Momtourage Monday: Military Wife, Blogger and Photography Momma

1. How do you define Momtourage? Momtourage is your Go-to mom group. A unique group of ladies that support you no matter what, relate to you and lift each other up. Without judgment or shaming. A place where you can feel safe, be yourself and open up about this crazy roller coaster called motherhood. Oh and they also get together for those mommy play dates, let’s not forget about that. 

2 How do you balance Motherhood? With Grace, definitely with Grace. But honestly it’s not always there. I have to always be reminded to take care of myself first. Mentally, physically and emotionally. Those things are key for you to be a better mom, wife, friend… But trying to have it all together and keeping it up can be really overwhelming and you lose sight of the most important things. So yes, Grace is always my hero to Balance motherhood.

3. What is your mommy must have item? My Baby Carrier! My god, what would I do without it. Life changing for sure. Can’t imagine motherhood and no baby carrier. You can get so many things done while you baby-wear. It is simply amazing. I’ve traveled, breastfed, cleaned, cooked, shopped using it and I love it. Now my toddler wants to walk all the time but for breastfeeding and napping on the go it is my life saver. 

4 What is your Momtourage story? Well, let’s see… I’m a mommy of two kiddos. A 7 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. Since the beginning my husband has been hands on with house chores and with the kids. We always say it’s all about team work. That’s how we define our relationship and parenting. But when Kayden my eldest was 2 he decided to join the Military, something I was against since the beginning. But he went through with it anyways and I just followed along to keep my family together. (But let me tell you it was the best decision we have ever made because it has lead us to we’re we are now.) So he left for basic training and I remember being terrified about the thought of staying alone with my 2 year old son. All I could think of was that I didn’t know how to be a parent without my partner. How would I balance work, home, parenting and everything in between on my own. Soon after he left I learned that I could and I felt so proud about myself. I became so much stronger and independent and felt like the world couldn’t stop me. After he finished Basic Training we were stationed in NC and moved out of Puerto Rico. I left my job, my friends, my family and everything I knew to start a new life with the man I loved and give a better quality of life to our child. Only 2 weeks in and he got orders to Deploy to Afghanistan the next month. It all happened so quickly. Again I would have to handle everything on my own but this time in an unknown place where I didn’t know anybody. Everyone advised me to go back to Puerto Rico until he finished his tour but I decided to stay. I stayed because I didn’t want to run away from my fears and I wanted to grow as a woman and mother. And I definitely did. I even did things I never thought I could do. Right when he got back from his deployment I got pregnant with my second child, something everyone predicted hahah! I had been staying at home with Kayden only for a year so transitioning from 1 kid to 2 kids and staying at home all day with a toddler (4) and a breastfeeding on demand newborn was a struggle. When Mia was 6 months old I decided I needed a place to share my motherhood journey, my love for photos and everything I liked to help with my anxiety. My husband suggested Instagram, got me my first DSLR and rest is history. I’ve created my own little platform since then and I love connecting with other moms in the community. It has helped me to be much more open, social and take on new adventures. We are In the civil world now, loving every minute of it and better than ever. 

Be sure to check out more of Vil and her amazing family Here

Thank you so much Vil for sharing your story! As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday: City Girl in a Southern World

1. How would you define Momtourage? I haven’t been to any momtourge events YET but from on the outside looking in, it looks to be an amazing group of woman supporting one another threw this journey of motherhood and daily mommy struggles.

2. How do you balance Motherhood? I wake up everyday and throw on my cape lol…… speaking honestly it’s a daily struggle everyday brings something new nothing like the day before. So I’ll say by waking up with a clear mindset ready for what that day will bring.

3. What is your Mommy must have item?

A sports bottle with WINE!!! just joking…. I must have this thing we call patience it’s not easy to find Lord knows. I search everyday for it, but no matter what with everyday that comes no matter how deep it’s hidden I always seem to find it!

