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Just Say No To The Minivan

I have three boys • I make trips to and from school five days a week and grocery store runs weekly that look like I’m feeding the entire state of Florida at times
• But I’ll never be a minivan mom
• From what I’ve been told from friends near and far it’s the holy grail of vehicles for moms
• I’ve even had friends that have converted after swearing time and time again they would never be that mom. Then they post the pictures of their smiling faces waving at the camera as they drove off the lot in their brand new minivan
• I see you rolling by with your kids in tow, all DVD players flipped down. I see you in the parking lot at the grocery store, arms full and you are waving your magic foot under the bumper so the trunk will open seemingly on its own. I see you walking to your minivan and the doors opening for you without the touch of a finger and you are a football field away. I see you not having to fight to pull down the second row to get to the third
• I see you as I’m over here dropping…
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Where The Best Days Ever Are Found

“Mom, this is the best day ever” • That’s what my oldest said to me right before I took this picture
• I stopped to think about our day and I could not find anything extra special about it
• We didn’t buy them any toys, we didn’t go on a lavish play date to a fancy park
• That night I asked him what made today the best day ever. He said, “It was when we went on a yard sale hunt. It was when we held hands with Dad in the parking lot. It was when you let me pick out the color of paint for our room. It was when you turned the music up really loud, rolled down the windows and we sang at the top of our lungs. It was when you held my hand in the store and we snuck off just me and you to go look at the pretty lights. It was the best day of my life”
• I think as moms we get so caught up in trying to make sure every day for them is the best day ever that we forget what the best day ever really looks like to them
• It doesn’t look like toys or play dates or amusement parks
• It looks a lot like hold…

The Day I Realized It Was Me Too

One day I want my three sons to know that their mom has had to say “me too” one too many times in her lifetime
• I’d tell them about all the times this “me too” stands for and all the times I was frozen in silence that was pushed on me by the world's views to keep my mouth shut
• The times when I wish I could have said, “me too” and when I wish someone else would have stood up and said “me too” with me
• The time my neighbor would wait for me when I got off the school bus on his front porch and say obscene things. Then tell everyone he was only “kidding” and that made it okay. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know I had a voice to say, “me too” I didn’t know there were others that would stand with me
• The time when I was young and my boss told me what room number I could find him in. I told my family and my grandmother said “Nikki, this is life and it will happen for the rest of yours that’s just how it is” because someone in her life told her she didn’t have a voice that …

I’m Married But I Go Speed Dating

I’ve been married to Jer for eleven years

Yet, on any given weekend you will find me out speed dating. There are just things that I long for that I can’t get from my marriage

Some things only certain people could understand

For instance I need someone that can understand that a Friday night out means a trip to aimlessly roam every single square inch of Target and then maybe back again

Someone that knows a messy bun, yoga pants and yesterday’s T-shirt is a staple outfit and one that should be worn with pride

Someone that understands the best gift I can be given is a nap

Someone that knows my Starbucks order and has it ready for me when I arrive at Target

Someone that understands that sometimes you just need to get in the truck and ride around with music blasting and sing at the top of your lungs

Those are the things I am looking for in someone when I do what I like to call speed dating for a mom friend. We all know that’s what Finding mom friends is really like, it’s like dating and it…

When A Chore Chart Isn’t Just Dishes and Cleaning Up

You might notice a few things that seem odd about our chore chart

You might notice the amounts for their allowance don’t seem too grand. You might also notice that their chores extended outside the walls of our home

My kids do not and will not get paid for chores

I also don’t believe in the average chore chart in our home

You see I believe they should help me clean up toys and put away dishes because it’s the right thing to do not because they will get paid to do it.

I also believe a chore chart shouldn’t just consist of putting away the dishes and cleaning up toys or a room. Yes, those things are great and teach cleanliness and responsibility, however, I also want them to realize that as adults they will not get paid to clean their own house. As their mom, I won’t be there to remind them to clean up for their weekly allowance and their spouse won’t either

I also want them to know that there is something else they should be doing weekly that is just as important as doing the dishes a…

The Truth About The Messy Mom In The School Drop Off Line

Here you will find me in all my glory and in my natural habitat also known as the school drop off line

I’m not that mom that gets up extra early, puts on a full face of makeup

I’m not that mom that puts on a brand new outfit for the drop off line at 7:20 am

Instead I’m the mom with the dry shampoo hair up in a messy bun, wearing yesterday’s T-shirt and zero makeup on my face

I’m the mom that has toys and wrappers rolling out of the door in the drop off line when my child gets out

When you see me in line, you might want to judge me from your car

But it’s what you don’t see that matters the most because what you see in the drop off line isn’t all there is to me as a mom

I’m the mom that stayed up late last night washing clothes, ironing shirts for school this morning

I’m the mom that was up all night packing lunches and using their favorite cookie cutter for the sandwich’s and handwriting special notes for their lunchboxes

I’m the mom the sent an extra juice box and snack with them and …

I Talked To My Sons About Las Vegas and Here Is What Happened

I talked to them about Las Vegas

I've never been one to shelter them from things in this world like tragedy, grief, loss and sickness

I want them to grow up realizing that there is a world outside our family filled with people that are sick, hurting and suffering

Some might say it is too heavy a burden for their little hearts. I say little hands and hearts are the ones that make the biggest impact on the hurt and broken

I want them to grow up to be men with kind hearts. I want them to grow up being thoughtful friends and caring husbands and fathers. I want them to grow up knowing that true joy in life is found in helping others in a time of need. It's found in giving to someone that can't give back. It's not expecting a single thing in return

It sometimes even means giving until it hurts

I want them to know that it's for family, friends and even complete strangers

I want them to hear a story of someone in need and I want it to stir their hearts so bad that they wan…