Who I am outside the crop box


Update: A few friends and I have started tagging our photos on Instagram that fall #outsidethecrop. Take a look at what others are posting and if you’d like, include your own. :)

beauty buys

I posted this earlier today on Instagram with this caption:

Was going to share some of my drugstore beauty buys for fall and then saw dead Spiderman and all the lovely power cords in the distance. Just a reminder of who I really am outside the crop box. #momlife

I immediately thought, “Dang, I need to write about this!” I realized how often I’ve posted very strategically cropped, staged, planned photos and pretended they were my real life. I think we’re all guilty of it in some shape or form. Raise your hand if you pause to grab “the cute mug” and make sure there are no chips in your nail polish before snapping a shot of you drinking your morning coffee. I get it! We all like pretty things and it’s inspiring to see that type of stuff. I mean, how boring would life be without cute nail polish? Uh, VERY. But I started thinking about myself and the whys behind my perfectly planned shots. Why am I painting this picture of myself? Why did I force my kid to smile and stand still? Why do I care about the spacing between my new lipsticks? I’m telling ya, it got pretty deep in my brain parts for a few seconds there.

I’m not the first one to talk about how Instagram/Facebook/the internet is a place to pretend (oh how I love some of those Instagram parody videos). There’s a reason the crop box exists. We can pick and choose what to reveal to the world in that tiny square and that’s totally okay. It’s YOUR life, after all. If that photo above had a pair of my underwear crumpled up the background, you best believe I would leave that out. Or like, a dirty diaper or body hair or something. That’s a no. Too real. I’m just realizing that for me and what I put out for the world (or my 10 friends) to see, I do like showing the whole, real picture sometimes. I think it’s important to show that my house is messy and my kids can be complete brats and I have a double chin if I don’t tilt my head a certain way and some days I totally mess up when I’m filling in my eyebrows and other days, they look fantastic. That’s LIFE, man. And we’re all living it imperfectly.

I have a friend who jokes with me when she comes over to my house. She’ll say, “Did you frantically mop the floor before I got here?” because she knows me. I have struggled with that ‘perfection’ thing my whole life. Did you know I took gymnastics as a kid? No? That’s because it was ONE class and I never talk about it. I sat there and watched the older girls who had been going for years, doing flips and all this circus craziness and I couldn’t even walk a straight line because I was so uncoordinated. I ran out of there crying to my mom and told her I never wanted to go back. Why? Because I didn’t even want to try if I wasn’t going to do it perfectly on the first shot and I didn’t want to fail in front of everyone. Issues, much? As my Grammy would say, “IT’S A CLUE!”

I’m so thankful that I have friends and family who know the real me and love me anyway. I’ve played pretend and strived for perfection for too long. Newsflash: It’s unattainable. I’m the one with the dirty kitchen floor who hates to mop and I won’t freak out if you drop by my house unannounced before I get a chance to clean… anymore. I will make you wait outside until I hide my underwear though, because that’s just sick.


Kids wearing floaties: Do not let your guard down!


dangerous cheap floaties

I was just out swimming with both of the kids and Jack was wearing a pair of these floaties. I bought them at Walmart and I’m pretty sure they sell them at Target as well. As I was helping Maddie practice swimming, Jack was to my right (within my arm’s reach, thankfully) and I had taken my eyes off him for a few seconds as Maddie was coming toward me. I turned back to see the most scared expression I’ve ever seen him make as he was sinking and struggling to keep his head above the surface. He couldn’t get himself back up, even with one floaty still in tact. I’ll never forget that look in his eyes. You guys… it was awful.

Just a sobering reminder about keeping a VERY close eye on your precious ones this summer. And to NOT buy cheap floaties. This one was fine when we got in the pool, but within 10 minutes it had ripped completely. I am very attentive in the pool and was within a few feet of him and I STILL didn’t hear him make a peep or recognize the splashing sounds as anything to be worried about. It happens fast so be on your guard at all times. Thank God my sweet boy is safe.

“You always eat my candy. That’s what you do.”


A few months ago, the girls in my family went on our annual shopping trip to San Francisco. We always have such a great time with each other and it’s become this fun little tradition for us, so this year I decided to take Maddie along. She was a surprising delight. No meltdowns at all! She had a great time with the “big girls” and was in her own corner of heaven at the Sanrio store.

Maddie at Sanrio store

On the way there, we stopped off at a gas station and she picked out a snack… Sour Patch Kids.

sour patch kids

I was thrilled with her choice because 1) I love Sour Patch Kids and 2) I was probably going to devour most have a few of them. But they were technically hers, so I made a quiet vow to myself to definitely not hide them in my purse “for safe keeping”  in hopes she’d forget about them so I could sneak a few here and there without her noticing. Because 1) this has happened a lot in the past and 2) did I mention I really really love Sour Patch Kids? A very specific vow because I know my weaknesses, people.

