Can People Change?

Childhood friends are some of the best people in the world. You get to share a ton of memories from way back when there were no cell phones or selfies and your main responsibilities were to play outside all day long. You also get to create new memories as you grow up and together you get to celebrate milestones in your lives. But here’s why I think childhood friendships can sometimes need to hit the refresh button…

When you make new friends, they get to know you and like you for who you are at that moment in time. You often have the same interests because chances are, one of those interests is probably how you met in the first place. Maybe it was at the gym, your kid’s school, mutual friends, work, etc. You’ve got material to bond over such as work place gossip, fitness, recipes, you know, all the stuff we care much more about as we get older.  Naturally, old friends often grow apart as they grow up and evolve to have different interests than one another. What you’re left with are a whole bunch of memories from when you were kids. Times were more simple and everything was fun, right? Wrong.

You’re not the same person you were when you were young. Well, at least I know I’m not. I was a bossy kid. I was the hands on my hips, giving out orders, “we’re going to play what I want to play” kind of kid. Was I nice and still a good friend? Sure. But sometimes I feel like people who were close to me when I was that girl, only remember that girl. That the memories they think of are when I was bossing them around, not the ones when I was standing up for them, and the times when I always had to go first and got my way, not the times I did something good or nights when we laughed until we cried. Like their lens is focused on the wrong parts.

With age comes wisdom right? I’ve worked so hard over the last decade to become a person I like and a person I’m proud to be. I’m a good friend. I care about others deeply. I love. I sympathize. I empathize. I serve others. I trust others. I believe in others. I hope. And I never stop working on me. So can people really change? Yes. I know I have. The problem is that no matter how much we change, sometimes others still see us as the person we were before. We’re all probably guilty of not really liking someone because we know how they used to be. Maybe we need to take a look at how they are now.

So live a life that you’re proud of and do it for you. No matter what it is, do it because it makes YOU happy. Be the person that makes you happy and forget the haters! We all know, haters gon’ hate anyway, right? Remember…a flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms. Bloom away my friends!

A Mother’s Worth

Are you enough if you’re JUST a wife and mother?

I ask myself this a lot lately. Along with other questions like, “What else should I do?” and “Shouldn’t I be focusing on something other than JUST my kids?” The JUST in these question is what makes people think that being either of those things isn’t enough.

There are days where I feel like I should have another job to do or have other responsibilities outside of my home, but then I remember the reason I stopped teaching in the first place…to focus on my family! I wanted to JUST have the job of taking care of my boys without feeling like I was sacrificing time with them for all the other things I was responsible for. So much of my time and energy was given to my full time job that I constantly felt like there wasn’t enough left when I got home.

I’ll always remember the moment when I decided I wanted to try to stop working and stay home. My little boy had woken up in the middle of the night. Now, when their baby wakes up in the middle of the night all parents usually go through a few moments of what I like to call “The 5 Stages of Sleep Grief.”

Denial- “What? Is that crying? It can’t be! There is no way he’s awake!”
Anger- “Ugh! He’s awake! WHY!? I just fell asleep!
Bargaining- This one is usually directed at your husband or significant other. “If you go in and get him back to sleep this time then I’ll go the next two times!”
Depression- *Insert tears* “But I’m just so tired. I knew I shouldn’t have stayed up watching Netflix until 1 AM.”
Acceptance- “Alright, fine. I’ll go get him.”

This is normal! But, back to the point…I was in my little boy’s room rocking him back to sleep and I remember being so mad about the sleep I was losing because I knew the next day at work was going to be busy. I was counting down the hours remaining until I had to get up for work and I realized that I was snugging the sweetest little boy in my arms in a quiet room, just the two of us, and I wasn’t focusing on that at all. Even though no one likes to get up in the middle of the night, snuggling a baby is pretty much the best reason around. I felt like I was missing out on really enjoying every moment and adventure with my family because I was preoccupied with work.

Are there tons of moms who work full time? Of course. And I know they are amazing. But for me, I was no longer able to emotionally split my time and energy between my own children and 32 others, every single day. It wasn’t fair to my future students for me to continue teaching if I wasn’t going to give it my all, and right now, my all is right where I want it…at home.

So don’t forget…

If you’re a stay at home mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re a working mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re a single mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re an expecting mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re a mom of grown children, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you don’t have any children, but love your cats or dogs or job, you are doing a great job and you are enough.

Really, as long as you’re happy, you are enough!


It’s My Superpower.

I’m a worrier. It’s practically my superpower at this point. I know I’m a worrier and I also know that my worrying only got more intense after having children. It’s just how it is when you’re a mom! Anything can happen in a split second and we need to make sure we’re staying on top of the situations we CAN control. Now hear me out- I’m not over protective. I let my boys take risks, seek adventure, and have rough and tumble fun, but when we’re in a situation where my actions determine their safety, I try my best to be on top of it.

