The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

3 days ago

‘Mondays for Moms’: Making your way in the margin mommy moments

(YHN)

The following is the third edition of Mondays for Moms:

Making your way in the margin mommy moments

A few weeks ago I was talking with some momma friends about their careers (before mommyhood).

I loved listening to them talk about all their achievements and their dreams for the future.

What struck me was how many times I heard the phrase: “But I just had to give all that up for now with kids…”

That stung a little bit because I had experienced those same emotions several years back.

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With two babies under the age of two, I started to feel like the “go-getter” side of me was slipping away.

And I was totally fine with that because loving my sweet babies is my deepest passion in life.

But, that drive deep inside to achieve my dreams was burning brighter than ever.

Have you been there, too?

Do you find yourself longing to achieve a certain goal, or live a certain dream, but you feel stuck by your circumstances?

Well, I’m here to tell you that no matter your current circumstances, you can achieve anything you put your mind to achieving!

The margins of our mommy lives are some of our greatest gifts. Because it is in those moments that we are free to pursue our deepest passions.

It is in those free moments in which the world seems to stand still and we can breathe a sigh of relief from the craziness of the daily grind.

The margins in my life happen to be 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm in the afternoon (AKA my kids’ “nap” time) and 8:00 pm to midnight each night (AKA kids sleeping!).

It’s in those moments that I wind down, dedicate myself to my work and recharge.

It’s when I write these little love notes to all of you each week.

It’s when I spend a few moments in God’s Word.

It’s when I check myself out of insanity and into personal rejuvenation.

Real talk: It’s when I curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and tune the rest of the world completely out.

As it turns out, we all have margin moments. However rare they may be, they do exist and it’s up to us to scout them out and make the most of each one!

If you are currently using your margin moments binging the Bachelorette (like me sometimes) or scrolling endlessly through your social media threads, let me ask you a few questions:

What are you really passionate about?

What motivates you? What gets you up in the morning? What keeps your heart racing with excitement?

Are you pursuing those things? Are you making them a priority?

I asked myself these questions about two and a half years ago and it really motivated me to do something about it.

As mothers, we don’t have to give up on the other aspects of our lives that drive us and give us joy.

We don’t have to feel guilty for carving out time to devote to these things!

But, maybe you feel trapped by your daily responsibilities. I feel you 100%, friend!

After playing, feeding, cleaning up, cooking, bathing and rocking all day, it can feel like we have nothing left to give when it’s all said and done.

These margin moments are our time. These are the opportunities to really plug in and reach for the moon, not the falling stars.

I promise you that you won’t regret taking the extra effort to pursue your dreams one day.

But, you will regret not doing so.

It’s OK for us to own our dreams. And to embrace them full-on.

It’s OK for us to put down the remote and retreat to our quiet places to unwind after a long day.

It’s OK for us to admit that we have a calling outside of mommyhood.

And it’s ok to give it everything we’ve got.

Let’s commit to each other that we will find moments this week to explore. To dream. And to discover.

And turn those mommy margin moments into the masterpiece-makers of our lives!

Erin Brown Hollis is Yellowhammer’s lifestyle contributor and host of Yellowhammer Podcast Network’s “Cheers to That” podcast. An author, speaker, lawyer, wife and mother of two, she invites you to grab a cup as she toasts the good in life, love and motherhood. Follow Erin on Instagram ErinBrownHollis or Twitter @ErinBrownHollis

1 week ago

‘Cheers to 10 Years’: Birmingham Restaurant Week 2019

(Birmingham Restaurant Week/Facebook, YHN)

“Cheers to Ten Years!” 2019 marks the 10th year that foodies all over the state will flock to Birmingham to live it up on the culinary scene.

If you have traveled through the Magic City lately, you likely observed all the brand new restaurants popping up all over town. In fact, many attribute the food scene as one of the leading charges in revitalizing the city.

