It's Almost Over - But Not Really.


I've been crying for days you guys. For a lot of reasons, but mostly because the last 18 months have been long, and it's finally coming to an end - for today. Tomorrow is another day - will anything really be changed? Here's the thing - the only way change is going to happen is if we start stepping up and participating in it. Sitting back and complaining and yelling at someone who has a different view than you do is not productive. There has to be a way to communicate and work together. We teach our children how to do this every day, why can't we do it as adults? Money? Power? Greed? yep and more...

What saddens me is that once the election is over we'll go back to living our daily lives and in the back ground all the same stuff is going to continue to move along the way we truly don't want it to. I don't have the answer on how to fix it, all I know is we have to figure out how to do it. Speak out, go to community meetings, talk to your local reps, voice your opinions and ideas.

We are too smart and too technologically advanced to be antiquated in our communication process. I know we need things like term limits. Fresh blood, new faces and ideas. People willing to work together to get things done. We need education reform, economic initiatives, environmental progress. Most of all we need to be kind to one another. It's ridiculous to me that in today's world we still have racism and bigotry and sheer lack of respect for human life. It makes me so sad. It's hard enough to teach our children to be kind and compassionate, it doesn't help that there are people out there who actually believe their life matters more than everyone else's.

My kids are being raised to be hard working, respectful, good men. Having to censor the outside world would be impossible.

We are at a time in our history where women are defying odds and shattering ceilings. We should be celebrating that! I'm celebrating that! I'm proud to have the opportunity to vote for a woman - who is extremely qualified to lead this already great America. I voted with my son this morning, he helped me color in the bubble. While we were voting we talked about what it means to have a woman hold this office. We talked about the things we believe in that are the most important to us. We talked about why we made the decision we made.

It basically came down to decency. Yes, the economy and environment are super important and honestly should be at the top of the topic list. We shouldn't even be having discussions about marriage equality - who cares who anyone else loves and why is it our business? We shouldn't be talking about "locker room talk" - because degrading women shouldn't be a thing, but it is. Trust me, I've had my share of inappropriate comments come my way - no one should have to deal with that crap. We shouldn't be talking about what a woman can do with her body - IT'S HER BODY - not yours, not mine, not anyone's but hers. But when these things come into play, you bet I'm going to support them because I know them. I love them and I do not hold judgement against them for any of their choices.

We are all at fault for the state of our nation. Every single adult in this country is to blame.. How we choose to move forward will be the difference. What will you do to make it better for you and your children? You guys, it's time to stop pointing fingers at other people and start pointing it right back at ourselves. Take responsibility for your legacy and start making a difference.

Oh, and vote.

How Do We Raise Kind, Compassionate Boys In A Donald Trump World?

I don’t know about you, but as a mom trying to raise two young boys, I’m pretty appalled by the news headlines lately. My oldest son, who is turning 11 in a few weeks has been interested in the Presidential race for a while now. It’s not unusual for him to ask questions about the candidates or the issues they’re stumping about (he was partial to Bernie). Imagine our delight as parents when his teacher told us that our son was starting discussions in school about politics and policy, creating thought provoking debates among his classmates. So proud!

Now imagine our dismay when the latest headlines hit the news cycles, and he started asking about it. “Mom, Dad, what does it all mean?” Abuse, rape, groping, locker room talk..things we had no intention of discussing with him (yet). Sure, we’ve had conversation about what’s appropriate and what’s not when it comes to iPad usage and YouTube videos, but we haven’t delved into the area of what’s unacceptable when you’re speaking about and interacting with girls in a sexual way. Why? BECAUSE HE’S A KID. We shouldn’t have to (yet)!

Where’s my closet? I just want to go live in it with my babies.

How do you talk to your kid about what’s being said in the news? My husband and I discussed how we would approach this topic with him (his little brother is 4, and is happily entertained by The Floogals, thank goodness), and we decided the best approach is to be honest and direct.

We decided to focus on the good stuff (digging deep here folks!) and remind him that, in fact, most men are not like Trump at all.

First thing’s first, every day as we are on our way to school, I tell my children of a few things: be kind, respectful, happy, and make good choices. We live by these words along with the golden rule: do unto others as you would have done unto you. So you can imagine the frustration we had when approaching this topic - with kid gloves.

We explained to him that women are not objects and the mere idea that this is even an idea is wrong. Women are strong and powerful. They are to be respected and treated as such.

