I want summer back


That stupid groundhog saw his shadow so its 6 more weeks of winter! (pretty sure its more like 4 more months of sub 50 degree weather anyway.)

I woke up to 12 degrees this morning. The cold makes everything harder to do. We are all at our wits end. No one wants to put their coats on before we get out of the car. All the puppies are tearing the house apart. Further, I have no motivation to pick it up since it will be destroyed again in hours. BRING BACK SUMMER!

When my oldest was a baby she was 3-9 months during the coldest parts of the year. I was a new SAHM and pretty bored. I needed to get out of the house but the weather didn’t make that the easiest. I remember picking a different store to peruse about 3 times a week. One day I would go to Target, one day Kohls, and one day some random choice. I could get out of the house for an hour or two (maybe spend too much money) and put cabin fever off for a while.

With two walking children, one of which is the definition of terrible twos, getting out in the winter months is even harder than it was with a baby! Our area doesn’t have many indoor “little kid” friendly activities unless you count a playplace, library or Chuck-E-Cheese. Many of those places are not where you necessarily want to be during flu season. In warmer weather I can send them outside, go play at the park, give them a hose and bucket and we are all content for hours! Mama might even have an adult beverage while getting some much-needed Vitamin D.

There should be a cold weather mom support group. We could drink hot toddys and talk about all the play doh stuck to the table, snotty tissues, coat battles, and screen time happening and we would all nod in solidarity around the fireplace. I would then go home and search Zillow for homes in Florida. Not because I didn’t enjoy the time with my support group, but because even commiserating about the cold makes me hate the cold.

Til then (a move or summer, either or) I will keep bitching and watching this clock

With Honesty and Kindness,

Honest T signature

Being an Modern Day Advocate

You can do it whatever way you like.

Some of you may know that a tiny part of my life over the past 3 years has consisted of advocating for marginalized peoples. While you haven’t seen me on the streets pounding pavement, I have used social media and direct sales as a way to work social justice and advocacy into my life in a way I can manage and in a safe space. Now, some people will say that by staying in my lane hardly makes me an advocate or a world changer, I will counter with- at least I am doing something and trying to help those who need it and you can can also work it into your life is you so wish. If a one day march works for you- do it. If a thirty day social media frenzy works for you- do it. If a multi-year mission works for you- do it. Each of us can do something!

This was the third year I took part in a fundraising campaign called Dressember. The challenge is for women to wear a dress each day of December and share about the atrocities of modern day slavery and human trafficking. But #itsbiggerthanadress . I have learned so much from taking part in this campaign over the years. We just received an email saying that the 2017 campaign reached its goal of $2 Million!!!! My team and I helped raise .001% of that- a little over $2,000! This year there were around eight thousand fundraisers and thirty thousand donors. I am so proud to be one of them. The funds raised produce grants for the following:

Ending sex trafficking in India through rescue operations, justice system transformation and immediate aftercare through International Justice Mission’s field office in Mumbai.

Expanding the international prevention campaign, “Can You See Me?” through A21.

Empowering Mcmahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center to continue outreach to at-risk youth and provide aftercare for child survivors of trafficking in Syracuse, New York.

I challenge you to find something that YOU can do this year to help make the world outside your home a little better.

With honesty and kindness,

Honest T signature


If I wrote a book

Fiction (based on reality).

She squints and touches the top of the baby monitor amidst the calls for “mama”. A quick glance at the glowing red numbers on the digital alarm clock positioned across the room confirms it is twelve minutes to seven. Why was she still the only one who heard the baby, or better yet, why hadn’t she moved the monitor to her husband’s side of the bed? It had only been four years of her waking up to the calls of the children. Wasn’t it his turn? Oh, but he worked so hard to afford her the luxury of staying home.

She rolled out of bed and into the kitchen. Coffee grounds, water, push button and praise be, the caffeine laden drink began to flow. She filled two hot pink sippy cups with milk and nuked them for forty seconds. As she stretches and rubs the sleepies out of her eyes she couldn’t help but think of what today holds. Some of the same or something different?

Ethan was home from work, the girls didn’t have school, and she, Sophie, was free as a bird. No commitments at all, other than the three squares and endless snacks everyone required as well as the cuddles, affirmations, and support she gave each day. But those were endlessly better commitments to have than those she was recovering from.

Last year Sophie was over-committed and overwhelmed. She was a part time work from home full time stay at home mom with a traveling husband and a family half a country away. She had started her year with a rush of enthusiasm and drive. Her dreams of having it all were at her fingertips. So she said yes to everything. That’s what you’re supposed to do in your early thirties when you finally have the capital and time to pursue your passions, right?

The baby whines for mama again and Peyton, their independent 4 year old says “mama’s coming sweetie”.  Sophie ascends the stairs and scoops her sweet nugget from her crib, takes a deep inhale of Dylann’s overnight baby breath as she nuzzles her warm rosy cheeks then begins the diaper and pajama change routine. Peyton reminds her that she can pick out her own clothes and comes out donning a hot pink sparkle shirt with yellow leggings, red tutu, and rain boots. Ah, yes, this is what Sophie signed up for, this was her dream even though she didn’t know it until recently.


