Tuesday morning I shared this to the GRITSOnline Facebook page:

UNCENSORED: This is the face of a mom who completely lost her sh** this morning…why? Because my toddler woke me up at 4:51 having taken his diaper off at some point and was covered in pee and made he was lying in a wet bed. At 5:37 he was pulling my pants down because I was using the wrong cup to make his juice. At 5:43 my 11 yr old came out-for the 2nd time dressed like she was going to church instead of Day camp and asking me for the fourth time about her lunch and snack. At 6:01 my teen got mad because I didn’t award her a medal for her telling me she was gonna actually shower today. So at 6:03 I called my ex and told him to get his a$$ over here. I have these kids 128 hours a week…and he didn’t stay up late last night folding laundry and watching the final episode of OITNB. By 6:30 he was asking why the toddler-now covered in juice, cereal and poop-needed a bath so I lost it. I walked away from everyone…played two rounds of Bubble Shooter before hopping in the shower. And as I climbed out to hear kids and ex banging on my door…I realized this is the side of life we never talk about…the moments we refuse to post online…the scenes in movies we laugh a little too much at because they hit way too close to home…and I had forgotten to wash my hair. Crap. And all before 7:00 am!!! So I while I will fake the hair being clean, throw concealer on the dark circles and once again PRAISE JESUS for coffee, sugar and music turned up too loud as I go about my day…I will not fake that my life is easy, that is always happy and that I don’t lose my sh** probably way too much.
#momlife #singlemom #crazymom

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The photo above is what was attached. I also posted it on my personal Instagram account, because…well, I’ll just say it…I have found a great community of fellow moms, crocheters (aka “hookers”…yes we actually call ourselves that), and other like-minded people via IG. Within a matter of hours, well…I had received a huge outpouring of love and support and comments like “go go momma!”. Well, okay so no one actually left that comment on FB or IG…but a friend who I texted about my morning said it.
And I meant what I said: we rarely talk about the hard stuff, and it’s normally after our hair is done, the makeup on and the house clean…in other words, way, way after it’s over. Not immediately after the craziness…or in this case, in the small break from it.
My day didn’t get any less crazy. I ended up dropping the younger two off at their respective daycare/day camps (aka BEST DECISION I EVER MADE), then drove over an hour to take my oldest to a doctor appointment that lasted seven minutes. One hour there and one hour back for SEVEN MINUTES. But it’s her psychiatrist, and considering child psychs are an endangered species in these parts, my daughter will actually TALK TO this psych, I don’t mind driving an hour only to have to sit in front of a computer monitor…because the doctor is actually two hours away, they Skype her into this office for appointments two days a week. But it works! And Lis talks to her! And in the last year we’ve been seeing her we’ve found new ways to help Lis and the rest of cope with the fun/hell/challenge that is autism+puberty.
And since they are working on the roads and we live in a tourism area, we left early…only to not hit a single construction zone or car packed with beach chairs and suitcases. So we went to the local library for Lis to find some books she needs for her summer work (Lis’ school and summer homework is another post entirely), then off to the appointment, then home for a quick powernap, then off to the high school to figure out her schedule, then to our actual local (as in-closer than an hour away) library for the rest of her books, then the grocery store for dinner stuff, then pick up Tommy, pick up Ani, then home to make fish tacos with a toddler on my hip, then bath, bedtime, dishes, emails, more laundry…is it any wonder I collapsed on my bed later than night?
And these are my days…every day. These are most moms (and dads) days. It’s non-stop crazy…to the point, we simply learn to deal with crazy and prepare for the REAL crazy stuff…emergencies and illnesses and unexpected company, and schoolwork that is due TOMORROW and your boss giving you an unreal deadline and all the million of other things that happen. And we don’t talk about them. We only talk about the times everyone is smiling, clothes all clean, no one arguing, asking for something for the 1000000th time…and you know what? Those moments last just long enough to take the photo we post.
The photo above? It’s how I look 90% of the time. Not gonna lie. The morning I described? It happens five or six days out of seven. The day spent running all over doing all those errands and yet not feeling like anything actually got done? It’s a daily occurrence. And yet we don’t talk about it. We don’t share those days. We shy away from posting those pictures. Why? I don’t know about you, but I think we all could use some more #realtalk.

Life…It Keeps Coming!

LAWD….Y’all….so much for my promise to post more often, huh? Every time I think life is gonna slow down…life throws me another curve! So much has happened in the last month…I need to get better about making time to update yall!

So what’s new? Well, I’m starting a new position soon that will require me to spend more time outside the home…a big switch since I haven’t done this in several years. But it’s a job I’ve done before (with another company), and LOVED, so I’m looking forward to doing it again, this time just a bit differently. I did all the new hire paperwork online, and so far everything I’ve read makes sense. Plus I have flexibility with my schedule, which I need with three kids going in three different directions!

With me working that means Tommy gets to go to “school”, aka daycare full-time. I think he will love it, we visited the place and he immediately found a friend and was happy to go along with the other kids. I’m looking forward to him finding playmates his own age as well since currently my not-even-two-year-old son thinks he’s twelve…because his playmates now are sisters and their friends, aka tweens and teens.

And school is out for the summer…we are preparing to move one into middle school and one into high school…and I’m totally not ready to have a high schooler! And now it’s summer and both girls have things they want to do, things they are signed up for already and have already said “I’m bored” enough to drive me nuts.