Founded in 2010, Birmingham Restaurant Week was designed to highlight some of the city’s tastiest venues. Kicking off with only 30 participating venues, the special week quickly became recognized as a premier spot on everyone’s calendars, and the list of participants grows each year. The concept is to get locals interested in all the incredible culinary opportunities Birmingham has to offer. From James Beard award-winning fine dining hot spots to local fast-casual hits turned national chains, Birmingham is doing something right in the food game.

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For 10 days, August 16-25, participating restaurants all over the city will be offering special lunch, dinner and tasting menus to show off the food that is making Birmingham foodie-famous. Dishes will be priced as specials and many restaurants will even offer one-of-a-kind meals specially crafted for Restaurant Week guests. Prices will range from $10 to $40 on the week’s special offerings.

From fine dining establishments boasting white tablecloths and mouthwatering cuisine to BBQ spots offering the best finger-licking good cheese biscuits this side of the Mississippi, there’s something for every palate. It’s the perfect time to head out to your favorite spot to grab some of their yummiest fare at killer deals, or discover some of our brand new delicious spots popping up all over town.

Restaurant Week screams girls’ nights and date nights and everything in between. Grab your friends and schedule a night or two out on the town. No tickets are required, so make your plans to visit some of your favorite spots now!

You can visit Birmingham Restaurant Week’s website to read up on the latest news about the event, including the list of participating restaurants.

1 week ago

‘Mondays for Moms’: A mother’s love

(YHN)

The following is the second edition of Mondays for Moms:

A mother’s love

Years before I had children, I attended a mother-daughter event with my own mom. The speaker encouraged the audience to share with one another how we felt our mother’s love. The moments that followed transformed my views of motherhood in a meaningful way.

A shorter, confident girl rose to her feet in the back left of the room.

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She looked her mom in the eyes and said, “I love that my mom never discussed her appearance in front of me. She never complained that her dress didn’t fit or that her skin looked dull or that her hips were too fluffy. I’m sure she had insecurities, but I was fortunate to never witness them. She always spoke positively about how she looked and how I did as well – not to boast of our beauty, but to instill a healthy level of confidence that I never knew I would so desperately need once living a day of two in the ‘real world.’ Because of her example, I’ve never given much thought to my appearance. I’m thankful for how God created me because I never knew there was any other way to think. Thank you, mom, for teaching me to love myself exactly the way I was created.”

Cue all the tears.

You could hear a pin drop. Suddenly, the room erupted into a wave of “awwws” mixed with sniffles and applause. After the magnitude of this girl’s message hit us, a few moms embraced their daughters sobbing audibly. How convicting, yet inspiring all at the same time.

This was a profound moment for every woman in the room because, possibly for the first time, we discovered how profound the words we hear affect the emotions we experience.

We’ve heard all the age-old adages such as “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” and “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all,” but this concept our friend in the back of the auditorium shared seemed ground-breaking.

The world is cruel. Social media tears our children down day in and day out. Record levels of children are suffering from bouts of bullying at school. A healthy level of confidence instilled and reinforced at home is the most important starting point for protecting the hearts of our sweet children.

What we say about ourselves in front of our children becomes the internal dialogue speaking to them in their minds. If we are constantly lamenting the lack of tone in our thighs or the saggy circles under our eyes, how can we expect our children not to worry about those same things? I certainly don’t always get it right, but ten years ago that girl from California taught me that words matter. Maybe we should stop asking if our bottoms look good in our mom jeans, and start sharing stories of kindness, bravery and empathy.

Our children may not always listen, but they are always watching.

Erin Brown Hollis is Yellowhammer’s lifestyle contributor and host of Yellowhammer Podcast Network’s “Cheers to That” podcast. An author, speaker, lawyer, wife and mother of two, she invites you to grab a cup as she toasts the good in life, love and motherhood. Follow Erin on Instagram ErinBrownHollis or Twitter @ErinBrownHollis

2 weeks ago

5th annual EatMGM restaurant week starts Friday in Montgomery

(Eatmgm/Facebook, YHN)

For the fifth year in a row, EatMGM is kicking off Friday in Montgomery.

