It’s the last official weekend of Summer and I’m hardcore celebrating. And by hardcore celebrating, I mean lighting my @raedunn fall scented candles, binge watching Netflix and going to bed before 10pm. 🙌🏻 Remember when our nights didn’t even start until 10pm? I would dance all night, get back home with just enough time to shower and change before heading out to work. AND I could work a full 8 hours without ever feeling the fact that I hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours... Now I’m unable to function if someone wakes me up 15 minutes early. Getting old is awesome. .
#letterboardquotes #letterboard #letterboards #letterboardlove #letterboardfun #farmhouselove #farmhousestyle #letterboardquote #magnoliastyle #howyouhome #makehomeyours #pocketofmyhome #modernfarmhousestyle #modernfarmhousedecor #ighome #modernfarmhouse #howwedwell #homegoodsfinds #raedunnfinds #raedunn #homegoods #tjmaxxfinds #raedunnfinds #targetdoesitagain #targetdollarspot #raedunnfall #pumpkinseason #pumpkinspice #homegoodshappy

It’s the last official weekend...

I read something the other day on Facebook that said that the song that was number 1 on your 14th birthday, defines your life. I googled it, excited to find a message, a sign (I’m a sucker for that sort of thing). Instead, I found it was “Cream” by Prince. 😐 Cream? What does that mean? Ice cream? Coffee creamer? 
So I looked it up... and read the lyrics. "Cream" was meant to mean “cream of the crop”. There are lyrics like “everything you do is success” and my favorite part... “Do your dance
Why should you wait any longer?
Take a chance
It could only make you stronger”  Message received, Prince. Message received. 
What song was number one on your 14th birthday?
#coffeetime☕ #frenchvanilla #pumpkinspice #pumpkineverything #pumpkinspicelatte #pumpkinpie #raedunnlove #raedunnfinds #raedunn #raedunnmugs #raedunnclay #tjmaxxfinds #tjmaxx #homegoodshappy #homegoodsfinds #amazonfinds #marshallsfinds #marshalls #homegoods #coffeeholic #coffeebar #coffee_time #coffeetable #coffeecoffeecoffee #fall🍁 #prince #songlyrics

I read something the other...

This girl lost another tooth last week. I’ve been waiting for this toothless smile since she knocked her other one out last year. Unfortunately, it’s not going to last long because her adult tooth is already growing in 😭. (Zoom in to see) Yesterday I noticed both of her front-bottom teeth are peeking out behind her baby teeth too. Does anyone know how to slow down time. A button? A phone call? Maybe a time machine? My baby isn’t a baby anymore. Cue the tears. Have you celebrated any milestones with your kids recently?
#losttooth #targetfinds #targetclearance #targetdoesitagain #targetdeals #targetstyle #slowdown #growing  #growinguphispanic #growingup #smile😊 #smiles 
#momblog #mommyblog #momblogger #mombloggers #bloggermom #mommybloggers #momswhoblog #mommyblogger #mamablogger #momsofinstagram

This girl lost another tooth...

I don’t get bouquets of flowers for no reason…. But I do appreciate the flowers that grow by our mailbox, like this one. And it made me realize something this morning.  I’m over it. 
I’m over comparing my life to other people’s lives on social media.
My house might not be as fancy. 
My wardrobe is not as expensive. 
I don't apply makeup as well or even at all most days.
I don’t have beautiful, long flowing hair.
I don’t drive a car that’s worth bragging about. 
We don’t go on lavish trips around the world. 
I don’t carry loads of money in designer handbags. 
Does that make me less of a person? 
Does that make me less of an influencer? 
No. It makes me a regular 40-something Mom who has chosen to open up and share our lives on social media.  It makes me someone who has built this hobby of photography and writing into a business that has solely supported my family for a year and a half. 
I’m proud of that. 
I’m proud that I’m not a follower.
I’m proud that I have worked hard for what I’ve achieved.
I’m proud of influencers like me who are unapologetically themselves.  What are you proud of? .
#inspiringquotes #inspirations #inspiredaily #motivationquotes #motivational #motivating #inspirationalquotes #womenempowerment #womenempoweringwomen #empoweringwomen #empowerment #influencers #bloggersofinstagram #bloggermom #momtruth #truthhurts

I don’t get bouquets of...

