A native Texan, Monika moved to Albuquerque New Mexico in 2007 to pursue her dreams of newscast writing. The land of enchantment offered more than just a blooming career for the young writer, it's also the place she met and married the love of her life, Dave. The two now have 3 beautiful children and have since settled in the heart of Keller Texas. Spoiled by her time spent living and traveling in Europe, Monika enjoys good wine, cheese and french fries smothered in mayonnaise. When not volunteering at her kids' schools, you can find her facebooking in a carpool line, rain-dancing at the baseball fields or just hanging out in her second home... her kitchen.
homeopathic tablets

Mastitis in a Foreign Country and the “Cupcake Sprinkle” Cure

After a short and terrifying drive, I arrived at the German hospital. I walked through the main doors, shoulders high and hunched forward hoping to conceal the freak show growing inside of my shirt. Let me explain. If it were just one big boob and one normal sized boob, I'd be okay, but by this time it looked as if three different breasts were fighting to fit into my left bra cup.
mother daughter

Dear Daughter: A Letter to My Baby Girl About Motherhood

It’s important that you understand true “mom strength” isn’t something you gain by simply becoming a mom or buying the T-shirt. You will be tested time and time again, and you'll feel like those tests are breaking you, but in fact, they're strengthening your will and emotions. You will watch your children suffer, watch them fail, and say no a schmillion times -- but eventually you’ll gain your footing and your confidence as a mom, and you’ll become emotionally stronger than you ever imagined . . . but it’s not a painless process.
Gluten-Free Biscuit ingredients

Magical Three-Ingredient, Gluten-Free Biscuit Recipe

Although only one of my children suffers from celiac disease (and has to adhere to a gluten-free diet), I'm happy to say that all three of my kids really enjoy these little breakfast biscuits. And I enjoy the fact that I can prepare a homemade, gluten-free breakfast in just 40 seconds on a school morning, leaving me more time to -- oh, I dunno -- pack their lunches. Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy.

Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy During Holiday Break (that Don’t Include Baking Cookies)

The Christmas-break reading lists aren't gonna fill themselves out, and when your child has 20 kids (assuming that's the average classroom size) to play with and stimulate your every sense throughout the week, a house and little siblings can be very boring; cue the fighting! I can see it all -- it's like a bad scene from my Christmas break future. I know I can't possibly be the only parent who experiences this, so I put together some outside-the-box suggestions of ways to help fill your kids' holiday break with memorable activities and possibly new traditions. 
boy reading shadow silhouette sunset

Bringing Awareness to Learning Disabilities Awareness Month

Until that 10 percent becomes five percent, and the five percent becomes part of the success story, my Octobers will now include a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education requesting the financial support our LD students deserve, a letter to my local school board demanding the resources our educators need, Oktoberfest beer, and if I'm being completely honest, a few overpriced pumpkin-spice lattes.
grocery, bananas, food, grocery store

Going Gluten-Free Without Going Broke: Five Ways to Lower Your Gluten-Free Grocery Bill

Fast forward several years and my youngest son is now living with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that over time causes intestinal damage when you eat gluten or wheat. His doctor confirmed the only "treatment" would be for him to adhere to a strict, gluten-free diet. This time I had no choice but to educate myself on what it meant, how to follow it, and, most important, how to afford it. 
school bus

Dyslexia and the Back to School Dreads

I'll laugh and joke about how relieved I am to be sending the kids off to school for eight hours everyday, but the truth is I'm nervous. Not first-day-jitter, nervous. No this is more of a my-child-has-dyslexia-so-please-be-kind nervous.