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already february...

Already February...
I just got used to January 
and let alone twenty seventeen. 

Who's still down with the new year-new you duo...
That usually lasts about a week. 
A day really- a short social media day. 
It's the thought that counts I suppose. 

That's why there's February-
It's still new. 
It's still you. 
And you've, 
well, we've got this. 

More often times than not at the beginning of all things "new"
we set super high expectations. 
Laundry lists of high expectations. 

Be better at this.
Make time for that.
Eat less of this. 
Do more of that. 

Like laundry, the piles of expectations
penetrate my heart with nothing but a nagging feeling.
It's just another something that isn't getting done at the level of which it's expected, 
just to weigh heavy on me and eventually wear me down. 

All for what?
No one else even knows my little "be better-do better" list. 
I put all this pressure on myself and end up feeling nothing but flustered...
For what?
The nonsense I draw up in my own head.

As a mom of 3... 
I have been gently forced to realize that my little expectation list
well, needs an expectation check. 

It's been 11 years since the last baby and 13 years since the first.
To say I was on auto-pilot is the understatement of the century. 

Days were filled and always busy but it was all doable. 

Running 9-0
Getting it all done and not stopping until it was-
Robot or very productive?
I'll take a very productive robot. 
For me, goals are everything. 
(much different than an expectation)
I set them, I struggle with them, I achieve them.
I love to have them. 
I thrive on them. 

These days- if truth be told, 
staying focused on a single task until completion is quite complicated. 
Not so much. 
Not always. 

But hot dang isn't he the cutest 3 month old you've ever seen?
I mean c'mon!
I may be a little biased. 
But that gently forced reminder is a darn good one. 

Keeps me real. Keeps me motivated. Keeps me grounded. 
Not that I didn't hold on to all of those attributes closely before, 
because I did- firmly. 
 I just have found a stronger appreciation for the "newer" version. 
For me it's a sign of growth, understanding and patience

All good things happen in time. 
All beautiful things develop with love. 
All goals are meant to met with hard work. 
All expectations are to be exceeded.
All in due time. 

So for those of us with the goal oriented, high expectation, fast acting brain
like mine that strives a box to check...
Enjoy the time.
Minutes, Hours, Days, Years. 
They are ours, 
meant to be embraced.
Embraced through struggle, success and diaper changes.  

So February is my new best friend. 
Time to re-address the expectation. 
Redefine the goal. 
Allow myself the time.
And of course, conquer. 

And clearly- 
when in doubt, make out!
Because you know- 
if it's on the planner it must happen. 
(he's hoping)
 Annnnnnd that is when I re-read this post.
Baby steps to big girl dreams. 
Reminding myself of that little gem of a saying daily these days. 
But really, 
it's just a firm reminder to take the time to love yourself- as you are. 
Piles of laundry and all. 

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January 19th.
The day that always hits me like a freight train.
I always feel like it comes fast and furious.
Out of the blue with no warning.
 Like the New Year but with much more excitement. 
It's here.
Every year.

11 years to be exact.

 To the first boy that made me a boy mom.
I didn't know what I would do with a boy then,
 I don't know what I would do without them now.
(maybe I'm still trying to figure that one out.)

Today is his day and I celebrate that.

As I am now watching all of my off spring grow into the awesome humans
they were always meant to be,
a parent can't help but see all the traits that define them.
Learned, acquired, passed down or just him from the get go,
I am pretty proud of where he comes from,
who he is and where he is going.

Kind Hearted.

This kid came out exactly how he is.
There was no molding him-
That's Dylan. 

In this past eleven years, 
I have to admit
I have tried to get in that brain and 
figure out what in the hell....

Is every other boy like this?!

Lord help me-
 it has been a learned trait for this mama. 
He has taught me so much. 
SO much. 

I embrace all things him. 
This smart, witty, extradoinary kid...
and we kid,
is going to end up being a millionaire or working at his favorite fast food joint. 
He prefers the latter...
How or why he comes up with this stuff is beyond me. 

"Raise the bar Dylan." I tell him.
"Why, I'll get free food!" he replies.

The glass half full guy. 
I am so not that girl- 
And this is the moment as a parent we are glad to be raising 
kids that are better humans than yourself.
 The ever optimistic, happy, flexible kid. 
How is he even mine?

He is so mine. 
Out spoken.
Truth be told.
No filter. 
Loud laugh-er.
Out of the mouth of babes. 

 He's mine.

The boys boy.

I can't complain about that one bit.
I'm proud of his priorities, in no particular order.

The simple things.
The real, authentic, ever knowing and unconditional loving...
This kid- 

He hits me like a freight train.
Fast and furious.
Out of the blue with no warning.

