How to Entertain a Toddler on an Airplane

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Don’t Do It

Alright y’all, I am about to give you some very good advice. If you have more than one child, especially more than one young child, you really need to listen to what I am about to say. I can’t really relate if you only have one child because I don’t remember what that’s like. Did we ever only have one child?? Oh yeah, for about 7 months until I found I was pregnant with baby boy #2. 

Needless to say, I don’t remember much about that concept, but I’m sure if you only have one child you may be able to relate to what I’m about to tell you as well.

Ready? Ok, here goes. If you have a trip planned, and it is in drivable distance, DRIVE. For the love of all that is holy, do not fly with those people (i.e. your kids) if you don’t have to. And when I say drivable distance, I mean anything up to around 10 hours or so. For real. I drive ten hours with my one and two year old’s on a regular basis, by myself, and it is quite doable. Flying with them, with my husband there to help = JESUS. AND. WINE. It is not doable.

Ok, it’s doable, but it will seriously make you rethink this parenthood thing, only, it’s way too late to rethink this parenthood thing, so just don’t do it. 

Y’all, if you drive, they are RESTRAINED!! Need I say more? And if you tell me there are seat belts on planes or that you can put your child’s car seat on the airplane, you’ve never had two toddler boys where one has his own seat and one is “in arms.”

Exceptions

Exceptions to this rule: You have one child, or you have girls. I have quickly learned yes, there is a huge difference in boys and girls, and unless you have both or have been around both on a consistent basis, you probably think I have no idea what I’m talking about.

I keep telling myself that boys are hard while they’re younger and will grow up to be easy, but girls are easy while they’re younger and then their parents will have to deal with all their nonsense when they’re older; therefore, I’m just getting the nonsense over sooner rather than later. Sorry parent’s of girls, I forewarned ya. If you have both and know this actually isn’t true, please don’t rain on my parade and tell me I’m wrong. Thanks in advance.

Seriously?

My husband seriously asked me if I wanted to meet him in Orlando at the end of his conference so we could take the boys to Disney World. Yeah, that sounds great and all, except for the fact that I’d be flying with them both by myself. No thank you. Have you ever tried to change a toddlers diaper on an airplane? Much less two toddler’s diapers because let’s face it, I’m not letting the “potty-trained” toddler wear underwear on the airplane. And y’all, that’s just the diaper changing issue. Don’t get me started on all the other issues. I’m pretty sure I looked at Chad like he had about six heads. He got the memo pretty quickly. Next time, Disney World. Next time being when they are capable of going to the bathroom by themselves on the airplane, and, or when we live somewhere that is in the before mentioned drivable distance to Disney World.

Believe it or not, the whole point of this article is how to keep toddlers entertained on an airplane, if I haven’t scared you from trying it yet. Both of our boys have actually flown several times, so you’d think we would have it down by now, but not quite so much; however, I have had a few friends recently ask me how they should keep their kids entertained on their upcoming flights, so I started thinking I should just write down my suggestions and share. 

Can I add that one of those friends kids did well and one of those friends kids slept on the first flight? Maybe it’s time I just start coming to terms with the fact that maybe it’s just my kids? 

Airplane Activities

Now, I must say, I personally think these are all great ideas, and if we had one child, or only girls, or toddlers that weren’t uh hmm… spirited, they may work better. I must say though, I really think for our upcoming flight next week (please start praying for us now), I am going to rock this whole flying with toddlers thing. Side note: the only reason we are flying is because it is a 15+ hour drive to see my husband’s family in Kentucky, so that’s when I give in and we fly. 

Here’s what I have in the Mary Poppins’ Airplane bag for our flight:

  1. Finger Crayons – Ok, I mean these are just way cooler than regular crayons, and they’ve never used them before, so they’ll be amazed by them. Don’t forget a coloring book or paper – mental note to self, I haven’t packed that yet! We always take crayons with us wherever we go, and we always get at least a few minutes of entertainment out of them.
  2. Grab and Go Book to Color – I know I just said crayons, but if you can’t find finger crayons, get one of these grab and go color books. They’re already in a bag that zips, which is perfect for a plane ride!
  3. The 3 Little Pigs Felt Book – So this was actually a steal I found at Target, and I can’t seem to find the same one online, but you can google “felt story books” and there are many things that come up. Plus, if you’re super creative and a mom of the year, you can make your own. In this house, ain’t nobody got time for that!

