Just another ordinary day…

It’s been six years since my mommy died. Actually, it’s been six years today that my mommy died. Somewhere around 3:15 pm to be exact. Every year I post a picture or two or more of my beautiful mommy on social media and say, “Six years ago today, I lost my beautiful mommy.” It seems so cliche and even a little embarrassing to do that. Those that actually remember this day care, but otherwise, it’s just another ordinary day. But I don’t want to do that this year. This year, I want to let everyone know what it’s like for those that have lost their mommies.

  1. I have been dreading this day…. wait… let me back up a minute. I have felt this day coming all summer. Since May, which is when she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011. Then Fourth of July rolled around and I remember Joe and I doing sparklers and snappers and snakes in my mom’s front yard to cheer her up. But she was too sad that day and stayed inside. I knew it was her last Fourth of July and she probably did too.
  2. I suppose I could choose to be super happy today. I mean, it’s just a “day.” My mom wouldn’t want me to be sad today. But, I can’t stop thinking about her. The poem I wrote her… When my mom died, I inherited a trailer and a truck load of stuff. My mom’s prized possessions. Plants I would later kill (not on purpose), clothes, clothes, clothes, shoes, purses, unopened mail, opened mail, pictures, furniture, collectables, elephant anything and everything, coffee cups, blankets, sewing stuff, magazines, books, oh and clothes. This stuff sat in boxes for the good part of six months before I could finally open them. And when I did, I would hold her clothes to my nose hoping to catch a whiff of her perfume. I even smelled her hair brush to catch a whiff of her scent. That may sound so weird, but I did it. I dug and I dug and I dug through everything looking for a piece of my mom’s soul. Maybe something of her was left behind that she wanted me to find. And there it was, a poem I had written my mom in the early 2000’s when I was in high school. She had framed it. She FRAMED a poem written in terrible cursive on a piece of notebook paper that was torn out of a spiral notebook, fringe still present. It had been folded and unfolded a dozen times. And she FRAMED it. With it, a pin that read, “Never Give Up.” That poem was a source of inspiration for my mom to keep going when times were hard. MY poem I wrote her on a whim just because. I can’t stop thinking about that today.
  3. My mom never got to meet three out of my five children.
  4. My aunt (her sister) and my grandma (her beloved step-mom who raised her as her own) are gone too. The three power house women of my childhood and young adult years are all gone. Now it’s my turn to step up and be a power house woman for my children, cousins children, and so on. It’s hard and it sucks and I just want to call anyone of them up and say, “Hey!! How the hell did you do this?!”
  5. I still have to do laundry today, go to the grocery store, cook, get ready for school to start for me and my kids. But all I want to do is snuggle with the Pooh Bear she got me when I was 12 and cry into it’s stiff fur.
  6. By the way, I hadn’t cried all day until I was taking a shower and thought of that damn poem. And then I just burst into wailing spasms and tears. Out of nowhere. So for those that think I can just “get over this” or “choose happiness today” my soul has another idea that I can’t control.
  7. I honored my mommy and her green thumb on Mother’s Day by planting a million and one flowers in flower pots. I have flowers everywhere. It’s beautiful. Only a few of them have died. So there! Take that mother nature!
  8. She was my number one fan. Even when I did stupid stuff, I was still her “smarty pants.” I have a pillow she found for me right before she passed away that says, “Smarty Pants.” I keep it on my chair in my classroom and I share her story with my students every year. She never graduated high school and she died knowing that I had finished my last class of college and was going to student teach the 2011-2012 school year. She was very proud of me.
  9. My face is getting older and it’s changing to look just like my mom’s. I catch a glimpse of her in the mirror most every day.
  10. Today is August 9th.

So you see, this day pops up on the calendar every year. I know it’s coming. But that doesn’t change my mind and my heart. Today is a day of missing someone I yearn to see daily. So today, I give her the time and I remember all the little things I thought I had forgotten.

Thank you for sharing this day with me.