4. What is your Momtourage story?

My story is one that would take years to explain…but to sum it up I’m a mother of 4 wonderful children 3 girls ages 17,15,& 12 and last but most certainly not least my most recent addition my 1year old baby boy! They are my world they are what I live for. I know all mom’s say it but for me it’s what keeps me grounded without them there is no me. I’m a stay at home mom with the struggle of a disability (Psoriatic  Arthritis) it’s a daily struggle all of its own. But my kids would never really know because I push threw for them without hesitation. My children and I recently moved to Charlotte, NC from Maryland something I wanted to do but never had the courage. One day I took a step out on faith and here we are… going from having their Dad active in their daily lives to having to do video calls and phone conversations is a huge struggle. Somehow we manage somehow I still have all my hair my edges still holding on cause Lord knows it’s hard with teenage girls and a toddler (Bless my little heart)! I’m a single Woman with 4 wonderful children. I say Single woman and not single parent because they have an amazing active father in their life, so I always say I’m SINGLE not a single mother to me it has two different meanings.

Thank you so much Esha for sharing your story! As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Staycation Date Night Edition

Often times as parents we get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of #MomLife and forget how our kids actually got here. I’m so guilty and I know I’m not alone, so going forward I’m making an effort to date my husband!

Thanks to our amazing friends at the AC Hotel, JoColby and I were able to get away from the kids and focus on ourselves. We checked into this amazing hotel located in the North Hills Area of Raleigh on Friday night.

Everyone at the hotel was so helpful and gracious to have us stay. After checking in, I spotted some cool local snacks they had available, I love that the feature local businesses.

After checking in we headed to our room to drop off our bags. I loved that the room was so chic and I truly appreciate the floors. I seriously dread hotel carpets because of how dirty the are! This room made me feel at home, the modern floor plan as well as the all around feel was a plus in my book.

After checking out the roomwe headed upstairs to Level 7 Rooftop Bar for cocktails and tapas.

I never really drink but tonight I wanted something sweet with a little tang. So I tried the infamous Midtown Margarita and boy was it a treat! The toasted Citrus Salmon was absolutely delicious. But the crisp potato wedges OMG so yummy. JoColby really enjoyed the roasted wings. I highly recommend getting several tapas and sharing them you will be full in no time.

The atmosphere at Level 7 was great, everyone was enjoying their company, drinks and the game. This would be a great alternative to going out. I’m always looking for a fun locations for date night or just hanging with your crew.

After drinks, amazing tapas and lots of laughs we took an Uber to downtown Raleigh.

After several recommendations we ended up at the Boxcar Arcade this was the perfect place, it was like a flashback to my childhood!

JoColby and I played games until we couldn’t hang anymore! Everything from PacMan, Tetris, Mario, Ping pong the list goes on, and not to mention PopCorn… which I actually didn’t eat because of my OCD We didn’t stay out too long because the way our bodies are set up…. we got tired from dinner and cocktails. Once we got back too the room we decided to watch a movie and boy were we in for a surprise when we saw that we could sign into Netflix!

I can’t thank the AC Hotel enough for such an amazing and relaxing stay! Boy did we need some alone time and we were refreshed the next morning to pick up the kids and have family day! The next time you’re looking for a hotel please book with AC Hotel it’s the perfect place for a staycation, getaway or family travel! Trust me you won’t be disappointed. Until next time…..

XO,

Meka

Mommy & Mav Date

Being a mommy of 4, you’re constantly pulled into several different directions and it doesn’t get any better as your kids get older! One thing I try to do to help is scheduling one on one time with each of my kiddos. Yesterday Maveric and I were able to check out a pre-viewing of the Beanstalk the musical thanks to our friends at the Raleigh Little Theater. The play official showcases tonight until April 1st.

The show is just as we remember the book as a child. Young Jack, eager to please his mother climbs the Beanstalk to retrieve golden coins, a hen that lays golden eggs and back again for the magical harp. Unlike the book, the musical is packed with entertainment and several laughs! The actors did an absolutely amazing job. The one thing I really loved was that the play was just the right amount of time to keep Maveric entertained and no tired. With the show being 1 hour long, it’s perfect for families of all ages.

