Turning “Work” Off

Let’s get a few things straight:

I love my career.

I love technology.

I love social media.

What I struggle with is setting boundaries of when I am and am not available. I started working when I was 16. That was 22 years ago. Back then, cell phones were analog and huge. No one called you. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I only had that phone for potential emergencies when I was on the road.

Fast Forward: I have answered my phone during a long-planned family vacation in Sea World to…

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Two Homes | Co-Parenting Successfully

Article originally featured in Stellar Day Magazine by Norina Verduzco-Murphy, MSW, LCSW. We are thrilled to feature it here again!

One of the questions I am asked most often in my field of work is “what’s better for the kids, an amicable divorce or staying together despite constant fighting?”  At face value, the answer most people would lean towards is an amicable divorce, right?  Problem is, not all divorces are amicable.  When two…

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Mia’s Butterfly


Butterflies are beautiful.  It goes without saying.  They are symbols of new beginnings, transformation, and represent the hope of bursting forth from a restrictive cocoon to take flight into a brave, new world.  All very beautiful images indeed. My Mia, now 13 years old, has always reminded me of butterflies ever since her fascination with the butterfly garden kits began when she was little, allowing her to raise and feed caterpillars in a protected environment, watching them transform into butterflies before being released to the outdoors.  As we reflected on…

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For All Women on Mother’s Day

I haven’t made it through a Mother’s Day service without crying in years. Even now that we’ve been blessed with our beautiful girl, my heart is still heavy every Mother’s Day. It just touches that tender part of my heart that bears the scar of loss and struggle. I hope this day never looses that heaviness for me. I don’t want to forget the many women who feel hurt, insignificant, or conflicted when it comes to Mother’s Day. For some this special day is marked by brunch, flowers, and hand-made cards. However, other women carry heavy burdens and…

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Intentional Playtime

Let’s be real…it’s HARD to be a stay at home mom!

One of the things that I am most grateful for is the fact that I am able to stay at home with my kids. By choice. I know a lot of mom’s choose not to or cannot and that is perfectly O.K.! We are all different. None of us are perfect; yet, we are the perfect parents for our kids. I am beyond amazed at moms who are able to work outside of the home and love on their kids– talk about balance and giving up control. Amazing. I…

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An Independent Freefall | A Journey Through Postpartum Depression

Whether it was nature or nurture, I certainly developed a knack for being an independent girl. I was proud of the fact that I needed very little help with schoolwork, paying my own way (once I was out of the house of course), cooking, cleaning, working, you name it. I was always the one who helped other people and it felt so good to be so responsible and independent. Even in my marriage I have spent the last almost 10 years doing most things for myself, cringing when I needed help from my husband.

All this changed for me when…

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Butterfly Wonderland

We went to Butterfly Wonderland for the first time yesterday! I was actually nervous about taking my youngest kiddos there, to be totally honest. I just thought my five and two year old would for SURE wreak some kind of havoc and end up murdering butterfly’s in the process of flailing about in tremendous fear of the winged creatures.

Butterfly Wonderland, Stellar Day Blog

But the opposite happened.


Isn’t that the truth?? Man alive. There were SO many butterflies! But…

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Stop. Breathe. Feel.

Mommy life is bananas, yo.  First, you go through pregnancy and lose half of your brain.  Your body shifts and changes to the point that you don’t really recognize or feel like you will ever be you again.  Then you have your little bundle of joy and depending on what your particular batch of hormones are, you lose the other 1/2 of your brain, fight off sleep exhaustion to look at this tiny miracle, figure out how on earth to keep them alive and keep your sanity, and still try to be a decent human for your husband to…

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Self Care: The Importance of Putting YOU First

Before I became a mom, I did not know the meaning or importance behind self care. Sure, I took my multivitamin and made sure to brush my teeth daily.  I guess what I mean is– the true meaning of taking care of my own needs in order to flourish in all areas of my life. I learned this lesson the hard way! Like many first-time moms, I was in the trenches of the 4th trimester with a colicky newborn and the sleep deprivation was starting to break me.  All I could think about was making sure my baby was taken…

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Love You Forever

My poor son. I have become that creepy, stalker momma like the mother in the Love You Forever book by Robert Munsch.

I used to cringe at all that overly done, overly sentimental hugging thing going on in that book, but now that I have a boy I totally get it!  The story is about a mom who goes into her son’s room every night to steal hugs from him while he’s asleep as a baby, throughout his teen years when he’s getting into all sorts of mischief and even when he’s a grown man with his own place.  And…

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Experiences Over Things

Let’s be honest, my kids have WAY too many toys! I try to be minimalistic when it comes to the kids’ “stuff.” Everything can pretty much fit on 1 large shelf but with our recent move and unloading boxes and boxes of toys, it hit me. Or, maybe it was the fact that we live in a country now where toys are so expensive that most kids only have a few. For their whole life, I want to raise grateful kids that are not consumed with materialism (which can be hard to do in our culture!) and who love to…

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I AM With You

There I was, standing in front of the yogurt at the grocery store, tears welling up in my eyes. Now, blueberry greek doesn’t usually bring me to tears, but at this time, I was on the verge of breaking from more than I felt I could handle. Allow me to back up a hair.

This was several months ago. We were desperate for a few necessities and dinner was a mystery, so off to the grocery store I went. With both kiddos in tow (3 and 1.5 years at the time), I came up with a genius plan to get…

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Thirteen Again

Thirteen Again

About 10 years ago, someone told me I look like Jennifer Garner and I have held on too tightly to that compliment over the years.  Her movie, 13 Going on 30, where her adult body becomes 13 again emotionally and mentally, is one of my favorite rom-coms.  At this stage of my parenting life, I literally do feel 13 Again as I relive the emotional ups and downs that come with helping my girls confront friendships that may not be so healthy for them at the time being….

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Family Dreams

My husband and I were sitting on the floor together playing games with our kids on New Years day. They are little; still toddlers and we were talking about what we really wanted for their future. What dreams we had for our family, for them before they head off to college. Even though that seems so far away, as we approach the preschool/kindergarten years, it hit us that there are things we really do want for them…things that are bigger than us and our own dreams. Our family dreams.

As we talked about the year ahead and set goals, we…

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Setting Healthy Boundaries

Living in the most “connected” world the Earth has ever known, boundaries have taken a huge hit. Obviously, I’m using the word connected here loosely and with a bit of sarcasm, because I feel our tech savvy generation is actually one of the most disconnected from human interaction.

Boundaries are important– they’re safeguards to protect our families and ourselves. “Boundaries” is also my word for 2016. I am personally on a journey to have more separation between work and home, and to spend more intentional time with my family, so I don’t miss out on these precious early years while…

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