We talked about how hard it has been for women to be seen as equals in our society. Something he’s extremely unfamiliar with, because he sees his own mother working hard to build a business and his father be nothing but supportive of her. He watches his parents compliment and appreciate one another. He lives by the idea that we are all to be treated the same way regardless of gender, color, race, etc. Be respectful.

We discussed the idea of “locker room talk” and we made it clear that talking about a girl (or anyone, for that matter) in a context that is inappropriate is unacceptable, under any circumstances. That touching another person against their will, boy or girl, is wrong. We explained consent. And oh by the way, we told him that blaming it on “locker room talk” is BS.

Men that are honorable, honest and kind hearted do not speak about other human beings the way Trump spoke about those women. Be kind.

We talked about being in the same place as the person who’s saying or doing things they shouldn’t be. About implication. He was cautioned that if he’s ever in a situation where he sees or hears something that’s inappropriate, he has an obligation to speak up. Just because you’re not the one doing the crime, so to speak, does not make you innocent. Make good choices.

We reminded him that each day is a new opportunity to do your best and make the most of it. It’s all a choice. How you act, treat others and treat yourself. Every day is a gift, use it to your advantage. Explore your world, learn new things, make friends. Be happy. In the end, our conversation went off without a hitch. Kids are smart. They want to be informed and acknowledged. It makes having these kinds of discussions easier. Open door policy in our house - ask anything - no judgement, we will always answer. My son is now educated on topics I thought we would have a little more time to keep in the vault. Being prepared and honest is the best way to go

Take Charge

You guys, I've been rambling on about empowerment this week and today is no different! Today I'm talking about taking charge of your life and having an a-ha moment that is the catalyst for the change. They're funny, the a-ha moments. A lot of times, they come when we least expect them. I can remember when I had a big a-ha moment that changed the entire course of my professional life - forever. In my 16 years at the last corporation I worked for, I had to make a choice whether or not to stay in my job or find something new. I had over a year to plan, and make the decision, but ultimately something was going to have to be decided. I honestly didn't give it much thought for a long time because I thought I was going to stay there. I figured I could just keep my (well paying) job or possibly look to move within the company for something new, but I rarely thought about the option of leaving - and then February 2014 happened. Let's get one thing straight - I can hang with the best of them. I'm fun, I'm personable and I like to have a good time. I'm not one to shy away from playful, sarcastic banter with co-workers either. BUT there is a time and a place for everything and in February of 2014, that line was crossed and my decision for my professional future was solidified. I lasted until August. I escaped. Here's the thing - in my very long life working in corporate America for different companies along the way, I was NEVER spoken to or treated the way I was for the last 6 months of my tenure. There were over the line comments coming from someone with zero regard for others. His professional demeanor and attitude was pompous and disgusting. The way he treated other people (men and women alike), was deplorable and his moral compass was misguided at best. Co-workers witnessed his actions not only toward me but toward others, and when I brought it to the attention of "the powers that be" I was assured it would be taken care of...let me just say this - he's still there. THAT my friends is disgusting.

I voiced my concerns to people I knew could do something about it, however chose to ignore it. I even took it to HR and nothing happened. So when the time came for me to make a decision about my professional future, I knew I couldn't stay. I could no longer work for a company where employees were ignored. Where issues were swept under the rug. Where shady dealings were happening. It made me sick to my stomach to have to go to that office. It made me angry to have to be around the very people I once trusted and believed to be honest and forthright. I had to go, I really had no other choice.

The thing is, when I made the final decision, it wasn't with trepidation. It was with the full belief that I was doing exactly what I was meant to be doing. I was ready, and maybe this was my push to take the leap. I needed to take charge of the situation and make a change. I wasn't running away from it - I was running toward something greater, something better. Making the life changing decision to leave a safety net is not easy, but if you want to talk about empowerment - well this is right up there with one of my most empowering days. There was no hesitation in my decision, I knew in my gut it was the right one. It may have taken me a little while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do professionally, but I believe I needed to take some time for me - to explore options and to make decisions based on my needs and the needs of my family.

I can often be heard saying "make it happen" to myself and my kids all day long - it fits in most situations. Let's get up and go to school (make it happen). How about you start your homework (make it happen). We're gonna be late, put on your shoes and let's go (make it happen). You see how it works all the time!?! Make it happen. Make the change happen. I certainly don't regret the decision I made - it's been life altering. And I don't ever have to be in an uncomfortable situation again, because I get to call the shots.

