10 Videos Guaranteed to Make You Laugh

There is nothing that brightens up my day more than a hilarious You Tube video. Even if you have seen some of these, they are definitely worth watching a second time. Or  a twentieth time…

Enjoy!

 

1) Ellen found my long lost best friend. Actually Ellen is my long lost best friend, but this guy is second to Ellen. He is a food critic and he finds the most ridiculous recipes to comment on. He is hilarious and honest – my idea of perfection.

 

 

2) James Corden is my favorite. Wait no, Adele is my favorite. I never thought that I would love the two of them more, but then I saw this clip of them singing car pool karaoke.

 

 

3) You might be wondering what the heck is this. But I promise you it’s worth it. My boss in Kansas City showed this to a group of managers to start off a Monday and I cried laughing. I love the nerdy comments and Leeroy’s Zero F’s given attitude. Leeeroy!!

 

 

4)  I have a major girl crush on Emma Stone. She is a great performer and is about a gazillion times cooler than I am. This clip has 91 million views for a reason.

 

 

5) I love playing pranks on people. When I worked for KPMG I pulled off some pretty epic pranks. So naturally I am obsessed with Ellen scaring celebrities on her show. My favorite scares are the ones she pulled on the Modern Family cast.

 

 

6) I love it when actors break character. This one is one of my all-time SNL favorites.

 

 

7) I’m sorry, I love it when people fall.  I just don’t understand why she had to get on the table?!?

 

 

8) Speaking of falling, this is totally something I would record. My kind of parenting!

 

 

9) I’ve never seen Star Wars but I still thought this was freaking hilarious. This woman is living her BEST life. God bless her.

 

 

10) In honor of Halloween quickly approaching, I thought I would share one of Jimmy Kimmel’s “I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy” clip.  Stay tuned – I’m going to do this to Charlie this year.

 

 

 

 

 

When A Toddler Sees Her Newborn Pictures

It was Saturday afternoon around 4:00PM, which if you are a parent you know that is the the time your kids are the most whiny and needy. Both Charlie and Thomas were misbehaving more than normal that day and Matt and I were having a conversation debating whether we should put both kids to bed at 5:00. It was that kind of day.

Thomas was in the room that he shares with Charlie and he was pointing and mumbling for me to get something from the top shelf. I came into the room and noticed he was pointing at Charlie’s box of memories from when she was a newborn. I got the box down from the shelf…while thinking it was odd Thomas wanted to look at that random box….and I brought it into the living room. Thomas, Matt, and I started looking thru it then Charlie came into the room asking what we were looking at. When we told her it was a box of memories for her she completely lit up and started going thru the box like it was Christmas morning. Actually it was like Christmas morning, Halloween, and Easter Sunday combined.

I never thought about what my kids would think when they would see pictures from when they were born. The poses from newborn photo shoots are adorable to adults, but toddlers apparently have a LOT of questions after seeing them. Here are some of the hilarious comments Charlie said as she was going thru her box:

1c

“WHY am I wearing that hat?? Where did you get that hat from??? I look uncomfortable.”

 

 

8

“WHY am I sleeping on the floor? I do NOT like sleeping on the floor”

 

 

17

“There I am….sleeping on the floor again! Ugh I was soooooo uncomfortable”

 

 

2

“What am I doing here? Am I eating FOOD?? That looks like food. Is it food mom?”

 

 

10

After I explained it was a blanket not food, she saw this picture…

“There I am….eating food again! What in the world?!?”

 

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Her: “Mom are you a baby?”

Me: “Umm…no”

Her: “Then why are you under a baby blanket??”

 

 

Charlotte

After me explaining what the pregnancy test stick was (which I didn’t know I kept..gross)

“Mom you should try peeing on it again to see if you have another baby in there!!”

 

 

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As Matt is tearing up seeing all of the pictures of him and her from when was born…

“‘Dad why are you crying? You must REALLY like pictures of yourself”

 

 

4

When she was done looking thru the box she told me it was the best present I had ever given her. I died. This girl read every damn card. Looked at every single hospital document, stared at every single picture, and she literally covered herself in the blanket she was put in after birth. If you are looking for me I am crying happy tears while trying to throw together a similar box for Thomas that doesn’t exist. Second child syndrome is real.

Here are a few more pictures because I had to…

 

 

The Top 10 Best Things About Canada

It took Matt and I approximately 5 minutes to agree to move our kids to Canada. We researched nothing about the country but we said yes to my career opportunity because YOLO (that stands for You Only Live Once for the non-millennial generation). The top 10 reasons why I love Canada are different than what I would have thought one year ago as we packed our bags to head North. Either way – Canada we love you!! And here’s why…..

