This post marks 100 for my blog

It's only taken me three years to get here...

In honor of my 100th post, I decided to look back and choose 10 of my favorite posts...which really was hard given that everything I write is awesome... ;)

Ok, stop laughing.

Alright, let's start with the oldest posts first.

1) In April of 2010 I wrote my very first post which I titled Dreams. I'm still of the mind that I was way smarter back then...

2) And, apparently I was very bored when I posted about the basketball experiment

3) Later that year, I talked about the day trip Brenn, his friend, and I took to the Cherokee National Forest. Great memories made that day. We did some letterboxing while we were there. I love wandering hiking trails and enjoying the changing leaves! See these posts here and here

4) The dreaded age of 30 also happened in 2010. 30 hasn't been too bad I guess, but I sure do miss my 20s...

5) In 2011, I shared my thoughts on the Casey Anthony trial

6) I shared a recipe for blackberry cobbler that could certainly help you find a man if you're looking for one. Not quite sure why it hasn't worked for me yet...

7) This year, we had the privilege of taking a short trip to Myrtle Beach

8) I also shared the story of my weight loss journey

9) I finally did my very first vlog

10) And, shared my thoughts on being a single mom and dealing with negative comments

Blogging is certainly a journey. I feel as if I've grown through the years and I'm slowly becoming more comfortable sharing my thoughts. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my ramblings. Here's to the next 100 posts!

I'm Dreaming of a Single Parent Christmas

Not really....

When I was a little girl, I definitely never dreamed of a single parent Christmas. Money is always tight and the calendar fills up even before December arrives. By the time we get to December, I'm just ready for it to be done. I hate feeling that way.

Christmas is busy and financially hard for many people. However, single parents face a little different spin to the holiday hardships. We deal with the decisions of who gets the kids, how to afford Christmas presents when money is already tight, and loneliness when the kids are with the other parent. 

This time of year is just hard...dealing with everything by yourself just stinks.

Every year I try to remember the reason Christmas is so special for us. Celebrating the birth of Jesus and spending time with family should be my most important priorities. This month, I decided to come up with some different ways to lesson the stress and deal with the hardships of facing the holidays as a single parent.

1) Learn how to say NO

Practice saying no to yourself in the mirror everyday. After you practice saying no to yourself, start saying it to other people. You don't have to attend every Christmas party or event. Make sure to schedule family time and time for yourself. Do not...and I repeat DO NOT push your health and fitness to the side in December. Make it a priority.

2) Make a budget

Make a list of every person you need (or want) to buy a Christmas present for. Then, make a budget. Make sure to include your kids and family in the list. The easy part is making a budget; the hard part is sticking to it. I promise that your kids/family/friends will not be scarred for life if you can't buy extravagant presents. Check on Pinterest or Google search Christmas present ideas. I have a board on Pinterest which includes a few Christmas Present ideas that are good for teachers, friends, family, etc.

3) Take some time to focus on others

Be creative and think of ways to show others you care. This year, Brenn and I are planning to make cookies and then deliver the goodies to some neighbors and friends. Other ideas would be to help in a food kitchen, adopt a child from the Angel Tree (if you have the extra funds), or even babysit another single parent's children so he/she can go Christmas shopping.

4) Make sure to surround yourself with family/friends, especially if your kids will be with the other parent

Don't sit at home and sulk. I know it's hard. I remember crying the first time Brenn wasn't home on Christmas Eve. Keep yourself busy and connect with friends and family (if they live close). My family lives six hours away and we don't always travel to see them for the holidays. Thankfully, we have very good friends who invite us to their house if they know we will be in town. Another idea is to find and connect with other single parents or single parent groups. 

Being a one-parent family doesn't mean we can't enjoy and make the most of the holiday season. Cease every opportunity and make sure to focus on your blessings.

How do you deal with this time of year as a single parent?

Weekly Recap: Getting back on track...once again

Happy Monday! I have almost made it to my 100th post!

I haven't done a weekly recap because after Thanksgiving I had trouble getting back on track.

(Yummy Pumpkin Pie)

I gained a couple of pounds and all that hard work of the weekly challenges pretty much went down the drain. I was also dealing with the negative emotions from the text I talked about in my last post

Thankfully, last week was a little better. 

Actually, it was way better.

