What I Would Tell My 18-Year-Old Self

Sometimes you don’t know how good you had it until you move forward and look back. You see, I went to my 20-year high school reunion recently. First of all, I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since I graduated. It may sound cliché, but I can honestly tell you I don’t know where all the time has gone. I also can’t believe how many things, both good and bad, have happened. If you ever told me some parts of my story over the past 20 years, I would have told you, you were nuts.

As I walked through the newly painted and renovated hallways of my high school, I could see visions of my teenage self at various stages of my high school years. I even turned to my friend and commented about how I could close my eyes and immediately be transported back 20 years.

If I could go back 20 years, there are so many things I would tell my 18-year-old self.

Have More Fun. As much as getting good grades is important, I would tell myself to have more fun. This really is the most carefree time of your life! At what other point do you not have to worry about paying a mortgage? When else can you go out Friday and Saturday night and not have to worry about a babysitter or getting up the next morning to kids who think it’s cool to get up at 6:30 on a Sunday morning? There will be no other time like this in your lifetime. Live it up.

It’s Quality Not Quantity with Friends. It truly doesn’t matter how many friends you have. Although it may seem like the end of the world that you only eat lunch with two other people instead of ten, it really isn’t. There are far worse things. If you have to put an exhausting amount of effort into a friendship it really isn’t worth it. It took me a long, and I mean long time to realize that. But, once I did (well into my adult life) I was a much happier person. A true friend is one you can talk to after a year of being off the grid and feel as though you were just with them yesterday.

Not Being Cool is Cool Enough. I was not “cool” in high school. Totally not cool. I knew it and so did all the “cool” kids. Enjoy the real friendships you do have. In the end, you’ll be better for it.

Your Life Plan Will Change. I’m fully aware of your life plan. But, guess what? It’s going to change and that’s okay. Not every prophesy you declare when you’re 18 will come true. You will grow. You will change. Things will happen and it’s all okay. If you ever told me I was going to quit a job I loved to become a stay-at-home mom in my thirties, I would have laughed in your face. I would have laughed even harder if you told me I wasn’t going to be a television reporter. That was the big dream. But, over time my big vision shifted…more than once. I decided being on-air wasn’t for me. I liked the behind the scenes television life instead. Then after a long time, I decided that career wasn’t cutting it either. I decided to follow my passions, even if it meant being viewed as unsuccessful in the minds of some. In the end, you have to do what makes you happy and what’s right for you, not anyone else.

Time Flies When You’re An Adult. As kids we want time to fast forward itself so we can become fancy adults. When we become adults we want to pause time so we have more of it to enjoy our lives. As we all know that’s not possible. There comes a point when you really don’t know where the time went. When you finally become that adult you dreamed about all those years you quickly realize it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. In fact, life is full of rainy days and bulls. Don’t rush to become an adult.

Don’t Take People or Things for Granted. People are not immortal. Things don’t stick around forever. Enjoy them. Appreciate them. Don’t be self-absorbed. There is much more to the universe than yourself. Open your eyes and appreciate the things and people around you. Guess what? They’re not going to be around forever. People get sick unexpectedly and there isn’t always a happy ending. You really need to stop and enjoy everything and everyone around before it is too late.

The saying, “I wish I knew then what I know now” holds a lot of merit. If I knew some of the things I knew now when I was 18, perhaps things would be different. For better? For worse? Who knows? Perhaps my 30-something self can learn from what my 18-year-old self didn’t know.

Jump Over to Launch Trampoline Park

As a mother, we are always looking for cool new places to take our kids. While parks and beaches are great, we all know sometimes kids need a little variety. They need a place to get out all of that energy. They need a place where they can jump around and not get yelled at. How about a place where they can throw balls at one another and not even get yelled at for that?

I have just the place for you.

Launch Trampoline Park.


Courtesy: launchmilford.com


My girls and I recently took a trip to the new Launch location in Milford, CT. I first found out about it through some promotions going on at my local movie theater. It was one of those places I put on my “I’ll surprise the kids if they’re good some day” list. Well, they were good one day, so they got surprised.

When we got there and my kids saw all there was to do, they didn’t know where to turn first. Once I signed the waivers and bought their special Launch socks, we were ready to jump. We started off at the large trampoline area. They jumped from square to square. Honestly, I think they stayed there for at least a half-hour. Then it was off to shoot some hoops. Jumping to try to get a basket was a lot of fun too. But, I think the part they enjoyed the most was the dodge ball area. One of the benefits of going on a low-traffic day is that there aren’t a lot of kids to compete with for space. So, if you want to get the most out of your visit, I would recommend going this route. My kids played a friendly game of dodge ball with a couple of other kids and had so much fun! In fact, I wish I could have joined in! (Maybe next time)

Courtesy: launchmilford.com

Courtesy: launchmilford.com

Besides just having fun all around, the Launch Trampoline Park is a great place for kids to get some exercise. According to a NASA study, scientists show that rebounding on a trampoline is 68% more effective than jogging. As a nation that is constantly battling childhood obesity, any time a child can get out and exercise is good. If they can have fun at the same time, then it’s a bonus!