  4. Felt Counting Pizza – This was another Target steal that I can’t find online, but this one would be super easy to make, and even though I said, “ain’t nobody got time for that,” I could/would make this one pretty quickly. Motor skills, math, interactive – check, check, check! Toddlers love to learn new things, so learning activities are great for little ones. If you have an elementary kid, maybe not so much. Just give them your iPad.
  5. Play N’ Learn Puzzle Pairs – So I know you’re thinking a puzzle on a plane, no way, but hear me out. These are puzzle pairs, meaning there are only two pieces to each puzzle, so you can give your child 2-3 puzzle pairs at a time, let them match, then give them 2-3 more pairs. We have these and these.
  6. Glow Sticks – New pack of glow sticks? Yes, please. They can enjoy popping them to make all of the colors show up, they can connect them and make bracelets, they can wave them in the air like they just don’t care. Bottom line, kids love glow sticks. This will knock a few more minutes off of our in air time countdown.
  7. Gel clings – Ok, this one is a must. Get a window seat and give the child these! If you have a Target, you can usually always find some in Bullseye’s Playground. This will knock more than a few minutes off the clock, unless your toddler puts everything in his mouth like our 19 month old, then they may eat them all, but really, this one has been a lifesaver for us. Get over your germ issues, they will drop them on the floor, and they will be nasty, but let’s remember the end goal here: minutes. off. the clock.
  8. Painter’s Tape – I’ve written a few times about painter’s tape and how my kids love it, but really, they love it. Give them pieces of painter’s tape and let them stick it to everything around them. It comes off easily with no residue. Cheap entertainment.
  9. Don’t forget your go-to’s that you know your kids love – Download some apps on your phone, download their favorite movie on your iPad, buy a sticker book, and let them put stickers all over you. They think it’s hilarious.
  10. SNACKS – When all else fails, bring out the ridiculous bag of snacks you always carry with you as a mom because snacks are always a win!

Bonus Tips

I also must say that I think part of what will make this successful is that the boy’s have not seen the majority of these activities yet, and they won’t until we get on the flight. New things are always more exciting than things they’ve seen before!

Also, I bought this handy, dandy, organizer that has these great pockets to put everything into! All I have to do is put the folder down into our carry on, and we are set to go! Think about all of the stuff you’d take for entertainment, and one folder organizer really doesn’t take up much more room.

For more great ideas, go check out my mom blogger friend at Beautifully Imperfect Mama, and see how she entertained her little one on their last flight when reality set in!

Wish us Luck

So wish us look, say a prayer or two, and I’ll let you know how our next plane adventure goes 🙂 How do you keep your toddlers entertained on an airplane?

Disclaimer: I don’t really think I have it harder than girl parent’s or parent’s of only one child. Parenthood is hard regardless of the gender of how many there are! I’m simply bringing humor to the reality of life with wild, toddler boys. 

The Greatest List of Summer

The Greatest list of Summer Must Reads

Hey y’all! I have teamed up with some awesome bloggers to bring you some summer blogs you must read! This is a list of great summer recipes, activities, travel advice and more to help make your summer months easier and more enjoyable. Scroll through the list and be sure to click the links below to see their amazing summer blogs!

Recipes

 

Easy Peasy Pinwheels | A Boy and His Mom

Link: http://aboyandhismom.com/recipe/pinwheels/

With summer parties and BBQs in full swing, here’s an easy recipe that the other guests will not only enjoy but ask you to bring again.


Quick and Easy Freezer Pops | Happily Ever Hauser

Link: http://www.happilyeverhauser.com/2017/06/10/freezer-pop-party-favors/

Summer is here!! This means celebrations, birthday parties, BBQs and more! Here’s a quick and easy party favor idea to add to your next summer gathering!


Summer Italian Treat: Affogato | Viva la Dolce

Link: http://www.vivaladolce.com/2017/06/summer-italian-treat-affogato.html?m=1

The summer is here and that means sunshine and lots of gelato (ice cream)! Check out this delicious recipe for an Italian twist on the classic summer treat!


Summer Crab Salad Recipe | Ordinary Stephanie

Link: http://ordinarystephanie.com/summer-crab-salad-recipe/

Summer is here and the temperatures are already rising!! If you are looking for a yummy and fresh salad recipe check out this one out! After all, who wants to turn on the oven or stove on these hot summer days? Enjoy!

