You and Me

Dear Caroline,

I could have never imagined a deeper bond than the one I have with you baby girl. From the moment we met, I knew you were the best thing to happen to me. I cherish the Mommy-Daughter moments we have on a daily basis and your constant need for me and no one else.

Tonight my heart broke as I rocked you and sang  “candles” your favorite mommy remixed version of a Rent classic. Today our perfect relationship just you and me changed forever. Your dad and I joke that we perfected it on the first try so no need to expand our family.

Well, sometimes things happen (we will talk about that when you get older) and life changes in the blink of an eye…

I am so sorry we won’t have that just you and I vibe for the rest of your life, but I hope this new brother or sister brings as much excitement and joy to our lives as you have. You are going to conquer the world little one, and I cannot wait to see how wonderful of a big sister you become.

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xoxo,

Mommy AKA your BFF for life

#Iwillalwayshustleforyou

Written on 2.16.17

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How do they learn this!

We were at Home Depot on a weeknight picking out paint for a bathroom reno when it happened… The paint mixer man approached us as I was holding my tired two and half year old and he approached us to ask if we needed help. My daughter said to him as she cuddled into my shoulder “Go away, Mommy and Caroline Don’t like you.”

OHH M GG what did she just say.!

I  told her that was not nice and to apologize. I explained that saying that would make him sad and we don’t want to make other people sad. Right away she seemed to understand that what she said was mean and exclusive. She started to feel remorse so every time he walked by she would say “sorry” “I’m so sorry”. Luckily it was a good learning moment, one that I hope to sticks…

Where on earth does a two and a half-year-old learn this stuff! The rest of her class are two and three and we have no older children in the house, my gosh does this really start this early!?! Thinking into the future I am terrified to imagine the bullying she will receive and dish out. It is mind blowing to me that it starts this soon.

I can only hope that she offers my husband and me the opportunity to teach her right from wrong. Her teacher once told us she is a gentle leader and the kid in class who doesn’t just have one or two friends but is friends with everyone in class. Praying she stays that way forever!

XO,

Laurie

#ihustleforher

#scaredmom

#bullying

 

 

 

Working Family

I know this may not apply to all working households but I wanted to set the record straight for mine. My husband works full time, he has a good job and makes good money. I work full time, I have a great job and make good money. We are a working FAMILY, taking on the stresses of the household and the office, we do it together…

Even though I will admit I carry a lot of the stereotypical burden of being the “mom” we both as parents work hard to provide and prioritize our family and time with our daughter. For some reason I think its important we don’t forget that not all working mom’s are at it alone. My husband pushes and supports me to further my career and pursue success because my success is our success. There are times that I wish I had  an “easy” job, or stayed at home but the reality is my personality would not stand for it. I love my daughter but 24hrs a day with little interaction with adults does not sound like my cup of tea.

I am a working mom but I am not doing it alone. Sometimes I wonder if I am missing out by working and to be honest I’m still not convinced I am not… BUT I am proud of all my family has accomplished and look forward to dominating our career paths even more as we grow.

#workingmom

#workingfamily

#ihustleforher

XO,

Laurie

PS. Those Mom’s and Dad’s that do it solo props to you! #yourock

 

Let’s Talk Working Mom

There is a lot of advice, rants, ideals and expectations on the internet for working and non-working mothers. I think about this a LOT, some days a lot more than others, but it definitely crosses my mind on a daily basis.

We have all seen the blogs about mothers deserving more time off and more paid leave ( like the rest of the world). While most of the things they say are correct it should not be assumedMichaelson1 that because of your gender and title as mother means you want to give up a career and spend more time at home.

Heck, talk about gender bias! So are we saying because of our gender that it is our deserved right to nurture and mother a child? Does this mean a husband does not have similar desires or rights? What if you are a mother that wants to work? Does that mean there is something wrong with you? ( I say absolutely not).

I am not saying we don’t deserve more leave and PAID leave because we do and so do fathers. It is hard to argue that America is not way behind the curve on this. However, I am saying we need to be less one-sided on our messaging to the “ideals” of working mothers.

Some of us want to be successful AND to spend as much time with our babies as possible and some of us want nothing more than to be a mother and wife. both are ok in my book, so why does our online media try so hard to make us feel like we should be ashamed of our choices?

 

#workingmom

#ihustleforher

#wishIcouldworkfromhome

XO, Laurie

Do your family photos when you travel

As a photographer, one might assume my family is well documented, but the reality is, it’s not. My husband and daughter are well documented but Mommy is often left behind the camera and missing from family moments.

