Family First


The Center of MY Universe

I really believe that what we put out into the universe we get back.  So if you are kind, positive and loving you should receive kindness, happiness and love in return or so the belief goes.

And Karma is a biatch so don’t be an a$$hole. That is the spiritual principle of cause and effect…

The center of my universe consists of about 10 people give or take a few. And I am eternally grateful for the incredible people I get to spend my life with. My tribe knows the real me and they love me just the way I am.

This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend one on one, quality time with my sister and my little boys.We went on a staycation in our home town of Tulsa. As a 3rd generation Tulsan, I love my city and I was excited to share the new sites of downtown with my sister.

As most of you know my sister isn’t well and has rare incurable illnesses. Although she has been diagnosed there hasn’t been much change in her condition. Actually she has progressively gotten worse over the years.

Her health issues present a huge challenge of experiencing life and living it to the fullest.

My sister is the most kindhearted, most grateful, eternal optimist with the best sense of dirty and witty humor. The sparkle in her eyes and the magic in her laugh are magnetic and leave you wanting to spend more and more time with her.

Even though she may look “ok” on the outside she is living a personal internal hell. Nobody really knows her struggles but the intensity of her illnesses are literally gut wrenching and overwhelming sad.

She showed me these images yesterday from a website called Colitis Ninja and I think this is almost a perfect illustration of her.

If you are interested in learning more about Colitis check out this site its legit.

The Fairfield Inn & Marriott at the Brady Arts District in downtown Tulsa heard about the room makeover we were working on and they immediately gave 2 FREE nights stay to my sister. They wanted her to be able to have some fun in her own city. She had not been able to experience the newly revitalized Brady Arts District and all the new amazing fun attractions, restaurants and overall new positive vibe of downtown. 

Initially we tried to do this in June, the same weekend as her BIG secret room reveal but sadly she was too weak to go.

This sissy staycation is something we have wanted to do since I got married almost 10 years ago. We have always dreamed of this sissy time. We have always wanted to go to a hotel, laugh, eat, watch movies and enjoy each others company and be silly sisters.

This weekend we made our dream a reality. The Sissy Staycation was a 100% amazing, bananas awesome success.

Thank you so much to the Fairfield Inn & Marriott  The staff was so kind. A big shout out to Will & Patrick who UPGRADED us for FREE to a King Suite. Hell to the YES!!!

The first night we decided to wear our matching cold shoulder tops Similar here  just to go pick up our TO GO food at Yokozuna. Then we changed into our matching sissy t-shirts and watched Mean Girls. If you do not follow me on Snapchat or Instagram you are missing  out. So go follow me and get ready to laugh your a$$ off.

Add me on Snapchat! Username: justhappymommy

Anyway I saved a few pics and videos from our first night. We stayed up laughing and talking and it was seriously the best time. Just me and sissy and no place I would rather be.



Since we were gifted 2 nights I decided to bring the boys along. First stop was the indoor pool which was really clean and the boys had a blast!!! Then we ordered BLAZE Pizzas and found out they make a gluten free, vegan pizza for my little guy. As you can see we had so much fun and the boys are telling everyone about going to spend the night at a hotel.

Mustache Filter SUP BRO Video


Sadly it was time to leave but I remembered that we were literally 500 feet away from an attraction I had actually never visited in all of my 35 years as a Tulsan, THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.

The Center of the Universe is defined as an acoustic anomaly with a mysterious cause.

So I asked Siri for walking directions and my boys and I stood at the Center of the Universe and we all made wishes. Roman wished that he would live forever and ever, Perry kept calling it the Cinnaburst and I wished for my sissy to get better.

I know it is supposedly bad luck to tell your wishes but I figure what do I have to lose.

Why not put your wish to the universe?

Who knows maybe the universe will answer my wishes and prayers and grant her some health, healing and happiness.

Just Happy Mommy

Sissy – Part 2

I hope you enjoyed last nights post about my original best friend, my sweet, amazing sissy! I have always wanted to share her story without putting too much pressure on her to allow me to publish such personal information. I am thrilled that we have gotten to a safe place.

Ok, so, Part 2 is EVERYTHING!

Over 3 months ago (March 5th) I was approached with an idea to give a room makeover to a deserving blogger. The room would be redone and designed by the most gifted and talented designers in the business.  “Who are these magicians you might ask?,”

Luxe Furniture and Design

Owned and operated by fellow Tulsan’s and my dear friends Chris & Tamara Noel.

Now I have shared my love for them before in this post and so I jumped at the chance to get to work with Luxe again!

At first the room would be for a Blogger (me) who just happened to win the friend and room remodel lottery! As many of you know we are MOVING!!! My hubs bought us a new house! The boys and I are moving to South Tulsa and we are soooo excited. Anyway I knew since we were moving I didn’t want to take this amazing gift and not be able to use the space.

Fast forward a month later, I talked to my amazing, patient, creative, fellow mommy and friend from high school, Jen Kerckhoff with Resolute PR about this room project. What if I paid this gift forward and had the LUXE team renovate and redesign a space for my sissy??? I knew this was a shot in the dark but it would be HUGE if I could give this gift of space to such a deserving person. Anyone who knows Jenny knows she is the most humble, kind and thoughtful person, (almost to a fault) She never expects much and is thankful for being alive.

Even tho it was just a few weeks later, it seemed like an eternity, but they selected Sissy to be the recipient of the Luxe with Love room makeover!!! I remember being in my boys room with Monika MacIntrye and tears of joy shot through my face. I could hardly speak. This was going to be BIG! This was going to be HARD! This was going to be OUTSTANDING!

Now the real work began! I immediately got on the horn to my little brother who lives in LA.. I explained the entire thing to him and he was OBVI totally game. “Anything for sissy!” he said. Here is the kicker it is a SURPRISE! The entire project would be secret from not only my sissy but my mom as well.

So team Luxe, Jen & I started to have weekly meetings, text chains and emails galore about how in the heck we were going to pull off this reveal. Of course there was lots of tears, laughs and lots of fun picking out all the things for this space. We knew we wanted it to be a space for her to relax, heal, reflect, watch TV and make her jewelry. Tamara and her team, Robin and Tori ,were so wonderful to work with.