Love, Me

how parents really feel about game night

I grew up on Monopoly. My three big sisters would come over for the weekend and my dad and my mom would get out the vintage game of Monopoly. There would be cardboard pizza, Doritos, Deans dip, and Pepsi. Mind you this was the 80’s. I remember my mom scratching the middle of the board for good luck on landing on free parking. She wanted the jackpot. Those are happy memories and I cherish them always.


Now I’m the mom. And this is how game night goes for me…

“I don’t want to play Life, it takes FOREVER!”

“I don’t want to play Monopoly, Mom always wins.” (I really do, it’s genetics)

“Harry Potter Trivia is too hard.”

“Apples to Apples, Apples to Apples, Apples to Apples!!”

“We always play that!”

“Let’s play something new!”

“No!! Then we have to take the time to learn it!”

“It’s settled, we’re playing Apples to Apples.”

Once a game has been chosen, I have to pour myself a giant glass of wine. I mean GIANT. It’s not that I don’t enjoy playing games with my kids, because I really honestly do. It’s just hard to play games with them. 9 times out of 10 someone will cry. Someone will yell. Someone will be annoying. Someone will be annoyed. Someone will be loud. Someone will argue about the rules. Someone will spill something. Someone will whine.

But you know what… it’s the most beautiful moment. Even though I roll my eyes and groan whenever someone mentions, “Let’s play a board game!” I know that I am making the best memories for my kids. Sometimes I’m just tired. Sometimes I just want to lay in bed and read a book that I want to read. Sometimes I just want to binge watch whatever show I want to watch. Which, I don’t even have a show I binge watch because, well, let’s face it, when do I ever have the remote? Except, I have made it a few episodes into season one of Gilmore Girls and I have to say, I LOVE IT!! But anyway, who has time for that?!

While I want to have some peace and quiet, some mommy time, some tranquil evening with me, myself, and wine; I always end up having fun and I usually leave the table with side cramps from laughing so hard. So all in all, game nights are needed, just maybe not always wanted, but totally worth it.

Yours Truly,

True Life Hot Mess Mom

my wish

That my kids will…

  • stop looking at me like I’m crazy when I ask them to rinse their dishes
  • use toilet paper after pooping
  • dry off after a shower instead of drip dry through the house
  • stop whining
  • chew with their mouths closed
  • stop putting weird things in the bathtub with them i.e. Q-tips
  • pitch in without being asked
  • complete homework assignments…on-time
  • stop lying
  • think of others instead of only thinking of themselves
  • show compassion to one another
  • wash their hands more often
  • change their underwear everyday
  • wear socks
  • stop running in the house
  • stop arguing with me in that high pitched annoying whiny voice sound that peals the paint
  • pick up their socks from the living room floor instead of stepping over them
  • put away what they are playing with instead of getting something else out causing a tsunami of toys
  • stop whining
  • eat faster
  • not ask me 100 times where we are going or what’s for dinner
  • did I mention stop whining?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids more than anything in this world. But sometimes, I look at them and think, “umm…. is this deja vu? Because I feel like we’ve had this conversation before.”

It’s not like I’m asking them to saw off their right arm, I’m just asking for them to act like people, little people, but people never-the-less.

Yours truly, True Life Hot Mess Mom

I miss my balls…

Just when I thought I couldn’t get any worse as a hot mess mom, I do. I have relented to taking showers every two days. I’m only shaving once a week. I have been spot cleaning my jeans with really yummy smelling soaps from Bath and Body Works so I feel like it’s better than washing. My kids are back to wearing dirty clothes off the floor (I had such a good system for laundry when school started. That’s over.)

Dinner has now consisted of the following:

Monday: pasta something

Tuesday: Mexican something

Wednesday: salad night

Thursday: breakfast for dinner

Friday: pizza

Saturday and Sunday: whatever is in the fridge or maybe something fancy like baked chicken (ha. ha.)

At least we aren’t having chicken nugs and mac n’cheese once a week anymore. My husband is happy about that.

