Executive Vice President, Home Operations

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

Just Own It

Why fight it?  We are a family with two small kids. We have two cats.  My husband is obsessed with UCF.

So I figured, why not fully embrace what it means to be in this phase of life and go ahead and put the equivalent of a tramp-stamp on my precious car.  YOLO!!! Am I Right?!?!

Photo Feb 18, 5 53 53 PM


Unlike an awkward or inappropriate tattoo, I have zero regrets about my life and would be proud for anyone who drives up behind me to say “OMG! Becky, would you look at her trunk!  That sticker is SOO BIG.  Who does she think she is?  She looks like an overeducated housewife.”

And yes, I am tempted to buy the Ohio State family sticker pack and replace the mommy and one child with OSU characters.   But I’ll let the CEO have a win for a while and then when he least expects it, and stops checking, I’ll swap them out 🙂

UPDATE: June 2014

That's me in red ;)

That’s me in red 😉



For My Mr. Right

February is a stressful month for me.  Valentines Day and my husband’s birthday are super close together and every year I struggle to decide how to translate what the love of my life means to me into some sort of gift or gesture.

Some people are really good gift givers, unfortunately I am not.  Not only am I a super thrifty shopper, I rarely (READ: never!) get to actually go shopping by myself to browse and contemplate gifts in a non-child-stress-induced-rush. For at least three years now, I have survived buying everything I need from Amazon.com, Publix and The Lamb Shoppe.

For a while I tried to say that the CEO was just hard to buy for… he is the type of guy who likes technology and buys  gadgets for himself.  Then I tried to excuse my behavior because we are experience people who enjoy traveling and doing things together.  The reality is, there are things he wants, things he could use and things that would make him smile that I should know and be able to acquire for him.

He desperately needs new athletic socks.  He wants the new xbox.  Neither seem appropriate (we HAVE 2 xboxes, before you men gang up on me) So here I am struggling to find something somewhere between white tube socks and expensive electronics that screams “I love you!”

Ugh. It really bothers me.  Why is it so hard for me to give meaningful, thoughtful gifts or gestures for my favorite person in the whole world?

I started this post about three weeks ago, and have been coming back to it night after night.  After much thought I have realized it is because I will never be satisfied. Nothing will ever be enough – special enough, big enough, or symbolic enough – to show him how much he means to me.  Anything I could buy will seem like junk from oriental trading compared to the love in my heart.  Cheesy, I know, but that is the reason.

As I think back to gifts of past holidays, birthday’s and anniversaries they have all been fine, acceptable gifts.  But it is my perception that they aren’t special enough that stresses me out and causes me to devalue the gift. Lord knows he has never complained and is always grateful (even the year I got him a cheesy engraved compass from Red Envelope). So this Valentines/Birthday bonanza I am going to let go of my crazy, emotional overthinking.  There is no way he won’t love the surprise I have in store for him.  The boys helped me pick it out and have managed to keep quiet about it too.   Check back in a few days and I’ll post a pic 🙂


Pintrest Almost Ruined My Valentines Day

As a non-creative mom, I was dreading the Valentine’s Day party at preschool…. just like I now dread birthday parties and all other kid related events.  Over the top thematic, unique and detailed craftiness of others is really hard to live up to.

And I get it, Pintrest was made for people like me to get inspired ideas and find little ways to spice up our bland lives.  I am 100% positive I would love it and become addicted to searching and pinning recipes, cool kid crafts and domestic ideas.  Which is exactly why I have avoided it like the Plague.   There is no room in my life for another online addiction. Email, Facebook, news (not really, but I want you to THINK I take the time to read current events. I am hoping to improve on this), and my volunteer efforts keep me tied to my computer and smart phone waaaayyy more than I would like.