  1. The Humanity. This country cares about their people and not about the media or fame. Synonyms for the word humanity include sympathy, kindness, and compassion. And the focus on humanity, kindness, and compassion is everywhere you look. The media is smart and doesn’t publicize names when a suspect has a clear mental health issue. They put forth all of their effort to help these people instead of entertaining a hungry audience. And they welcome you when you move to a new country. In simple words: they just get it.
  2. The Diversity. This is a very close second to humanity. Raising our children in an environment that is extremely diverse soothes my soul. I love it so much because I want to raise my kids to be respectful and kind no matter who they are looking at. And I also love the diverse group of people I work with. So many different types of people with different backgrounds and origins. I struggle with pronouncing two names that work for me and I selfishly love that. Brown, black, white, and everything in between – that is what we will accept as normal in the world after living in Canada.
  3. The Safety. Everyone has different opinion about gun laws. I have my own opinion and my opinion might surprise some of you. But what I do know is that the mass shootings in schools across America are one of the few things that scare me when I think of Charlie and Thomas in high school. And even elementary school. I would do anything to make sure they are safe and sometimes I am terrified of sending them to a school in America. If this is controversial to you or you disagree, that’s fine. I have so much respect for education in America you have no idea. Education vs safety is different and I hope everyone can understand the difference.
  4. The Nature. I’ll quote Charlie when she looked out over the ocean and said “the ocean and the trees look so happy!”. We recycle 70% of what we use because that’s the norm in West Vancouver. And when you do that and you look outside, you look at nature a whole different way.
  5. The Hiking. I don’t know where to start so I’ll digress and wait until another post. All I can say is I never knew my passion in life was hiking until I moved here. I am an addict and have a long long list of places Matt and I need to hike.
  6. The Pride. Canadians are extremely prideful. I used to think seeing Americans celebrate July 4th was the most prideful thing on Earth. I thought this until I went to a Vancouver Canucks vs. Boston Bruins hockey game and a beautiful First Nations woman sang the two different national anthems. I literally got goosebumps watching everyone smiling and singing the Canadian national anthem. Point – Canada. canadafireworks-featured-635x357
  7. The beauty. Canada is insanely beautiful. It was hard to select just a few pictures. Again, I digress because it’s too beautiful to capture in words.
  8. The Prime Minister. Put detailed politics aside, he supports the fact that love is love. And ladies can support me….he ain’t bad to look at….trudeau
  9. The holidays. Who ever decided which days would be holidays in Canada knew what they were doing. Let’s schedule a long weekend at least once every month in spring and summer – check!
  10. The winter. The rain is not ideal in Vancouver but Whistler in the winter is magical. And the snow capped mountains painting a backdrop in a Vancouver winter is something everyone should see. It doesn’t snow in West Vancouver except for maybe one or two days. And I am totally at peace with that.

     

How to Get a Standing Ovation

If you are looking for an icebreaker for your presentation, I have the perfect one for you to use. I learned this trick a little over a year ago and now use it every time I teach a class or present in front of a large audience. I also used this trick when I presented in front of 400 people. It works for groups of all types and sizes and is sure to draw a laugh from the audience.

Here is how you can trick your audience into giving you a standing ovation:

  1. Before the presentation decide on a category that will place everyone in the audience into two groups. For example, people with last names starting with A-L are group 1 and people with last names starting with M-Z are in group 2. It doesn’t have to be a perfect split just make sure people that are standing next to each other aren’t all in the same group.
  2. At the start of your presentation (before you introduce yourself) ask everyone to stand up. Have your phone with you. 74B89F51-0374-496C-A0D4-3F05E7A27D08
  3. Define the first group of people and instruct them to pose like you. Then pose with your hands together at your chest. Don’t describe what you are doing just act out the position and the first group will follow suit. 2018-08-11 07_23_39-Kiewit 2018 - Internet Explorer
  4. Then instruct the second group of people to pose a different way. This time pose like you are holding an invisible mini basketball. I actually talk thru this position referring to the mini basketball because it throws them off even more. B3273617-2B6A-4291-BFCB-8D44C880E800
  5. Then pick one or two people who are in the first or the second position and tell them to hold up their finger like they are saying number one. Then pick one or two more people and tell them to pose with two thumbs up. I like to pick people in the front and I especially like to pick executives if they are in attendance. 2018-08-11 07_27_17-Kiewit 2018 - Internet Explorer
  6. Then ask everyone to “smile!” and take a picture of the group. At this point everyone in the audience is beyond confused.65C2FC06-55BC-4630-9C96-A2447434B056
  7. Once you are done taking the picture say “Well even if I bomb this presentation I have a picture of you all giving me a standing ovation!” (then do the clapping motion to act out the first position and second position together and everyone will realize they’ve been tricked). It fools everyone and I always get a good laugh out of the group.
  8. Make sure you do all of these steps quickly, the whole thing usually takes less than a minute so they don’t have time to think about what you are asking them to do!