Last night was such a perfect way to spend our Mommy/Son Date, we laughed, we were intrigued and Maveric had several questions after the performance which will have us at the library today to check out the book.

I highly recommend incorporating the arts into children’s lives early on, even if you have to bring babies and tag team with a friend to the lobby when they need a break, do it! The earlier you start the better and more open minded they will become.

A huge thank you to our friends at the Raleigh Little Theater for allowing us to experience such a fun memory together. Be sure to check out upcoming plays here . I personally would love to see Alice and Wonderland with Elle next month.

What shows are you looking forward to check out? Whatever you choose enjoy it and take your little one with you. Until next time…..

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday : Fashionable Mom killing it!

1. How would you define Momtourage?

The word Momtourage makes me think of a group of mom friends that you can share your ups and downs with and support one another. 

2. How do you balance Motherhood?

To try and balance motherhood, I try my best to stay organized and plan ahead.  That really only works 50% of the time because something always comes up with kids.  I’ve gotten better at adjusting at the last minute.  I really try to do the best I can with any obstacle that comes my way.

3. What is your Mommy must have item?

My mommy must-have item is a cute small cross-body bag. My cross-body bag is strapped to me most of the day. My phone, wallet keys, diaper, and fruit snacks are always in my bag.  If I carried a big purse I would probably leave it somewhere.

4. What is your Momtourage story? I am a full-time family fashion blogger.  My content is primarily based on my girls and their style. Working with your kids for a business can present some challenges. I try not push them to do anything they don’t want to do but at the same time, I have deadlines.  I try my best to keep our projects fun and simple.  Both of the girls are pretty good at cooperating to get things done.  The promise of cookies and ice cream also help.

As far as struggles as a mom, finding time for myself has been a challenge.  Since my “job” is to blog mainly about them and in addition to being a SAHM, it can be hard to separate work and do something for myself.  Weeks will go by I haven’t had any time to myself. This year I’m taking more time for myself on a regular basis. It’s important that we have a moment to ourselves.

Motherhood can be challenging but I just try to be the best mom I can be, not what others think I should be.

Thank you so much Trina for sharing your story! Be sure to check out Trina and her beautiful family here! As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday: American Girl in a Caribbean world

1. How would you define Momtourage?

My Momtourage is my family and close friends. My mom plays a major role in my Momtourage. The boys know her as “Honey”. She spends the night Monday-Friday to help with getting the boys ready for school as well so drop off at school. My family (aunts, grandmother, sister) helps with date night or just relief time. Our friends help with support and encouragement.

2. How do you balance Motherhood?

How do I balance Motherhood…umm I don’t. I’m still learning how to take time for me. Motherhood have taken over my life completely. Although, being a wife and mother is rewarding, it can also be stressful. If we are not careful, we can easily lose ourselves in the process of trying to build our families. Often, I tend to take care of my household and neglect myself. After, self evaluation … I’ve realized that, I  cannot give what I  don’t have. So now, when I need time to myself, I take time. Having boys,  I’m always busy, whether it’s straightening up after them, doing homework, or having to be at baseball, basketball practice or a school event. One of my goals this year is to get “me” back. I have a membership at Massage Envy and I try to go at least once a month as my “me day”. I’ve had my membership for about 4 years, but don’t go as much as I should.

3. What is your Mommy must have item?

Sorry…I had to make it plural…My phone and Jared’s epi pen is most important, both boys are asthmatic and Jared has severe allergies along with my planner is second- to make sure I have all their doctors appointments scheduled.

4. What is your Momtourage story?

My husband and I started our family the “non transitional” way as some may call it. We had Joshua, then got married,  when Joshua was 3, and had another child 3 years later. I was a “nontraditional” college graduate. I attended college at 25 years old. I finished up my degree while I was pregnant with Joshua.

