Category Archives: Parenting

The Gentlemen Project


In two short weeks, something magical will be happening in Utah, but first, I need you to watch this video.

Now that we are on the same page, I want to introduce you to one of my good friends, Kirk Chugg. You can see his heart in the message he shared, but now we all get to be a part of his story.

If you’re like me, you’d agree that it’s hard to find something special to give your man on Father’s Day. And honestly, although we can find a million things to TRY and make on Pinterest, I doubt many of them will get him as excited as this! “The Gentlemen Project” is holding their very first live event at the Vivint Arena on June 17th from 6:30-9:30 pm! The night is only for Dads and their kids, and it will be an evening they will never forget!

You won’t see a Mother in sight – and that is what makes this night so awesome! Dad’s play differently with their kids when we aren’t around, and through play, they build a bond that will last a lifetime. So take the night off, and get a massage or something really amazing, like take a nap.


There are only 300 tickets available and the event will sale out quickly, so you must hurry to claim your tickets. There will be awesome photo opportunities with celebs, like the real Rudy Ruettiger!  Dinner will be held in the Jazz 100 club and there will be games, speakers, entertainment and more!


We need more gentlemen in the world, and I’m excited to help spread the word about this great night. If you have a blog that you’d be willing to share this message on, or you’d like to share it on any other social media, please do. They only recently decided to hold this event and we want to make sure to fill every last seat!

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Spring at Pink Moss


Spring is upon us and the light has felt calm on my skin.

Spring in Utah is a bit confusing. The first day it is warm enough to break a sweat, (about 65 degrees) every man, woman, and child, pull out their swimsuits, shorts and tank-tops and run outside. The barbecues are lit, the green hose is uncoiled and the bikes with flat tires uncovered from their hiding places, wherever they’ve been stowed away during the cold and snowy months. Inevitably, a few days later the temperature will drop down below freezing, and kill all hopes of rolling down the frosty windows. It doesn’t matter, though, because once we see the buds on the trees, we all celebrate the long winter coming to an end.

Our family, which I’ve called “Pink Moss” forever (because of our six daughters and our last name, Moss) have been very busy. This wouldn’t be anything different from the norm – we’ve been right on track with what we’d consider “normal”. Kinley has been studying for school and running around with friends – one in particular named Ethan. Whitney is wrapping up her senior year and deep in the middle of dance recitals, choreography, cutting music, homework, and hanging out with friends – one in particular named Keegin. Brighton has pulled out her trusty soccer shoes and revving up those legs for another Spring soccer season, which is getting more intense all the time! She’s also been spending a lot of time with friends, one in particular, named Kortni. Ella is busy starting up her summer kids camp, and positioning herself to make lots of money doing what she loves. She also spends and majority of her time with one other – Mandy. Halle is stretching up for her first Spring dance concert and feeling very nervous for the first time in her life. She looks darling in her little costumes, definitely the cutest little mushroom I’ve ever seen, as she will be performing in Alice and Wonderland. She mostly hangs out with Jordan, but if she is with friends it’s Jillee or Jaycee. Jordan is running around on his first soccer team and growing up faster than I’d ever like to admit. He mainly spends time with Halle or Grandpa Moss.


(not the mushroom costume)

image2Yesterday, Jordan played in his second soccer game, wearing his #17 jersey. And I swear he probably fell down seventeen times. I’m really not kidding! I recorded it and I thought of doing a clip of his falls and smashing it together, which would be really entertaining, but if I spent all my time doing that, I couldn’t be writing now. Just know that I was entertained, and so was everyone else. He dove, kicked, and somersaulted his way through the cluster of boys for an hour – and I think he even made contact with the ball once or twice!

One time I cheered loudly and he looked over with huge eyes and pointed the OTHER direction. He mouthed, “NO MOM, WRONG WAY!” and I realized that the wrong team had scored again and I was turned around. I couldn’t help but laugh at his intensity in the game, and I continued to snuggle with Halle in blankets and coats, as the chilling wind was cheering for both teams with gusto!

We were also lucky enough to spend time with my sister – in – law Emmy, and her cute kids and my brother this weekend! Can you believe that she has five babies in five years! YES! And before that happened, they had infertility problems for seven years before that!? YES, and now all those little darlings were running all over the house and having a fantastic time with my kids. Their first son, DJ, came into their home after a very special blessing was given, and very soon after that, two beautiful daughters arrived AND THEN twin boys! ALL without help from a fertility doctor! Really, their family is a blessing – but it’s amazing that any of us have babies. Everything has to work out just right and it’s a miracle!