Just for fun!

With honesty and kindness,

Honest T signature

The Luxury of Self Examination

“The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.”- Socrates

Last Sunday was Epiphany Sunday and the priest quoted Socrates during his homily. He had my attention. I am currently in a place where I am examining a lot of different aspects of my life- what brings me joy, what brings those around me joy, what am I being called to give my energy to, how can I be an encouraging of others, what things have been taken away from me that seemed like losses but were really blessings. Lots and lots of questions and examination happening in my 3lb brain. Lots and lots of internal dialogue and a few scribbles on some paper.

Two weeks into 2018 and this is starting to feel like a year of discernment. A year to decide whats next and sift through what was weighing me down. But you know what, it feels like something super special to do for myself. I have TIME to THINK about ME. Self examination is an amazing luxury.

When you are in survival mode, there is no time for reflection. You are just slugging through hoping to do the next right thing and keep yourself alive. I’m pretty sure the first year of motherhood is NOT a place where much self-examination happens and that is probably for the best. Also, the first year of each subsequent baby is born is also not a good place for that. So in this portion of my mom life, I’ve basically just gotten to a good point where self examination became realistic, which is probably why it’s actually happening- for the first time in 4 years (at least).

I’ve been looking at those past 4 years. Here’s a timeline of my crazy:

Baby P born Sept 2013 *mountain top*
Back to full time work Jan 2014- care for baby, self, husband gone for 3 months.
Quit full time job May 2014
Start as Noonday Collection ambassador Oct 2014
Get pregnant with Baby N March 2015- care for toddler while pregnant. meanwhile, husband in career limbo leads me to stress eat, cry, live in constant anxiety etc.*valley*
Baby N born Dec 2015
Things turn around for the better *climbing up the hill* Jan 2016
Start fitness business May 2016- teach 3-4 classes per week plus handle business side, care for baby, toddler, self, while supporting husband’s career that takes him elsewhere.
Start Pampered Chef business August 2017
End fitness business September 2017 *valley*
End all other business ventures December 2017

Soooooo…… maybe I’ve been in survival mode…. most of the last 4 years. Yes, I had times where I got out of the valley, saw the world from the mountain top, took a good deep breath, and then went back to the trenches. There were definitely times of pure joy, feelings of success, and relaxing moments during those years but none lasted all that long or long enough to make me feel comfortable enough to be introspective. Now, your life might not look anything like mine and maybe you aren’t out of the woods yet, but you will be and there will be a time for you to examine whats been working, what hasn’t, and what you can do to make things more joyful. Or maybe your time is now and you’d like to join me.

These are the reflections I am  going to be working on:

In those years where I was pouring my energy into something other than my family or myself was it because being present was hard? Was I trying to make up for something or was I doing it for the joy of it? -whether that be for myself or the others around me. Was I working to prove my worth by what I can do, what I possess, and what people think of me?

In the hills, mountains, and valleys of life, am I OK with being on a plateau- constant and steady with a few bumps or do I enjoy the highs and the lows and am I contributing to them?

When I have felt mistreated in a relationship, did I jump into that relationship too quickly (this seems to be the underlying constant)? How can I do better for myself in the future without keeping people at an arm’s length?

How can I teach empathy? For others or for myself?

How can I be an encourager? In the past I was more giving and considerate, I would like to add more of that back into my life. Do I have the bandwidth to do so?

To contemplate about these things is so much more life giving than to think about how I am getting dinner on the table, or if the baby poops enough, or how the heck I’m going to lose the last 10 pounds. But I also know, not every season of life lets us think this way. Good luck on your journey RIGHT NOW. Wishing you lots of joy this year!

With Honesty and Kindness,

Honest T signature

PS- If you like my blog posts, please share them! I am off social media for 2018 and won’t be doing so myself.


Looking forward

The possibilities of a new year are thrilling and daunting. This December 31st I thought a good exercise would be to consider all the changes, fun times, and challenges 2018 will bring. Maybe you’d like to do it too?

Changes and Fun:

-More restful and intentional time! I am hoping my decision to leave social media sites like Facebook and Instagram will allow me to focus on what is right in front of me- my children, my spouse, my house, my God (I know this is in the wrong order- I told you in my first post that this would be mostly unedited and off the cuff), my relationships, my health, myself! In case you were curious- I left my direct sales positions because I wanted to get away from social media. I have been feeling called to leave for a while but my businesses always kept me attached.  I thought a clean cut would be best. Thanks for letting me explain that. 😉 (PS you can still contact me through Messenger, email, phone, or text).

-My kids growing! My 2 year old starts 2 day preschool come January 10! 3 whole hours to my self two days a week! Potty Training! Big girl bed! Words- All the words to come and being able to have less frustrating moments in the communication department.

– Traveling! We have some fun trips planned as a family and hopefully at least one planned as an adult couple.


Lets hope these are few and far between, but I know this is life and they are inevitable.

– Actually making good use of the new restful and intentional time!

-My kids growing- always an adventure without a map.

