Bigger Picture: What I Learned When Smooshed My Kid {#BPM}

It was a glorious Saturday afternoon. I had ditched my date with the laundry monster in favor of hanging out with our two cutie pie monsters.


We made our way downtown with the intention of heading to the Farmer’s Market. However, mama can’t do downtown without an iced coffee in her hand. A quick coffee stop turned into a full-on second breakfast.


You know because oatmeal just isn’t enough.


In 2.5 seconds Big E and I had gobbled up our goodies and were left waiting impatiently for Little Red to methodically dismantle his gargantuan cinnamon roll bite by bite. It was painful to watch…I think a snail would moved faster.


By the time Little Red had finished, the Farmer’s Market was over..sigh. With reluctant feet I made my way to the playground. I’m cool with the playground it’s fun for the kids, but sometimes I’m just not into it.


Yes, I am that mom that will sit on the bench, cell phone in hand, catching up on blogs, updating my Facebook status, and Instagraming photos. All while the boys play “battle”, “superheroes” or some other chasing game.


While I sat on my perch watching the boys, making sure no one decided to jump off the highest ladder, I took a deep breath.


“Hey mom,” Big E yelled. “Play battle with us. You can be the bad guy.”


Seriously, why am I ALWAYS the “bad guy”?


Perhaps this is some kind of metaphor.


To be honest I was enjoying my perch, and the room to breath.


And just when I was about to make-up some lame excuse Little Red pops over and says “peas mama.”


Ugh, now they were ganging up on me.


“Ok,” I said reluctantly. I slipped my cell phone into my pocket and followed them to the playground.


They started running, I started chasing.



They started laughing. I started laughing.


Just like that, I was hooked into their game.


Smooshed 1

There I was the ONLY adult climbing the playground equipment, and pretending to be the “bad guy.”


“Capture me mama,” yelled Big E.


I ran after him and tackle hugged him tightly then walked him back to my dungeon. His giggling echoed in the caverns of the playground. I was laughing along, tickling him.


“I’ll rescue you,” yelled Little Red. Distracted by my “prisoner” I wasn’t prepared for the screaming fury known as Little Red. He charges at my legs knocking me off kilter sending me to ground right on top of him.


Laughter quickly turned to tears, and embarrassment {on my part}. The playground grew silent and I could feel every eye on me, as I rolled off my four year old.


“There’s nothing to see here folks,” I thought in my head. “Just a mom who crushed her kiddo. No biggie. Just keep on playing.”


I cradled Little Red in my arms, wiping his tears and kissing his boo boos. “Mama you smooshed me,” he declared accusingly.


I nodded my head, “Yes, I’m so sorry buddy. Are you ok?”


Through snuffles he shook his head yes.


In less time than it took my 40-year old body to get up off the ground. Little Red and Big E were off running again like nothing had even happened.


Kids are resilient, it’s one of the qualities I envy about them. The ability to fall and just wipe their tears and keep on keeping on.


Conflicts and collisions have a tendency to stick with you longer when you are older. It becomes harder and harder to bounce back after you’ve been smooshed by the world.


Here’s the deal though, even though the world may smoosh us once in a while we still need to get off the bench and just keep on laughing.


Boys Downtown

Mom Style Files: Ballet, Nautical and Floral Oh My {#HotterSurprise}

I love happy mail and love shoes, so when I see a box from Hotter Shoes on my doorstep I start breaking out my happy dance.


Normally, I’d know what’s in the box, but this time as part of our Mom Style Files mission my partner in fashion Melissa and I were in for a surprise.


Hotter Surprise


In my last Mom Style Files post I tried to predict what we would receive on our doorsteps, however I was in for quite a surprise.


Here’s what Melissa and I received as well as our Mom Style Files Challenger Hyacynth.


Melissa received the adorable jewel ballet flat in coral. Initially I had styled her in a denim dress, but decided the flats would look better with a pair of skinny ankle jeans.


Melissa / Jewel Shoe / Hotter Surprise


The key with a colored shoe is to accent the shoe and not get too matchy matchy. I paired a complementary top and a scarf with coordinating colors to break up the block of color, and added dark brown jeans to create negative space between the rose colored shirt and shoes.


For our challenger Hyacynth I picked the Cruise shoe and created a nautical theme. Ironically she received the Laura boat shoe.


Hyacynth / Laura Hotter Shoes / Hotter Surprise


I decided to create a non-traditional nautical theme. Instead of the typical white and blue striped shirt with white pants, I opted for a cap-sleeve sweater with wave stripes in cream with a coral accent and then added the pop of color with the coral capris, and added a few nautical accessories.


Hyacynth was a little apprehensive at first when she saw the Laura shoes, but once Melissa and showed her just how versatile the shoe is, she was amazed by the possibilities.


As for myself, well I received the Mabel floral shoe.


Honestly not my first pick, but after perusing Pinterest I discovered floral shoes are “in” now. So I decided on a hipster casual look. My trusty typewriter t-shirt, with a pair of distressed crop jeans and my Iowa necklace, took the shoes from primp and proper to funky and fun. I also added some hot pink laces add some spunk.


Brook / Mabel Hotter Shoes / Hotter Surprise


Overall, I’d say our Hotter surprise was HOT!


*The Nitty Gritty: I received my pair of Mabel shoes in exchange for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Perspective: Do I Deserve to be an American?



“Hey buddy, what have you been learning at preschool,” I inquire during the trip home from school.


“Oh, we learn bout Merica,” he states matter of factly.


“Did you learn the Pledge of Allegiance,” of course the moment the question came out of my mouth I knew the answer.


Of course they didn’t learn the Pledge of Allegiance, because no one says it anymore. You know because of GOD and religion and schools and some other politically correct BS.


As I drove home, I tried to recite it in my head and for a few moments I stopped and stuttered before finally finishing it.




It was Independence Day and my kids had no clue about The Pledge of Allegiance and I could barely recite it.


Which got me thinking…Do I really deserve to be an American?


Sure I was born here.


I at one time {aka the dark ages} said the Pledge of Allegiance every day.


We hang an American flag out front of our house on Flag Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day.


We stand and remove our hats for the National Anthem.


But if push came to shove and I had to take the US Citizenship test would I pass?


Here are a few questions…


America 3

America 2

How Many Amendments


And the answer would be a Definitive NO.


It’s quite pathetic really. I an American preach the American Dream the land of bounty and democracy, freedom to the people and yet I have no FREAKING idea who some of the people are running our government, what the branches do and how the heck it all works.


Perhaps I’ve been subjected to too many X-Files episodes with government conspiracy theories, or maybe I’m just old and can’t remember my Civics lessons {Sorry Mr. Linderman}


Whatever it is, I’m embarrassed.


I’m embarrassed that my children don’t know the Pledge of Allegiance, that they don’t know the words to the National Anthem {granted they are 4 and 7}.


Their American education will be up to me {the American poser}, because they will never learn it in school. I’m sure it doesn’t fit into the Common Core curriculum.


How on earth can the future of America, be in the hands of children who have no concept. It’s scary and sad.


Frankly, the country needs to change.


We take so much for granted. Our children have no clue how our freedom was won, and what we do to protect it and honor it. In fact, all they see, more often than not are news stories on how messed up it all is. How money and greed rule the world and influences our nation.


The moment Little Red and I arrive home,  I hop on the internet and show both boys the words to the Pledge of Allegiance and I teach them how to stand with your hand of your heart.


Then together we said…


I pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all.


It’s a beginning.


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