31 Blocks

Thank you Nydia Mata of  Polymer Clay Snails.  Please visit her blog and learn about life as a single mom in the city.  Nydia is witty and has posted a funny look at what will happen to Dora the Explorer since her makeover.

Nydia Mata

Nydia Mata

I’m a single-mom to a 4 year-old little boy I adore.  His name is Aidyn (if you haven’t noticed — his name is my name spelled backward … cool, huh lol).  So I discovered that there were Mom’s out there that blogged and decided that I love my son and I love to write so *BAM* a blog was born.  So, it’s basically just me and my baby … looking to conquer the world … one episode of SpongeBob at a time .

I found myself so very excited to be a guest blogger on Tier1 Living that I ran into a little blogger’s block. I decided that since the weather was perfect again, I’d skip the train and walk the 31 blocks home … Actually, I always walk home in the Spring/Summer seasons … It’s great exercise,  a nice way to check out NYC and thousands before me have used these very streets for inspiration
and now so will I …

So, I’m walking here … trying to think of a way not to disgrace my first guest blogging job when …

I pass a woman petting a dog … Wait! … She’s not just petting the dog, she’s damn near sodomizing it … I can understand ones love of dogs but do you have to make out with it … Wait! … that’s not even your dog??

So I continue on my way … trying to decide: should I write an open letter? or a witty entry? when …

I pass three young men who’s pants are hanging down just below their butts … I think to myself: Do you guys have to wear your pants that low?  I mean, how on earth do they even stay up?!  It just defies all laws of gravity!

I let out a sigh … switch the song on my iPhone to John Mayer … Perfect … now I’m relaxing and my attention is back to the blog entry when …

Omigod they closed Dunken Donuts!  B..B..But when did that happen!  Where will all the happy little Boston Creme and Jelly Donut’s live now?! I’m not gonna cry!!  I am not going to cry …

I shake off the shock, take a deep breath and return my attention to my entry.  Ok so I’m concentrating on the wonderful post I’m going to create when …

I hear some shouting over the “concert loud” music playing in my ears.  Uh oh! Someone’s in trouble with a traffic cop.  These are the worse people to mess with.  Traffic cops are cops that have settled for less and they walk around with a chip on their shoulders just waiting … waiting! … for someone to give them a reason …

Thank goodness that’s over … I decide to use the WordPress app on my iPhone to maybe jar up some inspiration by writing down some random stuff … I’m writing away when …

I damn near eat it big time as I’m quickly reminded that it’s never a good idea to type and walk at the same time …

I shut down my iPhone’s WordPress app and stick the phone back in my pocket … Frustrated, I wonder: Why can’t I just focus on one thing!  Oh I know! I’m on the verge of a perfect topic when …

I happen upon two of the most gorgeous cops – this planet has ever seen!  It’s like my calendar just spontaneously came to life.  I think to myself, “Hello Officer January … Officer March! God, I love a man in uniform … Do come serve and protect me anytime, fellas!”

Feeling all warm and fuzzy, I turn back to Tier1 Living!  I just can’t completely bomb my first time guest blogging … So how do I make this blog entry completely genius?  I’m gathering up some great idea’s when …

I’m almost run down by a jogger … Aww, she’s all fit and everything … I wish I could go out and get some exercise … The baby keeps me busy but somehow all his treats and cookies find themselves on my plate!  Note to self: back to the gym, STAT!

Hey I know! I decide I’ll write something witty about my love/hate relationship with weight and food when …

Ewww … Someone disagreed that streets are for walking …
and pee’d on it instead …

Now, there is no way I can concentrate on food after smelling that!  I’m panicking now, thinking I’m going to totally fudge my first guest blog post when …

I see a couple of bushy-tailed squirrels playing around on a tree and fence … I stop for a moment thinking, “How cute!  I wanna play … and partake of their game …

(Snapping back to reality): But I can’t play!  I have to concentrate on what topic I’ll write about … I’m surmising how Brandy’s never going to invite me back to guest blog when …


Back to my guest blog … Surely there is something that this city can inspire me to write about!

Ooooo cupcakes! … Look away!! Keep walking!

I’m in silent hysterics now and wondering: Jeez! this city is so distracting! when …

Finally!  I’m home … maybe now I can sit down and really start thinking about what to write!