The other day, just as I was pulling into the parking lot of the grocery store, my little guy fell asleep.  I decided to let him take a little snoozer while I just sat in the car and looked over my list.  As I was sitting there, I saw a woman with a few children walking to her car. She had three children trailing behind her and she was on the phone. No hands were being held, no children were in her eye sight, and my “jump to the worst scenario” sensors were going crazy. The youngest was about 3 or 4 years old and he stopped to look at some rocks on the ground. He bent down, took a couple seconds to look, and then continued to trail after his mom. But what if he didn’t? What if he stepped the other way into cars going by, what if he ran behind a car backing out? He’s a very young child who acts on impulse and as parents it’s OUR job to make sure they are safe!  The mother didn’t notice and seemed to be completely focused on her conversation. Yes, nothing bad happened and no one else in the world is probably thinking about that mom walking to her car, but I am.  It’s time we put our greatest distractions, our cell phones, down when we should be focusing on the most precious things in our lives.



No one is perfect and sometimes we need to hear the things other people do in order to feel better about ourselves.No, it’s not that we NEED to feel better about ourselves. It’s just that it’s nice to know we’re not alone! It’s nice to know that we’re normal!

I’ve asked other moms what their mom confession (momfession) would be. As you read them, I hope that maybe not only do they make you feel better about the things you do (or don’t do!) as a mom, but maybe you’ll read a few and realize that sometimes it’s OK to do these things by choice! They’re harmless and it makes life fun and interesting!

Here’s their momfessions…

Sometimes I skip bath time…for a couple of days!

Cookies or cake for breakfast if I’m especially lazy or they’re especially good…or whiny.

Bribing! You name it, I’ve bribed for it. Trying new food, going to bed, leaving the house, going potty, getting dressed, being quiet, the list goes on and on!

Letting my kids watch TV, just so I can shower…or read an entire book!

I throw away toys that they like but that I find really annoying!

I eat the good snacks after they go to bed. It’s like they taste even better.

I let my kids eat snacks in bed one night, just so they would stay there while I watched The Bachelor.

I let my kids climb in bed with me so I can sleep longer in the morning.

I don’t stop my children from using the doggy door to go in and out. It’s just easier!

I tell my kids that a monster will eat their toys if they’re left out at night. -Ya, that’s one of mine…Read about the Toy Eaters HERE if you missed that post. I’m telling you, it works!

If I’m too tired to clean up, I just clear a path in their room and leave it a mess.

I taught my toddler to rub my shoulders and make it sound like it’s a lot of fun for her. It’s really just because I know that’ll benefit me in the long run!

What would your harmless momfession be?  Leave a comment below!

Why I Became a Stay At Home Mom

I read this article, where Danielle, of the blog Today’s The Best Day, tells why she decided to stay home. The long version is a great read, and I’ll tell you my long version below, but the short version is simple…I became a stay at home mom because I couldn’t stand being away from my babies.

As Danielle says as well, a lot of women don’t WANT to stay home and that doesn’t mean they don’t love their children or don’t want to spend time with them. It just means that they have other reasons, their own reasons, for working outside the home. Maybe it’s financial, maybe its because they love what they do, it doesn’t matter why, it just matters that they’re doing what’s right for them. I know how hard it is to be a working mom and they are true superheroes.

I NEVER thought I’d stay home. I was the kid who had a life plan and I stuck to it. I had ALWAYS known I wanted to teach. I planned for that all through high school. I started college with a set plan in mind and I stuck to my plan. It looked like this: 4 years of college, no more, no less. Two years of general requirements. Then, being accepted into the College of Education and spending the next two years prepping for the profession I was born to do! Graduating with my degree in Elementary Education, passing the Arizona state teaching exams, getting a job in the SAME elementary school that I attended, teaching for 30 years, and retiring. I also got married, bought a house, and had an hour commute each way during that time. It didn’t matter because I had my plan. I knew where I was going and what I had to do to get there. EASY!

The plan was moving along beautifully! I landed my perfect job and got to work along side some of my best friends for 6 years.  Then, I became a mom.

I will never forget a specific time when M was a couple of months old and we were having dinner at Outback.  He was fussing so I began to nurse him. As he was quiet and soothed at that moment, I looked across the table at Josh and began crying. I knew I was going to have to go back to work in just a week or two and it was all I could think about. I didn’t want to leave my baby and be away from him for hours and hours a day. But I did.

I went back to work. I was excited to see my teammates every day, I was ready to haul my breast pump back and forth each day. Again, I had a plan and I was going to see it through.

I worked for a 7th year and began my 8th. Then we found out I was pregnant again. My thoughts instantly turned to the fact that I was now going to be leaving TWO sweet babies every single day. I knew I would worry about them all day and miss them so much. I knew I would get home too late in the evenings, stressed out, and mostly thinking about what I had to do for work the next day. I knew I couldn’t do it again.