I know how hard it can be to make big decisions. Having the right support system in place is awesome and very necessary. I know how easy it is to get inside your own head and pump it full of false negativity. It sucks. I know how it feels to be let down by people you thought would have your back, it's a hard pill to swallow. All of these things are life lessons, regardless I'm grateful for them. They helped making my decision that much easier. My message to you is this: if you're struggling somewhere in your life and you're afraid to take the leap - close your eyes and visualize your life without your struggle. Imagine what your life COULD be. Paint a picture of how you WANT it to be. If that picture is 1/10th of a percent better than where you are now - Take the leap. I'm not going to tell you it won't be scary, because it will be. I will tell you that it's going to be okay and with a lot of hard work and focus, you can have/be/do whatever you set your mind to.

I don't for one minute regret my decision. I don't regret the situation I was faced with. I'm thankful for it - because if it hadn't happened, there's a high probability I would still be sitting in that office daydreaming about the life I've been creating over the last 2 years. I'm thankful for the ups and downs, for the fear and the uncharted waters. It's what keeps me going, keeps me motivated. Take charge of your destiny - it's powerful stuff. Make it happen, take the leap.



And So It Goes...

My annual back to school post - it's FINALLY here!! We've had another amazing summer complete with friends and family. A lot of wonderful days full of sunshine, laughter, food and fun. Spoiled by the beauty of the lake and the country, we spent 10 weeks out of the city this summer. Ten weeks of having Will commute to us on the weekends, and that's the only drawback - not having him home every night to be with us. But after lots of consideration, him going back and forth from the city to the country in the summer is still the best deal for the kids. We bought that house so our kids could know what it's like to live in a rural environment. To be able to do as they please, have their independence, get on their bikes in the morning and come home in the evening, without a care in the world. That's what we had when we were kids and we are so fortunate to be able to give it to them. Our summers are filled with visitors and friends and it flies by, all but the last 2 weeks. It's at about the 8 week mark when I start to get antsy. I miss my city living, I miss having a routine and I miss school!! The last two weeks of summer are not easy! Camp is over, babysitters have gone back to school and so have our country friends. It's me and the boys trying to entertain one another - or really me trying to figure out how I can manage to keep them occupied for long enough that I can actually get some work done! They're complaining of boredom (impossible with all the stuff we have at our disposal at the lake), they're pushing each other's buttons (and mine!!), and they're trying to sneak screen time (that I'm sometimes allowing). By week 8 I'm DONE. We arrived back in Brooklyn on Tuesday, the day after Labor Day. So far we've walked about 10 miles, gone to the playground three times, eaten at our favorite doughnut shop, pizza place and diner and bumped into various friends along the way. The entire time I've been reminding them how much longer they have until school starts! (as of this writing less than 12 hours!!). Here's my dilemma tonight people...for as excited as I am to have them back in school and getting back on a schedule, to have time to myself to focus on getting my stuff done and build my business, I'm freaking out inside because HOW IS IT POSSIBLE that the little one is going to be in elementary school and the big one is going into middle school? WHERE DID THE TIME GO? What happened to my sweet little boys? Wyatt is going to be traveling on mass transit ALL BY HIMSELF....oy, my nerves!! He's not even phased by it - unless he's putting up a really good front right now. I mean, he shouldn't be phased by it, the kid has been riding subways and buses since before he was born. He knows his way around, and I'm ridiculously proud of him. He's almost as tall as I am - I figure I have about a year and then I'll be looking up at him (sigh). And then there's Elias...the crazy one. The one who always has a smile on his face, even when he's throwing a tantrum (for no reason). The one who was just born it seems. The one who will also be taller than me in about five minutes. Tomorrow will mark yet another milestone for each of them and for as much as I've wanted this day to come, I want time to stop for just a little while longer.

That's the hazard of parenting - one minute you're wishing for the next thing to happen and the next minute you're willing it to stop. It's the very definition of bittersweet. My children are my life. They are the reason I get up in the morning and try so hard to make their world a better place. They are my sun and my moon. And sometimes I can't stand them. But most of the time they're the best things that ever happened to me. Tomorrow is another milestone for each of them, and I'll be there every step of the way, fighting back the tears as to not embarrass the big kid, trying so hard not to hug him for too long in front of his friends, keeping my words in check. It will be easier for the little one - I get to be in school with him on his first day (which will probably be a huge pain in my ass by 9am), but for now I'll pretend that it's going to be fun to be sitting in a classroom with a bunch of 4 year old's and their parents, on day one of Pre-K. (I'm laughing just writing this!!). So wish me luck you guys...Tomorrow is yet another first day of school for our NYC kiddos, and as per tradition, I'm wishing them all their best year yet!! And Happy First Day of School to you too,parents - is that a Bloody Mary I hear calling our names??