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03 Dec 2015

Dreaming About Tomorrow

No Comments CAH, Everyday, Holidays, Personal, Uncategorized

Today began like any other day. Just any ordinary day. It can change in an instant. But I’m already dreaming about tomorrow.

It’s 10pm. I watch her sleep. I watch every move she makes. Is she ok? Is she too hot? When did she have her last does of meds? Did she keep it down? Should we go? Who will stay? 
My mind races at 100 mph and can’t stop thinking. It doesn’t. Not when it’s the well being of your child. 
This is our normal when anyone with CAH gets sick in our home. We have a window and at the 5 hour mark, if we can’t handle it at home, we go. We take no chances. It’s 3am and we haven’t slept all night. 
She will be fine. She’s starting to understand. She was ok with going to the hospital. I stay strong. She braves up. And so do I. We are in this together. 
Dad and I divide and conquer. One stays with the kids. The other goes. I usually go. We are in this together too. When we get to the hospital, it’s go time. Know your shit and get ready to speak to those that are trained to help. I’m only trained to help my little ones, but I’ve studied my heart out to know what I’m talking about. All for them. 

So here she sleeps. It’s safe to sleep here. They will take care of her here. She gets up…we watch movies. The 5am choice is Annie. Appropriate. 


Today began like any other day. Just any ordinary day. It can change in an instant. And lucky for us, the sun will come out tomorrow and it will be a bright new day for us to be thankful that we have another day. We will stick out our chins and grin because we know that this was just a gray day. But right now, I’m dreaming about tomorrow. Hoping for more days like this… Maybe tomorrow, right?! 


30 Nov 2015


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We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. The smallest and simplest things we do day in and day out get over looked. I once was sitting with a friend who’s son was in the hospital for cancer and she said something so profound. “I just want to go home and do laundry. Dishes. Anything normal.” 

I have never forgot this statement. I try to live by it’s meaning on my days when I need a reality check about what really is important. And it makes me think deep in my soul about what I’m thankful I have in my life.

I am so thankful I can hear so that I may enjoy the sound of my children’s laughter. I’m grateful we have a home so we can sleep warm and children have a safe place to be everyday. I’m thankful for our community of great friends who look out for me, my children and our best interests. I’m thankful my children are happy and healthy. I’m thankful my babies were saved by a system that tests for rare medical conditions and we live in a country where we have access to medicine to keep them alive. I’m thankful to have fund my soulmate and created a life together that brings us such happiness. I’m thankful for the family I have, as they all mean the world to me. I’m thankful for the friends, old and new, that have been brought into my life and have made it better.
I’m thankful I have been blessed with one amazing life. We don’t know how long it will last, as every day is a gift. Today, I am humbled and thankful. 

23 Nov 2015

Florida Family Holiday Traditions: Christmas at Gaylord Palms Resort 

3 Comments Family Travel, Florida, Holidays, Review, Travel, Travel Tuesday, Uncategorized

{UPDATE: 11/20/2017. Pictured Above: The 2014 Majestic Tree. Below details are from the 2017 event.} Read more

11 Nov 2015

Travel Tips: Homemade Meals To Go From Bob Evans

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Thank you to Bob Evans Restaurants for sponsoring this post and thank you for reading!

As a travel writer, we are typically on the road about once a month. This typically will mean eating out as hotels don’t always have a full kitchen for me to make that homemade meal that I’ll make when we are home. Eating out can also be super expensive when you travel too! We have our kids share meals and we try not to do the “chicken nugget + French fries” thing too often. Even if our hotels did have a full kitchen, I’d rather be exploring the new city and spending time making memories with my kids while we travel.

Thanks to the Bob Evans Meals to Go, I have truly found the best alternative for us to get our home cooked meal while on the road!

{Picture Courtesy of Bob Evans. Signature Pot Roast is slow-roasted for nine hours with fresh glazed carrots and grilled onions and drizzled with savory gravy. Served with your choice of one or two savory sides and freshly baked bread.}

Bob Evans offers Meals To Go for $19.99 or $24.99 that will feed a family of four (but in my case 1 adult and 4 kids)! I can easily feed them with the healthy home cooked meal I would have cooked if we were home. You’ll choose a main dish from the regular menu, one or two sides, your choice of bread and that’s it! We take our meal to go back to the hotel, eat by the pool or in our room in our our jammies! It’s been a life saver to find a Bob Evans near our hotel and that’s pretty easy because they are everywhere! 

{Picture Courtesy of Bob Evans.}

Take the night off, even if you are at home, to try one of the meals to go from Bob Evans! Their slow roasted pork and mushrooms cooks for five hours and is topped with pan gravy. The green beans are just like Grandma made with little bits of ham and onion. Cooked slow and perfect, you’ll savor every bite!

Time is what they put into every dish. And as precious as time is, stop by, pick up a Meal To Go, and spend that extra time enjoying the home cooked meal with the ones you love around the table. Family is what matters most.

09 Nov 2015

Movie Sneak Peak: My All American

No Comments Florida, Giveaway, Movies, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized

If you loved classic feel-good inspirational movies like Rudy and Hoosiers, you’ll love My All American based on a true story about Freddie Steinmark at the University of Texas. 

