Go check the mail.

It’s so silly, checking your mail.. many times a day, but I’ll let you in on a secret- it’s okay if it’s silly.

I think back to when I moved into my one bedroom apartment. It was a new season in my life that I wasn’t use to. New baby, new people, new home. New. I was figuring out who I wanted to be, what I wanted to change. Have you been there? Loss of a very important loved one? Divorced? New season of life? Through all the new, though, there was a constant- checking the mail.

So I checked the mail.

Avery and I would go on walks to check our mailbox. Since we lived in an apartment, it was a nice walk. It was long, but it was a straight shot. After you check it once there is usually not anymore mail that day, but later that evening before dark, we’d go again.

We met new friends on our walk. We got fresh air. We got out of the house. We were forced to do things, even on our tired days, our busy days, the depressive days.

We checked the mail.

So often we get overwhelmed in the monotony of life. Day after day it is the same thing. Our kids are acting like fools, we want to be out shopping and getting mani/pedis, but paying the electric bill took importance this month instead, or you’re just not in the place you thought you’d be when you had your perfect “five year plan” mapped out. I look at my mailbox now and it is not fancy. Brick doesn’t surround it with beautiful writing, in fact, it doesn’t even have a handle to open. But just because our mailbox or life doesn’t look the way we always thought it would be doesn’t mean we shouldn’t embrace what we have.

You’re not alone, we have all been there and if we’re being honest- a lot of us hang out there more often then we would like to admit. The days get longer, but nothing else is getting done.

During my work meeting, my awesome mother-in-law was watching my kiddos and I was in a side room. Harper Jo started to get fussy, Avery wanted to play, so she decided to check the mail. Happily they all trucked out to the end of the drive way and..

They checked the mail.

Sometimes in life, we feel stuck, alone, or like we can’t get our head above water. What is that for you this week? Visiting relatives for Thanksgiving? Going to an un-baby-proofed house where you are on edge the whole time that your kiddos are going to break, eat, or destroy the fancy household items?

Check the mail.

Go for a walk, get the fresh air. Too cold? Hop in the shower. Take a deep breath, remember you’re only one person and that one person is absolutely and completely enough and if you’re not where you’d like to be, just remember-

Joy comes in the morning.

Strong & Courageous.

Today, my four year old told me she wanted a bra.


I was taken aback and thought to myself “is that what she really wanted for school?” and then she followed up with “like my sister!”.

Overalls. Avery wants OVERALLS.

That doesn’t have anything to do with this post, I just thought you all may enjoy it.

Okay, back to the message. As I see all the “meet the teacher” posts, I cannot help but let my eyes fill with tears of joy. All these kiddos I’ve seen (in real life and online) grow up and are now venturing into the big kid world. They’re learning all new things, being without their mama’s who knows what is best for them, and making friends we may or may not approve of in their high school years, but isn’t that so great? That we get to watch them grow, learn, and excel in life. Man, God is good.

Although it is an exciting and joyful time, I know it is not all happy. It is scary. We are handing our babies to strangers and entrusting them to do what is best for them in our absence. Yikes. As you feel weak and helpless, remember who is in our corner. You are strong mama. You are courageous.

Did I do enough for them? Are they ready for school? Did I fail them before they’ve even begun? Will they be able to button their pants? Eat lunch in the small time frame given? Answer questions appropriately when asked? Or more importantly will they tell everyone that my sink is full of dishes? That I am binge watching Netflix?

“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

He is with us, he is with our children.

Life feels incredibly overwhelming sometimes and we don’t know which was is up, but as you put the kids to bed tonight and spend your “thirtyminutesinsilencebeforebed”, remember you are doing an amazing job. You are providing a life for your kiddos and you are enough. Speak that over your life. Speak that over your kids. Speak it over your children’s teachers. Be strong and courageous.

You are enough mama and you’ve done enough. Those babies are loved and cared for and they are destined to succeed. There may be pain in the night, but joy will come in the morning.

Raising Arrows

I am raising two brave girls.

Two caring girls. Two courageous girls. Two kind girls. Two loving girls. Two inclusive girls.

I am raising two kind girls.

