Monday, October 20, 2014

When Married People Flirt

Flirting is a true skill. It's been a long time since I've dated, but I remember a thing or two about flirtatious behavior. Very recently I ended up in a long airplane line while in front of two adorable gentlemen who awkwardly flirted for several minutes. I tried not to listen to their seductive tones, incessant giggling and the sexual tension in their one-liners. I failed miserably and felt like a complete third wheel; but, when it was all said and done, I was truly amused by their flirting.

Flirting often changes when you're married. It almost becomes an underutilized skill. Once you've nabbed your match flirting fades. It is somehow replaced with routine and the instances of careless and connected flirtation can become few and far between.

But it really doesn't have to!

Married couples DON'T have to fit some societal mode. The dating game though scary at times has it's adrenaline & confidence-boosting benefits brought on by flirtation. It is both good for you and ultimately an ingredient for happy marriages.

It's those marriages that remember to keep the spark of young love alive that have a good chance of prosperity. Married couples should keep a fun flirtatious tone at the forefront. Plus, it's a great way to kick-start a long overdue night of passion!

Do you agree?!?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Creepy Clowns

Earlier this week we  shared some of our favorite kid-friendly Halloween movies. Of course there are the less family-freindly nightmare type of scary movies. For many, horror movies are a fun way to get the adreneline going. I am not one of those people. The few horror films I have seen still haunt me to this day.

Some people have fears of spiders, heights, or even driving over brides. The most terrifying movie I can remember seeing was Stephen King's "It". Holy Moly! It gave me a life-long uneasy feeling around clowns. This is not an uncommon fear. Coulrophobia is real. This season of "American Horror Story: Freak Show" has a very freaky clown character named Twisty. After just one episode and this crazy clown my dreams are being haunting.

Believe it or not something even more freaky than a TV character has been happening in Bakersfield and Wasco, California. It is like every single one of your nightmares are coming true. Imagine running errands at night and running into this....

I don't know if I would scream or wet myself, or both. In different towns there have been multiple sightings of someone dressed up as a creepy clown and usually carrying some sort of weapon. And with all things these days, this "prank" has been linked to an Instagram account.

You can rest a little because a 14 year old kid was arrested in connection with this horrible prank.

So tell us!
What are your biggest fears? 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

No Shame in the Labor and Delivery Game

This beautiful angel marks grandchild number 18 for my mother. Such a sweet little thing who was long overdue in more ways than one. When she was finally ready for her big entrance we all awaited with open arms. No one's arms stretched greater with love than that of her two doting parents.

Once I heard of her arrival I rushed to the maternity ward to meet this sweet pea. There I faced the all too familiar yet distant memory of giving birth. As I entered the delivery room I was flooded with more than just love for this child but with comments from both of her parents about how hard labor really was. Her mother immediately expressed how she wishes she would have been stronger.


She had nothing to feel bad about or short of accomplishing. Yet, I've seen this before. I had three children naturally. Hardest thing I've ever done. I get it moms, I really do. However, many times I've felt mothers who experience c-section births say less than ideal things about themselves after childbirth. Somehow there's guilt associated with having a non-natural birth especially around those of us known to have gone the rare epidural-free route and delivered naturally.

To me, there's no shame in the labor and delivery game. The end result is ALL that ever really MATTERS. We all get to the grand finale differently and some moms' processes are much harder than others, of course. What's certain for every birth and mother who deliveries naturally or not is that they're all bonafide champions. Our bodies endure an unthinkable pain. Our mind is in a state of disarray. This process is inexplicably HARD to understand or fathom unless you've been there personally. Don't let movies, magazines or cocky birth accountants convince you otherwise. 

Whatever the journey of childbirth every woman who experiences it has earned her stripes. There's no chart to map one delivery type more significantly accomplished than another. There is no tally and surely no score sheet. We all went through our unique journey and we should be proud of how the story unfolds. 

After my niece's mother talked about wishing she had more strength, I simply leaned into her painfully weary and excruciatingly tired space to reassure her of the victory she'd accomplished. Her daughter's entry into this world was just as it was meant to be and no one's preconceived notions should alter that truth. Every birth resulting in a healthy mother and child, no matter the birthing process, is a victorious feat worth honoring. 

Have you experienced post c-section guilt or know a mom who has? 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

First Taylor Swift now Rob Lowe: Parenting Advice

Recently I found myself quoting Taylor Swift to my 9 year old while doling out advice. Then while reading Rob Lowe's latest autobiography I read some parenting advice that made me stop and then write it down. Mr. Lowe was talking about his marriage and he said...

"... kids will only be as happy as their parents" 

So Rob Lowe is devastatingly handsome but he has some good advice that I needed to hear.  

We all know that parenting can be competitive. These days if all 24 hours of your day is not focused on your kids then you are not being a good parent. I had to admit that I fall into this trap constantly. I tend to put the happiness and needs of my children before my own. Rob Lowe's message is simple, happy Mommies and Daddies equal happy kids. 

I have always felt that kid's personalities and moods feed off their parents. When people mention to us how chilled out our kids usually are I always say, ''Have you met their father?" My husband is one of the most laid-back people out there. I have also noticed that when I am stressed and frantic my kids tend to act up more. I am on edge, they feel it, so they are on edge. So naturally this would be the same for happy parents. If I am happy and in a good mood, then my kids would feel that and be the same. Why didn't I ever think of that? 

So it took 80's hearththrob Rob Lowe to open my eyes to this. To remind me that this 24 hours parenting thing is not necessary. That it is not just okay but there is no need to feel guilty about it. By making time to make sure that I am happy, doing things that make me happy, makes me a better parent and gives me happy kids. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Smooth Groove

I could save this post for our latest obsessions at the end of the month, but I'm too hooked to wait. They say musical tastes change and boy is that indelibly true. Without a doubt musical tastes evolve. I went from top 40 and radio pop to indie folk and electronic. 

With that said, I am currently obsessed with Banks. You know great artists only need to go by one name à la Adele. Banks was born and raised in Cali. and produces groove-filled creations. Her jams take me to a whole new place. There it's dark & sexy. I'm transported to a bar lounge dancing to my heart's content. Her dark R&B as it's referred to has that effect on me, but her voice takes matters to a whole new level. Billboard called her a "magnetic writer with songs to obsess over."

As I listen to her I am swaying left to right craving a decadent drink and my honey to lose myself dancing. Sure, I am just sitting in my kitchen surrounded by kids' messes, but a girl can (day) dream. Seriously though, Banks is a lovely gem with a voice to match, great beats and music that needs to take over the radio. I can't be more disappointed with what's considered the mainstream music of this generation. 

Now, tell me you agree…

What do you think of Banks?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tis The Season for Spooky Movies

In my house family movie nights are one of our favorites things to do. We love to pile pillows on the floor, pop some popcorn and settle in for a flick. Since Halloween is just weeks away it is time to enjoy some spooky movies. Now my kids are pretty chicken (just like their Momma!) so the movies have to be really family friendly. Lucky for us there is a great selection of not so scary Halloween movies. Here are some of our favorites.

  • The Addams Family (PG-13)- from the moment you hear the iconic theme song you are in a halloween mood. The Addams family may be creepy and kooky and all together spooky, but they are a family who loves each other like crazy. 
  • Ghostbusters (PG)- a 80's classic this move will introduce your kids to some of your favorite childhood characters like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man and of course Slimer. Oh and I should warn you, your kids will spend weeks yelling "Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!" at the top of their lungs. 
  • The Haunted Mansion (PG)- my kids and I just watched this Disney movie starring Eddie Murphy for the first time a few days ago. There are some pretty intense cemetery scenes, but the story had a sweet ending. The movie is based of the Disneyland ride The Haunted Mansion so if you are a Disney fan you'll enjoy it!
  • Beetlejuice (PG)- I remember loving this movie as a kid. The crazy creatures in this movie are a bit too much for my kids but I am hoping eventually they will be ready for it. 
  • It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (G)- a holiday staple for the whole family. I can remember as a kid checking the TV guide to see when this special was coming on TV.  
  • Hocus Pocus (PG)- 2 kids have a memorable night when 3 witches are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween. A very fun movie from start the finish. 
  • Casper (PG)- Casper is the friendliest ghost we know. Christina Ricci stars in this movie where her and her father are staying in a house with 3 mischievous ghosts & 1 friendly one. 
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)- another Disney winner. This movie is on repeat in our house from Halloween to Christmas. Follow as Jack Skellington tries to find what Christmas means. 
  • Spooky Buddies (G)- Cute talking puppies are always a hit with kids. Part of the straight to DVD Air Bud movies this one follows the 6 adorable puppies on a Halloween adventure. Yes puppies in costumes!
  • Coraline (PG)- This movie is a personal favorite of mine. The animation is stunning. This movie is based off the book by Neil Gaiman and they did a fantastic job of bringing the world to the screen. 
What some of your favorite Halloween movies? 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Work/Life Balance

Do you work 10-12 hours a day in your career field? Are you in a more flexible line of work partaking in less than the traditional 8 hours a shift? Does work require extensive travel or maybe you get summers off? Every work situation varies, but what's key is to maintain work/life balance. Even a person grinding 10-12 hours a day can create a system of work/life balance.

For me, I've picked a flexible field in a family-friendly office. It's particularly great to working moms. In this field over ten years, I know I've traded in pay for time. I get a flexible day-to-day schedule, fulfilling management responsibilities, mission work in a field serving children and families as well as other small agency perks. My week often includes one work-from-home day, maybe two. This flexibility provides a certain calm. It adds to my need for balance. 

However, just today I was shocked to the core professionally when my work life balance felt compromised. Though, it may not actually be. I received news of management changes and with every new boss there's new expectations and systems. I'd hate to lose flexibility in the workplace which I value as a priority. As a working mom with three small children the traditional corporate America employee schedule doesn't fit my lifestyle needs.

Now, I'm likely counting my "eggs before they hatch". I don't know if a new boss means less flexibility and reduced perks. I'll hold out hope, but one thing's for certain, regardless of management, I'll always strive for decent work/life balance. I can't be overly consumed by making a certain amount of money or climbing a status latter, and for me, I could never sacrifice my home life for a heavy workload or demanding career.

Do you relate to this philosophy or not? Chime in below!