A mom in suburbia: 33 signs

My 22 year old self would laugh so hard at this list. The writing is on the wall, I am a middle aged woman trapped in the mainland.

  1. I actually think the gift of appliances is kind of romantic. Thanks hunnie for my sexy miele vacuum.
  2. Yes, that fresh scent is essential oils mixed in all my natural cleaning products…to think I used to mock those people.
  3. Dine in? Mmm, do they deliver? I’d rather direct a Broadway show than get everyone dressed for a meal.
  4. So many highly rated restaurants in the city, so many options for date night! By the time we arrange a babysitter and make the drive…How about take out?
  5. I have seen things only parents could understand. I am damaged goods in the bodily fluids department thanks to my offspring.
  6. Did I mention I enjoy vacuuming the floors? Basically, I have turned into my mom.
  7. Forget the cleaning lady…I just need 3 hours to get this house cleaned the right way. My way! (What is happening to me?)
  8. The sun is out. Break out the chalk. It’s time to draw on the sidewalk. Distant memory of beach days and drinks plays in my mind.
  9. I own a crockpot and use it often. Fail to plan=Plan to fail. #parenting
  10. Yeah, I freeze meals these days. I became one of those people as well.
  11. Gardening is a real thing. Nothing like tomatoes and onions you have shielded from the forces of nature and voracious birds.
  12. Thank goodness Disney produces such high quality movies. Can you imagine watching Frozen a million times if it sucked? Yes. We have watched it at least a million times.
  13. Our Amazon Echo plays Finding Nemo’s soundtrack most of the day. The sad part is that I like it.
  14. I wash my hair in the middle of the night. Those 15 minutes of silence are therapeutic.
  15. I own my share of Lularoe leggings and dresses; bought them in the name of comfort and became one of those people.
  16. I live in music city but rarely go to a musical event. The city is like 25 miles away.
  17. Fine dining: drive-thru hibachi. How things have changed.
  18. At what time is story time at Barnes and Noble? To think I attended a couple of first dates at BN and never noticed the kids section.
  19. Who loves audio books? This girl! Let’s be real, no one wants to read a business book after Llama, Llama red pajama.
  20. I own and wear so many Lee Company branded items…I am pretty much a walking billboard.
  21. My coffee mug is Lee Company branded. Pretty sure I used to have a cute mug with a motivational quote not long ago.
  22. Summertime margaritas in my neighbor’s backyard fill up our social calendar. They have the margaritaville machine!
  23. My online shopping carts are filled with clothes I will not buy because I am in between sizes. What if this is my permanent new size?
  24. I have started using the anti wrinkles products I bought in my mid-twenties. Better late than never.
  25. My patience for drama has worn rather thin. I am more of a “give it to me straight” kind of person these days.
  26. I wish the silly jogger who runs through our cul-de-sac at freaking 4 am would just go away. Our dogs go nuts thanks to you! Why do we have to suffer the consequences of your healthy lifestyle? Buy a treadmill!
  27. I lie, I do like drama; especially the one that unfolds a few times a week on our community Facebook group. I should have real social interaction, I know.
  28. Who knew I would start napping at 30? You sleep when they sleep is pure gold in the advice scale.
  29. Sadly, our dogs only get my attention while I am on the toilet, I am a captive audience at that point.
  30. Did I mention my squatty potty? Oh my! You must buy one like right now!
  31. Love is: “I got this one hunnie”, in reference to a poopie diaper.
  32. Chicken tenders make such a great dinner. Yes, I am one of those people too.
  33. Can I just say Publix sushi is so unjustly underrated?

I love the quirky ways of our days.

Cheers to being 33!


A happy mom in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


Thick as thieves

Just when I think the love I feel for my kids can’t be more overpowering it reaches a new high. Becoming a parent has been an exercise of broadening my perspective on a daily basis.

When Ava was our only child I thought there could be nothing more powerful than the love I felt for her and what I imagined she felt for me. Elliott’s arrival proved me wrong. Seeing them love each other tops anything I have felt before.

We, humans, are finite when it comes to the infinite universe that is love.

My biggest wish is for Ava and Elliott to love, support and respect each other for as long as they live. I pray for my kids to be best friends, adventure pals, accountability partners…whatever life calls for.