Here are a few other audiences I’ve tricked: 

And here are a few pictures my friends have taken when they’ve used my trick:

Have fun and send me a picture if you trick anyone!

Top 10 Things You Shouldn’t Live Without

I seriously can’t travel without these Native shoesthese Marley Head headphones, and this Lush dry shampoo as well as a few other things I mention in my Top 10 post from last week. Here are the other 10 things I can’t live without (in no particular order):

  1. Yoga Pants: There is a 30 second window between when I get home from work and when I change into a pair of yoga pants. I have more pairs than I should, but my two favorites are these white Lululemon pants and a pair of yoga pants I received from work as a gift. I love Lululemon pants and the cost is totally worth it for the quality you are getting (I’ve had 2 pairs for 6 years and they are still going strong). My tip for shopping at Lulu is to only buy their pants made out of Nulu or Luxtreme fabric. I have found the other (thicker) fabrics don’t hold up as well after multiple washes.

     

  2. McDonald’s Coffee: I am full-on addicted to McDonald’s coffee. I’m actually drinking a medium cup as I write this. I blame my addiction on my friend Salim at work who generously added me to his morning McDonald’s coffee delivery group. Because of Salim’s generosity, I now stop at McDonald’s every morning. The store bought McDonald’s coffee just isn’t the same and I have come to accept my addiction with no shame.McDonald's Coffee
  3. Burt’s Bees Lipgloss: I am one of those people that has to have chapstick and lip gloss with me at all times. I’ve tried so many lip glosses, but I prefer to stick with ones I can pick up at the grocery store so I don’t have to go to the mall. Burt’s Bees fits the bill and is relatively affordable. I prefer to use their Moisturizing Shine On gloss in Blush  for work since it is a neutral color and lasts forever.Burts Bees Lipgloss
  4. My Wet Hair Brush: I shouldn’t say I can’t live without this hair brush because I am currently living without it. I need a new one and no local stores in Vancouver sell them and Amazon Canada doesn’t either. But if I lived in the states I would race to buy it at Target. I love this combo brush kit that comes with a kids brush.  This is one of the only brushes Charlie will tolerate (and by tolerate I mean not cry physical tears but will still scream bloody murder).Wild Hair Brush
  5. My Keychain Wallet: I recently upgraded my keychain wallet from a Vera Bradley wallet to this Louis Vuitton Key Pouch. In terms of everyday use, this keychain wallet is probably the most important thing I own. I am a very forgetful person with certain things and having my keys and wallet together is one less thing I will forget. I also don’t like taking a purse with me everywhere I go, so this is great for when I need to quickly run into a store. The Louis Vuitton pouch is pricey at $205 USD but the quality is amazing and now I can say I own a Louis (even if it was the smallest thing in the store).
  6. My Lululemon Backpack: I’m a mom with two young kids who loves to hike. I also love Lululemon as you are probably noticing. So combine all of those things and you get this Lululemon Backpack. I recently retired the kids diaper bag and went cold turkey to this beautiful bag. With two young kids it’s so much more comfortable having a backpack instead of wearing a big bag with a strap. The price is pretty good for Lulu – only $118 USD (and if you live in Canada it’s on sale for $90 CAD!).Lululemon Backpack
  7. Red Wine: Everyone that knows me knows I love my red wine. I actually don’t care for expensive wines as they typically give me a hangover. Matt and I usually stick with Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon by Robert Mondavi because it’s affordable and doesn’t give me a wine hangover. I also can’t live without this portable wine cup. With two young kids I have not poured myself a glass of wine into an actual wine glass in years. It’s only stemless in our house. This cup has a lid (bonus!) and keeps your wine at the right temperature. We also like to combine a glass of wine with our nightly walk so this is the perfect cup to stroll around the block with.

