The Deep End is Growing Deeper!

Friends, I have missed you. Our lives got so crazy this spring with selling our house, building a house, moving into the new house and finding out I was pregnant that I don’t think I’ve had a second to stop and think, much less blog, in the past six months.

Yes, in April of 2015, we’ll be adding a third little girl to our family. We are overjoyed, and I’m so thankful to be feeling better and have some extra time once again to spend writing.

In other news, the blog turned two this summer! No big birthday parties or anything–it was a milestone I thought I’d celebrate, but life just had other plans. Also, our Greeley Moms blog which I’ve continued blogging with weekly is being shut down due to funding issues. I’m not sure how they weren’t able to make money when none of the writers were paid, but I guess life is tough in the newspaper world.

That just leaves me more time for writing for all of you and for a new group I’ll be joining, Rocky Parenting.

Stay sane, my friends. Can’t wait to share more.

What’s new with you?

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Seven Ways to Find Joy

This week’s post for the Greeley Moms was inspired by a good friend who made the best of a tough situation. This is something I’m working on daily. Thanks for reading and letting me share from the heart! What would you add to the list?

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/12234909-113/yourself-camper-friend-joy

Raising Courageous Kids

My heart sank heavily Monday morning after I watched a news clip on GMA about murder charges being filed against the fraternity in the December death of 19-year-old Chun “Michael” Deng. Michael died two days after experiencing blunt force trauma to the head during a hazing ritual with his fraternity on a retreat in Pennsylvania, and the tragedy grows deeper as the details of the story unfold.
After Michael lost consciousness, his fraternity brothers waited an hour before three of them took him to get medical attention.
One full hour.
This delay, this hesitation, this time to debate and decide and worry about getting into trouble, is where this tragedy grips my heart. I truly hope some of those fraternity brothers knew what they needed to do to save their friend. So why didn’t they act? Is this an example of negative peer pressure at its worst? Or is it an example of self-preservation outweighing the value of another’s life?
As a parent, this tragedy fills me with compassion for all of the families involved while also stirring a deep desire for me to do my best to raise brave, courageous and compassionate kids. Even though my children are only two and a half, I don’t think it’s ever too early to start to instill these values.
I want to take my girls to volunteer, serve and give of themselves so they will learn the value and joy of making sacrifices for others.
I want to encourage my girls to consider the perspectives and feelings of others so they won’t hesitate for even a second when it comes to seeking help for the suffering.
I want my girls to learn to own their mistakes, even when it means facing the consequences of their actions, so they will value integrity.
I want to teach my girls how to stand up for what’s right even when they hear 29 (or more) of their friends trying to convince them to do otherwise.
I want to find news stories about courageous men, women and children and share them with my girls to encourage and inspire us all.
I want to remind my girls about the bravery of their great-grandfathers who fought in World War II and the Korean War and challenge them to live a life worthy of the sacrifice made by these great men with whom they share a family name.
This compassion and courage won’t develop over night, and I know I will have to model these values daily if I truly want to teach them to my girls. The task seems daunting, but I’m up for the challenge. Michael’s loss deserves to be honored with a commitment to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring in the future.
Parents, are you with me? Who knows whose lives may depend on the courage of our children one day.

Fourth of July Parade Scavenger Hunt

Fourth of July Parade Scavenger Hunt

Looking for a fun way to entertain your child at a Fourth of July parade? Here’s a kid-friendly scavenger hunt to print out and take with you. Click here to open or save the scavenger hunt: Fourth of July Scavenger Hunt Printable

Be sure to check out the companion article (to run on July 3) about the Greeley Stampede Independence Day Parade: http://www.greeleymoms.com.

Have a happy and safe Independence Day!

–Melissa

Worst Mother’s Day Ever? Let it Go!

Mother’s Day has come and gone yet again, and I am shocked at how a Hallmark holiday can wreak havoc on the emotions of women everywhere.

For some of you, this Mother’s Day may have been the best day ever. Maybe your family spoiled you from the moment you woke up until your head hit the pillow at night, showering you with love and gifts.

For others, maybe Mother’s Day was a huge disappointment. The one gift you wanted was forgotten, your family was distracted and you ended the day feeling frustrated and unappreciated.

For the rest of us, it was probably a nice day. The kids did something to make you feel special, and the world continued as normal with dishes, laundry and maybe even getting showered with vomit while you cuddled a sick child who loves you so dearly.

No matter how your Mother’s Day turned out, it’s over. Let it go. Say your thanks, make your peace and don’t let yourself get caught up in whining, complaining, husband-bashing and pouting which seems to be wide-spread following Mother’s Day.

I have a theory related to as to why so many of us end up feeling disappointed as the sun sets on Mother’s Day. As women, we tend to pride ourselves on planning activities and gifts for other people. We spend hours on Pinterest to find the perfect handmade craft for a friend or a spouse, and we have grand plans for celebrating every holiday from children’s birthdays to National Ice Cream Day and every holiday in between. When someone else, namely a husband, doesn’t put the same time and energy into planning our special day, it’s easy to be frustrated.

The second part of my post-Mother’s Day-pouting theory is also related to social media. It’s easy for us as moms to get wrapped up in the viral videos about having the world’s toughest job and to make ourselves out to be martyrs for carrying babies, giving birth and for all of the work which comes along with mothering children. These are all noble tasks, but they don’t entitle us to anything more than the love and respect of our families.

So forget Pinterest, forget playing the martyr card and look back on your Mother’s Day with some perspective. Life with kids hardly ever goes as planned, and Mother’s Day likely wasn’t exactly as you had planned or imagined, either. (One of my kids was sick. She literally soaked me in vomit. Soaked. Someone clearly forgot to tell her that Mother’s Day was supposed to be my day off.)

Have a little grace. The holiday is highly commercialized, and we shouldn’t let one measly little 24-hour period dictate how loved we feel by our families. We also shouldn’t use it as an excuse for bad behavior.

So whether you were spoiled or frustrated on Sunday, do what mothers do best: bust into a rendition of “Let It Go,” wash the vomit off of your favorite sweater, be thankful for your kids and family and consider dropping better hints for next year.

This post originally appeared on the Greeley Moms’ page last week, and I forgot to share it when it was more timely and relevant. Here is the link to the original posting: http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/11420024-113/kids-family-frustrated-holiday.

The Beauty We Can Teach

People most beautiful 2014 cover with title

Thank you to Lupita Nyong’o for reminding us of the importance of inner beauty. As parents, we have a huge responsibility to teach our children how to be beautiful where it matters the most. Here’s the link to this week’s Greeley Moms blog. Thanks for reading sharing if you choose!

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/11240941-113/beauty-inner-daughters-lupita