I’ve had some fun with snapchat recently to take short videos, and here is one from yesterday. Video-2  If you want to follow me,  Shmonae is my username. My kids crack me up all day long, and it’s fun to grab quick clips of their doings. They are growing up so fast, really it’s unbelievable. Yesterday Emmy and I were laughing/crying at our outdated dance moves after watching Whitney’s beautiful Senior solo. I told Emmy that it doesn’t matter that she’s a bit younger than myself, because once your dance move isn’t being performed anymore, you could have been born in the 50’s, 70’s, or 90’s … and you’re equally outdated. You’re actually expired and your sour skills dumped out into the sink with the rest of the bad food. … okay, it’s not that bad – and I’ll dance until I die – but time flies and sometimes you’re flying a kite instead of a drone. I have to tell you, though, that I help with my daughter’s choreography ideas now and again – and some of my SKILLS make it into her productions!

Yes, age is a factor in everything. One minute you’re sporting a sexy swimsuit without care, and the next minute you’re wearing a “moo moo” coverup, over your power 50 sun-blocked pasty white, unshaven/un-toned body. And you might have felt bad about it, until you look over and see your spouse’s extra hair growing out of his eyebrows and back, and realize he can barely see or hear you, anyway.

Life is a weird mishmash of dreams, goals, experiences and untapped realities. We want more, strive for the best, and fall flat on our faces just like Jordan did in his soccer game yesterday. At the end of his defeat, I cheered for his hard work and dedication from the front seat in the Suburban. And then, from the very back row I heard him say, “MOM, I LOST. L. O. T.S…. I MEAN …. L.O.S.T. … LOST!” May we all fall flat on our faces, and get up and kick that ball again. We may be upset, tired, and outdated, but in the end it’s still worth it because pretty soon we will be dead anyway and we may as well enjoy Spring.


Horrible phone selfie taking after the game…. because if you look closely, I match Halle’s pants and her pants match Jordan’s Jersey. Yes, we just rock like that. … accidentally…

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All my parents wanted for Christmas was a picture of the family. This may sound like a small request, but those of you with large families, know the truth. And so, on Christmas day, we all met at my parents’ house in the mountains, and trudged through several feet of snow in our backyard, and posed on our bridge.
It was freezing and neither the parents or the children had enjoyed any sleep the night before. Babies were screaming, kids were whining, parents rubbing arms and hugging to stay warm, while second guessing our sanity – and my poor brother, Dave, was RUNNING back and forth from the camera to standing in the picture beside us. Time and time again, the camera failed us, and I swear he ran a mile in total, through the deep snow.
At the last-minute, right when we were ready to give up and take what we could get, one last daughter of mine showed up. She had been late, and I didn’t think there was any possibility of having every person in the picture. But here she was, running through the trees to stand with us. Some people were still crying (we won’t say if they were kids or parents) and others were laughing uncontrollably. The sensible ones, like my husband, were making side comments about the unrealistic expectations we had of pulling this off…
And then it happened. CLICK. One moment in time, burned into history forever. Pictures are magical. There isn’t a smile on everyone’s face, and we don’t all match, and that’s okay! FAMILY is the most important part of life. They are the people who stick around through the years – no matter what. It doesn’t mean that there hasn’t ever been a fight or disagreement, but it does mean that we haven’t given up.

As I reflect on the past few weeks, I am overwhelmed with the goodness and support system these amazing people are my family. They always step in when needed, even if messes up their schedule.

When I was first married and we were struggling trying to put food not the table, I never even told my parents. I saw it as protecting them from worry, but what I realize now is that I robbed them of being able to support me in a huge time of need – and myself having love and feeling connected to them in very difficult years.
I try to teach my children this now, but I know that they will do what they feel comfortable doing – regardless. Life is messy. People hurt and get hurt. We let each other down, we make mistakes; but if we can take a chance and trust one another in our times of need, we can transform relationships. As we pray for help and pray for others, we may realize that we are the angels that can help to answer prayers. This is what can make our families stronger – finding vulnerability is one of the fastest ways to find love.
I think of my parents everyday as I recognize the way they were always seeking love, teaching love, and being an example of love. Every parent shows these things in different ways, and it looks totally different in our own home – but that’s the point. There is not one right way to parent. Love is intent and practice and identifying those unique traits we have to serve. Sometimes the best thing we can accomplish that day is to get out of bed. And other days, we might do everything we set out to do.
We need to give ourselves a break and not beat ourselves up. If the picture of our family sounds like screaming kids in the snow, while others poke fun or whine – it’s ok – because these are the imperfectly perfect memories that we will cherish forever.
(We were missing sydney and her little family that lives in South Carolina and she was almost ready to give birth and couldn’t fly.. so sad, but necessary.)

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Wear the Plastic


When I was a new mom, I’d graciously accept hand-made jewelry from my children, give them a huge hug and kiss, and put it in a special place in my jewelry box. Now that my little ones aren’t so little, I try to wear this same plastic (or cheesy) jewelry when I can. It brings me so much happiness as my children are becoming women and one little young man. Parenting is tough, and if a pink, purple, yellow and white bracelet can bring a smile to my face, and theirs, well then – I’ll wear it.

Why did it take me so long to figure this out? Time flies so quickly, and before you know it, your kids won’t be making you plastic jewelry, anymore.