 That's my Dylan.
And today he turns eleven.

Happy Birthday Son.
I love you.

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to the family...

To the family:

Everyone loves it. I miss mine. Hard.
I would wake up every morning and drink my cup of joe and listen.
Just like you, I loved the voice of my guy through those speakers.
Let's be honest, he was your guy before he was mine.
When we met those three full years ago,
I didn't know who he was or what impact he had on so many of your morning commutes.
I just knew he was a cute guy, with a full sleeve, that rode a bike.
I was in my own little world at the time, music was my routine but
Pandora was my little safe space.

After our first lunch that neither one of us wanted to end
 and after learning of how small the world really is,
I tuned into an FM dial that I never had before.

Growing up with jokes about radio personalities and terminations-
I grew up with talk like that.
I can remember my dad saying, 
"Welcome to radio..."

Let's not forget the greatest "fire" of all time.
When my dad's Hispanic station took over the call letters of someone's show.

That was the first and only time- until recently.
That was truly a "business decision" as one corporation bought the other.
My dad is still at those infamous call letters that collided our worlds...
And that "fire" was the one that catapulted his career. 
This industry, as fickle as it can be, you can't help but grow to love it.
I grew to love him.
His voice drew me in.
Just like you, I tuned in, every morning.
From the first date to the "emergency contact" days
to the marriage proposal to lightning strikes to having babies...
Hip, heart, hitched, home...
He shared us from the very beginning.
All of us.
Open. Honest. All of it.
 As we grew. You grew. 

I eventually was waking up without him 5 days in a row.
Instead, growing to love waking up to a sweet text message
and his voice through the speakers on that same device.

 His voice still draws me in.
But unlike you, for now, I get to hear it everyday- every morning in fact.
 I will never forget the breakfast where the waitress said,
"wait, i know your voice."
That was one of many times a complete stranger warmed my heart. 
His stories always made me laugh.
Sometimes he'd tell our stories wrong
 (if you're asking his wife ;))
Sometimes he'd make me spit my coffee.
Sometimes he made cry.
Sometimes your stories made me cry.
Sometimes your "happy headlines" made me happy cry. 
We were connected.

I know the feeling of that connection being torn from you for no good reason.
All the feelings you are having- I am having as well.
Wait what.
What the hell.
Don't get it.

Can you imagine how he feels?
I think I do, we share everything-
communication to a fault maybe...
But good God-
My heart aches for him. 
Not because he's my husband
but because he truly loved waking up with you guys every morning
he's damn good at his job.
I promise you that.
It will never be admitted.
Ego does that to you over time.
But how about that show?
There's nothing like it now...

And no you can't just throw someone a mic and hope it works.
I'm not telling you anything you don't already know or haven't figured out.
We are all learning as we go. 

Having grown up in such industry, it was dinner table talk for all of my childhood.
It's nothing new to switch it up fast and furious and forget.
Well- they think you will.
It's not acknowledged. It's the past. The past sucks. We are moving forward.
This is the new and everyone loves it.
Here- drink the Koolaid.

Trust me.
None of it is coincidence.
Who likes Kool-aid anyway?

If you're reading this,
 you're definitely not a robot or a heartless human
and you too, probably don't like Kool-aid.
You, my friends, are the ties that bind.
We are all connected some way, some how.

Many of you have been listening to him longer than I have known him.
You have been there with him through everything.
Since his first day.
Not to mention, accepting me as family when I became his.
We don't expect you to forget.
Nor would we ask you to.
We understand the loyalty.
We appreciate it.
It means something.
And is worth everything.

Regardless of the way you've been made to feel,
you are an asset.
One the airwaves need. Count on. Depend on.
You are powerful.
So knowing that, don't to lose your voice.

Last week we took a little journey to "Facebook live" land....
from home, for fun.
Just to reach out and say:
"We hear you"
"We feel you"
"We appreciate you"
"Thank you"

Keeping my composure was hard at first,
because here I sit next to man that begins to talk...
That voice.
What a gift.
The compassion, the care, the creativity.
He truly loves what he does.
And no one can take that away.
No one.

Ya know, somethings in life just don't make any sense.
So my/our routine gets silenced, for now.
But as with everything, it's not permanent. 
I hate silence.
But they always say to sit in it.
Be uncomfortable in it.
Look around.
Take a breath.

We've been doing all of those things.
Each day gets better.
The support and love for Matt and our family
directly from you has effected us deeply.
Many many heartfelt thank you's to each and everyone of you.

