My 2020 word of the year is SURVIVE.

In 2019 I became a less-evolved, less-awake version of myself. Sure through a fairytale painted picture-perfect social media life, it seemed as though I was pulling off supermom status but in reality, it was a pretty dark year. I’ve been honest about my struggles with anxiety but the last 6 months have been super bad. Not that I have been suffering panic attacks more. In fact, I hadn’t been feeling anything at all. My inability to get myself dressed most days. My sadness and sorrow for what my life had become. But I was too clouded to see it. Believe it or not, I was believing the life I was portraying on social media. Like I was tuning out the life that was a reality for the false reality that I was painting for the public and my children. Thankfully my husband and mother were not fooled. And they finally shed some light on my lack of living in the real world. I needed a change.

What was uncovered when I finally went back to my doctor for help was that I was accidentally given a double dose of my anxiety medication from my pharmacy back and June and it was never corrected. It was complete human error and my prescription was filled wrong going from 20mg to 40mg. I don’t know how I never picked up on it but when you get in the habit of taking a medicine every day you just go through the motions. This explains my massive weight gain, my inability to carry out simple tasks, and my lack of love and emotion towards myself.

2019 was a shit show! We as a family suffered some pretty deep private issues that out of respect for my children’s privacy we are not going to share. In the blink of an eye, we had to make some pretty big decisions and change the life we knew. But we survived. We lost our beloved Pop. We are heartbroken but we survived. Bills have pilled up and continue to do so. But our love has remained strong and we are… you guessed it…SURVIVING. I am extremely thankful for the work my husband puts in. I have a shitty time showing it to him but I am forever grateful for his hard work for his family and picking up my pieces. I am ready to start living the life that we are blessed with and show him daily just how much he means.

So why share? Why once again make myself vulnerable to be judged or criticized? To give power to my haters to have a laugh at me when I am low? Because I want to break the stigma of mental health. Of having to feel like you always need to live your life through a beauty filter. As I take the scary journey detoxing off the medication that got me here. I am thankful for the lessons that it taught me. I am excited about the new plan in action. I am terrified of both succeeding and failing. But I am ready.

My 2020 word of the year is SURVIVE.

Image may contain: Melissa Bigelli, smiling, text

Ten Year Challenge Drama-Mama style.

Okay I’ll participate in what they call the 10 year challenge but I am going to do it MY WAY!

In 2009 my life was full of stage lights and comedy. standup, improv, musicals, dinner theatre…. any chance I could get in that spotlight…I took it. I dreamed of being a huge comedic success but I dreamed of being a mother more. Back in 2009 being on SNL seemed a lot more likely than being a mother. Crazy as it sounds I just didn’t think love and children would be in the cards for me. I don’t know if I was okay with that but it definitely pushed me to seek out the spotlight more then to find “Mr. Right.” Of course we know the turn that my life made about a year later…. no need to bore you with the “known” details of how I got to the “beautiful social media life” You see now. But maybe just maybe if I get out the unknown parts, out of my head and into the universe, I may be able to truly find who I am for the next decade.

My Little Known Facts From The Past Decade:

I had cervical cancer twice, two C-sections, a miscarriage, hysterectomy, and weight-loss surgery, all over the course of 4 years. Talk about major mental and physical mind f*#ks!

I had undiagnosed postpartum depression 3 times. Once with each of my girls and once for the baby we lost.

I suffer from major anxiety and depression (DUH! See above) that I have to take medication for that made me GAIN weight after finally feeling good about the weight that I was. Isn’t that a BITCH!

My life is full of mentally abusive relationships. The biggest abuser is ME. It’s really easy to start to dislike and doubt yourself when you are told you’re not good enough or a horrible person by, relatives, “friends”, exes…..
Now,I am not throwing in my pity me victim card here, but it’s been enough that would bring anyone to their knees crying. Some have been completely cut off and some you just have to endure for the sake of your children and those who you love.

Some days I struggle to shower let alone put on a bra and brush my hair. No matter how bad I feel on the inside and yes I know, look on the outside, My children always are very well taken care of. That is not a “smoke and mirrors social media stunt.” Yes I am aware that some people think I am a super mom (not true) but some people actually think that I am a BAD mom ( definitely not true so go F’ yoursleves! )

I self-sabotage anything that I am “good or talented” at. I don’t know if it’s a fear of failure but I don’t find joy in things once I get praise for it. F’D up right?

