The Perpetual Search for Perfect Swimwear

Swimsuit shopping with my new “mom” body has been quite a nightmare…can you relate? Here’s this week’s post for the Greeley Moms:

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/11513152-113/mom-swimwear-swimsuit-moms

What do you think? Have you had a similar experience? Thanks for reading and sharing!

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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

 

 

 

Adventure Playgrounds: Dangerous or Genius?

Parents, I can’t wait for you to see this post for the Greeley Moms. Would you let your kids (over age 5) play here? I initially thought this idea was crazy, but the more I read and thought about it, I decided it’s pretty amazing. I’d love to hear from you!

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/11150005-113/kids-adventure-parents-danger

Fun and Easy Alphabet Activity with Plastic Easter Eggs

The teacher in me just could not put the Easter eggs away without turning them into a fun matching game for my girls. It took me five minutes to prepare by using only a Sharpie and a pile of plastic Easter eggs, and my girls loved it.

I chose to write one upper case and one lower case letter on both the top half and bottom half of each egg. My girls are just learning their lowercase letters, and I was worried that doing only an uppercase and lowercase match might be too difficult. When both types of letters are on both halves, younger kids can match capital letters but will still have the exposure to the lowercase letters. Here are three different ways I turned the A egg to show the options for matching that your kids will have if you write both types of letters on each half of the egg:

All you have to do is turn each half of the egg to show either the upper or lower case letter to change the way your child is matching.

You can also sneak in some color identification (ask for a specific color of egg) and fine motor skill development (through opening and closing the eggs) with this activity. 

After I labeled some eggs (I only did letters A through M to keep the number of eggs from overwhelming my young kids), I took them apart and dumped them on the ground with my girls. I then modeled for them how to choose one egg half, look at its color and letter, find a match and put the two halves together. I put down a basket for them to use to hold the completed eggs.

I plan on making eggs with letters N through Z in a few days, and I hope to pull out both sets occasionally for a quick and easy alphabet practice.

For more toddler alphabet activities, see https://livinginthedeepend.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/five-minute-alphabet-activity-for-toddlers/.

A Mama’s Heart on Fire: Sharing your Faith with your Kids

 A Mama's Heart on Fire Easter

 

Happy Easter! This week brought an amazing surprise which my mama heart was not expecting.

I had one of those parenting moments which brings tears to your eyes, stops you in your tracks and grabs your heart, and it caught me completely off guard.

My girls and I have been talking daily for the last few weeks about Easter, and we spent extra time last night (Easter eve) retelling the Easter story so they would know exactly what the holiday was about.

While we were eating dinner, my husband and I told the girls once again that we’d be celebrating such a happy day tomorrow because we’d be celebrating how much Jesus loves us.

We told them all about how he came to earth because he loved us all so much, how he was brave enough to die for us, how he came back and will save all who believe in him. I finished up by telling them how amazing heaven will be: how everyone is happy, how we’ll all be together, no one will cry and there won’t be any more “owies.”

Y’all.

Those few simple sentences, broken down into toddler-friendly language, and thinking about how much our Lord loves our sweet babies just completely overwhelmed me.

I have always known and believed the Easter story, but telling it to my girls and realizing how much it defines our lives here on earth, how much it matters to us and how thankful I am to be able to tell it…that was amazing.

It seems like God takes our mama hearts through the fire and refines us just a little bit more through our children. He deepens our faith and our stretches the boundaries of our hearts through these tiny people he gives us to look after.

As silly as this sounds, I feel like I own the Easter story even more after sharing it for these past few weeks with my girls. It didn’t change any; I still know it is just as true as I did before, but I seem to grasp the importance of it even more so as I see it through the eyes of a parent.

Have you noticed your faith changing through sharing it with your children? May you have a blessed and happy Easter weekend!