     

  8. Netflix: I don’t need to say much here. But I recently found out my friend Jessica doesn’t have Netflix and I am wondering how she is actually living as a human being. Netflix is killing it with their series shows they keep rolling out. Well done Netflix, I’m hooked.Netflix
  9. Tacos: One of my favorite things about my husband is that he loves tacos just as much as I do. You aren’t living if you haven’t tried Chicken Ranch Tacos. We make them like typical tacos, but substitute the beef with 3 chicken breasts cooked with 1 package of taco seasoning mixed with 1 package of ranch dressing mix. Then substitute salsa with ranch dressing and you will be in heaven!tacos
  10. Body Cream Before Bed: I have always used some sort of lavender lotion for myself and for my kids before bed. For the kids I use Aveeno’s but for myself I use Lush’s Sleepy Body Cream. It’s a good price and smells amazing. If you have anything you can’t live without I’d love to hear about it!

Summer in Vancouver

Vancouver, B.C. is one of the most under-rated cities in the world. When I told my American friends and family that I was moving to Canada most of them pictured my family living in an igloo with our two German Shepherds as sled dogs. And while I want Vancouver to stay under-rated, I do want all of my friends and followers to know how amazing it is. ESPECIALLY in the summer. I can’t think of any other city in the world that has the unique combination of gorgeous mountains, tons of hiking, amazing scenic views, numerous beaches, water activities, big city life, biking, national parks, and amazing food. The weather in the summer averages 75 degrees and the sun is always shining.  It is truly paradise from May thru the end of August.

Here are some of my favorite things to do in Vancouver:

Hike. Joffre Lakes is my absolute favorite but there are dozens more that I would recommend. Capilano Canyon is 2 minutes away from our house and I swear it looks like you are in a fairy tale when you are on the trail. The Twilight series was filmed here if it gives you any idea of how gorgeous Capilano is.

Drive the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Squamish. I’m a nerd and love driving on the highway because the company I work for built it, but this drive is seriously stunning. Mountains meet the ocean with islands sprinkled in. Some snow remains on the mountain tops for the whole summer adding to the beauty. It’s amazing!opinion_editorial1-1

Stanley Park. There are SO many things to do in this gigantic (and FREE!) national park. Hiking, beaches, playgrounds, pools, biking, an amazing aquarium, and more views than I can count. Vancouver has a great climate and gets lots of rain in the winter so the park is extremely green and lush. This is by far the best place to take kids in Vancouver, we still haven’t explored the whole park and we’ve lived here a year.

♥ Boating with friends (picture above was taken on our friends Kim and Andrew’s boat). The water in the summer is warm and you can navigate to so many beautiful places. Relaxing on a boat watching a gorgeous British Colombia sunset should be on everyone’s bucket list. Actually scratch that – do everything I just said but throw in a bottle of Chardonnay.

These are just a few of my favorite things. More to come later on Vancouver recommendations because I’m seriously in love with this city. It’s not too late to book a ticket to Vancouver – the summer isn’t over! But seriously…..get here before October (unless you have a passion for rain then by all means come in the fall).

 

 

A Girl’s Best Accessory

The best accessory a girl can wear is her confidence ✨⭐️ As of 4:30PM today Charlie’s dream job is “to build  things….like an animal hospital!” I needed a good minute and a half to compose myself after that response. Most young girls love animals but there are not too many 4 year old girls that dream of building the vets office instead of being the vet. I tried not to act surprised because I want her to think that is a totally normal dream for a young girl. Yes, her statement could be skewed because she got to see where her mom works last Sunday. But last Sunday I saw that girl walking around the construction site like she owned the damn place. And I just smiled while snapping pictures like the paparazzi.

I have a lot of opinions on how we can bridge the gender gap in the workplace, but my number one belief is that our society can change things by just not saying anything. The solution is easy – don’t cast doubt by telling her something that will take away her best accessory. If my Charlie never knows the current ratio in construction is 1 female to 20 males, there is a stronger chance that I’ll see her 20 years from now standing confidently on a construction site.

So I’m going to continue to build my daughters confidence by just sitting back, drinking a tall glass of wine, and doing absolutely nothing 💕👊🏼#asplashofhumor

Top 10 Tips for Packing a Suitcase

Hello followers! Every Sunday I’ll share a new Top 10 list. I’m excited to share ideas and tips that will hopefully help you succeed in your career and your personal life.  This week I’m sharing my Top 10 tips for packing a suitcase. I have flown over 10,000 miles so far this year for work. So as you can imagine I pack A LOT! I never do anything days in advance and I don’t like to spend a ton of time packing. So packing my suitcase usually takes about 10-15 minutes and I always pack the night before my trip.