I lost a little over a pound, which means I almost lost what I gained during Thanksgiving. I've decided to take a break from the weekly challenges and just focus on drinking more water. 

Also, Brenn and I are running our very first 5K this Saturday!!! AND, I am working at getting my spin instructor certification!

(Slowly gaining some muscle!)

So, last week wasn't all that bad. This weight loss journey is certainly a daily struggle. It's hard and sometimes not fun. But, I am certainly the most healthy I've ever been. Doors are opening that I never thought in a million years would open (me??? a spin instructor???).

(Most current plank time)

So, this week I will focus on drinking water, doing my daily squats, and continuing my plank-a-day challenge. I've also not done a good job in logging my food...frankly because I'm embarrassed by all the junk I've been eating lately. Thank goodness each day starts off with a clean slate!

(Are you up for the challenge?!)

I might have issues, but I'm not dysfunctional

About a week ago, I received a text that said this: "Why do you think you're 32 and you've never been married?" 

Maybe I misunderstood the tone of the text, but I really don't think so given the source. In other words, this person was saying, "Do you realize that you're 32 and dysfunctional...and that's why you're not married?"

I almost fell out of my Hoveround...because apparently 32 is quite up there in years. Almost time to apply for my AARP membership.

Well, I might have issues but I am not dysfunctional...

I have always been aware that because I'm a single mom who never married my son's dad there will be some people who stereotype. That's just life. Unfortunately, there is a stigma when it comes to single moms. Many are viewed as weak, second class, always looking for help (financial or whatever), and desperate. When life slapped me right in the face and I realized I was going to be a single mom, I made the decision that raising my son in a loving and stable home would be my number one priority. We were going to beat the not-so-great statistics of children who are raised in single parent homes.

Of course I want to find that person to share my life with. Of course I want to get married. But, when I made the decision to raise Brenn in a stable home, it meant dating was put on the back burner. I've dated and at times thought that I had found the person that could potentially become serous; but it just never worked out. Brenn has met very few of the people I've dated in the past 12 years. 

I have high standards and just recently I realized how important it is to stick to the non-negotiables. Non-negotiables are going to be different for everybody, but every single person who is dating should have them and should never compromise on those. For example, I am a Christian and it's a very important part of my life. The person I'm dating might be perfect in every way, but if he's not a Christian then it just won't work. So yes, I guess I have high standards and I'm picky. My decisions affect not just me, but also Brenn.

And, yes, I do have issues. I struggle with low self esteem, I struggle with trusting people...the list could go on and on. Yes, I'm 32 and and I haven't been married. However, I won't allow negative people to tell me that I'm dysfunctional or there's something wrong with me.

One of my favorite quotes is from Eleanor Roosevelt: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Long story short, my lesson for the day is this: Don't allow other people's negativity make you feel less valuable.

Vlog: Meet Our Pet

Introduce us to your pet(s)

It's My Pity Party and I'll Cry If I Want To

Today, I decided to have a full blown pity party. It's been a long time since I've had one, so I guess it was due. It's amazing how my thoughts snowball and them BAM...I'm having a good cry in my car at 8:00 in the morning. 


It all started with the realization that once again child support for the week was way low

...which transitioned into me thinking that I'm so tired of feeling like I'm constantly struggling financially

...and feeling guilty that Brenn is the main one affected by the lack of the other parent's involvement

...and if I wasn't so dang picky, maybe I would find someone

...and feeling so tired of being the one in charge

...and not feeling secure

...and thinking that I always need chocolate when I'm emotionally distraught

...and being embarrassed that I'm now sitting in front of my work crying my eyes out because I'm just tired of it all

...and good grief, can this crack in my windshield get any bigger??

....darn those delinquent neighborhood kids with BB guns...

So, after my snowball of thoughts and the listening ear of one kind victim coworker, I finally calmed down, remembered what I need to focus on, and left my pity party.

Until the next time anyway...

Weekly Recap: Decorating and Planking

Well, I might have been preoccupied with my addiction to Words with Friends and SongPop to write any more posts last week...

Or maybe I was just really busy, which I was. 

Every year, my church has a women's event called Holidays That Honor Him. For the event, women are asked to host a table; and for the first time I decided I wanted to host a table. I asked one of my other single mom friends if she would like to host the table with me because I was too scared to do one myself. Thankfully, she said yes. As hostesses, we were responsible for providing the dishes and picking a theme, so we decided to do a St. Patrick's Day table.

