Author Archive

The Beach- June 29, 2015

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

There is a mason jar of sea shells on my kitchen countertop. Each shell was lovingly plucked from a shore full of treasures. It was hastily rinsed in the waves and placed gritty and glistening in my hands. My daughter and I walked the beach in search of shells each day last week. It was our time.

Beach 15 5

Every family member that called our rented beach house “home” had their special times. My sister watched her son’s first steps in the ocean. My sister-in-law played with her niece and nephew and then got lost in the mystery novels she loves. My mom got all her kids around a table to eat together before late nights of loud board games.

We took five more minutes on the beach. We hugged a second or two longer. We ate another cookie. We had another beer. It was vacation. The best part about this trip was how full my heart felt the whole time.

They won’t remember, but I will. I will remember their kisses sticky from ice cream and their hair salty from the sea. They will roll their eyes when I remind them I hosed off their sandy, bare little tushes on the walkway in the open air. I will remember watching my 1 1/2 year-old son nod off in his high chair at lunch because he was so exhausted from the sun and pushing his trucks through the sand. I will remember the first time she flew a kite. I will never forget how he chased seagulls, laughing loud and leaving a trail of the tiniest footprints on the beach.

We are back, but the memories remain in our subtle tan lines and locked away in mason jars to stay in our kitchen until next summer.

beach 2015 collage


Rodan+Fields UNBLEMISH- June 17, 2015

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Rodan+Fields results UNBLEMISH

Your 30’s are a cruel time for skin. It’s weird. We sometimes still get zits like a teen or twenty-something, but now we’re starting to see some wrinkles. Add the pregnancy hormones and the under-eye circles from sleepless nights with babies and we’re looking a little rough. Let’s not forget the sun spots starting to show up from our former tanning bed days. I was all like, “I know this is bad for me, but I HAVE to be tan for Spring Break!” Ugh! I want to shake that silly 20-year-old girl.

As an almost 34-year-old woman I needed to change up my skincare routine. I stopped nursing my 1 1/2 year-old when he was 14 months. When I stopped breastfeeding my skin broke out.

Unblemish results 1

Ugh! Breakouts. My history with acne is a long one. It started as a teen, obviously. This was the 90’s, so I went to the dermatologist after no success with Oxy pads and Clearasil. Thanks ads in Seventeen magazine! You lied about acne product effectiveness just like you lied about chokers and butterfly clips being cool! Anyway, the doctor prescribed me antibiotics to treat my skin. It worked, but now we know so much more about overuse of antibiotics and I feel it was unnecessary and unhealthy for me to take all that.

Speaking of unhealthy, let’s discuss the round of Accutane I took in college at age 19. Wanna talk about a dangerous drug? It’s that one. The side effects are insane. If you get pregnant while on Accutane, the birth defects for the child would be severe or deadly. It was supposed to be an “acne cure.” It worked for awhile through my 20’s, but I still had flare-ups.

I used Proactiv for many years and did everything I could with that to keep my skin clear through my pregnancies, but my hormones won out. I was still zitty. Like I said, after pregnancies and breastfeeding, I needed a new skin care routine. Proactiv was no longer cutting it on my 30’s skin. It was too harsh.

I know I’m not the only one who goes through her Facebook feed daily and sees another mom selling Rodan+Fields. Seriously! I know so many women who love these products and want to sell them. They are fervent in their devotion to the products and dedicated to growing their businesses. Multiple times I’ve been with a group of moms and someone said, “Have you tried Rodan+Fields?” You usually hear someone say, “No, but it’s all over Facebook!” Or, “I want to try it, but I heard it’s expensive.”

Andrea Ad

Cue my friend Andrea. I’ve known her since high school. She married a guy we went to school with. (Let’s hear it for the Class of ’99!) She was a busy mama working full time. Rodan+Fields  now allows her to work part time so she can be home with her kids more and continue her real estate business as well. She has two cute preschoolers and a baby on the way! She sent me a message about joining her team as a consultant myself. I explained that I wasn’t interested in selling, but I was curious about the products. She was like, “That’s cool.”

Wow! A direct sales consultant who respected my wishes to just casually try the product with no crazy pressure?! Thank you! You have my attention! (Take note nail wrap and essential oils moms.) I’m all about supporting moms and their businesses, I’m just not interested in selling. I sold a ton of Cutco knives one summer as a college student. (I know I’m not the only one who can cut a penny in half!) I love seeing the success my sister-in-law has had with Thirty-One bags. I think it’s awesome that Andrea and all the Rodan+Fields consultants I know found a fun way to support their families.

I couldn’t wait to try UNBLEMISH after using the solution tool online to determine what I needed. Rodan+Fields has product lines for many skin needs. Obviously, from the “Before” picture of my forehead above, I needed UNBLEMISH. It has four steps.

