2016: My Personal Reflection And What Needs To Change In 2017


I recently had a mom approach me at a birthday party asking me to please sum up my year in December. She had read my post from New Year’s last year: This is the year I put myself back on my to-do list, and she was dying to know if I stuck to my goals.

I don’t know what you have in mind for the next year, but I highly recommend you set a few goals. You might be surprised with yourself once 2018 hits.

Last year I made a pretty great bucket list for 2016. It came from a very honest place, somewhere deep down that was feeling a bit empty and a little joy-less.

I promised myself I would put myself back on my to-do list. What did that mean by that?

I would be more creative. Did you know that my background is in fine arts, and once upon a time I used to be an Interior Designer and mural painter? I had vowed that I would create some art in 2016, (something that I haven’t done since I was pregnant with our twins).

At first when I started examining my year a couple weeks ago, I thought I failed at this one. I hadn’t created any art. But the more I thought about it, I kept wondering why that creative hole in my heart not only felt full, but it was spilling over. How was I satisfying my creative urge?

Then it hit me… YouTube and video editing.

This new creative outlet has not only added the visual creation process (editing) that I need in my life, but it also solved a big problem about Nesting Story which I had been struggling with. It has allowed me to share my story in real time, now that my twins aren’t babies anymore.

So what is the takeaway from this? Creativity, (or exercise, or learning, or a myriad of other things), doesn’t have to look exactly like it once did in your life. It can take different forms and you need to make sure you embrace whatever that might be.

I would laugh more. I am, kind of. Mike and I have this running inside joke about the fact that I rarely laugh out loud. Really, I don’t. I tend to just say, “that’s so funny.” Mike told me about this, (because I didn’t realize I was doing it), a few years back, when he got me to watch an episode of Scrubs, and how Mandy Moore’s character did this as well.

I have no idea at what point in my life that I ditched a good chuckle and replaced it with narrating humour.

I am getting better at actually laughing, but it’s taking time. I think it may be a control thing, but slowly I am learning to relax and have fun.

laughing mom

I will worry less about work and find the joy again. This has probably been my biggest achievement this year. Blogging and Creating on YouTube is a bizarre job. One week you can be going viral, barely keeping up with your success, and the next week can be crickets, while you wonder if what you are saying and creating is even relevant.

For a long time, I felt that I had to say “yes” to every opportunity that came my way. I thought it was the only way to become successful, and that a pay check was more important that my happiness.

Well, guess what? That is not true at all. I don’t really share too much about the business side of what I do, but I will give you a small glimpse into the past year for me.

2016 started out full of potential. I had a lot of opportunities and revenue streams, but I was over-working myself and spreading myself too thin.

I was trying to focus on everything at once, and managing my blog, and social media platforms okay-ish, (YouTube wasn’t part of my plan then). But the further away I got from having twins, I was starting to feel like I had said what I wanted to say when I was pregnant with them. I was finding myself in some partnerships where I felt like I wasn’t in control, and what I was doing was starting to feel like painful work and less of a passion, which it once was.


So, I first decided to focus on the partnerships that I truly loved, and left the ones that weren’t the right fit. Then I made the decision to stop pursuing writing a book with my literary agent. I just knew that my heart wasn’t in it… at least at this point in my journey.

That’s when I started to discover video, and a whole new world opened up for me. But by mid-summer I experienced another blow. A large AD agency I was aligned with, (on the blog side), went bankrupt and despite many finished projects, I wouldn’t be paid. This had a ripple effect on my family and even changed my personal relationship with blogging.

But, in the end, here I am. I have taken control. I am learning how to say no to the wrong things and yes to the right things. I am learning that you have to choose one area to have laser focus on, and then do everything else as best you can, while keeping your eye on the prize. I have learned that passion is everything. Not quantity, or money… passion. Especially if you are self-employed, and eventually if you stick with what you love, success will come too.

I will worry less about my marriage and my kids and just enjoy life with my family. I think I can finally drop the mic with this one. If you have been following my blog for sometime, you will know that it hasn’t always been paradise around here.

After my twin pregnancy and surviving the first couple years with twins, (that’s four kids in total), my marriage was rocky and I wasn’t enjoying my kids… just parenting them.

It took a lot of work in 2015, and work to this day, to turn my marriage around and make it stronger than ever. But here we are, and I don’t over analyze each disagreement. We are truly finding our ebb and flow, now that we are on the other side.

In the past year I have truly learned how to enjoy life with my kids. Maybe it was our twins learning to walk, I’m not really sure when the shift came. We enjoyed an old-school, sprinkler and popsicles in the backyard summer together, and now that winter has hit, we are enjoying other new things together, like cooking and playing in the snow.