-Hub’s work schedule (being a pilot wife is not the easiest gig in the world (nor any gig where your partner travels a lot of overnights for work) but when its his passion, you make it work. Want to know more? visit: The Pilot Wife Life blog to get an inside peek.

-Traveling! Although fun, comes with its unique challenges. Flying alone with two children, or WORSE- the 10+ hour road trip are always the most enjoyable things.

-Potty Training!

Did you make your list? I imagine it probably has a lot of overlap on the changes/fun/challenges list, too. Here’s wishing you a hard, messy, gorgeous 2018!


Finding Solace in 2018

I lost something I loved in 2017: A community I built and wanted to be a part of slipped right through my fingertips. And I am going to use 2018 to find solace.

Solace: sol·ace

  1. comfort or consolation in a time of distress or sadness.

For a year and a half I poured myself into building a community of moms under the umbrella of fitness. I needed a community and a place to exercise that felt safe and welcoming. In September I stepped away from it because I was not happy with the ultimatum that was given to me and the future direction of the business. But I lost my beloved community and the work I so enjoyed doing. I loved having a purpose other than mom and wife. Did it ruin me, no. Have I mostly recovered, yes. Living in an ignorant bubble has become my preferred choice for dealing with the situation but I can’t do that anymore and it has cost me too much joy to continue.

I struggled with what my 2018 Word of the Year should be- I wanted something like Free or Un-tethered. But those felt like I was saying I was being held hostage or enslaved by something. And..maybe I was/am. Maybe my heart has been held hostage by grief, comparison, and anger. (Though, hopefully you didn’t see much of that when we were socializing together).

How do I plan on finding solace:

  • No more social media- this blog is the only place you will find me in 2018
    • I have tried to unfollow everything that seems to set me into a spiral but Facebook and its algorithms find a way to make them pop up in my feed anyway! So, I am done. Social media has been a false idol for me anyway and I need to step away because it is costing me too much joy in my actual life.
  • Focus on Spiritual Growth
    • Per a friend’s recommendation I purchased Every Sacred Sunday as a mass reflection journal
    • I might try to also find a daily devotional
  • Slowing down
    • I also considered calling this my year of “No”. I am no longer going to be an Ambassador for Noonday Collection or a consultant for Pampered Chef. I made this choice as a way to refocus but I still love all the products!
  • Limited Spending
    • I have also found that I hide my emotions or soothe them by shopping. It needs to be reigned in so I am challenging myself to not buy any new clothing or shoes for me. If I must purchase something new it will be ethically made.

So there you have it- my big plans for the new year! 1 more week until it all begins!

With Honesty and Kindness,

Honest T signature

Nice vs Kind in a personal context

Kindness is rooted in love. Niceness is rooted in fear.

I kind of love psychology. I minored in it in college. And my tiny bit of knowledge from my 18 hours of college courses (adn a couple more in educational psych during my Masters), opened my mind to so many ways of considering people, making my judgements fair and balanced and also leading me to be a pretty good judge of character (IMO). This could also stem from my childhood- growing up in a “sandwich generation” house- my parents and also my grandparents living under one roof. This part of my childhood (ages 12-18) also lead to me seeing 3 family members in hospice care essentially under our roof and those near and dear go through the roller coaster of caring for the terminally ill.

ANYWAY, I think I learned the importance of being kind vs being nice in those two contexts. Also, leading me to the conclusion that being kind is more honest than being nice. When push comes to shove, niceties mean nothing, and honesty and kindness mean the world.

When I think of being nice, I think of doing it to please someone. Nice is graciously turning down a party invitation because you have “plans” when you don’t actually have plans but just don’t want to attend the party. Nice is complimenting someone because they complimented you. Nice is from a place of inadequacy and often, in my experience, leads to over extending oneself in order to please or creating lie after lie to cover your butt.

Kindness is so much BIGGER. Kindness is compassion and empathy. Kindness can be unconditional, it can have boundaries, it can be HONEST. And it can be for YOURSELF. Being kind is confident, rooted, and responsible. When I am kind to someone it is because I want to be, it is a choice I made to take the other person into consideration because I value them.  Further, I try to be kind to myself before I am kind to anyone else. That is where the honesty comes in. You need to be honest with yourself to be kind to yourself. And conversely kind to your friends in order to be honest with them. In theory, your kindness allows people to extend their grace to you during your honest moments.

Have you ever heard of someone saying “I’m being nice to myself”? No. Usually its “I’m being kind to myself…”. Usually in the context increasing or limiting something one does not desire to continue. I’m being kind to by myself by eating more fruits and vegetables, I’m being kind to myself by limiting alcohol, I’m being kind to myself by resting, I’m being kind to myself by ending a bad relationship etc…. I think a lot if being kind to yourself deals with our mental health. And so, may I suggest switching your mindset to being kind in your everyday life instead of being nice.

Have I been nice in the past? Sure! Sometimes I still am. New situations and people bring out the niceness. We aim to please! But you know what, being “nice” isn’t going to get us the relationships we want. Kindness might not either, but I think its a better place to start.