My little family has done a lot of traveling in the short two and half years of my daughters life. So when it can time again for family photos, I used a family trip to New York City as an opportunity.

We scheduled a family session in Central Park and it was the best travel decision I have made in a long time!

My first thought was it might be to costly in the big city, but the reality is you can find a photographer  within your budget just about anywhere in the world. We ended up booking a friends wife, Asher Gardner, an amazingly talented and sweet woman.

We met on a cold November day in the park and spent and and hour taking photos. It was so exciting having professional images of all three of us in a place that we created life long memories. Not to mention it makes great wall art!

So the next time you are planning that big family trip, take some time do some research and find a photographer to capture your family. Oh and if your in NYC make sure to look up Asher Gardner Photography!

#momphotog

#ihustleforher

xo,

Laurie

Then it happened to me…

I have never been a safety obsessed parent. I care about my child’s safety and make sure we don’t put her in harms way, but I tend to not sweat the small stuff. It seems like almost every day if not every hour there is some new parenting rule about how to do it the right way, safest way or best way. Sometimes I wonder how we all survived before ALL these rules came into play…

Anyways, here is my story and word of caution to parents about furniture and tip hazards.

Yesterday, I was getting ready in my bathroom about 3 feet away from my daughter when it happened… Our relatively new Ikea dresser tipped over top heavy on my two year old daughter!!!!!!!

It was not your classic unattended child story, she simply walked up the the dresser pulled out a drawer then another. As I heard something slide off the top I turned to see the dresser crashing down on my baby. Without hesitation I grabbed the dresser, but it was to late. The drawers came crashing down on her. As she screamed and cried I carefully got her out form under the mess. Her arms were red and puffy and the left side of her face already swollen and turing black and blue.

I was terrified but level headed, I quickly asked her to move the areas the seemed injured and to my relief it seemed like other then some serious bruising and dresser PTSD she was ok. OMG! I was shaking but keeping it together for her, I didn’t want her to see I was just as scared. After a few minutes passed we both calmed down sat on the bed and called Daddy to make sure we did not over react and call 911 to take her to the emergency room. She was ok, shaken but nothing broken.

After this happened I started to google Ikea tip over stories and found that some families were not so lucky. Grateful for our relatively happy ending I am terrified of the what ifs… what if I was not there to help her…what if it hit her head just right… ugh.

After reading up on it I found that IKEA (Orlando) should have offered us straps and did not! I am angry and annoyed that they do not do more to assure the safety of their customers and their children at the store level. Of course their corporate office promotes safety but WHY did no one in the store offer us the secure straps as we check out with out two year old in tow?

The top heavy design became apparent to me a few times when using it myself… but I NEVER thought it would completely tip over by just having two drawers open at the same time.

For those of you who shop at Ikea PLEASE make sure to secure your furniture. This is a link to the dresser we have that is still for sale and should be recalled.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20318601/

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#scaredmamma

#ikeatipover

xo,

Laurie

My Girls not Bossy…

I think it is safe to say that we have all seen, said or heard “She’s not Bossy she is a leader”.

As a member of the infamous “bossy woman’s club” and the mother of a very smart assertive and sure of herself two year old little lady,  we both encountered this phrase often.

Unfortunately, to me is is not funny or cute it is a reality that many women in leadership have to deal with on a regular basis. Being “bossy” and a female has not always been a cute meme or  t-shirt…

It is a struggle to be taken seriously, respected or heard instead of being perceived as pushy  in the work place. Why can’t a woman be assertive (bossy) and confident? Men do it every day in leadership and no one calls them bossy.

Luckily for me I have over come this stereotype and excelled in my career. Although, who knows where I would be if my CEO was not herself a member of the “bossy woman’s club”. Despite my title and leadership role, I am often given this label when simply doing the job I worked hard to earn.

I hope I can show my daughter that there is no shame in being confident in herself AND her ability to lead her peers with power and grace. The world is changing and woman’s rights have advanced greatly over the years, but we still have work to do.

On a day like today as we inaugurate our new president, Donald Trump, I can’t help but to feel unsure of the future for women, but know we are fighters and will march on (pun intended).

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#ihustleforher

#girlpower

#imnotbossyimaleader

xo,

Laurie

 

How I lost the Baby Weight and Some!

Lots of people say to me “there is no way you had a baby” in disbelief that I had a (giant) baby and claimed my body back. Well, you can and it is not easy and my fitness journey has not ended.

