My “first” blog post

Well, its my first blog post since I made up Fox Fairy Tales in 2010 and thought the internet should be regaled with my first kid’s birth story. Yikes, spare yourself the google. Life just snowballed from there and I forgot to make any more posts, or become a published author, or do much outside of survival mode as the parent of young kids. Now my kids are mostly potty trained, and sometimes 2 out of 3 sleeps through the night, and they go to school, and I’m gloriously ALONE IN MY OWN HOUSE.

My husband and I have cultivated our family to be adventurous. We love to push ourselves to travel to new places and rise to meet new challenges. The year I turned 30, was my Year of Hard Things, so I ran a half marathon and did a sprint triathlon. Then I decided last year was the year to build community, so I started pouring into the people I’ve met and trying to be a friend I’d like to have. Now, I’d like to give my advice freely out to the world. Ha, just kidding. It just turns out that I was asked to write an article and the words started streaming out. I guess I have a lot to say.

However, I feel insecure about blog posts. Its vulnerable and a little awkward starting an online diary and hoping that you resonate with someone, somewhere. My self doubt takes the reigns and starts questioning all the insecurities: how could I have an original thought worth reading?

But to heck with it, because as I like to remind my husband, I’m a grown ass woman and I’ll do what I want. Its the year of Lizzo. I like writing a lot more than mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or doing some mundane household chore. Sometimes I’m funny and its probably a sin to hoard this genius.

So if you like reading about a regular thirty something’s take on life, kids, travel, food, etc. here ya go. I’m going to do my best to be honest and sincere with only a sprinkle of embellishment for dramatic effect. Maybe if enough of you read this, I can justify buying a fancy computer and a real camera.

Pro tip: Take all bikini pics while doing a handstand. Gravity is on your boobs’ side. Make sure your Instagram husband does a burst of photos bc you’re not really going to do a real handstand and there’s only one second before you flop backwards.

2nd Attempt


I’m stalling. My baseboards are desperate for a wipe down and oh my lanta, I just looked on the top of my upper cabinets. Spare yourself the dust-laden, grease-filled horror and NEVER look up there. Because now, the echoes of judgement I had for the sleaze buckets on Go Clean Co.’s Instagram are ringing through my head. I’m the sleaze bucket. And I’m the sleaze bucket that is going to pretend she isn’t one.

My slave driver mother showing me how to properly dispose of garbage

There are boogers on the walls of our TV room. ACTUAL BOOGERS. The worst part of the booger wall is not the wall itself, it’s that I have known about the boogers for at least seven months. See? Sleaze bucket. If you came over, you might think, hmm, Morgan keeps a clean house. LIES. My house is tidy but rarely, if ever, clean. Clean is a thing I’m saving for the future, when my kids have their own booger wall wiping kids. I don’t want to use all the cleaning I have in me and then when it’s a legit possibility, I’m too worn out to have vacuum lines and windows without little grubby hand prints.

Here’s the life hack: tidy up, make your beds, do the dishes, and vacuum. Never, ever use the toilet in the boys only bathroom. Throw in one load of laundry a day and put it away. Ignore the gross stuff until you can’t take it anymore and then go on a cleaning rampage. Swear to never let it get like that again. And then wait a year, until it is like that again, and repeat.

Do you want permission to be gross? If so, here ya go: be gross. Who cares? Your kids will ruin it in 2.7 seconds anyway.

Also know that in the middle of typing today’s journal entry, I cleaned all my baseboards AND the boogers off the wall. So, I’m basically full of crap.

Me vs. wall boogers

Do what you can. Do what you can stand. You don’t actually have to answer to anyone about how you keep house. Define “clean enough” however you want.

Essays on Life – 1st Attempt

My mom gets me.

My third kid has been vacationing away from home for a few days. My other kids have been pawned off on neighborhood friends for the day. I swept, laundered, scrolled, repotted, created, relaxed. Now what? I’m going to do some shitty, dorky, journaling in the hopes that one day, I’ll write something really good and I can sell it. For pool money. Or travel money. Or whatever frivolous, first world thing I want to spend it on. Because my words are mine. I don’t feel like editing, so if you’re here for good punctuation and grammar, errrm, sorry (not sorry).

Whenever my teenage parents’ genes synched up and made me – I got lucky with words. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. My genetic lottery prize: I can put words together in ways that are sometimes funny and often amusing. It would have been great to have bigger boobs or a longer stride. I would have liked to be better at math or have less toe hair, but my gift is writing. Most times, my writing is barely beyond average, but when its better than that, I think it might be good because its relatable.

