Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Are your expectations realistic?


The truth about airheads and dumb blondes





Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Terrific Tuesday: Living with Intention..why you shouldn't be ignoring stress


Is life stressing you out?

I don't think you can go one day without seeing a post on Facebook telling you to enjoy EVERY single second of parenting and live in the moment.  If you haven't already read it, Glennon from Momastery wrote an awesome article a few years ago called Don't Carpe Diem(click on the link to read!)  In this post, she freely admits that "as much as she loves her children, her favorite part of the day is when they are asleep and she cuddles in her husbands arms".  I think it's safe to say that the whole world took a deep breath when they read that and thought, "Ahhh....maybe it's OK that I don't like parenting all the time.  Maybe I'm not ruining my child's life because I get frustrated."  I love that she brings us back to reality and tells us that it's OK to not enjoy every minute of being a parent.  But all this talk about living in the present got me thinking....how often should we live in the present? Could living in the present actually be hurting us?

While living in the present is great advice,
we need to be careful about what we're ignoring.  
I want to talk about the dangers of living in the present and not thinking about the future.  How many of us excuse harmful behaviors (toward ourselves or others) because "we only live once" or "there may not be a tomorrow!'  How many of us are ignoring our child's continuous defiant behavior instead of making a change as parents?  How many of us are ignoring a family member instead of confronting them about something that bothered us?  How many of us say that we're going to go on a diet tomorrow and just throw on stretchier pants today?  How many of us are going through the Starbucks drive through instead of paying back our debts? 

When we're feeling stressed, guilty, or worried about something...it's usually for a reason and ignoring it isn't going to solve the problem.

What I'm trying to say is this....do something today that you will thank yourself for tomorrow.  LIVE INTENTIONALLY! Don't ignore your stress or guilt.  If you're feeling guilty about how you've hurt someone, pick up the phone and talk to them.  SAY SORRY which will allow you to let it go. If you're feeling stressed about money, make a plan to create a more abundant life.  If you're stressed about your health, try a new plan and surround yourself with people who share the same values as you.  
Stop looking at gossip and pictures on Facebook and start making things happen!  
Stop making excuses and live the life that you were meant to live.  

Instead of living in the moment, live with intention.

Want to know more about living with intention?
Watch my video about gumption below!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sorry!!

So sorry for the absence this week! I was on a brief vaca and decided to unplug for a few days! Pics to follow!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Terrific Tuesday: Prayer for my daughter's teacher


Dear God,
 I ask that you give my daughter's teacher the strength to teach a classroom full of excited children.  
I ask that you give her/him the patience when she is asked the same question over and over again.  
I ask that you give her/him the creativity to make learning fun and be able to problem solve issues that come up in the classroom.  
I ask that you give her/him the ability to ask for help when teaching 15 kids with different needs becomes overwhelming.  
I ask that you give her/him a sense of humor when the lesson plans don't go the way they were intended.  
I ask that you give her/him the ability to get down on my child's level or pull op a chair next to her and see her beautiful soul . 
I ask that you give her/him the ability to set rules and be consistent in the classroom.
I ask that you give her/him a safe environment where she can focus on the children without worrying about intruders.
I ask that you give her/him the opportunity to see what a difference he/she can make in my child's life. 
Most importantly, I ask that you help her/him to understand my child's needs and see her true potential.  

AMEN


Monday, August 18, 2014

Motivational Monday: 12 Habits of Happy Parents


I'm inclined to think that happy parents raise happy kids.  While there are many reasons why someone may or may not be happy in general (depression, bad marriage, unhappy in career, etc.) there are certain habits that create more security, love, and trust...which ultimately leads to happiness.  Here are a few habits that I have found from happy parents.

1.  Get down on the floor.  When you see the world through your child's eyes, you will begin to feel more comfortable as a parent and they will feel more comfortable with you.  Kneel down, sit down, or even lay down with them.

2.  Turn off electronics.  Some families unplug everyday during certain hours, other families require no phones at the dinner table or after a certain time in the evening-whatever rules you set, make sure that you as a parent are no exception.  Unplug every day.  You will be happier knowing that the time you spent with your kids was TRULY uninterrupted "quality time" and they will know that there are times when nothing in the world matters more than them.

3.  Family dinner at the dinner table.  (This one coincides with the no electronic rule.)  Sit together every night so you can look in each other's eyes and hear about each other's days.  If dinner time is a struggle in your house, check out my tips for having a great family dinner.

