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

 

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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

 

9 Tips For Traveling With a Baby

When Caroline was a wee little one, we lived up to our pre-baby promise to keep doing our global travels. In her first year and half of life, she traveled from our home throughout Florida to Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, Italy,  and Ecuador .

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Traveling with a baby resembles a dirty word. Every time we would mention it to friends and colleagues, they would cringe and say things like “ohhhhreally” “you’re taking her with???!!!”

The reality is traveling with a baby is not as scary as we make it out to be. It is all about preparation and mindset. Here are nine tips for all you mommas preparing to travel with an infant — international or domestic.

  1. Make a list. — Include EVERYTHING you can imagine you might need. Write it out on paper and make sure to check it more than twice.
  1. Find a bag that does it all. —Every traveling momma needs a great bag. I have found that diaper bags can be limiting, so I found myself a large messenger “ish” bag that has shoulder straps and a cross body strap but also zips closed and has more than enough room for the essentials — diapers, wipes, toys food my wallet and passports, my camera and a few extras.
  1. New Toys—Find some small new toys that are interactive to distract your little one during taxi and take off. Keep them handy and use as needed throughout your journey.

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    Reading a new book on a Mommy and Me flight out to NYC.
  1. Wear your Baby. —Don’t ditch the stroller by any means. You will need that thing! Do, however, bring a wrap or baby-wearing device so you can board and de-board with your hands free to carry any extra baggage you might have.

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    Hands free for the train in Italy
  1. Get a Fly Baby. —They are awesome!. You attach it to the seat in font of you and yourself to make a baby hammock that your little one can sleep in or just sit up and face you. This helps give you some extra space and frees up your hands a bit.

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  1. Find a sturdy umbrella stroller. —That way you can fold it up and toss it around.
  1. Call the airline. — If you are traveling internationally and your baby is younger than one and under a certain weight, the airline will at NO EXTRA COST move you to the bulkhead AND you can request the bulkhead bassinet. Yup, that’s right! You will have a bassinet that after take off your baby can sleep and play in lap free and at no extra cost to you. They are limited per flight so make sure to call the airline as soon as you book your tickets to reserve the bassinette.
  1. Do your research. —If you are traveling abroad, know what the culture is like in regards to babies and prepare yourself. That might mean bringing your own car seat or packing some extra baby food. You might be surprised how tolerant other cultures are in regards to little ones. However, you also need to be prepared for those not-so-great things like no cribs in hotels.
  1. Breathe. —Try not to stress out and enjoy the process. It is what it is. If your baby cries, do what you can to soothe him or her, but if it does not work just know it will all be over soon! You will find most people are understanding and might even tell you how awesome of a mom you are in the process.
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Our little family on a stroll in Milan, Italy! 
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Making new friends in Quito, Ecuador 

 

Time

I have been thinking a lot about time today. How fast it flys by and how time is one of the few things you can never get back.

When making the choice to be a working Mom, it did not feel much like a decision but more of something I had to do. If I could go back and spend more time making the choice, would it be different?

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I often obsess about the time I will never get back with Caroline and focus my days on figuring out how to change that for the future.

Can I be a working “hustling” Mom and still get all the time I want and need with my girl? I see other Mom’s who have done it, they seem to have it all! Then I find myself wasting time trying to figure out how to get more time… what a predicament!

Trying to “do it all” and “doing it all” sure seem to get in the way of “having it all”

Letting go and accepting where I am is something I need to work harder on.

Learning to Sew

I have never been known for my artistic abilities other than behind a camera or on a computer… So when I told my family I wanted to start “making” things for Caroline on my very own sewing machine they were not very supportive.

However, I am happy to say I may not be the best at this sewing thing BUT… I did finish a skirt last night that I think she will actually be able to wear and not have to turn into doll clothes like my first two attempts…

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Having  a girl is so much fun and as “creative” individual I have so many great ideas in my head. It is the actual execution of all these great projects on top of working full time, side jobs, and just being a Mommy that get in the way.

I am so jelly of those mom who seem to have it all together crafting, cleaning, the list can go on.

For those Mom’s like me who struggle but still want to create try using youtube tutorials to get a grasp on things. Here is a link to the one I used to make a simple skirt, it is from another Mom blogger MADEeveryday.

#craftonbitches

#ihustleforher

 

A Mom That Hustles

No matter which way you look at it being a Mom is hard work. Despite if you are staying at home all day with the kids (or kid) working from 9-5, working from 9-5 and then working your side job on top of being a Mamma. Single or co-parenting it is all relative…

There is so much pressure on women (sorry men) to be it all. I am not saying men don’t work hard and play an important role, or that there are not single fathers or stay at home Dad’s kicking ass out there.

What am saying is the social pressure and emotional (hormonal) connection to “mom” can get to be unbearable for some women and at times we have no one but ourselves to blame.

I myself am a mother of one (Caroline) working full time in a leadership role at a non-profit organization. On top of my day job I freelance, adjunct lecture and run a photography business. Oh and I am a Mom! My husband has a good job, but it requires him to travel so I often find myself in-between that limbo of co-parenting and suddenly needing to do it all on my own.

I am not sure what my reason or purpose for writing this is, but I felt it is necessary to get it out there and potentially release some of the pressure I feel “doing it all.”

My husband tells me he is proud of me a Director before 30 an Adjunct Lecture at a top University a business owner and a great Mom. I am proud, I have achieved a lot in the past 30 years of my life and I thrive on the feeling of success and the impact I am making in the community I serve. I also manage to workout a train for half marathons and constantly chase (literally) the want and need to be a fit mom.

Then why do I feel like I am missing so much, missing out on my daughter, missing out on experiences. Time is always on my mind…if I get here 10 min early I can sneak out get more time with my daughter put her to sleep, grade papers, edit photos, meet with potential clients.

There is never enough time and it is always seeming to fly by . Some times all I cant think about is a way to escape time, is it work for myself? Find remote job? I am not sure but I do know I often find myself obsession over a way to escape the hectic Mom hustle I find my self in and just be a mom.

It is all SO over whelming……….. so why do I do this?

I feel the pressure like a ton of bricks be a Mom that “hustles” to bring in as much income as my husband. I want to be able to experience life with my daughter, travel the world but also provide a structured stable home life. That is why I hustle.

I see other moms while I am on my lunch break when I sneak off to Target to pick up more diapers. I look at them with their babies or toddlers and I feel overwhelmed with sadness. Did I make the wrong choice? I am proud of my career, I really am, but I miss my girl, I miss so many of those precious moments, but I also get time to myself, time to be ME not just Mommy.

This is good right?

MayCC.jpg#ihustleforher