It’s the end of 2021. I feel like I stepped of the edge of a precipice in the fall of 2020 and I just now figured how to tie a fancy, figure eight knot in the rope I’ll use to pull myself up. I’m still down there in the light-filtered shade chucking tools out of my backpack. I’m learning what I need. I’m figuring out what is useful to me. But it’ll probably take a lifetime to make the full ascent.

My goal lately has been to tell the truth. In cornier, woo-woo terms, my truth. My perspective, the sometimes unpopular, against the grain, way I see the world around me.

People pleasing is so last year. JK. People pleasing has been my unintentional life’s work. It hasn’t paid off. It just made me feel inauthentic and uncomfortable. People pleasing is responsible for a lot of the sticky situations I made myself the middle of.

If you invite me to do something and I know I won’t be able to attend, I don’t just say, “Oh shoot, I have a previously scheduled obligation. Hope I can make it next time.” NOPE. I can’t bear to see a tiny flash of disappointment flicker across your face. Surprise! There is no flickering. The real disappointment comes when I agree and then have to tell you later that no, actually I can’t make it.

People pleasing is great in the moment. I like avoiding upsetting feelings. I like redirecting, agreeing, and I’ll say it, manipulating conversations, so that everyone is having fun. No one feels bad. Sure, there may be no depth, but grownups don’t drown when they can touch the bottom.

Please secure your personal floatation device.

There’s more to say about busting out of the people pleasing mode. TONS. I think people go to college for like a bunch of years to help people pleasers like me. I think it starts with words like BOUNDARIES, MANTRAS, SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION, ETC.

Right now, for me, it’s looking more like : I don’t know what I think about that yet. And/or to stop talking.


Just stop talking. I won’t fill the void with explanations or reasons or blabbering. I’ll just stop talking.

So now,

I’m going stop writing.

Just Call Me Mrs. Claus

I’ve been Christmasing for about 764 hours straight now. It’s the season of yes apparently. When you see me with green hair and red lipstick, don’t be alarmed, I haven’t gone full Joker; I’m just in the Christmas spirit.

Does your church group need 49 pairs of Christmas socks? Sure, we only have one store in the town and UPS thinks we live at every neighbor’s house but our own, but yeah, I’ll round up 50 pairs just because I’m awesome.

Kids want to make gingerbread houses. You got it AND I’m going to wake up at 4:15 to make homemade gingerbread just for the occasion.

School parties? I’ll be there with Minute to Win It games, cookies made from scratch using my great grandma’s recipe, and I’ll be looking fly in some kind of themed outfit too. Who cares if I have my traditional Christmas cold? Don’t worry, I only licked the spoon a few times when I was whipping up those dozens of cookies.

Homemade consumable teacher gifts? Yep, made those too because God forbid I just buy a gift card like they’d really like. The world needs to know how great I am at giving. I’m just so thoughtful and conscientious. Plus I have to upload the photos of my fantastic gifts to Pinterest so some other moms can try to be like me next year.

Sure, I’d love to give my kids experiences instead of gifts but there I was at Target loading the cart like a contestant on a game show. You know the old one where they give people a shopping cart and a countdown and the people are in a full sprint to load that sucker up. Because kids just have to have something to open on Christmas morning right?

And speaking on gift wrap, I took a calligraphy course right after Thanksgiving so I could hand letter beautiful name tags. Then I bought fresh rosemary to adorn my velvet ribbon on each gift. Three little boys. That’s who I’m wrapping gifts for and I literally spent hours gift wrapping just for it all to be shredded and thrown in one of those black garbage bags (I’m sure I’ll be the one to do all the picking up too)

Today one of my kid’s schools is having a luncheon for the staff and I volunteered to bring a dessert. Of course I did because I have no boundaries and my time management sucks. The cake I brought might be delicious. Who knows? I decided to try a brand new recipe. (Rookie mistake) The cake decorating brought me to my knees laughing. This cake is the kind of cake you’d make if it’s 1963 and shredded coconut is having its debut year in the grocery stores. It’s a vintage cake. PRE-PINTEREST ok?

Raspberry Zinger complete with Santa Hats 🤪😂

Can we go back to a Pinterest free holiday? Gals, I’m struggling to keep up. This holiday season is a giant, heavy ass wreath around my neck, weighing me down with obligation and expectation and SO MANY SCHOOL ACTIVITIES. I forgot to brush my teeth this morning. I’ve brushed my teeth consistently for about 29 years and now I’m running around spreading Christmas cheer with bedhead and fuzzy teeth.