F O U R T E E N. 
What do you give your oldest daughter when she turns 14? Well, when you’re me, you write her a poem and post it on the blog for the world to see. Head over to read it and let me know what you think. Then, help me wish Lucia the best 14th birthday ever 👇🏻👇🏻
#birthdaygirl #birthdays #birthday🎂 #birthdayqueen #birthdaylove #birthdaygifts #birthdayfun #birthdaygirl👑 #birthdaygift #birthdaygirls #fourteen #teenage #teengirl #poemsofinstagram #poetryofinstagram

F O U R T...

It was just after Iyla's third birthday. She seemed to be on track, at least according to the pediatrician's checklist. She could follow instructions, name most familiar things, knew her first name, spoke in sentences and could carry a conversation, though she was hard to understand most of the time. We enrolled her in preschool that year and she was a little social butterfly. But as that school year went on, her teachers started to notice that she was struggling to get her words out. Most people that know Iyla today, have no idea that she was in speech therapy classes for two years. They have no idea that I fought it for almost 6 months and that I felt a tremendous guilt about it, because I thought it was my fault that she was stuttering as badly as she was. Today on the blog, I’m sharing the mistakes I made, in hopes that if you are ever in this situation, you take advantage of early intervention. .
#speechtherapy #stuttering #speechies #speechpathology #earlyintervention #earlyinterventionspeech #earlyinterventionprogram #publicschool #oldnavy #oldnavystyle #minted #amazon #amazonfinds #pridesocks #letthembelittle #kidsplay #rollerskating #rollerskates #mommoments

It was just after Iyla's...

There are two types of kids. 1) The kid who wants to eat the same thing every single day of the week, sometimes more than one time per day and 2) The kid who loves something one day and then hates it the next. #ad Which type of kid do you have? Or, are your kids like mine and bounce back and forth between the two? Either way, there is a way to make lunches more fun for kids. I'll let you in on a little secret... creating fun lunches is more fun for us too! This week, we created our first character, Inspector Caper Eyes. Head to the blog for more details! Plus, learn why we choose @JuicyJuiceUSA new better-for-you options, which are packed with functional benefits with juicy flavor that parents can feel great about serving to their kids.
#foodvideo #recipevideo #juicyjuice #videostar #videoviral #videooftheday #funvideo #targetfinds #targetdeals #targetdoesitagain #walmart #walmartfinds #tjmaxxfinds #tjmaxx #marshallsfinds #marshalls #homegoodsfinds #homegoodshappy #homegoods #yummyyummy #yummyfood #familyfriendly #familyfriendlymeals #familylife #funfood #kidslunchbox

There are two types of...

Remember I told you guys about our day dates now that the girls are #backtoschool? Well, we’ve really been enjoying them. #sponsored We walk, talk and laugh (a lot). Have you seen our IGTV yet? It’s a cheesy, beautiful video of what our relationship is like. I love that we’re able to connect and that we can make the time in our day to focus on our relationship and our health. Since we have three daughters, it’s even more important to go the extra mile when it comes to taking care of ourselves. These awesome @amazfit watches help us with that. I have the Amazfit Verge and Super Dad has the Amazfit Bip. They are lightweight, have app notifications and track your daily activity, your heart rate and so much more. The Amazfit Bip comes with a 30-day battery life and the Verge comes with Alexa built-in and you can make and receive phone calls through the watch. We can track our activity, sleep and heart rate and hold each other accountable for better decisions, when it comes to fitness and health. Visit to check them out and make sure to take advantage of the sale they’re currently having. No discount code necessary! What are you doing to get back to you? .
#dates #dateyourspouse #dateyourhusband #laughs #lovethislife #qualitytime #healthier #healthcare #fitnesslife #fitnessfun #fitstagram #exercisemotivation #smartwatch #smartwatches #techy #backtoyou #selfcarethreads #selfcarematters #parkrun #couplesgoals #coupleshoot

Remember I told you guys...