So this week I have tried to join the When at Home blog in her Tech Free Challenge.  I have been more conscious about putting the phone away, on a shelf, and not carrying it in my pocket.  It greatly reduces the urge to check it while playing with the kids.  I have tried to keep it away during meals, when normally I take advantage of them be confined and occupied so I can squeeze in a few moments of “productivity.”  A shocking thing happened.  Meals were enjoyable and actually a little less messy.  Maybe it would be easier to ensure the food goes in the mouth, rather than just check out and then clean up the tornado wreckage after.

On Tuesday, Associate P’s school reminded us to bring valentines in on Thursday to share with his little friends.  I panicked.  I knew, with 100% certainty that other moms were on Pintrest right then creating something that would be adorably awesome.  I knew all I had to do was log on, create and account and I too could be a crafty creative mom and wow these 2 year olds with a Valentines Day Pun they have zero chance of understanding.

But we had a very busy week.  The CEO works extra long hours on Tuesdays and I’d be on my own for bedtime (read: the house will get destroyed and take an hour to rebuild after the kids are down), I still had 3 loads of laundry to fold, I had legitimate volunteer business to attend to.  We had play dates, gymnastics and a much needed moms night out Wednesday.  I did not have time to try Pintrest this week, I was going to have to make it through another holiday on my own.

It isn’t pretty, but Associate P and I made 8 little Valentines. He helped cut and put stickers on.  I sloppily wrote Happy Valentines Day on them. And you know what, we had fun doing it.  We sent him to school yesterday with a brown sandwich bag filled with our little creations and 2 Hershey’s kisses for each kiddo.  No ribbons, designer stamps or puns were used.  I prayed that the other moms would think ours were sweet and cute, not lazy and sloppy.

When I picked him up and looked through the bag of Valentines he would get, there was only one Pintrest Valentine.  I was so relieved.  The rest were store bought with a piece of candy.  A few had let the kids scribble on the cards.

We are all moms, just trying to get by, doing the best we can.  There is a time and place for Pintrest and I love the idea of it.  But I’ve come to terms that I’m choosing to express my creativity in another way, and that’s ok.

Photo Feb 13, 1 37 56 PM

The Tech Free Challenge

mmmmm…. pepperoni.

Tonight Associate P had Pepperoni and Strawberries for dinner.  The thought of the combo makes me want to throw up and it was hard for me to watch him scarf it down.

I wonder if that is how he felt when I suggested he try the delicious healthy balsamic chicken and spaghetti squash with spinach, tomato and feta.  Maybe my little man is a high-brow foodie, and behind his screams of “no, no, no” he was really thinking “I can’t believe she paired that together.”

The things kids will and won’t eat changes day by day, even moment by moment.  Lunch was a freak out when I spread the sour cream on his quesadilla…. no no no, woman.  Scrape it off and leave it on my plate so I can dip at my leisure.  Yes, your highness.  Whatever you say.  Anything to get your mouth full of gooey food for a few moments, so it is impossible to ask “why?” or bark orders at me.

Associate A, on the other hand, is at the glorious 1 year mark and growing so fast he will eat anything I put in front of him, beg for more, and finish his brother’s dinner.  Associate P used to be that way.  Then he turned 2.

But, always quick to recover and woo my love back, he asks me to save his dinner not throw it away.  “Maybe next time I’ll eat it.”

I won’t hold my breath.


Siblings Are A Gift

As soon as we realized we were pregnant with our second, I plugged the required data into a pregnancy app to figure out the due date: Dec. 24th.   Our line from then on was that “We are giving Associate P the best gift he will ever get.” Of course most people assumed we said that because it would be a Christmas baby.  But I really believe that siblings are a gift we give our kids.

Siblings are a special relationship for so many reasons.  You share your life with them.  Friends and neighbors may come and go, but family, as they say, is forever.  You took a bath together when you were little and know each others embarrassing adolescent secrets.  For both my husband and I, there was no question who we wanted to stand next to us at our wedding: our siblings.  No matter where your individual personalities and talents take you, your siblings will always be the people who know you, the whole story.

