Deep Connection

 

At the end of the day I am usually exhausted.  My bandwidth for emotional connection or anything extra is usually run dry. Life with two toddlers is quite busy, especially those days where one is napping all day and I don’t get much of a break.  Today is not one of those days, that is why I actually get a chance to write.  So the ability to connect on a deep level with the Lord, with my husband, with friends,is not always the most appealing thing when all I want to do is binge on some netflix in my pajamas and eat some popcorn… But I have found that deep connection and meaningful conversation and investing in relationships is still so important. Even when you feel like you have nothing to give.  Usually those meaningful conversations and times of emotional connection end up filling you up.  So what can seem so daunting and like the last thing on the list can actually have the ability to give you energy and the capability to accomplish more, be more, and feel like a completely different person.  Connection speaks to our hearts, it speaks to our minds.  It draws us out of those places of complacency, of tiredness, of for lack of better words laziness.  It calls us to discover more of who we are, what makes us tick, what gives us energy, what fills us.  It makes you a better you. So why is it so hard to get there… You just got to do it.  Call a friend, even when you feel inundated with mom life and all you have to talk about is your kids.  Go out with some mom friends, even when you feel like your social skills are lacking due to toddler land and chaos.  Spend some …

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Find your Village!

How is your community as a mom? Have you found your tribe as it is called, or village, or group? Do you have an interest that you can share with other moms? Do you have kids sports teams or activities that you have found new friends? Or do you have a church group of moms? We all want to belong somewhere. We all want to be known.  And finding that village can make the world of difference on our experience as a mom.  Just having an adult to talk to, sharing stories, gleaning advice, crying, laughing, watching eachothers kids, or even just being in the same place with other people, can all be so vital in the life as a mom.

Today, I get to be a part of the 2 year anniversary of Fit4mom in my area.  This is my village.  If I had not found Fit4mom two years ago motherhood would look alot different for me.  Two years ago I was eager to find something.  I was looking for connection, for something to do with other moms, for a way for my son to meet other kids, and people in the same stage as me. I signed up no questions asked the first moment I could (I was the first member… eager beaver over here…). I showed up every day for months without missing. I found friendship, I found connection, I found sisterhood, I found relief, I found smiles, I found tears, and my kids have also become a part of something that is so important to me.  Not to mention, a whole lot of handmedowns, ha! I got to birth my daughter into a group of people that is so loving, caring, and positive in my life that she has an instant family.  Not to mention, I …

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Mother’s Day Encouragement and Gift Guide

Motherhood is messy, imperfect, and also beautiful.

It is the hardest, yet most rewarding work.

Today, we honor all the moms – whether you have children, have lost children, want children, or love a child in your life like your own. There a lots of ways to be a mom, and today we think of you all.

Whatever stage of motherhood you find yourself in, remember that you are not alone. Hold tight to the truths in God’s word, and lean on the support of other moms when you can.

I have made you. I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you ~ Isaiah 46:4

 

If tomorrow, when the specialness of this day has gone and you find yourself back in mom life where maybe you are feeling a lack of appreciation or weariness, remind yourself of truth that YOU CAN DO TODAY. I love these words of encouragement from Finding Joy.

Mother’s Day might be here, but it’s never too late to give yourself or a special mom in your life something special. Here are a few of our favorite things for YOU mom.

Books:

For the new mom – 365 Things Every New Mom Should Know

The fiction book loving mom – The Kiss of Deception

For moms that love personal growth – Present over Perfect and 100 Days to Brave

Book Light

Beauty:

Ice Roller for Puffiness

Eye Masks

Dry Brush set

Best Bath Robe

Comfy Slippers

For the New Mom:

Milk Snob

Mickey mouse stroller clip

For the active mom:

Blender Bottle

Workout bands

Wireless Headphones

For the Natural Mom:

Primal Pit Paste

Rollerballs

DIY best facial recipe with bentonite clay, activated charcoal, and apple cider vinegar (1/2-1 TBS of each. Mix. Apply to face. Let sit …

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Buttermilk Coffee Cake

Buttermilk Coffee Cake (with Blueberries optional)
This coffee cake is very versatile and wonderfully delicious. This recipe was my mom’s and she used to make it all the time for breakfast when we had a house full of kids over for a slumber party. You can make it a day ahead and warm in a low oven for a few minutes before serving. Today I got creative by adding blueberries and served it at a leadership brunch and the gals loved it.