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Mommy Needs a Time Out

Welcome to Michelle Hoad of www.tablefornine.blogspot.com.

Michelle is my first guest blogger.  She has a positive attitude, is really funny and has learned that taking care of herself is the most important part of being a great mom.   Thank you for your contribution Michelle.

My name is Michelle, I am a former stay at home, homeschooling mom turned divorcee caring for four kids on my own, turned blended family, work at home, wife of a fireman real estate agent with seven kids.  If it sounds crazy, you should have tried living it.  I believe in living your life to the fullest and never regretting anything.  I love my life and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  I think that finding the humor in even the most mundane things in our lives is one of the keys to my happiness.  Not that there is much in our house that is mundane.  Seven kids under the age of 15 make things very interesting.

Michelle Hoad

Michelle Hoad

Mommy Needs a Time Out

I was 37 years old when I finally decided what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Of course, that is assuming that I am grown up.  At times, I still feel like a 13 year old girl, trapped in the body of a slightly chubby, 30something mom with too many stretch marks and grey hairs.  Then I finally realize that the crazy woman hollering at seven kids is me.

I am stunned at times to realize how fast the past 25 years have gone by, but how long it took me to decide on a career path.  I don’t feel like what I do defines who I am, but I wanted to find a career that I enjoyed doing.  Time I spend away from my family has to be fulfilling to me.  For so many years, I focused all of my time and attention on my children.  So much so, that my first marriage ended.  Not paying attention to his needs or to my needs caused a huge rift in our marriage.

I felt that I could spend time on myself and my interests later, when all the kids are grown.  By ignoring myself, I often felt tired, worn out and short tempered.  There were times when I was just one cranky lady.  To me, giving all my time to everyone else was what I was supposed to do.  Taking time for myself was taking time away from my kids and that was virtually child abuse.  I mean, what kind of woman allows herself to go out with her friends and spend time away from her kids.  A sane woman, that’s who.

When I take time for myself, I am more patient and calm when caring for my kids.  Giving yourself permission to do what makes you happy is important, whether you craft, exercise, scrapbook, write, or just sit in a coffee shop with a good book for an hour.   Don’t just take what time is left over, schedule time and covet it like you covet your neighbor’s brand new 2009 loaded Suburban.  Sorry, maybe that’s just me.

It doesn’t matter if you are a working mom, taking a short stop to decompress after a hard day at work, or a stay at home mom who has been with her precious little screaming heathens all day long, we all need a little mom time.  You will find that giving your kids some time without you will make them appreciate you a little more.  They will come to realize that mom is more than the maid, cook and boo boo kisser.

They will learn that yes, Dad can do those things and more.  He might do them a little differently than mom, but that’s ok.  No, really, it is.  Going to bed without a bath for one night will not cause irreparable damage to their delicate little psyches.  The most important thing is taking time to recharge your batteries so you can be the best mom you can be.

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Funny Quote

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says “Oh Crap, She’s up!” ~ author unknown
Thank you for sharing this  quote Michelle Kemper-Brown.

She is a woman that is pursuing her goals. She pays attention to the signs that come her way and trusts her instincts. Please visit her blog and read about her journey to publish her children’s books.

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Let Loose

A Walk in the Forest

A Walk in the Forest

I just had the best day with my family. The hubby, kiddos, dogs and I went into the forest for some winter fun. The sky was clear bright blue, it was warm. 32 degrees is warm for me. Sad, I know. There was not an ounce of wind, and everyone wore a smile. Even my surely two-year-old was happy.

Life has thrown a few curve balls at us recently, and it is sometimes hard to stop thinking, and controlling, the situation. Today was different. When I felt the warm sun and really took in the beauty of my surroundings, I gave it all up.

I took the cue from my beautiful girls and threw snowballs. We made fresh tracks with our sleds, built a snow fort complete with a deck, kitchen stocked with various treats crafted from snow, and most importantly laughter.

Bigfoot's Tracks

Bigfoot's Tracks

Children’s smiles and giggles are infectious. There was so much laughter today that it renewed my spirit. Even the dogs wore a smile today.

Sometimes it is necessary to stop acting like an adult and play like a child. Really play. Be so connected with your kids that you can actually taste chocolate when they bring you chocolate snow cookies. It is invigorating to play like a child. You are free to use your imagination without anyone looking at you like you’re from another planet. I guarantee that any burdens you may be carrying will melt away, at least temporarily.

