I love that no matter how crazy or long a day may be, we always end up here. We have ended our days like this since Brayden was a baby. I love this time not only as a mom, but as an SLP. I remember doing research for my thesis in grad school about early literacy skills. The main focus was how important experiences like these are and how parents can implement strategies to help their children to become readers. Although I loved the research that I did back then, it sure is a whole lot more fun to apply the strategies to your own children! It’s even more fun when your kindergartener can read the bedtime stories!

Here are a couple of strategies that you can use during story time

  1. Focus on the letters and letter sounds.  Point out the fact that “cat” rhymes with “hat”.  Ask your child what sound the letter “S” makes.  Show them that the word “dog” has a letter “d” at the beginning.  Building that knowledge of letter-sound correspondence helps immensely with their early literacy skills.
  2. Track the print while you’re reading the words.  Your child will start to see and recognize words, letters and sounds as you read and incorporate some print referencing strategies.
  3. Ask questions.  Make story time a time of conversation.  Ask them what they think might happen next in the story.  Ask them what they would do if they were the character.  Ask them what is happening in the pictures.  Storytime is a perfect time to build language skills.
  4. When reading a book that has repetition like “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See.”, encourage the child to help you “read” along and finish the phrases that they already know in the story.  Not only will this help them to recognize words, but it will build their confidence and encourage them to start trying to read on their own.What’s your favorite book at storytime?

Choose your battles

Just one piece of happiness of my week! I lay the kids’ clothes out for the week on Sundays. So much easier to do this instead of dealing with it each morning!
What do you do to make your life a little easier throughout the week?



So many times we are focused on a number on the scale. We get frustrated when that number doesn’t budge and it makes us feel that we aren’t making any progress soooo we say “screw it”. We give up after a week…two weeks or a month.
Take a look at your NON-SCALE victories!
How do you feel? Are clothes fitting differently? Are people noticing that you have a better attitude and you are more positive? Do you have more energy to get through your day? Are you gaining confidence? Keep a journal, take pictures throughout this journey or do whatever you need to do to track.
My non-scale victory today? This moment! Ainsley and I were playing and I picked her up and twirled her around. She felt as light as a feather! I felt STRONG! That kind of stuff builds confidence and the determination to continue on this track.
There are so many other victories that we can have besides weight loss. Why? Because it’s not a quick fix! It’s a lifestyle change!
Focus on progress, not perfection and celebrate every small victory!


The small things…

picjumbo.com_HNCK4046-1024x682I always used to get overwhelmed with everything that I had to do in a day.  I would try to do way too much and just get mad when I had things left on my list.  I soon realized that the small changes that I made daily, made big changes later on.
Check out this great article about how to implement things into your daily life to help you become more productive.

15 Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Become Highly Successful


A random compliment…

Today was an early work day at the middle school. I was tired, it was starting to rain outside, it was cold and did I mention I was tired?!?! I have not been sticking to a good bedtime this week, so I guess I know what I should set as a goal (again!) for next week!

When I was done I was walking back to my car and a lady was walking towards me. I had just put my hood up, was lugging my big bag of stuff (as most SLPs know too well) and wearing boots with heels way too highfor a day like today! I was just concentrating on not tripping and falling on my booty!

She looks at me, smiles and says, “Don’t you look cute today?! I hope you have a great day!”

Wait, what?!

I said “Thank you. You too.” and walked the rest of the way to my car with a little more pep in my step and a smile on my face.

Never underestimate the power of a smile and a random compliment. You never know the impact that it may have. That lady may not know it, but she helped me to set a positive tone for the rest of my day and I’m grateful to her.


Life lessons


Oh this girl. She was THAT girl in Target today. She grabbed a small, stuffed monkey off of the shelf. I told her that she couldn’t keep it, but she could hold onto it until we left. She was wanting in and out of the cart. She was climbing out even with the darn strap around her(Houdini!). She had not even EARNED that monkey. We get to checkout and I realize that she still had it. After we checked out, I took the monkey right over to customer service to hand it over.