Organized by the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitor Bureau, the 10-day restaurant week event, running from August 9-18, boasts 10 days of deals, foodie get-togethers and online contests.

Local restaurants are kicking off the week with special deals up to $35, and there is even a downloadable passport option offering prizes to patrons who dine at three or more participating restaurants.

Some of the restaurants participating this year include the following:

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Frutta Bowls
India Palace
Irish Bred Pub & Restaurant
Central
Itta Bena
The Cork and Cleaver
Vintage Year
TASTE
El Taco Soup
Cahawba House
Smoothie King
Sa Za Serious Italian Food
Sol Restaurante Mexicano & Tacqueria
Peyton’s Place
Jan’s Beach House

Simply ask for the EatMGM special when you arrive!

In addition to the restaurant specials, there are several special events guests can check out during the week as well.

  • Tap Takeover
    • Where: Cork & Cleaver
    • When: August 13, 5 – 7 p.m.
    • What: This event will feature beers from local breweries: Railyard Brewing and Common Bond
  • Bad and Boozy Lunch Hour
    • Where: Tower Taproom
    • When: August 14, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • What: Guests will receive a free Good, Bad and Ugly appetizer with the purchase of a beer
  • EatMGM Saturday Brunch Meet Up
    • Where: Goat Haus Beer Garden
    • When: August 17, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    • What: Mix and mingle with local foodies
  • Sunday Funday with the Montgomery Biscuits
    • Where: Riverwalk Stadium
    • When: August 18 at 5:05 p.m.
    • What: Biscuits vs. Biloxi ballgame with loads of fun for guests of all ages! For more information about the stadium and the Montgomery Biscuits, click here.

For more information, updates, events and news about EatMGM, click here. You can stay up to date with all of EatMGM’s latest news by following EatMGM on Facebook here and Instagram here.

Erin Brown Hollis is Yellowhammer’s lifestyle contributor and host of Yellowhammer Podcast Network’s “Cheers to That” podcast. An author, speaker, lawyer, wife and mother of two, she invites you to grab a cup as she toasts the good in life, love and motherhood. Follow Erin on Instagram ErinBrownHollis or Twitter @ErinBrownHollis

2 weeks ago

45 creative date night ideas

(Pixabay, YHN)

Are you bored with date night? Do you end up slouching in the same ‘ole movie theater seat or get stuck ordering the same burger every time you head out for a night on the town? Let’s start a new trend: date night, done right!

Today, we are sharing 45 creative date night ideas to help you get out of the date night rut and take your courtship up several notches! I’ve separated the ideas into five different categories: Unique Experiences; Teaching/Bonding Moments; Sentimental; Stay-At-Home; and Budget-Friendly. No matter your ideas of what’s “fun,” there are bound to be plenty of options to tickle your fancy below. Grab a cup, let’s chat it up!

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Unique Experiences

(1) Scavenger hunt date – This one requires quite a bit of forethought, but what a day to remember! The idea is to hide items across town (sentimental or not) and provide your partner with clues to locate the hidden treasures. These extra special dates don’t have to be reserved for over-the-top engagements anymore, guys! Plan ahead to spoil your loved one with an adventure to chat about for years to come.

(2) Start a couple’s book club – Who says book clubs have to be reserved for ladies who lunch? Team up to select some great books, take some time to give the books a good read and then live your best book club life. You can do this as a couple or invite other couples to join as well.

(3) Polaroid date night – Take photos throughout your entire date night. Either use a Polaroid camera, which prints the photos automatically, or upload photos from your phone to a one-hour printer at your local pharmacy. Pick up the photos and create a scrapbook together you can look back at forever.

(4) Pretty Woman date – You’ve seen the Julia Roberts famous flick, and if you haven’t, well, there’s your date night for the weekend. But, if you have enjoyed the cinematic genius that is Pretty Woman, you know exactly what this date is all about. Make your partner’s dreams come true. Take your partner on a special shopping spree and let him / her select an outfit, some shoes and a piece of jewelry. Trust me when I say that this splurge will totally be worth it and give you a story to share at the water cooler on Monday!