Summer Activities

Disneyland Time-Saving Tips from a Local Mom | Mom and Carrot

Link: https://momandcarrot.com/disneyland-time-saving-secrets-from-a-local-mom/

Are you heading to the Disneyland resort this summer? Here are great tips from a local mom for seeing the resort when you are short on time, including how to beat food lines and how to go through security check-points quicker. This post will help you see more and do more on your next trip!


Minimalistic Beach Days | Live Love Learn Gracefully

Link: http://livelovelearngracefully.com/minimalistic-beach-days/

Whether you live at the beach or visit one throughout the summer, beach days are a blast on hot summer days! If you add kids to the mix, you’ll more than likely be taking everything but the kitchen sink with you! Here are some tips and my top 5 favorite things to take to the beach!

Disney Summer Play Days | New Adventures in Mommyhood

Link https://newadventuresinmommyhood.wordpress.com/

The summer is a great time to take on new adventures and try some new activities; specially as the kiddos start to get restless.

Did you know that the Disney Store offers a free annual summer long weekly event?


5 Things to Research Before You Head Out This Summer | A Life with a Little

Link: http://www.alifewithalittle.com/2017/06/19/5_things_research_summer_activities/

This summer means fun in the sun, barbecues and hot dogs, cool drinks, exploring with the kids, and enjoying some much needed relaxation. But before you get out in the sun, check out this list of 5 things you should research BEFORE you head out on your summer plans! Here are 5 things you might not think to research about the places you’ll go, so give it a look and see what you need to think about before the kids drag you out of the house!

Fun Activities At Home

#PayFunForward Summer Fun – Surprise Packs | Travels With Tots

Link: https://travelswithtotsblog.com/2017/06/12/payfunforward-summer-fun-surprise-packs/

Summer is finally here and it’s a great time to spread some cheer around your neighborhood! Here’s how we did it and how you can, too!


Summer Activities for Kids at Home | Jesus and Wine

Link: http://jesusandwine.com/summer-activities-to-do-at-home/

Summer is officially here, and we’re celebrating by listing 10 different summer activities you can do with your kids at home this summer! The best part? They’re inexpensive, involve little prep work, and they’re great for kids of any age! Keep your kids entertained and enjoying summer with these fun activities!


Top 5 Best Water & Sensory Tables of 2017 | Little Bit of Learning

Link: http://www.littlebitoflearning.com/top-5-best-water-sensory-tables-2017/

It’s hard to stay cool during the summer and keep your kids actively engaged in play. That’s why I love these water tables! Your porch will be the hit this summer with these engaging water tables plus some ideas for great sensory add-ons!

 

I hope you and your family enjoy these great summer ideas! What are you doing fun this summer?

During Times of Tragedy, Why Not Hate Less, and Love More?

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My Heart Breaks

A controversial subject I know, and I usually stray away from controversy, but it is something that is weighing heavy on my heart, as I see this same situation play on repeat. During tragic events, why can we not hate less, and love more?

You see, there have been two tragic accidents, yes, accidents, that I have seen in the news this week. Though I am sure there are hundreds more that have happened around the country as well, these are the two that had my heart breaking:

The first tragic accident happened in Jackson, Mississippi. A sleeping, six year old boy was left by his mom in a running car sometime after midnight. She ran into the store, and when she came out, her car was gone. Three young males had stolen her car with the child in the backseat. When they found the car, the young boy had been shot and killed. This breaks my heart.

The second tragic accident happened in Houston, Texas. A two year old child drowned in her home pool when she wandered off. There are some reports that say the parents were asleep at the time, and there are some reports that say they were talking with friends when it happened; however, it has been reported that there was no foul play. It doesn’t matter to me the circumstances, as the results are the same. A poor child lost her life, and again, my heart is broken.

My heart breaks for the victim’s families, the lives lost, the suspect’s and their families, and for our country.

Hatred

You see, I didn’t even have to read the comments below the articles to know what they said, but I did, just so I could be factual in my writing. Here are just a few:

“…complacency is how things like this happen…”
“…It seems like this ‘tragic accident’ was preventable.”
“…died as a result of stupidity!”
“…it was her fault. Bottom line.”

Y’all, I had to stop reading. Those are just a few of the hundreds of comments on these articles. Given, not all of the comments were negative and placed blame. There were several kind hearted people offering their condolences and prayers, but it made me sad that the hateful comments were there to begin with, as you know these were the comments that were focused on the most.