I am honestly excited about what 2017 holds for us.


You can read more about what I accomplished in 2016, and what I highly suggest you add to your 2017 bucket list on Baby Center: 5 things I did for myself in 2016, and you should in 2017

But it hasn’t all been rainbows and sunshine… I had vowed that I would obsess less about my weight and calories. But truthfully, at times I did throughout 2016. But every time I got close to my goal…


I would give up and balloon back to about 10 pounds heavier and a lot weaker than my goal.

before photo

I have really spent a lot of time pondering if I am happy with my physical self at the moment and here is the truth… I could be, but I don’t want to settle. I am curious what my body is capable of. It isn’t a vanity thing. It’s almost a life after having four kids thing.

Something has to change. So, are you curious about what my 2017 goal is? It’s something that is a deep rooted problem. Something that I have dealt with my whole life and if I am going to reach my goals, whether it’s my weight, or even long-term success with my business, this one thing has to be conquered.

I must stop self-sabotaging.

I am my own worst enemy sometimes. It’s driving me crazy and becoming a real problem. This will be a topic I will be covering in 2017 and I’d love for you to follow along. I have already started on my journey, reading books and taking control of some of my biggest problem areas. I will be sharing every detail with you, including why and how to stop, starting next week.

So, 2017… I am ready for you.

Don’t forget to like Nesting Story on Facebook, so that you don’t miss an article and subscribe to Nesting Story on YouTube so that you can follow my progress in realtime in the vlogs. I will also be posting on Instagram the entire time, so come say hi!

A Day In The Life 3 (Video) – With Four Kids, Including Twin Toddlers

Untitled design-14

In our family’s most recent “day-in-the-life” video, what was supposed to be a typical day, ended up being a day home with a sick twin.

Before starting the day, I took some time for myself, including fitting in a workout, throwing on some makeup and even doing my hair. But a cold had been circling our house, and when Mike and I walk into Mia and Everly’s room we make a grim discovery.

Follow along as I juggle everything from sick kids, to work, play time, date night and even some time for myself.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Nesting Story on You Tube! You can also catch daily behind the scenes moments with our family on Snapchat >> nestingstory.


Why Juggling Being a SAHM And A WAHM Was Destroying My Love For Motherhood And Sabotaging My Business

Office - Nesting StoryThis morning my six-year-old son, Holden, was crawling around our kitchen, pretending to be a spy, in hopes that he could scare his father. This was going on as my five-year-old daughter, Beau, was trying to assert her independence (as she should) by carrying her full glass of orange juice from our kitchen island to the table, as I busied myself bringing our twin toddlers their breakfast.

Suddenly my son heard footsteps, as my husband approached the kitchen. Holden stood up and ran while looking back behind his shoulder, running right into Beau. Orange juice went everywhere and Beau was dripping head to toe.

I screamed “Holddddeeeeen!!!” Then two things followed that shouldn’t have.

First, both Holden and Beau started to panic, saying “sorry, sorry, sorry!” While they each had a look of sheer terror in their eyes. The next was something broke inside of me. I didn’t loose it, like my kids thought I would, and were far too used to. I didn’t cry either.

Remember when the “islands of personality” start to crumble in Pixar’s Inside Out? I felt like a part of me inside crumbled, and I thought to myself, “I can’t do this! I hate motherhood!”

For the last couple of weeks I have been struggling with increasing anxiety. A heaviness on my chest that I have not been able to shake. It may have started with a snarky comment I received from a mom on my You Tube channel…

I’m confused! :-/
You are a blogger, but do you get paid for that?
Your oldest goes to school, then Beau goes to daycare, and you most days have a nanny for the twins?
In this vlog, it’s spring break, so all of the kids go to a full day of daycare, while you go shopping, get ready, and have lunch with friends?
Do you ever just spend a day with your kids, playing, and hanging out!?
I’m a mom to 5 kids beautiful children(18,16,13,12, and 7)
and when they were younger, I was a single mother, who also started a blogging website and worked a full time job.Weekends were spent with my kids and I didn’t blog at all! Since I worked 60 hours a week, I didn’t get a lot of quality time with my kids, so the weekends were all about them!!!
I just don’t get why, if you’re a SAHM, why your children have a nanny and or go to daycare all of the time!? I understand we only see 10-20 minutes of your life, but it seems as though, you get rid of your kids as often as possible!

