The lucky one

Just as I find myself feeling strong enough to come off of my medication, I think, “Hey, what a good idea it would be to watch The Lucky One all by myself while eating a gallon of mint chocolate chip!”

Single Mother…. check.

Adorable son… check (my only thing to brag about).

Amazing soundtrack… check.

Zac Efron / ex-marine with a big heart (who loves dogs) and a body like whoa…. future check?


What’s in a name?

As a mom you wonder why people name their children the names they have. The reason why I named my son Holden will be a blog post in itself.

For now, here’s some comedy for you.

I somehow unintentionally (or intentionally? up to you) left out this small detail regarding my mom a few posts back.

My sister and I were named after the main characters in Flashdance and Dallas.

Meet my sister, Alexandra.

As for myself, Samantha Josephine. Ok. Minus the Josephine.

Agree to disagree

It goes a little something like this. Everyone is different, and not everyone will agree.

It’s this simple.

There have been two major times during my professional career, and many times in my personal life, in which I have learned this lesson. I am still struggling with what I know to be the resolvement: to let it go. If anyone knows of a better solution, please inform me.

I am the type of person who, when my mind and heart are dedicated to something, I need to do it all the way. I need it to carry through. I don’t wait until the last minute, but as soon as I can. I overachieve. To quote Noah from The Notebook, “When I see something I like I gotta have it. I love it. I go crazy for it.” Obviously here I am not talking about someone else, maybe in the future! But for now, this applies to anything. Even selling a house I’ve come to find.

The point I’m trying to make is, even when you work so hard for something, no matter what your intentions are (in my two major professional situations, the best of) sometimes you won’t be perceived that way. Sometimes people will just disagree, and if they go further, misperceive your intentions. It’s unfortunate, but hey agreeing to disagree is something we all have to face from time to time, right?

If you know you’ve done what’s right, with all of your heart and mind, and you can’t get any further by any means of your effort, there’s only one thing left to do.

Let it go.

Favorite small business #1

This is my first post for a category I am really passionate about… Shopping of course! But shopping with purpose. If you put a purpose behind anything that involves spending money, that makes it justifiable right? Well, that’s how it is in my mind anyway.

I’ve spoken a bit in previous posts about how I used to be more materialistic than I am now; however, these days I am materialistic in a different way. If you read my previous post on Fashionista, you will get the gist.

Wanting to support people more is something I’ve come to strive for since my life transformation of having a baby and going through a divorce- be it anything from donating to charities to being a good listener or adviser. People need other people’s support to make the world go round. I learned that during my Dark Ages.

(Furthermore, I’ll never forget one day during a summer internship at a major retail corporate office, listening in on the details of a litigation involving canceling a contract with a small farm, one of those Mom & Pop businesses, in order for the retailer to save some big bucks by buying elsewhere. It ruined this family’s world going round and it broke my heart.)

On any given day of the week I can go to any of these corporate, conglomerate retail stores to get what I need that day since they’re available to me. But, when it comes to personalized ‘things’ like a gift for a girlfriend, a special clothing item for Holden, even drapes for my house, I would much rather invest in the world of small businesses. Maybe it’s those traditional values within me, but I just believe in people working hard. Those people and their small businesses definitely fall into this category. Also, who doesn’t appreciate the quality of something made by someone you appreciate and know the item was created by their own hands? Pretty cool.

So I am going to simultaneously start sharing a few of my favorites. Here’s the first. I hope you enjoy!

Courtney Bock Designs

If you are a friend of mine on Facebook, you may have noticed some recent pictures appearing on my profile with some really adorable t-shirts personalized by this small business, or my dear friend Courtney. Another young mom like myself, Courtney knows how to prioritize and has it all together as much as she may admit she doesn’t on her own personal blog. She is single-handedly running her business while balancing one of the hardest jobs ever, mommyhood. It’s important to her to be able to raise her sweet boy, but at the same time stay focused on being a creative businesswoman. She pretty much rocks my socks off, and I am very grateful to have her as an inspiration. One strong, independent, driven, loving mommy.

Click the following to read more about CBD:

Here is a collage of some personalized t-shirts she has put a little love into for Holden. I can’t wait for him to wear these!


