Tuesday, January 28, 2014


It's 5:30am on a Sunday. I'm nursing an infant. One year ago, same time, I was lacing up my kicks for a PR marathon race...WOAH.

It's amazing how much has changed for me in one small year. I grew a human. What a miracle! My new life is amazing.


I am sad I'm not running the marathon. A tear sliped out of my eye and fell onto my tiny little baby as I turned on the news to see them reporting on the big race.

I went back to bed for a couple of hours.

We woke up and got ready to head out to the marathon cheer station that my store, and the surrounding Houston stores put on every year. It was the cheer station that I once ran through on my birthday, as DJ Seduction played 50 Cent's Birthday song. The same cheer station that threw confetti on me last year as I blew past them on my way to my PR. I hadn't "cheered" at this race since 2011 when I dressed as lemon and lost my voice for 3 days.

As we approached the group I had to stop and tell my husband I needed a minute. I was literally choking back tears as I saw the runners. I was throwing myself the ultimate pity party.

Womp womp...

Then I realized how much I love seeing people achieve big goals. I love encouraging others to run. I never thought I could do it and I DID so I love sharing that with people.

Today wasn't my day but it was someones. I will train again and finish another marathon. I will embrace where I am every single day and stop wishing I was somewhere else, doing something else.

Where I am today is absolutely perfect and is exactly where I am supposed to be.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

back on my mat...

Two months post baby and I'm back on my mat! Finally... it has felt like an eternity!

To say I was nervous would be an understatement. From the time I scheduled the class to the moment it began I had butterflies. I had been obsessing over it.

What if I can't hold any of the poses? What if I can't chaturanga? What should I wear? Nothing fits right yet! Are my boobs going to leak?

I felt like a yoga virgin.

If you're intimidated by a workout invite someone to join you. I promise it will take the edge off. I invited some really awesome people to join me. As you can see from the photo we're not your average bunch of weirdos. We're a very special bunch of weridos and I wouldn't change a thing about any of 'em.

I started sweating in the car on my drive to the studio. When I arrived the parking lot was PACKED. I spent five minutes looking for a place to park where I wouldn't have to worry about being towed. Like, I needed one more thing to think about during my return to my mat.

There were about 500 more people than I've ever seen at the studio before. Proof that my studio owner friends are kicking a lot of ass. Congrats, ladies! I got signed in and put away my stuff. Maybe there wouldn't be any spaces left to practice. Shit, shit, shit... I should have left sooner!

My friends are... awesome. When I entered the room they all started clapping and cheering, and making a scene. I felt SO special! I choked back tears (becuase I cry all the time!) They had saved me a spot right smack in the middle of the insanely packed room. I recieved lots of hugs and overwhelming support. People were excited to see me. It was the first time since having the baby that no one asked about her when they first saw me. I was myself. I wasn't just "Marley's Mom."

Class began and my nerves had left the building. I was home. I was on my mat.

There were many times where I caught myself "trying too hard," forgetting that I had just had a baby several weeks before. I needed to be gentle with my new post baby body. I was able to laugh at myself when certain poses we're really out of the question and my friend, Monica, next to me had no problem joining me in that laughter.

There were a few times that my mind drifted to my baby. What was she doing? Is she crying for me? Was she going to be in bed before I get home? I took a deep breath, recognized these feelings were normal, and moved on. She was in capable hands and I needed this hour of alone time.

The instructor had asked about my favorite song earlier in the week when she found out I'd be making my comeback in her class. I was eagerly awaiting to see how she would incorporate RHCP's "Can't Stop" into the class and she certainly exceeded my expectations. She announced it was my first class back and in celebration that we would be holding a 4 minute bridge pose to my favortie song! It was awesome. The whole class started singing to the chorus. I'll never forget the energy in that room. It totally rocked.

I coudln't have asked for a better experience my first class back. I really felt like myself again. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being "Marley's Mom," but I really LOVE being ME.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

a few [more] of my favorite mom things...

In the spirit of sharing from one mom to another here are a few more of my favorite products right now!

Headwraps from le chic pipsqueak shop on Esty are handmade with love and absolutely darling. The creator names the different styles after her friends babies which makes each one extra special! The Marley is pictured above.

Shea Moisture baby lotion smells and feels fantastic!! Shea Moisture is known for their all-natural and organic, good smelling products. I had never used a product with frankincense & myrrh and I'm now obsessed with the scent. I was given this as a gift this past holiday season and I am so glad we were introduced to it (Thanks, Katie!) I may like it more for myself than for baby but she also gives it her seal of approval. Also, try their head-to-toe ointment and baby wash.

