Friday, March 29, 2013


Just dropping in to say I'm going to take a brief blog hiatus for the next week or so - It's officially Spring Break in the Peele house, and I fully intend on soaking up everysinglesecond of my temporary gig as a stay-at-home mom.  See you on the other side of a week that promises to be full of giggles, playing outside, tantrums, long runs, hugs and kisses, time-outs, trips to see family, family coming in town, and memories I will brand into my heart.  When I return, I'll be sure to post a picture montage of our week, and we'll officially be counting down the days 'til summer!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Going Down the Slide Headfirst

The other afternoon T and Cameron were on the back porch playing while I got dinner ready in the kitchen.  I heard Cameron giggling uncontrollably, and I smiled and chopped some vegetables and thought, “Ahhhh, perfection.”  And as her giggling continued to travel even deeper into her belly, I decided to find out what was so funny. 

I leaned over and peaked out the window and saw my husband teaching Cameron how to go down the slide headfirst into a homemade ball pit.

I took a deep breath, counted to ten, then asked T to come inside for a minute.  I must have had “the look” on my face.

“What?!” he said, with the hint of a smile.

“Babe…” I said, while trying to project an are-you-SERIOUS look.

And in that moment I realized us Mamas and Dadas – well, we’re just different.

And thank goodness.  Because if it weren’t for Dadas, life would be all matching clothes and safe choices and balanced meals and following rules and staying clean.  At least in this house.

Now, I stand by my let’s-not-slide-down-the-slide-headfirst rule.  Because I work in an elementary school, and I know that if Cameron learns to do that at home, the first thing she’ll do when she shows up at her school on Monday is slide down headfirst and be so confused when the teacher tells her no.

And also, I know Dadas play a huge part in child-raising and child-rearing and rule-making.


In our house, it’s Dada who reminds us to have more fun.  To say “Who cares?!” if the laundry needs to be folded or dishes need to be cleaned, pushing us out the door to spend the afternoon at a local playground instead.   It’s Dada who will drop whatever he’s doing to say yes as Cameron yells, “Outside! Outside!  Outside!"  It’s Dada who is willing to throw our daughter eight feet above his head over, and over, and over again as she giggles ferociously.  (Ok, probably not eight feet, but it sure does look that way to me as I hold my breath on the sidelines.)

Sure, I help us stay on schedule and make sure everyone has their basic necessities and keep us organized and clean and on-time.  And I love my family so much it hurts.

But I’m so thankful for Dada, who reminds us that it’s okay to push the boundaries and veer off course a little bit and let a to-do list go unchecked and slide into life headfirst, all in the name of getting the most out of every moment we’ve been given.

Cheers to the Dadas!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Documenting a Moment Versus Living IN a Moment

I would be embarrassed to admit the number of pictures I’ve taken of Cameron since the day she was born.

Hi, my name is Jessie, and I am a picture-taking addict.

I know I have a problem.  I know I take too many pictures.  Truth is, you’ll rarely see me without my phone in my hand.  And it’s not because I’m browsing Facebook or Instagram – it’s because my kid is so darn cute and I want to make sure I’m always ready to snap a picture in every instance of cuteness, and the shutter speed on the iPhone camera is pretty darn good (and as the mamas out there know, shutter speed is key when playing mamarazzi).

I never really understood why people took so many pictures of their kids, posting them to Facebook with captions like, “Look! I used a spoon!” and sending you a four-hundred-and-eighty-seven-picture-slideshow just from the month of February… and then I had a kid of my own.  It’s like, you can’t help it – you have a baby and you want to lock up every second of the baby’s life and never forget a breath, a giggle, a tear, a new word, a milestone.  So we, as parents, cope with our inability to control the passing of time by taking as many pictures as humanly possible.

Add to that the fact that it usually takes about sixty-five attempts to get ONE picture that’s not too blurry, and we’re constantly playing photographer.

T gives me a hard time about this, telling me to put the camera down, live in the moment – tells me I’m MISSING OUT ON LIFE when I’m too caught up in getting the elusive “perfect picture.”  But then, six months later, he’s loving the framed photographs that grace our walls and sit on his desk at work.

It’s a Catch 22, no?

It’s like, you want to soak up every second of your child without taking a minute for granted, but you also want to remember every second…

This is a constant struggle for me – when to put the camera away and roll around on the floor with Cameron, pretending we’re puppies... and when to try to take a picture OF Cameron rolling around on the floor pretending she’s a puppy, because it’s adorable and I always want to remember what she was like when she played with no abandon.

Last weekend we went to a nearby playground on both Saturday and Sunday.  The weather was perfect, our family of three had just been reunited after a week of T being out of town, and our little girl loves nothing more than playing outside.  On Saturday, I took my phone, but left it on a nearby bench… on purpose.  We ran around, giggling, chasing Cameron, sliding down the slide, swinging – it was, my friends, perfection.  I will always, always remember Cameron’s hair sticking straight up in the air from the static of the slide – her copying us and yelling, “Boo!” when she peaked around a corner.  The way she’d say, “Slide, mama!” and we’d go down two slides side-by-side, holding hands and laughing.  The way she’d say, “No!” when we asked her if she was ready to go home.