4.  Play together.  It seems to me that so many parents don't know how to play anymore (or else they forget what games they enjoyed as a child).  Take time to really think about what you enjoyed as a child and introduce your kids to something you like.  If playing still sounds like torture, check out these ideas for clever ways to have fun with your family.

5.  Exercise.  I don't think I need to explain this one! Everyone knows by now that your brain secretes more serotonin when you excercise, right? C'mon people, get movin'! Can't find time to exercise? Check out this video..

6.  Watch shows or movies together.  If the thought of watching an entire Calliou show all the way through makes you want to punch yourself in the face, you're not alone.  But remember that children like to enjoy things with someone (just like we do).  Think about how much you enjoy laughing with someone else while watching a movie or watching sports.  Step inside your kids world and ask them questions about the show that interests them.

7.  Take time for yourself. Whether you go for a run, have coffee with friends, or just tell your children that you need a half hour of alone time-take care of YOU.  Think about why the flight attendants on airplanes always say to "put the oxygen mask on you first".  You will be no good to others if you aren't taking care of you.

8.  Say I love you.  We all need to be loved and we we need to hear it from our family members OFTEN.  Tell your kids you love them and how special they are to you every day. Also, tell them WHY you love them.  Not just because they are your child but because there is no one in the world like them...that makes them special.

9.  Focus more on what your child does RIGHT than what they do wrong.  Children want to be loved...and liked.  Particularly, they want to be liked by their parents.  If they feel like they are a pain in their parents butt, then they aren't going to be happy (and you probably won't be either!).  If you find yourself trying to improve them all the time then they will probably be resentful.

10.  Say no...and mean it.  Healthy boundaries are so important to protect not only YOUR sanity but also your child's sanity.  If you say no and then give in- your child will feel confusion about when you really mean it and when they should push you to your limits.  Life is easier for them (and you) when they know that you mean what you say and you say what you mean.

11.  Show affection.  Maybe your child says that he doesn't want your kisses ("ew, mom, I'm too old for that mushy stuff!")  Try challenging them to an arm wrestling competition or beat them in a thumb war. ..hey...you're still holding hands, right?!

12.  Laugh..I don't mean a little giggle...I mean LAUGH every day!  Let your hair down and get silly.  If you don't think you're funny (or can't find the humor in things)  search for funny videos, shows, or funny jokes online.  Our family enjoys watching America's Funniest Home Videos together.  The saying "laughter is the best medicine" really is true.


I have to admit, I'm going through a bit of a funk myself right now and really had to do some research and think outside the box to see what happy people are doing every day. Let's face it.  Not every day is happy when you're a parent....and that's O.K.  Actually more days are challenging than are blissful.  But if you want to be a happy parent overall, then try to change some behaviors I mentioned above that will encourage a simpler, happier lifestyle.  Psychologists say that habits are created after 21 days of daily repetition so why no give one or 2 of these habits a try and see if it makes a difference in your life? Couldn't we all use a dose of HAPPY?



Follow the Motivation Monday Hosts

Barb of A Life in Balance

Mitzi of Written Reality

Lauryn of The Vintage Mom

Katie of Mom Favorites

Marie of Normal Everyday Life

Toni of Tickles and Time Outs

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Features

Barb - A Life in Balance

1. How to Freeze Green Peppers | NEPA Mom 2. 12 Ways to Add Some Adventure to Your Marriage | Calm Sexy Healthy

Lauryn- A Vintage Mom

3. 100 Lunch Box Notes and Jokes | Coconut Head Survival Guide 4. Food Swap What Is It and How Does it Work| The Homesteading Hippy

Mitzi- Written Reality

5. Strawberry Peach Popsicles | Home.Made.Interest 6. Simple Felt Needle Case| Sum of Their Stories

Toni of Tickles and Time Outs

7. Chicken Pineapple Kabobs – Recipe for your Grill | Frugal Coupon Living 8. Homestead Inspiration | Letters from Sunnybrook

Katie- Mom Favorites

9. Why I Eat More Arugula | Homestead Mania 10. Watermelon Salsa | Daily Leisure

Marie - Normal Everyday Life

11. Fresh and Easy Avocado Corn Salsa Recipe | Little House Living 12. Mom, Your Wrinkles Matter, They Tell Your Story | The Giles Frontier