After you experience this freedom your mind will be clear and you will have a new perspective. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

0243I like to think that I’m a fun Mom. There is always lots of crafting, baking, and silly games. However, after today I have new goals. The expressions on my girls’ faces when they were playing with us will be forever ingrained in my memory. I definitely want more of that.

My challenge to you for the week is to see the world through the eyes of a child. Play like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening, and LAUGH until your belly hurts!

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Change is one of the only things in life that is certain.  Change will happen. It comes when you are ready and looking for it.  It also comes when you least expect it.  Without change it would be impossible for any of us to move forward in life.  There would be no lessons to learn, and nothing for us to anticipate.  Personally, I embrace change.  Even when I’m blindsided, turned upside down, and left wondering what hit me, I embrace change.  My philosophy is that it is time for me to move on.  I have learned, or experienced, everything I need at this point in time and have received a huge push to the next destination.

There is a tremendous amount of change happening right now.  Some people fear change, and some people thrive on it.  I understand that change cannot be controlled, not in the organic sense.   You can attempt to control your life and map out a plan, however change will come when you least expect it.  Change makes life interesting.  I allow it to work in my life.  When looking at my history, I see that change has never led me wrong.   I always land on my feet, in a better set of circumstances, in better company.  Sometimes it is impossible to see that while I’m in the flow.   However, during the post mortem it is clear that change was for the best.

Change happens in our personal relationships, our careers, our location, ideals, and dreams.  Nothing can remain the same forever, including people.  I’ve witnessed friends that are clinging to a relationship which has played out.   This is painful to watch as someone is always left holding the bag and wondering what happened.  To an outside observer it is easy to give advice that it is time for the person to move on.  This advice is sometimes best left unsaid because that person is resisting change and not ready to receive the lesson waiting for them.   I often think of the saying, “Don’t push the river.”  When the river is coming full force, there is nothing you can do to hold it back.  It is impossible to control circumstances or people’s emotions.

It is a waste of energy to cling desperately to current circumstances when you know change is beating down your door.  Instead of scaring yourself worrying about the worst case scenario and losing sleep and productivity, what would happen if you surrendered to change and focused all your energy on a new outcome?  When I allow stress and fear to rule, I do not think clearly or make wise decisions.  I’ve learned to be proactive, not reactive.  When I do not like what has happened, I still embrace it.  I then focus on the new opportunities that have opened and choose to move forward.   Always move forward.  You cannot change the past; choose to live in the present.   When you don’t know what to do, then just do the next thing.  Sometimes problems seem so big that we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  When you do the next thing, you move forward wisely and can see the new doors that are opening for you.

When you experience unwelcome change, see it for what it is,  an opportunity for a new experience.  You may not think you are ready for what is coming, but you are.  You will find the rewards if you trust the process.  Keep moving forward.  Change is good.

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Achieve Your Dreams

Recently, I wrote a guest article for the Ohana Mama blog. I had several requests to post it here on Tier1 Living, so here it is…

I remember something I read on the Ohana Mama blog about moving to Hawaii. Many people want to move to Hawaii, but think it is only a pipe dream. The response is “No it’s not…if you don’t want it to be.” The Ohana Mama, Sarah, had the courage to follow her dream and move to Hawaii.

Ask yourself, “What is my plan? What are my goals?” There are a lot of people who have lost sight of their dreams, or have talked themselves out of achieving their goals. I’ll share my wakeup call with you.
About three years ago, while pregnant with my second child, I had a startling revelation. I was so immersed in being a “Mommy” that I had lost sight of my goals. I’d forgotten what I wanted for my life.
Prior to having children, I had a demanding job as an account executive. I had carved out a career path and was determined to get where I wanted by the time I was 30. At age 27, when my first daughter was born, my path took a detour. I knew that for the immediate future, I wanted to be home with my child.
I took my ambition and redirected it into “mommyhood.” I thought I was doing a great job of enriching my daughter’s life. She was in art, music, and gymnastics classes. She had regular play dates and plenty of time to explore her world. I would find fun crafts, and hunted for cool events for our excursions.

After my epiphany, I envisioned life when my children were in school full time. The thought scared me. What would I do with myself while they were in school? I spent so much time creating the perfect childhood for my daughter that I forgot who I was.

