More Precious Than Jewels

#MommaMonday

More Precious than Jewels

This weekend my little girls and I were getting ready to head out for the day.

My oldest glanced at my youngest and said, “You look lovely, Princess.”

Normally, I would write this down in my little black book of “HECK YEAHS OF PARENTING.”

But, this time, God hit me with a major lightbulb moment.

Our little girls become body conscious at birth.

We are born with the ability / inherent desire to check out all the mirrors.  Sometimes all too frequently…

Society has all kinds of definitions for “pretty,” “skinny,” and “fabulous” these days.

Which causes us to have an innate urge to care more about appearances than souls.

About looks rather than insides.

About actions rather than motives.

And I started thinking about all the times my girls follow me around the house like little ducklings.

What are they seeing me do?

Are they watching me read my Bible?

Or observing me thumbing through the latest beauty mag…

Are they hearing me point out the supposed flaws I view in the mirror?

Or listening to me thank God for making me just the way I am…

Do they overhear judgy conversations about others between myself and my husband?

Or will they remember us edifying our friends and discussing uplifting things…

Every single thing that comes out of our mouths goes directly in the ears of our little ones.

Every second we spend fussing in front a mirror gets logged in their minds forever.

All those moments of frustration in the dressing rooms while we tug at this lump here and pull at this crease there…yep.  They’re watching.

When we lament about fine lines and wrinkles, all they are hearing is “imperfect here” and “ugly there.”

Sometimes we don’t even realize these little instances are happening…

And whether we realize it or not, our little ones are internalizing each of these moments as the very measuring sticks against which they will judge themselves one day.

Wow.

This is gettin’ deep, friends.

I don’t know about you, but I want to take every opportunity to remind my babies that they are perfect just the way God made them.

That time spent frou-frouing in the mirror is far less important than time spent primping their hearts.

That their bodies are temples rather than trend setters.

That those little “imperfections” are God’s divine design.

That their minds are the organs of true value to society, rather than their moxie.

That their walk with Christ is the one to focus on rather than their strut.

We won’t be able to remove all of those crazy pubescent angst years.

But, we sure can raise them up to believe in the Savior rather than Sephora, friends.

Next time you think about criticizing your appearance, think about those little ears.

Put a hand over your mouth if you have to, and allow God to remind you of your outer and most importantly inner, beauty.

And, if you can’t say anything nice about yourself, remember this: “You are far more precious than jewels.” (Proverbs 31:10)

Love you, beauties!  And, I love you for exactly who YOU are!

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Add Teacher to Your Momma Resume

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Add Teacher to Your Momma Resume

One of my dearest friends has four kids.  That’s a lot of kids, friends… 😉

The children are all school age now and the littlest one is just settling in to the nitty gritty of Kindergarten.   Kindergarten Katie (as I’m calling her for purposes of anonymity) came home two weeks ago and when asked what she learned, Katie claimed she just couldn’t remember.

No big deal.  Kid’s attention spans are short, thought the mom…

The next week, Kindergarten Katie came home and the same scenario played out:

Mom: “What’d you learn at school, love?”

Child: “I don’t know…”

This time the Mom grew concerned.  When she asked the little girl’s teacher, she was happy to share with her that the class was learning to write the first 5 letters of the alphabet and that Katie seemed to be struggling remembering what she learned each day.

Defeated, my friend didn’t know what to do.  After a little research, she discovered some excellent home-help workbooks and teaching tools.

After a few days of brushing up on the basics at home, Kindergarten Katie was politely shovin’ her way right to the head of the class!

I was reminded of a valuable truth by observing Katie’s little story: Education is an investment.  An investment of time, energy and dedication.

Not just for the child.  But for the parents, too.

It can seem daunting at times.  I totally get it.  I often think to myself: I fed them, I bathed them, I protected them, I played with them and most importantly I loved all over them…that’s awesome, right?!?

Exactly right.

But, as parents, we play a big role our children’s educational journeys, too.  It turns out that how we interact with them, what we say to them and the things we teach them are some of the most vital building blocks for their future…

When we sit down and read each night, we are not just knockin’ off the minutes ’til bedtime, we are expanding our sweet ones’ vocabulary.

When we sing and dance, we are not just entertaining our kids with our prowess for silliness, we are encouraging movement and healthy living.