Take me back to the time when all I had to do was color in the lines, learn my abc’s and take a long nap everyday. Why didn’t we appreciate what we had back then? .
#Letterboardquotes #letterboard #letterboards #letterboardlove #letterboardfun #farmhouselove #farmhousestyle #letterboardquote #magnoliastyle #howyouhome #makehomeyours #pocketofmyhome #modernfarmhousestyle #modernfarmhousedecor #ighome #modernfarmhouse #howwedwell #homegoodsfinds #raedunnfinds #raedunn #homegoods #homegoodshappy #targetdoesitagain #targetdeals #raedunnclay #raedunnlove #adultingishard #adulting

Take me back to the...

#AD Our girls love nature, so this weekend, we headed to a local nature preserve for a little animal watching, walking and family time. We always pack the essentials when we're heading out in this Florida heat, including snacks, sunblock and @smartwater, because we know how important it is to stay hydrated. We love smartwater® because it's purified water made using vapor distillation, similar to the way water is purified in nature. It's available in 700mL and 1L bottles. Now through 9/15, you can save $2.75 off at Sam's Club, so stock up! (limit 10 per member) #kidsfitness #fitnessfun #daddyslittlegirl #natureseekers #naturephotos #exercisemotivation #familyfitness #fitnessforlife #qualitytime #bestdad #bestdayever #bestfriendgoals #fatherdaughter #dadofgirls #smartwater #hydrate #hydration #drinkwater #marshalls #marshallsfinds

#AD Our girls love nature,...

It’s Time I Stopped Lying to Myself and Everyone Else

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I’m going to start by saying that I’ve been writing this post for a while. It probably didn’t go live the day I intended it to and it might disappear at some point. But enough is enough. Time for me to put my big girl panties on and stop lying to myself and everyone else.

The Back Story

After my massive panic attack at the entrance of Disney World, I finally realized it was time to get help. I scheduled an appointment with a behavioral therapist and sat in her office for one hour every week. I actually looked forward to it. We spoke about my family, my job and tried to figure out what trigged my anxiety. Everything was on track, until I had a panic attack in her office.

About ten minutes into that session, I asked her if I could lay down on the couch and about a minute later, told her that I was going to have to leave. That is my thing. If I have to choose between fight or flight, I always chose flight. First came the light-headed feeling. Next, cold sweats. My therapist fanned me with a file folder and tried to distract me and get me to breathe while I counted the seconds until I could pay her and get back to my car asap. I never went back to therapy again. It was no longer a safe space. It would be forever be the place I had a panic attack.

My therapist called and left me a voicemail a couple of days later to check in on me and make sure I was ok. She recommended that I see a psychiatrist and consider medication. She knew that was my last resort and knew that I would probably not be back to see her.

Although my therapist suggested it, I wasn’t ready to admit to myself that I needed to see a psychiatrist. Instead, I decided that I was going to ask a primary doctor about medications first. So I made an appointment with a new primary doctor that I found online. I remember one of the first questions she asked me…

Do you also suffer from depression?

“NO. No, I don’t. It’s just anxiety. Aside from that, I’m perfectly happy.” She followed it up with a number of questions that seemed to be many other ways to ask if I was depressed. I answered no to all of them. The word depression scared me. I thought if I said that I had moments where I felt sad, that she would take that as my admitting that I might do harm to myself, which I would never do. So I told her no, over and over again. I said no so many times, I even convinced myself that I wasn’t depressed.

But the truth is, I am and I have been for a long time.

I left that appointment with a prescription and hope that this was going to be what changed everything for me. And it was… just not the way I imagined.

For a full two days after I took that first pill, I was in bed. If I thought anxiety was scary, those meds proved that I had no idea what scary was. The meds made me think things and feel things that no person should ever feel. I was afraid to be alone. I was afraid to do anything but sleep. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t eat.

So, I called my doctor and she said,

Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.