(5) Surprise getaway – Pick a fun spot, pack some bags, and go along for the ride!

(6) Role play date – Dress up as a character entirely different from your traditional persona. Meet your mate at a restaurant and act as if it is a blind date set up by someone. You can be anybody you wanna be for the night. Have fun with all the ways you can make this one thrilling adventure.

(7) Art museum tour –  Go to an art museum and sketch the pieces of art. Make it a competition by purchasing sketchbooks and pencils ahead of time (you can buy them inexpensively at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s craft stores, or Amazon) and designate a prize for the “closest to the original.” Have an unbiased couple pick the winner!

(8) Go ice skating (or roller skating depending on availability in our area) – Pretend you’re on the Olympics team and give it your all!

(9) Fantasy date experience – What have you always wanted to do? Is there a restaurant/city/entertainment spot you’ve always wanted to check out, but never got around to going? Make your partner’s dreams come true by surprising them with their dream date night!

(10) Progressive dinner night on the town – Remember the good ‘ole bar crawls from back in the college days? Give an upgrade to the age-old tradition by adding in some mealtime favorites. Grab cocktails at one location, move the party to another spot for dinner and round out your night at a third location for dessert. You can make this as budget-friendly as you want, and lunch time is another great way to save some cash for this super fun experience.

(11) Be a tourist in your own town – Take a minute to explore the town you call home. If you need some inspiration, contact your local Chamber of Commerce and pick up some pamphlets cluing you in to all your city has to offer.

(12) Schedule a couple’s massage at a local or nearby spa – If you want to really turn up the romance factor, see if the staff offers massage lessons or will allow you to get involved in pampering your sweetheart!

(13) Interview one another and record the interviews – Consider compiling the footage to glance back at years from now. This video may become your child’s most prized possession one day.

(14) Staycation — Have a slumber party at a nearby hotel – Changing up location can often times be all the spice you need to change things up. Treat it like a real slumber party with popcorn, games and dinner served right to your bedside.

(15) Have a painting competition – Grab some simple white canvases, some paint and a few paintbrushes for a night you won’t soon forget. Take turns posing for one another while the other partner paints a memorable portrait. If you feel uncomfortable serving as the muse, select a random object or scene the two of you can paint together. You can also dial up the comedic factor by turning on a Bob Ross painting tutorial and competing to see whose end result most closely mimics Ross’ masterpiece.

Teaching/Bonding Moments

(1) Take a cooking or winemaking class – Pro tip: you get to enjoy what you make at the end of the class.

(2) Take a workout class together – Nothing bonds two people like sweating it out striving to meet a goal. Go on a journey of healthier eating and serve as each other’s biggest cheerleader the whole way!

(3) Plant a garden or tackle a landscaping project in the yard – You may discover a green thumb in your pairing existed all along!

(4) Take up a new hobby together or share your hobby with your significant other – Consider something like tennis, golf, swimming, antiquing, crafting, DIY team, hunting, fishing, camping, etc. The options are endless!

(5) Teach your partner something – Dig deep to discover a skill, fact, story, etc. you can share with your partner to let them in on what is important to you.

(6) Take a dance class

(7) Train for a race together – 5K races and marathons are all the rage these days

Sentimental

(1) Story of us date – Take some time to jot down the story of how you met in a journal. Include highpoints and possibly even low points that you triumphed through together. This will be an heirloom to treasure for years to come.

(2) Wedding video date night – Dress up in cocktail attire. Serve a signature cocktail – possibly your favorite as a couple or the one you served at your wedding. Set your viewing area up with some simple decorations and treat yourselves to a walk down memory lane. To make this even more fun, you could invite others to watch the video with you for laughs!

