These relationships really do matter

This week I had some interesting realizations about being a mother; they happened to not only be useful, but extremely timely. Lately with starting school and Sam beginning to work full-time, it seems the days drag on and I feel like a puppy waiting at the door for Sam.

I started to feel like life was going to be an accumulation of day-in, day-out laundry, messes, odoriferous dishes, and playing the same games over and over with my son, Parker, that were less than mentally stimulating. Honestly, life seemed boring and lacking purpose.

Then I started reading an article for my parenting class by Dr. Bruce K. Satterfield called “The Family Under Siege: The Role of Man and Woman” about the purpose of family. Thankfully, my thoughts changed.

These relationships matter2These relationships really do matter.

As a mom, I am not just taking care of my boy and making sure he is entertained all day—I am becoming someone; someone more loving, less selfish, and more compassionate. My family and I are on a journey together and we are preparing to live together for eternities. We are practicing virtues, while simultaneously trying to purge ourselves of qualities and characteristics we don’t love about ourselves. Suddenly, parenting, even my marriage, doesn’t lack purpose–it is full of purpose.

Internalizing this idea has really changed the last few days for me. I feel like I’m taking more joy in playing with Parker. No, I’m not just playing with him so he won’t cry; I’m playing with him because I want to. I want to make memories with him. We are building a bond. 

No, I’m not just doing my umpteenth load of laundry this week; I’m practicing to keep a clean environment that invites God and brings us peace at home. No, I’m not just picking up after my husband and grumbling about it; I’m showing I care and realizing we are a team—he’s had a hard week, too, so I don’t need to tally up the offenses he’s “committed” against me.

These relationships really do matter.

They matter not just because we’re connected on paper through birth certificates and tax records, but because we’re helping each other become better and grow. When I think about my little family, these relationships, extending further than this life, I care more and I love more.

How have you learned to find meaning in your family relationships? Do you believe in family relationships continuing after this life? I would love to hear your thoughts and beliefs!

I would love to connect with you on a more personal level! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook where I share more of my daily life. 

Put on your laughing hats

*Warning: my true, silly self comes out below. 

When I was little my older sister used to describe her mood in relation to pants. Yes, you read that right. When she was having a no-good day and wanted to warn the world she would say “I have my cranky pants on today.”

Lately, our family has been wearing our “silly, laughing hats” a lot.

Our little boy, Parker, has become quite obsessed with hats. Anything that looks like it could remotely stay on your head for a split second is dubbed a hat, tried on, and then offered to me or Sam to try on.

His favorite of all the prospective hats are buckets.


Doesn’t he have a great taste for hats??!

This last Monday evening, which we usually devote solely to family time, the hats came out in all their glory. It started simple; my husband and I just trying to cooperate with what our boy loves and going along for the hat ride. But then our silly side broke loose and there was no turning back. Soon we were sporting wacky faces, speaking in crazy voices, and trying on more “hats.” We had to take pictures, of course.

Put on your laughing hatFor me, sometimes parenting seems to morph into a small, at-home business. I will go about the day attending to meals, changing diapers, scheduling play dates, folding the laundry, disciplining, and then follow the bedtime routine.  According to the check list, I’ve accomplished all that needs to be done, but in reality, I’ve taken the joy and untamed silliness out of parenting–I’ve made my home a working machine.

“There is little success where there is little laughter.” -Andrew Carnegie

But lately I’ve been enjoying the sheer laughter that bubbles out of our little home. The times when my husband and I throw off our adult facade and surprise my son with how silly we really are. Not only is it enjoyable for us as a family, but it is one of the most relaxing things for me. I can revert back to my inner child that is still alive and kickin’ and just have fun. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of motherhood, simply being allowed to relive some of the most magical and carefree years of my life.

“There is a certain happiness in being silly and ridiculous.”

How do you throw off your serious pants and just have fun with your spouse and kids? I would love to hear about it!

Feature: J House VLOGS

This is an exciting day for me! I am featuring some of my favorite people and their addicting VLOG. What is a vlog? It is a blog, except the medium is video. My dear, sweet, hilarious sister, Kendra, and her cute family have a Family Vlog. They upload their videos onto Youtube everyday, and let me tell you– it is absolutely hilarious, touching, sweet, real, and puts into a short video what real life with kids is all about.

Why have a family vlog? In their words:

“We are posting family vlogs on YouTube. With 4 little kiddos and time flying so fast, we want to capture some of these amazing moments in life.”

J House Vlogs

Click on the picture to find their Youtube Channel J House Vlogs, see their latest videos, and meet their adorable family!