Our inspiration came from this picture:


This was our table:


It was a great night. The food was wonderful and the speaker was hilarious. I will not disclose how many calories I ate that night...

Alright, on to health stuff. Two weeks ago, I decided to recalculate the number of calories I'm supposed to eat a day. I put the new calories into effect this past week and ended up losing 4 lbs. I gained a couple for a short amount of time at the end of the week (because of some food choices) but overall I learned that I wasn't eating enough calories. Secondly, I learned how much better I feel when I don't drink Mountain Dew. I didn't have one all week and I have slept so much better. 

Last week, my challenge was to add fruits and veggies to every meal. Believe it or not, I had a little trouble with this. Since I'm not used to adding fruits and veggies to all my meals, I had to constantly remind myself to do it. It certainly isn't a horrible habit to have. This week, I am not allowed to have any fast food at all. This is a big step since fast food used to be a staple in our house (sad but true). I think down the line I can be a little more lenient with this. My goal right now is to avoid fast food altogether until I feel like I can go to a fast food restaurant and make better choices.

So far, these have been my challenges:

1) Plan out my daily menu 

2) Drink 8 oz. of water every hour (this has been a struggle)

3) Add fruits and veggies to every meal

4) **This week** No fast food

I also joined a challenge on Facebook which included planking every day. I just started doing this on Sunday. Since many of my fitness classes require planking, I was able to keep it for about a minute. I'm looking forward to improving that time! I saw pictures on Instagram from people who could plank for eight minutes or more!

(Day 1 of PlankADay)

Alright, well enough of my rambling.  I hope ya'll are having a great week! I might get another vlog up this week...hopefully.

Weekly Recap: My Renewed Love for Irish Men and Drinking Water

I really enjoy the weekends where I don't have many places to be. This weekend was exactly like that. Brenn is in Fiddler on the Roof at our local art center, so he had a pretty busy weekend. 

 (Brenn dressed as the Rabbi's son in Fiddler. Love the beard!)

Other than getting him to his performances, my weekend was pretty calm. I caught up on some chores that have been on my to-do list, did some cleaning, and even watched some girly movies. I have been reminded after this weekend how much I really need to move to Ireland...

 (Love this movie!)

Alright, let's talk weight loss. This past week was a pretty good one. I joined a group challenge on Facebook and have continued to work on my weekly challenges. My focus this week was on drinking more water. I'm pretty sure this is the longest amount of time I've actually stuck with drinking water all day, everyday. I even noticed today that I'm not craving Mountain Dew, which is usually my drug drink of choice. I didn't even buy a 2-liter tonight while grocery shopping. That is a huge non scale victory! This week, I'm working on adding real fruits and vegetables to every meal. I kind of already failed at this one today. I didn't have a fruit or vegetable for breakfast, but I did with every other meal. I never realized the bad food habits I had until I started paying more attention. 

I'm really excited about the group challenge on Facebook. These are the goals I made for November as part of the challenge:

1) Continue tracking my food on My Fitness Pal
2) Lose 3 lbs.
3) Continue my exercise routine (Spin, Bootcamp, Running)
4) Up my strength/toning training (Right now I just do one hour a week)

5) Continue drinking my water 
 6) Start taking a multivitamin
7) Sign up for a 5k (my goal is to do my first 5k by the end of the year)
8) Buy myself a new outfit at the end of November if I stick to my goals!
9) Post weekly about my progress
10) Motivate others on My Fitness Pal
11) Start doing a plank a day
12) Begin the 100 pushups challenge
I lost 0.4 lbs last week. It's not much, but I'm expecting more this week since I recalculated the number of calories I should be eating. I wasn't eating enough!  

Note: Many times if you're not losing weight it's because you're not eating enough calories. Sounds crazy, but it's true.

Hope everyone has a great week! Don't forget to exercise your right as a United States citizen and go vote tomorrow (or today depending on on when you're reading this post).

Happy Friday! Photos From the Week

Woo hoo for Friday! 

I have moved up in the world and now have an iPhone, so maybe I'll actually take more pictures...

Find me on Instagram: MSMA31

Here are some pics from this past week. I'll try to limit the self portraits ;)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

My Very First Vlog: Halloween Traditions & Costumes

 Did you celebrate Halloween when you were younger? 
What was your tradition?