Long story short, I broke my vow and literally took candy from a baby. BUT, it was all in the name of saving my child from harm. Sugar… HELLO? Totally valid. In fact, I would argue that I am a good mom because of this. I actually wouldn’t mind a little award of some sort. Or a trophy. Mother of the Year. PRESIDENT, even! I’ll call my health plan Morganacare.

A month passed without a word. I thought I had gotten away with it. But as we were driving in the car one day, something triggered a memory in Maddie’s smart kiddie brain and she said, “Hey mom… what happened to my candy we bought in San Francisco?” I was like, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Play it off, Morgan. I acted like I didn’t know what she was talking about. Eyes straight ahead. Don’t let her see you tremble.

But she must have sensed the guilt. ”Did you eat them all up!?”

“Yes, honey, but umm, that was a long time ago. They’ve been gone a long time. Sooo, umm, next time we’re at the store we can get some more.” Take away all my awards. IMPEACH HER! IMPEACH HER!

All that to say this: Yesterday, as she was drawing some pictures, she brought one up to me. Keep in mind, we haven’t spoken a word about the SPK incident in weeks.


I asked her what the picture meant.

“That’s you. And that’s the candy in your hand that you always take from me. You always eat my candy. That’s what you do. Say sorry for yourself, please.”

I’ve stared at this picture for hours, analyzing it’s deeper meaning. Why do I look like a baby? Why do I have crazy eyes? Are my legs broken? Is that a knife??? WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?

I think the next step is obvious: Buy more next time.

(I’ve learned a lot.)

Maddie: Beastmode


While I was out running errands, I received a text from Justin.

Maddie just did the entire Insanity warm up!

Apparently, she came out of her room, dressed to workout.


(Please take note of the Wonder Woman tattoo, headband and leg warmers.)

Then she asked Justin to “put on the exercise that Mommy does.” Do you know what that little routine happens to be?


She did the whole 10 minute warm up! It’s hilarious to me, but I’m honestly not surprised. This girl is my little buddy and loves to join me whenever she sees me working out. Her form could definitely use some work, but not bad for a 4 year old. ;)

Chapter 27: Woman Under Construction


hello july

If my life were a book and each year had it’s own chapter, this year’s title would be Woman under Construction. I thought it had a nicer ring to it than “Unstable Girl is Figuring out How Not To Be a Raging Hot Mess”, but honestly, that’s a liiiiiittle more accurate.

Real talk here: I do not like the person I have been. I am not proud of her and sometimes I wish I had the ability to send my hand back through time and give her forehead a nice little flick. She definitely could have used some wisdom in her morning lattes (one pump of vanilla flavored wisdom, please), BUT she is part of my story.

If you were to read back through the archives of Mrs. Priss, you can sort of see what I’m talking about. My writing reflects my heart and whether I wanted to share it or not, I couldn’t truly hide what was going on in there. Sometimes it was subtle, but you can understand some pretty deep things about me if you pay attention. My tone, where I focus my attention, how I spend my money, how ragey I can be, how easily hurt I can get over DUMB stuff… I’ve seriously been all over the place. (REALLY? OH WE DIDN’T NOTICE THAT, MORGAN). Yeah, who, me?? All over the place!?

This blog has sort of told my story through my heart’s voice and I’m kind of glad to have that documented, as unstable as it might have been.

When you’re standing on a construction site, things appear to be in chaos. There are piles of debris everywhere, dust clouding the air and it’s annoyingly loud. Sometimes, it takes a really long time for the project to be complete because it has to be done right. For anyone who hasn’t seen the building plans, it’s hard to picture what the outcome is going to be, but for the person who has the plans laying on his desk? Ain’t no thang.

(That’s my oh-so-subtle way of telling you that God is in control of these crazy/awesome changes that have been going on.)

The fact that I’ve been quiet lately means something big. While it may seem like I’ve been doing a whole lotta nothin’, some seriously amazing stuff has been happening. I have been under major construction. It’s been messy and loud and painful to be rebuilt, but the dust is starting to clear and it’s really exciting.

Vague? Yes, for now. Just be encouraged. Because if someone like me, coming from the sad, angry, confused and fearful place I was living in can be as joyful, fulfilled, mostly rage-free (still learning!) and just plain HAPPY with her simple life? Then there’s MAJOR hope for everyone else. ;)

Romans 12:2