to my funny valentines

For almost 15 years, I’ve had the same valentine. He is supportive and smart and caring and handsome and he’s mine. 

Three and a half years ago, we picked up the sweetest French Bulldog I ever did see, and he has been a little gift from God for me. He’s such a good snuggler, and gives the best kisses, I only wish we could get him a Mrs. (that’s a lie – I want him all to myself!)

Then, a little miracle appeared one warm June night, and everything in the world felt just right. My heart was overwhelmed with joy, my darling little girl, with her mom’s eyes and her daddy’s red hair in a curl. (Really, though, she had so much hair.)

Happy Valentine’s Day to my funny valentines, and virtual hugs to everyone! Xo

a beautiful day

Although I didn’t take Ellie to the women’s march in Chicago today, we did go for a walk so we could have our own march on this beautiful day.

Pardon the scowl. She just woke up from a nap.

I march because I work too hard and won’t let anyone bring me down because I’m a woman. And I won’t allow it for my daughter either. I want her to grow up in a world where opportunities are endless, and she feels happy, strong, confident, optimistic, and empowered to be her best self and achieve greatness.

I am so excited and grateful for all who marched for me and so many others today. I am grateful that I am surrounded by so many wonderful women in my life, in my family, my circle of friends, and at my workplace. 

Just this week, I went to an event for work to support the march, sponsored by and the International TEFL Academy. It was a great gathering to empower and support women and international education. 

Here are some of the amazing women I work with every day at the event:

I want to live every day as an example for my little one and for all. An example of love and passion and strength and resilience and hope. 

No matter what party you align yourself with, let’s all believe in equality for women. Always remember…

Who run the world? GIRLS! Xo

Leap Day

Leap Day. An extra day to take advantage of more time. To do something extraordinary.

It’s easy to go with the motions. Sometimes life feels like Groundhog Day, set to repeat–I dare you to look for the differences in your day and appreciate the little things. I treated myself to an iced coffee this morning. I caught up with my cousin who I’ve been playing phone tag with for weeks. I took my lunch break and enjoyed the short-lived warmer temperature. 

But every day is special and one-of-a-kind, especially the time in the day when I’m with my family. When I look in my daughter’s eyes and see pure happiness. It fills my heart in a way I never knew existed, but always needed. When I see how my husband cares for her or my pup gives her a quick lick on the cheek, those are the moments that last a lifetime.

Our time together on the weekdays is short lived, usually only an hour at most in the morning and another hour and a half at night, but it’s the highlight of my day. I rarely leave work on time in the evenings (something I need to keep working on); it’s a constant struggle that gives me a lot of guilt. But when I get home and see my baby’s face light up, she’s everything I need after the hardest of days. 

Being a mother is extraordinary work, day in, day out. I appreciate my own mother so much more now, as well as other working mothers, and those who choose to raise their little ones full time. Nothing is easy, life can be hard, but we get through it–and savor it!–one Leap Day at a time.