The above facts are just the tip of the titantic size icebergs that I have floating below my surface So DAMN…No wonder why I am tired!?! If you are still reading this thank you for caring or for being nosey. Hey, I’m right there with you! Everyone loves a good backstage pass to the shit show. I mean after all isn’t that what this big “social media circus” is truly about? Anyway, If you made it this far continue on to the next part…

My Dreams For The Next Decade:

To find myself again. Find that confidence to shine either back in the comfort of the spotlight of the stage, but most inportantly, in the inner glow that I know has to be inside me somewhere.

To standup for myself more.

To learn how to say NO without guilt.

To be healthy both physically and mentally.

To find my passion and use it instead of be afraid of it.

To continue to grow as a mother and wife to prove the haters wrong, but, also to prove myself that I am worthy of this family that I never thought was possible.

To practice self-care. To see that it’s not selfish to help yourself. After all when the plane is gong down the pilot reminds you to put your own oxygen mask first so you can help others. Now it’s time to start applying that when my feet are firmly on the ground.


So in closing, grab your popcorn kids….”The Stay-At-Home Drama Mama 2020”…. it’s going to be one hell of a show!77111681_10157641383959210_1344538726033784832_o


IS Forty truly the new F-word?


“You’re turning 40! We should have a party!” My husband exclaimed! “HELL NO!” I responded before the thought barely left his lips. Honesty the popularity of my “friends list” on Facebook stops there. My besties live in Vegas and Virginia for crying out loud. I don’t have the group of friends that I can just say “come over and help me kick off my midlife crisis in style.” Hell, I don’t even have a group of friends I can invite over to buy the newest beauty craze or amazing clothing line. So side note: PLEASE STOP ASKING ME! Honestly, it’s like a constant reminder that I don’t have a tribe of wine drinking mom friends to party with. And if I did have the clientele I would be selling it myself. Mama needs money to put her kids through dance classes after all! And although it’s a sad reality, I’m now okay with the lack of a true tribe. Well, maybe on the surface I’m not, but deep down I am coming to terms with the former girl who needed the spotlight to shine now being okay just standing in the wings applying the frills to let others have their moment.

I have always been a people-pleaser. I push myself to go above and beyond because I want everyone to like me. But recently I learned that I have been breaking my own heart to keep everyone else happy. Some people think that I do this to make myself look like I am better than them. I guess I will never get that. This could be further from the truth. Can’t people just be kind for the sake of being kind? No! Honestly, I do it because I want to be accepted by them. Noticed. Not left out. Seriously sometimes being an adult trying to find friends is worse than middle school! But guess what, people just don’t care as much as we think they do. They are going to go on with their lives, have their parties, sometimes invite you and sometimes not. And that is okay. Because in my new reality, I most likely don’t want to go anyway. Sure it’s nice to be included but I am perfectly happy staying in my house, no bra, no pants, no judgment. Well that’s a lie, my children are very judgmental but screw them, they are toddlers, if they don’t like my new “boy hair” it will break my heart for a minute, but I’m happy with it and that’s what truly matters. Besides, I need to have easy hair so that I can spend every waking minute styling theirs with their obnoxiously big bows. God forbid we leave the house without them. I know that is a monster I created blah blah blah… my husband reminds me of this daily! *insert eye roll emoji here*

So, I am now looking at 40 like shedding my skin. Like the caterpillar turning into a butterfly, it’s kind of like that. Only it’s not changing into something beautiful. Just beginning to feel okay with revealing what was always underneath. I want to scream, “Man, I’ve been through some shit!”, but with a smile, because I made it through! My brain doesn’t work like a lot of people. I am messy yet creative, I am outgoing but have social anxiety. I am lonely but not alone. I am a mother, but a hot mess. I am a wife, but a terrible housewife. I am funny but sad. I’m not the hottest, the youngest, the skinniest or sexiest but that’s okay because I NEVER HAVE BEEN and NEVER WILL BE! The difference is, now I just don’t care. Okay, that’s a bunch of BS I do care obviously. I wish I could win the lottery and have my excess skin removed from my wings, I mean arms. But for now, I will just tuck them into my sleeves and dream of the day I will be confident to wear something sleeveless in public again.