I rarely feel like I have to explain myself, or respond to mean comments. But this one shook me to the core. This mom had seen tiny snippets of my life in my “day in the life” videos I occasionally make. She didn’t have the whole story. Here was my response…

Hi there. Yes, I do get paid. I worked for a long time unpaid and now I am creating content for three websites. At this point it is a full-time paid job which has added a second income. For a long time I worked while my kids napped, or in the evenings and the other two were in school. In the summer (video 1 you are referring to) we had a part-time nanny for a couple of months, which didn’t work out. I worked for 3 months without childcare and now have our twins in daycare 9 AM – 12 PM each weekday, with occasional full days (depending on deadlines).
I most definitely spend a lot of each day and all day every weekend with my kids.
I rarely use my “work time” to go out with friends or run errands, but when I choose which day to film a day in the life, I will often pick a day with a lot of variety so that the video isn’t just me typing at my desk.
I did the SAHM thing when my first was born, for three years, and it wasn’t for me. It sent me into a depression. It truly is the hardest job, and I knew that I needed to find a balance that not only suited me, but my family too.
So, although I am at home all day, I am not a SAHM shipping my kids off. I am a hard working WAHM.

But this comment, my recent work-load and tomorrow’s launch of my new website and rebranding, has really had me thinking lately. What am I doing? I am now lucky enough to say that I, as a blogger, am bringing in enough paid work each month to work full-time. Yet, why am I paying for childcare and still trying to do so much of the SAHM thing during the day, while working my ass off again at my computer most nights?


I am a people pleaser. Or maybe I can finally start saying, I am a former people pleaser. This is something that I have struggled with since childhood. Initially I was pegged as the peace-keeper, but as I grew, my wise mother started pointing out that I was people pleasing too much, and needed to stand up for myself more.

I have come a long way, but even now as a grown adult, I am finding myself people pleasing once again, especially while trying to carve out my path as a full-time working mom, who happens to have her office based out of her home. I am constantly allowing myself to get distracted with lengthly personal phone calls from family, and occasionally be persuaded to meet friends during work hours.

Yesterday I spent the whole afternoon cleaning out my car. The sun was shining, I saw the opportunity and I grabbed it. Last week I went grocery shopping twice, worked out and showered daily, and went shopping for my kids, all during work hours. I am pretty sure if I had a 9am – 5pm office job with a boss, I’d be fired by now.

But when my kids get home from school and daycare, I am stressed beyond belief and a short-tempered ogre, watching the clock, wondering how early is too early to get my kids to bed so I can get back to work?

What the hell am I doing?

After spending days being too distracted to enjoy or complete anything, because the running conversations and arguments in my head were just too loud, I asked myself, “what do you want?”

The truth is, I am completely jealous of the Sheryl Sandbergs and Marissa Mayers of this world. No one questions them about just spending a day playing with their kids. Okay, maybe we all questioned Marissa Mayers’ statement about “taking limited time away” and “working throughout” her twin pregnancy, for a minute. But we applaud them as hard-working women, who also happen to be mothers.

Why have I been creating this massive grey area when it came to me working?

What I really want is to create clear lines. I will be a mom certain hours of the day, and be 100% focused on work, for the other parts. I will stop muddying the waters.

Don’t get me wrong, I will still be the parent who adjusts their schedule when a child is home sick, or has a pressing appointment. That is, at least until I become Mike’s sugar mama.

This will take time to figure out what I let go of, because I know I can’t have it all, and how to adjust my schedule and create stronger boundaries. But at least I have a goal and know what I want.

So to all of the moms out there, who love their kids, but know they want that career, especially as an entrepreneur… it’s okay to stop people pleasing and put your foot down. It’s okay to completely switch hats instead of wearing two at once all of the time.

Let’s drop the guilt and carve out our own path.

Wearing Many Hats As A Mother Can Feel Impossible Some Days

Wearing lots of hatsLast week I froze. I froze and my brain couldn’t seem to process simple tasks. I stood there in my kitchen, with my hands on the counter while my four kids were asking for “more snacks” and “what’s for dinner?”

The dishes were still piled up beside the sink from breakfast, the house looked like a tornado had gone through it, and I couldn’t seem to process what I should do next.

I walked from room to room without completing one a simple task.

Each day I wear many hats. I am a blogger, writer, entrepreneur, business woman, story teller, daughter, sister, friend, mother, wife, caretaker, nurse, janitor, chauffeur, chef, and a therapist, just to name a few.

Throughout the day my brain has to shift into different gears; planning meals, dressing, cleaning and feeding kids, then switch into a momprenuer for different segments throughout the day, before switching gears back into a mom and then often back into a business woman/wife in the evening.

On that particular day last week, my brain couldn’t seem to make the switch. The gears got stuck and I froze in neutral.

Deadlines, ideas, pitches and to-do lists still filled my head while I was supposed to be thinking about dinner, snacks, baths, homework, and spending quality time with my kids.

Working mom

But on this day it all felt like too much.