Courtney is offering a 20% off discount to any of my readers! Yippy for coupons! Here’s what you have to do to redeem your coupon: Visit the Courtney Bock Designs Etsy shop at When you check out, enter coupon code AOTSSM20 to get your 20% off. Easy as that! Use it now though, it only lasts for one week starting today!


Courtney is so kind as to run a contest for one of my readers- $20 of credit! To enter this contest follow these steps:

1. Visit the Courtney Bock Designs facebook page at and “like” it.

2. Leave a comment on her page about which item is your favorite.

3. Return to my blog, and comment under this post which post of mine has been your favorite so far.

4. If you haven’t already, “like” my blog’s facebook page at . You are exempt from this step if you already have done this. Thank you!

***The winner of the contest has to go through will all four steps in order to enter the contest drawing. I will post who wins in one week!***

School Shoes

Remember the days when it was really exciting to get a new pair of school shoes? Pair being singular.

I’ve gone a little bit overboard preparing for his mother’s day out program he starts next month….for two days a week, er… two mornings a week.

And they’re still coming.

When I was pregnant I was a little discouraged thinking it was going to be a difficult task to find clothes for boys aside from the colors navy and hunter green. If you haven’t picked up on my colorful lifestyle yet, let’s just say that I’m a fan of bright, happy colors. But boy, was I wrongly discouraged. I’d say I’m doing just fine with Holden’s wardrobe.

All I can say is thank God He didn’t give me a girl.

A mom is a mom


This is my mom and me. Headed to the happiest day of my life- October 10, 2009. As far as we knew it.

There was a wedding no doubt. I can’t hide it away and delete every picture pretending it never happened. Sometimes I do wish I could do these things, but the reason why? My hairdo. Duh.

(Okay, by now surely you have realized that one of the strategies I think is important for healing, as well a healthy strategy for anyone I guess, is to make a little fun of yourself. It’s good for you.)

Anyway, I posted this picture to begin the introduction to a very special person in my life- my mom. Someone who has been there by my side on the happiest days and the worst of days. And after all, this blog mostly is about being a mother, so it’s only appropriate I begin to talk about my own influences with my mom.

I mentioned earlier in the blog how I think people become a product of who they are around. For better or for worse. Though, in my mind, it’s still one’s own choice to determine how they are going to turn out to be right? Free will. Nonetheless, influences exist. In my life, my biggest influences include my family.

Now that I am a mom myself, it has taken my mother’s relationship with myself to a whole new level. I have always been close to my mom, but even more so now. Empathy is a huge component when it comes to relationships I’ve come to find out. Relating to someone through similar experiences, in this case- pregnancy, child birth, parenting- opens the doors to an entirety of more conversations, feelings, concerns. The list could go on.

Like babies. Like snowflakes. Not all mothers are the same. Not all mothers mother the same way, in the same fashion. This is a good thing. As a mother you decide what is best for you and your baby, then child. How your baby will be diapered and fed, how your baby will sleep. Despite comparisons from everyone else around you, you eventually are the one who answers the question of how you will mother. So often we fall into the trap of thinking everyone else’s situation is the same as ours. I know this, I do it all the time. Just because I have gone through pregnancy and childbirth and infancy, everyone else will have the exact same experience and therefore it is my duty to advise and inform and educate everyone else. Here I am thinking I’m the biggest help to other moms and looking at it that way, couldn’t be further from the truth!

Nowadays, as I get to mother a toddler, the decisions I get to make and how I mother have become so much more exciting. So what if I prefer Holden to not watch The Cat in the Hat? A stranger knocking on the door of two kids whose parents aren’t home speaking riddles and urging them to go on adventures just isn’t something I condone. But hey, whatever floats your boat, as I’ve said many times before. I’m only kidding about not letting Holden watch the Cat in the Hat. Jerry Springer is his favorite.

Back to the point. This is my mom. Karen is her name. And she rocks my world.


I’ve spoken about how I will do my best to describe someone as something ongoing. Constantly maturing and evolving. Mom, I hope you don’t get mad at me as I describe you as maturing. I’ll do my best.

Here are a few things about my mom. Her ‘as of now’ story through my eyes. Not her past, not her future, but just how she is now. It’s not about how thankful I am for having her in my life. She knows how I feel towards her. I don’t need to publicize it. Well, maybe I’ll thank her for a few things later on.