WHAT?! I went to this doctor because I needed help. My anxiety was out of control and I wanted her to help me fix it. Instead, she gave me something that had me thinking the darkest thoughts. What kind of medical professional would prescribe something that was going to make me feel that much worse?

But, she was the professional, so I waited it out. I continued taking the meds as she instructed. As I got used to them, the dark thoughts disappeared. I could concentrate again. I could do every day things. I was ready to live a normal life.

About a week later, I went to visit my Grandma and had the worst panic attack of my life, which resulted in me being stranded in our car, an hour from home, with my three daughters. I was completely paralyzed by anxiety. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t get back on the road to go home. My youngest had to use the bathroom and I tried to get her to pee in a bag because I couldn’t bring myself to walk them into the fast food restaurant that was just a few feet from our car. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t calm down. Instead, we waited for hours until my husband and a friend could come and pick us up.

I called my doctor as soon I got home and told her I needed to stop taking this medication. She told me she would call in a new prescription and instructed me to stop taking that one immediately, something she probably should have told me when I called her the first time.

For a little while, things got better. But that ordeal kept me from leaving my home for almost 3 months. I couldn’t drive and I couldn’t be more than 10 minutes from my house without panicking. I still have a hard time driving anywhere on my own. I’m terrified that it’ll happen again.

I’ve Become Great at Lying

Over the years, I became great at lying. No matter what my loved ones were seeing, I swore everything was fine. I didn’t want them to know the truth. I didn’t want them to know that I was crying myself to sleep and that I was sad more often than I was happy. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror without cringing. I was completely disgusted by my weight, my lack of self-care and especially for how I had let myself go.  I hardly recognized myself. I pushed my loved ones away because I was expecting them to leave me anyway. It was easier if I was in control of the situation.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I’ve been depressed because of the “what ifs”. My life is good. I have a beautiful family, a roof over our heads and a business that is actually fun. I have no reason to feel the feelings that I feel. I think it’s just my mind’s way of trying to stay in control and coping with the fear of what could happen. And I realize that is no way to live.

While I am fully aware of what’s going on, I still battle both anxiety and depression. Most of my days are good ones, but I do have to fight for those good days. I’m fighting to stop the sadness. I’m fighting my sudden irritability that hits me without warning. Mostly, I’m fighting to hide it all from my kids because I don’t want them to think this is normal. This isn’t normal. And I refuse to believe it’s my normal.

So why am I sharing this now, in a public forum? Because I’m tired of pretending. I’m tired of lying to myself and to everyone around me. I have mental health issues, as do lots of other people, millions of people in fact. My secret ends today. If I’m feeling depressed, I’m going to call it what it is. I’m going to address it. I’m going to work toward training my mind not to focus on the “what ifs” so that I don’t miss the good parts that are happening now.

Now you know the truth and I hope you don’t think any less of me or feel sorry for me. I’m still the same person I was before you read this. I’m just a little bit stronger.

The doctor asked me so many different ways. I answered no every single time. But I was lying to her and myself.


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  • Vasu Devan
    September 7, 2019

    Generally speaking, It is important to get timely help. However it is easy to say that than do it. Here is where friends and family can help, perhaps. First step is to know and accept that help is needed!.
    Vasu Devan recently posted Welcome to Saputara Monsoon FestivalMy Profile

  • Kiwi
    August 27, 2019

    I am glad you are using your platform to speak your truth and to get yourself to admit you have high anxiety and depression. Its the only way you are going to heal when you admit there is a problem. Yes please continue for the health of yourself and for your family.

  • Catherine
    August 23, 2019

    So raw and honest. To move forward, we must first acknowledge what holds us up. This is a very important post to share. Thank you!

  • Jackline A
    August 22, 2019

    I know it was not easy writing this but I am sure it has helped a lot of people and starting a lot of important discussions. Thank you for sharing.
    Jackline A recently posted 6 Dollar Store Organization Hacks for your nurseryMy Profile

    • Surekha Busa
      August 23, 2019

      Sorry to hear that.. Admitting that you need help is a great start. You are so brave to write about this.