Now let’s get one thing clear, this blog isn’t about having a pity party for myself. It’s about putting it out there. I am just as guilty as the next mom (if not more) who creates this picture perfect image of my life on social media. But spend one day in my shoes and you will see that is far from the truth. Yes, the moments I share are real but they are almost always surrounded by crying, yelling, and DRAMA! Seriously, we really do need a camera crew to follow us around. The daily fights my toddlers have with ALEXA not understanding them and playing the wrong songs is some very entertaining footage on its own, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Can I start a gofundme for the vlogging camera now? Seriously, I can’t afford one on my own… please refer back to the dance class and big bow obsession references previously stated above.

Yes, I have been fearful of turning 40. But I decided to make a list of Pros & Cons of what life in my 30’s was truly like. I will share it now:


Meeting My Husband

Getting Married

Getting Engaged 

Buying two homes

Having two beautiful healthy daughters

Having weight loss surgery 

Still having my mom in my life to call my best friend

New Kids On the Block reunited and have been going strong for the past 10 years with no sign of stopping.


Two rounds of cancer


Two high-risk scary pregnancies


Loss of loved ones & Myself

Social Anxiety


Panic attacks

As you can see my list of Pros are all wonderful celebrations of life in my 30’s. BUT the list of Cons was some majorly heavy stuff! To put it in simple terms, physically and emotionally MY THIRTIES SUCKED ASS! I honestly don’t know why I am morning them. It’s time wave my middle finger goodbye to the funk of 39 & be FORTY-LICOUS! After all having that hysterectomy got me out of menopause so there’s that silver lining! And if I get to meet a few new friends as I travel over the hill, then that is just an added bonus. But seriously still don’t ask me to host a party!


Love, Sunshine, & Lollipops,


“The Stay At Home Mama Drama Mama” 



I haven’t been able to share publicly an incident that happened to Molly my 3 & 1/2-year-old daughter a few weeks ago. Maybe because I am ashamed of myself as a mother. Maybe because if I put it out there for the world to see, they will think badly of me. Maybe because I feel that if I don’t make it public it will be easier to pretend it never happened. Honestly, the whole episode couldn’t have lasted more than 15-20 seconds, but I cannot shake it. It’s like a continuous looped replay in my mind that is a slow motion blurred nightmare. Anytime I think about it or talk about it, tears fill my eyes or I completely break down. But after running into a friend (who’s a damn good mother by the way) a few days ago and hearing that it happened to her with her 4-year-old just days after my nightmare, I knew that I had to share it.

It was a hot summer day and we did what most families do, packed up our bags and headed to a family members pool. It was awesome because they were on vacation so we had the whole place to ourselves.  All day long Molly kept saying she wanted to try swimming without her swimmies. By the end of last summer she had really started to get the hang of it. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to get to swim over the winter months so she is a little rusty. In other words, swimmies are a must. I told her repeatedly, once we were all in the pool she could practice for a bit. We got to the house and Matt (my husband) headed upstairs to get some towels. I took the girls outside to the backyard. They were ready to go! Suits on, swimmies in hand, and overheated from the climbing temperature. I paused for a moment at the fire pit because I wanted to surprise them with s’mores later on. As I stood with my back to the pool which was about 20 yards away. I heard a splash. I thought to myself, Oh boy, Buddy (the families Golden Retrieve who was infamous for jumping in the pool on hot days) is excited to swim too! But then my mind snapped. Buddy had sadly passed away last month! That splash had to be one of the girls. I turned to see Maddy my 2-year-old standing on the deck, pointing and yelling. And then I saw Molly in the center of the pool flailing. She was keeping her head above water but she had a fear in her eyes that put me into a state of shock. I raced through the grass and threw myself over the side of the pool. Screaming over and over again “Mommy’s coming Molly!” “You’re Ok!” as I swam as fast as I possibly could. I reached her, thank God before she went fully under. I don’t know who was holding who tighter! I tried to not let her see how panicked I was. I tried not to yell at her. I tried to keep myself together as best as I possibly could under the circumstances. I tried by I was failing at all of these things as my body succumbed to the enormous state of shock that my mind was experiencing. Matt came out of the house holding the towels with a puzzled look on his face as he observed the scene in front of him. Maddy on the deck of the pool yelling “Bad Choice Sissy!” Molly clinging to me, shaking in fear. Her arms wrapped around my neck so tight I thought I would pass out but I never wanted her to let go. And me in the pool with all of my stuff still on frozen. I asked why he didn’t come running out when he heard me screaming. But it was obvious to me before he said a word that he hadn’t heard and was clueless. Wow! If I had still been in the house, just a couple more steps away. I would never have heard that splash. That splash echos  loudly in my ears to this day, but at the time it could never have been loud enough to hear if I wasn’t in the yard. I replay it constantly in my mind. What would have happened? Would Maddy have tried to jump in to save her sister, putting herself in danger too? Would Molly have been able to keep herself up any longer? What would my life have become if true tragedy had struck us that day? How would I live with myself if something happened? How will I live with myself just letting this happen? I am struggling. Every day I am struggling to keep my mind from drowning in the possibilities and fears.

