20 Things I Learned in my 20’s

I was kind of an expert of everything in my twenties. Especially my early twenties. (I think everybody is. It’s a rite of passage.)

I’m entering my thirties this week, a fact I can confirm not just by the date on the calendar but by how different my mindset is today than it was two, five, ten years ago.

Now, I hear a young twenty-something person provide invaluable, irreplaceable expertise on life to an older adult and I smile. I was you, like 1 second ago.

I knew it all, until life proved I didn’t.

I was an incredible wife before I got married.

I was an excellent businesswoman before I started my first job.

I was an amazing parent before I had children.

It’s adorable, really. How much I thought I knew, how much I really didn’t, and how much I’ve grown in the past decade. Continue Reading

The Screams Heard ‘Round the Parking Garage

Aside from my amazingly uneventful trip to NYC in June with my bestie, weird things happen to us when we travel.

Actually, who am I kidding? Weird things happen to us all the time, it is just infinitely funnier in another city.

Like the Airport Bathroom Incident on my way to Utah a few weeks ago when – instead of waiting for me, my carry-on, and my purse to exit first – a lady brought her carry-on, her purse, and her entire self into the bathroom stall WITH me. We stood eye to eye for several beats, our bodies flush against each other, as she huffed impatiently at my complete incompetence. “Uh…excuse me? I guess?” I mumbled as I squeezed past her along the wall, the metal toilet paper box cutting into the backs of my thighs. Suffice it to say, it was a very special moment for us both. Continue Reading

Take a Bite of THAT, Big Apple

“I am not – I repeat – I am NOT taking selfies all weekend.”

Taylor Brooks, New York City, 2017

After the worst vacation ever last year, we’ve been hesitant to try again. (Our doctors’ bills seem to go up exponentially when we travel.)

But MIRACLE OF ALL MIRACLES, we actually had a successful solo vacation to New York City last weekend.

(I know. It’s surprising to me, too, and I was there.)

We’re one week post-vacation, no signs of E. coli or Giardia in sight. We. made. it.

We didn’t just *make it*, we killed it.

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Look Past the Clearance Jesus

If you were to Google stock photos of Good Christian Teenagers, my high school yearbook picture would show up. I was the World’s Best.

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5 Ways Toddlers are Terrifying

“I totally forgot what toddlers are like.”

– me to my husband each time we have another toddler

(…which is stupid because our kids aren’t even far enough apart for me to forget the craziness of toddlerhood, yet here we are.)

The good news is, our current toddler is a minutely reminder of ups and downs of this stage.

Here are a few of the things I forgot about toddlers.
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The Invisible Mom

I can count on one hand the amount of times in my 5 1/2 years of parenting that I’ve asked my husband to come home from work early to SAVE OUR SHIP, and that is one. One time.

Today, actually.
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When Magnificence Redeems Minutia

At an ENT appointment last week, the audiologist looked at my oldest son and said – with her actual words, to his actual face – “You are the reason I didn’t have more kids. I did NOT want another boy. This – *motions to him and his 2 brothers* – is my worst nightmare.”

To which I wanted to reply, “Then you should definitely either watch Saw or read some news headlines. I guarantee there are far scarier things out there than 3 wonderful, kind, adventurous boys.”

This is a thing for us. It happens a lot. Nearly every time we go in public, actually.
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Dear Tooth Fairy, I Want a Refund

If I’m blogging chronologically, I should start with the Top 10 Reasons You Should Never Let Your Kids Have Snow Cones Right Before A One Hour Night Of Worship At Church, because that was a thing last night. Suffice it to say, little boys hyped up on sugar and Red Dye #40 worship very differently than their fellow churchgoers.

Worship the Lord with karate kicks, come before him with audible toots.

Anyway.

In other news,

Beckett got his first ever loose tooth.

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Finding (or, rather, “Protecting”) Joy in the Little Years

This week, I get to spend time with moms of preschoolers speaking on the topic “Finding Joy in the Little Years”.

As I was preparing for the lesson, I remembered the time a while back when I had to break up with a Facebook group.

It was a group full of moms swapping parenting stories, pictures, and experiences.

When the group first started, it started out awesome – great stories of epic mom fails. Of kids being hilariously kid-like.

Over time, however, it morphed into a place to air grievances. A place to wallow on the unfairness of it all.
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About Those Influencers…

I didn’t date a lot in high school.

I had a bazillion guy friends, little to no boyfriends.

Maybe it was because I was a commitment-phobe.

Maybe it was because I was wiser than my 15 years and knew I should spend my time making friends and having fun instead.

Maybe it was because no one swept me off my feet.

….or maybe it was because I spent 90% of my time looking something like this:
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