If anyone as tried to pull off a surprise like this you know how incredibly meticulous and detail oriented you must be. Good news we quickly realized this and became the dream team. The colors were chosen, the credenza was ordered as was the gorgeous chaise lounger sofa and custom designed pillows! Nothing was chosen in haste. We knew this was more than a room for sissy. This space represented freedom and encourages healing and happiness.

As the days dwindled and the room makeover quickly approached, I knew I had to get my parents out of the house, get my sissy out of her room and get my little brother on a plane home for the BIG REVEAL. Things get pretty tricky here. One afternoon Monika with Checkmark met me at my parents house to help me clean out the room.

My sister was getting VERY suspicious at this point so I told her I was doing some cleaning and organizing for mom since she has been so busy taking care of everyone else. This went over like a lead balloon. My mom was not pleased but I apologized without letting her in on the BIG surprise. I wanted to tell her so badly what we were doing for sissy, but like myself and many others change is hard. Especially when you have someone come in your house and mess with all your stuff.

Fast-forward to last Thursday! “D-Day” if you will. The perfect storm was brewing. My dad arranged to take my mom to Dallas for their 45th wedding anniversary which was coincidentally that weekend! As soon as they hit Southbound 75, Devon Whaling with Whaling Painting met me at the house to start painting the surprise room. We moved the remainder of the furniture to the garage and to my garage. The stage was set.

We had so many amazing people donate their time, skill and love to this project. Devon went above and beyond my expectations with his meticulous work and even helped us arrange for a carpet cleaner to come in the next day. When I called Eric Price with Master Clean Carpet Cleaning in Tulsa he was ready and eager to help us with this project. Someone we cold called got on board immediately when they heard about what we were doing for sissy.

So where was sissy during all of this? Well she was wrangling the 2 wild boys and we also had arranged for her to go on a “staycation.” The Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott Downtown Tulsa in the newly rejuvenated Brady district gave Jenny and me 2 nights stay at their hotel to enjoy during the remodel. This is something my mom, sis and I often try to make happen and daydream about. Getting to have some girl time away from the house, hospital and just have fun! Since she is not able to travel, staying in Tulsa was ideal.

She was over the moon and beyond thrilled to get this amazing gift which she thought I had arranged since my parents were out of town as was my husband. I got the boys situated with the babysitter and headed over to get sissy and head downtown. When I arrived she was lying on my parents bed, white as a ghost. She had fallen earlier and was not doing well. She tried to rally but when she went to put on her matching green dress she crumpled to the floor in tears.

This is one of those times I will never forget. She was so disappointed, so sad, so tired, so sick, it broke my heart to see her that way. I helped her to bed and told her to rest. Her health is the most important thing. The hotel wasn’t going anywhere. After profusely apologizing she finally calmed down. I decided to cancel the room and order some food to be delivered to the house. As I sat down to eat my food alone at my family’s kitchen table, I lost it. I called my husband and just cried and cried. I was so overwhelmed by the entire situation. I felt like the little engine that could. Repeating in my head “I think I can, I think I can.”

My friend Jen needs an award and a license in therapy for putting up with my emotional mess all weekend. Jen reminded me of the famous quote from the story “A Tale of Two Cities,” by: Charles S. Dickens; “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I then realized the real reason we were all doing this, it was to make sissy happy. Even tho things seemed to be going wrong and were extremely stressful it was worth it. Again my wise friend quoting Thomas Jefferson: “with great risk, comes great reward,” and that was the motto that got me thru the next 24 hours.

Sissy and I had a good cry and then we stayed up till almost 2 am laughing, talking, reminiscing of the days when we shared a room and retelling funny stories from our childhood and recent moments of hilarity with my boys. Even tho she was still at home and too ill to leave, it was just what we both needed, sissy time. Of course the fancy thought of a girls night downtown and staying at a hotel with out my kids sounded incredible, but being with her and taking care of her was the only place I wanted to be.

When you are a caretaker you do whatever is necessary to make your loved ones feel comfortable. Always in the back of my mind thinking OMG she has NO idea what is about to happen. OH & I was picking up a very special package from the airport on Friday. Baby brother was coming home from LA! Getting this piece of the puzzle to fit was the icing on the top. If they hated the room, at least PJ was home as the perfect buffer and welcomed distraction.

Ok bare with me y’all this is a long story but we are getting to the end so hang in there. Friday came & went and before we knew it, it was REVEAL DAY! Tamara, Robin, Tori and the LUXE team arrived in the morning and installed the furniture, custom wall art and added just the right finishing touches.

Finally it was time to sit my sister down and explain what in the HELL was going on. I made her a video explaining my hair-brained idea, that the room was all for her. It was always about her. Being able to give her this amazing gift along with my incredibly talented and generous friends (even tho my dad did end up helping with the bill,) was what this whole thing was about.

“You were selected for a health and happiness room! WTF does that mean? We made a room just for you. You are beautiful, kind, strong and you do not deserve to be this sick. But you do deserve some happiness and maybe a room like this will help you heal. The train tried to derail several time. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in this. It was a tremendous undertaking of love. Because we love you and you deserve this so, lets go check out your new room!”

So here it is DRUMROLL PLEASE…

The pictures do not do the room or the emotions felt justice. But just know that ALL THE FEELS were there! Everyone was happy and lots of tears of joy were shed. Finally I leave you with the amazing custom wall art done by Angela Finch Custom Artwork 

The scrolling art at the bottom is handwritten script which is a quote from Cinderella. “A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep. In dreams you will loose your heartache, whatever you wish for you keep.” Little did this artist know that I sing this song to my boys at night to remind them that anything is possible as long as your heart dreams.

Just Happy Mommy

Our local paper also did a nice article about the room Tulsa World Article

PS Special Thanks to Norwalk Furniture and Spectrum Paint Company

Sissy – Part 1

I have sat down to write this post so many times. I have tried to think about what I would say. How do I explain my sissy’s health & life situation?  So I decided to make this part 1 of a 2 part series.

I guess I should just start at the beginning. She has been sick for over a decade. 10 years of her life robbed by illness. Could you imagine?

At first we all were puzzled and really going through the grieving process, if you will. How do you understand something NO ONE can explain? Why can’t they fix her? What is wrong? All the questions and very little answers. The 5 W’s and the H. It was like a terrible dream that kept replaying even when you open your eyes.

I have said this before, her mind is sharp but her body cannot keep up.  She is so smart, beautiful and kind.  She has so many hopes and dreams but some days she can hardly get out of bed, living in a constant state of exhaustion.

