The Giver // The Gift

The Giver // Coffee Time with Mom, Mothers are Gifts“Mom!”


“Hey, Ann…”

I always answer, “Yes.”

And I’m noticing all of my fellow mamas doing the same. All. The. Time.

As mothers, I don’t know if we were born this way or if something just clicked inside of us the moment we joined our lives with another person. When I think back, I don’t remember ever having an issue with sharing, always enjoyed making people happy and realized if I could make someone’s day a little brighter, my day was then just a bit more full. I try to compare these early “people pleasing” moments with my current motherhood state. Believe me, I tried. For me, the comparison game just doesn’t fit here.

Motherhood can be 100% categorized into its personal universe of giving.

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Conversations with Mads // 02

Mads: <looking at my arms> Mommy, you are not white.

Me: What?

Mads: You are not white.

Me: Well, what am I?

Mads: <pointing to the freckles on my arm> You sparkle.

So, that basically made my heart explode and tossed away any insecurity I could ever possibly have about being covered head to toe … with sparkles. :) The world through a child’s eyes is the best.


Salt Dough Ornaments + Traditions

Happy Holidays! We are in the homestretch, and naturally, the time continues to fly. No chance in tying that down. I probably could use another month to accomplish everything I want to get done {along with the rest of the world}, but the reality is that most of it won’t happen. Getting to that realization and saying “it’s okay!” is a tough one. BUT the flip side? The moments we have spent celebrating and those events and activities we have waiting for us are still filled with endless amounts of magical, glittery, holiday goodness. New adventures woven into those treasured traditions.

Speaking of traditions …

The lovely Suzy spoke about traditions last week. A wonderful post, and if you haven’t hopped on to her site, you should. She made a great point about traditions … you may not realize something is a tradition until it is. It’s something that you just happened to do each year because you loved it. Before you even know you’re doing it, your new tradition is born. After thinking about this a bit more, I realized our tradition of salt dough ornaments – something we started on the first Christmas after we had Madeline – was born.
Salt Dough Ornaments

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Stop Should-ing On Yourself

The holidays are in full swing around our home. {And my handsome fella is decking the halls as we speak!} With that comes tree trimming, present wrapping, cookie baking and holiday movie watching …

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot, it also comes with last minute shopping, quick meal preparing, too much sugar consuming and invincible-thinking.

In short, we’re trying to do it all while experiencing it all. Tough stuff.

A quick example: while I’m looking up a royal icing recipe, I’m picking out a gift for the fresh, new baby of the family and answering a work email.

What is wrong with this picture?

A quick answer: Everything. This is nuts. NUTS.

I had a conversation with a co-worker last week about time management and how to juggle it all. Her words of wisdom? Prioritize what is important … and here’s a hint: the most important thing is family. I was jolted back to reality. Of course I know {and knew} family is most important, but is that reflected in every day actions? What are we doing to prevent this simple thought of putting family first as a secondary occurrence?  I can tell you exactly what we are doing …

We are should-ing all over ourselves. And it needs to stop. Or at least cool it for a bit …

| My family is enjoying a meal I just prepared, but while this is happening I should fold the  laundry that’s been sitting in the dryer for who knows how long.

| I’m relaxing with my husband and watching a movie but I should check email just one more time before bed.

| I scheduled a shopping day with my brother but I should plan next week’s meal plan and start laundry … because it always comes back to laundry.

| My daughter has a holiday tea party that requires my attendance, but I should drop her off and get a few errands crossed off my list.

| The gal pals decide a last minute get-together is necessary tonight, but I should make sure I’ve controlled every other aspect at home before going out because what will my husband and daughter do without me??? {Hint: sarcasm, folks …}

S T O P . Stop! Just stop.

Living in the Moment

Oh, Henry, you wise fella. Although this is so true in every day life, I think around the holidays it’s even more important to realize that this moment, the one you are in right now, is what matters.

I know vowing to ignore all devices and putting off laundry until January is next to impossible, but being present with those you love, even if it means leaving the phone on silent during a lunch date or putting the out-of-office message ON to enjoy the season will do wonders – not only for your dear ones but also for your sanity. For real. Also, leaving clothes in the dryer? Not that big of a deal.

I’m choosing to push off the shoulds and be completely present with my family and friends.

My prediction? Freeing myself from the unnecessary burden and welcoming lots of baking, cuddles, laughs, movies, hot chocolate, holiday car rides, catching-up, shopping, crafting and fun.

I’m done should-ing myself, at least for now. Are you with me??

Linking up with Jessica.


Conversations with Mads


Kids say the darndest things … or the creepiest …

It’s 6 a.m. I make my way to Mads’ room. I flip on the hallway light and open her door.

Me: “Good Morning, Miss Madeline!”

Mads: <sleeping>

Me: <rubbing her back> “Mads, it’s time to wake up.”

Mads: turns over and whispers, “Madeline isn’t here. I’m Bobby.” Starts to giggle.

Ummm … okay …

Needless to say, I played along for a moment, laughed it off and said something to the effect that Madeline needed to get ready for school … as some creepy W.T.F. chills rolled up my spine. Eesh!

 So, what creepy things have your little ones said lately?  :)

Linking up with Jessica.