My four-year-old daughter began screaming, yelling that her throat hurt and she felt so sick. She needed me to shift into nurse mode. I momentarily snapped out of it, assessed that my three other kids were safe and secure, then scooped her up, carried her to her room, tucked her into bed, took her temperature and gave her medicine.

I told her I’d be up in a bit with her dinner and retreated back downstairs. Downstairs to all of my other responsibilities.

It all felt like too much. After another long pause I was able to get a few basic tasks done.

It was time to make the decision on how I would process this feeling of being overwhelmed. Do I  just let the tears flow like I did the previous week? Did I have the energy to snap out of it and take charge? Or do I just numb myself and let all of the extra stuff go?

I made the decision to walk away. Walk away from the mess. Walk away from the to-do list, the emails, the unfolded laundry and focus on my family and my time-sensitive work deadlines.

I had to shelf a bunch of my hats, and focus on one task at a time.

That’s the thing. You can have it all, but never at the exact same time. Something always has to take a back seat. Something always has to wait.

I am learning that if I am going to follow my two dreams: being a mother and a successful entrepreneur, I am going to have to learn that sometimes the extra noise can wait.

I DON’T Do It All

I don't do it all collageI owe my readers an apology. I recently had a phone call with a new mom who was struggling. Then she asked me something that made me realize that I have been leaving a large unintentional piece of my puzzle out. She asked: “If I am struggling with only one baby this much, and needing so much help, how do you do it all with four kids?” My response, I don’t do it all.

I may have given this picture of my day consisting of me getting up, working out, parenting all day while running a business and getting a delicious hot meal on the dinner table all on my own. That is not the case.

I have help. Years ago when Holden was eighteen months old and I was very pregnant with Beau I came very close to having a massive breakdown. I was struggling with a child who hated life at the time and I was about to bring a newborn into the mix. I had Mike drive me to our hospital’s labour and delivery and drop me off there. Once inside, I sat with two of the most incredibly compassionate nurses I have ever met. They proceeded to tell me, (while I sat sobbing uncontrollably), their own parenting horror stories and gave me the best parenting advice I have ever received, “get help.”

After that I immediately hired a babysitter to come twice a week to be with Holden, while I went out with our new baby girl Beau. Then I soon moved him to a home daycare two afternoons a week, then three. Holden started to enjoy life more being around his peers, and I was managing better as a parent.

After three years of doing this and being home I realized that I wanted more of a work/stay-at-home-mom balance. I tried working part-time while my kids were first at home with a nanny and then switched to daycare. But that still wasn’t quite right for our family.

That’s when I switched to running my own mural painting and children’s space design company.  Yes, for those of you who just started following Nesting Story, that’s where Nesting Story began. I worked out of the house on weekends and hired a cleaning service to come every other week to come take cleaning off my plate.

When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I had to shut Nesting Story down temporarily. We scraped together every penny (and went into a little debt and accepted help from family) to continue with a cleaning service, and put Beau into nursery school while Holden went to  school.

Mike asked me what kind of help I would need when our twins were born, and despite him thinking we needed help at night with the twins, I knew that I’d rather have help during the day with the older kids. So we hired a nanny to come and be with the older kids during the day, (since the kids were home during the summer months). This made a huge difference.

Once September rolled around and Holden went back to school we put Beau into four full days of preschool and continued with a cleaning service every other week.

Today, after the success of Nesting Story and a couple other exciting projects I am working on and will tell you about soon, I have been able to hire a part time nanny to help with our twins about sixteen hours a week on top of the older kids being in school and having a cleaning service. She is incredible. She helps with the dishes and laundry so I can work during part of the day and be present with the family for the rest.

I also barely cook. I make very basic healthy meals. I pick up healthy meals sometimes as well. I haven’t mastered the dinner situation yet, but I have always told Mike that my goal in life is to hire a chef. Haha.

I know this post is long winded, and probably filled with too much detail, but I wanted to give you a glimpse into how I actually “do it all”. The answer: I don’t. I am okay with that too. I know that I am a much happier and patient mom because I have help. I don’t struggle with guilt because I know this is the best balance for our family.

I am not saying everyone needs to run out and get help. I am just a huge advocate for women’s mental health and I urge every mother to look for a way to find balance in your life. We get help from family from time to time. But for me, it is important to have a career and be able to pay for steady childcare for my kids.

It took a long time for me to let go of this idealistic picture of what I thought I always wanted as a mother and realize that my path was a little different. I urge you to lose the guilt, and really think about where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Don’t lose yourself in the shuffle. Carve your own parenting path.

Don’t forget to LIKE Nesting Story on Facebook and FOLLOW Nesting Story on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!