So here are my Top 10 Tips for Packing a Suitcase: 

  1. Don’t even open your closet until you’ve looked at the weather forecast for where you are going. Always look at the temperature around dinner time to decide what to pack for the evenings. Your destination might get  surprisingly chilly at night when the sun goes down. Or you could be the person who wears jeans to the after work golf event when it’s 100 degrees outside.F6AE5929-AEC0-4234-87CD-EA02E9571101
  2. In the fall and winter pick a color palette. Boots and sweaters take up the most room so decide on a brown or a black palette and stick to it. Sticking with one also limits the number of purses and accessories you need to bring. Black is my first choice almost always.
  3. Bring good quality toiletries and always leave them packed in your suitcase so you never forget them. My travel toiletries are nicer than my usual toiletries because I treat myself when I have to be away from my family. My favorite travel size toiletries are from Lush. Their dry shampoo is a powder which is TSA safe and it lasts much longer than my previous favorite Baptiste. Plus – if you bring 5 empty Lush bottles into a store you get two weeks worth of their fresh face masks for FREE. no drought
  4. Find a cream colored sweater or light jacket and pack it 100% of the time. I always bring one no matter what climate I’m going to. I had one similar to This Gap Sweater until my daughter smeared silly putty all over it….. gap
  5. Lay everything out on your bed and look for items that are nice but not necessary. Yes it would be nice to have 2 pairs of heels when I go on this girls trip, but it’s not necessary. Then put at least one of the nice but not necessary items back in your closet.
  6. Research and invest in the perfect laptop bag/tote. It took me 10 years to find my laptop bag soulmate. Who knew it was sitting at Kate Spade the whole time? I love it because the top zips and it only has 3 interior pockets (too many pockets backfires when you are trying to find something). My bag soulmate has one interior pocket that zips and 2 smaller interior pockets that don’t zip. I travel internationally a lot so I always put my passport, nexus card, and work permit in that one zipper pocket. It’s their permanent home and nothing else comes into their home. I don’t even open the pocket until the next time I go thru security at the airport. My lip gloss and chapstick go in one of the open pockets, and my business supplies go in the other one. I never change where things go in my tote and I have never had trouble finding anything. Also I always leave an extra phone charger and headphones permanently in my tote. I love my $25 House of Marley House of Marley Headphones because they are stylish, don’t tangle and  they never fall out.
  7. Start with packing your shoes on the bottom. Then ROLL up all of your clothes and place them on top of your shoes – it saves so much space if you roll rather than fold. It also helps prevent wrinkles.
  8. Put a lot of focus on dressing comfortably for days that you are traveling. This is something I’ve built into my travel routine this year and it has made such a big difference. I pretty much wear the same thing every time I fly. Black yoga leggings, a plain colored T-shirt, an oversized sweater, and my native tennis shoes. These are my favorite shoes to travel with. Also, I am never comfortable if I’m cold so I always pack this light travel blanket in my tote bag. It’s light enough to fit in my tote and keeps me warm.
  9. Once I am all packed I look at my travel itinerary one last time to make sure I haven’t missed anything. Then I make sure all of my electronics are plugged in overnight so they are fully charged for the flight.
  10. Finally, when I get to my destination I always unpack. I use the drawers in the hotel room and hang up my clothes right away. I iron any items that need a touch up when I am unpacking so I don’t have to keep getting the squeaky and awkward iron out every morning. Then I store my suitcase in the closet and my hotel room feels a lot more like home!

Message me at mickiambridge@gmail.com if you have any other tips for packing a suitcase!

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Get This Baby Out

I love to hear labor stories.  I’m completely fascinated by the fact that the female body is programmed to give birth but no one knows when it will happen. For a control freak like me I am mesmerized by the power of a woman’s body to create life’s most anticipated moment. I was induced with Charlie, and even though I am a firm believer in the conception of induction, it just didn’t feel right. I was in labor for 24 hours before my body got the heck on board. God bless everyone that came into contact with me that day, my behavior was not reflective of actual Micki.

In movies going into labor is a dramatic and quick event. In movies her water breaks and she has the baby in her arms a few minutes later. The truth is only 10% of women experience their water breaking on its own and most women are in labor for at least 24 hours. With Thomas I was in labor for 48 hours. Before you start thinking I’m superwoman, there is a difference between labor and LABOR. My husband once asked the doctor how we will know when I’m in labor. His response was “when your wife wants to kill you then she is in LABOR”.