Her body rejects food.  It’s like she has had the stomach bug forever! Her resting heart rate is like she is at peak cardio fitness 166. She lives her life at home and at the lab. I could go on and on. I think you get the picture.

She HATES for me to share too much about her illnesses, but it unfortunately it is part of this story. My sister and I are separated by 2.5 years just like my boys. She is hands down one of the best people in my life. I got her permission to publish this post. I share this not for sympathy but rather to share something I often harbor and choose not to open up about. I have said this since my first blog post, writing is cathartic for me and helps me deal with my emotions.

With that said, we do not want pity. I have wanted to give a better understanding of her health situation without going into too many medical terms or details.

Year after year she gets worse. My parents have taken her to half a dozen hospitals and specialists across the country. At first the trips were hopeful. Now they have be come daunting and almost impossible for her to travel. The feelings of fear, anxiety and hopelessness hang in the air as they head southbound  75 to Dallas. The latest trip was again answerless and uneventful.

Being a mother myself I cannot imagine the internal pain and anguish my mother feels. Seeing your baby sick and unable to help them has IS the worst feeling in life. The strength between them is astonishing. I remember hearing stories of a mother who lifted a car to save her child. The motherly, mama bear instincts to protect our young are true and inherent.

My mother is truly a saint. To say that I admire my mother and sister is an understatement. My sisters ability to carry on despite her withering body is nothing short of a mental miracle.

We get to a place of hope and then she lands back in the hospital. This time last year she was in the hospital and we had just gotten home from our family beach vacation.

Last month it was Mother’s Day weekend and again we had just gotten home from vacation. Poor thing was so sick she had to be admitted to the hospital. This time it was for her low potassium and other labs showing she was dehydrated. She needed more fluids than she and mom could administer at home, thru her port.

So here were are, one year later, and if feels like we are living in Groundhog’s Day. All she wants is to be at home and celebrate Mother’s Day with her mommy.

When I came to visit her, she was still sleeping. Her face grimaced and she was in pain while she was dreaming. My mom wakes her up to eat her breakfast at 2pm. They listen as I tell funny stories about the boys and our trip to the beach. The 3 of us hens can create quite a stir in the hospital. We roast the men in our lives and laugh so hard we pee a little.

It is not long after, she starts to have a spell and goes to the bathroom. I hold back tears as I hear her have a terrible vomiting fit. She moseys back in with her IV pole, looking defeated and apologizes. She lies down on the hospital bed and gets her medication from the nurse.

This is when the laughter stops. My job has become the comic relief.  The one they send in with the camera man saying “SMILE!! You’re on candid camera.” Unfortunately this is not a BRAVO original series.

This is her life. My mom’s life. My father’s life. My brother’s life. Our life as a family. Seeing someone you love, sick and in pain is nothing I wish on anyone.

My boys do NOT know the REAL sissy. They only know she is sick. They help her with her meds and love her to the moon and back 100.

The lump in my throat is growing. I tear up every time I say this. She has told me that the boys are her only reason for living. That without them she would want to give up. I am so thankful for my babies & blessings that bring her such joy.

So there it is. A tiny glimpse of the last 10 years. Thank you to everyone who asks about sissy. She hates people doting on her but I always remind her that there are so many people who love and care about her. The next chapter is going to be a happy one.  I have made it my mission to make certain of that.

Over last few months I have been working with some amazing people on a BIG exciting project.

Finally, it is time to share and reveal my BIG surprise for sissy. So stay tuned for part 2 and continue with us on this journey.

I hope I make you proud sissy because I am so proud to call you; My sissy.

My day one.

My heart.

I love you.



“Food is a Gift. Eating is a Celebration!”

So many of my most favorite and vivid childhood memories stem from food.

Whether it be holidays, birthdays or Sundays.

I love food & my family more than anything.

I come from a long line of cooks, chefs if you will. I literally grew up cooking. My dad would wake up with me on the weekends to give my mom a break, and we would watch Julia Child on TV together. The joke is, that is where my love of cooking started.

Around age 5, I was fortunate to spend afternoons with my dad’s mom, Nana, and we called them “Nana Days.”  She would pick me up from 1/2 day kindergarten and we would go to Braum’s. Then we would watch soap operas and I would watch her prepare dinner for Papa.

Our Nana was one of a kind. She was especially known for her baking skills. Nana made the best, badest breakfast foods ever! We would come over after church on Sunday mornings and she would have 6 dishes! ALWAYS biscuits, sausage, bacon, eggs then she would have fried potatoes, waffles or cinnamon rolls.

She followed the motto the more butter the better and she cooked with love.

She even had a butter warmer.  It was magical having melted butter always on the table next to the salt, pepper and syrup.

“People who love to eat are always the best people. – Julia Child”

We all value the importance of steak, butter and a good glass of wine.

My aunt & uncle are both AMAZING cooks! They both have a gift for cooking and a love for food. My cousin is also an incredible chef. She knows how to run a kitchen in a skirt and she has a killer smile with a don’t mess with me attitude. The title of this post is a quote that they say, “Food is a gift. Eating is a Celebration!”

My mom and her mother are also fabulous cooks. Our favorites on that side include Mexican food, pizza and italian and American classics. MeMaw had lots of practice cooking, seeing how she had 12 mouths to feed including herself!

My MeMaw is the strongest, sassiest and smartest lady I have ever known.

Her smile, her strength and effortless & stunning style  impress me daily.

They would have one BIG meal on Sundays and the Hasty Bake was the star. BBQ chicken and hamburger steak. We were always outside playing on the trampoline and swing set. Her au gratin potatoes, pot roast and chili are legendary! You can always count on 3 staples at MeMaws; oyster crackers, sweet tea and coca cola.
Writing these memories down makes me so grateful for my family and how lucky I am to have these moments in time with such amazing women and people.
My mom brings us full circle today. She incorporated the health aspect to our family meals and I am always craving one of her famous dishes. That will be a post in and of itself someday.

I love making safe treats for our little boys. I have had some successes but more epic fails when it comes to baking with out the “normal” ingredients.

Baking without real butter, eggs and flour was something almost sacrilegious in my family.