When I think about my four year old going to school in the fall, I stress myself out at the fact that she will be out my possession for hours and at the mercy of people that may say or do mean things. They may make fun of her, bully her, belittle her and I just have to hope she will confide in me and not take matters solely in her own hands. What I do know, though, is my baby will hopefully speak to others with the affirmations I have given her. I am smart. I am kind. I am loved. I am strong. March 8th is international women’s day, coincidentally on my oldest daughters birthday and it got me thinking about the fact that-

I am raising two strong girls.

I’m in a Facebook group all about girls. No judgement, just advice, encouragement, and support. It is the place to be when you’re having a bad day because you know you will have the best encouragement, but that is no longer the case. One post with over 400 comments- that would have been grade A tea in high school, but as an almost 30 year old woman, is heartbreaking. Although it was stated that no one could attack her, the things that were written were enough to make me feel alone and never want to put my information on the group to be belittled as they had done to this strong, kind, loving girl. A girl who runs a business and helped me tremendously in a time when I needed her. This, this was not okay. I could have commented and then been attacked as well, I could have agreed and hurt my friend, I could have.. but I didn’t. Instead, I private messaged her and told her she’s not alone, that she is loved, that she is important and needed. I am a loving girl and-

I am raising two loving girls.

When I was in a hard time in life, I had so many girls reach out. Some brought me food. Some responded to my late night “poor pitiful me” messages, some just sat here and watched TV with me and said nothing and that was what I needed. I pray that I raise girls like that. The girls that sit by the kid sitting alone at the lunch table, the girls that play with everyone at recess, the ones that tell other girls “it’s okay” when they’re embarrassed by something at school.

I am raising two inclusive girls.

Be that girl. Be the girl who is the poster child for kindness. Be the girl that responds to the late night pity messages. Be the girl that is proof that nice people exist. Empowered women, empower women. May we be them, may we love them, may we raise them. Because the world will not always treat them right.

I am raising two tiny humans that will be world changers– what are you raising?

Joy comes in the morning ❤️

R E D.

RED. I’m not a red person usually, I usually like blue, pink, teal- not red. It’s not a bad color, it’s just not my first choice- but when I moved into my first rent house, someone gave me a red microwave. I thought to myself “Red? I most definitely do not want to do my entire kitchen in red.” It seems silly and I should have just been thankful for the free, red microwave. I remember confiding in my friend and telling her my “first world problem”. Her response was so.. easy. She told me, “if you don’t like it- then paint it. You don’t want to look at a kitchen you hate forever”.

Wow. Something so feasible. Just change it. Paint it. Move it. In life, we so often get consumed in “well there’s no changing it” or “we’re too far in”. So we stay in the failing relationships, don’t continue through school because that’s another four years, or give up on your goal to lose 4 pounds (or 40) because you had a bad day and the cake won.

Can I give some unsolicited advice though? Change. Wake up 5 minutes earlier every day until it’s enough to read your devotional before your kiddo wakes up or cut out 10 minutes a day to go on a walk, do jumping jacks, or play tag (kids are fast, you’ll be feeling it- promise). Hate your relationship? Is it your mindset? Look up counseling. Look up their love language. Put in the effort to keep it alive (if it’s a safe environment that you can save).

Take a step back and see what is making you unhappy. Is it really the red kitchen or the fact that your ugly red kitchen gives not one resemblance to HGTV? Check yourself. Mindset makes a huge difference in life. When you are set on what could have been and not what could be, your happiness tends to flee. As I moved out of my rent house and into an apartment in the midst of our divorce, I took the red things. Red bowls, red cups, but I left the red microwave. In that moment, I could have gotten rid of every red item. I could have started over with a nice grey (that’s what Mina from Good Bones would do, right?), but I didn’t. The red grew on me. The red became my kitchen. The red blender looked nice, the red dishes seemed right, and as I looked at my small, ugly red kitchen- I smiled because my mindset was different. I had a kitchen. I had a beautiful apartment that was all mine.

A year late, I moved into my new house I bought. Once again I was in the moment of change. Change of residence, change in decor, change in life- but that dang red kitchen remained. I hung up my red E A T sign, put my red measuring cups and later my now husband would gift me a red kitchen-aid mixer that would be the “icing” on the cake. Haha, see what I did?

In all this time and change, I could have continued to just be unhappy in my situation while I just say the grass as greener on the other side, but I chose not to. I chose red.