Let’s start with the superficial business. My mom looks good for her age. (Sidenote: I have not received permission to announce her age on my public blog… The newspaper article did it.) And she looks damn good and feels damn good because she works damn hard at it. Good for her. She’s currently in the best shape of her life and consistently gets mistaken for my sister or twin. Way to go, mom!

I’ll admit, having a hot mom hasn’t always been cool. Indeed I got embarrassed time after time hearing the song “Stacey’s mom has got it goin’ on” throughout my high school years when Stacey was so cleverly replaced by Sami. But now…now that I’m a mom? I’m definitely proud of her being a hot mom. How times change things! The best thing? She’ll never admit it. She’s humble. And always striving to improve herself in one way or another, not just when it comes to looks.

Miss Karen is one in a billion. I will never succeed in text at doing who-my -mom-is justice. She’s ‘crazy’ as my sister and Alex describe her from time to time. In a good way though.

My mom is somewhere in the middle on the scale of strictness and leniency as a parent. She was definitely that mom who was taking her kids and their friends to PG-13 movies before they turned 13. However, she definitely was not the mom who’d host high school drinking parties.

She is funny. Actually, hilarious. My mom is hilarious. She can always laugh at something, especially when you’re not supposed to be laughing. Find humor anywhere. When my mom starts laughing, you laugh too. It’s her superpower over anyone. And when those giggles start going, they don’t stop. For a really long time. Tears are very common as well. Tears streaming down your face when you try to stop laughing. Laugh so hard your stomach hurts. And the boogers? Once those start running out of your nose, it’s all over. Something was really funny that day.

I’ve often thought of creating a blog dedicated solely to texts from my mom. Read the following examples and you’ll understand why.

Who wouldn’t want to wake up and have to marry Channing Tatum…again?

I just watched dad take a bite of a grapefruit thinking it was an orange! You should have seen that first bite!

We just went outside and our boots were filled with dogfood! hahahahahahaha

Turn on TLC! Skippy had a jar of lint! Ewww (I would love to interject which show she was referring to here.) YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!

I love Artie. Is she going to tell him bye? (It’s Arie, mom.)

She hurt Artie bad. (Thanks for telling me what happened during this season of The Bachelorette before I got to watch the finale on DVR.)

BOOM! Sell that ham!

Nothin’ better than pounding chicken breasts to the beat of Mick and the Stones with a glass of wine! Haha we watchin a concert with speakers blaring from 1968ish!

Moving on. My mom is extremely unorganized. There have been many failed attempts at getting her to use a calendar. Write down your appointments mom. Please. Just do it. Regarding this matter, she resists as she says she lives day to day as a ‘free spirit.’

My mom likes to scare people. (And oddly enough, pretty much everyone in our family finds it funny now.) She is thee master of this though. Always looking for that one perfect chance. It’s been going on for a while too. It may have started a while ago, I don’t know. A lot of my childhood memories revolve around the times my mom terrified me on purpose. The witch mask hidden in the dark corners of our storage room in the basement was the worst. Nightmares. She gets a rush anticipating the face someone will make while hiding around the corner waiting to pop out as they walk by. I think there’s a kindred spirit between her and Ellen Degeneres.

I think she’s just got some genetic vulnerability to carrying out practical humor. Psychologists say it sometimes only takes one small life event for any type of vulnerability to explode. Surely this characteristic of her’s exploded while she and her two sisters were children walking across a bridge over the Maumee River in Ohio. I don’t know what sparked, but of course it was a great idea to throw her sister’s shoe off the bridge. Been scaring people ever since. Recently? She hid pop rocks in my dad and brother’s beignets.

Silliness aside, my mom is there for her kids. Always. This is a big part of her motherly style. Not just physically present at any important event. I’m talking being more than there emotionally. Side-by-side. Feeling every feeling any four of us kids have ever endured. Happiness. Sadness. Heartbreaks. There through it all. Overwhelming her. My Dark Ages were her Dark Ages. What I experienced was what she experienced. By my side. Probably worse for her too. I’ve learned this phenomenon since becoming a mother. Whatever your child feels, you feel too, but probably more. Whether a high or a low.