Well things have changed drastically for our family in the last 2 years and letting go of my way of cooking was one of them. I used to LOVE to watch the Food Network or Cooking Channel. So much so that I would watch cooking shows after work and even while in the hospital after giving birth. Cooking gives me a sense of calm, happiness and accomplishment. It also makes me think of my Nana and how much I loved cooking with her. I miss her so much.

Since the boys are at home with me Tuesdays and Thursdays I try to have at least one day a week that I devote to whatever they want to do within reason. Our outings include but are not limited to going to Target, the carwash, Kids Club, the bagel shop, Meme & Poppy’s, the park and cooking! I started cooking with our older son very early on and he still loves to help me in the kitchen. In fact, he is very territorial.

We make a mess, laugh and listen to jams and usually 3 of the 4 of us like the result. I will be posting some more recipes soon but I want to make sure I have them correct, because let me tell you it is weird. Seriously say this sentence out loud I am not going to bake or cook without butter, milk, eggs, flour, pasta, cheese, nuts or anything that is in the gluten, dairy, egg, or nut family, trust me it is like the upside-down face emoji!

My new slogan for the month is “IM NOT COMPLAINING IM EXPLAINING.”

Just because I tell people about our sons allergies does NOT mean I am complaining.

I am explaining the complexity of the situation and it is hard.

It is like a disability really. It may not be a terrible one to some but non the less it is so sad to see the look on children’s faces when they feel different & excluded. As I have said before we are educating and empowering our son to understand his allergies and own them not to let them own him. BUT we still have to be careful. Sometimes I am cool as a cucumber and other days it gets the best of me. I am SUPER grateful and BEYOND thankful to have such sweet and understanding family and friends.

So to end this post I am so excited to share some of my favorite “Allergy Friendly” Recipes with you over the next few months. Some are simple changes that you can make. Others take a little more effort.  I really want to do a “Grocery Haul” video to show you what all we buy and where. Food is expensive, eating out is even more so. We rarely eat out as a family but that is another post entirely. Ok please let me know if you have questions. I love you all for continuing to stick with me and read my blog.


Just Happy Mommy

ADULTing is hard PARENTing is harder

Everyone has $&@!

It is part of life. I’m gonna put a few words out there, then match them to the antonym or opposite word to the right.

Remember doing this is school.

Health      Illness

Family         Stranger

Rich            Poor

Married        Single

Friend        Enemy

Child         Adult

I think we live in a world of opposites, oxymorons, and frankly, annoying arrays of pretty BS. When you read the words above, what do you think of? Some can sadly and easily be interchanged. My sons love to read this book called Peanut Butter & Cupcake. It’s all about finding friends and your match. The beauty is: they all can match in the cute chaos that is life.

Before I go any further, let me say that sometimes I feel like I need an addendum. (To any stalkers, haters, critics, or perfect people trying to judge or ruin my life.) So, here it goes, “Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.”

If you are searching for a feel good parenting post, please stop reading and go to another one of my posts. Also, it’s not necessary to call child protective services. This, after all, is just a blog, and I am just writing. So chill the F out.

I keep it real. Sometimes the stuff I say is offensive.


Now, cue the peanut gallery with all the words of wisdom, advice, memes, and grandiose ideas of how I can live an easier, stress free, perfect life and how I need to change despite my given circumstances.

Be thankful for my struggles, because God is challenging you for something greater than you can imagine.

I know God challenges us.

I know what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

I know control is not real.

I know to get on my knees and pray.

I know I will bend and not break.

I know it’s the darkest before the dawn.

I know someone is looking at me thinking, “What does she have to complain about?”

You don’t know someone else’s struggles.

Do you have a family member struggling with extreme health issues? Do you know what it’s like to see someone so ill, the doctors can’t fix them and you can’t do anything to help?

Do you know what it’s like to have a child with a disability? Do you worry everyday, that what they eat will cause a reaction,  or a near death experience?

Do you know what it is like to have a family member hate you?

Do you have a strong willed child? Do you have 2 strong willed children?

Do you go to therapy?

do you exercise to relieve stress?

do you eat too much or not enough?

Do you cry?

Do you take meds?

Do you drink?

Do you need help?
If you said “yes” to any of these then you know the pain and excuses and why it’s hard sometimes to stay positive.

Trust me, I know every single cliche because it’s on my Pinterest board and my Instagram feed e’rrrry damn day.

With that said, I am thankful, grateful, and blessed beyond measure. (Read 1/2 of my other posts.)

But you are completely full of BS if you haven’t bent so far you almost break. There is so much stuff we have been told we need to do. So much pressure and so many categories
We compare, question, worry and repeat.

Does the stress of being a parent strip you to your core and cause actual physical pain?! I feel like I’ve been carrying an elephant on my shoulders while being slowly suffocated by a boa constrictor around my neck for the past 5 years.

I am high strung. I am sensitive. I am uppity. I am a worrier. I trust my gut. I have strong maternal instincts.

For some mothers it begins during pregnancy. My hubs calls me a wolf mother. Because my heightened senses have never seemed to dull over the past 6 years.

I know my skills as a mother have rarely, if ever, lead me astray. I know myself and my kids.

Here’s the cold hard truth.

Adulting is hard.

Parenting is really hard.

Just because you admit that it is hard doesn’t mean you lose or succumb to it’s rigors.

You get tested everyday.

Sometimes in different ways, and sometimes it’s like ground hog day and you can’t seem to get off the hamster wheel to hell.

I know it’s all worth it. I am obsessed with my boys. They are the light in my eyes and the beat in my heart. But it doesn’t make it any less hard.

Combine the lack of sleep, the stress of feeding, the helpless feeling of caring for an ill child, the seemingly constant crying, screaming, fighting, whining, bickering, arguing, sass, self-inflicted injuries and the incessant questioning that is beyond exhausting.

Questions from your kids that you don’t know how to answer.

Questioning yourself at every turn.

Not having the answers.

Praying for some Divine intervention.

Daydreaming of a holiday alone.

How much do you tell them?

How much do you shelter them?

How real do you keep their childhood?

How do they measure up to some scale that is a learning curve, growth chart, or scientific study?


Am I doing enough?

Am I doing too much?

You need to do this.

You need to do that.

Have you tried this?

Don’t spank.

Do spank.

Don’t yell.

Don’t cuss.

Talk to your doctor.

Go to a therapist.

Read this book.

Watch this video.