So that’s life here…it goes on!


What is GRIT(S)?

I’ve been thinking about the name I chose for this site…”GRITS Online”. As every girl born south of the Mason-Dixon knows, GRITS stands for “Girls Born In The South”. And yes that is me. That is so me, that even when I don’t have my accent going, a simple “I’m originally from the South/Mississippi” has people nodding as if that one fact explains everything they know about me. It doesn’t explain everything, but it does explain a lot. What can I say, you can take the girl out of the South, but you can not take the South out of the girl!

Lately I’ve come to realize that GRIT(S) also means something else. It means those of us that have been through a rough time, are going through a rough time, or know that life is full of rough times, and yet we simply grit our teeth, grit our faith and grit in the belief that it will one day get better and keep going. The dictionary defines “grit” as “firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck.

I can not think of a better way to want to be described. I was recently talking with a friend who wasn’t afraid to call me out on my flaws. I love/hate/love those in my life who do that for me. At that moment I was leaning more towards the “hate” part until I was reminded that even my flaws can be a positive thing. I literally stopped formulating the diatribe of cleverly worded insults I was forming in my mind when I heard that. And suddenly the “hate” went back to “love” and then also more than a tad “annoyed” because darn it-I had a really good response formed!

When I told my friend that they laughed and said “That’s one of the things I love about you.” Well, there went any ounce of annoyance and my heart was once again full of love and gratitude for those God has placed in my life who aren’t afraid to remind me of my strengths and my weaknesses. And it’s both of those that make up “GRIT”. It’s the weaknesses in ourselves that we acknowledge and deal with and our strengths we use to overcome whatever life has dealt us.

So I’m proposing a new definition of the term GRITSIn addition to the whole “Girls Raised in The South”, how about it also stand for:

Girls/Guys Reveling In Their Stamina

And y’all…guess what another word for “stamina” is? GRIT.

So I now declare us the #gritsgang. I encourage y’all to share what you’re doing to overcome your rough moments with the hashtag, and I promise to be completely open with y’all with what I’m facing. For instance this week along I’m dealing with:

-School IEP meetings-always a good outcome, never a good thing to prep for

-Finances suddenly changing.

-Accepting a new freelance job that has me currently undergoing twelve hours of online training. I literally have a sign taped to my door that says “Do not disturb-text only if emergency!” Luckily The Ex has had the kids the last two days! It also meant having the cable/internet guys out here twice and the phone guys out here to help me move wires and set up my new home office-in my bedroom. This job also means committing actual day and time blocks, something I’m not one to do since my schedule changes so randomly from day to day, with three kids and an Ex who’s own work schedule is never the same two days in a row.

-Several close relationships/friendships being redefined. Sure it happens, and yes we all survive them, but it’s never an easy process.

-Accepting that it’s a holiday weekend and spring break starts Friday which means I have ten days of three kids home ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT and I’m not ready for this. It’s also a reminder Summer is getting closer and I’M NOT READY FOR THIS. And I love our church, it’s like our extended family. But this weekend means we will be there for the next four days at some point or another. Once I’m there I will love every single second-Easter is truly one of my favorite holy days and this past Sunday being Palm Sunday is always one of my favorite Sunday Services, and I got to be a part of three amazing services last week that left me so spirit filled I thought I might bust. But looking at the calendar and seeing all those dates I get overwhelmed, especially when I also know we have school and soccer practice (why did I let my child manage the team?) and shopping and errands so much else at the same time.

-My lawn guy’s mower broke. This might be the thing that breaks me because my OCD is strong so seeing my lawn unruly drives me nuts. I love our normal lawn guy, he’s so amazing and sweet and just as OCD as me about it which means I never have to worry if he’s gonna show up-he just somehow knows the grass is getting long and I hear him outside on his riding mower taming my almost 3/4 acre lot. But now I have to find a new lawn guy for the interim and I don’t wanna! I know #firstworldproblem if there ever was one, right? But hey…sometimes it’s the little things that push us over the top!

Stay strong Grits Gang!

PS-I promise I’ll come up with a catchy logo and slogan for us soon.

And Away We Go…

Here we go…the official first post of GRITS. To kick things off, I thought I’d answer the question I get most often asked in real life, which is:

“If you’re such a southern girl, then why live in the Yankee north?”

Because of this:

IMG_8309The beach. Yes, we have beaches in the south…but they are so far away, and so limited.

I took that photo last week, by the way. Yes, it was March (barely, but still). Spring and Fall are some of my favorite times to go to the beach and just enjoy all that it has to bring, like peace and calm and just…happy! I can’t explain it but I know I’m not alone because so many of us have the same reaction when our toes hit the sand and we simply stop and stare out over that huge expanse of water.


He may not yet be two, but Tommy loves the beach already. He can’t help himself. So when I grabbed him, our ancient bag of ancient beach toys, one of my close friends and her daughter who is around the same age (and yes we’ve already arranged their marriage-don’t worry! LOL), he was more than happy to plop himself down and start digging. I may have to invest in a sandbox of some sort for our backyard, as that kid could play for hours in the sand with a shovel and not much else.

So when people ask me why I live in the “Yankee north”, as my cousins like to tease me, I simply say: the beach.