It's my very first vlog featuring my boy!

My editing/video skills need some improvement but ya gotta start somewhere, right?!

Weekly Recap: Pageants, Falling off the Wagon, and Weekly Challenge

Busy, busy weekend...

I'm sure I have a chocolate hangover.

Because I fell off the wagon this weekend...

Saturday, I volunteered at my very first beauty pageant. I have absolutely no experience with beauty pageants  I was never a pageant kind of girl and I have a boy, so this was definitely a new experience. I'm still on the fence concerning how I feel about pageants, especially for little girls. But, that's a post for another day.

Sunday night was the Fall Festival at my church. THIS is where I really fell off the wagon. I was surrounded with so much chocolate goodness. I pretty much made myself sick. It sure wasn't pretty. I also did not exercise at all this weekend. Not good AT ALL.

However, today is a new day and once again I will climb back up on that wagon and keep moseying along. First step is to get rid of this bag of candy in my living room....

I did manage to try a new chicken recipe Saturday night. I made this and will certainly make it again:

So, my challenge last week was to plan out my daily menu. I did a good job planning my meals this week, well obviously up until this weekend. I had a hard time planning on Saturday because I volunteered at the pageant all day. On Sunday, I just made very bad choices. I've learned that I eat much better when I make a plan and stick to it. 

This week in addition to planning out my daily menu, my challenge is to drink 8 oz. of water every hour. I am not a fan of water. The only time I crave it is when I exercise hard. Water is water...I don't care what you add to it. This challenge will be more difficult for me, but I've got to get in the habit of drinking more water. I've set a timer that will go off every hour to remind me to drink 8 oz. of water. You are more than welcome to join me in this challenge. I need all the fellow water drinkers I can get!

I lost 0.8 lbs last week. Not great, but at least the scale is moving again. 

I'll leave you with a video of my niece singing her ABC's. I love the ending when she says, "Thank you." Hope ya'll have a great Monday!

It's So Much Fun to Have a Boy...


Write a list of 10 things you have said to your kids that other moms might not say.

Ahh, the joys of having a boy...

1) Why are your dirty clothes on top of the refrigerator?

2) So, what's the neighborhood gossip for today? (The child knows more neighborhood gossip than an old lady)

3) Look down at me when I'm talking to you!

4) Do you HAVE to play football with the cat?

5) Time to cut your fro... (The boy was cursed with naturally curly hair like his momma)

6) Yes, you have to brush your teeth every day even if it's the weekend.

7) No, smearing deodorant all over your body cannot take the place of a shower.

8) Yes, you can go swim in the ditch.

9) Do you have to wait until we're in an enclosed space to do that?

10) Yes, people at school will notice if you wear the same shirt two days in a row. (For the record, he does have clean clothes)

Eight Weekly Challenges for Weight Loss

Happy Monday peeps!

Thank you SO much for reading and sharing your comments on the post about my weight loss journey. Your comments and inspiration mean so much to me. For those of you on a weight loss journey too...WE CAN DO THIS! It's ok for this journey to take time because somewhere down the road you will look back and discover just how far you've come. Remember, there is no quick fix. It sure is easy to gain the weight (and fun too), but it's not easy to lose the weight. However, we are strong. Let's kick that fat in the tail and be done with it forever!

One of the reasons I finally decided to write about my weight loss is because I have hit a wall. I could lie and say I don't know why I've hit a wall...but I know why. I love food. At times, my love for food surpasses my love for myself. It's a bad relationship.

I came across this video the other day:

After watching the video, I've decided to give myself a challenge. I've got to jump start healthy eating again and I know this will help. I invite you to join with me if you would like. I took the five week challenge from the video and added three more weekly challenges. Each week, you will continue to do the challenge of the previous week and include the challenge of the new week. We are on our way to making these challenges into habits. Here are my challenges:

Week 1: Plan out your daily menu
I am so bad at not planning and as a result my eating is horrible. Sometimes I skip breakfast or even lunch. Planning your daily menu really helps you to see how many calories you're eating. I will be using My Fitness Pal, but you can use whatever works best for you. By planning, I mean write down every little thing you plan on placing in your mouth.