What Goals?
Was I being a good role model? I always told my daughter that she could do, and be, anything she wanted. If I wasn’t working towards my own goals, was I setting a good example?
Okay, so I needed to get some goals … that would have to wait until tomorrow.

My second realization was that I didn’t have time to define my goals. Every time I sat down to create them, I felt antsy and thought of the things I needed to do for my other commitments. I was overscheduled and something needed to change. I was preschool room Mom, play date coordinator, elaborate birthday planner, social butterfly, enrichment director, community volunteer, and not to forget, homemaker.

Upon discussing this with my best friends, I realized that it wasn’t just me. We were all in the same boat. While we had a clear plan for what we wanted our children to experience, we had no plan for what we wanted to achieve for ourselves. The consensus was that we’d figure that out later.

Time for Change
My life went through a transformation. I reprioritized and streamlined my commitments. Then, I had time to reconnect with my dreams. Prior to that, my thoughts were so crowded I was unable to have clear vision for my purpose beyond being a mom. The experience of motherhood has shown me how precious life is, and the value of time; both pass quickly.

Since defining my goals, I began pursuing my passion. My joy comes from inspiring people to live the life they want. I hope to help others carve out time for themselves; focus on achieving their goals, and nurture meaningful relationships.

It is necessary to have direction. Without knowing where you want to go, you will end up walking in circles. Yes, it is important to ensure your kids have a high quality childhood. However, you also have a responsibility to yourself. You will have more to give, if you make your dreams one of your priorities.

A Focused Life is an Exceptional Life
Take time to create your goals and define your plan to achieve them. Once you know where you want to go, the path will unfold.

First, determine why you are waiting to take action. Often, it is self-doubt that is standing in your way. You must believe in your own success. Second, determine the steps for reaching your goals. It is okay if it takes time to achieve your dreams. As long as you are moving forward you will have a sense of accomplishment.

Next, identify and bypass the roadblocks. These come in many forms: time, relationships, self-doubt, and finances. Once you label your roadblocks, you can determine how to conquer them. Lastly, take action and don’t give up.

Achieving your goals is no different than moving to Hawaii; it just takes some planning. In the end, you will be basking in the sun too.

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Living in the Real World

Think about a typical day for you.  How much of your time is spent wishing you would have done something differently?  How much time is spent wondering what will happen in the future? If you spend a good portion of your time doing either of these things, you are not living in the real world.  Neither of these things are happening now. Now is the real world.  The only thing that you can be certain of, and have some influence upon, is what is happening in this moment.

Everyone has things in their past they wish they would have done in a different way.  No amount of time you spend beating yourself up will change what has already happened.  Accept what has happened, figure out what your life lesson is from that experience, and move on.   Who you are can not be defined by what you have done, right or wrong.   It is what you learned from the experience and how you move forward that matters.

Thinking about the future can be exciting, or it can create stress depending on your current life circumstances.  It is necessary to have smart goals and have a plan to achieve them.  For this reason you must think of the future in order to develop your action plan.  Determine how you will accomplish your goals.  However, if you spend all of your time in planning mode, without action, this moment will pass by and you will have lost a chance to move forward.  Again, it is what you do now that matters.  No amount of ambition will get you to your desired outcome without motivation and action.

Thinking of the future can also cause stress.  Perhaps you are concerned about the consequences from your quality of work, or the way you handled a conversation.   Worrying will not change the outcome.  The outcome is already unfolding and was set in motion by your past actions.  Always do your best and handle yourself with grace and dignity.  These things will help you avoid having to worry about the outcome of your actions.

The current economy has forced us to wonder what will happen in the future.  Many people have been laid off and are looking for work.  Personally, I can relate to this as my husband was laid off from a real estate development.  Yes, thinking that it could be quite some time before he finds a new job is stressful.

We do not let ourselves focus on this.  When we are stressed we do not think clearly.  Everyday we do our best.  He networks, applies for jobs and stays current on events.  That is what we can control.  When a person gives up and lets worry overtake them, opportunities are missed and relationships deteriorate.  Embrace today,  do what you need to do, and enjoy your friends and family.

If you have not seen the You Tube video called “Get Back Up”, watch it now.  It provides a healthy dose of perspective, and tremendous inspiration.


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