What is red in your life? What seems bad, but when you take a step back is easily changeable, doable, lovable? Is it your job? The one that you feel like you are excelling at, but as soon as you go on maternity leave no one speaks to you unless they need something? The relationship that just needs the understanding that just because you love gift giving, your partner is happiest with physical touch? The feeling of being inadequate since your house is still messy after watching “clean tiktok” for days?

What needs to be done for you to be happy? Make a list. Really look at your life. Find the red. It’s time to figure out what is figure-out-able girl and either fix your red or enjoy your red. Listen to the self-help podcast. Go talk to the therapist.

It’s up to you now. Make yourself have some Joy in the Morning, Joy in the week, Joy in the month, Joy in the 2022 year.


I love being a mom. It is 100% my thing. I love the title beyond words. Also, I want to be THAT mom. The stay at home mom. The Pinterest mom. The perfect house mom. The “we don’t do screen time (L O L) mom. The Elf on a Shelf mom. The patient, loving, never get annoyed mom.

But I’m not.

I’m the stressed mom. I’m the “work outside the home” mom. I’m the tired mom. I’m the tablet, phone, TV mom. I’m the mom with big plans, but a lot of the time I do not follow through with my ideas because I bite off more than I can chew.

But I’m doing my best.

I long for the pretty tree in my living room decorated perfect. I have huge dreams of baking the cookies that look like realistic Santas, trees, and snowmen. I wish I could tell people that I cannot sleep if my house is a mess or the dishes have gone undone.. again.

But I’m can’t.

Do you know who still loves me, though? Avery Grace. A couple days ago, we asked Avery if she wanted to decorate cookies. I had picked up some cookie cutters from the Dollar Tree, had Bailee picked up some pre-packaged cookie dough (yaknow, add water and oil and BOOM- cookies) aka F A N C Y, and talked it up like crazy. You would have thought this three year old was living the toddler dream while mama spent like $5 total. She helped press the dough down on the pan, she picked the cutters she wanted to use, and we all worked together to make the worlds fanciest cookies.

But they weren’t.

They were lame. The Santa looked like the snowman and the snowman looked like a blob. We didn’t frost them. We didn’t do anything fun with them. But to Avery- they were perfect. She couldn’t pick which one she wanted to eat first. She was giddy with excitement as she stood there and watched as they cooled off. When she finally got to pick out the cookie she begged for and start eating, her chocolate covered face was the best face I could have asked her. As her mom, I was enough.

But it’s so hard to feel like I’m enough all the time.

In the holiday season, I feel like it is easy to feel inadequate. Not just for mamas, but for aunts, cousins, grandmas, or friends. Making sure you have the money for the perfect dirty Santa gift for the eight parties you’re invited to, making sure your husband has the newest socks, underwear, and video game under the tree. Staying up late to wrap all the presents just perfectly, so that they can be unwrapped in 2.5 seconds. Taking the kiddos to see all the Christmas lights, moving that damn Elf for the fourteenth time this week, and getting enough sleep to keep going the next day is not simple. But you got this girl. You got this mama. You got this aunt. You got this grandma. YOU. GOT. THIS.

But it’s okay to have those days.

Take it slow. Keep it simple. Your kiddo will still love you. Your kiddo will still think you’re enough and the best mama. Money won’t buy your happiness. Go drive through your towns expensive neighborhoods and look at lights. Buy the easy cookie mix, they won’t care it’s not made from scratch- they care they got to do something fun with someone they love. House and wallet too small for that big tree? Santa visits small ones too. If all you have is a little 1 foot tree decorated with flamingos (guilty) then rock it. Your kid will still think you’re cool because who doesn’t love flamingos? Psychopaths. That’s who. Don’t base your happiness on Pinterest, HGTV, or your friend Rachel’s extravagant instagram stories with the perfect filter- base it on you and your family.

But at the end of the day when you still feel like there pain in the night, don’t forget that Joy Comes in the Morning.