Week 2: Drink 8 oz. of water every hour
I have to be truthful, I really don't like water. I don't like it AT ALL. I know there are ways to give it some taste, but water is water. However, water is sooooooo important. So, drink a glass of water every hour, even if you have to set a timer to remind yourself (which is what I'll be doing).

Week 3: Add REAL fruits and vegetables to every meal

Week 4: No more fast food
Since I'm a girl who actually likes fast food, this will be hard

Week 5: Switch to whole wheat bread and brown pastas

Week 6: Add a fruit or veggie to every snack

Week 7: No more regular soda
This is going to kill me...really

Week 8: Do at least 30 minutes of exercise at least four days a week

I have one rule: We are not allowed to work ahead. This is really what gets many of us into trouble. We try and do too much at one time. So, this week the ONLY thing we are going to work on from this list is planning our daily menus...every day. 

Alright, lets do this and get back on track. 

If you plan on doing this challenge with me, I would love to hear how you're doing every week.

 Do not say you will start tomorrow...the best time is to start RIGHT NOW. 

Turning 32 and Losing 35 Pounds

I've been meaning to write this post for quite some time, but it always got pushed to the back burner. I just celebrated my 32nd birthday a couple of weeks ago and decided as a birthday present to myself it's time to share my story.

There comes a time in a many people's lives when they look around and realize that they are not happy. To find fulfillment they might change jobs, move, buy a new wardrobe, or anything else that brings about some kind of excitement or change. My moment happened in June of 2011. I really looked at myself and my life, and I concluded that I was a very unhappy person. I wasn't happy with my attitude, my relationship with Brenn, my relationship with my friends, or my relationship with myself.

 July, 2010 (around 211 lbs.)

I have struggled with weight all my life. I wasn't one of those girls who was stick thin in high school and then put on the pounds as I got older. I fluctuated ALL THE TIME. As a result, my self esteem has always been a big fat ZERO. The closest I ever got to being at a healthy weight as an adult was right before I found out I was pregnant. Even after Brenn was born, I was able to keep the weight off for a little while, but it didn't take long for the pounds to start creeping up again. There were so many different issues going on with Brenn's dad leaving the picture and my decision to immediately get involved in another relationship. I was unhappy with myself and the way my life was turning out. I never once thought Brenn was a mistake, but I also never thought I would end up being a single mom.

Slowly, my weight began creeping up. I went from working in a factory to working at an office job, which is really when I gained most of my weight. It's funny, I didn't even seem to notice my weight gain until one day when I saw a recent picture of myself. My heart sank when I looked at that picture. It was like a mirror showing me how downhill my relationship had become with myself. I was around 211 pounds at that time. I was carrying a lot of weight on my 5' 2" frame. I tried the Atkins diet and some other diets, but I'm a person who doesn't consistently stick with anything.

However, the story takes a turn on that day in June when I finally came face to face with the unhappy person I had become...

I decided to start taking spin classes at the local recreation center. I was already paying a monthly membership anyway because of the last failed attempt at starting an exercise program. My first spin class was brutal. At the end, my legs felt like jello and I was absolutely exhausted. Two days after the class, I could barely walk. I called a friend (who is a nurse and an exercise instructor) and asked her if I should even go back for the next class. She advised me to go so I could work out the soreness in my legs. So, I went back a second time. The second class was a tad better. By the third class I had absolutely fallen in love with spin. It's still my favorite class. I stuck with just spin classes for about a year. I really didn't stick to a healthy eating plan during that year, so weight loss was very slow. I think I lost around 10 pounds.

April, 2011 (Around 200 lbs)

Also, at the beginning of 2011, my friend (the one I mentioned earlier) started a competition much like The Biggest Loser. I only halfheartedly participated in the group (I LOVE my fattening food) but the competition really lit a fire under some of my other friends. Even after the competition was over, they were still exercising and trying to eat healthy. They encouraged me to start taking other classes in addition to my spin classes. I took kickboxing,  Zumba, bootcamp, and a strength training/weight lifting class. They were using My Fitness Pal, so I joined and began using it also. I started paying more attention to my calories and really pumped up the exercising. The inches started melting off. I had the encouragement and motivation I needed.

 December 2011 (Around 196 lbs.)