And then we have weeks like this week. It’s parent teacher conferences for me and I seriously love meeting my students’ parents and sharing how awesome their kiddos are, but my family at home gets neglected. Since my loving husband is in charge of feeding my family this week, I hit the frozen food section at the grocery store and I hit it hard. I’m talking, hot pockets, waffles, pizza, more hot pockets (I have a lot of kids to feed), and bananas. I had to get something healthy right? I was actually embarrassed when I loaded up the conveyor belt. I tried to avoid eye contact with the checker outer girl for fear of judgement. But I honestly can’t help it.

I used to LOVE to cook. Trying new recipes was my favorite thing to do. It also was my husbands favorite thing I did. We ate healthier. We tried new things. Now it’s whatever I can muster up the energy to throw in the oven, set a timer, and forget about. We are gaining weight and the kids are starting to get picky because we aren’t trying new things. I see moms posting on Facebook or Instagram pictures of their five-course meals and I’m thinking…. wow…. that’s exciting and yummy. But…uh… we’re having hot pockets tonight. Gourmet cuisine for my family. Only the best frozen food will do.

Last week, I was exhausted because it was a Wednesday. For some reason Wednesdays wipe me out; truly suck the life out of me. So what was for dinner? Well it wasn’t salad night because I didn’t feel like chopping the fresh romaine. I’m too cheap to buy romaine already chopped. So I raided the freezer. We had two open bags of french fries, a ton of milk, cereal, and bagels; and that’s what we had for dinner. French fries, cereal, and bagels. Yum. My kids looked at me like I was crazy.

Me: I’m sorry guys, but this is what’s for dinner. Enjoy.

Oldest boy: It’s no big deal.

Me: No really, I’m like the worst mom ever.

Oldest boy: No you’re not! This is great!

Youngest daughter: We’re having cereal?! And french fries?!

Me: Yes, eat it or don’t. I don’t care.

Middle son: I miss my balls.

Me: I’m sorry, what?!

Middle son: Ya know, the chocolate balls cereal. I miss my balls.

My husband, oldest son, and I look at each other and lose it.

Me: I will pick up your balls on Saturday when I go to the grocery store.

To parents everywhere…

God made babies cute for a reason. He really got us with those sparkly, crisp eyes and wet smile. Their soft wispy hairs that never lay down. Their warm soft forehead smells soothing when you kiss it. You inhale their goodness and instantly feel relaxed; at home. Their limber little bodies fit perfectly against your chest in your arms as you meet their needs. The suckling from a bottle with big swallows makes you stare so long your neck hurts. One limb goes numb, then another, but you’re not moving. It’s taken you an eternity to get this sweet little thing to sleep and your show is about to start. As you wait for that one last sigh that shows you he’s down for the night, you count your blessings. Your eyes trace every inch of his face: his shiny nose, rosy cheeks, long eye lashes that are just unfair, down to his dimpled fingers wrapped around your thumb. This. is. love.

It’s at this point, as parents, we start to picture what their lives could turn out to be. Maybe he’ll be athletic like Dad or artistic like Mom. Maybe he’ll marry his high school sweetheart or maybe he’ll meet a nice girl at college. He’ll be momma’s boy no matter what and you make a vow to be a cool mother-in-law, not a scary one.

But then, things start to happen too quickly. He’s crawling, walking, talking, throwing fits, picking out his own clothes, making friends and having sleep overs, getting picky about food, having a favorite band that you totally hate, having that one friend that you love yet seven others you can’t stand.

And then you realize: he’s a person. You have created a human. I mean sure, you knew this the moment he was born, but it’s different now. He’s a walking, talking, decision making human-being that looks and sounds a lot like you. Cue the heartache. That moment you realize that the dreams you had about him when he was a baby are probably not going to happen like you’d hoped and that’s okay. Acceptance. Accepting who your child has grown up to be all the while still picturing him in that onesie you loved so much, yet he’s standing right in front of you as a grown man.