Here’s the thing….I have and do all of those things, but it doesn’t make it any less hard to be a parent.

It doesn’t mean that I’m doing it wrong.

It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy being a mom.

Honestly I feel like motherhood saved me in a lot of ways.

But it is real hard. And it’s ok to say it is hard.

The good days outweigh the bad.

The days you cherish and look back on fondly cover up all of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. I feel inundated by other parents telling me, “Oh, but you’re gonna miss these days. Oh, just wait till they are teenagers. You will look back and think, ‘Wow! I wish they were still little'”. I know because my mom is always right!

I think the influx of technologies and information available to us is astounding and terrible all at the same time. Surely, I am not alone on this one. Yes, tech is awesome and cool. But does anyone else feel pressured by it? Overwhelmed by it? We have to be this perfect combination of so many opposites. We have to be…


but still have a


Create structure,

but be sure to enjoy

free time.

The struggle is real people!

Are we supposed to

Let it out and

talk it out, or

hold it in and


Just Breathe,

Or get on Meds.

Drink alcohol but

Don’t drink alcohol

Embrace your feelings:






But act like everything is gravy AF

Let kids be kids

Let them go outside,

But don’t let them out of your sight for one second because someone will kidnap them or they will get ran over

Have some quiet time or play quietly in your room. (aka, in my house, that’s putting them in front of a screen),

but don’t over stimulate them.

Make sure to nurture,

but don’t suffocate.

Encourage independence, but

shelter them from reality.

Teach them about the real world, but stay in the bubble.

Public school vs

private school

Do what’s best for your child.

Every child is different.

Be mindful.

Teach manners.

Be strong.

Be sensitive.

Don’t be a pu$$y.

Don’t say pu$$y.

Gender identity.

Super heroes & shopkins.


Should stay home

Should work part time

Should work

Take this pill.

dont take pills.

Get more sleep.

Drink more water.

Have a clean house.

But leave it until later, and enjoy your children.

Take a nap.

Don’t take a nap.

Make dinner.

Get food prep.

Get takeout.

Eat clean.

Be gluten, dairy, nut FREE. Or vegan.

Wear makeup.

Don’t wear makeup.

Don’t wear workout clothes,

but don’t be too dressed up.

Don’t judge,

but get on social media and judge people.

Go on date nights, because you can’t afford not to,

but save money.

Embrace your body,

but change it to be a healthier you.

Workout at home.

Go to the gym.

Eat this. Not that.

You only live once, so eat the butter, carbs, cheese, chocolate, pasta, wine etc!

“It’s OK to eat badly”, says the skinny person in your Instagram feed holding a donut.

My personal favorites are:

The best things in life are free, but you need millions of dollars to enjoy them.

Get some sunshine. But, Warning: it will cause cancer


Just happy mommy

Speed bumps

speed bump

img_8877image from google


a rounded ridge built crosswise into the pavement of a road or driveway to force vehicles to slow down.


The definitions for inanimate objects can also be the synonyms of life.
Speed bump is a blinding example. “Built to force vehicles to slow down.” Wow! Our bodies are our vehicles. A speed bump is designed to slow us down.

I saw an article on the Today Show that said Americans are not getting enough rest. No shit, right?!?! But alarmingly, they are making a direct correlation between the lack of sleep and driving under the influence.

Today Show Link

We play musical beds at my house. Gasp!! Co-sleeping! Chill out! After years of living off little and interrupted sleep, you just get used to what you can, where you can. As a parent, I can say that a vast majority of us are not getting enough Z’s. I was laying awake the other night on the “speed bump” of our bed thinking about this post. Our mattress has been replaced 2 times in 4 years because of the huge dips! One side is daddy’s and the other is mommy’s and the high spot in the middle is the speed bump. As I laid there with all 4 of us in the bed, this analogy was too clear for me to ignore.

I have said this before, and I will say it again. We are moving faster than ever. Our MO is faster everything! Fast internet, fast delivery, fast food etc. But are our bodies designed for this life? I have to stop and wonder. Does God put speed bumps in our life to force us to slow down?

All the clichés and sayings about how life goes by in the blink of an eye are flooding my mind as I sit here contemplating, “why so fast?” One of my favorite quotes is from Ferris Bueller’s day off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Could this not be more true or poignant for the Christmas and holiday season? Are we going so fast that we miss what we are supposed to enjoy? Does our list grow ever longer and never ending or completed? And for what? I know that we expect a LOT from ourselves and others, but has it all become too much? Of course, I am asking because I am guilty. Guilty of trying to do it all. Stay at home mom, homeroom mom, allergy advocate, wife, sister, friend, and blogger. My roles seem to go on and on. My sister is back in the hospital and I was going to go see her, then I looked at the clock and it was 8:51pm. I was so tired, I decided to go to bed.


She sent me this text last night…

“You are so silly! You are the best sissy in the world but you aren’t quite superwoman…you are sooo close but not all the way there. You have 3 boys to take care of, and, no offense, they are pretty high maintenance! Lol I’m going to be here whenever you have time okay? I know you would be with me all day and night if you could right?! But you need to take care of your boys and yourself okay? I love you so much.”

Rereading that brings tears to my eyes. Is she right?! I would be so disappointed and sad if I were her. She is one of the most important people in my life. Yet, I’m more concerned with getting my kids down and working on my graphic for my blog giveaways. I’m trying to do too much. But no one is putting this on me, except me!!!

Enter SPEED BUMP. Slow down and focus on what’s important!!

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is called empathy. I fear that empathy has become a long lost and almost extinct ability.

The best of intentions don’t mean shit when it’s too late. We have to do what is most important. Not all of the stupid bullshit on my list. I think the extras are created to distract us from what we really need to do. Stop. Slow down. Be present. It is the best gift after all.

I pray for strength to do the right thing, and teach my babies the true meaning of Christmas. That it’s being with the ones who mean the world to you. Even tho I have a calendar full of events, appointments, dinners and the rest, I’m not helping myself by adding more and more to my plate.

We need to slow down when life hands us the speed bumps. Instead of trying to run over them quickly, WE need to stop and reflect why is this obstacle in our way. Is this a moment to learn, teach, or reflect?

I hope we can all take some time to hug the ones we hold most dear. Share a meal, a hug, or a laugh, and be aware that it’s ok to slow down and accept the speed bumps in our lives.