It Could Happen to Me… and You

Maybe there were bad choices or mistakes involved in these accidents, but we all make mistakes, and I am sure these parents are putting enough shame, guilt and blame on themselves without us doing it for them. Can you imagine what that’s like? To know that if you would have done one minor thing differently, your child could still be here. Those parents will replay those tragic days in their heads over and over again for years to come. I know I can’t imagine what that’s like, and I pray I never have to know, but the thing is, I am human, I make mistakes, and it could indeed happen to me. What everyone needs to remember, is it could happen to anyone. We have to stop responding with, “I would never ______.” How would you like people to respond should it ever happen to you? Grace, compassion, love, and respect are only a few of the emotions that come to my mind.

You may be saying, “Well, I would never leave my child in a car,” or “I have a fence around my pool.” That’s great, really. I commend you for those precautions you are taking to keep your child safe. But what about the thousands of other choices you could make that could ultimately cost your child their life? What a difficult question to think about. Sure, most parents would never do anything intentionally to harm their child, but that’s why we call so many tragedies, accidents. The intent was not for someone to be harmed, or in these cases, killed.

Just the other day, I was unloading the car. I had brought both boys inside, and the back door that opens up to the garage was open as I was carrying things in. Well, don’t you know one child locked the door, and the other child shut the door. Want to know where I was when this happened? I was outside with one child, and the other child was inside and couldn’t unlock the door. Sure, he was only in there for 5-10 minutes, but do you know all of the horrible accidents that could have happened to him during those 5-10 minutes?

Regardless of the baby proofing in our home, the boys still manage to get in every single cabinet and every single door. What would people be saying about me should something horrible have happened? Do you think I intentionally locked myself out of the house with my 17 month old inside? It was an accident, much like these, that thankfully left no one hurt.

We Don’t Know the Facts

I understand that there is anger, frustration, and sadness, as their should be, but why should one choose to be hateful in their words and actions to the parents that have just lost their world? How will that help them? What will that change? It will only make them feel worse. Is that the goal of the hateful comment? If so, that is very disheartening. If not, why make the comment to begin with?

The fact is, 99% of us do not know all of the facts of either of these stories, and we probably never will.  That is ok.  And it is also ok to be upset and angry.

Be angry with the suspect’s that ended a child’s life, sure, but even then, should we spew anger towards them or their families? I don’t think so. And I’m sure by now, many of you are red in the face with disagreement and anger towards me. You know what? That’s ok. God created us to have these emotions and feelings; however, there’s a right and wrong way to show those feelings, there’s a right and wrong way to disagree with someone, and there’s a right and wrong way to react to stories as these. The right way is not to show hate. The right way is not to place blame. The right way involves grace, compassion, love, and respect.

The Church

Immediately after reading the comments on these articles, the following verse came to my mind:

“When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you which is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'” – John 8:7

Another thing that really saddens me about this is the public claims these people make about their personal lives. I’m not going to lie, I did a little bit of social media stalking on the people that were making these comments just so I could see exactly what I thought I would see. These are people openly saying they are Christians. These are people with First Communion pictures posted. These are people saying they’re “born to love.” Ironic isn’t it? No wonder Christianity gets a bad rap. Had I not already had knowledge of the Church and a relationship with God, I wouldn’t want to be a part of a Church either whose first instinct is to run and place blame instead of to run and show love and empathy.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am a sinner. I have judged others. I have shown hate. I am horrible at forgiving people, as I tend to hold a grudge. I know I have not always shown a great example of Christianity. I want you to know I don’t think less of these people for the comments they made. I don’t know these people, and I wish them no ill will. I will chalk it up to they made a mistake in their words. They let their anger and sadness get the best of them. I am simply saying that the way our world has decided to handle such tragedies breaks my heart.

Hate Less, and Love More

We would be in a much better place if we stopped saying, “that would never happen to me,” and start saying, “I’m so sorry for your loss. You must be devastated. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.”

You know what the best part of that statement is? You can say it to everyone involved. Clearly you can say it to the heartbroken families that lost their child. You can say it to the suspect’s families, as they are no doubt heartbroken over these events as well. And you can absolutely say it to the suspect’s themselves, as they have undoubtedly lost a lot, such as their freedom for starters. If they aren’t clinically diagnosed with a mental health issue, they are probably devastated in some form, and they probably need your prayers more than anyone. Sure it wouldn’t be easy, but then you can pray for yourself that you may find the strength to forgive and the heart to show compassion. I know I have had to pray that same prayer myself and will have to continue to pray it in the future.

