35 Years Young: What My Life Has Taught Me About True Beauty

Lately, my children have been telling me that I look beautiful. I have to admit, I take a moment – just a few seconds – each time they look at me with those sparkling, wondrous eyes and truly genuine smiles, and compliment my appearance in unadulterated admiration and awe, and I bask in the feeling it gives me. It’s been a long time since someone has acknowledged my outer beauty. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know the reason why.

From the moment my son was born nearly 6 years ago, motherhood just swallowed me whole. It consumed all of me, wrapped me up in its massive arms and held me hostage. It took hold of my heart, and my love became singularly focused on my little creation. It syphoned my energy – every ounce of it – and left me with what so often in those early days felt like the shell of a person, depleted and barely functioning, but surviving on baby snuggles and a euphoric new sense of worth. In other, far less poetic words, I looked like a walking zombie.

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My Surprising Journey to Better Health and Wellness, Part 2

If you missed part 1 of my surprising journey to better health and wellness, please read that first, here

I left my doctor’s office, thinking I would just cure myself with nutrition and fitness (nevermind the fact that I loathed working out and loved donuts), and got myself on the wait list to begin the partial inpatient day hospital in January. And unexpectedly, things began to spiral really, really quickly. My mood worsened, and it took nothing to set me off. I was snapping at everyone, and basically woke up yelling. Sun up to sun down, I was yelling. If any one thing went slightly wrong, I collapsed into a puddle of tears. Every single tiny inconvenience – or anything really – even a child asking a question – was incredibly irritating to me. The process to get into the day hospital (read: insurance nightmare) was enormously challenging for my increasingly fragile state, and I remember standing at my kitchen island, ugly crying tears of frustration, so many times. I was starting to question my decision to skip medication, because I still hadn’t gotten off the couch, or removed my face from the piles of candy I was eating.

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My Surprising Journey To Better Health And Wellness, Part 1

Hi and welcome to Daily Mom’s brand new, first ever personal column – written by yours truly, Heather. I am beyond excited to share my health and wellness story with you, and you can follow along here on Daily Mom, and on Instagram. I’ve been on an interesting journey this past year, and this column, Wellness Wednesday with Heather, will take you along the journey with me. Overall, this column will be about where I’ve come from, where I’ve gone, and where I’m going – all related to health and wellness, fitness and nutrition.


Health and wellness – more specifically, fitness and nutrition, saved my life. I don’t say that to be dramatic, I say it because it’s true. Never in my life would I have expected to experience the journey I have lived over the past year – or more accurately, the past six years.  But before we get into the here and now, we have to go way back six years ago, when my first son, Benjamin, was born.

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Dealing With A Child Who Is Exactly Like You (& You Can’t Stand It)

Whether you had an “oopsy” or methodically, thought out, well-planned pregnancy, your bundle of joy, snuggled in your womb is just waiting to be born. Your anticipation of the excitement, joys, scary ‘what if’ moments, and the over flowing emotions of love are ready and eager to pour out all over this child. Well… that is until just a few years later as their personality really is developing – it comes out… just like that water balloon that was filled just a wee bit too much. Next thing you know… POP! As clear as day, the voice of your mother fills your ears… just you wait till you have your own! They’ll turn out just like you. And she was right. 

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The Demise of the Retail Store & the Rise of Online Shopping

It’s 4 a.m. and still dark outside when my mother sneaks into my room and tells me to quickly get dressed…it is the infamous day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday! As the oldest of 5 and only girl, I get the privilege of leaving the house before everyone awakes with my mom to meet my grandmother and aunt at Toys ‘R Us where we will shop for my brothers and cousins. After Toys ‘R Us, we will eat an early breakfast at Cracker Barrel before heading to the mall for the rest of the day. With Christmas right around the corner and my mom not being one to plan ahead for such things, this month will be busy and exciting as we spend weekends and late nights preparing for the holidays. I await this time in anxious anticipation as I love to shop!

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A Mother’s Perspective In the Wake of The Las Vegas Shootings

As my husband carried our sleeping 5-year-old son up the stairs and into his bedroom from the car late last night, I breathed a motherly sigh of relief. He had just returned home from his first fishing and camping trip with his daddy and his uncles. While I trusted those three men full-heartedly with the safety and well-being of our little boy, I have to admit, I was a nervous wreck all weekend thinking about all of the things that could go wrong in that state park, 4 hours away from home in a remote area with little to no cell phone coverage. But they brought my baby home, safe and sound, freshly bathed and in his footed fleece dinosaur pajamas, surely dreaming of the campfire stories that were told, the marshmallows they roasted and the rainbow trout he caught and reeled in all by himself. I could rest easy that night. My child was back in the safety of his home, his memory bank as full as my jittery heart.

He bounced right out of bed early this morning, eager to tell me stories about his weekend adventures as he got ready for the start of a new week at school. I groggily sat down next to him on the couch, coffee in hand, and turned the TV on to catch bits and pieces of the news through his animated stories.