This picture is not a great picture yet I love it. This picture captures their relationship so well. This picture makes my heart swell…they are best friends.


This is how I can help you

Are you one of those charming people who never says ‘no’ to anyone? Are you one of those well-meaning, eager beavers always ready and willing to say ‘yes’ to help requests? I am. I am also one of the crazies who ends up strained and stressed trying to figure out how to deliver on my many commitments.

Karol Hernandez

A helpful soul

Why do I say ‘yes’?

Very few things on earth bug me as much as a person with “alligator arms”; you know, the ones whose hands go slightly up in the air and are quick to say “that’s not my job”. Seriously, that behavior is so against my core I consider it borderline offensive.

I love the feeling of being helpful and to be honest, I love the feeling of being needed. I also understand that in the economy of interpersonal relationships, help and favors are a currency. We make deposits and withdrawals. We make investments, some yield good results, and in the best cases some give way to great friendships.

I always say ‘yes’ because I like to be liked, and we can all agree that most reasonable people like a helpful person. And here is reason #1: I like to say ‘yes’ because more often than not, helping leads to learning.

-El acomedido come lo que está escondido-

I grew up hearing this Spanish saying all the time. The helpful person eats what’s hidden. Translation reads funny but it means that special treats are reserved for those who go out of their way to help…there are delicacies only a helpful soul can savor.

Oh, but we must learn to say no.

What good are treats and delicacies if we are too overwhelmed to enjoy them? A person who likes to be liked can struggle with uttering a certain tiny word: no. We feel like we are letting someone down, or worse, we are missing out on the opportunity to razzle-dazzle. 

In order to retain my sanity and for my ‘yes’ to hold its value, I’ve had to say ‘no’. This is important, we can say ‘yes’ all we want, but that little word can be devalued if we fail to deliver. If saying ‘no’ seems uncomfortable, imagine saying a ‘yes’ no one has faith in, ouch!

I have found a happy medium. Sometimes I can help, just not to the extent the requester is expecting. In these cases I don’t say ‘no’. Why would I? There is some currency at stake and honestly my inner helping hand wants to be raised high in the air like it just don’t care. 

I take inventory of my ability to commit and simply tell the requester a magic and mighty phrase: HERE IS HOW I CAN HELP YOU.

It is a thing of beauty. Most reasonable people respond well to this offer because there is clarity, it tells them their request is not an inconvenience and I am very interested in being accommodating. Win-win.

Knowing how I can help others and being able to articulate it clearly has enabled me to be helpful in meaningful ways. I still over extend myself on ocassion but definitely a lot less than I used to. Time is a luxury, one we must enjoy and share intentionally, deliberately.

I am off to enjoy the two most beautiful creatures on the face of my earth…my kids.


I love you in the valley

Love, the force that makes the world go round. Love, with its impetus lives collide and become one. Love, its fruit takes flesh and bones in our sons and daughters. 

Love is more than moons, stars and promises. Love is blue, thorns and cloudy skies. Love is covenant through pastures and valleys. 

I have loved and been loved through high and lows. I have roamed freely on foreign lands hand in hand with my beloved, blissful love. Yet nothing makes me feel as grounded as loving through the valleys.

In the valley I have found true friendship, encouragement, stillness, compassion, hope, resilience, truthfulness, freedom…your hand and embrace. 

In the valley, I have felt your love like a thousand waves washing over me, I don’t walk alone. In the valley, I have drank your silent tears, you are the salt of my earth. In the valley, I have heard the song of your dreams, even in hopelessness we can dance under the stars. In the valley, I have seen your eyes, free from pretense and agendas. I have stared into your vulnerable soul and found myself right there…tucked so close to your heart, we beat as one. 

Your pain is my pain, your gain is my gain, your valley is my valley, this is our love. 

I love you in the valley, this is my fortune. 


Women who pump

Karol FeldmanI am still getting used to the word kids. Kids. I am now the mother of two amazing kids, 2 kids under the age of 2. Not for long though; Ava will be 2 in exactly 7 days. Elliott just turned 3 months which means many milestones have been achieved. One of those milestones is my return to work.

