) is to be more conscious of the words we are speaking (take it a step further to the words we are thinking!). They impact not only children, but they impact US. We are, after all, children at heart.


Being conscious of what we say will make a positive influence in our lives and in the lives of those sweet children too.


“Careful the things you say,

Children will listen.

Careful the things you do,

Children will see and learn.

Children may not obey,

But children will listen.

Children will look to you

For which way to turn,

To learn what to be.

Careful before you say, ‘listen to me’.

Children will listen.”



Don’t forget how amazing you are.


Am I Selfish?


This is the audience of people at an event I’m staffing called “Fearless Speaker Emergence
I’m here in Carlsbad, CA enjoying the sunshine, palm trees, and beautiful views of the ocean. This picture is a more accurate view of what I’m looking at 85% of the day.

I was in a group class on Tuesday where we were discussing how important it is to put yourself first. How long had we gone through life trying to be everything to everyone? We talked about how when you make yourself a priority, you will have more to give others.

But, every time this conversation comes up, I feel so torn. You see, I was taught my whole life that I need to give, give, give. Service is a staple of my religion. I am frequently and strongly encouraged to look outside myself to find those who need help and to give it to them.

This bleeds into the culture of where and with whom I was raised. I feel great pressure to create a great experience in life for everyone around me – sometimes to the extent that I put myself at a great inconvenience to do so.

When I put myself first, I can’t help but feel guilty and selfish. But when I don’t put myself first, I get overwhelmed and break down.

So what’s the balance? I made a video on my way over to the event this morning that shares my thoughts.



Thank you for listening to me today. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment below with your thoughts
Make today amazing! You are incredible just the way you are.

5 Tips to Stay Sane

I could tell you many a story of a time when I was so tired, hungry, or completely drained that I snapped and lost my cool over someone doing something remotely normal. Like spilling water, draining the battery on my cell phone, or saying “Mommy, I’m hungry” (for the 20th time).

But I’ll spare you the gory details and just say that there are times when we all get irritable, impatient, and plain mean. I made it a goal to figure out why I got this way and how to prevent it from happening.
Because, let’s face it, I never feel pleased with myself after I’ve had a complete meltdown. The only way I look back on these experiences is with regret and sorrow.

After identifying the reason behind WHY I get this way (I’m sleep-deprived, hungry, or over-worked), I found 5 things that help keep me SANE.

  1. Get to bed at a decent hour.One thing that can often prevent me from getting my well-needed rest is having electronics right next to my bed. My tip? Plug in your tablet, laptop, phone, etc… on the other side of the room (or even in a different room if you can). This will prevent you from scrolling through endless Pinterest feeds at 2AM.
  1. Start your day early.Yes, there are two 6 o’clocks in the day. You’re throwing away hours of productive time by sleeping in. Follow step one to make this one easier. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done before 9am, and the whole rest of the day awaits you.
  1. Schedule alone time.That’s right. You have to schedule this time. Otherwise, it won’t happen. Choose your favorite inspirational book, grab a journal, and find a quiet place where you can be by yourself, even for just a few minutes. Pray, meditate, and study what’s important to your soul. It’s like plugging in and re-charging your emotional batteries. It’s a lot harder to be mad when you have a clear mind to make sense of the situations. “You’re hungry? Sure. Let’s go into the kitchen and get you a snack.” 
  1. Fuel your body with healthy foods.This one thing makes such a surprisingly large difference. How does food affect the way you feel? How could what you eat possibly affect your mood? Well, you’d be surprised. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that after eating refined sugar, red meat or over-processed foods, you often feel lethargic. You know that feeling after lunch when you want to take a nap? That’s it! Try incorporating green leafy vegetables and lean protein, like baked salmon or grilled chicken. I’ve found the more vegetables include, the better I feel overall. But, even if you make small changes in this area, you’ll feel a difference.
  1. Energize your body through movement.If you can do this first thing when you wake up, it’s most effective for giving you energy through the rest of the day. It’s counter-intuitive when you think about it. If you’re exhausted, the last thing you want to do is get up and move. But, surprisingly, when I start the day off with exercise, I actually feel less tired than on days when I don’t. Again, start small and try to pair this with step 4.


I promise that if you take great care of yourself, there will be more of you to go around, you’ll feel more capable of dealing with life’s problems, and it will be easier to be nice to people.

I hope this helps you in some way. Leave me a comment or send a message and let me know what works to help keep YOU sane.

Don’t forget how amazing you are.

An Embarrassing Song I Wrote |+| Valentine’s Day Special Offer

Do you remember what you were doing when you were eleven years old? I often think of how optimistic I was. I thought I could do anything, and I did. I used to have an old cassette player that I’d use to record music off the radio. Then I’d listen to it over and over and over so I could memorize all of the lyrics. (No internet then, kids.)

One Christmas, I got a karaoke machine. Why do I bring this up, you might ask? Well, the karaoke machine had 2 cassette players. This meant that one could be playing while the other was recording. I would harmonize over myself, and even play my flute- a duet with my own voice and instrument. I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I also started writing songs when I was eleven. They weren’t good, mind you. But you’ve gotta start somewhere. Am I right?

This is the part of the conversation where you ask me what the songs were about and how they sounded. Then I tell you there is no WAY I’d sing you one of those songs now. Too embarrassing. Then you’d persuade me and I’d give in.
So, here it is. One of the songs went something like this:

“I was sitting all alone when you called me on the telephone.
When I took the phone off the hook, saw a mirror and gave myself that look.
When you told me our love had died, I wasn’t very satisfied.”

I’m not lying. This was the first verse of one of the very first songs I wrote. I bet you feel a little bit better about yourself right now, eh? (Hey, at least I had mastered rhyming!)

But let me get to the point.

I’ve been writing songs for a long time now, and I absolutely LOVE IT. (I like to think I’ve gotten a little better at it.)
Just a few years ago I started writing songs for family members and friends, and it has taken off! I’m now getting many requests to write songs for anniversaries, songs for babies, weddings, businesses, songs for mothers and fathers, and songs for loved ones.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to get a custom song written for someone you love. AND – if you think that’s something you’d like to try, I have a special offer. (If you’re thinking it’s not for you, keep reading because there’s something in it for you too!)

I’m offering 50% off any custom song package from now until January 31st.


Now, this doesn’t need to be a Valentine’s Day gift, however, if it is, I can only take 2 more custom song clients before Valentine’s Day. (I know in the video I say 3, but since filming I’ve had another song come in that I’ll have to finish by then too!)

But, let’s say you’re looking for a song to be written for a later date: Mother’s Day, Christmas, Anniversary, etc…

You can get the half price song ordered now, and you can be added to the queue for after Valentine’s Day.

Now, those of you who do not necessarily want a custom song written, I have some great news. Let your friends and family know about this special offer, and for every person you refer that orders a custom song, you’ll get $500. Don’t forget to tell your friends and family to let us know when they order that YOU referred them.

Long story short: I love writing songs so much. It brings new friends into my life, it allows me to tap into a moment, a lifetime, an emotion,  and it creates opportunities for me to share the everlasting gift of music. Think about it. A song literally lasts forever. It’s one of the few things you can give that will never run out. It’s one of a kind.

If you made it this far reading, I commend you. If you didn’t, hopefully you’ll watch this video: