Maps and such

Spent the past few weeks being more lost than ever. Being more overwhelmed and underwhelmed simultaneously. I have done so much self reflection and introspection and haven't quite gotten to "found" but have gotten to a more peaceful head space.

The girls turned 5...5! Where did all of that time go? Wasn't I supposed to be making memories that would last a lifetime? How is it possible that they could be so blurry? I'm sure it's somewhere in my brain but hiding for that last "big show" just before you kick it. Hopefully someday I will remember it all with clarity, but I'm not sure I would take the over or under on it. Life is complicated that way.

I remember my 5th birthday. I wore a pink lace and ruffled party dress with matching purse. It was very 80s and I loved it. I got a swing set as my present and the way I remember it, it was delivered to my backyard birthday party. A boy that I liked was there and I can't really remember him but I think his name was Andy. I felt like a princess. For the next few weeks all I wanted to wear was that pink party dress, maybe I just wanted to recapture that feeling of being a princess.

The five-year old brain is simple that way: wear the dress, feel like a princess, life is good. The path is clear, do this then that. All roads lead to happiness...until you get the green cup when you wanted the purple cup or your crusts were cut off from left to right instead of right to left, but I digress.

My daughters charmed the attendees, played with their friends and had a blast. On the ride home they said it was he best birthday ever and my heart melted a little. I don't know if they will remember all the moving parts and there were no pink party dresses, but I hope when they do remember it, they do so fondly and with breathlessness the way I remember my 5th birthday party. Pure joy.

I can't believe how old they are and how far we have come in this journey of parenthood; a journey that I wasn't  always sure I would ever get to go on. The further we get from our struggles the harder it is to remember. The harder it is to hold them closer to my heart and keep them present when the girls are crazy and not listening or my house is a mess and things are completely out of control.

One of my promises when I was doing IVF was to remember the struggle, to keep it in my mind so I wouldn't take anything for granted. I would remember and cherish every moment. I drew the map when I didn't realize how difficult the journey would be.

Now that I'm here, traveling down all of these roads, the windy ones, the hilly ones, the ones that aren't even paved, I don't always stop to remember how lucky I am. I often forget the days spent scouring the internet looking for hope, and the promise I made to remember where we came from, the struggle.

It's human, I guess. People stop using maps once they memorize how to get to where they are going. And sometimes, if they aren't careful, they don't even remember the drive anymore.



Some days all I do is yell. I yell and I yell and I yell. Sometimes the right thing to do is probably just to politely ask my children to do what I want them to do, but because reality has made yelling a habit it comes out as me yelling.

I hate yelling. It makes me unnerved. It's not how I believe results are produced in business, how could it produce results in four year olds? Newsflash...it doesn't. Yet, at home it's so hard to find a balance that doesn't include yelling.

So tonight when my daughter asked what letter an exclaimation point was as she was looking at a book, I had to explain that it meant that the person was yelling, exclaiming, what they were saying. In this particular book, a mother was telling a child, David, "No peeking!"

David is always getting yelled at in his book series. I bought them in hopes of teaching my children right from wrong without me having to yell, David's mother could do that! It has not worked out that way. In fact, the real reason my daughters love David is that he bares his naked tushy, and what could be more fun than a bare bum?

As I write this, namely to get out the frustrations of my day, I realize that all the yelling and anxiety over doing the right things at home, the things that I find particularly important, is falling on deaf ears, maybe. Only time will tell. So deep breaths and move forward. Deep breaths and prayers for moments of sanity. Moments that prove that I'm doing something right.

Hardest job ever, because there is no one there to let you know whether or not you are performing, whether or not you are doing anything right. Whether or not you will end up fodder for their memoir...


Becoming a Boss

The best boss I ever had was named Nikki. She was probably in her late 20s, early 30s and I was only 19. Nikki thanked me and every employee when we left for the night, which always baffled me because I had been paid to go to work and to complete certain tasks, hadn't I? She always evaluated my work with a keen eye and provided guidance, while still letting me expand my creativity and use my own talents to the best of my ability.

When she promoted me, it was always to areas of the business that I was able to continue to grow, learn and develop. And, for me, the most significant thing she did was show compassion and empathy for me as a human being and my life outside of the walls of work.

Don't get me wrong, if I came in hung over she expressed little sympathy for my headache, previous nights make-up and pale green complexion. But the day she watched me struggle with a sorted romantic relationship full of complexities, she sat me down and told me I was worth more than what he was giving me. She looked me in the eyes and meant every word she said. And while some people, especially those entrenched in the corporate world, would say what she did was unprofessional, I do not.

Nikki gave me strength and knowledge in that moment. She offered a clarity I'm not sure I would have found on my own. She also shortened the time I would have sulked outside smoking cigarettes, made me get up and get back to work without saying those words at all.

When I became a boss, I thought about all the bosses I'd had in the past. I thought about the kind of boss I wanted to be and how I would use the good things and get rid of the bad. Only I didn't realize that being a boss would be the hardest job and responsibility I would have, second only to being a mom.

I've made all sorts of mistakes as a manager. Too many to count or list. But I don't ever think that caring about my employees on a professional AND personal level has ever been one of them. Like Nikki did for me, I want my employees to know that they can lean on me. Why? Because that's how they know I care and when they know I care about them on a human level they will be more inclined to work for me, perform, go above and beyond.

Sure, I have had an employee take advantage of my management style. The important thing as a manager is to recognize it, address it and move forward in whatever way makes the most sense. I'm not saying it's easy, but like I said before, it's the hardest job you'll have. There will always need to be a balance, I just believe that the balance doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice being a person and caring. I find that my employees have more respect for me and are willing to go the extra mile because they know that I am willing to do the same for them.

In life there are times when you should be authoritative with no regard for others, I propose though that being a manager, even being a CEO, does not require you to be tyrannical or inhuman. To be a great CEO, a great manager, requires innovation, integrity, creativity and, most importantly, empathy.

The world is full of intelligent and innovative people, but only a few are truly amazing leaders. Perhaps what separates the two is the ability to balance it all while still remaining human.


starting over

It's been awhile. To see that the girls weren't even one when I last posted amazes me. It feels like a century ago, a lifetime passed. They will be five in less than a month. Our world has surely changed since then. The hard has changed and our capacity to handle it, too. I still feel blessed beyond compare, but I also feel burnt out by this whole working mom and wife thing. It's definitely difficult and despite what people say, it's impossible to "have it all", at least not in the way it's proposed.

After years of focusing solely on work and my family, I feel like I'm at a crossroads. I have never been good at taking care of myself, I don't have a hobby besides helping other people, and I don't really ever relax or sit still. I'm just not very good at it. So, for 2017, I have made self care a priority. It actually started mid-December and I'm still doing pretty well with it.

My venture into self care has included a variety of lifestyle changes including psychotherapy, something I had done in the past but that has felt needed and right at this time in my life. It has made me explore a variety of things about myself and my life. It has me thinking about where I want to be and what I want to do. I have a great, well-paying job, one that I have worked incredibly hard for, but something feels missing lately. I was once entirely fulfilled by my day-to-day. Now, I feel like I have so much more to give and contribute. I feel like I need to be doing more. But what is more? That's what I'm trying to figure out...

So, I'm starting here. Going to roll up my sleeves and get to blogging. This space was once simply reserved my exploration of my struggles with infertility and then finally being a mom, some of those topics won't ever change, but now, I'm going to also explore other topics that I love, that drive me. Entrepreneurialship, marketing, inspiration, creativity, integrity, passion, drive, advice, the list is crazy long. I hope my readers will continue to get value out of this and I hope to pick up some new ones. I hope we can talk and argue and come up with ways to make the world a better place.

I have tons of lofty ambitions, so I leave you with this, what makes you angry, what can't you live without, what gets you out of bed in the morning, what makes you smile? Do that. Work toward that.

So I leave you with this


11 months, 3 weeks and 6 days

On Friday, my three beautiful baby girls will be one. I cannot believe a year has flown away so quickly. Everyone said that the time would pass so fast, but I just cannot believe how fast it really has gone. When I was pregnant and trying to figure out what to expect, what to buy, what kinds of things I would be in for, there wasn't really anyone who could have prepared me. Even the triplet moms that offered up some advice couldn't have prepared me. Each one of us (singleton moms, twin moms, etc.) are going to handle this whole adventure differently, it's the nature of being human, it's also very dependent on the type of children you have.

If I could go back in time and tell myself some things here is what they would be...
  1. Go out and buy more bibs...the realistic kind...the kind that don't have applique or any other froofy stuff. The bigger the better...you will need them...I promise.
  2. Get the bumpers. It doesn't matter if they match, but eventually you will feel secure enough that your daughters will not get hurt and you will be incredibly tired of waking up from babies bumping heads on the edges of their cribs. 
  3. Stick to the schedule. No matter how crazy people make you feel for having it. You are not crazy and they do not have to take care of three babies after you leave.
  4. Don't fight against the babies. They are on a whole other level of understanding. When they stop wanting the 11 pm feeding, stop waking them up.
  5. All those cute outfits in the preemie and newborn (hell, even 3 month) sizes. Don't cut the tags off or wash them. Return them immediately. You will be living in pajamas and so will they...sometimes the same pair for a few days. 
  6. Let people help when they offer. You are only one person.
  7. Take a nap on occasion. It will get harder and harder the older they get.
  8. Night feedings stink, but they only happen for so long. Try your best to remember that and spend some time enjoying the quiet time you are getting with your babies. Soon they will not want you to rock them to sleep anymore.
  9. The baby in the book does not exist. Stop trying to mold your babies into that baby. It won't work and frankly, you don't want that baby anyway. I promise...yours are way cooler anyway. 
  10. Don't take it so seriously. The first year is over before you know it and you will spend time wishing you could have the time back...at least for a little bit...and maybe with more sleep. Being a mom is something you fought so long for, so spend at least a little time enjoying the fact that you get to be a mom to three of the coolest girls on the planet. 
As I finished that last one, I reread it silently trying to remind myself of it. I need to remember it when I am potty training, taking pacis away, and, further down the line, when I am getting them ready to graduate high school.

My daughters' first birthday is an incredibly happy and sad event for me. Happy because I really am so blessed to have three daughters turning one and sad because it means that they really are going to grow up.

We have so many more adventures to have and so many more chapters to write, but this first year was a good one and a good start.

"Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you've done will have mattered as much.” ― Lisa Wingate


11 months, 2 weeks, 3 days old

It's hard to believe that in about two short weeks, my precious baby girls will be one. At the start of this journey, I definitely did not picture this day. In fact, I'm certain I have said it before, I have hit a point in my life that I had never imagined. I am living a life that I did not have the ability or wherewithal to picture or dream. My life right now is better and more amazing than anything I could have conjured up.

In December, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS from here on out). I had always known that something was wrong, but did not have the definitive diagnosis until December 7. I reconfirmed today with a second opinion and got the ball rolling on treatment.

It has taken a lot for me to write any of this. It really has taken a lot for me to admit that I am afraid. I think of those three precious babies and I worry that I won't be the mom that they deserve because of something that I may not be able to avoid. I worry that I don't take good enough care of myself because I don't stop to look at the big picture all the time. I worry that I won't be able to actively participate in their growing up process the way that I want to.

I haven't really dealt with the diagnosis because I don't really feel like there is anything to "deal" with per se. I have worries and feelings but I can't control what happens and so I have really taken a kind of zen attitude about it.

When I think about the diagnosis, it often feels like a weight has been lifted. I now finally know what has been wrong for so long.

My husband said this morning that there is always something worse. And he is 100% right. I do not have cancer, I am not dying. I am Me. The same person I was yesterday. Nothing can really change that. My hope is that I don't lose myself in the diagnosis. That I remain Me.

There are a lot of things that I want to do before I leave this life. I plan on doing all of them.

“The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” - W. M. Lewis


8 months, 1 week and 4 days

It's amazing to think that the girls are just about at 8.5 months old. Their smiling faces and laughter are just about the best parts of my day. I imagine that most parents are overwhelming in love with their children, but I like to think that my love for those little girls transcends all human thinking.

I am a completely different person now. The person who started the infertility journey is long gone. She has been replaced with someone different. I like to think that the three ladies growing inside me left their imprint on my soul and changed me forever. I believe that they have.

I am more patient and respectful than I was previously. I am calmer about certain things and more neurotic about others. I am very easily distracted and very very forgetful. I am a mom.

I am saying this to lead into a totally unrelated, but semi-related discussion. It involves my previous post, the one about the blogger who publicly announced her reduction. I broke down and read her blog. Not all of her blog, but specifically the posts that outlined this pregnancy. Why?

Because she delivered her child. At 25 weeks.

I read it because I had to see if there were signs, if there were elements that God was teaching some bigger lesson here.

I try hard not to get preachy or religious on here. I believe that God has a plan and that we are all working the plan He has outlined for us. I believe in fate. I believe that we are constantly reliving life to learn different things and experience different things important to the end of our all encompassing story that is so much bigger than you or me.

Because of that, I had to find out how her story was playing out. In order to do that I had to go back to the beginning, or at least to the beginning of this particular chapter. In doing so, I learned or inferred things that I wished I hadn't. I publicly defended her in my previous post and now feel that I need to rescind that support. I support nothing about this woman.

I don't want to go further than that. I don't want to spend too much time on the subject, but I had to put that out there since I didn't want anyone to think that I have any sympathy, empathy or otherwise for this woman. I hope her child is healthy and wonderful. I hope he has a good life and supportive parents that love him no matter what. I wish him nothing but the best.

"God doesn't make mistakes..." (unsure of origins)