It wasn’t till my friend shared her horror story with me that I felt like I could breathe a little bit more. She, like I said, is a damn good mom! She is someone I look up to. And it happened to her. Two moms drowning in fear of what could have happened to their babies. Two moms in the same week, getting a wake up call that will never let them feel completely at ease on those hot summer days at the pool. But two moms who in their still fresh sense of shock, were able to share a bond that they are not alone. It’s okay to feel panic. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to feel like we are the ones drowning. Our kids are back in the pool. They are kids. They are able to float, while we sink in our own mommy pool of self-doubt and fear. They are the lucky ones not the victims. We became each others life vest as we shared our stories with tears streaming down our faces in the middle of a busy restaurant, dressed as cows. (that is a story for another day! HaHa!) Of course I would never want my friend or any mother to feel this way, it was nice to not be alone drowning in this “pool of emotions”. Our husbands don’t get it because they weren’t there. They didn’t see their babies struggle. They didn’t see their wives fight the heavy weight of the water as they rushed to reach them. I cling to the fact that someone I admire as a person and a mother, could be my life vest when I desperately needed it.

So why write this? Why do I feel like it’s okay now to share what I feel is something that could label me as an absent-minded mother? Why? Because I know I’m not! I am a damn good mother! Some may even say I am a “helicopter mother”. I’m the mom at the park that is right by my kids making sure they know that I am there to help them. I don’t hold them back. I let them climb. I let them jump. I even let them make their own “bad choices”. But I also let them know that I am right there. Within reach. Ready to save the day when things go wrong. Sure maybe that hot summer day, I was a bit distracted. I would never have imagined my daughter would think she could jump into a pool and swim. But isn’t that motherhood? They never do what we think they are going to do. I think they actually enjoy going left when we think they are going to make a right. Like they thrive to keep us on our toes and test us to see just how fast we will come to their rescue. Regardless if its, hitting their sister, saying a naughty word, or  for some reason thinking they are a mermaid all the sudden. You just never know what to expect by each passing second. That, is why I am writing this. It happened to me. It happened to my friend. It could happen to you! Always stay completely alert when you are by a pool or body of water. We can get so easily distracted as moms. On our phone, socializing, thinking about dinner, if we have enough toilet paper, how long we can sneak away to Target for, just in our own thoughts. That splash was definitely a wake up call for this mama! I will forever be changed over one little splash. A splash that washes over me like a title wave. A splash that echos in my ears down to the pit of my very soul. But a splash that gave me the speed and strength to feel those little arms wrap around my neck. You can judge me all you want. I am glad that I have two beautiful blessings to be judged about. And if this helps just one more mama who may have dealt with this themselves. Or prevents someone from dealing with it. Then I will take any kind of criticism that is splashed my way.

I’m sorry if this seemed to ramble on. I haven’t blogged in so long and I am a bit rusty. But, boy it feels good to finally get it out of my head! Now it’s time for me to hit the hay! I have an important hot summer day of swimming with my two beautiful daughters awaiting me tomorrow. I am terrified and excited!


Oh, so that’s why I blog!?!

Life is busy. Life is messy. Life seems to speed by us so fast we need to catch our breath to keep up. I seriously have so much that I want to do with this blog but it always has to take the backseat for my full time stay at home mom job. To be honest I get quite lazy with it because I’m to tired to be creative. And in the back of my mind I think. Who even reads this stuff anyway? How do I know that with all the amazing fun facts and stories out there someone is going to take the time to read a novices words?!?!

