The other day our sweet 3.5 year old told me “I want to give some of my toys to kids that do not have any.” As a mother this is one of those super proud mom moments. Wait for it. “Mommy then I want to get new toys for me.” Hahaha there it is. Gotta love the honesty and clever mind of a child. Because that is pretty much exactly what is going to happen. We will donate some of his and brothers toys to some less fortunate than us and then Christmas comes and they will get a TON of new toys and clothes from us, Santa, 2 sets of grandparents and 2 adoring great grandmas. I want to teach my boys the importance of giving and that Christmas is NOT all about getting!

Charity is defined as the act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.; also : something (such as money or food) that is given to people who are poor, sick, etc.

We can write a check, donate a coat, adopt a child or feed the elderly. These are all amazing, admirable and charitable ways to give back to our fellow human beings, especially during this holiday season. Knowing and acknowledging those in need and acting with a generous spirit is important. So many people need help. 

Too often my husband and I have the best of intentions to give more and do charity work but we always make an excuse that there is no good time. It is easier to look the other way and stay consumed with ourselves. I am guilty of that daily. I am more worried about what I’m going to wear to holiday parties, clever ideas for T-Rex our “Elf on the Shelf” and if our Christmas cards will turn out cute.  That’s what we call first world problems.  

We usually adopt a couple kids through our church at Christmastime but I always find myself wanting to do more. You can donate in many ways the important thing is that you are trying to help someone in need. There are so many charities out there but which ones do I choose? A shelter, hospital, school, nonprofit?

So I googled “charity 2015” and found out that today, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.), December 1, is #GivingTuesday, the designated day for donating to charities. As we give thanks this Thanksgiving week, please also remember the causes you care about and donate to trustworthy charities on December 1 and throughout the year. – See more at: 


I didn’t even know that #GivingTuesday was a thing. Like a lot of people I have been sifting through hundreds of cyber Monday sale emails trying to get the best deals for all the gifts on our lists. The real deal is to help others this season, myself included. It doesn’t have to be a HUGE donation to make a difference in someone’s life.  

I can only lead by example for my boys. I definitely think teaching them to give to the less fortunate and showing them how some people live is necessary for them to truly appreciate the privileged life we lead. 

Seeing those who live in poor and deplorable conditions in our home town is one of the most vivid childhood memories I have. It was so sad and scary and that was 25+ years ago.

My parents are very humble and do not talk much about their charitable giving but I will because I am so proud of my parents for showing it to us. They would find needy families to adopt through a friend who worked at a very poor school. My mom would take us to Target & Mervyn’s (I hope some of you remember Mervyn’s) to pick out clothes, toys and food for them and then drive out to deliver them in person. The images of these homes are burned in my mind and it brings tears to my eyes. Imagine hoarders with ashtrays overflowing with cigarettes, the smell of un-bathed people, mounds of trash and no lights on in the house. These were not even homes they were shacks. The sadness in the shy children’s eyes still haunts me. 

Now my parents adopt children from a low income school in town and do the same thing except they anonymously watch the children open their gifts and it brings them such joy to see how happy they are. 

My cousins and I did a lot of work with the Day Center for the Homeless when we were younger and for our community service hours. I vividly remember the people, sounds and smells of that place. I liked seeing how thrilled they were to get toiletries and a hot meal. So I went online and filled out a volunteer application for the Day Center for the Homeless yesterday  http://www.tulsadaycenter.org and today my husband and I are going a tour to see when and where we can volunteer! 

I am NO mother Theresa ok, but I can only hope that my boys will continue to have a giving spirit and that we teach them importance of giving not just getting!
Anonymous or in person, silently or shout it from the social media rooftops, spread the word and encourage others to give, donate or volunteer. Please feel free to comment or share my blog.

#GivingTuesday #justhappymommy #thankful

Coco Chanel Mademoiselle

Coco Chanel mademoiselle is my signature scent. I have worn it since my PiPhi days at OU. I used to go through a BIG bottle of it each year and would be anxiously waiting until Christmas time to get a new one from my parents or inlaws.  I have tried others but nothing compares to the way this scent makes me feel. When I smell this I feel fun and confident and it makes me remember the wild before kids party days. It sticks with you. I can smell it on my coats and scarves. Most of my friends even say it reminds them of me when they smell it. These days I don’t wear it much because I don’t go to work, meetings, lunches, happy hours or bar hopping. What I used to practically bathe in, or use to cover up sin and cigarette smoke, is now randomly sprayed when we go to the pediatrician, parent teacher conference or on a rare date night. .

I love how memories are attached to certain smells and sounds. When I smell onions cooking it reminds me of my Nana. When I smell wintergreen it takes me back to my dads 1980s white Porsche, we called it the zoom zoom car because we could hear him coming home from a mile away. And the smells and sounds of Christmas time always makes me smile.

This time of year is my favorite, like many people in the world. Giving thanks for our blessings and the celebration of God’s son Jesus being born! We all get a Twitter and in a tizzy about the holidays and I am no exception. The calendar is filling up, budgeting and I’m trying really hard to keep calm and realistic expectations. We can’t go to every party and we can’t buy everyone a gift.

Our 3.5 year old says he wants every single toy that pops up in a commercial on TV, even the girl toys. I remind him that we can’t have everything and he should think about what he would  enjoy the very most. We have implemented the “Elf on the Shelf” a little early and it is really helping. His name is T-Rex the Elf and he is ALWAYS watching and reporting to Santa. Clearly the American way is more, more, more and yet most of the time we are not satisfied. I want to make sure my kids have everything they need and want and that is my time and attention.

