Monday, July 20, 2015

TOP 10 METHODS TO SIMPLIFY MOTHERHOOD

Hi there, my friend! I'm off on an adventure of a lifetime, with my beloved and four children. While I'm going to miss you, I want you to know that I'm getting my batteries recharged so that I can come back and be the best blogger I can be. In the interim, you can find me on Instagram. All day. All the time.

In my absence today, I'd like you to meet my uber talented friend, Molly. She's not only an exceptional writer that I've come to follow on a regular basis, but she's also a Bradley Method Childbirth Educator with a wealth of knowledge regarding pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, baby and parenting.

Please welcome Molly to All My Happy Endings. Show her a little love by leaving a comment or asking her a question at the end of this blog post.

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Top 10 Methods to Simplify Motherhood

10.  Wear Maxi Dresses
      In the warm (sweltering – if you live in Texas) summer months, what better way to keep your style low key and effortlessly chic, with a flowy maxi dress.   Both fashionable and stylish no leg shaving is required! The longer the better to cover un-manicured toes too.  Not to mention when the self-tanning goes awry, call in your maxi dress for full coverage.  For many mothers, myself included, showering is a lost art.  Finding time to shave your legs is a luxury reserved only for date night.  Enjoy my tip and worry no more; the maxi dress will cover up your secrets.

9.  Listen to Books on Audio
      Whether you borrow books from the library, listen to podcasts or subscribe to Audible this is the best way to tidy-up the house at the end of the day.  When all my kids are asleep, my home is left looking ransacked – the culprits, my children.  Of course, we all know I should involve them in the clean up process, instilling responsibility, pride and leadership. However, sometimes (okay most days) it’s easier to just do it myself and avoid the arguments, relentless stalling and subpar results.  Diving into the fictitious world of Liane Moriarty’s latest mystery, reveling in the real life suspense of Serial or feeling inspired by Sandberg’s “Lean In” rhetoric can enhance the relentless tidying, wiping, folding… and repeat.

8.  Call Your Grandparents
      There is nothing more grounding than catching up with your grandparents.  If they are no longer with us call an older cousin, aunt or uncle.  Touching base with your parents can be compounded with strings and baggage, but grandparents are there to smother and love.  After talking to my grandparents I am invigorated by their wise anecdotes and encouraging words.  I feel youthful and rejuvenated with a sense of where I came from which helps me navigate where I’m going in my role as a mother.

7.   Give In To Your Coffee Habit
      If you’re working on a family financial budget, often one of the first suggestions for cutting back is to do away with coffee expenses.  I beg to differ.  My coffee habit is for the safety of my family and therefore supersedes any budgetary restrictions.  Without coffee I can’t communicate, drive, let alone parent so therefore take my advice, drink up.  It’s for your family’s safety. 

6.  Find Something You Love Outside of Motherhood and Pursue It
      I recently became a Certified Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth Educator and this has actually provided me with more energy.  The buzz I get from coffee pales in comparison to the adrenaline rush I experience from teaching.  This type of energy is deeply rooted in my soul, igniting a vitality that I thought I lost in the sea of sleepless nights and unyielding demands of motherhood.   

5.  Just Say Yes
      When a friend offers to bring over dinner or your in-laws want to babysit, just say yes.  If your spouse suggests you sleep in or offers to fold the laundry, let him and let go of control.  It may not be done to your exact specifications but it can help immeasurably.  This is guaranteed to make you a happier and more patient mom, at least for a few hours.

4.  Get to Know You Neighbors
      We live in the suburbs and really do have the ideal relationship with our neighbors.  Whether I need to borrow an egg or I am in need of wine and girl talk, our neighbors are unfaltering.  I lose my keys on a regular basis and the neighbors have saved us every time. Thank you to them for unlocking the spirit of community. 

3.  Stop Comparing
      This applies when comparing mother-to-mother and child-to-child.  But the more damaging of the two is when moms compare their children to other children.  Every child is different and every child has their strengths.  Of course, as parents we need to be aware of our child’s developmental milestones.  But comparing their abilities like walking or talking to other kids their age is only creating an unhealthy competitive atmosphere.  This can undervalue your child’s intrinsic strengths and emphasize what they have not yet learned as opposed to what abilities they already posses.  It is beneficial to feel inspired by other kids’ achievements and introduce new goals for your child but we must value our children as individuals with their own agendas.