  • 1. UNBLEMISH Sulfur Wash
  • 2. UNBLEMISH Spot Fading Toner
  • 3. UNBLEMISH Dual Intensive Acne Treatment (It has Benzoyl Peroxide.)
  • 4. UNBLEMISH Oil Control Lotion SPF 20
  • I also got SOOTHE Moisture Replenishing Cream per Andrea’s recommendation since I mentioned dryness with some acne products. SOOTHE is another Rodan+Fields line.

I love the Sulfur Wash! Creamy. Not too harsh, but really feels like it cleans. The recommendation in the instructions is a “quarter sized” amount. I found a dime or nickel size did the trick for me. I apparently used too much of the Spot Fading Toner because I ran out quickly. I think I was using too much, honestly. I had some tightness and dryness at first with the toner. The Dual Intensive Acne Treatment was great for that because it had a light moisturizer with the Benzoyl Peroxide, which can be drying. I typically used the SOOTHE at night and the Oil Control Lotion with SPF during the day.

Andrea warned me that my skin could get worse before it got better. I’m not gonna lie. Two weeks in I was about to send Andrea a message and be like, “Uh…these products aren’t working for me. I’m sorry! I’m not the person to review Rodan+Fields.” But, I kept going. 30 days in I noticed improvement for sure! As I approached the 60 day mark I was like, “Yes! Thank you! Much better! This is what I was hoping for!” Take reviews online with a grain of salt. I read some that were like, “I’ve used this for a week and it sucks!” Okay. It’s skin care. It takes time for your skin to adjust and for the products to work properly.

unblemish results 2

Today I declare myself THE BRAVEST WOMAN ON THE INTERNET for posting these ridiculous close-up pictures of my face. But, I wanted to show the results for real. I did the close-up of my forehead in the previous shots because you couldn’t see the zits as well in these pictures. The dark spot on my left cheek is a crazy sun spot that was kind of faint, but then got super dark when I was pregnant with my second baby. Rodan+Fields has a product for that too. I guess that’s what I’ll try next. Cost dependent, of course.

Oh! Right! The price! That’s the other thing people want to know. Yeah, they cost more than the drug store for sure. These are high-end products. Honestly, it’s not that much more than what you might spend at Sephora, Origins, Clinique, Clarins, Lancome etc. For me it’s worth it. Especially to not have to go to the mall. Andrea gave me my first 60 day supply to try and I will be buying some more soon. They have a program where you get it shipped to you automatically every two months. Mine has lasted longer than 60 days. (Except the toner, but again, I used it wrong.) So I think I may just order as I need it.

If you’re on the fence about trying Rodan+Fields, give it a shot. I like what the products did for me. Click on the Rodan+Fields icon in my sidebar over there to your right or the picture above and try the Solution Tool. Tell me what you think. Have you tried Rodan+Fields? Which line? What do you think?

Now, can we see a regular picture of my face? Yeah, let’s take a look at my clearer UNBLEMISHed skin…


On the left is me my friend Erin and me. She used SOOTHE. She liked it for her Rosaeca. On the right is my husband, my daughter and me after her dance recital. My daughter has the prettiest skin. I hope it stays that way. I want to show her great skin care as she gets older.


Summertime- June 10, 2015

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

It’s summer. Charlotte is out of preschool. These last two weeks I have squeezed my growing babes into the double stroller to workout. We have been to the playground and blown bubbles in the yard before going to the pool. I let her watch one more episode of “My Little Ponies” while Henry naps and I clean. (Wait, it’s “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” now. How could I forget?) Some days she’s curled up in bed with me and we fall asleep, tired from the sun.

photo 3 (18)

Summer is so sweet. Not a day goes by that I don’t bask in amazement that this is my life. I get to wake up in the morning and be with my children. Yes, we’re hurrying out the door, but I’m not going to work. I’m with them. I’m blessed a million times over. I love my life. The warm sun and popsicles only make life better.

We’re doing less camp and taking more free time this summer. The time with them reminds me to soften my tone and remember that they’re little. Tonight we tucked her in. I leaned over and whispered, “I’m so glad I’m your mama.” Charlotte smiled, held my face close and said, “I’m so glad I’m your daughter.”

photo 2 (46)


So You Think You Can Get Your Body Back?- June 2, 2015

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Lately I’ve been asked, “So, what have you been up to?” The answer, “Working out.”

No, seriously. It’s kind of turned into what I do. Everyday I’m at Stroller Strides or Body Back. Since my Body Back journey this past winter I’m about 20 lbs. lighter. I haven’t weighed myself in a little while. I’m thankfully getting close to my pre-babies’ weight.


It’s the thing I do for me. I love it. I love getting out with the kids every morning. We usually hit up the play groups afterward. It’s fun. The other moms know I’m usually gonna be late. They accept this. I tell them “I’m so fit! I don’t need to be here for the warm-up.” ::snort:: That’s a lie. I just can’t get my brood anywhere on time.