Just when I have given up on myself and my dream of being a successful blogger, like some of my new LTYM cast mates, I received a sign in the way of a Facebook messager. My blog actually made an impact on a strangers life and she was reaching out to me! I could not believe my eyes. She too has been struggling with early onset cervical cancer and had questions for me about my journey and my doctors. Tears immediately filled my eyes. Was I actually doing something with my life other then dirty diapers and toddler meltdowns? Could I help not only this beautify strong woman but others too? I stopped what I was doing and wrote her back right away. She thanked me for my help and said she would be in touch with more questions. Little did she know she helped me. I was about to give up on writing. I seriously did not expect over night success but I felt that putting so much time into a blog may be selfish of me. I should be spending that time working on the housework piling up or the other commitments that I got myself involved in. But seeing that I could help just one person out there through my words totally put things into perspective. I am blogging for ME and for other women out there that may be helped by my story. Or get a laugh at my “Stay At Home Mama Drama”!

So thank you for your message kind stranger. We may not know each other personally but you are in my prayers in your journey to wellness.


My Listen To Your Mother Piece…



Listen To Your Mother Was such a powerful experience for me. I honestly am still trying to wrap my head around all the impact it has made on my life. I will blog about the experience soon but I don’t want to rush the process because I want to find the right words. For now I am going to share my piece with you. I am very proud of it and hope that the humor comes across to you the reader in the written form. Of course once the performance video is up on YouTube I will share that as well. Boy it felt good to have the audience laugh along at the craziness that seems to go hand and hand with my life! Oh here is a fun tidbit to add to your reading experience… The “young good looking surgeon” was actually in the audience for the performance! How hilarious is that!


There’s No Modesty in Motherhood!

By Melissa Bigelli

I wrote this sitting on the toilet, in between the few moments I could sneak away from my two adorable yet clingy children. Of course, they opened the door on me and attempted to climb on my lap several times, but I’m a mother, so I take anytime I can to multitask and writing this piece was no exception.

Thank God I wasn’t really born with a major sense of modesty because when it comes to being a mother, any type of privacy and dignity has to be thrown out the window. This happened long before our little blessings are placed into our arms.

Yes, from the moment you get that plus sign on the pee stick, you know that your lady parts are now officially public domain. And if you are a high risk mama like I was, then you know that no matter how much you “spruce up down there” something in you just clicks and you think, “Screw it! I’m not even shaving my ankles for this next appointment, let alone worry about having to deal with the bumps, itchiness, & regrowth rash.”

Three months before my wedding, I was diagnosed with an early stage of cervical cancer. Thank God we caught it when we did. After three surgeries that left me with a tiny part of my cervix, I was told I was cancer free for now, but any chance of carrying a baby was slim to none. Well, a few short months after my wedding, I was able to conceive and carry my beautiful daughter Molly Mae to 35 weeks. She was tiny, but perfect and I loved every moment of being a mommy. A few short months later we found out to our shock and surprise, we were expecting again. Sadly, that baby was not meant for this earth. That was a crushing blow and my heart still struggles to this day. However, that is not the story I am here to tell.

My story for you all begins 6 months after our second sweet baby was taken to Heaven. My husband and I decided it was time to try again. After all, they said having Molly was a miracle and we hoped that we could give her a sibling to share her life with before I was forced to under go a hysterectomy to ensure the cervical cancer would be gone once and for all. Wouldn’t you know it, we conceived on the first attempt! Way to go honey! Now if only he could remember to put the toilet seat down! At 37 weeks, we welcomed our sweet little Madeline Mary into the world. Getting her here was not an easy journey for my body, my mind, or any more modesty that I may have had left in me! By this point all the appointments I had, the cervical cancer, Molly’s pregnancy, the miscarriage, the check ups, and weekly internal ultrasounds, I was sure that the whole Lehigh Valley had seen my vagina (in a strictly medical way of course) and there was nothing else left to surprise me. Well, all that went out the window once I was told I would have to receive a cerclage.