Ingredients
2 ¼ cups flour (you can use gluten free flour)
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
⅓ cup sugar
¾ cup canola oil (you can use coconut oil or almond oil or light olive oil)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
½-¾ cup chopped walnuts
1 more teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 cups fresh blueberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, salt, brown sugar, white sugar, 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon and oil together in a medium sized bowl. This mixture will be a bit lumpy and crumbly at this point. Take out ¾ cup of this mixture and set aside for topping. You can make this cake by hand using a whip and spatula or a hand mixer or mix in your kitchen-aide. Next add the baking soda and baking powder to the batter remaining in the bowl and mix thoroughly. Whip the egg and buttermilk together and add to batter. Mix carefully until all ingredients are completely combined and smooth like cake batter (add 1-2 cups of fresh blueberries and fold in carefully). Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. In a small bowl, add chopped nuts and extra 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the ¾ cups of crumbly mixture you have set aside. Sprinkle …

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365 Things Every New Mom Should Know-Passion Perspective Introducing Linda Danis

A few years ago, Growing Weisser started a new “tradition” called “Passion Perspective”. “Passion Perspective” is a unique way to share a glimpse into the lives of some intriguing people who are pursuing their passions. In the past, we featured guests that have a true enthusiasm for the work they are doing. Our “Passion Perspective” posts included exclusive interviews to introduce you to many of our favorite friends who are on a journey of taking their passions and turning them into small businesses. We will share insights including the steps they took, the challenges they faced, and the blessings that have come into their lives and the lives of others.

This week we are featuring Linda Danis, an expert on “All things MOM”! She is one of the most devoted moms I know. Not only is she dedicated to her own children and now grandchildren, but she loves mentoring young moms and has a passion for encouraging women in their lives and in their faith. This interview is wonderful and her book, 365 Things Every New Mom Should Know would be a perfect gift for Mother’s Day!

I know you well, Linda, but can you tell our readers a little bit about
yourself?
I love being a mom! I have been married for 33 years and have four
children who are all in their 20’s, my youngest is in college. I have also
entered the wonderful world of being a grandparent with twin 2-year-old
granddaughters and another on the way. Raising my kids has been my main job
and ministry for the past three decades which means I have worn many
different hats over the years… PTA president, Moms in Touch leader, Team
mom, Sunday school teacher, Bible study leader, and Carpool driver
extraordinaire. I wrote this book in my …

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Crockpot Chicken – 3 Ways

As a mom of two littles, easy and healthy dinners are a must!

I love using the crockpot and love even more when what is in the crockpot can make a few different meals.

Recently, I made Crockpot Chicken using…

Organic Chicken Stock from Costco

3 packs of Chicken Breast (6 chicken breast total) from Costco

No Salt Chicken Seasoning from Costco

…and put it on Low for 8 hours. It was ready before the 8 hours so I adjusted it down to about 6 hours when the chicken was easily pulled.

The first night, I used it on the *best* homemade pizza recipe from Kerry’s Baby Bear Stew Cookbook!

The next night, I added our favorite BBQ sauce from Trader Joe’s – Organic Kansas Style BBQ Sauce – when reheating the chicken on the stove for BBQ Chicken Salad. It was a very simple meal with the Spring Mix from Costco and cut up veggies like carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers. We also had zucchini and squash on the side.

Since we still had more bbq chicken leftovers, we did BBQ Chicken Quesadillas the next night- Grated cheese, a corn and black bean mix, bell peppers, optional jalapeños and guacamole, and the bbq chicken! I did mine more taco style and used the new TJs Corn & Wheat Tortillas which was delicious!

And, surprisingly, we still have more chicken! 🙂

What are your favorite ways to use crockpot chicken night after night?

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The Transition to Glasses

Last month, I shared that Sophie had to unexpectedly get glasses. When I first found out, I tried to do some research to help make the transition more smooth or to find any advice from other moms who had been through a young child getting glasses. I was very surprised that I could not find any helpful resources across the web. So, I decided to make my own resource for that next mom who needs some help in the toddler glasses transition.