I started having very light contractions on Thursday morning. They were 7-10 minutes apart and regular. I was so excited – my body was going into labor on its own!! I told my mother and my in-laws to head to Kansas City because surely I was going to have Thomas that day. Wrong. I stayed home from work and spent most of the day shopping. I actually hate shopping but walking helps speed up contractions and I needed a distraction. By that evening all grandparents were in Kansas City and eagerly staring at me in my living room with high anticipation. By then my contractions were every 4-5 minutes and were starting to get more painful. So Matt and I packed our bags and went to the hospital. I should have known I wasn’t in LABOR because I was able to walk into the hospital like a functioning human being. They hooked me up to monitors and checked to see how much I was dilated and the nurse had the nerve to look me in the eye and tell me I was only one centimeter dilated. ONE. Come on lady, I’m pretty sure Matt is dilated one centimeter. Then she told me to go home and rest. Kathy from Shawnee Mission Hospital – I apologize for what I might have said to you that evening.

As you can imagine, “resting” when you have contractions isn’t an actual thing. I managed to get a little sleep but when I woke up Friday morning my contractions had slowed down significantly. My first thought was “why does my body hate me??!!”. Then my second thought was “screw this I’m in control and I’m getting this baby out of me!”. So I started walking around my neighborhood. Then I kept walking. And walking. And before I knew it was time for our regular evening family walk so I walked again. It turns out that taking a walk with a stubborn toddler and a lazy dog is the key to going into LABOR. My 2.5 year old daughter insisted on pulling our 110 pound German Shepherd in the wagon and it made me laugh so hard that my contractions started picking up. By the time I went to bed I was really uncomfortable and knew I was close to being in LABOR. Then around 2 in the morning I woke up and was in so much pain that I started thinking “ok this is it – this is how I’m going to die”. My contractions were very close together and I could barely breathe thru the pain. So I woke Matt up and told him we needed to go the hospital. Ya’ll this man had the audacity to say “maybe we should call the doctor to see if we should go in”. I can’t remember exactly what happened after he said that but I’m pretty sure my head spun around three times and I may have asked for a divorce. I wanted to kill him….but I was in LABOR!! I couldn’t officially celebrate until I felt the epidural working in the hospital because actual LABOR contractions feel like someone is trying to kill you by taking a giant screw and repeatedly twisting it into your lower stomach. But next thing you know I was holding my sweet Thomas and I no longer wanted to kill my husband. Labor is a beautiful thing (except for the woman that is actually in LABOR).

 

 

Pregnant in a Hard Hat (Part 2)

No matter if you get 6 weeks of maternity leave or 6 months, it’s hard to go back to work. For me I had the right support, a great job, and a healthy baby. And it was still very hard. The reason why it is so hard for women to leave their children to go back to work is because of guilt. Inherent in every mother is “Mom Guilt”. Mom guilt is something that starts the second a woman pees on a stick and sees two solid lines. Instead of feeling excited about having a child, their first thought is usually about how much alcohol they drank before they knew they were pregnant . They worry their baby will have 2 heads because of the glass (or bottle) of wine they consumed two Fridays ago. They have already been hard on themselves and they have been a mom for approximately 3 minutes. And that is just the start of a condition mothers deal with for the rest of their lives. Mom Guilt.

Mom guilt pokes its ugly head in right after the baby is born.  A mom will attempt to breastfeed her child and she will suddenly realize that the simple and beautiful concept of breastfeeding is actually REALLY FREAKING HARD. She will blame herself, her body, her lack of research, or her diet.  The mom guilt continues a few days later when she realizes her newborn sleeps during the day and is awake all night. “I am doing something wrong my baby doesn’t sleep”. Actually you are doing something right and the moms who claim their baby slept thru the night at one week old are big fat liars. Then, the absolute peak of mom guilt occurs the second a mom steps out the front door to go back to work. She knows the baby will be in good hands and she is excited to get back to work, but for some reason she feels like an absolutely terrible person. She feels guilty for going to work to support her family. It’s asinine…but that’s mom guilt.

My mom guilt peaked when I went back to work after a 6 week maternity leave with Thomas.  It was easy to be pregnant on a construction site, but it is definitely not easy being a nursing mother on a construction site.  I was killing myself trying to figure out how I was going to pump breastmilk in a construction trailer full of men with no private room. How could I pack all of my pumping supplies, and the kids bags, and make myself somewhat presentable? How will I be able to travel?  Charlie was never on formula – how could I do that to my sweet Thomas? How would he survive??? It sounds unreasonable that anyone would ever think like that, but that is what mom guilt does to a woman. I am a huge believer in the theory that misery loves company. My “company” at work was mostly men so the concept of pumping schedules, refrigerating breastmilk, and not being able to drink excessively is completely foreign to them.  So since I didn’t have company at work to join me in my misery, I buried myself deep into the internet world which made things ten times worse. The internet is plagued with lies telling moms that their baby will be a future criminal if they are on formula and chances of them being a criminal are tripled if she had a can of Diet Coke when she was pregnant. I was searching for one mom out there to tell me my baby wouldn’t suffer for my selfishness, but the more I read the more I consumed myself with guilt.