Today, I’m setting out on a road trip with two – possibly three of my daughters. I will be speaking in Boise, Idaho, about parent leadership and the Protective Factors. If I had to pick one week that I wasn’t feeling qualified, it would be this week. This is both a humbling and an honest thought – but I will do my best. I don’t know if any parent ever feels like they do a good enough job that they can teach others. I think it’s more accurate that we all learn lots of skills, experience perceived success or failure, and choose to share this information with other, equally clueless parents. Sometimes I feel like animals, such as kangaroos, parent better than I do.

I think when we, as parents, are open and honest about the fact that none of us really know what the sam hell we are doing – we find ourselves in a place where we can learn. We can choose to listen to the advice from friends or family, we can read self-help books, heck, we can even try using the things we learned from the last kid we raised – and it’s still a crap shoot! The only sure thing in parenting is that we will gain more patience – willingly or … as we pull our increasingly grey hair out, resisting becoming patient.

Sometimes when I’m over tired, like last night, it takes me longer to fall asleep. Even when I know the amount of sleep I’ll get is way under what I need, it takes a bit to unwind. That’s what happened last night after we went to the Jazz game. It was a wonderful night, because our older kids got to come to the company suite with us. This never usually happens because the seats are reserved for our clients in RBM and Alpine. It’s a great way for us to keep in touch with lots of people at the same time. So, usually we can’t hand out those tickets to our own family. I wish I had grabbed some more pictures…. why didn’t I do that? But here are a few, including the embarrassing trailer bike ride to the game! Jon always insists on being pulled by healthy bike peddlers as I groan and laugh through my bursting beat red face, in the trailer behind them.


1799_1261104317239613_1318295622558264348_nYep, as you can see, my kids are getting older and dating! This isn’t a great picture because of the lighting – but maybe I’ll get a chance later to insert some better ones… (although I doubt it). Anyway, Whitney, Keegan, Kinley, Ethan, Scott, Dave, and Paul were all there. It was awesome!

I remember when my parents told me that someday I’d like my brother Dave, and it was the first time that I realized my parents really DIDN’T know everything. It was an eye-opening experience, and it changed my view of them forever. But then last night, I realized that they were right, at least about some things, because instead of my brother just wanting to watch the great Jazz game and eat the food in the suite, he was intently talking and listening to me. Go figure.

Siblings are such a blessing. Why don’t we figure that out until they are gone?

And then, when the game was over and we drove back home, I packed for a bit for my early morning road trip and then crawled into bed. 12:30 am is too late for my bed time, and 5:30 am is too early to wake up, in my opinion – and I wouldn’t have…. until I dreamed that I had to go pee so BAD that I found a toilet in my dream and PEED.

WELP, that woke me up.

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Be Fearless


bible - be not afriad

It’s been a hard week in our home, and I have to constantly remind myself to be fearless. It’s a challenge as the parent because our children look to us for guidance and support. Somehow, through the hardest times, we have to keep our chin up and continue on. And then when we feel safe enough, or we can’t control it any longer, we cry. I don’t often let this happen in front of my kids, so when I do they know it’s a pretty big deal. Although I don’t like doing it, I know that these are often the times when they learn the most – because it opens up conversations about big feelings.

I’m reading a book called “The Resilience Breakthrough” by Christian Moore. It is really great, and although I’m not too far into the book yet, I’ve learned a lot. I love the stories and the basic information that is given to better understand the trials we all face and the different skills we can build to overcome them. I would highly recommend the book. One of my favorite thoughts are the different types of resiliency: Relational Resilience, Rock Bottom Resilience, Street Resilience and Resource Resilience. We all fight through hard things for different reasons, and to recognize where we are strong and weak, helps us to become more optimistic and strong.

My husband and I both find resilience in our own way, and I watch each of my kids struggle through their hardships in their own ways. As I’ve read this book, I recognize pieces of myself and family – and I’m becoming more able to help them when they are struggling. Having said this, we can only do so much as parents. From the moment our baby is placed into our arms, we search for every possible way to support and love them. And for years, we teach, hold, love, praise – anything we can do to give them a good life – and in the end, it is still their choice to live the way they want and make huge decisions that will decide their course.

Tuesday morning I’m leaving to Idaho to speak about parenting, and I don’t consider myself anymore ready to parent than anyone else. The only difference is that I’m enough of a sucker to try to talk about it! The one difference, possibly, is that I work with countess parents and I learn a lot from them. I see the trials they overcome, I hear of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles they face, and I feel of their expansive love they have for their children as they speak of them.

I see parents being FEARLESS everyday.

Being fearless doesn’t mean that we aren’t scared. It means that we decide to do our best, no matter what that may look like. We cannot change the past and we don’t know what may happen in the future, but we do have control over today – and today if we choose to be FEARLESS – we will make the best decisions to influence the best possible outcomes. And in doing this, we will find happiness because this is the only place we have direct control of, anyway.

Make it a beautiful week and look for new ways to become FEARLESS!

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