To me, that’s why God made babies so cute. It’s like He knew that as they grow and separate themselves from us, the parents, we aren’t always going to like them. We aren’t always going to want to be around them. They’re going to break our hearts in two, stomp on them, and then walk away. For a bit. They’ll come back, they always come back. But the waiting is hard. It hurts. No one said parenting is easy. No one said parenting is fun. Yet, as parents, we have a longing to parent and to love our snotty nosed, sassy kids because we can’t stop picturing how cute they were as babies. We can’t stop picturing how much we loved them.

Here’s to parents everywhere, you’re doing a great job. Hang in there.

Love, Jessie

It’s official…I’m a Hallmark Mom


While catching up on some “Home Improvement,” an advertisement for a new movie caught my eye: “Love on a Limb.” It was so cheesy and so cute that I marked it on my calendar so I wouldn’t forget to watch it. Yes, I hate to admit it, but I marked my calendar to watch a Hallmark movie! What is wrong with me??? Since I’ve turned 30, I just feel old, act old, and have more grey hair.

And now, I watch Hallmark movies.

But it was so good!!! The guy asked her mom’s permission before taking her out on a date!!! What year is this?? To make it even better, Little Miss was able to watch it with me without any concern for what was happening. This morning she said, “I can’t wait until next Saturday so we can watch another movie together!”

Um yeah. Did I mention there is a new Fall themed Hallmark movie on every Saturday for the month of October? Every. Saturday. Night.

I’m officially a boring, cheesy, true life hot mess mom. And I’m taking my kids down with me.

I seem to remember a little girl who did the same thing…

As a mom, I love to vent about my kids to my sisters, friends, and anyone who will listen. Some of the things they do just baffle me and I can’t help but talk about it. Plus, my kids are my kids and I love them so much, what else am I going to talk about?

So when my kids are being pains in the neck and giving me a run for my money, instead of curb checking their faces, I call Dad; or I text him while I’m balling my eyes out at 10 pm. And when I do, I get a response like, “I seem to remember a little girl who did the same thing.”

Ugh! Yes, I know, I was a pain. I lied. I talked back. I threatened to run away. I called you names. I moved out. I was in a hurry to grow up. I did the polar opposite of what you wanted me to do most of the time. I thought I knew everything. I took advantage of you because you were always there. I was a childish, immature, selfish girl and I’m sorry, but now I’m frustrated and I need to know how you dealt with me. I need your comfort and wisdom so I don’t high five my kids’ faces. 🙂

And then I hurt. I mean hurt. I can’t believe I ever made my parents feel the way my kids make me feel sometimes. How awful our human nature can be. So heartless, selfish, and inconsiderate. I know we are just people, but when you finally reach a point of maturity and realize that the way you saw the world was so skewed, you feel awful.

That’s when I text my dad at 8 pm, which is past his texting curfew, (yes he has a texting curfew) apologizing for everything I put him through and then apologizing for taking 16 years to apologize to him. Ridiculous I know. I’m such a girl… really I’m an emotional hot mess mom…. but whatevs…

So here I am. Parenting so hard. Feeling awful for making my dad feel the same way I’m feeling right now. But some day, my kids will come to me about their kids driving them crazy and I will say, “I seem to remember a little girl who did the same thing.”



I may have thrown carrots at the dinner table…


It’s not like I wanted to… It was just the best option at the time…. and it felt so gratifying.

Sitting around the dinner table with all six of us generally sparks some interesting conversation. My husband usually picks on the boys while our 14-year-old daughter and I try to embarrass little miss by asking her about the little 6-year-old boy she adores in class. It’s a circus for sure.

All the while everyone is asking, “Will you please pass the fill in the blank. Hello? Please pass the fill in blank. Mom! No one will pass the fill in the blank!”

Me: “Oh my goodness! Someone pass the fill in the blank! It helps if you say, ‘So and so, will you please pass me the fill in the blank?’ If you don’t say anyone’s name, they aren’t going to know who you are talking to.”