I want to enjoy this time of year. My little boys won’t be little for long. We all know how quickly the time slips away. How short the season of magic will be in their lives. (Although they’re male so Christmas might be magical for them forever 🙄) It’s such a precious time and their Grinch mother is too busy competing to be Miss Christmas USA to savor it. So that’s it. After today (because today I’m super busy and fully committed) I’m going to put down the Pinterest, buy all the gift cards, pick out kid themed wrapping paper, pick up store bought cookies, (yeah right, that’s taking it a little far) and kick back and sleep through a Christmas movie on the couch with my little crew. We’re going to enjoy the tinsel outta Christmas.

Netflix and Ill

How to take an utterly indulgent, guilt-free, rest day:

Step One: Work yourself into an anxious frenzy in preparation of watching your kids compete in a jujitsu tournament

Step Two: Travel to far away place to not sleep in a hotel and lose your voice cheering for your gold medal winning kids

Step Three: Unleash your inner ninja warrior at a germ infested trampoline park

Step Four: Drive a few hours out of the way for a nature enrichment opportunity and then when you get home, teach the kids the fundamentals of basketball real quick

Step Five: Feel normal for one day, i.e. take kids to school, gym, unpack, do laundry, clean floors, meal plan, grocery shop, do homework, feed, chauffer to sports, bed

Step Six: Take one kid to the emergency room for enormously swollen hands and fingers, then spend the rest of the day googling in a hypocondria induced mania

Step Seven: Cuss your new bra for pinching your side, oh wait, JK, that’s not the bra, ITS FREAKING SHINGLES AT 32 YEARS OLD. FOR THE SECOND TIME

Step Eight: Get on some giant horse pills and write yourself a script for Netflix and Ill.

All that just to allow myself ONE day of rest. And guess what, my house didn’t burn down because I wasn’t in constant motion. My kids’ intellect didn’t suffer. My husband didn’t get home and complain that he didn’t have clean socks. We happily ate pizza off a sheet of butcher paper which tripled as an art canvas and homework scratch paper.

I’m my own boss and I take my stay at home gig pretty seriously (unless it’s mimosa brunch day) No one else holds me to this high standard. My husband and kids don’t guilt me if I don’t put the laundry away as soon as the timer buzzes. They don’t even notice if the floors aren’t swept or the pillows aren’t placed perfectly on crisply made beds. I live with four guys; honestly, the only thing they notice is if we’re out of cereal or the TV remote is missing.

When I was a kid, and pretty much right until motherhood slapped its unrelenting realness right in my face, I didn’t want to do hard things. I didn’t feel a pressure to keep up with household chores, and I never felt guilty about not doing something. If the laundry pile morphed from molehill to mountain, eh, I’d get to it later. We didn’t even have Netflix way back then but that didn’t stop me from some old fashioned TV binges. Or some days, I would read all day; the whole dang day with a good book and a spot in the sunshine. I never felt guilty. I felt refreshed.

Sometimes I miss that girl but mostly not. I’m still her if I dig down deep and practice resting. Breathing. Enjoying doing nothing. Not feeling guilty for slowing down. So mamas, sick or well, overwhelmed or run down, take a day off. That mile long to-do list will keep, the kids will be fine, and your world won’t stop turning.

No makeup, bedhead, sweats from the boys’ section at Walmart. Me in all my shingled, Netflix and Ill glory.

If You’re Bratty and You Know it, Raise Your Hand

I’m a full grown adult woman. And this morning I was a huge brat. It’s true, I wholly admit responsibility. I made two out of three kids cry and we started the morning off really rough.

It’s Halloween today. My favorite holiday. I love dressing up, I love costumes, I love all the spooky fun that comes with this day. My kids however, don’t share my enthusiasm and only show up for the candy. Womp womp. One kid is “too old” to dress up at school, the other insists on wearing a store bought costume WITHOUT THE MASK, and the other is too young to have a say so (thankfully). So their indifference to the best day of the year coupled with the anxiety I get when I feel overwhelmed, brought out the worst in me.

Can you guess which kid is the store costume wearer? And the “cool” kid?

Side note: Surely I’m not the only one who’s worst parenting moments are almost always when I am trying to get too much done in not enough time. I recently learned that this bad, on-edge, feeling is called anxiety. Shocker right?!