Besides all the trampoline fun, the Launch Trampoline Park also has a game area and food court. So, you can really make it an afternoon of family fun! You can even schedule your child’s birthday party. Joey the kangaroo would love to meet you!

Courtesy: launchmilford.com

Courtesy: launchmilford.com



So, what are you waiting for? There are plenty of reasons to jump over to Launch Trampoline Park in Milford, CT.  The folks at Launch in Milford are so excited for you to come and visit that they are giving away Four FREE one-hour jump passes to one lucky reader of this blog post. The contest runs from midnight September 19, 2016 through midnight October 3, 2016. That’s when one lucky winner will be chosen at random. Be sure to enter the giveaway & visit the Launch Trampoline Park in Milford for some great family fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



*This post is sponsored by Launch Trampoline Park. All opinions are my own.


AutoRight Steam Machine Giveaway

Welcome to the AutoRight SteamMachine Giveaway

Sponsored by HomeRight

Hosted by Life With Kathy


This giveaway is for an AutoRight SteamMachine. It can clean up your vehicle’s interior with the power of steam. The AutoRight Steam Cleaner is a chemical free way using water to steam clean dirt, grime and grease from vehicle upholstery, leather, carpets, wheels, windows and dashboards. The quick change accessories include; crevice tool, jet nozzle, large and small nylon brushes (black bristles), large and small soft nylon brushes (grey bristles), large and small brass brushes, squeegee with base and a poly/cotton bonnet. The AutoRight Steam Cleaner uses pressurized, high temperature steam to loosen and dissolve dirt, grease and grime. The SteamMachine leaves behind no chemical residue and disinfects 99% of all germs and bacteria. This steamer is compact and portable and the wheels allow the steamer to follow you as you clean.

You can enter below for your chance to win one. The Mommy Rundown is helping to spread the word. It’s open to the U.S. only. You must be 18+ to enter. This giveaway will run from 9/12-9/26. Good luck to everyone.

Disclosure: Life With Kathy and all other participating bloggers are not responsible for prize shipment. The giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. The winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is drawn. I received this product in exchange for a review. The opinions are all 100% my own and may differ from yours.

A New Frontier For Mom

As a mother you’re always looking and waiting for your child’s next milestone. Learning to talk, learning to crawl, learning to walk…they’re among the biggies. As children get bigger, so do the milestones. Things like getting a driver’s license, graduating from high school, graduating from college…they all signify major changes.

While we our mindful of our children’s milestones, our milestones as mothers seem to get lost in the background. Whether you are a working mother or a stay-at-home mother, sometimes the big changes in our lives seem to go unnoticed. For many of us, having kids means taking a bit of a backseat.

But, what happens when you get to ride shotgun again, even for just the short rides? Well, I guess you can say that’s kind of what’s happening with me these days. If you follow my blog regularly (which you should), then you know my youngest daughter started Kindergarten this year. I was and still am sad to see her go. We were like peas and carrots while her sister was at school. Although she went to pre-school, Kindergarten is a whole new game. Her and I had a good thing going, but now that’s all changed. For better or for worse, that special time is over. We still have our time, just not like that. Now, for the first time in five years, I have a bit of unprecedented freedom.

It is a new frontier for Mom.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about being able to focus on myself more and not feel guilty. As a stay-at-home mom for five years, a lot of what I did or didn’t do revolved around my kids. Honestly, I wouldn’t change one second of it. I feel totally blessed to have been able to stay home and witness so many of their milestones first hand. There comes a point when your role as a mother shifts. Trust me, my kids still need me, but it’s different. They’re just not as needy if that makes any sense. They can go off and play together while I work on writing in the other room. They can sit quietly and watch TV or read a book. I don’t have to worry about someone choking on a Lego while I try to meet a deadline. We still have our time together, but I can have mine too.

Before you think I’m about to pull a “Thelma & Louise”, I’m not. But, I am ready to explore. It’s only been a week and in just one week, I’ve already been able to scope out new writing and job opportunities…ones I wouldn’t dare to before because I just didn’t have the time to devote.  I can carve out a new path for myself which is exciting, liberating, and scary all at the same time. I can try to figure out what’s going to work and what isn’t right now as we all adapt to these changes. I can think out of the diaper box and it feels wonderful.

Some may say I could and should have done this all along. But, I chose not to. Everyone makes decisions that fit their lives. That was my choice. I don’t judge you, so hopefully you won’t judge me.

Although I feel like a little Davy Crockett these days as I explore new frontiers, I still miss my babies when they’re at school. I wonder what they’re doing and if they’re having a good day. I wonder if they ate their lunch, if they went to the bathroom, and more importantly if they washed their hands. That’s why I love seeing their smiling faces when they get home. I love to be able to hear about their days and help them with their homework and just be their Mom. I am even more focused when they get home because I’ve had “my time”. Now this is their time.I don’t feel frazzled because I’ve played ten-thousand rounds of Candy Land or played referee to a million arguments. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, I’m sure you can relate!

There is a bit of Zen in this new frontier and it is simply amazing.