When we take a moment each day to interact with our children on a higher conversation level than “do you want chicken nuggets or grilled cheese,” we are showing our kids that they are important, tiny people of value.  That their opinions matter, too.

When we carve out hours each week to take our kids to try new adventures, we are showing them the importance of exploration, learning new things and “experiencing” life rather than simply “observing” it.

When we make learning fun, it will be fun for them, too.

Education is only as effective and valuable as we make it.

So, when the kiddos come home each day, let’s start asking those important questions.  Let’s embrace them and carve out moments to learn about their day, what they are learning and how we can help in the process!

The more active and involved we are now, the more receptive they will be to our assistance later on.

So, pat yourself on the back today, Momma.  Because you just remembered yet another hat you wear each day: TEACHER!  😉

“Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Praying God gives each of us the peace and patience to be the best teachers for our little ones today!

Quick Tips: If you would like a recommendation for a place to find some great parent / teacher tools, check out this amazing website.  They have stores as well.  But, if there is not one close to you, they offer online ordering, too 🙂

Also, if you are looking for some free printables, these are some great resource sites for those: Jumpstart and ABCTeach!

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Pummeling Pinterest Perfection

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Pummeling Pinterest Perfection

Good morning, Momma!

How are you today?  Did you sleep well last night?

Ha! Let’s get real: did you sleep at all last night?!? 😉

Now that I have your attention, I want to ask you to do me a favor…

Log out of Pinterest.  And all social media for that matter.

Just do it.  For a day.

Close your laptop or turn off your phone and turn around.

Those are your precious children.

Reintroduce yourself to them.

Hug them.  Roll around on the floor and play with them.

You know what’s cool about kids?

They don’t care what the wreath on the front door looks like.

They don’t have any preferences about the size and / or color of their pumpkin for fall.

They aren’t concerned with DIY potted plants.

Or growing their own herbs.

Or designing their playrooms to look like oceans.

Promise.

They really couldn’t care less about any of that.

What they want is YOU.

They want you to sit with them and read.  And maybe even get tickled every now and then.

They want to run outside and have you blow bubbles in their faces.

They want to snuggle with you for no reason at all.

They want to do what kids do best: enjoy the little things.

Do ya’ll remember a time when people actually did things and went places purely for the joy in the experience and not to generate Instagram and Pinterest-worthy photos of said experience to post as soon as possible?

Geez…

Those where the days!!

As a side note:

You guys.  I just gotta ask…does Pinterest stress anyone else out besides me?

I am an “official” member of Pinterest but I don’t even know how to navigate it.  I have admittedly spent hours strollin’ through the main page checkin’ out all the latest “pins.”   I just figured Instagram out a few months ago (late to all parties, I get it!)

In spite of my Pinterest ignorance, as a Mom who admittedly has made every effort to create this “Pinterest Perfect” childhood for my kids, I woke up one day and realized that I was throwing all my efforts towards the wrong target board.  (And no, I am not referring to my Target Pinterest board… 😉 )

And if we really asked our kiddos, they think we are pretty special no matter what we do:

When we feel like we’ve failed at everything, they see Superwoman.

When our “chicken casserole” looks and tastes more like pig slop, they taste Paula Deen.

When the laundry is piled mile high in hampers, they see baskets of fun worth diving into.

So, we’ve gotta give up our innate desires for perfection and fall into the arms of God’s grace.

Rather than stalking the great minds of the virtual world for crafty inspo, let’s take our kids to the local craft store and stroll aisle to aisle (partly to kill time before naptime, obviously) to become enlightened by the newest crafty notions.

Instead of googling how to make their little lives more perfect, we should be rolling around in the floor with them.

And asking them how THEY want to spend the day.

We only get one chance to celebrate each of our children’s early childhood days.

They won’t remember all the frou frou-ish, Pinterest-y moments.

But, they will remember all the times we hugged them, kissed them and reminded them of their worth.

And isn’t it convenient for us that those moments are free AND don’t require us pinning anything anywhere…

Who’s with me?!?  Day off of Pinterest starts now! 😉 

Please share how that goes for you and your family in the comments!

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Preprayered

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Preprayered

All this back to school stuff is givin’ me all the feels.

One minute I’ve been stalking my planner and counting down the seconds until that first day.