Let us be the change we want to see. Let us hate less and love more. And most importantly, let us show our children how to treat others with grace, compassion, love, and respect. 

As Ellen Degeneres says at the end of every show, “Be kind to one another.”

Rocking Motherhood

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Some Days

Some days, I feel like the day is never going to end. Some days, I am counting down not only until bed time, but also nap time. Some days I feel like I am nothing but a WWE audience member (sometimes in the ring), mediator, and a robot programmed to feed, change, clean up and repeat.

But then there are the days that everything goes right. The days where no one goes to timeout, there are no tantrums, and everyone is happy for the most part. Those days are few and far between, but by the grace of God, they do happen every now and then.

Rocking Motherhood Challenge

On Mother’s Day, I was approached by an amazing mom blogger, Beautifully Imperfect Mama, to be a part of the Rocking Motherhood Challenge. I’m not going to lie, I may have possibly accepted the challenge before I fully knew what it entailed.

You see, the whole basis of my blog is to be real and authentic. I strive to show the reality of parenthood through our everyday life. It’s not pretty. It’s not sunshine and rainbows. We definitely don’t have it all together. We don’t even have half of it together. It’s hard. It’s really, really hard. I yell too much, I lose my patience, I hide in the laundry room (just til I count to about 30 and regain my cool), and I usually have no idea what I am doing.

So when I realized that with this Rocking Motherhood Challenge I would have to write down ways I am in fact rocking motherhood, I panicked a little bit. It was too late to back out, and that meant I would have to brainstorm. I mean reallllly brainstorm. It is far easier to think of ways I am failing motherhood than rocking it. Added note: I hate compliments. I don’t take them well, so to give myself a pat on the back makes this even more challenging.

Reasons I’m Rocking Motherhood

So after my brainstorm session, these are the reasons I came up with as to why I am Rocking Motherhood:

  1. I am teaching my kids manners, and they are indeed polite. We strive very hard around here to teach and demonstrate how to use our manners. We have taught please, thank you, you’re welcome, excuse me, I’m sorry, it’s ok, and a few more. We are from the Deep South, so we also teach our kids to say ma’am and sir. The reason I know I’m rocking is because one, we were in the grocery store the other day and ran into someone turning the corner. The first thing our two year old said to the person was, “I’m sorry.” It was completely unprompted. Also, we were in Hobby Lobby yesterday, and as we passed each person, he would say, “excuse me.” Mom wins right there y’all.
  2. I am educating them, and they are learning. When we moved to Houston and decided that I would start staying at home with the boys and no longer teach, I felt like I lost my identity a little bit. It was not an easy choice, as I love to teach, but it was best for our family. Over time, I have realized that I am still teaching, but now, I am teaching my own children. What a special opportunity I have been given. The most rewarding part is when you see what you’re teaching them actually sinks in. When James busted out with “diamond” the other day as we were practicing our shapes, or when Weston all of a sudden makes a new animal sound, I realize I am succeeding.
  3. They’re loved fiercely, and they know it. Through our good days and our bad days, I try to tell each child multiple times throughout the day that they are loved. I also will ask them, “How much does momma love you,” and they will respond with arms opened wide saying, “thiiiiiissss much!” That turns all bad days around. More importantly, we teach them of God’s love for them and the relationship He desires to have with them.

My Challenge

So even though this was absolutely the true definition of a  challenge for me, I am grateful to Beautifully Imperfect Mama for nominating me. It allowed me to think of the ways I am actually Rocking Motherhood, and I know if you sit down and think about it, you are too! Let me know how you are rocking motherhood.

To continue this uplifting challenge, I am nominating some fellow mom bloggers out there to tell us how they are Rocking Motherhood:

Bohemi Mama
Brooklyn Boy Mom
New Adventures in Mommyhood
My Own Unexpected Journey

Click on their names to visit their awesome blogs and follow their motherhood journeys.

If you want to learn more about the Rocking Motherhood challenge or would like to take it yourself,  visit White Camellias for more information.

Mom Guilt + Social Media

Mom Guilt

Two words: Mom. Guilt. It is for real y’all. I do think I have an overly active Catholic guilt/conscience, but I also think mom guilt is something the majority of moms feel on a regular basis.