It’s an easy choice to make- caring for your child more than caring for yourself. This paves the way for that phenomenon to take place. I feel very fortunate to have learned to do this through my mother’s example.

My mom is truly one in a billion. I’ll never be able to explain her in one silly blog post. But at least now, my readers can get some sense of where I come from as a mother myself. Lighthearted, happy, humorous, loving. So many qualities she has instilled in me as I embark on this journey of mothering. For that I am thankful.

And I am also thankful for these.


The aid you offered in helping me open the Christmas presents you clearly wrapped just a few hours before.


Your haircuts. Your specialty was bangs. Clearly.


Sitting next to me in all the rides I could never ride in alone because I was never big enough.


‘Preparing’ me for the first day of school.


Allowing me to suck on a pacifier which eerily resembled the Silence of the Lambs movie case.


Feeding my infatuation with manatees. Notice the t-shirt.


This somewhat seductive pose of me before my First Holy Communion.


Making me try out for the Frosty the Snowman play… Okay, not so thankful for that.


Let’s not forget these.


Always being proud of me.


Encouraging me to always laugh.

Supporting every decision.

And much, much more.

Adversity exposes character

You know that saying ‘adversity builds character’? The one that everyone rallies behind and agrees with? Yeah, not so much.

Does adversity really build character? Sure- in a few cases. It builds character if you can pick yourself up and be stronger because of it. If you can take on adversity and show resiliency too. If you’re this strong.

What about the rest of the world? How does adversity build their character? Perhaps it doesn’t build at all. Perhaps it exposes character, or certain characteristics that have yet to make their appearance. Take a relationship for example. Or even a marriage. A couple. Adversity comes. In a relationship, the adversity could come as an important disagreement, maybe financial woes, perhaps the unveiling of a lie within the relationship, or, Heaven forbid, a death in the family. Does adversity build character here? Sometimes. “How you handle the adversity is what builds the character.” Sure. But, it most definitely exposes character here. It shows true colors. Those strong, resilient people may pass with flying colors. The others, well they have some work to do. These characters exposed are hurtful, to other people at first, but probably even more hurtful to themselves in the end. Anger. Hate. Impulsivity. Selfishness. Deceitfulness.

I for one have had many-a-characterisic exposed when facing certain adversities. And they haven’t all been good ones. I’m not too proud to admit that.

Most of us expose our character in common daily adversities that come our way. Even in very nonchalant matters- I’ve had a bad day so I’m gonna let the world know how miserable I think life is with my negative facebook status. What does that say about our character? In my eyes, let’s just say that’s not very impressive character-wise.

(Aside from this adversity talk, people are just as much unimpressed by character of facebook statuses being positive, right? How complicated our human race is. However, I do try to keep the statuses light and airy, sometimes funny, sometimes grateful. I’m just a fan of happiness loving company instead of misery loving company. But whatever floats your boat!)

I will just say this. Be mindful. Be faithful. Face adversity- this is coming your way whether you like it or not. But be prepared to handle it, so that when it comes, the only character exposed is the character you’ve been trying to achieve for yourself, the one you want others to experience as well.



I am a big fan of Pandora radio. Favorite station: Joshua Radin.

This song came on as I was cleaning my kitchen one night this week and I thought it was so beautiful and would like to share. At first, you would think by the lyrics and soft voice it was a love song. Well, it’s a love song but not an in-love song. It’s a love song for God and how no matter what, He loves you back.

A small reminder that God is always present in any ‘times’ of your life. The comfort is there when you welcome it.


Bumps in the road

I am not superwoman. Some days I feel like I am.

As I mentioned earlier, on the road to recovery there are bumps in the road. Steps forward and giant leaps back. Nowadays, those leaps back are moreso tiny steps backwards, but backwards nonetheless.

The only reason I bring this up is because while I am promoting my story and where I am now- a strong, independent, working, single young mother, and so much more, there are some days those steps backwards still take place. Those moments I reminisce on how my life got to where it is, although I love my life as I have recalled many times, some situations within it naturally are deemed as difficult. Emotional.

I took a few steps backwards this week. Got emotional. But the difference now is, I can take a deep breath and push forward again. My hope is that in time I won’t need to pause and breathe, but automatically bounce back forward.

It takes time.