While this is going on, my boys tend to get a little smart. They are at the stage where they think they know everything. This includes, well… everything. Some nights, I just can’t take it. And when that happens, ignoring is not an option. So I resorted to something new… throwing raw carrots at them. I’m not proud of myself. It was just something that needed to be done to change the subject so they would stop repeating the same smart remark that wasn’t funny in the first place. My attempt to make them stop talking turned into laughter and flying raw carrots.

I think I’ll call that a mommy win, even though it started out as me taking out my aggression. But but they don’t have to know that.

making out with walls

Oh sweet, sweet evening hours before and after dinner. When our voices get hoarse from all the talking (really it’s yelling but I don’t want to sound like one of those moms…. okay so maybe I am… a little… not all the time though… just Monday through Thursday), when the bags under our eyes get a little bit heavier, that’s when things get really interesting. Tuesdays, I leave for a couple of hours to go to Financial Peace University at my church. It’s amazing, but totally depressing. Thank you for telling me how broke I am. Which I already knew. But anyways. I get home to my youngest and her two friends sitting on the couch in the living room watching a movie.

Me: “So how did it go tonight?”

Husband: “Well, I heard little miss tell her friends to make out with the wall.”

Me: choking, “what?!”

Little miss: trying not to smile to show that yes, she said that.

Me: “What would you think if you walked into the living room and saw me making out with the wall? Would you perhaps think that was awkward? Would you feel weird seeing me do that?”

Little miss and her friends: “yes.”

Me: “Then don’t tell someone to make out with a wall! That’s strange and awkward. Nobody wants to see that.”

Husband: “Then I heard little miss talk about kissing each other.”

Me: “Um. Okay. Girls. It’s never okay to pretend to kiss one another. Again, that’s awkward. Kissing is for when you are married. Or you kiss your moms and dads. No kissing. No kissing. No kissing.”

Note to self…maybe tone back on the whole kissing my husband and grabbing his ass thing in the middle of the living room…. and here I thought I was just modeling a good marriage…


I never thought I’d have to say….

1. hold your fart in.

Me: “It’s not that hard,” I explain. “You know when you’ve got to poop really bad, but can’t make it to the bathroom for a while? You just hold it in? That’s what I need you to do with your farts.”

Children: “But it’s hard. I just can’t do that.”

Me: “Well, figure it out. I’m tired of smelling your colon.”

2. zip your fly… daily.

Me: “zip your fly son. Do you want your peter falling out? What if you move too fast at recess and it just… falls out? Do you really want the girls at recess and your teacher to see that?!”

B: “you’re crazy! No!”

Me: “Then zip your fly. I mean can’t you feel air flowing in there? How can you just walk around with your fly down?”

B: “I don’t know. I just don’t notice it.”

Me: “Well I do and it drives me crazy. Zip your fly and I’ll stop looking down to check for it.”

3. are you wearing socks? (daily)

4. did you brush every tooth? All around? Like your literally trying to touch every inch of tooth with your toothbrush?

5. put the dishes away where they go. Like the pizza cutter does not go with the pot holders.

6. flush the toilet, put the toilet seat down, wash your hands, turn out the light. every. single. day.

7. clean up your pee

Son: “But how do you know its me?”

Me: “Because yesterday you told me that you don’t even remember getting up in the middle of the night to pee, when I have literally seen you get up in the middle of the night to pee. So clearly, you are peeing in your sleep. But at least you are making it to the bathroom.”

Son: “But still, how do you know it’s me.”

Me: “Well, pretty soon your brother will have his own bathroom down stairs and I will not allow him to use this toilet so that any peeing will be from you and Linda.”

Son: “What if it’s Linda.”

Me: “Oh sure, Linda, a six year old girl, is standing up to pee, missing, and just leaving it. Sounds logical.”

The Next Day…

Son finishes using the restroom so I check it…

Me: “Son!! There’s pee all over the back of the toilet!”

Son: “how do you know it’s me!”

Me: “Dude!!! You just went pee!”

Son: “But it could be from earlier.”

Me: “No one is here except us! And it’s wet. It’s totally you! I told you!”

Son: “Okay, maybe this time, but not all the time.”