The next you’ll find me teetering back in forth on the floor weeping like a ball of emotions.

And my oldest is only going in to 4K!!

So, I totally feel you Mommas that are sending little ones off to “big” school this time around.

I get it, friend.  It’s A.L.O.T.

It all starts with those letters and packets that start arriving mid summer.

Then, it’s the school supply shopping…which can I just take a moment and thank Jesus for back to school supply shopping?!?  Some of my all-time favorite moments from my childhood.

What fellow nerd-ish Momma will virtually high five me on this one?!? #SchoolSuppliesForLife  Love ya, girl! 😉

I digress…

Then, it’s time to meet the teacher.

And, does it even really matter who it is?  [Unless, of course, it is the dreaded one that everyone has warned about for years…dun, dun, DUNNN…..]

It does matter, actually.  Because this is the human you are entrusting with your child’s well-being from 7:30ish to 3:00ish day in and day out for an entire school year…

So, you meet him / her.  And you chat about all the feelings.

THEN, it’s the big day.

You’ve packed all the lunches, monogrammed the backpacks, scribbled on the memory chalkboard…  You’ve done all the things.

Once Junior gets out of the car, you stare at him / her for that brief second, like “WAIT! COME BACK TO MOMMY!  ARE YOU OOOKKK?!?  DO YOU NEED TO GO POTTY?!?”

And it hits you that you’ve prepared this child.

You have spent the last 5+ years of this child’s life prepping them for this exact moment.  The moment after which every moment will follow for their “real world life.”

BUT…

Have you preprayered this child?!

Have you talked to God about his / her first day?  Have you asked Him to guide them, shield them and prosper them?

Have you given Him your anxiety?

As I circled back through the carpool line for the second time (yes…the second time) on the first day of school, I stopped just short of the front door and this question hit me like a ton of bricks.

I had been so worried about selecting the perfect first day outfit, packing that “nutritious” snack and getting there on time, that I had neglected to check the most important thing off my to do list…

PRAY.

At the end of the day, the only thing we can do is pray that God will hold them in His arms, protect them, love them and help them learn as much as they possibly can.

We can’t force it.

Heaven knows they won’t let us sit there and force them to listen…even though most of us wouldn’t want that task anyway…

So, you’ll find me praying these days.

Next time you see me with my head bowed in carpool line…don’t fret.  I’ve either dozed off (thank God for carpool pickup line naps…) or more likely, in a deep convo with the Lord…preprayering my kiddos for all their days.

Have you preprayered your little ones?  If so, has it given you a peace about the school year?

Please share in the comments! 🙂

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Calling All Tasmanian Devils

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Calling All Tasmanian Devils

Do you ever feel like no matter what you do, your house always looks like a bomb just went off, an intense burglary just occurred and / or a tornado blew through?!?

Raise your hands in the air and wave ’em like you just don’t care, Mommas!

Because, yeah.  Kids = Chaos.  And it seems like no matter how hard we try to conquer the crazy, we end up like the Tasmanian Devil furthering the definition of insanity!

It goes a little something like this:

Scenario 1:

We proudly exclaim to the world (likely just the kitchen counter is listening) that we just finished loading the dishwasher!

Kid in den thinks, “Great! I just destroyed the den.  Good luck discovering the fermented waffle I just hid under the third sofa cushion!”

Scenario 2:

We are just patting ourselves on the back for scrubbing that last bit of tile grout out of the kids’ shower when…

Kid in playroom screams that she pooped her pants!

Scenario 3:

Right as we are about to sit down (HA! Let’s get real…lean against a wall for a brief second….)

Kid in kitchen dumps an entire box of Cheerios on the floor.

And all of those scenarios likely happened prior to 10:30 a.m…

Ahhh Mommyhood.  Gotta love it!

It’s a good thing I am not applying for a job at Merry Maids, because if a home visit was one of their requirements for employment, well, honey they’d be running as fast as they could outta my house!

I’m just gonna get real: the cleanliness aspect (I mean, UNcleanliness) of the parenting journey drives me crazy.

Like pull my hair out, needs a sanity break crazy.

And I’m admitting that to the world today because it’s cathartic and it’s honest.

Not everything in Mommyhood is unicorns and light of a thousand fairies wonderful.

And we’d be lying if we professed it to be that way.