Thoughts Throughout the Day

I have so many internal thoughts and questions going through my head every day. The majority of them pertain to my children. With that, most of them are criticisms about myself as a mother.

It goes something like this: Did I read to my kids enough today? I don’t think I’ve brushed my kid’s teeth in the past 24 hours. When was the last time I washed their sheets? My child ate half a piece of string cheese for breakfast. Am I teaching my kids enough? I’m pretty sure I gave my kids too much screen time today – like all day screen time. My kids don’t like to play independently, have I made them too needy? My kid is asking for friends to play with. Am I getting them involved enough? I lost my patience and yelled too much today, again. My child just slept for two hours, and I wasn’t one bit productive. My house is still a mess.

Life is Hard

If you’re like me, you hold it in, you don’t want people to know your weaknesses, and you just try to make it through another day doing your best. Until you have a crazy, fleeting moment like me and think it’s a good idea to post for everyone to see. I’ll regret that. But you know you’ll have another day where your kids only eat junk, watch the tv too much, and you spend too much time on social media in their presence.

It’s life. Life is hard. Parenthood is hard. So, why do we make it even harder? The guilt makes it harder. The kind of guilt I’m talking about is internal guilt. No one is telling me I’m a bad mother. No one is telling me I’m doing it wrong. I am my toughest critic.

We have to stop making ourselves feel guilty and know that if we are doing our best, if our children’s needs are met, if they are happy and healthy, we are doing a good job. We all have bad days here and there where we could be better, but we have to focus on what we are doing right.

Social Media Comparison

I think it would be interesting to do a study on mom guilt throughout different generations. I wonder how our mothers and their mothers felt mom guilt? No doubt, I’m sure they had it from time to time, but I can’t help but wondering if the technology driven world we live in today aids in the guilt we feel as mom’s. If I were a betting woman, which sometimes I do like a little blackjack and horse race betting, I’d say it absolutely does.

How many times have you seen something on social media that another mother is doing that makes you feel like you just don’t stack up? I know I have. I’ve seen videos of kids walking at 9-10 months when my now 15 month old is just starting to walk. I’ve seen videos of kids talking in complete sentences well before two when my child didn’t start talking in complete sentences until a few months after he turned two. I have seen snapchats of all the amazing outings people are taking their kids on when my kids have been stuck at our house for three days in a row. I’ve seen amazing bento box lunches when my kids are eating processed food.

And I know, as our children get older, we will continue to feel mom guilt in new ways. I’ve seen pictures of report cards with straight A’s. What if my children struggle in school and a B or C is my child’s personal best? I’ve seen pictures posted of kids sweeping up awards at their awards programs. What if my child is one of the only ones in their class that didn’t get an award? What kind of guilt am I going to feel when I see the other children being more successful, or more well-rounded than mine? Is it my fault? What could I have done differently?

We Aren’t Great at Everything

Let me stop and say, I am not faulting anyone that has posted these things. I brag on my children as well. I love seeing pictures and hearing stories of everyone’s kids. I love seeing momma’s and daddy’s brag on their children. We are our children’s advocates and should be their biggest fans. That’s our job as parents.

Not everyone is good at everything, and that includes us parents. Except those people that are, and you want to just tell them to spread the wealth a little bit. Everyone can’t and shouldn’t get a trophy for everything.

Not only is it our job to be their biggest advocates and fans, but It is also our job as parents to raise strong, confident, hard working children that know their strengths and their weaknesses. Kids that know things won’t just be handed to them in life. Kids that know they have to work for what they want. They will learn that from us. Let us be confident in what we are doing. Let us work hard and do our best even if it looks like someone else is doing better than us. Let us know that we may be weak in one area compared to someone else, but we may outshine them in another area where they fail.

What is Portrayed is not Always the Whole Truth

I also think it’s vital to remember social media gives us the opportunity to only post the best. To only post our proudest moments. To only post the great and wonderful aspects of our lives. It gives us the opportunity to present our lives in the way that we want other people to view us.

We only see what is presented to us, what is portrayed to us how people want us to see it. We literally only see a snapshot of someone’s life. We don’t see the miscarriages and fertility struggles behind the couples’ trips to paradise. We don’t see the marital problems behind the family portraits. We don’t see the battles of eating disorders or addictions behind the fun night’s out. We don’t see the tears behind the rockstar single parent. We don’t see the financial struggles behind the Christmas morning presents. We don’t see the loneliness behind the family of six.