✨ P E R F E C T ✨

This morning, I was listening to Rachel Hollis for the first time in months. I’m not going to lie, I had stopped listening to her podcast- not because I didn’t like it, but because I felt like I was in an incredibly different place than her. She is a girl boss with hustle like no other. A few days ago, as I was waiting in the lobby during my longest OB appointment ever WITH A D E A D phone, I noticed a magazine with an article in it written by her. Within it, I found out she was going through a divorce. I’m not sure how I missed that, but I thought “wow, someone so perfect is now co-parenting”. Now, a little more relatable that I remembered, I fired up the old podcast and listened to her tell me to stop being lazy and follow my dreams. She told me to figure out what was holding me back, so I thought really hard to myself- fear of disappointment, total inexperience, inability to ever be perfect? D- all of the above.


Man, is that the word of the century. AmIRight?

The perfect house.

The perfect yard.

The perfect spouse.

The perfect kiddos.

The perfect life.

But sis, can I let you in on a secret? It isn’t perfect. It’s a filter.. everything is perfect on someone else’s profile.

Your house is beautiful- clean it, declutter, light a candle and soak in how perfect it is even though it’s small/old/not as nice as “theirs”.

Your yard is fine, no one cares that you don’t have the huge inflatable Santa (except maybe your kids when you’re at Walmart and they want to buy every.single.item.).

Your spouse is trying. Another secret no one wants to hear- they’ll never actually be perfect (and all my women said A M E N). My husband leaves his socks in the middle of the floor, he’s the worst light-turner-offer, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that he will never put the toilet seat down in a house full of women, ever. But man, is he patient, loving, caring, sweet, selfless. I was in the hospital a few weeks ago and he sat in the corner chair knowing he couldn’t do anything except hand me my drink.. but do you know what he did do? Hand me my drink, rub my back, kiss my forehead, pray for me. That is perfection.

Your kiddos are great. That meltdown today in the middle of the frozen food aisle (been there) is not the first or the last you (or that hometown grocery store) will experience a full blown temper tantrum. The people staring and snickering saying “my kid will never do that” are probably not parents yet. You’re not failing. You’re giving them love, kindness, snuggles.

Your life, girl, your life is phenomenal. In the same podcast (I’ll link it here) Rachel said you know the things I am going to tell you, you’ve heard them, you know it’s important, BUT sometimes you’re not in the right season for it to really hit.

So, if you are in a place of struggling with perfectionism, just know you’re not alone there. You are also not alone in the fact that someone will always have something better than you- better car, better yard, better job. But your season is not the same, your filter is not the same.

You are the best you that you will ever come across. No one can ever come close.

You may hate the pain tonight, but joy will be here in the morning.

XO Kyla

..And to all a good night.

It was the night before Christmas and all through the house, all the mamas were rushing around to tie up loose ends and the daddies were eating Santa’s snacks and building toys and getting in the way of the already stressed out mamas. The grandparents were hectically wrapping and preparing baked goods and the kiddos were anxiously listening for the tapping of the reindeers feet onto the roof until their little minds drifted to sleep with their happy thoughts.

This Christmas was different than most. The shopping was limited, the loved ones were scarce, the traditions were broken and BOY was this hard. Due to unforeseeable circumstances, we only got to celebrate with the five of us this year. This was wild to me. I came from a divorced home and my mom came from a divorced home, so I am use to a lot of Christmases. We always ran all over the country in order to make all the events in time and celebrate. Now, my daughter, Avery has that treat. She has Christmas Eve with mama, Christmas morning with mama, daddy, and our two bonuses- Day and BB, followed by many more family and friends gatherings. It is exhausting, we’re all so wore out by the end, but that is our perfect Christmas. We love seeing everyone, laughing, baking, presents, just thoroughly enjoying time together. This year, COVID really made it different. As most of you know, I am a nurse at the hospital, so it is always worrisome for me to be around and potentially make friends and family sick from the germs I pick up there. (But let’s be real for a moment- you pick up similar germs from shopping, the gym, going out to eat, etc).

This year, all those plans were taken away. We celebrated with just us. We had lasagna and watched Jingle All the Way (all my 90’s babies said HECK YEAH). We left cookies and milk for Santa and got all the stockings filled in anticipation for the big guys big appearance. On Christmas morning, we opened presents, FaceTime and called everyone, watched Mulan and ate stew. It was simple, it was family, it was us. It was a memory. 2020 has been anything but normal and we should be use to that by now and we’ve mostly learned to just go with it, but sometimes I think to myself “man, if this were any other year.. life would be easy”.