You know where I do arrive on time? You know what I love even more than Stroller Strides? Body Back. The only person I have to get ready is me. It’s amazing. A moms-only workout is nice.

I did the winter session of Body Back. Thanks to everyone for all the words of encouragement as I blogged my journey! This spring I’ve been doing Body Back boost. That’s for alumnae like me who have completed the full 8-week course. With Boost we can go to the Body Back classes we want to when we can fit it in. I REALLY wanted to do a full 8-weeks again in the spring session, but with Greyson traveling so much, it wasn’t doable. So, I’ve been going to Body Back with my Boost package and Stroller Strides.

Seeing the results of the girls in the spring class Body Back class was so inspiring. Seriously. Take a look at Katharine. Ya’ll! That is AMAZING! I saw her in class. She worked it.


I went to the pool for the first time this summer. I felt good. The work paid off. I just wanted to be comfortable in my skin. I felt much better! I still have more I want to do, but rocked the two-piece and swam with my kiddos. I took a bikini selfie but I can’t bring myself to post it because I’m not a teen on Snap Chat or a Kardashian. I’ll get there. I’ll get there. I’ll see you at Body Back until then.

Seriously, I can’t say enough great things about this program and I really want ya’ll to give it a shot if you can. If you live near me here in Raleigh, you can get $50 off! If you’re interested email Missy at She’s the owner of the Midtown Raleigh Fit4Mom franchise. Not in North Carolina? I bet you can find a franchise near you.

Let me know if you have questions. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU DECIDE TO DO IT OR IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT IT! You won’t regret it! Summer evening and midday classes are available starting June 15th and June 22nd. Don’t forget that along with classes you get personalized nutrition counseling and small classes taught by instructors like Christie, Carol, Amanda and Cindi that I like…gah…love! This offer goes until June 8 at midnight!


The Magic Number? Deciding to Have Two or Three Children- May 27, 2015

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Scrolling through my Facebook feed I came across another woman with kids the same age as mine. She proudly posed with her newborn as well. Her third baby. Then I saw another friend pregnant with her third. Last week I got the same question two days in a row from friends, “So, are you done? Or are you going to have more kids?”

Oh, wow. I really don’t know, ya’ll.

mother of two or three

I ask myself that everyday. I look at my kids’ faces and think, “We make the most adorable babies. We already have two, why not have another?!” I love babies. I love being a mother. I soak up the sweetness of my children and wonder how a third child would change our dynamic.

I’ve read the articles about how families with three kids are the most stressed and heard how miserable and awful middle children are. I don’t believe any of that! First of all, I’m not buying that “middle child” garbage. I know some amazing middle children. My husband Greyson is an amazing, well adjusted middle child who grew up to be a successful business leader in his company after following his dream of becoming a sportscaster. He’s a loving husband, father and provider. My Aunt Wanda is a middle child and is the glue that holds our family together. She raised twins, welcomed another child into her home to raise, had a career as an educator and has been married to my uncle for more than 30 years. I pray my children, no matter their birth order, are like these middle children. Recent studies show middle children are pretty much as well-adjusted as the rest of the family and “Middle Child Syndrome” is totally exaggerated.



Some people have told me that they assume we’re done having babies because we have a girl and a boy. I see friends with two of the same sex who may try for another. I get that. But, the friends I’ve seen lately are just like me. They already have one of each. Of course there is always the friend who…surprise! Just gets pregnant with baby #3.

But, I want to know. How do you/did you come to the decision to have, or not have, a third child? We’re not ruling it out, it’s just not as obvious as having two kids, you know? There was no question we would have at least two. SO MUCH goes into deciding about the third. Our ages, money, obstetrical health, parenting, careers and sibling relationships are just some of the things we weigh when thinking about this. Please, don’t think I don’t realize how freaking lucky we are that we COULD have a third. I know the struggles of infertility stop many parents from having more than one or two kids. We’re very blessed to have two healthy children. I have to imagine the impact of caring for sick children or kids with special needs may alter some parents’ decisions on family planning as well.

If we don’t have a third, I don’t think I’ll feel incomplete or anything. Life will still be great and our family will be fine. Again, we’re so blessed. Do we want to add another little blessing?

Last week in the car Charlotte asked from the back seat, “Mommy, are we going to have any more babies in our family?” I gave the answer I give everyone, “I don’t know.” I returned her question, “Do you want another baby in our family?” She said, “Yes! I want it to be a girl and I want to name her Starlight!”

Then she said, “How do you get a baby in your belly, anyway?” Oh, yikes. Maybe I’m not ready for another. Then my husband says, “Well, if we have three, we have to have four kids. You know…balance.”

Sure. Starlight and Fourthkid. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. I will say, if we have a little Starlight, no one is allowed to buy him/her anything. We have everything. Starlight will live in hand-me-downs. That’s just part of being the youngest. (Says the oldest child with a smirk, as she writes this blog post.)