I decided I wanted to stay home and then all sorts of new worries and stresses flooded my mind. Would Josh think it was a good idea? Would we be able to afford it? Will my parents be disappointed in me for quitting teaching? Would I like staying home? Will I still talk to my teaching friends? And so on, and so forth.

Well, as I worried if it would work, many people told me the same thing, “You make it work.”

The money doesn’t matter, you hang on to the relationships you’re afraid of losing, you make new memories, and you take it a day a time. Adjust as you go.

I am with my boys every single day. I am soaking up the moments because I know it goes by too fast. I can honestly say that I love my job. It has long hours, but pays in hugs, kisses, smiles, giggles, and my heart is fuller than I ever imagined it could be.

Life is too short to NOT do what makes you happy. And BOY, am I happy.


New Years Resolutions!

Happy 2016 from me to you! 

Do you make a New Year’s resolution? Do you actually stick to it? Good job if you do! If you don’t…well, apparently only something crazy like 8% of people do, so you’re alright.

I try not to make a resolution that is definite such as, “I will exercise every day!” or “I will cook dinner at home every night of the work week!” Making a resolution like that only sets you up for failure because there’s no wiggle room at all. The first time you forget or can’t make it happen, you already feel like you lost the battle and then you may give up all together.

I try to make a resolution that allows me to improve who I am and take small steps closer to the being the person I want to be. It’s not that I have no faith in myself or that I will for sure fail at something so black and white. It’s just that I know there are times we can’t make something happen every single day.

With all of that said, my resolution this year is a big one. It encompasses all aspects of my life. It’s completely changing my whole way of living! MY resolution is to BE PRESENT. I’ll be wearing my Keep Collective BE PRESENT bracelet as a reminder of my new lifestyle!
WAMbePresentWhat exactly does my resolution mean to me?
It means putting my phone down more. I can just hear someone telling me through a megaphone, “Put the phone down and back away slowly!”
It means checking social media LESS- it can’t be not at all, do you think I’m crazy!? Plus, I run a business and a blog…I need my social media peeps! -Yes, I said peeps.
It means browsing stupid websites less, getting lost in an endless loop of Buzzfeed articles less, and perusing Pinterest less.
It means focusing on what I’m doing right at that moment in time. If I’m playing with my boys, I shouldn’t be thinking about work, cleaning, what needs to be done tomorrow, etc. I need to be present with them. Right then and there. And on the other side of the spectrum, if I am working, I need to be working. Not checking Instagram or getting sucked into ridiculous articles. (I’m looking at you again, Buzzfeed!)
Most of all, it means that I will {hopefully} go to bed at night feeling like I got the most out of my life that day. That I focused more on what’s important to me.

What’s your resolution? It’s ok if it’s to exercise every day. Let me know how that went 366 (leap year) days from now.

I can’t wait to spend a GREAT 2016 with all of you!

*You can create your own personalized Keep Collective 2016 resolution bracelet with your own word! Visit to order! Feel free to email me or comment with questions!

Pay It Forward


The ideas of random acts of kindness and paying it forward are so special. A grand cycle of people doing nice things for each other? How beautiful and amazing is that?

A few months ago, Josh and I went out for a date night dinner while Mason had a sleepover with his grandparents. We had brought Hudson with us and at the time he was only 3 months old. We went to Postino (read more about how much we love Postino here) and we had an hour wait. By the time we got to our table, Hudson was getting fussy. I was trying to feed and rock him at the table to not only make our date night more enjoyable, but for the other people out enjoying their meals as well.

Now, a sweet 3 month old baby being fussy isn’t really enough to ruin a date night and fussiness is nothing that the boob can’t magically fix. But, trying to eat a meal while you’re nursing a baby in a restaurant is not very comfortable or relaxing. It’s a good thing their food is amazing because that helped.

Anyway, we enjoyed our meal and just as we were finishing up, the waiter said to us, “Whenever you’re done you’re all set. Your check has been paid for by another diner.”

With a shocked smile we both replied with, “What?”

“Someone else took care of your check and they wanted to be anonymous and they’ve already left.”

It was such an amazing feeling to be the recipient of such kindness. For me, it was one of those things that I had heard stories about, but never thought would happen to us. I’ve had my Starbucks bought for me by the car in front of me, and I’ve done the same on different occasions for the car behind me. But our whole meal in a restaurant? There is so much good in the world that gets overshadowed by the not-so-good. Let’s focus on the good more.

And when someone buys your coffee, meal, ice cream, whatever, enjoy it. That person didn’t do it to have you turn around and do it for the next person right then and there. They did it to make your day. Enjoy that moment and pay it forward the next time.