My husband was the one that convinced me to stop the mom guilt madness and make the switch to formula. So I finally did and I never looked back. Thomas is almost 2 now and he is just as healthy as his sister. It took me having two babies and a supportive husband to realize that I am a much better mom when I control my mom guilt. It’s ok to have guilt as long as that guilt doesn’t overtake your ability to be a healthy and happy mother. Women will never be able to get rid of the overwhelming need to take care of others, but we can’t take care of others unless we take care of ourselves first.  So whether you go back to work in a construction hat like I did, or if your work is taking care of your children at home, do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. Your health and happiness has more of an impact on your child than a years worth of pumped breastmilk.

Pregnant in a Hard Hat (Part 1)

When I was young I had dreams of becoming a veterinarian….a marine biologist….even an interior designer. So naturally, I graduated Florida State with a degree in Accounting. Next thing I knew I was 9 years into my career and I was not only an accountant, but I was a very pregnant accountant walking around a construction site wearing steel toed boots and a hard hat.

It’s about a 1 to 20 female to male ratio in my industry and I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve seen a pregnant woman on a construction site. When I was pregnant I took great pride in being able to represent that small group of women. Every week my safety vest got a little bit tighter and my pride walking around site got a little bit bigger. This picture was taken my last site visit a few weeks before I had Thomas. I was visiting a $600 million dollar power plant in the middle of nowhere Indiana. I’ve never asked for someone to take my picture on site but I was pretty damn proud in this moment knowing 300 men saw a female manager who was weeks away from giving birth walking around site like it was nothing. I never ask for special treatment because I’m a female and the only thing I asked for when I was pregnant was for someone to take this picture. It’s a reminder to everyone who sees it that women can do the same job as men. And when women do the same job as men at 9 months pregnant, that deserves a picture and a big ass smile. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll share my stories of being in a hard hat with a new baby at home. 

Why Now?

Many people look at my life they think it’s impossible to juggle what I do. How can she have two young kids, work in a male dominated industry, travel every week, and move 3 times in 5 years? The answer to how I can do it is because I’m driven and I have a supportive husband. But most of our society has the belief that what I am doing is impossible because I was born a female and decided to add two kids to this world. I’ll stop you right there if you think this is a feminist blog because it isn’t. I have always known there are society norms that have limited the progress of female success, but something happened one year ago that lit a fire beneath me. Then something else happened 3 months ago that threw a gallon of gasoline on that fire and now I’m more motivated than ever to change society norms. I’m not here to start a movement or get political, my goal with this blog is to inspire both women and men to stop thinking the life I live as a female is “impossible” and start thinking this life is “normal”. And the only way I know how to do that is to share honest (and hilarious) stories about what I did to stay on the road I am on instead of taking the easy road. To be clear, the easy road does not mean staying at home with the kids. Unless you think “easy” is being a slave to tiny humans without getting paid..

I’ll share stories about what I sacrificed, how I re-prioritized, what it’s like to work with all men, and what it’s like to be a mom always packing her suitcase. Sometimes my stories will be longer with a little splash of humor, and sometimes I will just share my favorite meme to hopefully make at least one of you smile that day. And if I fail to change the norm that women can’t have the same life as men, or if fail to make you laugh, stories of life on a construction site and moving two kids to a different country are truly entertaining. You will either be inspired, entertained, or you will feel a lot better about your own life, and that is my gift to you thru this blog. I don’t have any free time to write a blog and I’m not really sure what I’m doing, but for some reason my gut is telling me I need to do this. Thank you all for the support!!

 

 

 

Our Europe Vacation: 5 Cities in 10 Days

A Splash of Humor has been A Splash of Nothing lately, but I’m back! Matt and I just returned from an amazing 10 day vacation in Europe. We visited 5 cities and had no responsibilities other than deciding on what wine to drink. I will share more details and pictures from each day, but for now I wanted to share how we crammed in all that we did in such a short period of time. Here is a summary of where we went, how we got there, where we stayed, what we ate, and what we did during the 10 days spent in Europe. 

Day 0 (Travel Day)

How we got there: 4 hour flight from Vancouver to Toronto – 2 hour layover – then a 7 hour flight from Toronto to Rome.

Day 1

City #1: Rome, Italy

How we got around: Our flight landed in Rome at 2PM. Matt arranged for a Mercedes to pick us up at the airport and drop us off at our hotel.