Just Happy Mommy

Thanksgiving Recap the Real Life Version

Here is our Thanksgiving week Recap! The #reallife version not the pinterest, social media version. We had the ups and downs that everyone has. Some of this stuff I have to tell you. I swear I can’t make this shit up. SO I have to share.


Family time Home Depot X’s 3

Armed with our list we are ready to have a fun little Sunday. 

My older one starts flailing on the floor and then holds open his legs and farts. Gross! They of course are laughing their asses off and this starts the snowball effect of boys. 

Then the baby sees a sweet pregnant couple walking down the aisle towards us and rudely starts yelling and growling at them. I said “stop it.” He bats at me and continues to snarl. Then they burp followed by spitting on the ground. Ok we are done. I take both kids back to the car empty handed and we swing thru the taco Bueno drive thru.  Daddy returns later to get the new Christmas tree and leaves his phone at customer service. Mommy goes to target to satiate the babies pouch addiction and retrieves the phone from Home Depot. Done!  This is the tree we picked out! I am so happy! Martha Stewart Living Christmas Tree


Got the baby off to school and on to the LIST! 

I kept my older son with me and we had a fun day shopping at Home Goods, Super Target and the At Home store. Spending daddy’s money all over town. Then we had lunch at Hideaway pizza his favorite!

At Home
Home Goods

I offered to host thanksgiving this year. My mom has been thru enough this year. So I gladly took it off her plate. Plus the boys are so excited to have it at our house and it’s a perfect excuse to get my house in order.

The kids have different plans.  

The boys Flood the bath room every night. And tonight was no exception. The new bath mat that I got at target had not been in our house 2 hours and it still had a tag on it got soaked! I take away the toys and lie down 2-4 towels to soak up All the water on the tile. And while I’m drying one off and getting them lotion up and their undies on the other continues to make a mess. 

Since we got the new tree they are constantly asking if they can decorate the tree. I finally said yes you can. You can put these NON breakable ones on. Then they broke 3 ornaments in 3 minutes even when I said these aren’t breakable. “Ok…Let me test this one for you mommy…” 

Crash and tears img_8199

“Oh. No. you said this wasn’t breakable,”  they said.

I said “UM Well it’s not meant to be thrown on the floor and stepped on.”

I said “please stop touching it, I don’t want it to cut you,” as he looks into my eyes and rubs his index finger over the broken skiing penguin & my OU ornament that I had kept since college. 

Inner monologue “Are you fucking serious?” Out loud “OMG! Stop!”

They have to test and question and push on everything. Never take your word for it and saying “ok mommy.”

I’m super Thankful that our neighbors have 3 small kids otherwise I think people would have called us in for domestic disturbances nightly. Bedtime …


Got up (most Mom’s will understand that getting up and around can be at least a 2 hour process before actually leaving the house)

Made breakfast bacon & strawberries & pouches 

Plan was to go to the gym and take the boys to kids club and visit sissy at the hospital. On the phone with my mom and the older one yells from the back, “but we didn’t have dinner.” “What?!! We had breakfast I made a pound of bacon and strawberries with blue Gatorade.” Ugh fine so you want a bagel cream cheese too?!” Drive thru Old School Bagel and then to St. John. ( I cater to my boys bc they are underweight and refuse to eat half the time)

I get out of the car and Perry starts throwing up all over the parking lot. Oh NO! Poor baby! He looks at me and said “I throwed up.” He Lifts his arm, covered in bacon and strawberries, and says “Try it.” Ewe! Fucking gag. I have gotten so much better but throw up is one of those things I have to tell myself over and over out loud “It’s OK, It’s OK.”  Trying to convince myself it is and not barf myself.

Well, ok new plan, no kids club & definitely not going to see my sissy to share barf germs. So we drop off her favorite sun dried tomato basil bagel from Old School and the bacon I made for her to my mom in the hospital garage. 

Then the gas light keeps coming on in my car, so I figure we better stop to get gas at QT. 

Roman insists on helping me. This summer I told him that a gentleman pumps a ladies gas. Since then he always wants to help. I said “no not today, no it’s raining please stay in the car.” 

Again not listening. 

Insistent again and next thing you know he’s unbuckled and outside next to me. 

Ok he’s done this 1/2 dozen times. He won’t wear a jacket and it’s cool and rainy today. He climbs under the hose to get “cozy” with me and as he does it pulls the hose out of my car and gas is flooding and spraying out everywhere all over him, all over me and the ground! We are literally soaked in unleaded gasoline. He starts screaming and crying I start screaming “FUCK!!!!!!!!!!”  and crying “are you kidding me?!?! Ahhhhhhhhh!”

Zoolander Freak Gasoline Fight Accident

I get him in the back of the car and stripped his clothes off and threw them away. I call the station attendant to let him know my son spilled some gas. He said “well that looks like more than just a splash.” I said “ya well sorry, we are both covered and I need to bathe us.” Roman is crying saying “it’s all my fault.” I said “yes, yes it is. You just don’t listen! What’s it going to take?” Driving down 36th street in my sports bra with all the windows down whilst screaming “WTF!!!. Is this a joke?”

Gasoline Fight Accident

Speeding to my parents house we screech into the driveway and my little one scurries in with just his Zootopia undies on crying “it’s all my fault. ” Perry had his face covered with his blanket from the gas fumes. As soon as I unbuckle him he starts vomiting all over my parents driveway. “SHIT!!!!!” It’s raining. Ok ok let’s get inside without letting the dogs out. 

I get all 3 of us in the shower and soap and lather us all over and over. I can still smell the gas on my wedding rings. The boys seem happy so I leave them sitting on the seat in the shower and I call my mom for help. (They are safe, safety police!) She leaves my sisters bedside to come help me. 

Later that day and evening I can’t move. My body starts to ache and I am praying that I am not getting sick. I cannot get out of bed. Daddy takes over and I take meds and go to sleep. My body is saying a BIG F U! I never threw up but I was def down for a good 20 hours.


Daddy Painting
Sprouts Turkey
Sprouts Turkey

Of course we decide to paint the kitchen cabinets the day before we host Thanksgiving.

Daddy is kicking butt and taking names. He even cleaned one of the bathrooms!!! I am doing lots of the Thanksgiving Prep work, cooking allergy friendly bread, mashed potatoes and of course roasting my first Thanksgiving turkey. I promise I will post my recipes soon for those who are curious of how I make my little nuggets allergy friendly food.