1. Make It Fun

Getting glasses was not an easy transition for our 3 year old. It was hard to explain and reason with her why she had to keep something on her face that had never been there before. So, I had to find ways to make it fun. In the moment, it was not easy so it is important to plan ahead. I had some ideas planned, but I would suggest having back up plans. We had a rough few hours when we first got home – I thought I was going to have to revamp a whole new plan. Luckily, after the first couple of days, she really settled in to having her new accessory.

Here are a few ways I was able to make this change more fun for Sophie: I found a Minnie Mouse shirt with Minnie wearing glasses (I found this on Zulily for cheaper but here is the same shirt on Amazon) and a kitty wearing glasses shirt from Carters. I found a Fancy Nancy book that is all about getting glasses. Her bestie gave her a book called Little Bear Needs Glasses that is so cute – you get to put different glasses stickers on each of the characters in the book!

Some ideas that I didn’t have to use …

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Refresh your Soul

As Easter is right around the corner, I just want you to take a few moments to think about what is on your heart. What is your focus? What do you think about when you go to sleep at night and when you wake up in the morning? Is your soul filled? Is your spirit refreshed? Are you peaceful, or are you bombarded with the tasks of your day?

Regardless of your circumstances or the busyness of your day, take a few moments to be still. Be present. Reflect. Sit in that moment. Who are you today? Where have you come from? How have you grown? How has God walked with you through your mountains and valleys? How has he carried you?

Take some time to be filled with Jesus. The Holy Spirit is your guide and your teacher, your friend and your guide. Are you bogged down with self doubt and insecurity? Take those nasty thoughts captive and give yourself over to truth. There is truth. There is goodness. There is grace. It is all in Jesus. He has created you just as you are, with strength, with joy, with confidence. How can you really live in that experience? Are you able to see Him? If you have surrendered your life to Him, He is in you, walking with you, carrying you. You just have to pay attention, recognize, reflect.

If you are looking for a little extra reading this Easter, take some time to dive into this DESIRING GOD devotional. You won’t regret it.

 …

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New Beginnings in Parenting

Grace… that’s the one word I have to keep reminding myself of… Grace. I am not going to be perfect. Just like my kids are not perfect, even though we wish they were… I have to let myself make mistakes as a parent and not think that one thing will ruin their existence.  Parenting is not a formula.  It is a relationship. It is a process. It is taking one day at a time. It is a gift. It is a blessing. But it will also bring out things in you that you never knew existed. Because it is a challenge. Because it is hard. Because it is exhausting. And because it is a responsibility.  But your kid was created for you, just for you, so that you could learn, grow, explore life, teach them, love them, nurture them, and direct them. But just as they are learning about life, so are we as their parents. They come into the world without anything. We become parents without a set of perfect skills or any prior experience.  We take our little babe home from the hospital and think we should have it all figured out. But each day, each step, each stage, we get to learn and grow together. So that is where grace comes in. We have to give ourselves space to learn through all the experiences just as we want our kids to keep learning and growing through their mistakes and successes.

How can we engage in growth as parents:

  • Read books
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Talk to other moms
  • Don’t say yes to everything
  • Ask for advice from parents that have gone before you
  • Have fun with your kids. Get on their level
  • Give praise, to yourself and to them
  • Give time to your kids. And Make time for
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New Perspectives

Sometimes we hold ourselves to ridiculous standards. Lets be honest.

Some seasons we can’t do it all.

In some seasons, we need to say NO and let go. We can find freedom in doing less, but doing it really well.

Recently, I realized that my standards for my morning routine were way to high. So rather than do a few things on my long list, I would end up doing nothing because I knew no matter what I couldn’t do it all.

So I made a shift.

I started with a list of 2 things. And guess what? I did those 2 things. Then I did those 2 things again. And again. Suddenly, I was killing it at my morning routine. I realized how much happier I was focusing on the things I could do really well consistently.

I needed a new perspective. I needed expectations for myself that matched the season I am in. That doesn’t mean we let ourselves be ruled by excuses. You can still grow no matter what season you are in. I mean that we can find better ways to push ourselves to grow while also finding joy in what we are doing (not how many things we are doing).

Let’s take my morning routine for example, those 2 things I picked are still REALLY important. And the confidence I gain every day by accomplishing those 2 things I bring into my whole morning. Now that I know I can do those 2 things I can maybe add more, but I also know that I am doing enough, and I can be proud of that!!!

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