2.  Lose Your Pride
      Perhaps I am an over sharer and therefore I would benefit from some refinement, but not at the expense of losing my authenticity.  It is essential to be honest with both yourself and others.  What is the point of perpetuating a disingenuous life?  Be real, faults and all.  I remind myself often of the quote, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

1          1.  Exercise
Spend 30 minutes a day doing something outdoors that gets your endorphins pumping.  If running feels impossible start by walking, if walking is too high impact, swim.  My 97-year-old grandfather exercises every day and if that isn’t enough of a testament I don’t know what is.




Wednesday, July 15, 2015

LIFE IN PICTURES





Tuesday, July 14, 2015

#LOVEWINS



This may sound corny, but the common thread is always love and the human connection. I mean, when we strip it all away, that’s always the only thing left. Our love for each other, our relationships in this life. It’s not houses or cars or material things that we will miss when we depart this world; it’s the people. In every belief system, the common thread running through us is the sustained bond between people — simple.




Thursday, July 9, 2015

BIBLE VERSES


But right now I’m in a season where I don’t have the time to consume chapters at a time. Some days it’s just one or two verses that I tuck into my heart so I can try and live them out.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

LIFE IN PICTURES




Tuesday, July 7, 2015

WHAT TO WEAR | PACKING FOR HAWAII

We soon leave for Kauai, Hawaii, our most-loved island of all. Having hiked the east coast, the mid-west and the west coast, Kauai is by far the most laborious and the most beautiful. Hawaii and I are a match made in Heaven. Life there is meant to be lived outdoors. The culture runs deep and the artistic community is strong. The inhabitants are diverse yet proud, and the landscaope is incredibly intense yet varies. There's so much more than grass skirts and luaus - though I admit, I've really taken to the sound of the ukulele.



The Kalalau Trail is 11 miles one way along the stunning Na Pali Coast, frequently named Hawaii's most scenic place. It can be seen via helicopter, boat or on foot. 

The first time I went, I was a little intimidated and likely unprepared to tackle the entire two-day, 22 mile trail. Fortunately, there are plenty of options that allow just a portion of the trail, with opportunities to see waterfalls and beaches that are only accessible by hiking there. Hanakapi'ai Falls makes for a strenuous but doable 8 mile hike, and when you reach the falls, it comes at a the perfect time for a swim and/or just a break.


But I digress. 

Packing. Yeah, probably my least favorite part of travel, and even pulling together a suitcase for something as blissful as 10 days in Hawaii usually leaves me writhing in agony on the floor of my closet. This being my second time to the Aloha state, I feel I have a little bit better idea on what to bring and what to leave behind. 

We are a very adventurous family and always have an active itinerary of hiking, biking, strolling, cave exploring, snorkeling, and lots and lots of exploring. We do enjoy higher-end dining, but it's still rather laid-back and casual in Kauai. So, leave those heels at home!

Here's an idea of what I'd wear hiking in Kauai. Comfortable and sporty is key. Along with copious amounts of sunscreen and water. Note: I love my Merrell hiking shoes similar to the ones here, but honestly my Keen water shoes (closed-toe) gripped the wet, slippery rocks we approached along the path).
Packing for a Hawaii Hike

Thursday, July 2, 2015

MY DAUGHTER


A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest.  She exudes a sense of calm, and invites those around her to rest as well.  She speaks comfort, she offers others the grace to be and the room to become.  In her presence, we can release the tension and pressure that so often grip our hearts.  Her spacious beautiful soul invites other to come, to be, to taste see that the Lord is good.  A woman who makes herself vulnerable and available for intimacy invites others to do the same.  In her presence, you can breathe again, you are free to be you.  She unveils her beauty and invites you to life.  ~Staci Eldredge



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

MOTHERHOOD ISN'T ABOUT PERFECTION


You mamas who feel like everyone is doing it better, has it all together, maybe even all figured out. It's not at all true. Motherhood isn't about being perfect, but rather it is a journey of learning, becoming and perfecting. And while we are in the living and often overwhelming process of raising children, God is in the ever grace-giving process of raising parents.



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