Bebe Au Lait nursing covers are making breastfeeding that much more comfortable in public places. Most recently, I had to pump on a plane (that's right!) and this cover was my saving grace. I felt bad for the poor fellow sitting next to me who was just utterly confused as to what I was doing since my baby was being held by my husband. I went with the black eyelet vs. a color but they do have a lot of options. The neckline on this cover is what sets it apart from others (see photo). There is also a interior pocket so I can stash my nursing pads while baby is feeding.

Speaking of having to pump in strange places! Medela makes an easy-to-use manual pump that I can carry with me in my diaper bag for those times when I need to pump or my boobs feel like they may explode. I also use this at night so I don't wake up my husband or the baby with my electric pump. While I don't use Medela bottles for feeding, I love them for storage. The link will take you to the one I ordered on amazon that includes two bottles and caps. I was originally given this manual pump in the hospital but my dog found it to be quite tasty so I had to reorder one. 

Now this favorite thing we have on loan from a good friend! Thanks, Shannon! The Baby Bjorn Babysitter and wooden toy. Why I like this more than our Fisher Price bouncer is because it can adjust to different levels and keep baby more upright. Also, at two months my little critter is getting more excited by toys and she loves to spin and play with the wooden toys (sold separately.) (I still love our Fisher Price and I think that is a better bouncer for newborns and a less expensive option.)

I'll be sure to keep sharing the products that I love! I'd love to hear what my mama readers love too!
s and baby m

Monday, January 13, 2014

mommy's time out...

I was 37 weeks pregnant. It was a Saturday. It was sunny and the temperature was cool. I left a rockin' day at work and put down every window in my car. I cranked up my stereo and started blasting Red Hot Chili Peppers, my favorite. I wore a huge smile and had to keep sweeping my windblown hair out of my face as I cruised down the freeway in my Jeep.
It was one of those perfect moments. You know those? The moments you just stop and wish for a Zach Morris style time out. I live for those...

The first few weeks after you have a baby you realize your life will never be the same. You're tired and not thinking straight. I thought back to that perfect moment on that perfect Saturday afternoon a few weeks before and got sad thinking that I may not have one of those again for a while.

I was right. I wasn't going to be jamming out in the car with the windows down, at least not with a baby in the back seat! And yeah, things are not about me anymore, not right now anyway. But why did I think I wasn't entitled to quiet moments alone from time to time?

On Christmas eve, for no particualr reason, I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed. Nursing, pumping, cleaning pump accessories, doing baby laundry, family gatherings one after another, and everyone wanting to hold my baby. I was cracking...I convinced myself I was alone with no help and that no one cared about me. This was completely untrue but no one was going to convince me otherwise. My post partum hormones had completely taken over.

My husband saw me on my downward spiral and quickly instructed me to lock myself in our room, throw on headphones, and listen to a meditation or music to relax. I did what he said. I was in a time out. I put on RHCP and just started sobbing. I couldn't control my emotions. I was feeling guilt for needing time away from my baby. I was feeling sorry for myself because I believed I would never have alone time again. These feelings were completely normal but again I wasn't going to be convinced of it. I listened and wept for solid ten minutes and then...I felt better. A weight had been lifted. All I needed was a good cry?

Now that I am more aware of my needs as a new mother, I've been able to find those perfect moments in every day. When you feel sorry for yourself, everything tends to feel heavy and dark. It is so easy to get wrapped up in it but if you can be aware of when it starts you can prevent yourself from a stage five breakdown like the one I had on Christmas Eve. I believe in the law of attraction so what you put out is what you're going to get right back. Easier said than done but the more you practice the better you become at it.

You don't have to have a baby to benefit from a time out. In my opinion, time outs should be mandatory for all adults. They can prevent us from completely going off the deep end. So take your well deserved time out when you feel like this...

Side note: Depression is real and if you think you are suffering from it, seek help, don't go at it alone.


Friday, January 10, 2014

curve ball...

In my recent post about kindness I mentioned my great experice with United Airlines. We got switched to an earlier direct flight home from Ohio and we were so grateful for that! Well.. 10 minutes before we were about to leave for the airport I checked our flight status...


