Posted in parenting, Personal Growth, Relationship

Make sure you they know

Today marks 20 years since my dad’s passing. To say that I was blessed to have him as my father would be an understatement. He was a quiet patient man, but when he spoke he was brilliant. I would sit with him and talk about anything- he’d give me index cards and say can you find out what this is? (Technology was just emerging and it was not within our means to afford it just yet-so I’d look it up in school.)
I know I lost him way too soon- he was only 51 and I was 18.
He did however, instill in me the value of a formal education and the importance of continued personal growth. He never used his diabetes or loss of vision as an excuse to stop learning, instead he’d call me over to be his eyes.
Because of this- I’ve learned to be curious, to continue growing, to continue learning, to not make excuses, most importantly to value my health.
The reality is we never know how much time is granted to us.
Here’s what gives me peace:
I always sat with my dad before coming to Brownsville, we’d talk about the most random of things, and when it was time to go- I’d tell him I love him.
Make sure the people you love, know that you do. It will provide you with the peace in your heart long after they’re gone.

Posted in Relationship, Uncategorized

Be intentional with how you love

In my start today journal- 1 of the 10 dreams/goals of things I made happen is:

We are a couple that actively works on their marriage.
I write this DAILY. This creates intention.

Which brings me to today.

Doug and I were previously sharing a digital copy, but this is definitely a nicer way to do this. This is one of many ways that we actively work on our marriage.

One daily devotional helps set the tone for the day.

Remember, when Covey said love is verb.

“When you live together in unity, you honor God and open the door for His blessings to flow into every area of your life.”

What is something you are doing for your marriage?

Posted in Blended Family, Personal Growth, Relationship

Goals and Resolutions

What crazy things are you tackling this new year? Did you claim it as yours? I did not. However, we have signed up for a few half marathons, a life/ business course with Scott Miller, along with a few other drastic changes that were long in the making. I have goals to make A’s in my doctoral courses and I am resolved to run those races and read 24 books.

I can not wait to see this year unfold, but for now we are definitely off to an amazing start. And as always, we recognize God’s amazing grace in all of our blessings.

Reminder set attainable goals and resolve to do something that builds you up.

Wishing you a great week!

Need some small relationship wins?

M.C. 2020

Take the challenge and try doing at least one of these a day. I get that it’s the 6th and I’m just posting. BUUUT… I myself have been doing these daily until now and thought it would be fun to share.

2.1 We did the Girl Scout crates and made some headbands

2.2 We recorded our podcast, it counts!

2.3 We focus on gratitude so this one was easy.

2.4 I did text him that I love him, so I’ll do better with this one.

2.5 I was so thankful that he took the time to teach the girls a few German phrases at last nights Girl Scout meeting

2.6 We’re watching Once Upon A Time in Hollywood for our date night because we’re utterly romantic like that.

If you try them let us know and if you have suggestions we’re happy to hear those as well 🙂

Happy Thursday!

Posted in co-parenting, Narcissist, co-parenting, parents, parenting, Relationship, Uncategorized

About today…

Today was a big day for our relationship. We picked up the papers and signed Doug up for Communion and Confirmation classes! We’re beginning this process in hopes of accomplishing a bigger goal. We’re also doing this so that Doug and I can show our children what a healthy marriage looks like when God is its foundation. While we were there we picked up the documents for my process (Doug got his from the priest). So hopefully after the murky stuff we’ll rise and bloom like the lotus does.

In other news,

After a year, we finally had our Level III hearing where we discussed the violations of Doug’s parental rights (you’d have to go back a few posts to recall that incident last September).

While the outcome is uncertain, we trust in God. And our main goal has always been to ensure that a father’s rights are not violated by false narratives created by a toxic ex-spouse, like Doug’s have been. We were not surprised to find that a document had been submitted to keep me from the proceedings (I wasn’t). And again we saw the attempt of bringing children into adult matters. Evidence that a narcissist has no limits. We found this article incredibly informative and accurate:

But our God is very big and we are faithful. We believe in blended families and coparenting as the most effective way to nurture children in these situations. And hope that we were able to at least educate and inform on the dangers of parental alienation. For no child should be taught to hate a parent.

As for the attempt- thank you for the stone… it’s just one more to build my castle.

More to come soon.

Happy Wednesday!

Posted in Blended Family, Relationship, Uncategorized

The results of the first meeting…

About 2 weeks ago, Doug received a call from our priest indicating that he’d recieved a complaint about Doug. Evidently, this person (I’d give you three guesses- but you only need one) was extremely upset about Doug attending mass because he is not Catholic. Now, Doug has been a parishioner at this particular church for quite some time (about 20ish years) as have I, so he agreed to have a meeting with the priest.

The meeting was scheduled for this past Monday. And he looked forward to it as I expressed in the previous post.

Ya’ll, God is amazing. He’s the only one who will determine who is welcome in his home and at His table, I wholeheartedly believe this. Always remember that God will step in to show who’s in control. This Sunday, prior to the meeting, God did just that for our family.

At Sunday’s mass, our family was selected to bring up the offerings, including the Eucharist.

I can not explain to you how beautiful it felt to have our children and family blessed in front of the congregation. It further reaffirmed the belief that no weapon formed against us will prosper.

During Doug’s meeting this Monday, the priest provided Doug with papers and guidance for our family.

I’d prayed for this for our family, but didn’t know where to start. And now as a result of malicious intent, we will begin this beautiful process. Never underestimate God’s goodness in your life.

We now begin the journey and continue to pray for a result in our favor. We ask for you all to pray for our family as well.

Happy Saturday!