I am a wife. My husband is from a small island in the Caribbean named Saint Kitts. Having a mixed cultural family makes us unique.  We have traveled to St. Kitts as a family 5 times. We usually travel to visit my husband family every other year during Christmas time. This new culture has made me open minded and taught me so many things. I have learned how to cook Caribbean foods. (Which I love, because I love cooking). I have also, sampled different Caribbean dishes that I never would have sampled prior to meeting my husband. I have also dressed up in a mascarade costume, during their carnival time. Having a mixed cultural family and living in the U.S. has it’s challenges.  The boys do not get to see their extended family often. We usually communicate with my in laws through social media. Visiting St. Kitts has taught the boys and I about small island Caribbean culture. Traveling has taught us how to be open minded to any culture that we may come across in life.

Thank you so much Shaketa for sharing your story! As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Health is Wealth

*** This is NOT a sponsored post we just love it THAT much****

So many of you follow me on Instagram and if so you’ve seen our Instastory of me and the boys at the chiropractor. I have been getting lots of questions about why we go to the chiropractor so I decided to sum it all up right here! First off let me say we LOVE Twin City Health

As many of you know I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis, and have been since age 17! Yesssssss S E V E N T E E N. I get adjustments to assist with the pain management of my RA. This was so needed when I was pregnant with Axel, because for some reason my RA took the worst toll on my body, to the point that I had to go out of work on short term disability.

When Jagger was about 9-11 months old he would have issues using with his bowels. I would try so many natural remedies including prune juice with warm water. Once he started getting his adjustments at Twin City Health he was as regular as any normal baby. I seriously could not believe it, if you know me you know how I am when it comes to proving stuff I need PROOF!

I have never really talked about this topic, maybe because I don’t want anyone to look at my child in any other way that the vibrate, engeretic little boy that he is, so only a select few close friends and family know that Maveric was suffering from Febrile Seizures since 18 months old. If you’re not familiar with the term, basically when Maveric gets sick/ congested his temperature would spike so fast that his body needed to break the fever so it would force him to have a seizure. Most children tend to “out grow” febrile seizures by age 5.

We started seeing Dr. Tom and his team at Twin City Health when Maveric was 3. During our process we went from almost 1 seizure every other month to 1 seizure every 6-8 months. Last year we ALMOST made it a year seizure free then Maveric had one at school in October. When we went to Twin City Health Dr. Tom took x-rays of Maveric’s spine and that helped him to really narrow down the location that needed to be adjusted with Maveric. I have noticed a huge improvement in Maveric’s decline in seizures and I truly look forward to the day that we are 100% seizure FREE!!!!!!

Axel has been going just for preventative reasons, one day I told Dr. J that he hadn’t had a BM in 3 days and she adjusted him and said ” ok be careful he should have one by the end of the day” and no lie he let out the biggest BM by the time we got home!

“Your spine is the lifeline for all of your body’s functions. The spine is a key element to healing as it protects your central nervous system”. All of the doctors at Twin City Health have truly been a dream to work with, we just love the entire atmosphere! If you’re looking to get healthy from the outside in, then you really need to check out our friends at Twin City Health. Tell them that #HWTH sent you. Trust me you will love the family environment and the wealth of information and classes. Cheers to a healthier 2018. Until next time…

XO,
Meka

Momtourage Monday: Jet Setting Momma

1. How would you define Momtourage?

To me momtourage is a tribe that doesn’t judge, a sisterhood that’s there to pick you up when you’re down and it’s a way of life!

2. How do you balance Motherhood?

I balance motherhood by doing what I love the most which is work. You’re probably going to think I’m crazy for but I love going to work. I feel so refreshed those 3 days that I’m gone and get to interact with adults. I also see it as a mini vacation. I get to do my hair, my nails and most importantly rest. It’s something that’s always been a challenge when I’m home since I have two under two.

3. What is your Mommy must have item?

My camera! It was a gift when I had my first born but didn’t start using it till recently. It’s definitely been the best investment ever to have pictures of my girls as they grow up.