I am now a working mother of a toddler and a nursing baby. Days at the office are busy, meetings fill up the calendar and to-do lists grow with merciless speed, yet I have to find time to pump. Pumping is a hassle; hoses, breast shields, bottles, the incredible pressure of producing enough…oh the pressure. But I make time.

I make time to pump because breastfeeding is important to me; it gives me something to look forward to after a long day at work. I love feeling Elliott’s warm hands on my skin while he feeds, we reconnect, we nurture each other.

There is an incredible amount of guilt associated with ‘choosing work over your baby’. As a second time mom I have learned to not let guilt get the best of me. I love what I do and think that working makes me a better mom. All moms are different, there is no right or wrong way to handle life after a baby, there is an ideal fit for each woman and her family. In my case, the ideal fit involves a daycare for our toddler, a babysitter for our little man, and a job that allows me to be the mom I want to be.

I found that pumping is a great way to nurture my baby while I work, a great way to love him and stay connected. Sure, the process is a hassle, staying on top of my pumping schedule is not easy, trying to break away from long meetings for a pumping break can be awkward…I tell my male coworkers that I need to meditate, they must think I am really spiritual.

Pumping while I work makes me feel like super woman, more like super mom. People say women can’t have it all; let’s face it, no one can have it all.  I have a pretty sweet deal and feel really grateful for the gift of loving my baby through the act of pumping while we are separated.

I salute all the women who work and pump, it is not an easy task, it’s not sexy nor convenient; but to us it means the world. Proud of to be one of those women who pump.


Related: Early motherhood lesson


Growing up is hard to do

Life has changed drastically for us in the last 3 years. Changing states, starting new jobs, buying a house, getting married, adopting two pups, nurturing a garden, becoming parents…so much to fit in a short sentence broken up by commas.

Growth has been chaotic. We have experienced growing pains as individuals, as professionals, as a family and as parents. Growth is wonderful but a price must be paid. 

We have lost the simplicity of our DINK (dual income no kids) days, and been rapidly consumed by the intricate logistics of child rearing. Our morning routine revolves around a little human whose bath is incomplete without a rubber ducky. Our house is a giant playroom where dogs eat toys and our kid eats kibble. 

Growing up: One day she will go in search of new adventures.

I feel like a creature emerging from a cocoon. I am this new version of me. A mom, a wife, a professional (who takes her job way too seriously)…a less charming and sociable Karol. A more focused and intentional person; I have changed. I guess this change is growth. 

When you are little, like Ava, you grow without any awareness of it. This is the first time in my life where I feel aware of my growth (change, whatever), and it feels so weird. I am aware of what is being left behind and don’t know what to think about it. 

Here is what I do love about where I am today: 

  • Itsy bitsy spider (genius)
  • Garrett
  • I like my job
  • My dogs are clowns that still make laugh…and don’t destroy as much stuff anymore 
  • Confidence…that sucker takes time and experience to build up
  • My best friend’s beverage of choice is whole milk…that will never go out of style 🙂

I miss my family and the few great friends in life who reside in the promised land (South Florida). 

I don’t think I miss the “fly by the seat of our pants” Karol and Garrett…those have not been lost 🙂 Our luggage has gotten heavier but now we travel with the BEST sidekick on earth: Ava. 

Growing up is hard to do…I suppose that is why some people decide to skip it all together. I have decided to grow up before I grow old…even if a few aches are involved. 

PK…still living in the country. 

Little sunshine


Just love. That’s all I feel for this beautiful little person. It amazes me to think that at some point in time we all were THAT cute.

I wonder what goes through her mighty mind, what she thinks of us, what she wonders. Her eager eyes are consuming the universe around her at a speed only matched by light. Little babbles have turned into sweet “mama” and “daddy” (I melt). Her fingers try to imitate mine as we sing itsy bitsy araña…she applauds her own effort prompting the same response from her audience. Does she know just how adorable she is?


It will soon be a year since her arrival into our world (weird expression since she was so real in my world long before her birth). A year that feels like a year and a half because of its many long nights…yet, it has gone by so fast. A year in which I have slowly grown into the woman who lovingly answers the call when she says “mama”.

I am Karol, mother of Ava, mother of two crazy puppies, wife of the awesome Garrett Feldman. I am blessed and content…I am in love with my little love…soon to be one year old.


3 years of life in the country.