For those of you who don’t know what the cerclage is, it’s when they stitch you “inside” to  keep the baby cooking where it belongs. Kind of what Grandma used to do to keep the stuffing in the Thanksgiving bird! Sounds fun, right? This procedure is done in an operating room where they give you an epidural to numb you from the waist down. Since I was “a special case” they decided that they needed two surgeons to get my cerclage in. The head surgeon decided that this job called for what they called the candy cane stirrups. Sounds like fun I thought. How can anything that’s called the candy cane stirrups be terrifying? Well, let’s put it this way, they were not red and white stripes liked I hoped. Nope, they were a dingy gray, surgical metal and they were connected to the end of the operating table. I guess at some point, unbeknownst to me, my legs were hoisted up in the air by my ankles and I dangled spread eagle in front of a room full of strangers. Now, any of you who have had an epidural before probably know that you can’t feel anything, so I thought I felt my legs still down on the table. That’s until they asked me to move my arms, which were bundled in a warming blanket, so they could strap me down like Jesus. My hand hit something that I thought was a balloon or something. Nope, to my surprise it was just my meaty thigh dangling high above me.

I was shocked to finally have my eyes focus and realize the spectacle that my body was now putting on.  I began to nervously laughed so hard that, like most pregnant women, caused me to have to relieve myself. “I’m going to PEE!”I exclaimed!

“Oh go right ahead, Melissa,” they said, “you have a catheter in!”

It didn’t feel like I did, but I figured they have that epidural working so well that I didn’t know that my thighs were literally dangling over my ears. Still I questioned, “Are you sure? I don’t want to pee on you!” They assured me it was OK and what I was feeling was normal. So, I peed. I Peed like I’ve never peed before. And I peed all over the sterile operating room floor! I watch the doctors scamper away as it splashed around their surgical booties. “I told your so!” I whined!

“It wasn’t you, it was me!” proclaimed the younger, good looking, might I add, surgeon trying to make me feel better.

“Well, then that is very unprofessional of you,” I teased back. But as mortifying as it was, it kind of broke the ice.

After a quick cleanup, they assumed their positions between my two outstretched unshaved ankles.

The one doctor said, “See how great these candy canes are? Now we can both fit in here!”

To which I replied, “Gee! That’s what every girl wants to hear! My parents will be so proud!”  The room once again erupted in laughter. At that point I also realized that if I angled my head just right, I could see them working in the reflection of the surgical lights above. I felt like Mary Poppins carpetbag down there! Things were being put in and things were being pulled out. It was terrifyingly comical. I prayed that the stitch would work. I prayed for the baby that was in my womb but couldn’t feel right now because of the epidural. And I really, really prayed that they were not going to leave anything up there inside of me! They didn’t, thank God! But they did provide my body the opportunity to become the mother of two beautiful girls who are 18 months apart.

So now as I sit on the toilet with those two little girls bouncing on my lap, I think about the journey that has brought them here and I couldn’t care less about my unshaved legs or my over grown lady parts. I hope my husband really doesn’t care either because one day we will have the energy to actually touch each other again and he’s just going to have to get used to it like every doctor and nurse and the entire Lehigh Valley who has experienced my vagina (in a medical way of course).

Now if you will excuse me I’m going to be in the ladies room for the rest of the evening, enjoying an uninterrupted “sit”! Thank You!

On the eve of our last 1st Birthday

Today was very emotional for me! I can’t believe my beautiful baby girl is turning ONE! How did this happen? Where did the year go? I remember all the anxiety I had last year on the eve of my C-section. It was terrifying because my body was telling me at 38 weeks IT WAS DONE! The pain & EXTREME 24/7 headaches finally took its toll. And although I knew in my heart it was going to be okay & that I had the best team of doctors in my corner,  I was still so worried. After being a mom of a preemie & then a miscarriage, I just wanted to have a healthy baby in my arms, in my room, and in the van on the way home with me a few days later. Thank God I got all of those things & so much more in my sweet Madeline.

But seriously how can this be out last 1st Birthday as a family? No more monthly chalkboard? No more 1st year milestones? Don’t get me wrong we are happy & content being a family of four. And I didn’t really enjoy being pregnant since I was so terrified all the time. But still I miss it. Now I am exactly two months away from my hysterectomy so those days are truly over. I’m sure I’ll have more to share on that later because although I want to have it done to prolong my life with my family, it’s still such an emotional mental journey to face in my 30’s.