  • Bella at Dear Mummy Blog
    August 22, 2019

    You’re brave for writing this post, my mummy has dark days too and pushes them away – it doesn’t help when people are happy to offer pills to fix you.
    Bella at Dear Mummy Blog recently posted Escaping to Kidz Island on Southsea Pier, PortsmouthMy Profile

  • Heather Barber McMechan
    August 21, 2019

    It’s so easy to try and convince yourself that everything is okay. It took great courage for you to realize there was more to your attacks. Glad you were able to bring your emotions to light
    Heather Barber McMechan recently posted 7 Back To School Tips To Help You Stop NaggingMy Profile

  • Amber S Battishill
    August 21, 2019

    I can’t imagine how hard or scary that this is. Speaking out about it takes such courage and surely helps someone else that is or has been in a similar situation. Sending you positive vibes and hope that you are able to find something that helps you to feel better.

  • Myrah Duque
    August 21, 2019

    To talk about these things is important. Removing all the stigma. Thanks for sharing this. It will help many. We all go through difficult times, I’m glad you found the right medication.
    Myrah Duque recently posted Enter The Great Myrtle Beach Condo or $50,000 Giveaway Contest!My Profile

  • Krystel | Frugal Living
    August 21, 2019

    I’m sorry that you are going through this. Probably took so much strength to write this. Sending you positive vibes.

  • April
    August 21, 2019

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. And hopefully you found the right medication for you. I also think that cognitive behavioral therapy is very helpful for this kind of situation. But at least admitting that you need help is the first step to healing.

  • Monidipa Dutta
    August 21, 2019

    I have extreme severe anxiety too but my problem is I am unable to open up. I’m a counselor but I am afraid of getting counselled. U r stronger than me thats why you could open up.

  • Ashley
    August 21, 2019

    I’m so glad that you’re able to get out there and share your story. Depression is a serious thing and I think oftentimes, we think if we ignore it that it will just go away. That is not the case!

  • Sue-Tanya Mchorgh
    August 21, 2019

    Depression is such a heavy topic. I find a lot of persons don’t like talking about it. I think it is important that you’re having the conversation. I know a few persons that this post will help so I will make sure to share it.

  • Garf
    August 21, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure it took a lot of courage to do that. Stay strong!
    Garf recently posted Common Cosmetic Dentistry ProceduresMy Profile

  • kumamonjeng
    August 21, 2019

    I have friends who suffered from depression due to many reasons, stress, loneliness and other factors. They can’t sleep at night and eat a lot during night time and hence gains weight due to excessive eating at night. I hope your post reach out to more people and gained awareness.
    kumamonjeng recently posted “The Brown Papaer Bag” in Sydney UTS (University of Technology Sydney)My Profile

  • Kita Roberts
    August 21, 2019

    I know that it took you a lot of courage to share your story to us. But I am thankful that you were able to talk about it. It would really help you so much. Keep strong!

  • julie
    August 21, 2019

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sure this is going to help so many women.

  • Ruth I
    August 21, 2019

    It is so brave of you writing such a sensitive content. It was never easy to deal with depression. I hope you’ll be doing ok in the near future.

  • Catalina
    August 21, 2019

    It’s the first and the most important step is to realize that you have a problem and you need help. And you need to be ready to accept help!

  • Kelly Martin
    August 21, 2019

    Thank you for such an honest, real post. I think this will help a lot of people in the same situation.

  • Blair Villanueva
    August 21, 2019

    I admire your courage to seek help and prioritize your health. Still many out there are in denial, and slowly destroys what they have. Virtual hugs!

  • Kristine Nicole Alessandra
    August 21, 2019

    This is so brave of you to share a part of you. It is not easy to open up and admit having mental health issues, but you are strong. You stepped out of your comfort zone. That is the first step to healing. Hugs to you and hopefully everything will get better soon.

  • kristin
    August 21, 2019

    Oh my Gish I so relate to this!! You have no idea, this was great. Big hugs!!