So, today, I am encouraging us to embrace our crazy.  Wear that Tasmanian Devil Nametag with pride, girl.

Let it all hang out.  And know that every single home…no matter how Pinterest Perfect it may seem on the outside, is dealin’ with some “stuff” within.

My guess is that with school back in session (and / or swiftly approaching) you may need some extra encouragement.  So, I’m going to share with y’all some of my Tasmanian Devil feel better quotes this morning, because we all need a pick me up, am I right?!?  Check those out HERE.

WOW.  I feel SO much better.  Don’t you?!?

Now excuse me while I go find a dumpster to begin the process of ditching the heaps of mess in an attempt to locate the floor in my children’s bedrooms…say a little prayer for me, will you?!?

Where my fellow Tasmanian Devils at?!?  Love you Mommas!

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Never Say Never

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Never Say Never

“I’d never let my kid drink sodas.”

“I’d never let my child climb on furniture.”

“I’d never let my kids draw all over my dining room walls with crayons…”

“I’d never let my children eat ice cream three days in a row.”

My personal fave:

“I’d NEVER let my kid scream in public.”

Wow.  How many of us have uttered phrases like those and only days later bit our tongue right out of our mouth?

I was the Mom that stood on my soapbox proclaiming I’d NEVER let my kids use iPads or screen time.

I contemplate this notion as God is proverbially and quite forcefully biting my tongue as I type this…

Last week my “never” screen time moment came full circle.  In the worst of ways…

I’d been shouting to the rooftops for years that my kids just wouldn’t be the ones staring at screens like drones.

And then it was the 50-leventh week of summer.

My house looked like a bomb went off.

I was completely out of ideas of what to do.

We’d been to every single free activity in town.

We’d hung out at every playdate we could.

And we were just bored.  ALL of us.

So, you know what we did?  We sat around and GASP watched movies on the iPad!  All. Day. Long.

Judge away, friends…

It’s truly comical all the proclamations that we Mommas make.  Because kids … and God … always have different plans.

Don’t I know it…  Ugh.

Every time we make a “never” statement, we are just setting ourselves up for failure.

Because children aren’t perfect.

And neither are we…

Because if we were, we’d all be driving around in our polished Barbie mobiles reveling in our plastic perfect-ness.

But that’s not what God would have for us.  And honestly, as much as I love Barbie 😉 , I don’t want that crazy level of perfection either!

Every time we say “never,” we are subconsciously judging our fellow Momma tribe members and setting ourselves up for the same later on when, inevitably, that “never” turns into a “well, I couldn’t stop it!!.”

And ain’t nobody got time for that!

God places these tongue-bite-inducing, “never” moments in our lives to remind us that we are not in control.

No matter how much we try (and Lord knows I try!), He is the One running the show!

He also uses these “never” moments to make us stronger.

In those moments especially, we have to lean on Him and accept His grace.  He is chipping away at us and fine tuning us.  Slowly

So, wipe the Sprite off Junior’s chin.

Go get Susie before she gets to the top of the bookcase.

Pro Tip: The magic eraser works great for crayon on dining room walls…

Add a sprinkle or two to your next ice cream cone.

And for God’s sake don’t let ’em scream in public…

HA!  Kidding

Next time you say “never,” stop and thank the Lord that he will NEVER leave you 😉 not even on those “never” moment days!

What’s your latest “never” moment?

Please share in the comments so we can virtually high five you!

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Germs ‘n Jesus

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Germs ‘n Jesus

This past weekend, my girls and I partied hard at the 3rd birthday of one of my best friends’ little girls.

She had a gymnastics / bouncy house / giant slide party.  Can I get a praise Jesus, Mommas?!? 

Is there anything more fun or kid-perfect than that?!?  Thus, the extra loads of excitement!

I always love discovering all the creativity of my Momma friends at birthday parties.  And this Momma had her Pinterest-Perfect game face on!

But, at this one, I also got a very unexpected and welcomed dose of Jesus…

In the form of this sign hanging in the bathroom:

Um.  I need three of these signs for my house STAT.

Because I’m crazy and my writer brain is never off duty, this sign affected me much deeper than reminding me to wash my hands and say my prayers…

There’s so many ways to interpret this sign.  But, when I saw it, God reminded me that germs really are everywhere…and not just on my kids’ hands or in their snotty noses…

Jesus is there in the good times and in the bad times.