Thanksgiving was nearly perfect. My sister was not able to get released to join us but we still made it special for her as best we could. I brought her place setting on my Vera Wang, Wedgwood China and all. She was thrilled to say the least. I don’t know about you but eating hospital food (as much as it has improved) is pretty Damn sad on Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law and husband’s grandma drove in and joined us. They also hand washed all my China! We only broke one champagne flute and no one got seriously injured or threw up. Winning!

img_8225 img_8227


We literally did NOT leave the house. The boys stayed in their PJ’s ate pie for breakfast, grazed on left overs all day and we all watched movies. It was the perfect lazy day we all needed. Hubby and I binge watched the last 5 episodes of The People Vs. OJ on Amazon Prime. And as the boys were falling asleep I walked into our room and tears filled my eyes. “The boys are getting so big! When they are sweet they are sooo sweet. I am so thankful for them.”

Saturday/ Sunday

I woke up with 3 boys in my bed. Does NOT get better than that! I made bacon and waffles and there was little to no fighting. No we are getting ready to go to the gym and coming almost full circle. As I put on my favorite Lululemon jacket I am reminded of our gasoline fight accident. I am sitting here typing, I’m trying to convince myself that I do not smell like a combustible combination of gasoline, downy, bounce sheets and Febreze.


Looking back at this week I just have to laugh. Somedays are crazy, terrible and frustrating. I quickly realized that these crazies are my life and that Thanksgiving is about spending time with the ones we love. Nothing can be perfect. I think it is perfectly normal to experience these ups and downs to appreciate the good times. I know that these days will not last forever.

I will miss the days when we are all smiling together on the beach, at the pool, laughing at the kitchen table, making fun of each other and trying not to spit out our drinks from laughing. I will miss the semi naked dance parties with my kids. I will miss their little voices. I will miss the sound of them walking into our room. I know I have a lot to be thankful for. 

I have more blessings than I can count. The ones I hold most dear drive me the craziest. My boys have my whole heart, body and mind. We recently jammed out to Bryan Adams “Everything I do, I do it for you.” It is the perfect song for me right now. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours 


Just Happy Mommy 

#Thankful #Grateful #Blessed

#Thankful #Grateful #Blessed

I have to give it up

The holidays are now upon us with a week until Thanksgiving and 40 days until Christmas. We are all busy. We all have plans. The hustle and bustle, have to and have nots, the should I or should nots? We all want to act like we have our shit together but come on. Christmas is a bitch and can you believe this weather? Don’t get it twisted. I am not blasphemous, tho you might say, because Christmas is not what it was back in the day. Thanksgiving is the forethought, like a shower or party before the BIG DAY! Some people may not feel it, but I certainly do, to make everything pretty and perfect without showing how I do what I do.

Ok enough rhyming. I suck at it I know. But somehow iambic pentameter was on my mind. I scroll through my feeds like we all do and I see all these things that we are supposed to do. Be thankful. Be Grateful, and Be Blessed. Well aren’t you sick of it yet? I am guilty per usual but I must say that sometimes I want to scream FUCK at the end of the day. I pour my self a ginger ale HA who am I kidding a stiff vodka drink to share with my honey. We look at each other and say “wow aren’t we lucky?” or “not it!”

The reason I bring this up is because of how I am reeling on sharing how I am feeling. I really cant stop the rhyming now. LOL. I hesitate to post about my goings-on because of the judgement and heartache we have taken on. By starting my blog I felt so empowered but somedays I feel like a coward.

To say that we all have stress is a truth, but it is how you respond and process it makes it a weakness or strength. I want to spread love and not hate. I have written so many things that I have wanted to post but I choose the high road and pray for the future.

This morning we went to the Emergency Room. Perry had an allergic reaction. Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. He is ok.

I had made Roman some chocolate milk to go with his breakfast. For anyone who follows me (especially on Snapchat) knows that I make breakfast EVERYDAY as well as lunches and most dinners, most of which are allergy free.

Daddy took Roman to school and Perry woke up late as per usual and was a cranky and demanding two year old. “Chicken & Fries. Chicken & Fries,” he screamed through his paci. I said “Ok, If you eat it I’ll make it.” As I turned around from making my second cup of coffee I looked and I saw it like slow mo from a movie. (Seriously I can’t Stop Rhyming BAHAHAHA.) He took a big gulp from brothers cup which contained cows milk. We both looked at each other and we knew it was bad. His mouth started to water and he started to gag. We ran to the bathroom and he tried to vomit but he just cried “hold you mommy.”

I prayed maybe this time will be different. Maybe he wont react. Maybe his allergies aren’t really true. But before I could pull out the syringe I knew it was happening all over again. I felt so guilty, so terrible, so scared. I told him he had to take his meds. I gave him the Benadryl and he spit it out immediately and we tried again and succeeded.

Thank God daddy came home because he give us a calmness that we needed. Next was the prednisone steroid. He took it like a champ but I could soon see that he had hives all over his lips and was getting sleepy.

I called my mom out of fear and advice she said call the allergist and I did with devise. The nurse was much nicer than the 911 operator and helped guide me to decide what was next. She told me to give him the EpiPen Jr. and I said do I have to I really don’t want to. She said that he was showing several signs of anaphylaxis. I knew she was right but I hated to do this. NO ONE wants this to happen. It was an accident. IT was my fault this time but what happens next. I know how to react. I know the dosage. What if it happens and he doest get the right help. I can blame myself all day long and thrive on mommy guilt but its not about me its about the village we have built.

The village that helps me day and night and especially the people I don’t see everyday were there for me. I know I am a good mother but sometimes you crave the extra praise and reassurance that we all need. Thank you to those who were there for me without prejudice or question.

I am obsessed with my babies, although they are not babies anymore. Boys, 2 and 4 are hard to handle even with the best intentions. I love them to the moon and back. They love their mama more than anything. It brings a smile to my face when they fight over me until I get a black eye or c-section gut punch.

Coming full circle it comes to this. Am I thankful, grateful and blessed? Of course I am. Are you kidding me? But is it harder than it has to be? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. True Empathy is lost among our culture. A mom is a mom is a mom is a mom.