Life Isn’t Always Greener on the Other Side

We need to remember, life isn’t always greener on the other side. When I do my best, and you do your best, it is undoubtedly going to look different, and that is ok. You may have your child potty trained at 18 months while mine is potty trained at 3 (gosh we hope by then!), but maybe my child plays better with other children than yours.

I need to remember to ask myself these questions every day: Is my child learning? Yes. Is my child clothed and fed? Yes. Does my child have a roof over their head? Yes. Is my child healthy and happy? Yes. Is my child loved fiercely? Yes. Is my child throwing a tantrum in the middle of the floor. Yes, but it’s ok, I’m sure yours has today too.

We have to stop comparing ourselves to one another. We have to know that our best is good enough. We have to stop feeling guilty.

I Have a Confession

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I Have a Confession

Ok y’all, confession time. My mouth has gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years. I think if you were to ask my parents who their most difficult child was, it would definitely be me. Don’t get me wrong, overall, I feel like I was a pretty good child; however, nine times out of ten, no make that ten times out of ten, I was in trouble for having a smart mouth. I talked back, I mouthed off, and I always had to have the last word. Sorry mom and dad.

Really, I get it now, and I. Am. Sorry. Those payback children will do that to you. I can already tell you, sweet baby James is my payback child. My family already calls him, “Little Casey”. I’m sure my parents will have a great time over the years sitting back and watching him give me a run for my money.

If I’m really getting honest, my mouth still gets me in trouble sometimes. I still sometimes forget to bite my tongue, and I still like to have the last word every now and then – sorry husband. I would like to think I am not the only one that sometimes struggles with saying the wrong things.

When I was younger, it was always easy to fall into those gossiping conversations that also led my mouth to get me in trouble. Thankfully with that one, the older I get, the easier it has become to avoid gossiping situations. There’s something to that whole wisdom comes with age thing. If only I could go back and take some things I’ve said back. I have always admired those few people that have entered my life that I can honestly say I have never heard them say a bad word about anyone. Those people are so few and far between, but they truly are special.

God Wink

In high school, I had the most awesome youth minister. Lucky for me, the older I became, the closer we became, and now I get to call her friend. I was even blessed enough to not only teach with her, but also to teach her sweet boys.

In high school, she told us about this book. The jest of the book is that coincidences are not coincidences at all, but they are a wink from God. Let me tell you, I have never looked at a coincidence the same. Isn’t it so much more moving to think of them that way? It truly has changed my perspective throughout the years.

This morning, I experienced my own little God wink. As the Lenten season is quickly approaching, I have been trying to decide what I would like to do. I think a common misconception with Lent is that you have to give up something, however, that’s not true. You can also choose to do something instead. Over the past several years, I have always tried to do something as opposed to giving something up, simply because it seems to mean more to me personally.

I Hear You, God

As I read today’s Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion, I noticed at the bottom that it had a little blurb about Lent, so I decided to do some investigating. If you don’t read Proverbs 31 Devotions, you should download the free app and start. They are great!

After investigating, I found that one of the Proverbs 31 team members is leading a 40 day Lenten devotion. And get this, it is about using your words wisely. Ok God, I hear ya! You’re certainly talking to me this morning because heaven knows I could use some reinforcement in that area. Check out this website to get more information on the Lenten journey she is leading.

There is a book that goes along with the journey, but she is quick to tell you that you do not have to have the book to participate. Thanks to my brother-in-law always getting me my beloved Amazon gift card for Christmas, I jumped on over and ordered the Kindle edition so that I can be fully prepared for the 40 days of learning to make good choices with my mouth!

Doing it Together

The verse that immediately came to mind was this: My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19) Hopefully I can reflect on this verse and and remember it when my mouth wants to get the best of me.

We parents need to support each other not only with the hard parenting moments that call for #jesusandwine, but also in our daily walks that help us become better spouses, better parents, better friends, and to my parents – better children. The best part of this is that there is a community of people doing it together, which always seems to hold me a little more accountable. Let me know if you’d like to join me in this process! I’d like to think I didn’t just make a mouthy confession that no one else struggles with. If so, don’t tell me! I’ll just sit back and keep being Mom of the Year with my quick mouth.