We have no idea what the future has in store for us, for him-
but we do know one thing is for sure.
We are looking up and forward.
Not down and never backwards.
We have learned the difference between a career,
and what defines us.
Because they are two totally different things.

I can promise you this,
in 10 years this will be a page in our book.
Not the end and it was definitely not the beginning.
A fond memory for sure.
But we learn, love and let go.

It will eventually be in our past, the emotions will subside and it will become
something we can remember and embrace. 
The difference being that we don't and won't have to hang on to
those infamous call letters to define us.

The connections, friendships, relationships, camaraderie that has been built-
that's what we will take with us.
That is worth a definition.

 We hope you're up for the adventure, this little family vacation we are on...
 because after all,
it's all about the family...
And we consider you just that.

See you Monday in Facebook Live Land...

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merry merry...

Merry Merry from the McLovies! 
I don't even know where to start-
As we were just days from closing in one of the best years of our lives, 
I found my heart extremely heavy and lost amongst the hustle and bustle.

Actually it, nor I, was lost. 
It was just fact. 
A fact of life.
A new reality. 

But before that- this.

Matt & I. 

Healthy, willing and able to love through all of it. 

 A damn good, yet harsh reminder of what is most important.
A reminder that we can't control the opinions of others. 
Even if they are just that- opinions. 
You see, 
we are a family that prides themselves on being open and honest, real and reachable.
Doing what's right even if it's the hard way.
The road less traveled if you will, it's always the harder way.
If it were easy, everyone would take it. 
Let's face it. They don't.  

Who knows the reasons why they don't
but I can guarantee it's something personal. 
It comes from within.
It's hard work, it takes effort, it takes growth.

It's harder for some people to look within and recognize what they can do to be better, 
how to better a situation, and maybe actually listen. 
Not just listen to respond, because everyone can listen just to respond.

Can you listen and let it penetrate?
You may find yourself in the place of personal reflection. 
And let's be honest, you might not like what you're hearing or how others see you. 
The one thing I've found to be true is-
Perception. It's everything.

Personally, when I have found myself in these predicaments- it sucks. 
Not all self reflection is a mirror and a selfie. 
How nice would that be? Ha! Filters among filters! Bring it! 

In all seriousness, we've all been there. 
Having to take a hard look within and realize 
what you may be hearing from someone you don't want to hear it from 
may just have some truth to it. 
 Growth comes from hearing all of it. 
Listening with out a candid politically correct response and 
not making a knee jerk reaction that effects more than your ego. 

That's maturity. 
Accepting, hearing, listening, changing. 

It may be hard to hear. Harder work to fix. 
And the hardest to change...
but it will be worth it. 

Hard work is always worth the reward. 
We know, we've won some.

I look at what the most important thing I am teaching our kids.
Recognizing what's right from wrong. 
We teach them to speak up and always do what's right. 
 Because at the end of the day, 
it doesn't matter what sports they play, who they're friends are or 
even what they end up growing up to be-
even with all of that considered and all the choices they have to make, 
there's only two-
The right way and the wrong way.

And if we can't lead by example, speak up when we feel something is wrong, 
then who's leading who? 
We are not sheep. 

We have a foundation, a gut feeling, a heart...
an instinct that leads us.

Much different than reactions. Much different. 

When you love something it's easy to be passionate.
It's easy to care, to go the extra mile, to be kind, 
to be supportive, to be genuinely happy. 
It's easy to work hard when it's your passion. 
When you surround yourself with the ones that love and support you,
it's easy to go the extra mile. After all,
 you have your team, your tribe, your people in your corner. 

 They keep you honest. 
They let you reflect without judgement. 
They keep you self aware- imagine that.
Because of this earned trust
you are able to work through things where others may throw blame. 
We will never understand why.
We will never understand the point of the blame.
Instead, maybe set your ego aside and be accountable. 
It's the only thing you have-
that and character.  

Then there's this character...
What a personality he is. 
I love this man.

Our rock. Our guy.
Our Mr. Misunderstood. 
He doesn't stutter. 
He speaks the truth. And he's gotten really good at it. 
I love him even more for that.  
He takes care of all of us. 
He protects us with everything inside him. 
He is a family man that genuinely loves his family-
And his wife... imagine that.
It feels good to be loved as much as you love,
that the feeling is mutual,
that you are in this life together. 

That when thoughts like the ones I started this blog post with:
"As we were just days from closing in one of the best years of our lives, 
I found my heart extremely heavy and lost amongst the hustle and bustle"
make you realize your heart is more open than ever before and was never lost. 

It may have just been found yet again
and this in fact was one of the best years of our life.