So now as I bake cupcakes with Molly, take her shopping for sissy’s gift, & look at my growing list of last minute party preparations, I stop to watch my sweet Madeline. She’s so advanced for a baby on the eve of her 1st birthday. She’s growing so fast. I know she’s ready for all the new adventures the next year has to offer, but is mommy? No I don’t think so!


All through my both pregnancies I did weekly chalkboards and also one for every month & holiday for the girls. 


Holding back tears that it will be a year until I create her another chalkboard! 

Capturing Cuteness & A Cake Smash

IMG_0528Remember the days of film? Your mom snapping a photo of you and having to wait days for it to come back to see the final result? It’s almost laughable now. We live in a world where we can capture perfect photos of our children, and if they are not perfect delete them until we do. That is until we get one of these pesky messages. landscape_nrm_1434543448-iphone-storage-fullUGH! Seriously! The frustration I get when I have the girls perfectly framed for my 15th impromptu shoot of the day and this pops up on my screen!

So why does a mom who has so many photos of her little cuties need to pay for a professional photo shoot? My answer, because sometime you just have to step back and let a true artist take over. Now, you can get a coupon in the mail and head to your local clothing store to get a cute cookie cutter package, an 8×10 for grandma’s house, a wallet for grandpa, etc. But it’s probably going to be more of a frustrating experience then anything. Waiting for your appointment with a fussy baby longer then you should because the family before you ran over their time. Being rushed through your time because the studio wants to get back on track. The pushy sales pitch as they try to sell you your babies face on everything from a phone case to a throw pillow. And no matter how hard you try to stick to the coupon package, nine times out of ten you will walk out of there frazzled and really having no clue how you managed to by golf balls with your little ones likeness on them for Uncle Tom! Not me! At least not for my babies big moments anyway. (stay tuned to the blog to hear the wonderful experience we had at one of those studios for family photos a few weeks ago). I’m so glad that I went a different route from the beginning.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with Molly I contacted one of the best local photographers in the area, Brynne Torres. I saw her work for years when my friends posted pictures she took of their adorable babies. I just knew I had to use her! She seriously was one of the first people I contacted when my water broke 5 weeks early because I had to make sure she could switch my date. She did of course and provided me adorable photos of Molly. It was a wonderful experience and I booked her that day for Molly’s 1st Birthday photos.

Then came Miss Madeline. I of course contacted Brynne before it even became Facebook official that we were pregnant again. A few months later I was back in her studio watching in a amazement and she molded my beautiful little newborn into the most perfect position shot after shot!

But as Madeline’s 1st Birthday fast approach I began to panic dropping money on photos. Of course I try to make things as fair as possible between the two girls and I don’t want Madeline to feel slighted in anyway with all that we did for Molly. How could I not use Brynne for my final 1st Birthday photoshoot! I was lucky enough to get a spot in her new in home studio. And as you can see by the seek peeks I snapped below that I am so happy I did.

IMG_0523Brynne is such a pleasure to work with. Here she is recreating Maddy’s Sleeping Beauty themed photo.

Maddy’s family party is this coming Sunday during the Iron Pigs baseball game in a suite. So we are doing a A League of Their Own, There’s No Crying In Baseball themed Birthday. Here is Maddy recreating Dottie’s little sister Kit from the movie.

And of course the new classic… THE CAKE SMASH!

Do you know any other photographer that draws a warm bath in her kitchen sink for her cake covered clients?

So you may pay a little more for a professional photographer but in the long run the experience, quality, and super fun process of it is so worth it. I can not praise Brynne enough for creating memories that will last my family a lifetime. And I know that Molly and Maddy will be so grateful for them.

Here are a few tips that I suggest you do to get ready for your babies big shoot!

  1. Get a theme together. Have multiple outfits and send photos of them to your photographer ahead of time. This will give your photographer an idea on what backdrops they may want to use and he or she can be all set up for you when you get there.
  2. Bring along personal items. Sure getting a photo with your baby and a teddy bear is cute but wouldn’t it be so special to capture them with a teddy bear that was their daddies when he was their age? Maybe surprise him with it when the photos come in. #coolwifepoints
  3. Be patient! Your little model may not be in the best of moods that day so you have to just go with it. Have snacks, a bottle, and comfort items to keep you little one entertained. For us it was music, and when I say music I mean “The Chicken Dance” on repeatAnnoying? YES! But it got the little cutie clapping and smiling in no time.
  4. Bring a assistant if possible. My mom is a God sent! It’s hard keeping the little star happy, changing the outfits, and all the behind the scenes stuff. It’s so great to have an extra pair of hands. ESPECIALLY with a messy cake smash!
  5. BREATHE! You did it! You don’t have the satisfaction of seeing your shots immediately like the ones that you shoot from your phone or digital camera, but rest assured your photographer captured beautiful photos and you will have them to share before you know it!