(3) Plan your dream vacation – Sharing your goals and dreams is one of the most connective activities you can experience as a couple. Throw in exotic plans for a getaway and you will both have a shared dream to look forward to until you are able to embark upon it together.

(4) Recreate your first date – Take it back to where it all began and relive those first few moments. Where did you eat? Did you see a show or concert? Bowling? Whatever it was, you can recreate it in the city you live now. You don’t have to include travel if you have moved away from where you met. Obviously, it kicks the romantic factor up if you do, but take the pressure off of yourself to pull off an exact replica. Take some time to ask each other questions dating back to those first few months together – what initially attracted you to one another? How did you meet? What are your favorite moments as a couple?

(5) Be kids for the night – Go play putt-putt, go-karting or bowling. Take an entire night to let your inner children living inside come out and have the best time together!

(6) Goal set and plan for the future – Get excited about your future by sitting down and comparing notes on all your hopes and dreams. Make a dream board and start checking goals off as you achieve them.

(7) Memory maker date – Print a ton of your favorite couple photos and create a scrapbook or shadow box together. This will create a fun new DIY coffee table addition to share with all your family and friends.

(8) Give each other tours of your past – Who doesn’t love a walk down memory lane? Take your partner to your hometown and do the whole house/school/hangout tour date day. It will be fun to discover things about your significant other you may have never known.

Stay-At-Home Dates

(1) Redo/renovate a room or tackle a DIY project – There has to be something in or around your home that could use a little update. Tackling the project together makes it fun and will take less time to achieve.

(2) Stock your home bar or entertainment center together – Rather than spending money on a night out, invest in several nights in. Take a look at your in-home bar (or pantry) to see what items you’d like to add for future enjoyment. If you’d prefer, you could add to your movie or game collections instead. Stock up and enjoy in the months to come!

(3) Make your own pizza – Select ingredients for your dream pizza, turn up the music and spend an evening playing chef in your own kitchen. To take it up a notch – serve it on some fine china in the dining room and dress up for the occasion.

(4) Throw a dance party in your den and build your ultimate couple playlist – Who says you have to go out to get down? Turn out the lights, crank up the music and party like it’s 1999!

(5) Purchase a question/answer for couples book and take some time learning about one another – You can purchase books like 101 Conversation Starters for Couples and have a wild night learning things you never knew!

(6) Take turns preparing each other’s favorite meal – Knowing what your partner likes is half the battle, right? Once you feel like you have a good handle on what they prefer, make it your mission to prepare the best version of their favorites they’ve ever had!

(7) Game night! – There are so many games available for couples. You could play cards, board games or even enjoy a wild rendition of old school Truth or Dare!

(8) Indoor glamping/outdoor camping – You don’t have to rent an RV and hike up a trail in the woods to get that outdoorsy feel. You can team up together to create your own night of fun by making s’mores together and maybe even telling a ghost story or two.

Budget-Friendly

(1) Go to a matinee movie and/or a farmer’s market – Heads up: matinee tickets are cheaper and crowds are much smaller. Entrance to farmer’s markets are also free and the products are often offered a discount because the local sellers are trying to find new clients. Date day on the cheap sounds like a weekly must!

(2) Plan a picnic at a local landmark or beautiful park – Regardless of how cheesy this idea sounds, picnics are always crowd-pleasers. You forget how nice it is to escape the humdrum same ‘ole places you’ve grown to frequent and experience a whole new view of the world. Picnics are relaxing and can be a place of rest and rejuvenation for both of you. Picnics are not just for playdates, people – get out there and soak up the sun!

(3) Start a supper club and/or host a dinner party – You can do this as a couple or invite a few friends to join you. You can make it fun by creating theme nights and allow each person to bring their own contribution to the meal. Or you can do it the traditional way by one couple hosting each time.

(4) Go grocery shopping together to collect dinner ingredients, but make it a game by setting a tight budget – Think of this as a challenge you have to conquer by putting your minds together and being thrifty. Head back home and try to make your dinner as delicious as possible using your staple items and the short list you picked up at the store.