 As we send you late Christmas wishes during the New Year, 
we as a family reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of being honest. 
Speaking up. 
Being truthful. 
Requesting change for the better... 

It's a hard lesson to receive and even teach our kids. 
Sometimes the result is devastating, embarrassing and hurtful when you speak up.
It shouldn't be. 
 Neither should keeping your integrity. 

Those in the position to receive such insight from someone being honest 
should be able to discern and communicate how to work together 
to formulate and implement change. 
Not just disregard. 

Even as I type this my heart breaks and my stomach knots up 
to see some things be implemented now as a result of speaking up.
What great idea! (ultimate sarcasm) 

It may have cost a relationship but those changes, 
clearly necessary, 
were just not ready to be heard at the time 
nor from the person it came from.

As we embark on 2017 with open hearts, I encourage each and everyone one of you to be open to hearing others, even it's a result of you having to self reflect or even change course. 
But promise me this- you won't ever abandon ship. 
 Coming from a past commercial fisherman's daughter, that crew is your family. 
And at the end of the day- even if the ship is sinking, that family is all you have.

"For the ones who follow the compass in their heart, home is always the journey."

all our love, 

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 Photo Credit: Katie Mathis


gorgeous, a bit graphic and a lot grateful...

Our birth story.

A day we have waited for far too long.
A little scared.

The last time I was at this hospital, I walked out without a baby.
Ironically or maybe not, due just days before today a year prior.
Yes. I still cry about it- even as I type.
It's hard to believe and even compare the situations but it's part of our story.
It humbles this entire process for me.

October 29th, 2016 has arrived.
We are here. Here we go.
The entire day went so incredibly smooth.
As if it was planned that way, because maybe it was...

I am not good at hospital stays. It's as if they make me panic.
I'll just say it- as much good comes from them, I hate them.
But the last time I stayed at one (as I mentioned above) I met the most amazing nurse,
she did her job and we said goodbye.
One summer night we ran into her while I was fueling one of those early pregnancy cravings.
Yes, an ice cream sandwich.
We exchanged numbers and kept in touch for what seemed like the longest nine months.
We both had been waiting for this day.
She was scheduled to be my nurse and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
 From the second we got there she was home to me.
It was familiar, it felt right, and we had done this together before.
As she walked us to our room I was so thankful we were here, again.
On the table was a cookie cake and card that made me ugly cry.
Yes. That cry.
I tried to hold back as best as I could but my heart was bursting.
I was so thankful we were here, again.

The two hours before my scheduled C-Section seem to fly by.
I met the staff that would be with me in the OR and I was so happy-
it was as if they were picked just for me.

It was time.
I just wanted him here.
I knew the steps to get him here.
It was my third C-section.
I wanted it to be over.
My amazing husband was my strength,
reminding me to just embrace it.
All of it.

Spinal Done.
Can he come in the room now?
Matt had to wait outside until that part was done and it felt like we were separated for days.
The warmth, tingles, tugs and being pain free, I will relish in.
The conversation, the "we are almost there" I will forever hear over and over.
That cry-
That cry!
It was like angels were singing.
He was here.
Finally here.
Hearty and Healthy.
He was here.

We nuzzled and kissed and smiled as they sewed me back up.
Then we nuzzled and kissed and smiled some more.
He was perfect, just perfect.

He locked onto his daddy and was the most calm, quiet, alert baby-
 taking it all in while holding his daddy's hand.
This mama couldn't have been more happy about that. 
They were in this together from the very beginning.
Father & Son.

Oh my Lord.
Thank you.

"It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravage of the storm.
When a rainbow appears, it does not mean the storm never happened or that the family is not
dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has
appeared in the midst of the darkness and the clouds."

 Thank you for letting us be a part of the journey.

 Meanwhile back in our room we had the chance to have some of the best snuggle time.
Skin to skin and breast feeding never felt so good.
Coming off all the anesthesia however I wasn't feeling so good.
I've never felt so nauseous in my life.
But I stayed focused on our new little perfect bundle of boy and delivering daddy's push gift.
(and giving credit where credit is due, mine was waiting for me at home.)
Those quiet spinning moments were the world to me.

He was not just the world to me, he came into this world being so loved by so many.
What a precious gift for our little family to unwrap.
The biggest blessing on that October day, he not only completed Matt and I-
He completed the Familia.

 Our little family is the world to me.
I am so proud of us for loving nothing but immensely through this entire process.
Unconditionally Together.
That's just us.

What a joy this boy is...
Our dude Jude.
Jude Matthew.
McLovie's are complete.

Thank you
Katie Mathis 
for capturing all these priceless moments for our family.
They will be forever cherished.  

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