I love my siblings and know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without their influence on my life.  As the youngest of five, I have been able to learn so much from them.  Some things I learned a little earlier than maybe I should have… ahem.   Now as an adult, one of the best compliments I have ever received was to hear that they have learned a few things from me as well.

This is not to say it is an easy relationship.  To the contrary.  It is one of the hardest, most frustrating  relationships you will ever have.  Whether you are too similar, or polar-opposites, from the time you are in diapers your siblings are both friend and foe.  As I’m learning now with my two little ones, the competition for a parents attention is a fierce and babies instinctively covet whatever object it is that their sibling has, and they lack.  Most siblings don’t outgrow these emotions, they grow up with them.   And I find Birth-Order influence fascinating.  I’m no psychologist, but I fully intend on studying and experimenting with its effects on my own kids 🙂

All this reminiscing is in the wake of the surprising news that my uncle passed away today.  My heart breaks for his kids, of course, but today my heart aches for my dad.  I know he loved his big brother.  I know they have a shared lifetime of memories – happy, sad and everything in between.  And tonight when I saw my little associates cozy in the chair looking at books before bed, I imagined a little Jimmy and little Butchie, 70-some years ago, doing the same thing.

I really do believe that siblings are the best gift we as parents can give our kids…. the gift of a friend for life.

Mom v Toddler: a battle of wills

After another hard fought battle of the wills at nap time with Associate P, it occurred to me I might be too competitive to be a good mom.

When my frustration has climaxed and I am insanely enraged at an incoherent, exhausted toddler, my patience reaches a tipping point. Just when I think I can’t take it anymore, a voice inside me says “you can’t let the child win this one!” And BAM! Patience overwhelms me and suddenly time is no object.

Little does he know his wild flailing and cries for “mommy” and “I’m not ready to lay down” fall on deaf ears. My competitive side supersedes my compassion.

And this, I fear, will only lead me to trouble as he gets older and his willpower and endurance grow. His protestations will increase exponentially and I had better rethink my plan of simply trying to outlast him and start finding some other solutions before this little man runs me ragged.

So, tonight I pray for wisdom, as it says in James 1:5 “if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Someone Named Bruno is Famous?

Today I had an epiphany — one of those moments when the past makes sense because I’m living it now from the other perspective.

I vividly remember thinking my parents were so lame because they didn’t know anything about pop culture or what was cool to my tween friends and I.  My dad questioned EVERY purchase I made from my totally rad and not at all a rip off CD-of-the-month club.  And my mother took me shopping at places like Value City and K-Mart for clothes, which were mortifying to a young girl trying to be hip.

Well what goes around comes around.

Not only did I not really know or care who was playing in the Super Bowl tonight, I have zero idea who the kid singing in the halftime show was.  He looked like a 50’s do-whop singer.  My ears perked up when I heard Red Hot Chili Peppers stepping in to help the poor kid out.  My dad, who was the one actually watching the game while I was just casually in the room do other mommy things, had the same reaction I did to this questionable choice of half-time act, “Who the heck is this?”

And it hit me – BAM – in just two short years I have become a  lame parent who is void of any pop culture knowledge.   I don’t listen to hip music or see movies in the theater when they first come out.  I don’t watch Must See TV anymore.  And I have no idea what is in style this year, because I rarely go shopping and when I do it is at Ross, TJ Max and The Lamb Shoppe.

While I have been in denial, my husband has known this for a while and has tried his best to keep me up to date.  When Call Me Maybe was the rage, he showed me YouTube videos…. which led to me becoming obsessed with Share it Maybe.  This year he introduced me to TOMS shoes and Modern Family because I had zero idea what either were.  I am a better person for having both in my life now.  Thank you babe.

I’ve made a few new years resolutions this year, but I think I need to add staying culturally relevant to that list.  I’m too young to be lame and out of touch.  😦




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