Easy isn’t always better though. In this hard season of life, you are an inspiration to those around you. To the single daddy that didn’t think he would ever be the sole guardian of his kiddos and dreads dealing with all the stuff “mamas” help their daughters learn. We see you. To the person who lost their job in March this year when COVID hit and you thought you would never find another occupation you loved, but here you are killin’ it and kicking booty and taking names- we see you. To the mama who checked that pregnancy test one last time before opening presents and for the millionth time saw only one line, we see you, we love you and in time, you will be the perfect mama. As we grow up, so often we see all our friends online growing, flourishing, excelling. We don’t post our failures, we post our successes.

Social media is so frustrating, so much comparing, so much sadness can come from it.. But that isn’t all it is. Social media can be connecting, inspiring, loving. We choose what we are. We choose every minute of everyday what we are going to be. What do you choose to be today?

We’re about to start a new year with new goals, new plans, and new aspirations. Months ago (literally) I bought a devotional I absolutely HAD to have. I ordered through prime to ensure it would get here in time.. Do you want to know how many times I have cracked that baby open? None. I was so insistent on being better and doing better, but I got caught up in life and never even opened it. So what do you choose? Who are you going to inspire? Connect to? Love? I challenge you to remember who you were when you were laying in bed, drifting away to the sounds of the reindeer landing on top of the roof as your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends stayed up late to make sure you experienced the magic. If you’re a parent of littles now, you probably got to see that this year- the look on their faces when they saw the cookies had been eaten by Santa, or helped nana bake, or even just watching the Grinch for the sixth time… this week.

I want to be kinder, more inspirational, connecting, loving. I want to be more. I want people to see me and my social media as the same person.. and hopefully a good one at that. I know you can be too. It’s so easy to get torn down by the world. To be sad, burned-out, and broken.. but even though there may be so much weeping in the night, J O Y COMES IN THE M O R N I N G.

Avery Grace at Christmas 2020!

💕C O P A R E N T I N G 💕

It’s not easy. It takes a lot of compromise, patience, understanding, and remembering that our kiddo is the only factor that is important when making most decisions. Her dad and I have made it a point since she was born to make her first. If we’re arguing, we know that Avery is the most important subject and if our arguing affects her, then something needs to change. This was our 3rd Halloween celebrating together and 2nd with all five of us. We visited 10 different houses, we had family meet and go, we made sure Avery had the most fun. We took turns holding her, showing her off, and playing like she was a “real” doctor. All of which were memories that she may not remember years from now, but it is an environment she will grow up in and can’t help but look back and be happy that although everyone said it was weird situation, she was happy. You see, we do life together. We have family dinners, My new husband and I go to event with my ex-husbands new wife’s family and my ex-husband and his wife join my family at church every Sunday. Avery knows mommy’s house and daddy’s house and that we have to share her. She may only be two and a half, but boy has she caught on quick!

I get many messages telling me they could never do it.. I didn’t think it would be so fluid either. I can’t say it was easy, because her dad and I had to work and figure out what system was best for us. What we do may not be the best for what you need do, but figure out what is best for you. For us, we found our common interests, which led to us being actual friends, and then even business partners. Not everyone is that lucky. I have a great ex-husband who works with me in all this and that is how we do so well! But it also takes:


If you and your kiddo are happy, that is what matters. Coparenting isn’t taboo, you don’t have to hate each other post divorce. Sometimes, mommy and daddy are happier apart and that is best for the kiddos and THAT IS OKAY.

Of course, a huge thank you to our bonus parents! It can’t be easy going into this life, but you all are handling it flawlessly!

joycomesinthemorning #coparenting

It could be worse..

I remember thinking “when it rains, it pours”. If something bad was going to happen, it would happen now. Looking back, that attitude was so destructive for my mindset and I constantly wonder to myself that if I would have had a more “glass half full” mindset, would it have helped? O mean come on, it could be worse.