(5) Polaroid date night – Travel around with a Polaroid camera for the night, capturing moments from all of your experiences. Consider doing this for a whole week and then create a memory book to enjoy for a lifetime.

(6) Eat takeout by candlelight – It is a proven fact that eating at home saves you megabucks. When eating in the restaurant, the add-ons like appetizers, dessert and beverages add up quickly. If you restrict your takeout order to your favorite main course, you can save a lot of money by adding the other items at home.

(7) Create your own YouTube video – This is out of the box, no doubt. But if you have a particularly gregarious partner, this may be right up their alley. Take turns as the lead and video a day in the life – or a day date. Trust me, watching this back may be the most cringy, yet most enjoyable laugh fest you’ve had in quite a while.

Erin Brown Hollis is Yellowhammer’s lifestyle contributor and host of Yellowhammer Podcast Network’s “Cheers to That” podcast. An author, speaker, lawyer, wife and mother of two, she invites you to grab a cup as she toasts the good in life, love and motherhood. Follow Erin on Instagram ErinBrownHollis or Twitter @ErinBrownHollis

2 weeks ago

Introducing ‘Mondays for Moms’: A love letter to the mom who never feels enough

(YHN)

Editors note: ‘Mondays for Moms’ is Yellowhammer’s first weekly lifestyle offering. Every Monday, Erin Brown Hollis will bring doses of love, humor, encouragement and empathy to Alabama’s moms. Check back every week for a new post, and be sure to download the Yellowhammer News app on your smartphone and subscribe to Erin’s “Cheers to That” podcast for more great lifestyle content.

The following is the first edition of Mondays for Moms:

A love letter to the mom who never feels enough

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I imagine my first vision of becoming a mom embedded in my brain the second I realized there was a follow-up storyline to my legendarily intense Ken and Barbie sitting-in-a-tree play sessions. It was something aching inside of me that just awakened, I guess. Once I discovered I wasn’t actually my brother’s mom (apparently bossing people around isn’t the only resume filler for motherhood), it was game on for fulfilling my destiny of adding “mommy” to my resume.

And, like most little girls who grew up and later became moms, I imagined those first few moments with my newborn were going to be worthy of the opening lines in the next magical fairytale that I had written for Ken and Barbie so many years back.

And they were … for a little bit anyway.

She cooed. I ahhed. You know the drill. The lime margarita flavored hospital popsicles were flowing and momma was in euphoria. It was everything my little five-year-old brain had dreamed it would be (absent the massive mesh panties and ridiculously uncomfortable witch hazel pads stashed in places I shall not mention on this PG-rated website).

Ahh yes. It was all fun and games and Instagram perfection … until we got home from the hospital.

I suppose I thought the precious baby nurses in the hospital would manifest in some mystical form a few miles down the road in my humble abode and/or that God would bestow upon me some magical power to care for my new little family member with ease and the energy of a marathon runner who made it all the way to the finish line.

But, then the cruel reality settled in: It was just gonna be the two of us.

Daddy had to go back to work.

Family members had to tend to their own lives.

And there we were. Just an over-tired newborn momma and a precious little *screaming at the top of her lungs* bundle of joy.

No one warns you about the scariness when you are staring at the wall in your child’s nursery for those first moments at home alone. No one tells you that rather than critiquing whether or not that stuffed animal is better positioned to the left or right of the Diaper Genie in the nursery, you will instead begin to feel those pastel-colored walls closing in. And fast.

When I had my babies, there weren’t viral mom videos flooding my social media feeds of fellow mom-sisters offering some #realtalk on a Monday morning during naptime (aka mom nation’s only opportunity to sip on cold coffee for a hot second).

There weren’t mom blogs flooding my inbox with the hope that I was not the only one wiping barf off of crib rails at 2 a.m … or at least not any that I was reading at the time.

Nope. We were all alone on our struggle buses of insanity.

