About Black Belt Mama

I am a 30-something forever 29 year old stay at home mother. I stay at home with my two daughters: “Big I” who is seven years old. . .


. . . and “Lil C” who is three years old.


I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English Writing, Creative Nonfiction. I met my husband my sophomore year, fell in love with him when he let me borrow his laundry detergent, and married him shortly after graduation.

Then. . .


Now. . . (Notice one of us is getting all salt-n-pepa-ish; the other is not.  He’s living with three girls so that probably explains it.)


I worked for a small literary journal as an Assistant Editor, then at Clinique cosmetics (because the pay was better), and then at a graphic design firm as an “Administrative and Marketing Assistant” which is just a fancy name for copy girl, xerox pro, or otherwise just plain old lackey. I was supposed to be a writer, but somehow got the desk where I answered all the phones, filed all the folders, and mostly just retrieved muffins and coffee creamer. I did, however, write a corporate identity manual and an insurance brochure. Zzzzz, Zzzzz. I did learn lots of things while working there though, but mostly how to swallow my pride.

When I got sick of that (a very short time later), I went to Duquesne University where I earned my M.S.Ed. in 11 months, and accumulated so much student loan debt that it’s just plain ridiculous considering I taught high school English for not even two years and then decided my true calling was diapers and picky eaters.

I went on maternity leave, had my first daughter in 2001, and never looked back.

We sold our house; and my husband switched careers so that I would be able to stay home with my baby girl. By home, I literally mean home, as in we moved in with my parents for a year. Then, we moved to NJ. Then we moved back to my hometown.

In October 2005, I gave birth to our second daughter after a long wait to get her on her way. I wanted everything to be natural, and planned a birth center birth. Then I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and everything got turned upside down. I did have a midwife deliver her; and that was truly awesome.

I now work from home (in my spare time) as a part time logistics recruiter and as an adjunct instructor at a local university.  My husband sometimes works from home too. Because of this, our neighbors probably think that:

A. We are independently wealthy.
B. Pajamas are the new ‘business casual.’
C. Our house will be foreclosed on momentarily.

None of these are true. Well, except for B., maybe.

I’ve learned that no matter how many legitimate part time/work from home jobs you have, your Dad will probably still tell people you’re “unemployed.”  I’ve learned to live with it.

I am trying to raise my girls to be smart, strong women. I am a 1st kyu brown belt in both Okinawan Kenpo and Kobudo. Did I mention it’s a family affair? (I didn’t just mean “strong” in the figurative sense.) Big I started karate when she was three and is now (and will be for quite some time) a 7th kyu.  Lil C will probably know how to snap kick before she’s potty trained (she already knows how to kiai better than I do).  And I was a little late on the draw, starting when I was 29 (Yeah, I realize the math doesn’t make sense with the whole “forever 29” statement in the beginning, but just work with me here).

Dsc010971 Dsc03608_2 Dsc04412

I’ve realized that it’s never too late to learn something new. You just have to be willing to face the fact that the 14 year old you take class with who has been there since she was three is 100% capable of kicking your butt.

I started writing my original blog “Black Belt Mama” in 2006 to document my journey in the martial arts.  I had no idea how many detours my journey would take.  I was looking forward to testing for Shodan in February of 2008, but then I tore my ACL while sparring in October 2007.  I had ACL reconstruction surgery in December 2007, and have been using my fabulous sense of humor to get me through surgery, recovery, and many frustrating days of pain-med-induced constipation physical therapy.

I love: reading a good book, playing fantasy football (damn you LaDainian Tomlinson), going on vacations, writing, and nailing a new kata.

I can’t stand: litter butts, irresponsible dog owners, people with no reading comprehension skills, folding laundry, liars, and bad table manners.

My writing credits include articles/reviews published in the following publications: “Pittsburgh Tribune Review,” “Transport Topics,” “Bridges” (NCTE Publication), “English Leadership Quarterly,” and in the book “At Issue: Date Rape.”  My original blog has been syndicated by my hometown newspaper’s website, and through BlogBurst on “The Houston Chronicle,” “The Chicago Sun Times,” “Austin-American Statesman,” USAToday.com, Reuters.com, “The Sacramento Bee,” and multiple IBS news service websites. “The BBM Review” is starting to get picked up too as of late. Not that you should care about this, mentioning it just makes me feel more important.

I think that about covers it.

If you have something nice to say, please leave me a comment, write me an email, or link to my sites with reckless abandon. If not, no one is forcing you to read this, so get lost.

No, seriously.

Email Black Belt Mama.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Getting Rave Reviews

    My site was nominated for Best Blog About Stuff!


  • BlogHer Review

    BlogHer Reviewer
  • Go Shopping

    Martial Arts Equipment

    Sparring Gear Set

    Macho Warrior Sparring Gear Set
    And see the rest of our Sparring Gear
    at MartialArtsSupplies.com

  • Martial Arts Pagoda