He’s there in Publix when my child’s head is gushing blood after a nasty fall on aisle three.

He’s there when my 2 year old finger paints her crib with poop.

He’s there when I struggle picking myself up off the bathroom floor after a long day of battling toddler tantrums.

He’s there when dinner burns, there’s nothing left in the fridge and two children are not-so-patiently waiting on food.

He’s there when my basement floods.  For the SECOND time.

And He’s there when my checkbook just won’t balance and the mortgage is due.

Bad things (aka germs) are gonna happen.

Bad people (aka germs) will come into our lives.

But, if we hermit ourselves away and never allow ourselves to experience life, Jesus won’t have the opportunity to grow us, mold us more like Him and swoop in to save us from those germs time after time.

I’ve always lived cautiously – doing everything I could to avoid the “germs” of life.  That stuff that naturally creeps in no matter how much we try to prevent it.

It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve realized the futility of running from those situations.

We do have to take time to dust off the germy sin in our life.

We do need to wash our hands of as many germs we can, say our prayers, and for all those other germs…well, we are just going to have to remember that God is there during those times, too.

Life isn’t perfect.  Lord, don’t we all know that!

But Christ is.

And He is with us every step of the way.  Even those nasty poop-covered, tear-stained, exhaustion-inducing germy ones… 😉

What “germ” do you need to wash your hands of, pray about and give to Jesus today?

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Helicopter Moms and Backseat Drivers

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Helicopter Moms and Backseat Drivers

Confession: I started out as a helicopter mom.

Wait, I still am one.

Strike all of that.  I am a recovering / still kinda-sorta helicopter mom.

Allow me to explain…

This will shock most of you.  But, my three year old (youngest of my two girls) has never been to Publix…

I know.  Pick your jaw up off the floor.  It’s insane.  I get it.

Well, she went for the first time two weeks ago…and things did NOT go well.

And, let me just say, I really began to think that maybe I was correct in keeping her tucked away at home, shielded from all of the dangers of the world in that moment.

Ok, ok, ok.  Here’s what happened.

We only had 5 minutes to grab three items.  You know the drill…whip ’em out of those car seats and dart in and out of the grocery store faster than the Flash…

Except for when that doesn’t work out.

We get inside and I get a buggy.  Kids say: “NO BUGGY, MOMMY!”

They wanna walk like big girls (imagine an eyeroll emoji here)… This would end up being our demise, people!!!

So, my little ones start meandering alongside me.  As we head down an empty aisle, my youngest decides to bolt for it.

She got up to top speed, turned her head to look at something on the shelves and NAILED that silly buggy I grabbed (FOR THREE ITEMS…I mean if only I could’ve just ditched that thing) and blood started gushing everywhere.

We’re talking crime scene blood.

I mean, paramedics should be required in the future to study this case.

We’re talking NEED LOTS OF MOPS ON AISLE SEVEN, PEOPLE!!

Ironically, we were on the paper towel aisle, and I couldn’t even grab one because I had to get this kid outta there and to the hospital.

Instead of doing the smart thing and dabbing her with a paper towel to assess the bleeding, I buried her head in my chest and bolted for the door.

After the three minute drive to our house, a soak in the tub, more hydrogen peroxide than is probably pediatrician approved, a bandaid or two and gobs of TLC, my baby returned to normal.

She survived.

Heck.  We ALL survived.

And this crazy story  led me to several epiphanies.  But only one that I’m sharing today:

Being a helicopter mom doesn’t always pay off…

In fact, it’s like being a backseat driver.  Those folks mean well, I’m sure.  But, doesn’t it really just annoy the driver?  Like, to the point that they just want to slam their foot on the gas pedal and drive off an embankment somewhere?

Well, I think that’s what my little one may have been trying to subconsciously tell me that day.

All those years of stowing her away like Rapunzel were silly.

All those incessant talks about how to walk in a grocery store, where to walk, when to walk, what to do while walking were all in vain until I let her experience it on her own.

As Mommas, it is so tempting to wrap our babies in bubble wrap and play with them like fragile little dolls.

But just like a back seat driver, we are really just exerting that extra ounce of control that we are so desperately clinging on to…

Ouch.  I said it.