I will be sure to share Madeline’s photoshoot for you all to enjoy as soon as I get them back. If you are in PA or NJ and want to book Brynne here is her website. (tell her that sent you!) Thanks Brynne for letting me sneak a few shots of you in action!


 Brynne Torres Photography




A dead battery and a spark of romance


Today Matt & I went on a “date”. We borrowed my brother-in-laws truck to pick up a playhouse to makeover for the girls. We felt pretty “bad ass” in the old orange beast.
Even though I had to hold the review mirror up for Matt to back out of the driveway.

IMG_0339                After picking up the playhouse, Matt took me to Toby’s for a hot dog,


dropped the playhouse off at home, then took me to Lowes to look for paint.


Those Bigelli men sure know how to treat a lady! HAHA! We actually had a really fun time together. And I got a piggyback ride into Lowes. I haven’t had one of those since I was about 5! (Another bonus of loosing almost 100lbs!)

Anyway, there was a small delay in the fun because upon returning to the truck we found out THE BATTERY DIED! UhOh! Mark to the rescue! (He wasn’t really happy about that) but there was no other choice since Matt is clueless when it comes to auto-mechanics and busy looking at free tutus we scored for the girls during our playhouse pick up.

How can two brothers be sooooo different? HAHA!

I guess the moral of this blog is. Although we love our girls dearly, it’s fun to sneak away & make to most of any alone time we can get together. Today it felt like we were dating again & to me it was very romantical!

IMG_0340                                                                               He’s a keeper!

Our Easter Blessing Tree


It’s officially Easter week! Can you believe it? It really seems as if time is flying. It feels like only yesterday when I was still very pregnant with Madeline and getting everything ready for Molly’s 2nd Easter. How can a year go by so fast?

Of course Molly is very excited about the promise of the Easter Bunny, CANDY, baskets, eggs, toys, & a reason to wear her pretty dress. But I really want to take the time to teach her and remind her what Easter is truly about. Now I don’t know if I subconsciously saw this on Pinterest one night when I should’ve been sleeping but just couldn’t wind down, or if the idea really did come to me all on its own from my scattered and frazzled mommy brain but this is what we did today. We made “Our Easter Blessing Tree” from the tree I painted on our family room wall. I try to do something to this tree every holiday since the wall is plaster and it is hard to truly decorate it with anything that’s not “scotch tape friendly”

I told Molly that we were going to sit down and make a list of all the people that we love and that we pray for every night. Then I would make Easter eggs out of colored paper and she could decorate them with markers and crayons. She got very excited and stated sprouting off names faster then I could write. Of course she said the usual, MaMa, DaDa, Madeline, Molly, etc. But between all of the special loved ones in her life she would say “and Jesus, and God, and Our Angels.” I got teary eyed because she really does listen to me when we say our prayers and that made my heart so happy. She of course listed every dog in our family and every person in her class & dance class but I convinced her that we could group them on to 3 eggs because I honestly was too pooped to cut out so many. Ha Ha!unnamed

I couldn’t believe how long she sat and spent on each and every egg. Like her MaMa she carefully selected every color for each person. And proudly showed me each one as she completed it.

Once she finished her master pieces we rolled up some tape and put them onto the wall. She told me where the ones she couldn’t reach should go. After all she is 2 & 1/2 so she knows best!

unnamed-2It was such a fun and touching project to do with her. I hope to make it a yearly tradition. We now have a holiday focal point to remind us the true reason why we celebrate. And all though she is 2& 1/2 she never told me to make an Egg for the Easter Bunny but Jesus, God, and Our Angels were at the top of her list. And although the rest of the day did not go smoothly and I’m now hiding out in my room blogging and trying to block out the temper tantrums and noise that my lovely little angels are creating for their daddy, I think of her list and tell myself, “Good Job Mama! You must be doing something right!”