We all talk about why we can’t do soothing for ourselves, oh only if… I had more time, more money, more energy, there will always be an excuse for all shapes and sizes of mothers out there (and fathers). Many of us give up on getting our body back, but the reality is if you want it bad enough you can have it back. I am not here to say it is easy…but know from experience it can be done.

Here is some insight into my fitness journey.

After having Caroline I felt tired, ugly, fat and at times lonely, even though I was never alone. After a few months of falling into a postpartum slump I decided I HAD to do something about it.

My family is the most important thing to me, making sure I was happy and healthy for them became my #1 priority.

To get started I needed to find something to work towards. After hearing a few other mom’s talk about running the Disney Princess Half Marathon I decided that was it! To keep myself on track I took the hard route of fundraising for my spot in the race. In order  to run I had to fundraise over $3000 for the Children’s Miracle Network.

I got a training schedule (provided by @liveforfittnes) and scheduled out my 5 days a week of running. Yikes! The fundraising aspect kept me accountable and my competitive nature kept me working hard… I had to run 13.1 miles and walking was not an option.

I started training 4 months before the race and the weight started dropping off. I also adjusted my diet, this was the hard part. During my pregnancy I had some extra stress and my way of coping was enjoying the ability to eat for two. When I started running I started replacing breakfast and lunch with shakes. I did a mixture of meal replacements and my own spinach, vegetable and assorted fruit and nuts really whatever I could mix together that was fresh and healthy that tasted remotely good.

I was finally feeling happy about the way I looked and started to regain confidence in all aspects of my every day life.

Breastfeeding and pumping made training difficult but burning the extra calories assisted in the weight drop.

Like most women the world around me has shaped the way I perceive my body. This perception still plagues my mind as I look at my post baby body. However, I am proud of how far I have come.

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After the race I was motivated to stay in shape and decided to try a new type of work out. Orange Theory Fitness was opening their first location in Gainesville, literally down the street from my house. I was out running with caroline one day and decided to pop in. They were opening the next week and had a full week of free classes available so I figured I would give it a try.

Almost two years later I have not looked back! Orange Theory took my already fit body and gave it some definition. In the past I have worked hard to tone my arms and stomach with less then impressive results. Something about the Orange Theory work out was exactly what my body needed.

I still struggle with how I feel about myself, can my stomach be more defined… why can’t I “see” my six pack more?? 😉 and dealing with the reality of stretched out skin from having a 9.6 pound baby. I know I got off easy compared to some mothers but no matter how big or small stretch marks are stretch marks and I am still working on moving past that.

My current fitness goals are to stay strong, run faster, lift heavier, and define my abdomen even more. I know I will get there if I keep on pushing myself.

#ihustleforher

#fitmom

xo

Laurie

 

 

 

 

Vice President at 30

This past year has been noting but extraordinary! Not because everything has been perfect, but because I have embraced life. Working hard in my professional and personal life, I chased what I wanted and felt knew I deserved. Why can’t we have it all like the men? The job the office the title…AND the family, a clean home and all the baby giggles and cuddles. Oh and don’t forget a hot bod!

This past April I found myself in an interesting situation, my boss had left her Sr VP role and I had two options. 1. Go with the flow and wait for her replacement to come in change things… possibly screw up my amazing working mom flexibility and current situation. OR 2. Ask for what I had already proven to deserve and take over both departments.

Long story short, I braved up and went for it! I wrote a proposal of how and why this could/should happen and presented it to our President and CEO. I decided that if I was going to do this working mom thing then I needed to lean in and do it big! Sometimes in life you need to take risks and believe in yourself. Thats exactly what I did, I believed in myself, took a deep breath and leaned in.

Now at the ripe age of 30 (for the next few weeks) I have leaned in so hard and hustled like a mother to become a VP of an organization with over 500 employees. There were so many hurtles long before I become a mom, but I am here now.

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#leanintogether

#ihustleforher

#motherhustler

xo,

Laurie

Phew…

A lot of time has passed since my last post: My daughter is two and a HALF! (OMG), I was promoted to Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Advancement  at my “full-time gig”, we have traveled A LOT (wouldn’t have it any other way), not to mention all the learning and growing each of us have done in these long but short two and a half years.

Being a hustling mom is challenging, work is challenging, keeping up with my photography business is challenging, but I charge on because #ihustleforher

Stay tuned for lots of catch up posts about our adventures 🙂

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xo

Laurie