A little bit about J House Vlogs. Kendra is a Stay at home mom, who in another life worked as a Labor and Delivery Nurse. She is just downright hilarious, so sensitive, and has a major love for cookies. Her husband, Jeremy, is a talented lawyer, sports enthusiast, and one of the most genuine people I have met. Their kids are extremely passionate, sweet, energetic, and determined. They are currently in their first year of homeschooling their kids.

If you want a little sneak peak into their lives, check out this video!

Sometimes my kid eats dirt

The other day I actually made dinner. I made some bread to go with it. I was feeling pretty good about myself! I was even more excited, because its one of P’s favorite foods.

Well, it didn’t turn out like I expected. He wouldn’t eat much, was whiny, and instead ran out in the garden, sat down with his spoon and started happily eating mouth fulls of dirt.

Here he is, with his dinner spoon, feasting on dirt.

Here he is, with his dinner spoon, feasting on dirt.

At this point, I was intrigued and slightly irritated. I had prepared a yummy, delicious, nutritious dinner and he chose dirt?? I began to realize this little moment was just a taste of what would happen in years to come.

Even at his young age, P has his own desires, interests, and ideas. His idea of a good meal was dirt; my home cooked meal was not. I imagine in the future that there will be more differences of opinion. I’ll disagree with a choice he makes. I’ll think he is absolutely, completely crazy! Not that his choice is bad, but more based on preference I don’t understand. So really, I’m glad I had this experience, because I need these experiences to get used to the fact that I cannot control him.

P is not my son so I can mold him into a mini me. He is my son so that I can present options, nurture his talents, and mostly love him. Love him, even if sometimes he chooses to eat dirt.

How have you learned to love your kids with their unique quirks, personality, and ideas?

Traveling with a Toddler

Traveling with toddlers is just plain hard. It makes sense, they want to be doing this:


P excitedly running around the airport

Instead, they are stuck in compact area for multiple hours. NOT ideal.

This last week my side of the family got together for a family reunion. We call them “Blasts”, because then when we return and people ask what we did over the weekend, we can say “I had a Blast with my family!” Catchy, right?

As a result of our family Blast, we got the awesome opportunity of traveling with Mr. P. I feel I learned a lot this time traveling, because P was in a whole new stage. Toddlerhood. Another reason why I learned a lot? We were supposed to travel home in 3 hours, but we got home in just under 11 HOURS. Let’s be honest, we missed our flight. The unexpectedness taught me quite a lot. Some things that were counter intuitive. Here are some things I learned from our unexpectedly long adventure traveling.

It’s a field trip!!!! When we got to the airport to go home, we realized we had JUST missed our flight, due to a mix up with our online calendar changing timezones on us. I realized that instead of getting home in 3 hours, we were not even going to board a flight in 3 hours, let alone be home in 9. I was going to be miserable if I had a “I’m stuck here, this is horrible” attitude. So, I decided we were going to have a field trip at the airport today. P loves planes, cars, and new experiences, so I just decided we were going to soak up all the airport had to offer. I actually made a huge difference! This can apply to lots of other traveling experiences. They can be absolutely awful simply because the travel feels like a means to the end, not actually part of the exciting trip. But, in reality, airports are pretty cool. Full of hussle and bussle, interesting gadgets, and different sounds. I wanted to take advantage of being in the terminals. I usually can’t get back there without paying a couple hundred, and that is way more than the zoo.

Layovers are lovely. Typically, I avoid layovers. But this trip, we had layovers or touched down in a different airport when we were traveling both ways. Surprisingly, it was a blessing! With a long flight, P gets SO restless. The short layovers were a great way to stretch those little legs, have some diversion, and then reset for the next leg of the flight.

P and I passed out on a flight. SO tired.

P and I passed out on a flight. SO tired.

Confidence pays off. Due to missing our flight, we were on standby for 2 planes. By the time we got on the last plane, practically every single seat was taken. I was seated in between two old people. But, then the sweet lady next to me offered to switch me seats so I could be on the aisle. I was about to turn down the offer, but then decided I might as well switch. All of a sudden it was a chain reaction. other people offered to switch and before I knew it, Sam and I were sitting together again! I realized, that most people don’t love sitting next to babies they don’t know. And most people aren’t extremely attached to their seat. It seems to be in everyone’s best interest to let babies be with their family.

Treat yourself. Sam and I are relatively frugal people. So spending money at the airport is not our specialty, it costs so much! But, since we were going to be traveling all day unexpectedly, we decided that we should try to have fun in other ways. Sam got a sandwich he loved and I did as well. I totally am all for being frugal, but sometimes, its a balance. And being happy and not hungry, was my first priority.

Help a momma out! What are some of your tips for traveling well with your littles? I would love to hear what has worked for you!