Thanks to my friends at Clarius Entertainment, I have 20 pairs of tickets to give away to the Tuesday, November 10th 7:30pm screening at AMC Westshore.

Download your tickets here!  Tickets are first come, first serve and the screening is also first come, first serve. We recommend that you arrive early to claim your seat.

We can’t wait to see the movie with you!

My All American is officially out on November 13th and tickets can easily be purchased on Fandango

Enjoy the show!

06 Nov 2015

A Small Jesture to Thank Our Veterans: Hair Cuttery Share-A-Haircut 

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I have a friend who visits a fallen soldiers family every Veterans Day. I see her pictures tell a story of how this solider have so much for our freedom. For the millions that have severed our country to keep our land safe and honor our freedom, I have the utmost gratitude and appreciation for what they and their families have given to us. A thank you is simple and easy but it’s always nice to know when others who can do more do.

It’s a small justure. A hair cut. It might not seem like much, but to someone in need, it might mean so much more. Everyone needs a little help sometimes, and businesses like Hair Cuttery are doing their share to give back yo those in need they way they can.

As we celebrate Veterans Day this Tuesday, November 11, for every adult hair cut that is purchased a donation of a hair cut certificate will be given to a veteran local organization to reach those in need. They hope to help 25,000 veterans this year. 

This is s great way to give back doing something you’d normally do anyway. To find a Hair Cuttery location near you visit them here

Thank you Hair Cuttery for sponsoring this post and letting our readers know about this easy way to give back and help someone in need. 

Follow Hair Curtery on Twitter @HairCuttery

29 Oct 2015

Peanuts Movie Giveaway!

1 Comment Ad, Kids, Movies, Sponsored, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized

We are so excited to see Charlie Brown and his friends hit the big screen on November 6th in THE PEANUTS MOVIE! We are giving away tickets to a sneak preview tickets to five lucky readers on Sunday, November 1st at AMC Veterans and we want you to join us!  Keep reading below to see how you can snag these tickets!

Kids and parents alike will love seeing the classic “Peanuts” gang in 3D animation on the big screen! Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linu… It’s going to be one epic adventure!  

Make sure you Peanutize yourself too!

We can’t wait to see the movie! Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube for the last eat details!

Our first 5 lucky readers that would like to see the movie on November 1st, at 10:30 am at AMC Veterans (Tampa, FL) will be give three tickets to the sneak preview for a chance to see THE PEANUTS MOVIE with the link here!** DETAILS BELOW**

Good luck! 

Thank you to 20th Century Fox for sponsoring this promotion!

**Congratulations! Only the first 5 people to click on the link will have the ability to download passes to the screening. You have a chance of attending the advance free screening of THE PEANUTS MOVIE. Screening will take place at AMC Veterans (TAMPA, FLORIDA) THIS Sunday, November 1st at 10:30 AM. We advise you arrive at least 45 minutes prior to starting time, as your seats are first come first serve. Also, *NOTE* Daylight savings starts Sunday, November 1st! Remember to set your clocks so you don’t miss out. See you soon!

10 Oct 2015

Ready Or Not…Preschool Here We Come!

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I’m just not ready to let go. Well, I wasn’t until Wednesday when someone forced my hand and said, “It’s time.”  

She’s the 4th. The littlest. My youngest. She’s probably babied…a little bit. She rules the house as any youngest sibling does. She’s smarter than we think and I know she’s thinking to herself,”I’ve got these fools wrapped around my finger.” Because she does.

The day came like any other day, get ready for school, go to school, figure out what errands Abby and I had to run… Until Shelby told me her field trip was THAT day. Yup, the one that I volunteered to chaperone that day. 

“No, it’s tomorrow.” 

“It’s today.”

 “No, it’s tomorrow.”

 Knowing I had my sitter and help scheduled for tomorrow so surly I wasn’t wrong…or was I. I have been wrong before, I live by my calendar, but things happen…I’m so not perfect!
She gave me a look which told me I needed to check. I did. It was today.

HOLY ^%#£!!!!!!!!! 

What was I going to do?! I had 30 minutes to preform a miracle. 

I wasn’t going to call my husband for fear of divorce. (I’m sure he would have canceled meetings to watch her but I was trying to avoid that conversation at all cost and fix this myself.) I have little family to help immediately in a bind and without notice. I started running through my head of friends that MIGHT be able to watch Abby for 5 hours, but I was in panic mode!

The preschool where all my babies have gone is around the corner and with a shaky voice I called the director and told her about my dilemma. The worst bind I have ever been in. With a loving, “it’s going to be ok” voice she said to bring her over. I had 30 minutes to fill my car with gas, shop at Publix for a lunch for Abby and drop her off.

I haven’t sent Abby to preschool yet because she’s my shadow, my buddy, my weekday lunch date sidekick. She naps, I work.  I just haven’t wanted her to go for really no other reason than I just wasn’t ready to let her go.

 We go everywhere together, we work on things at home that I know they are working on in preschool.

Truth is, she’s ready. I’m not. 