That motivation has wavered off and on since I began this journey. There are days when I just want to eat like a pig. There are some days when I get on the scale and I just want to cry. Then, there are days when I stop and thank God for giving me the strength I need to continue on this journey. As of today, I'm down 35 pounds. I could have lost this weight quicker if I would have been more strict. However, I know who I am and what I'm capable of. I'm all gung-ho in the beginning and then lose steam. I'm taking a slow and steady pace and I know if I keep going at this pace I will reach the prize.

July 2012 (Around 176 lbs.)

I have 46 more pounds to lose in order to reach the goal I've set more myself. That seems like so much, but in the scheme of things it's really not. I have learned so much about myself and how much I can push my body to the limits. I'm more outgoing and willing to put myself out there. I've gone on more dates this past year than I have in a long time. I am becoming the person I so longed to be; the person I have never given myself the opportunity to become because I've struggled with this for so long.

I understand the struggle that so many of you deal with. My heart aches for those who can't seem to break the cycle. This journey is not just about losing weight, not for me anyway. This journey is about becoming healthier for myself and for my son. This journey is about loving myself enough to take the time to care for my body emotional, mentally, and physically.

I hope you will begin to love yourself enough to stop hurting your body. Stop trying the "get thin quick" diets. Getting healthy means eating better and exercising. There is no magic pill.

It's Definitely Monday

It's not very often that I have a day where I just want to crawl back under the covers and hide. For the most part, I had an uneventful day other than the rain that kept falling...and falling..and falling. 

Monday is also grocery day; not my favorite thing to do. But, for some reason that kid of mine keeps coming to me saying he's hungry, so I have to be armed with enough food to fend him off for a few more days.

Most of the time, it just takes one thing to go wrong and I feel like my whole day is ruined. Today, it was my washer. My washer  is on strike and I'm pretty sure it's a permanent strike. No negotiations will take place. This means that because I didn't do laundry this weekend, I will be visiting my long lost friend...the laundromat. 

It's times like this when I really wish I had a man around. Hopefully I'll sleep that thought off and be back to normal by tomorrow.

Music/Movie Monday: Sherlock Holmes

Newsflash: A couple of weekends ago, I actually had the opportunity to sit down and watch a WHOLE ENTIRE movie. 

Have ya'll seen Sherlock Holmes?

If you haven't, then you should. I think it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Take into count that I haven't see a whole lot of movies lately. But still....

I loved his disguises, especially this one:

What good movies have you see lately? I might get to watch another one sometime in the next six months and need good suggestions!

Summer Vacation and My Kid is Growing Up

It is CRAZY how fast summer flies. It seems like Brenn just finished his last day of sixth grade. He's already back in school and has been for two weeks. 

Life has once again become hectic. We had a great vacation in South Carolina visiting family and spending some time at the beach. 

My boy is growing up. I enjoy watching him grow into a teenager. He's REALLY turning into a teenager too...his voice has begun to change. It's quite funny.

 He frustrates the fire out of me on a daily basis, but I am blessed with a good kid. I remind myself of this fact daily, especially when he makes comments to me like, "mom, I sometimes question your parenting skills." I just laugh and say, "yep, sometimes I question them too." 

He has also graduated to the front seat of the car...which means I will NEVER have control of the radio again. 

Summer is quickly coming to an end and it seems like a chapter in my life is also coming to an end. No longer do I have a little boy... because that "little boy" is now two inches taller than me.

Wordless Wednesday

The reason why I've been MIA:

Wordless Wednesday

As I was checking out at the grocery store yesterday, I had a fleeting thought that this looks like the grocery selection of a bachelor...spaghetti noodles, sauce, meat, Mountain Dew, and toilet paper...oh the horror!!

10 Thoughts Tuesday

This idea came from Just the Stuff Ya Know

1) This week has been soooo busy. There's a slight possibility that my head is going to explode.

2) On a brighter note, I ran/walked 6.78 miles on Sunday. That number still shocks me. I'm getting close to being ready for the half marathon in September!

3) Brenn has been at his dad's since Friday. I'm kind of enjoying the quiet a little more this time...

4) I will be plopping my behind here this weekend...I can hardly wait!

 5) God is doing BIG things and I'm really excited to see where all of these opportunities lead. I'll share more details in time.

6) I'm getting a good response from single moms wanting to be interviewed for the Single Mom Spotlight. If you are a single mom, were a single mom in the past, or even know a single mom (I think that probability is fairly high) please pass on the information!

7) I dread packing for our vacation...