I’m on a mission to become more self aware, but in the past I liked to adopt the stoic, feelings are for weaklings approach.(until the feelings erupted out after some extremely illogical trigger) I also believed that “other people” had anxiety and that the word had lost its power because it’s just a waaaah waaaah whiney buzz word that woke people throw around as a cop out. Turns out, naming those agitated, irritable, tense feelings allows me to get over feeling anxious more quickly. I’ve identified coping mechanisms (like writing) and I’m trying to manage it better.

Anyway, I should have dressed up as a queen and the kids as peasant underlings that I allow to reside in my dominion. I want absolute power when it comes to costuming these kids. The tipping point was Matt’s insistence that he wear tennis shoes with his high water Ice Man flight suit. I mean, I can take photos from the waist up but I know that he’s not in an authentic costume from head to toe. Also monkey face make up on a toddler is really hard!

Back when Mason was my Halloween ride or die
And baby Matt didn’t have opinions
Back when they could be convinced to wear themed costumes
And get fully in character
And this 😻🎃

One bad morning doesn’t define me as a mom though. I’m not part of the #badmomsclub just because I was a jerk. My kids won’t be scarred and ruined. This one bad morning was just ONE morning in the scheme of all the mornings that are great. And yeah, I may have made some kids cry but I also made them a hot breakfast, made their lunches, made them get dressed and brush their teeth, made them load up in the car and get to school on time, and made amends before they walked in.

Hopefully you guys had a better morning than me but if not, forgive yourself! The kids already did.

What to Do When the Fire Dies Out

When I started this blog, I was on fire. Like stop, drop, and roll because your eyebrows are about to get singed off your face, on fire. I had years of words frothing to my fingertips, just boiling to the surface. I thought about words all day and night … for about a week. Then, all the other things took center stage. (and stage left and stage right and every seat in the audience).

I’m pretty sure putting yourself on the back burner is a universal truth of womanhood. Why though? Why do we accept that when our plates get full, we’re the first to go? And why is it that its easier to serve our families, friends, jobs, than ourselves?

You know the airplane metaphor for life, that you should put the air mask on your face first, then help the kids. You should, but you won’t. You don’t. That air mask is strapped to your kid’s face before you even notice its a little hard to breathe. Its okay; we all do it. There’s a reason that little “life-ism” is perpetuated though. You’re a better wife, mom, employee, employer, coach, whoever, when you have some air to breathe.

So if this post isn’t too “woe is the life of the modern woman” for ya, I have a call to action. Go do something that makes you feel fierce as heck. Run a mile, put on makeup, write a blog article, hustle up some new business, get a killer outfit, try a new thing, hire a babysitter and go on a date. Just try it. You’ll get your mojo back.

Just so you know this isn’t just preachy girl power talk, I walked the walk and talked the talk, and posted all over social media. I chopped my hair into a chic bob and busted out my leather jacket. And I have been feeling myself ever since. Its like I have a sound track and a wind machine in my mind and I am werking it! (the traditional “working” does not apply here, not enough implied badassery)

So what if I had to do a timed selfie photo burst? I love this picture!
You can see how happy squats make me 😜
Fake it until you feel it! Boca Raton Grandma feeling fierce AF

We’re at the precipice of the holiday season. Its marathon time. You gotta hit that shit with strength and presence of mind. So before you focus on the joy of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the busyness that entails, focus on YOU.

Wait, you want to eat every day?!

For about three hours this morning, it felt like fall around my house. Even with a two hour rain delay that messed up my morning plans (because god forbid I have to tend to the children I birthed on a school day), I flitted around with unusual good cheer, buoyed by the promise of cooler weather. Fall is the best season for domestic engineers, but not for the reasons you think. Yeah pumpkin spice smells good and sweaters hide your bingo wings, but that’s not it. Let me give it to you straight, fall is the best season because it’s the start of crock pot season.

No one told me that the above mentioned children would have to eat EVERY SINGLE DAY. I mean yeah, I knew kids and husbands eat daily, but I had no concept of what being in charge of meals would entail. It’s like I applied to teach home economics and unwittingly got promoted to Secretary of Education. It’s such a huge job: think of what to eat, write a list, procure listed items, load it in the cart, out of the cart to counter, back in the cart, into the car, out of the car, haul all the 87 bags in, put all the food away, get it back out to feed some hungry kid before they ravage the snack drawer and eat all the “good” snacks in 2.7 seconds, clean it all up, and repeat over and over again until you die.