I have said it before and I will say it again I am a mama bear and I know what is best for my cubs. My husband agrees with me. It is hard. It is wonderful. It is love. Love knows no bounds. Until you know the true meaning of love then you will never understand. No one wants to admit they have issues. It shows weakness. But in admitting our weakness we find strength. Strength in the truth, love, prayer and honesty. I hope this does not fall on deaf ears.

Even tho I am absent from posting does not mean my mind and fingers are not firing on all cylinders. Relying on those who love me the most and my tribe of honest caregivers makes me question, revise and relate to all those who may be reading my posts.

Thank you to all who read, understand and believe. We are all #Thankful, #Grateful and #Blessed in our own lives and mind.


Just Happy Mommy

Respect the Stay At Home Mom





We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

I’m a stay at home mom. I went back to work after I had our first son in 2012. I pumped at work and hired an amazing nanny who is still in our lives. She is so special to our family, so much so that, our son was her ring bearer. A few months after going back to work I decided to quit and stay home to raise our son.

This was NOT our plan. This decision crippled our marriage. The financial strain took its toll on my husband and the resentment became suffocating. We didn’t respect each other. I consumed myself with our baby and chose to ignore the giant elephant in the room.

So what did we do? Go to church, plug along and then try to have another baby of course! As I have explained in one of my earlier posts The D Word.

The D Word

We love each other so much but we got lost and tired and quit trying to communicate. I joke around with my hashtags for anyone that follows me on social media. #weactuallyloveachother or #ireallydolikehim

img_6875Before it was more like we coexisted and for the sake of our kids and pride we put up with all the bullshit and tough times without really dealing with the problem. RESPECT!
Now we don’t sugar coat. We tell each other what is up. With men they have no gray area. Women we are all sorts of gray. Better to be black and white and leave NO room for gray. The gray is what grows and becomes the troublesome elephant 🐘 you can’t avoid.
I felt like such a bitch but honestly I learned that expecting him to read my mind made it worse for me. Instead of “no honey I will do it” and then resenting him for not offering I ask for help and say “Actually can you mail that, can you take him to soccer, can you pick up the wine and No I’m sorry I can’t do that.”

Oddly enlightening it made him understand and respect me more when I admitted I needed him, couldn’t do it all and said no.
I’m so happy that we are closer than ever. We send each other funny texts. Share with each other and genuinely want to hangout.

Relationships are hard. The longer you stay in that negative place the harder it is to get out of it.
So now to point of my post. This week has been an eye opener to say the least. I had to report for jury duty. As a stay at home mom my initial thought is NO WAY is this gonna work! Who’s gonna help me take over my job? I will tell you who, Daddy and Meme. I am so thankful for my mom. She is my guardian angel and helps us so much! Daddy was a super trooper but after day 4 he was ready to shit the proverbial brick.

My babies were clearly pissed at me. The house is a wreck. And I think my older one may start a hunger strike soon. I can’t tell you how many times hubby texted me “are you done? This sucks! Ready to get back to our schedule. And my favorite Mommy is not going back to work.”

Also I can’t tell you how many people said to me “Oh you’re just a stay at home mom.”

Wow! That word “Just.”
That’s like saying “oh you’re just a piece of shit.”

Even though jury duty was pretty much an exhausting, eye opening, nerve wracking and somewhat tortuous experience I have looked at it as a blessing.

I know my boys love me but man alive this really hit them all pretty hard. Wait what?! “Where’s mommy go?!” The got a reality check and realization that “wow mommy does a LOT!” Even though it was only 4 days 8-5 the feeling of appreciation, respect and love flooded over me tonight. My boys were fighting over which one I would hold and cuddle next. Needless to say I am very happy and thankful to be home.






Now this is not to say going to work is better or worse. It’s just different. Each choice comes with a set of challenges. There is nothing like a mothers love. When you get sad what does your heart yearn for? Most people would say my mom.

I have met people from every walk of life. No ones job is more or less important than another. If anything this time in history tells us that we are all equal. Next week everyone has one vote. 18, 93, man, woman, gay, married, mother, transgender etc. No ones vote counts more than another.
I am raising the future. I take pride in what I do. I am thankful that I am able to take care of my family. I am privileged.
The world around us needs to respect ✊🏻
The lack of love, communication and respect is the demise of any relationship. It truly breaks my heart.
We need to love ourselves, our partners, children, family and friends. Sometimes the people that are the hardest to love, need the most love. I have mentioned my daily devotional that I read. “Jesus Calling.” This last passage spoke to my heart and helped me see the bigger picture.

img_6862We all have obstacles. We all have shit. I love my family more than anything. I just know that my happy place is at home taking care of my boys. I enjoy, Love and I’m proud to be a stay at home mom.

Just happy mommy

“It’s Kristy bitch & I’m back!”

I was taught “If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.” But what if that deafening silence speaks volumes?
I haven’t posted on my blog in over a month. I have felt really down because of some very sad and personal things going on in my family. Unfortunately this drama has caused stress to some relationships.
So if I can’t say something nice I shouldn’t say anything at all right?! Well I am not going to perpetuate hate but my deafening silence has now come to an end and I am ready share my latest volumes with you. I finally decided to stop being afraid and continue to be me.
Unedited, unfiltered, unapologetic and real!!! I am strong! I will bend but I will NOT break!

I’m not perfect. No one is. Only God can judge me. My support system is amazing and I thank them all for helping me, believing in me and lifting me up when I felt so down.

I love blogging! I know it when I write something good. I can feel it in my gut, my heart, and my nerves. It is almost like a giddy nervous feeling before I post. Sounds stupid to some but I’m so passionate about my writing that it feels like sharing a gift. I share myself, my life and experiences to connect with people.

I realize that there will forever be haters. It’s really easy just don’t read my blog. Haters are now my fuel to drive my blog into the eyes of readers.

Seriously tho, I know my blog isn’t a big deal. But hey, I believe in it and I know it has personally touched some people. It is terrifying to share some things (marriage counseling, mental health issues etc.) but once I do it makes me feel happy and free. It is always nice to relate to someone who is brave enough to share right?!

I’m excited to share some of my highest highs and the lowest lows and all the fun stuff in between. I will be unveiling my new website very soon! I think you will like my upgrades. So please be sure to look for my new posts! I have some exciting news and I will be doing some fun giveaways!
It’s Kristy bitch & I’m back!

img_1156-1 img_2099


Just happy mommy