“Over 50 Dead and 200 Injured In Largest Mass Shooting In US History” 

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20 Things that are a Mom’s BFF (That Aren’t People)

There are things in this world that we moms cling to for our sanity. Each one of us has something different that allows us to escape the realities of poopy diapers, fights over the same Barbie shoe, and children who think sleep is the actual devil. But there are certain things that are universal to all moms, things that we can all relate to, knowingly nodding our heads yes as we remember that time when our child also threw an epic temper tantrum in the pillow aisle of Target. They are things that we see, do, and keep close to ourselves because they are what makes us feel like more than “mom” or simply allow us to let our minds rests for five seconds. And like our real-life BFFs, these non-human BFFs listen to our venting, take our minds off the piles of laundry and dishes, and make us feel like actual people. 

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My Baby Died from Cancer: A Mom’s Raw Story

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Last September I didn’t even know that this was a “thing.” I didn’t know that there was a whole month dedicated to children who were dealing with the unimaginable pain of treatments for their cancers. I didn’t know there was a time each year where the families affected by pediatric cancers make a push for more awareness, research, and cures for their babies. And how should I know? Last year at this time I had two healthy children- a three year old little boy who loved his baby sister- then only 2 months old- so fiercely that it made my heart skip a beat. Never in a million years did I think that I would be sharing this story; that I would be one of those parents whose child was diagnosed with cancer.

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Life As An Interracial Couple: What We Didn’t Realize

“Hmm, I wonder what it’d be like to marry a white guy?” – said me never. Seriously, have you ever thought about what it “would be like” to marry someone of a different race? Perhaps, there may be an underlying curiosity vibe that’s wondering how different another race is. However, when considering the mechanics of a male and female, coming together in love, it’s pretty much the status quo across the board. But there are a few, five to be exact, key things we just didn’t realize as an interracial couple!

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The Woes of a SAHM With a Work-From-Home-Husband

I love being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). I really do. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have my struggles with it and it presents its own unique stresses and issues. But, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, it really does float my boat. However, this post isn’t about the joys of being a SAHM. It’s about the tongue-in-cheek woes of being a SAHM with a work-from-home-husband (WFHH).

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Real Life Texts From A First-Time-Mom

Mommin’ isn’t easy – especially for first-time moms. In the few short days (or day) to follow the birth of your fresh, little bundle, you have a handful of round-the-clock doctors and nurses peeking their heads into your room every 10 minutes, changing pads, taking temps, primping and pruning, and answering all of your questions. But the second your OBGYN clears you and your new babe, you’re patted on the back and gently pushed out the door with a “farewell” and “good luck.” Now what?

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An open letter to my introverted son as he enters Kindergarten

I don’t remember ever feeling as alive as I did the moment you were placed into my arms. Everything before you – experiencing every first, momentous occasion during my childhood, my first awkward kiss in high school, falling in love (not once, but twice) in college, standing at the church alter in a breathtaking couture gown and marrying your Daddy in front of all of our loved ones, spotlights shining down on me as I stood on countless stages throughout my life in front of hundreds of people – none of it compared to the day you were born, my baby boy. You made me a mother, the greatest role I’ll ever play on life’s stage. And since that day, motherhood has ignited a flame in my soul and has let me truly feel emotions I never knew existed.

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My 4 Month Old Cheated Death Three Times- And Here’s Why She’s Still Alive

This article was originally featured on San Diego City Moms Blog

Our daughter came unexpectedly at 35 weeks. My pregnancy wasn’t the easiest of the 4- my blood pressure was an issue after 25 weeks causing me to have to do ante-natal appointments once a week after 30 weeks with week 35 being the most eventful after being told my blood pressure was dangerously high and they needed to risk a premature baby to ensure I was safe. But our little Brooklynn was born perfectly healthy, happy and strong – a strength we didn’t know she would need more than anything else.

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A Song of Motherhood

Do you have songs that take you back to another time or place in your life? We all do, I imagine. My life has a soundtrack. And while it may only play in my head, it is always there, and just a few notes from a song can instantly transport me right to where I was when that song became a part of me. I feel all the feelings again. Memories, no matter how distant, become crystal clear when a song plays. One song will forever hold the space in me for when I was a new mother, Home by Phillip Phillips.

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Prepping for Pre-K and Keeping it Minimal

I feel like it was just yesterday that my son was still latched onto me breastfeeding and I researching on my phone looking into all the different schooling options he would have when he finally reached that age. In hindsight, this is comical because it seems like I blinked and then there we were last year sending him off on his very first day of preschool. And now, I have blinked again and here we are about to start his second year of school in a Junior Kindergarten program at a local private school.

I have spent much of the last year working on simplifying, minimizing, and organizing our lives and our home. About a year or so ago, I decided that I had had enough with all the extra stuff or “fluff” as I like to call it. I felt that we were consuming too much, purchasing too much, and holding onto things for no real reason. In an effort to find a bit more peace of mind for my family and to show my son what is truly important and worth valuing in this life, I have worked very hard to clear through the clutter and focus on the things we really need. Figuring out what we really need and what constitutes fluff for our family is an everyday learning process, and with back to school upon us it has given me a fantastic opportunity to re-evaluate what is REALLY essential for going into the new school year.

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