Photo cred : @Retrogramboards

Basically, I have a few minutes each day to referee kid fights, wash clothes, chauffeur to school and sports, work on my side hustles, ya know, ALL THE THINGS before the feeding onslaught begins again. I’m fresh in the morning so I can tolerate breakfast and packing lunches but oh man, dinner. Dinner is the bane of my existence. The hell time from dinner – sleeping is known to my kids as “Cranky Time”. I’m usually wild eyed and messy bunned and hollering at anyone who dares to enter the kitchen and whine, “I’m hungry”. Most likely, I have PTSD from all the meals prepared at the end of a long day, that I’d lovingly served to my family, who I’d somehow confused with a Norman Rockwell painting, only to be assualted with their complaints about the meal that they “don’t like” even though last week you liked it just fine JIMMY so you better eat three bites or you won’t get the dessert we all know you’re going to get regardless of bites taken. Gah!!! I know you feel me out there.

There’s so much about momming that comes as a surprise but this tops the charts for me. The weight and expectation of sustentence, it’s a life sentence.

So when crockpot season arrives, the noose loosens just a bit. Sure, I could crock pot year round, but there’s something about the appeal of a bowl of comfort food on a chilly day. I love that magical appliance. Dump a bunch of stuff in there, leave, and return to dinner with the promise of leftovers for the next day! Miraculous!

Even though the sun is shining and I had to shuck off my booties for flip flops, Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup was in the works when the day still felt like fall. I’m just going with it. Maybe tonight “Cranky Time” will get downgraded to “Mildly Irritated But Could Be Mediated With Wine Time”


Recipe adapted from Chelseasmessyapron.com

The Most Ambitious Summer Ever.

One idyllic early spring day, we loaded up the fam and headed to our favorite sledding spot outside of Cloudcroft. The sun was streaming in the car, and the kids were actually being nice to each other. I had that delicious, drowsy, sun-drunk feeling. I may have actually been drunk because what I said next set us in motion to one of the most insanely fantastic/exhausting times in our lives. I casually mentioned, hey, wouldn’t it be cool to take off a month in the summer and drive all around the west? I only said it because ONE, I thought Jared’s work would never allow it and TWO, I was high on our life and the preciousness of our darling, well behaved children.

A little backstory for ya. Jared and I have been afflicted with wanderlust since we moved to New Mexico four years ago. It started partly because we spent two years living in 234 square feet. When you’re four deep in a camper and the weekend is looming, you gotta get out of there or someone might not make it to Monday. The other part was we wanted to show the boys the great outdoors, and discover it for ourselves. So we went everywhere we could feasibly drive in a weekend. Camping, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, scouting, waterfall chasing (which is exceptionally difficult in New Mexico). We fell in love with the Land of Enchantment.

So back to the day of my fateful blurting, Jared was 100% in before I had the chance to backtrack. He was already making a game plan on how to convince his boss taking a month off. And I was still cheerfully playing along because I love to plan. We talked and schemed and planned the rest of the day and went to bed happy, with the promise of adventure in our future.

Then, Jared miraculously got the go ahead from his boss. At this point, I had done the math, and because I’ve been in a car with our three kids before, mapped out how far we could reasonably get each day before the boys devolved to Lord of Flies status. I tried to talk Jared into two weeks instead of the entire month of July but he couldn’t be convinced.

So a 6000 mile, 30 day journey through New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado was officially set in motion.

As if prepping for the ultimate road trip through the West wasn’t enough, we decided to buy a new house and turn our old house into an Airbnb too. We thought, “What the heck, we’re youngish, with low amounts of energy and a nine o’clock bedtime, so why not? ” And we figured that even though here 60 day closing periods are the norm, we’d still have time to move before we left on our adventure.

Wrong. Delay after delay and our final closing date was smack in the middle of our trip. The title company balked when I told them I didn’t even know what state we’d be in on the closing date. (Turns out there are mobile notaries just about anywhere, even outside of Glacier National Park who will meet you at the nearest Starbucks, notorize the twelve thousand closing docs, and send you back on your merry way within an hour. ) We just took off and figured it’ll work out.

Our trip really was the trip of a lifetime, and more literally THE trip of our lifetime because we’re aint eva going to do something that long and crazy again! There’s so much to tell and I probably lost two thirds of ya a few paragraphs ago so check back soon. I’m going to break it all down, the good, the lessons, and the nitty gritty, real life, non instagram moments.