Ohhhh unleash the beast! This girl screamed and cried and cried and screamed. I had to pullover in the parking lot because she undid her seatbelt and I had to get her buckled again. She was one MAD 3 year old.

I was determined to stick to my guns and not give in. It wasn’t about the $2 stuffed monkey. It was the fact that she thinks that she can just take it and get it.

I turned up the radio and drove along like nothing had happened while she continued her screaming. When we got home, I asked her if it was ok to act like that. She said “No, I’m sorry Mommy.”

Mission accomplished! Until our next shopping trip…

Girls night in!

Do you ever feel like you just go through the motions? You work, work, work and focus on things that may not be so important in the long run? Yep, me too!
Last weekend, I told Ainsley that I would paint her nails. Life happened, we got distracted and the nails never got painted. All week, we were just running constant and still never made the time to do it.
Well, last night I made the time for what was important. We had a girl night! We ate pizza, watched a princess movie and painted nails! Ainsley was SO excited to show her Daddy her pink nails!
It may have just been pink nails, but to Ainsley it was quality time with her Mommy and something that she loved.
MAKE the time this weekend for the things that are truly important!


Be Thankful…


Date night in!

There are times that he drives me crazy and lord knows, there are times that I frustrate the heck out of him! ☺️

Every time something irritates me or we have a few choices words mumbled under our breath at each other, I think to myself….”at least he is here”.

3 months ago, I would have been spending a Saturday night having been a movie night with me, myself and I! 9 months of that got really old!

There’s a bigger picture than the little arguments over petty issues. Life is too short for that.

Tonight, live in the moment. Put the phones away (which I’m doing right after this!). Put aside stubbornness and those things that really aren’t that important.

❤️Be thankful that they are there!


Who do you surround yourself with?

Did you know that you are the average of the 5 people that you are around the most? Who do you surround yourself with? Do people around you focus on the negative instead of the positive? Are you around other women that complain about their husbands all of the time? Are you around husbands that complain all of the time?! 🙂 Are you around people that just complain consistently about their job? Are you around women that just can’t seem to find a bright spot in their day between changing diapers and attempting to find a time to eat and breathe?

I fell victim to this kind of mindset shift years ago. We had just moved to Germany and I was so nervous about a new culture, being away from family back home and leaving everything familiar. I ended up starting to connect with people who did not like living there. They were homesick, miserable, and they didn’t see the fact that they lived in Europe and it was actually amazing!

Guess what happened?! I didn’t like it there either! In the beginning, I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to come home to the States and go back to what was familiar. I was surrounded by negativity and I soaked that stuff up!

It took a mindset shift for me. I remember that one day I finally decided one day that I had to embrace where I was and make the most of it. If I wanted something different, I had to do something different!

Was it easy?? NO, of course not! I had to deal with the language barrier and culture differences. I had to learn things that were totally out of my comfort zone.

Was it worth it?! HECK YEAH! We traveled all over Europe in our time there. We embraced the culture and learned more than we ever could. I saw places that I never imagined that I would see. We watched Brayden chase pigeons in front of the Vatican and I carried Ainsley around Paris in a baby carrier. We had incredible experiences that I would have missed out on if I would have continued to feed into the negative. I’m just thankful that it took me a short amount of time to get my act together and enjoy it!

So….how does my European experience connect to challenge groups and coaching?! The positivity, the constant feeling of encouragement, the support and the energy that you receive from groups like this is so helpful in reaching goals. Can you imagine how different a challenge group would be if I told you that working out/eating healthy really wasn’t that big of a deal and you are just going to have to deal with where you are in your journey?! Yikes, right?!

Before coaching, I wouldn’t even think about pushing myself out of bed to get a workout in before work! Now, I have the encouragement and the push from others to get it done. The accountability and positive environment is what pushes me through and I hope that every one of you find it as helpful as I do.  As hard as it may be, I want you to think about who you surround yourself with? Are they toxic and are they holding you back from fulfilling your dreams?surround-yourself.jpg