The past couple of days we haven’t left the house. Not because of illness but because we finally didn’t have any plans. I cooked and the boys and I ate all 3 meals together, which is a rarity. Both boys love breakfast sausage and ate an entire roll in 2 days! We baked sugar cookies, played with Play Doh and listened to Christmas music on Pandora. We danced around and laughed until it was naptime. I stayed in my robe until 2 or 3pm. I think I have cuddled and kissed them more than I did last week. At first I felt guilty that we didn’t do anything. No play dates, no errands, but then I thought “why am  I torturing myself about plans?” This is what it’s about, staying home with my babies. I want to make memories with them. Maybe breakfast sausage and Christmas music will make them think of me.

So tonight I looked around at all the toys on the floor, the cookie cutters in the sink and the laundry on the couch and walked away and took my bath. Afterward, I sprayed a bit of my Coco on my robe to remind myself that I’m still here, maybe not the old me, but the Just Happy Mommy version. This year my bottle is still 1/2 full and I won’t need a replacement at Christmas. But I get to keep that piece of me and make the important memories with the little loves of my life.



Everyone has them.
Every single one of us.
Whether you are 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, etc we all have insecurities.
Our bodies change as we get older. Whether you have zero, 1, 2, 3 or 10 kids. I know we are supposed to embrace change but its hard for me – it is ALWAYS been hard for me. I have A LOT to work on. I know what I need to do to look and feel better, and it’s just a matter of getting my mind right. Well, right now my mind is not right. I am struggling with depression. It got better once I asked for help and was introduced to my friend, Zoloft. But since I stopped breast feeding and started different birth controls; the last few months have been a hormonal and emotional roller coaster. I am all over the lot and suffering from migraines and anxiety.
I just don’t feel like myself.
I went to see my OB, who I love and trust completely. He said he could see that I was clearly depressed and that I needed to up my meds and go see my therapist. Honestly, my husband & my babies bring me the greatest joy I have ever known, and I want to get better for them. My husband is helping me a lot and trying to understand where I am coming from. 

After going to see my therapist, I realized that I am dealing with quite a lot! I started working, my sister is sick, Perry is allergic to everything, and financial stresses are about to make me go insane. She said the following, which made me break down into tears – “When I met you the first time about 5 years ago, you were a career woman with such a strong confidence and style about yourself… and I know SHE is still inside of you!” I feel lost sometimes. She wants me to cling to the REALNESS that is me. Push through the blocks and take time for myself. Workout and go to church. Again, I know what I need to do, and its just a matter of doing it.

Depression is a real thing.
But we live in a society where we are not supposed to talk about it, and if we do, it has such a negative stigma that you feel ridiculed. I am tired of hiding it. Its ok NOT to be happy all the time. Its ok NOT to be the stepford. I struggle daily with both of these things. I feel like I am supposed to be shitting rainbows and hashtagging #thankful #blessed and #happy all the time and never complain about anything. I am guilty of it. Ok, that is bullshit. That is not real life. I am thankful, blessed, and happy. But sometimes it is hard. Being everything a woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend are the greatest gifts of life, but can also be the hardest. I am trying to take each day as it comes, and not obsess about the future due to my high anxiety. 

Sometimes, social media makes me feel inadequate and Facebook equals Fakebook. In my opinion, our society is so obsessed with cleanliness and perfection – its honestly disgusting. Again, I fall victim to this.  So many times I have wanted to post pictures of what my house REALLY looks like or what is hard for me, but I’m too embarrassed or scared of backlash. 

So, I stopped doing the dishes and folding the laundry in order to get down on the floor with my boys, because that is why I stay home with them, right? Not to be the damn maid all day long, but to play with them, teach, nurture, and care for them. It’s a balance – I will mop the floor and do the laundry, though it can definitely wait until late at night when they are sleeping.

Are we sharing too much?
Knowing when to share or post pictures of our lives is a delicate balance. I love seeing my friends and their families grow on social media. But will my boys resent me someday for the pictures, posts and blogs? Or is this the new normal? I don’t have the answers but these are things I think about often. We are all doing the best we can. My best is messy right now but I know I’m doing ok because my boys are thriving, happy, and obsessed with me. I hope that this helps someone else. I freed some of my insecurities the day that I actually posted this blog. Just Happy Mommy. 
Please check out my friends page http://www.wegetdepressed.com/

Leap of Faith

I started this blog almost a year ago. I have only shared it with a select few people. I have been praying about whether or not to share it with the world or keep it “locked away.”

My closest friends are encouraging me to put it out there. My family is hesitant. Again I have been talking with God about this for almost a year and I feel like it is time to take a Leap of Faith and share my blog. There have been so many signs over this last month. A woman from our church came to visit me at work and we shared a lovely lunch and conversation. She was so positive and very interested in my writing and told me I was a gifted communicator and I should use that gift. I also found out a close friend of mine is moving away and we met for a glass of wine the other night to catch up and she was so encouraging and empowering to me. Another girlfriend invited me to their church over the weekend and the message was “The Time is Now.” Jesus wants you to take that next step. If you are feeling like you want something more out of life and have been holding back and making excuses not to do something, the time is now. Take the hard right instead of the easy wrong. I also felt like this was speaking to me. Its easy for me to share my innermost thoughts with my family and friends but it is extremely hard for me to open my heart up to the world to read and judge. Finally I talked to one of my first and oldest friends this morning who has no idea about my blog but she kept telling me you get out what you put in and I feel like I am ready.

My posts are real. I know people will judge me. I want my words to resonate with someone. To my boys: I pray that you do not resent me and understand that mommy loves you more than anything in the world and that I would die for you.

My emotions are running high. Feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, excitement, fear, etc. Prolly does not help that I am listening to Lionel Richie Pandora either LOL. Please feel free to read any and all of my posts and give me feed back. These are not bright shiny rainbows but each has a silver lining and lesson for me. Here I am. Just Happy Mommy.