That’s me to a tee.

This “Let Go and Let God” thing is coming slowly for me when it comes to my kids…anyone else?

I’m not suggesting that we throw our kids in the street and wait to see what happens.

But, I am suggesting that after we’ve given them instruction, let’s do our best to stand back and let them be.

They are going to make mistakes.

They may even run into buggies going 100 miles per hour, nail their forehead and gush blood everywhere.

But, that’s all a part of learning.

For them.

And for us, too…

 Do you have an epic helicopter mom moment?  Please share in the comments!

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Target Time with Tots

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Target Time with Tots

Who else is counting down the days ’til school starts?

Anyone…?

[Insert awkward smile face emoji here…]

Well, we are pretty pumped about it over at our house.  But, so far this summer we haven’t been prepping much for the big day…

I mean, if you count all the motor skills we’ve been improving upon at the splash pads, every playground in town, the zoo, and playdates with friends…well, then we’re rocking out.

All joking aside, we are so excited to start school.  I have fond memories of my favorite past time ever: back to school supply shopping.  I used to spend hours in the aisles at Wal-Mart selecting the perfect binders.  Oh!  And pencil cases were super fun to pick out, too.

Sorry.  Daydreaming about ball point pens and notepads

Ok.  I’m back.

As a mom to toddlers, we aren’t really into the school supply obsession yet.  But, as we were sauntering through the dollar spot, as we do weekly, we discovered some super fun (and educational…SCORE!) school supplies to pass the time until we’re required to remain seated in our chairs all day…

I decided to share my top 5 faves with you today!

Each item you see here is under $ 5 and most of them only $ 1!!!

Check these out and head to your local Target to snag them for yourself today!

These workbooks are only $ 1 each!!!  They have workbooks for every age range and are color coordinated so you don’t get the wrong age range!

Alphabet Magnets!  I bought these just because my girls loved the bright colors.  But once we got home, we came up with a game.  I scattered the letter magnets all over a blanket in front of my girls.  Then, on our easel, I would write a letter from the alphabet.  The girls took turns finding the matching letter in their magnets and then bringing it to stick on the easel!  SO fun!

HOW CUTE are these $ 3 chore charts?!?  I love that they are dry erase, so that chores can change over time.  AND, there are magnetic stars to place as rewards for each day rather than messy stickers!!  These are a must for young children to start learning responsibility.  I may even get one for myself…and my husband …. honey-do lists have never been cuter.  Am I right, ladies?!?  😉

My girls are just now asking about money, tithing and all things expenses.  We have read our Berenstain Bears allowance book one too many times, I think…

Anyways, when I found these felt money purses, I threw it in the buggy without hesitation!  I LOVE that these are made of felt rather than that flimsy paper that inevitably gets lost, torn or discarded within 4 minutes of you opening it up!

Plus, this little set includes coins as well!  It’s only $ 3, and the fun, bright colors just sends it over the edge of being a must have.

This little game has quickly become a fave at our house.

All you need is some clothespins to make this a 30 minute time saver.  Yes, please!!

Ask your children to clasp each clothespin on the lowercase letter of the larger one printed at the top of each card. OR you could totally DIY this in no time at home.  Love this!!

So, like us, if you are bored of the rainy days and the constant schedule filling, head to Target and spend an afternoon walking up and down the dollar spot aisles.  I promise you will have a ball and you never know what you might find…

With a month left, what are you doing to “fill the time” for your kids?  Please share in the comments!

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Parties and Rent to Princess Tents

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Parties and Rent to Princess Tents

Over the weekend, my hubby and I chatted as I trimmed sun-dress shapes out of a piece of watermelon for my kids’ lunches.

Yes, you read that right…

And since we found that activity weird, too, we decided to list all the ways life changes after giving birth to little ones…

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 til 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 pm, of course 😉

Friends, there are going to be moments when we pull our hair out and scream into pillows.

But, those moments won’t last.

Because joy comes in the morning.

Bright and early, accompanied by those precious smiling faces.

And I know that because God tells me so:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

So, if y’all don’t mind, I’m gonna get back to the real party…

Yep, the one happenin’ all up in that Princess Tent over there.

What…or whom… can you pause from pulling your hair out this morning and thank God for bringing into your life?

Please share in the comments!

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