8) The theme of this vacation will be: NO SUNBURN. Seriously, the thought of having to deal with sunburn on my back makes me want to cry. At some point, I always look like I'm twitching like a crazy person.

9) Anyone watching the Bachelorette? If the spoilers I read are correct, then I know who Emily is going to pick...and I'm kind of ok with it. I won't say any more since I know there are people who actually like surprises. If you don't, then go here....you know you want to.

10)  I'm ready for bed.

Wordless Wednesday

Real life Angry Birds Game

Single Moms - It's Your Time to Shine!

A new idea come to me last weekend and I'm kind of excited about it!

 I received a message from someone who follows my Facebook page. She sent a message telling me how long she had been a single mom and also shared a little about herself. I always enjoy hearing from other single moms. We all come from different walks of life and our stories are different, but we have something in common; and that gives us a connection even when we don't live near each other.

So, I'm going to start something new. Once a month, I want to have a Single Mom Spotlight. I will spotlight a single mom by interviewing her and posting her story on my blog. SINGLE MOMS...this is your time to SHINE. This is an opportunity for you to share your story. We all have a story and we can learn from each other. I would like to interview moms from every walk of life: moms who are still single; moms who were once single but are now married or are in a long-term relationship; moms whose children are grown; and teen moms.

If you are interested in being interviewed and sharing your single mom story, please contact me. I can't wait to hear from you!

Here's an example of what it will look like:

 Meet Jennifer!
How long have you been a single mom? 

I've been a single mom for a little over 11 years. 

How many kids do you have and what are their ages? 

I have one son. He turned 12 in April. 

Share a little about your story:
I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant. My son's dad and I decided to move in together soon after I found out I was pregnant...with the plans of eventually getting married. Our relationship had always been pretty rocky. After Brenn (my son) was born, things started to get worse. I pushed for more of a commitment and he was not ready. So, when Brenn was eight months old, we split up. I was terrified of raising a child by myself. What made the situation even worse is that Brenn's dad ended up disappearing for five years without so much as a phone call. Even though I was dealing with a lot of hatred and bitterness, I never said anything mean or condemning about him around Brenn. After Brenn turned 5, his dad contacted me out of the blue to see if I would be willing for him to start seeing Brenn. I had a lot of anxiety at that time...not knowing how Brenn would react and not knowing if his dad would even stick around. We started off slow (Brenn going for a day during the weekend) and then transitioning into Brenn going every other weekend. Thankfully, Brenn's dad has been a part of his life ever since. 

If you could share one piece of advice with other single moms, what would it be? 

I have so many "pieces" of advice! My biggest one is to focus on what's important. Remember-no matter if there is a man in your life, you and your kids are still a family... AND, find a support system whether it be family, friends, or your church.  

What are our favorite activities to do as a family? 

Brenn and I enjoy watching movies, hiking, bike riding, and traveling. 

What are some hardships you've faced as a single mom? 

Financial hardships have been the biggest challenge, but God has been faithful to provide for our needs...and many of our wants!

What do you enjoy doing when you have time to yourself?

I enjoy blogging, writing, camping, reading, and traveling. 

Share an example of a day in your family's life: 

My day starts anywhere between 
5:30-6:00 a.m. (depending on how often I push snooze). If it's a day I have to jog, then I will get out and jog for about 30-40 minutes. I come back and quickly get ready. At about 7:00 a.m. I start the daunting task of waking Brenn up. When the bear finally makes his appearance, I talk him through everything he needs to do..."take a shower, brush your teeth, get your shoes on, blah blah blah." Between 7:40-7:45 a.m. we are out the door and speeding to Brenn's school so that he's not late. After he's dropped off, I head to work. By then, I'm ready for a nap and lots of caffeine. At 3:00 p.m. I pick Brenn up (and 2 other kids if it's my carpool day). He comes back to work with me until I get off work at 4:45 p.m. Then, we go home, I make supper, exercise (if I didn't run that morning), help Brenn with his homework, clean up the kitchen, check Facebook, maybe write a blog post, work at my freelance business, and then go to bed. I'm a night owl, so I tend to stay up way to late.

 What is a dream/goal you have for the future? 

I eventually want to be self employed full time and able to support us with my freelance business. I also want to finish my degree. And, hopefully one day I'll get married...maybe :)