Our flight had been cancelled and my husband and I were booked on separate flights for different days. He was booked with the baby and a heavy snow storm was due to hit Ohio the next day. This would not work. Suddenly our easy-peasy trip home became a bit of a headache. We were being tested.

How would we handle it?

We kept our cool as we dashed to the aiport hoping to get on an earlier flight together. We did! Wahoo!!

Then that flight got cancelled...

We rushed to another gate with a plane headed to Chicago. We managed to get retickted and got on our way. Our connecting flight happened to be delayed (thank goodness) but there wasn't much time to connect. Nothing about traveling with an infant is easy..or quick. It was dumping snow in Chicago. It wouldn't be long before more flights were cancelled. I ran ahead to the next gate with the baby while my hubby stayed behind to wait for our gate checked items. I guess we thought if I could make it there I could stall the plane with my tears and "but I have an infant!" bit.

Whew, we made it!

We got up to the stand and handed the man our boarding passes and he said, "I don't have you on this flight."


Brett ran to a ticket counter and asked the woman why our tickets didn't work at the gate. They had given away our confirmed seats to standby pasengers for whatever reason. My blood started to boil. Flurries in my stomach. My hands began to shake. When I got to the counter I looked at the woman with fury in my eyes.

::insert irrational rant here::

Eh, I'm not proud of my reaction. I could have controled my tounge better. Just a few days before I blogged about being kind and patient to get the best outcome and then I went and got all entitled and stuff. I felt like a hyprocrite. My temper got the best of me again.

After a few deep breaths I calmed down but was still feeling negative. Woud we would ever get home? A few clicks form the keyboard and the gate agent quietly handed us new tickets. I think she was afraid of me. We dashed onto the plane. Our seats we not together and people were giving us the stink eye as if we had held up the plane. A lovely gentleman offered to switch with my husband when he saw me struggling with the baby and my bag.

We landed in Houston two hours later, tired but alive and well. I realized as we were taxiing to the gate that life will always throw us curve balls (had I not learned that before?!) I may have not reacted to this one very well but I know I'll get another couple (dozen) of chances in my future.


Monday, January 6, 2014

blue monday...

This morning, on the Today Show, it was reported that today, January 6th, is the most depressing day of the year. The holidays are officially over, people are back at work, credit card bills are beginning to come in, and you've probably already cheated on your New Years resolutions.

Well... You have a choice. You can be down in the dumps OR you can turn that frown upside down and embrace this beautiful Monday. Last year is in the past. Yesterday is in the past! Today is a new day, party people!

Don't buy into today being the most depressing day of the year. It doesn't have to be for YOU!

Saw this little gem on a friends Instagram this morning. Rock on, Monday!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I spent two and a half hours on hold with United Airlines today.

When we booked our travel a few weeks ago we didn't really think about how difficult it may be to arrive home around midnight and not throw off our baby's nightly routine. Nor did we think about the poor friend who would have to come pick us up at the late hour. So today, two days prior to our departure from our extended stay here in snowy Ohio we decided to see about changing our flight. #lastmintueisourthingnow

It didn't seem like it would be possible to get on an earlier flight without paying an arm and a leg (even with miles.) We got the run around from the first guy and had to hang up and call back.

Another hour on hold...

I understand why people get frustrated waiting on hold. During the time we spent on hold my husband and I were able to drink two cups of coffee, shower, and I fed the baby twice. What people forget sometimes is that the person on the other end didn't intentionally put off speaking with you for an hour. It's not a crime against you. That person is not an asshole (well...sometimes maybe!) That person is just like you or me and they are just doing their job.

So I was extremely polite to the woman I was speaking with even though things still were not looking good. She spent thirty minutes with me trying every single possible way for us to get on an earlier flight. I was willing to pay change fees and whatever it took to get us home at a normal time and on a direct flight. Then... all of the sudden she said, "Samantha, I've got it all taken care of. Have a happy new year!"

What? That's it? I owed nothing. I asked if there was a manager I could speak to so that I could compliment her for my pleasent experience. She said it wasn't necessary. I really feel she deserves an award or a raise... or a cupcake!

Great guest experience isn't always easy to come by (especially with airlines.) So today I want to acknowledged her and express my gratidtude for her help. Whoever and wherever you are... THANK YOU! Enjoy this cupcake from me.

hope you like Sprinkles!

Let this serve as a reminder that when we work together anything is possible. When you find yourself getting worked up over anything take a deep breath, be patient, and be KIND.