I constantly told myself that other people have it worse and that is probably why I continued to struggle with finding my own happiness. I immersed myself in church. I went every Sunday, I volunteered every time there were opportunities. I was present. I just knew the more I went, the happier I would be. Update: just attending church wasn’t enough. Add more

Recently, I was on Facebook and my heart broke as I watched a video of someone going through a hard time in life. They kept saying “I know people have it worse” and I thought of myself just a few years ago. I told myself so often that I couldn’t be sad because people have it worse. There is cancer, death of a loved one, loss of jobs, house, pets, etc And my struggle? So minute in comparison.

I was at our Thursday night church service one night for young adults. I can’t tell you what we learned about, who I sat with, or what started it- but one of the leaders sat and talked to me after. He asked me how I was, I answered and once again he asked me- but how are you, really? I remember telling him everything and at the end, I said what I’ve been saying all along- life seems to be rough right now, but other people have it worse. His response- “so?”. He went on to say “just because you have different struggles than others people, it doesn’t mean your struggles aren’t important. They’re important to YOU.”

I’m a crier. If I’m mad, I cry. If I am upset, I cry. If I’m super happy, I cry. It’s super annoying, but at this point I’m 26 and it is probably not going to change. So if you ever see me crying, pass the tissues and go on with ya bad self. I may have cried, but people had it worse. So needless to say, as this conversation progresses, I cry- he cries. We pray and cry. Man, when they say lay it all out and give it to God- they know what they’re talking about. I had such a sense of relief, of happiness, of understanding.

Since then, I have talked to so many people. Some people who have dealt with things that I either know about, have been through, or I maybe have no experience with, but I can at least be the person to listen.

When is the last time you listened? When is the last time you reached out? I know so many people are living their hardest life right now. They’re


I want to be better.

A better mother. A better wife. A better friend. A better employee. A better person.

We just got back from an amazing vacation with family, but to get to this great location was a drive. A long drive. An 18 hour drive with a 2 year old that made it a longer drive. Being in the car that long together, my husband and I were accidentally snappy to one another.. a time or two. During that drive, we had a lot of time to talk, listen to podcasts, perform our own concert to 90’s music for all the cars to see, and think. A lot of thinking. As we made our trek, I thought about the last few years. I became a mama, married the love of my life who is super dreamy, finished RN school, and accomplished more that I ever expected, but I did not spend my time focusing on other people, making people feel wanted, needed, and appreciated.

I want to be better.

I remember a few years ago, I heard a speaker talk about appreciation. You glow different when you feel appreciated. You work harder when you’re appreciated. You do more when you’re appreciated. You’re better when you’re appreciated. So now that we have made it home, I am making it a goal to be the person people in the room want to talk to, vent to, and share their life with.

I want to be better.

I know it won’t happen overnight and it will take constant, intentional moves, but I will be better. When is the last time you checked on your grandma out of state? Texted a friend whom you haven’t talked to in years, but you know is going through a hard time based on vague Facebook posts? Gave your spouse a 30 second hug instead of just a quick side hug and peck on the lips before you storm out the door with your avocado toast and red bull to tackle a 14 hour day? It’s time to be intentional. It’s time to be loving. It’s time to be understanding. It’s time to appreciate others for all they do.

It’s time to be better.

In the book of Isaiah (1:17), it talks about being better. The verse reads “Learn to do right, seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” WOW. How true is that? Imagine if we did what was right the first time and sought justice in all things we do as well as defend. What would the world be like? How many people would do better and be better is we defended them, appreciated them, cared for them, and loved them? It’s our jobs to do better.

My best friends daughter’s birthday party was today. We had been counting down, planning, and chatting for weeks about it. I didn’t sleep well last night and when I woke up, I had 20 minutes to get to the party. In that 20 minutes I had to not only get myself ready, but also my 2 year old and husband. I thought to myself as they slept, “I could just skip”, “would anyone even notice?”. I then thought yes- yes they would. The almost 3 year old may not, but her mom, her moms mom, her moms moms mom would because I have been best friends with her since like 2003 or earlier and they know me. They would know me and know I wasn’t there. They would notice.

I’ve got to be better.

I reminded myself of that phrase as I frantically got us all together. I have got to be better. How am I suppose to expect people to show up to Avery’s functions if I don’t return the favors? I’ve got to be better.

You can be better. You can be intentional. You can change your norm and be the person others need. You can be appreciative, loving, caring, and understanding. You can, we can. We can be better. Remember, although there may be pain in the night, Joy Comes in the Morning. ❤️