Thankfully, my some miracle from above, I was somewhat dressed, I don’t think I brushed my teeth, and I’m glad I had a bra on to go to carline which never happens, and Abby had played “preschool” that morning with Mia and got into the car with shoes, socks, a backpack and everything she needed for the day. I added some lunch and she was set…whether I liked it or not. I some how made it to chaperone the field trip on time and all was right with the world. 

When I got back from the field trip, I rushed to swoop in and rescue Abby. Mommy to the rescue…not so much. She was resting and we decided to let her be and instead talk about her day. She did AWESOME! She followed directions, played with kids, loved circle time, are lunch and had a really great day. We decided to enroll her 2 days a week. It’s for the best. I know she’ll grow quicker here and will have a great time too. I’m sure I will find ways to fill the time I have with no kids in the house… GASP! What to do first!?! 


Ready or not, preschool here we come!!!

10 Oct 2015

Screen on the Green at Water Works Park Returns to Tampa, Florida

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Bring your popcorn, a blanket, maybe some cash (no ATM’s on site) and get ready for a free movie every Saturday night in October!! 


06 Oct 2015

A Vision of Hope: The CARES Foundation Gala and Why You Should Go

No Comments CAH, Kids, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

I’m actually living my dream. Right now. I’m in a state of euphoria that seems somewhat surreal because all my wishes came true and are happening before my eyes. The ones I prayed and prayed and prayed for that I wished so hard on every star and promised God the world if he would make them come true.


I get to see my son play baseball. I get to watch my daughters in a recital. My children excel in school. They are kind. They are happy. They aren’t sick. I get to put my children to bed each night in their own bed. They are healthy happy and living a normal life. THIS is the life I dreamed of that I wasn’t sure would be a reality.



It was 10 years ago that I lost hope… For that perfect little life I had always wanted. Could it be taped back together from the shreds that I had ripped it into upon learning about our newborns rare lifelong medical conditions? I didn’t know… My hope dwindled.

I remember that day like it was yesterday…4 days after Jake was born. The call that came as soon as we walked in the door. The doctor saying he would never grow out if this. Tears streaming down my face because I couldn’t even pronounce what he had.

All I wanted was someone to tell me it would be ok.

I wanted a crystal ball to tell me his future.

I wanted someone to PROMISE me he would be ok… FOREVER.

I needed a doctor to tell me they made a mistake.

I wanted someone to tell me he’d grow out of this.

I was broken. Afraid. Mad. Terrified.

Many of you, my friends, gave me back my hope. You helped me along the way and still continue to support my family in so many ways. The words thank you seem like an understatement.

And then…I found them. On the internet, at 3am. As I was desperately seeking hope and guidance. I found them. The CARES Foundation. They were a saving grace that helped me through the first, second and third pregnancies when I needed their guidance, advice and friendship. They guided me to doctors, people and gave me hope too. The hope which I have now am able to give to others because I know it exists.


My payback is simple. Do what they did for me for someone else. Be the vision of hope for someone going through what I know they are going through because I have been there. I have walked in the shoes they now wear and understand what they need. I can’t change the diagnosis on the chart for anyone, but I can help them.

I can tell others that soon it will be ok.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I know what the past 10 years looks like for us and can give them a glimpse into what theirs might look like.

I can promise that I will be their friend and that I’m always there to talk.

I can help them find some of the best doctors who understand this condition and will help them make educated decisions.

I will tell them that they were chosen to be this child’s parents because no one else could do this job better than them.

It’s the vision of hope we all need in that hour of desperation.

As a sweet surprise, I was chosen as this years 2015 Visionary Award recipient for the CARES Foundation. I volunteer for organizations that I am passionate about their mission and what they do for others. This organization helps thousands of people and families find hope when they have lost their way. It can be an scary time to be alone. I’m just one person trying to connect with others who might need a friend. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a fortune teller. I’m a friend who has been there.

So here is what I’m asking of you…and I never ask for help unless I really need it, so please listen…

I hope that I have helped you in some way, shape or form that you would be so kind and able to help donate to my cause, The CARES Foundation. Any amount will help. The work they so providing support to people, kids and families could not be possible without your donations. The annual Gala that is being held to raise awareness is taking place in Orlando on May 8th, at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Tickets are being sold for the Gala here and I would love to fill the room with everyone who has made a difference in my life and in turn, thank you for helping others that have been helped, like our family has been.


I have also appointed Courtney Horner as my “Team Captain” as her support over the years has been amazing. I hope everyone has a friend like her in their life.

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I have a birthday in one week and this would be the greatest gift from all of you. To give in the honor of my kids… My beautiful babies that didn’t ask to be born with this condition. And for all the people and families out there that live with CAH and need help. They CARES Foundation says, “everyone cares. ” I CARE Jake, Shelby and Abby (& Mia of course!). Who do you CARE for?!

So call some friends, buy a table, buy a ticket or just donate to the cause! Let’s all get dressed up, and come to Orlando on Friday, May 8th for The CARES Gala and let’s celebrate the hope we can give to others that have also been touched by this condition.




The Langfords

P.S. My husband gets to introduce me on stage, so that should be more than enough reason to buy a ticket! See you May 8th