Posted in Blended Family, co-parenting, parenting, Relationship


It’s been a while so it’s kind of a long post…but here’s what summer was like…

It’s been an absolutely blessed summer. I mean I had a lot of professional development. Our family had wonderful moments. We were able to coordinate with the kids dad so that his 30 days would be while I was at trainings so as to not lose time with them. The kids also hung out with him while I was at work. This is what coparenting should be about- the kids.

This particular post however is about our #tolmanadventures and learning to make magical moments happen.

So here are our #tolmanadventures

Doug and I drive everywhere because it allows us to continue building our relationship (and it helps us listen to books). And this summer we had one of the greatest trips to California. We stopped in Roswell because that was on my bucket list. Followed by a stop at White Sands National Monument where Doug surprised me with sledding on sand dunes. Stopping at Doug’s alma mater- UC San Diego. Taking a moment to admire the ocean views at Torrey Pines gliderport. Sitting with one of his college friend’s getting to hear stories of his college days.

This amazing man humored my touristy side by hiking up the Hollywood sign (well the 6 mile mark because well I was in no condition for the 13).

We attended our conference, where we got to learn how to continue building our business.

We got to enjoy a day at Disneyland and California Adventure. Where we played and rode rides and ate Mickey bars. We caught a break with tickets to the Astros vs. Angels game. He humored me again by sitting through Mamma Mia on opening night. Every day was an adventure with my bestfriend. And pie. There was this pie shop down the street that was such a lovely place to sit and do business strategies.

On our way back we stopped at Roberto’s Taco Shop before leaving California… fun facts about this place

1. Burritos were huge

2. They were delicious

If you’re in the area find one- you’ll have no regrets. We stayed in Deming so that we could wake up to a mini mountain view and continued on our way.

So why am I sharing all of this? None of this was planned. We knew where we were going and just went. We forget or lose sight of what’s important by trying to create planned experiences. The most unexpected ideas result in the most memorable moments. Savor the unexpected moments. Spend time with your significant other and continue to grow together.

Happy Saturday!!

FYI Books we listened to:

I’ll Be Gone In the Dark

Girl Logic

Kitchen Confidential

Astrophysics for People In a Hurry

Pandora’s Lab Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong

A Polaroid Guy in a Snapchat World

The challenge ends


Day 26- We took a picture 📸

Day 27- I thanked him for always being present for our kids and in our relationship.

Day 28- Reflected on this past month:

The challenge was an opportunity for us to ensure that we had moments for ourselves. More importantly, the challenge showed our kids what stable loving marriages should look like. The gestures were nothing extraordinary, but genuine gestures that we would normally do for each other. In fact, many of them were naturally being done, so integrating them into the calendar was easy.

Even my students say that Doug and I are relationship goals (Or in their words #relationshipgoals 😂). They see his small gestures (homemade cards and love notes) and then big ones like the delivery of roses, the PINK plates on the Jeep.

Anyhow, the challenge was fun and with our recent book purchase, Husband and Wife 100 Day Love Challenge, our marriage can continue growing with God’s blessing.



Posted in Blended Family, parenting, Relationship, Uncategorized

The challenge continues…

We are on the last three days of the challenge so I’ll quickly recap this last week-

Day 19- We discussed our goals and dreams- personal and for our family.

Day 20- Making dinner together was fun and it was more like taking turns since the kids still had homework they needed help with. Nonetheless, all were fed.

Day 21- We did not get a chance for this last week, but we’ll definitely do it this weekend. Although, with us Tolmans, winning is everything so this will have to stay friendly.

Day 22- Done- no complaining from either of us.

Day 23- I had ordered him the greatest shirt, which was perfect for Charro Day weekend. (It’s the air accordion one on the Instagram feed). He bought me an essential piece to complete my cuptisserie.

Day 24- Patience runs deep with Doug, but not so much for me- Saturday as I trekked nine blocks in the blazing sun with 3 children to get to him. I made sure to smile and make the best of it. And it was worth it. The kids had the most amazing time riding in the Jeep during the parade.

Day 25- I am unsure if the walk down the Walmart aisles will count, but that’s the only chance for a walk as we bought home essentials.

This weekend was great though. The early release and day off from school allowed us to spend quality time with our kids. They went to the movies, participated in a fun run, came out in a parade, cleaned their rooms and visited the laundromat for the first time. (Our dryer parts are finally coming in so yay!) We went to church as a family and made sure to be thankful for our countless blessings… and they are many. And those are the moments that matter.

I can’t wait to tell you what the best part of this challenge has been for us…but that will be posted later this week 😉

Image result for blessed family quotes

Posted in Relationship

Challenge Challenges

I must mention getting some of these done is a challenge with three kids. It’s nice though… being able to take/make small moments for ourselves.

Here’s where we are at:

Day 14- Valentine’s day include 50 roses in all, 36 in my class, 12 at home and two sprinkled in my driveway. There was no chance for a dance, but there was a brief twirl in the hallway as we headed to take our children to their designated activities.

Quick note on the flowers-I know that some people have mixed feelings with gestures like this, but roses/flowers are always welcome. Does not matter how long you are together, flowers will bring a smile to your loved one’s face.

Day 15- We had dinner as a family which is not the same thing, but schedules being what they are- a blessing all the same.

Day 16- Managing our schedules is always helpful. I took care of getting the kids from school, which is his usual task, giving him some time to get things settled.

Day 17- I worked on the house, while he went to a birthday party with Rhiley. The chore he does not like to do was done, and our room is spotless. That evening we did Day 13 -which was watch World War Z without complaining (I actually like the movie so it was not much of a sacrifice.)

Day 18- There was no stargazing at a waterfront, but that is because our dryer is down. Romance meant sitting at a laundromat preparing for the week ahead. However, the stars were out when we got back home and that is always nice.

I’ll fill you on day 19 later this week.

Wishing you all an amazing week!cute-perfect-life-quotes-images-make-the-moment-perfect