But I didn’t take a single picture.  And when we got home, there was a pang of regret.  Because sure, I’ll have the memories, but one day these memories will be hazy as life continues to carry us on – and though we can say, “Hey, remember the time…?” Those memories may be clearer with the help of a photograph.

So Sunday, when we went back to the playground, I had my phone in my hand – I took a few pictures and even videos of Cameron Kate going down the slide, then I put it away.  There were still a few photographic moments I felt I’d missed by not constantly being ready to snap a picture – but I felt like it was a nice balance of documenting the moment and living IN the moment.

I guess, like everything else in life, it’s all about balance.  

So as a mama-in-training who wants a pause button attached to her sweet Cameron Kate, I’m going to keep working on documenting enough so that I don’t forget while also living enough so that I always remember.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ok, Here It Goes... My New Business Venture!

For as long as I can remember, I have always, always been self-conscious about my skin.  It sounds silly saying it out loud, but a pimple could literally make or break my mood.  I’d spend waste so much time in the bathroom, trying to cover up any and all imperfections.  And even though breakouts have come and gone throughout my life, I can honestly say I’ve never felt beautiful in my skin.

I remember once there was this quiz, and one of the questions asked if I’d rather have a perfect complexion or be ten pounds lighter.  Without a doubt, I would always choose to have flawless skin.  It’s our biggest organ!  And there’s something about a bright, fresh face full of a smile that just emits beautiful confidence.

So fast-forward… I’m 29 years old (almost 30!) and still get the occasional breakout.  And let’s not even talk about the melasma/brown spots/discoloration that appeared both during and after pregnancy.  Even moreso, ever since I had my D&C in December, my skin has been a mess.  I’m assuming my out-of-control hormones are to blame, but I’ve felt so blah and unattractive lately.  Throw in an attention-demanding toddler who gives me less than five minutes to try to throw on some make-up, and now my desire for perfect skin is even greater.

Enter Rodan + Fields, introduced to me by my friend Shelly.

Rodan + Fields are the two dermatologists who developed Proactiv, the #1 acne fighting system in America.  And Proactiv used to work great for me, but now, as an almost-thirty-year-old, my skin is a little more complex (and Proactiv was developed for teens/young adults).

So anyway, Shelly told me about their four skincare lines, which led me to do research – lots of research – because I’m type-A OCD and that’s just now I roll.  I found out their new lines are SOOTHE (for redness/irritated skin), REDEFINE (for anti-aging and preventing fine lines/wrinkles), UNBLEMISH (for us adults who still get those damn pimples), and REVERSE (for melasma/brown spots/uneven skin tone).

A few weeks later, after Shelly let me sample some products, not only was my skin looking more incredible than it has since I exited my mother’s womb, but I signed on board to join her as a consultant.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is my new business venture!

First I need to promise all twelve of my avid readers that this blog will NOT turn into a money-hungry, marketing nightmare.  But I always write about what’s going on in my world and taking on this new opportunity is definitely a huge part of my world right now.

And I am so excited. 

Which is really an understatement.  I’m having a blast and already have my first big customer and I am obsessed with the products I’m trying out myself.

You see, I am a beauty product hoarder.  Or I guess I should say, now I’m a recovering beauty product hoarder.

No, really, look at the skincare products I pulled out of my drawers this morning.

I had to pull them out, snap a picture, and put them back before TJ saw it all.  Because he’d be like, omiGOD-how-much-money-have-you-thrown-away-on-all-of-this-and-how-did-you-hide-it-from-me?!

The reason I decided to snap a picture of my stash is because I am notorious for buying something and trying it out, and then usually I don’t see the results that were promised on the flashy packaging, so I put it in the back of my drawer and head back to Target to find something else that’s shiny and new.

But those days are O-V-E-R!  The incredible thing about Rodan + Fields is that their products are 100% guaranteed.  Like, for real guaranteed.  Like, we have a 60-day, empty bottle, money back guarantee.

Buy a regimen, try it for 60 days, don’t like it or see the promised results, send it back and get a full refund.

Boom.  Just like that.

So why WOULDN’T you try it?!

Or at least, those were my thoughts – so I did – try it – and within two weeks I wanted to represent this company and their products because they were so amazing.

So amazing, in fact, that our new Macro E at-home microdermabrasion tool (featured in People Style Watch, Marie Claire, and Allure magazines) sold out in three weeks.  THREE WEEKS PEOPLE.  I already ordered one for myself, but now I have to wait until next month to get it.  WAAH!  I am dying of impatience.

Anyway, I really hope to make some money from this gig, of course.  But truthfully, I really want to change people’s lives by helping them sport some awesome skin.  And I’m having so much fun networking and meeting people and – mostly – sporting fabulous skin myself.  And I decided since this is a new, big part of my life, I’d better share it with y’all – all twelve of you. J

Want to try it and see how flawless your skin can look (guaranteed!)?  It’s all pretty much web-based, so if you want to check out products or order something, you can go here:

If you’re interested in getting 10% off and free shipping for life, details are on my website about how to become a Preferred Customer.  To find out how to get on the list to get the Macro E at wholesale price when it’s available next month, you can email me:

As I said, I promise I won’t turn this blog into an advertising corner.  I will, however, be bragging from time-to-time about how awesome I look. J  And how these products have changed my life.

Because nothing is more beautiful than confidence.