What I Wasn’t Prepared For When I Had A Second Child

WAM Second Child

I was never afraid of having two children. A two and a half year old is pretty independent and a newborn sleeps a lot, so I was ready to juggle two kids.  We had prepared ourselves for crazy situations that we knew would happen. For example, the first time we were driving somewhere with both boys screaming and crying from the backseat, Josh and I just turned to each other and laughed. And we did the same thing the first time both boys were peacefully sound asleep as we drove down the road as a family of four.

But as the weeks went by of having both of these little boys, I realized that there was something huge happening that no one prepared me for.

Their relationship with each other.

The bond they share and the complete adoration they have for each other brings me to tears every time. (It really helps remind me that women can be hormonal crazy people for at least a year postpartum.)

But seriously. The way a baby who is only a few months old can look at his big brother in such genuine awe is remarkable. The way a toddler turns into the most gentle little helper makes you so proud.

Every time I watch my boys together, my heart grows two sizes and I well up with a feeling that I can’t even describe. I know they’ll bicker, tease, and fight with each other as they grow. C’mon, they are boys after all! I can only imagine how many times I’ll say, “Stop hitting your brother!” But amidst all the craziness, I hope they will look out for each other, stand up for each other, and cherish each other and the bond they’ll always have as brothers.

P.S. I also wasn’t ready for potty training! So. Much. Pee.

What’s something you weren’t ready for when you had kids?

Human GPS

We’re all friends here…let’s get to know each other a little better! Here are 15 things you may not know about me…

  1. I pierced my own ears when I was 14. Apparently, the first two sets of holes weren’t enough and I just had to have a third set, so I took it upon myself to make that happen.
  2. I don’t know how to whistle or burp.
  3. I am pretty much a human GPS. I can get you pretty much anywhere and tell you all of your restaurant choices along the route. Detour? That’s ok, we’ll reroute and change our meal options accordingly!
  4. I got my belly button pierced…twice.
  5. I have VERY fast labors. Like, almost had H in the car, fast.
  6. I am a worrier. I worry about everything. Of course, that’s only gotten worse with having children.
  7. I’m not too shabby of a photographer.
  8. I cannot stand diet soda. How anyone can enjoy that aftertaste is beyond me.
  9. I have never broken a bone or had any surgeries.
  10. I bite my nails.
  11. I have a strange love for alligators.
  12. I almost went to college in Washington State. I also got accepted into the Honors College at ASU, but would have had to live on campus.
  13. I am a vegetarian. Well, pescetarian if you want to get technical.
  14. I was a complete Coke fan until just a few years ago and now I love Pepsi. Yes, I feel like a traitor. A traitor with a delicious, ice-cold Pepsi in her hand…I can live with that.
  15. I consider myself to be a very good driver. However, when I was 16,for a small ridiculous reason, I failed my drivers test the first time!

There you go! Sometimes it’s fun to stop and think about what makes you, you. Did you learn anything new about me? If any, how many did you already know?

Leave a comment and share something interesting about YOU with ME!

Never Break Plans with a Stay At Home Mom

Never, ever break plans with a stay at home mom.

Moms who stay at home each day with their children do not get the chance to have adult conversations for the greater part of the day. They never get to discuss the latest world news, or gossip about their favorite shows…ha ha, just kidding, they don’t have time to watch anything other than Curious George and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! But still, the point is that the conversations their days are filled with are usually about how exciting it was to see a lizard in the backyard and whose body that noise came from.

If she’s got plans to meet you for dinner, fro yo, at the gym, maybe you’re supposed to stop by after work, whatever it might be, don’t flake out on her unless you absolutely have to! Something you may be fine with postponing to the following week might be something she has been looking forward to for days. Not just looking forward to, but counting on. Life gets busy, I get that, I really do. But just make sure you can’t shuffle some other things around before you up and cancel your plans.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying stay at home moms are some fragile butterflies that you have to treat as if they’ll cry at the drop of a hat, although postpartum hormones can sneak up and they might. All I’m saying is that I guarantee she’s been waiting for that time of adult interaction like a child waiting for Christmas morning. It’ll be as if she’s going on a first date…I can’t wait until tomorrow night! I think I’ll wear that new shirt I bought two months ago and still haven’t gotten to wear! Should I shave my legs? It sounds ridiculous and yet it’s completely true!

So if you’re a forgetful person, get a planner, set an alarm on your phone, write it on your arm, write it on your forehead, but be there. If you lead a glamorously busy life, make your friends who miss you (because I promise you, they miss you. They miss talking to anyone who is old enough to vote.) a priority.

And don’t forget: When you do meet up with them, don’t be surprised when they offer you hand sanitizer or ask you if you need to go potty before your meal comes! Just say yes and “try” anyway!

Now text your favorite stay at home mom and let them know you’re thinking of them. And maybe bring them wine…lots of wine.