The things nobody tells you about when you have a child are the things that will be most endearing when glancing back 40 years from now, or at least that’s what my mother continues to profess to me.

Mornings of sleeping in and enjoying a casual breakfast have turned into fire-alarm-esque warning bells that the day has begun and you’re already 20 minutes late to the party.

Breakfast does not consist of healthy yogurt parfaits accompanied by those delicious Starbucks lattes anymore. HA! Yeah right. Now, we’re lucky if we manage to cram a Nutri Gran bar down our throats while driving 15 miles over the speed limit to make it to carpool line on time.

Laundry has become a game of “Where did she find this?”; “How did she manage to come back with the entire playground in her shorts?!?” and my all-time favorite: “Poop or chocolate?!?”

My closet has become my safe zone rather than my land of pretty things. I’m safe … and alone … in there, right?!

Speaking of being alone, my restroom rituals have turned into a one-woman stage show … with all eyes on me. It’s almost like my little ones expect a singing, acting and dance show worthy of a short stint on Broadway. Anyone else like to potty alone? Could someone share this concept with my kids?!?

Forget about hosting a Southern Living approved get together unless you block out childcare for three days prior. Let’s get real, they probably need to be gone for the whole week to make it doable.

What about those fun nights out with hubby and friends? Drinks until 10 or 11, which now sounds like an out of control college rave, have turned into hot toddies and zonked out by 9:30.

And you know what?

I would not change one thing.

Because now my mornings consist of extra snuggles and slobbery kisses.

My breakfasts contain roaring laughter and frequent giggle fits.

The surprises in the laundry basket aren’t always horrifying and mystifying. Sometimes I find tiny hidden stuffed animals reminding me of what a precious stage my babies are in.

One day I’ll miss all those snuggle bunnies in the bathroom. Well, “miss” is a strong word. I will reflect on those moments fondly as I revel in my return to freedom.

Southern Living can save my cover spread for another day. I’d much rather be reading those bedtime stories than polishing that silly silver anyway…

As far as a night out, I sneak one of those in as often as I can.  But, nights at home suit me just fine these days.

And I bet you’d agree … after 8 p.m., of course …

So, the next time you feel like you are the only momma staring into the business end of a toddler’s rear for the 50-leventh time on a Tuesday morning at 3:32 a.m., take comfort, girl. I’m right there with ya. And the rest of naptime nation is, too.

Follow Erin on Instagram ErinBrownHollis or Twitter @ErinBrownHollis

3 weeks ago

Celebrate the good in life with Yellowhammer’s new lifestyle contributor

(YHN)

Yellowhammer Multimedia is excited to announce the addition of lifestyle content to its flagship website, YellowhammerNews.com.

Erin Brown Hollis, host of Yellowhammer Podcast Network’s “Cheers to That” podcast, invites you to grab a cup as she toasts the good in life, love and motherhood through this new content offering.

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Yellowhammer’s lifestyle content will be distinct from its traditional news coverage, showcasing the individuals, businesses, attractions, events and eccentricities that make Alabama such a “Sweet Home.”

Hollis is an author, speaker, lawyer and mother of two. In addition to building an online following on her Rising and Shining blog, Hollis has published two books in the past six months, Cheers to the Diaper Years and The Remarkable Housewives of the Bible, with the third on the way.

It was not until after she had children that Hollis began writing professionally.

“I realized that I really wanted to leave a legacy for my girls because if I was going to teach them to chase their dreams then I needed to show them how,” Hollis recently told Yellowhammer News. “So I just started writing.”

She explained that one of her goals is to allow the reader to know they are on a journey together.

“If you can captivate an audience and make them feel as if you are sitting on the couch and talking with them and not talking at them, that is so key for my writing style,” Hollis said. “I never want the reader to feel like I know more than them. I’m the writer that says, ‘Hey, I’m right there with you. We’re on a team. We’re together. I’m just opening this conversation for us to chat.”

Follow Erin on Instagram ErinBrownHollis or Twitter @ErinBrownHollis

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