What we did: We walked the streets of Rome all afternoon until the early evening. I took approximately 45,000 pictures.

Where we stayed: Palazzo Manfredi (gorgeous boutique hotel located across the street from the colosseum).

What we ate: We stumbled upon Ciampini Bistrot on our afternoon walk and had a quick lunch of pizza and wine. We made dinner reservations at the rooftop restaurant at Palazzo Manfredi (Ristorante Aroma) which had an amazing view of the colosseum.

Day 2 

City #2: Florence, Italy

How we got there: We took a taxi to the Rome train station in the morning and took a 1.5 hour train ride to Florence. We arrived in Florence around noon and took a cab to our hotel. (P.S. surprisingly the ONLY travel hiccup occurred at the Rome train station which I will explain in a later post).

What we did: We walked the streets of Florence until our feet hurt. We shopped for souvenirs for our kids and gifts for our in-laws who watched our kids during our entire trip.

Where we stayed: La Maison Du Sage (perfect little boutique hotel across the street from a famous Florence cathedral).

What we ate: Free breakfast at our hotel in Rome. Late lunch at Hot Pot Restaurant (Pizza/Wine). Dinner at Parione Restaurant (Steak/Pasta/Fine Wine)

Day 3

City #3: Siena, Italy

How we got there: We rented a car in Florence and drove 1.5 hours South to Siena. We arrived in Siena around noon then drove back to Florence late afternoon.

What we did: Walked the quiet streets of Siena and shopped for Italian custom hats.

Where we stayed: La Maison Du Sage

What we ate: Free breakfast at the hotel. Lunch outside at Bar II Palio in the Piazza Del Campo in Siena. Dinner at the Foody Farm Restaurant in Florence (Modern/Farm-Fresh Italian)

Day 4

Florence, Italy

How we got there: No transportation – walked everywhere.

What we did: Walked to the highest point in Florence to take pictures then shopped for souvenirs and visited the famous Piazza del Duomo in the afternoon.

Where we stayed: La Maison Du Sage

What we ate: Breakfast at Le Vespe Cafe. Lunch at Pizza Napoli 1955 Restaurant. Takeout dinner from All’Antico Vinaio (famous Italian sandwich shop).

Day 5

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City #4: Bordeaux, France

How we got there: The hotel arranged a taxi to the airport and we took an early morning flight from Florence to Bordeaux. Had a quick stop in Paris and landed in Bordeaux around noon. Both flights were Air France (not the best airline experience but they gave me a delicious warm croissant in the air so I got over it).

What we did: Walked around the small village close to our Airbnb, wedding activities in the afternoon/evening (my friend Bree’s wedding was in Bordeaux).

Where we stayedA Chateau rented on Airbnb (stayed with a group of my friends who were also attending the wedding)

What we ate: Breakfast at the Florence airport, Picked up groceries in Bordeaux for lunch, Dinner with friends at Le Murano Restaurant in the Bordeaux City Centre.

Day 6

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Bordeaux, France

How we got there: Taxi from Chateau to wedding activities (cabs and ubers were almost non-existent unless you pre-booked ahead of time, so we mostly stayed at the chateau)

What we did: Visited Chateau Biac winery for a tour and wine tasting.

Where we stayed: Airbnb Chateau with friends

What we ate: Made breakfast and lunch at the Chateau. Wedding rehearsal dinner in the evening.

Day 7

Bordeaux, France

(Wedding activities all day – I LOVED my Bagdley Mischka gown from Rent the Runway)

Day 8

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City #5: Paris, France

How we got there: Took an Uber from the chateau to the train station and arrived in Paris after a 2 hour train ride.

What we did: Recovery from the wedding. Died laughing at stories from the wedding. Ate about 6,000 calories to cure our hangovers.

Where we stayedRenaissance Paris Republique Hotel (stayed at the same hotel with group of friends)

What we ate: Lunch at train station, dinner at Café Petite (enjoyed my 1st beef tartare!)

Day 9

Paris, France 

How we got there: We took an Uber to our new hotel.

What we did: We visited the Eiffel Tower in the morning then had massages at the hotel spa Monday afternoon. Massages were well-needed and were a great, relaxing end to the trip.

Where we stayed: Majestic Hotel and Spa

What we ate: Breakfast at Café du Trocadero. Lunch at Baagaa Burgers. Dinner at Morny Restaurant.

Day 10 (Travel Home)

How we got there: 8 hour flight from Paris to Toronto (left Paris at 11:30AM). 5 hour flight from Toronto to Vancouver (got in at 6:00PM)