  • Sherry
    August 20, 2019

    Good for you for owning your truth. There is such a stigma attached to depression whether put there by others or by ourselves. I too suffer from depression and as I was reading this I saw myself in so many of the words you wrote. I was to the point where my children would be talking to me and I just wouldn’t care. I was staying in bed and lying to my husband about going to work during the day. Thankfully the medication my doctor put me on has helped.

  • Celebrate Woman Today
    August 20, 2019

    Heather, thank you for sharing your life, your very personal stories. They do help and support a lot of people reading your blog.

  • Leigh Suznovich
    August 20, 2019

    It is so important to talk about these things openly and remove the stigma. There is nothing wrong with what you are battling, no more wrong than if you were battling physical pain; and nothing wrong with naming it and getting the help you need just as you would for a broken arm. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Claudia Krusch
    August 20, 2019

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your story! So many suffer and refuse to ask for help! Glad you are on a healing path.
    Claudia Krusch recently posted Teen’s Back To School FashionMy Profile

  • Danielle
    August 20, 2019

    I think that you are so brave and inspiring to share such a vulnerable truth with the world. Thank you.

  • keikilani
    August 20, 2019

    Your story resonates with me so much. I appreciate your bravery in sharing your story. I hope that sharing helps both you and others like me continue to heal

  • krystal
    August 20, 2019

    It is hard to admit these things and you are not only admitting them to yourself but to us too! That is very brave!
    krystal recently posted Grilled Caprese BurgersMy Profile

  • Amy Desrosiers
    August 20, 2019

    I think the what ifs are what cause my anxiety as well. It is so hard to sometimes see how good we truly have it in the moment.

  • Kathy
    August 20, 2019

    I’m sorry you’re going through this, but glad you realized you needed the help. This can be tough and scary. I’m very glad you shared this with us too.

  • Melissa Chapman
    August 20, 2019

    I appreciate the honesty heart and soul that went into this post. I have issues I could never share on my blog so I give you credit and hope it helps you cope better.
    Melissa Chapman recently posted Weight Watchers Peanut Butter Marshmallow WontonMy Profile

  • Stacie
    August 20, 2019

    Thank you so, so much for sharing your story. Depression has such a stigma that many won’t even tell their doctor about it just like you didn’t want to. I’m glad you’re on the road to recovery and getting what you need to get better.
    Stacie recently posted Sweet Ways to Reward Your FamilyMy Profile

  • Yanna
    August 20, 2019

    I love your transparency. Admitting you need help is always hard on anyone. I am sure this post will help someone out, it not many. I started getting really bad anxiety after I had my son.

  • Kim
    August 20, 2019

    I am always here for you my friend.

  • Kim
    August 20, 2019

    Thank you for being so open and honest. I can relate to this so much.

  • Tara Pittman
    August 20, 2019

    I am glad that you realized that you need help. Depression is a tough thing to go through alone and it is hard to admit that things are not perfect.
    Tara Pittman recently posted Safer Cooking With Concentrix Ceramic Coated Nonstick FryPanMy Profile

  • Brianne Tursi Manz
    August 20, 2019

    What a powerful post! If people who suffer from anxiety and depression would read this, I think it would help them make sense of it all.

  • Cherishingflo
    August 20, 2019

    I have never related to anything more. When I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression I refused to acknowledge it and avoided doctors and medications and even saying those two words for two and a half years. I don’t drive due to my anxiety and the panic attacks that I have so I TRULY understand. I hate driving by myself. I have had many panic attacks while driving and ended up stranded for hours before I could calm down or someone could come get me. I love this so much and thank you for being so open. This makes me feel a lot less alone in this topic.
    Cherishingflo recently posted 11 Things Successful Bloggers do differentlyMy Profile

    • Heather
      August 20, 2019

      I’m so sorry to hear that. I think when we are going through things like this, we tend to forget that there are others out there exactly like us. We need to stick together. If you ever need someone to listen, I’m here!

How to Know if a Loved One is Suffering from Anxiety and/or Depression
It’s Time I Stopped Lying to Myself and Everyone Else

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