4. What is your Momtourage story?

Let’s see where do I begin… my husband and I are high school sweethearts. We’ve been together for almost 15 years and married for almost 5. Becoming parents has made our relationship more special and stronger. I can definitely say that I love this version of us so much more than the just us two version. He’s always been a very supportive husband and even with my crazy difficult flying schedule he still holds it down for us. I’m very lucky in this aspect and so are our girls!

I also suffered PPD after having my first child. It was such a dark time in my life but someone told me to never loose sight of who I was before having a baby. That if I loved flying to continue to fly. That I should never give up own my own dreams because my girls will have their own at some point and leave the nest. This always stuck with me and ever since then I’ve decided to be a better me for them. Mamas always remember self care is the most important thing after becoming a mother, don’t you ladies ever forget that!

Love always,

Maggie Tompkins

Be sure to check out more of Maggie and her amazing family Here

Thank you so much Maggie for sharing your story! As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday- Super Mom of 6!

1. How would you define Momtourage? 

I would define Momtourage as your mommy support group. It doesn’t necessarily even mean that they have children. It’s your go-to squad of people that have helped you survive motherhood.

2. How do you balance Motherhood? 

 I balance motherhood by making sure I devote time to spending with my little ones, but I also have no problem saying I need a break. Usually, once a day, I find somewhere to go and just sit in silence. It’s necessary for my sanity. Once I get home I’m mentally able to handle everyone because they’re like Velcro. 

3. What is your Mommy must have item? 

My phone 

4. What is your Momtourage story? 

Whew…... So I am a separated mom of 6 boys ages 13,11,7,7,7&4 trying to get accustomed to my pending single status and have an amicable split from their dad. I want nothing more than for us to be the best co-parents we can be. 

 I was a school teacher and realized that I wasn’t passionate about it so now I am a Site Coordinator with Communities in Schools all while trying to rebuild my business—which is a drop-in child care center. 

 When people ask me how I do it…forget the career they’re usually just talking about having 6 boys—all I can say is take it one day at a time. Don’t lose sight of who you are. Make time for yourself, make time for your children.

Everything doesn’t cost money. A dance contest in the living room, a picnic in the park, a weekend slumber party in the living room or basement are things that create lasting memories and a ton of money isn’t  being spent. Quality time is key. I’m not perfect and I don’t want to be, but my children think I’m awesome!

Thank you April for sharing your story of Motherhood, as always I hope that these transparent stories will help someone and I hope you enjoyed it! Until next week.

XO,

Meka

Mommy Uniform

Mommy Uniform…. we all have them, weather it’s your favorite leggings paired with the perfect tee, your favorite workout gear that you wear when you’re not working out or it’s your favorite dress with your most comfy pair of flats.  Today I’m sharing my uniform for this weekend.

FullSizeRender (22)

A simple black dress paired with some cool kicks !  This bodycon is super comfy and what I love about it most, is that it’s easy access for nursing Axel! Snag one hereFullSizeRender (21)

I always love to wear a nice denim jacket or in this case a chambry because I am ALWAYS cold!  I found a similar version here  Some how I managed to pair an entire outfit from Forever 21… yes I still love finding pieces there regardless of my age.  Even the baseball cap and choker came from there.  Oh well I absolutely love cool caps, especially when you’re having a bad hair day!  In my case I just did a good conditioning last night and I didn’t want to put a lot of stress on my hair so I threw on a hat and pulled my hair through the strap.  Take your pick of cool satin baseball caps here 

FullSizeRender (25) Lastly a good mommy uniform has to have some cool kicks!  I was able to snag these for only $19.99 during a recent Reebok sale! Currently they are $39.97, still a good price in my eyes!  Check them out here

FullSizeRender (26)

My style is more about COMFORT! Weather I’m chasing after my boys, driving Elle to practice or hitting the road, this look will never let me down! Stay tuned for the next Mommy Uniform share.  What’s in your closet? Be sure to share you Uniform must haves below!  Until next time……

XO,

Meka