Feeling stressed about the holidays? Make this your new mantra.

feeling-stressed-about-the-holidays-make-this-your-new-mantra

Thanksgiving countdowns, new recipes, fun activities, and perfectly decorated houses.

As I scroll through my Instagram feed, I can feel my chest begin to tighten. The thoughts start playing in my head…

You really should do that.

That’s a great idea.

Why aren’t you doing that?

I wish I had time for that.

I try to muster up plans to execute some of these great ideas I see beautifully displayed before me. Maybe I can squeeze the prep in after bed time. Perhaps we can do the activities quickly after breakfast.

My heart beats faster – but it’s not from excitement. It’s from panic. 

I’m in a season of life right now where I just don’t have time for a lot of extra activities. Honestly, I’m struggling to just get the essentials done. The thought of planning out and executing holiday activities, no matter how amazing they are, makes me feel a bit queasy.

Not exactly how you want to feel headed into a season of joy.

So, if the sight all all the holiday ideas, activities, and stuff is making you feel like crawling into a hole for the next two months. I want to share with you my favorite holiday mantra:

That’s a fun idea. Maybe next year.

Repeat after me: Maybe. Next. Year.

Feeling Stressed About the Holidays? Make this your mantra.

Why This Works

No one likes to feel like they are missing out. Whether it’s getting your house to look just the way you want or doing fun activities with your kids to guide them through the meaning of the season, we want to embrace all the excitement of the season.

However, reality says we only have so many hours in the day. Whether you have impending work deadlines, volunteer responsibilities, or spend your day keeping small children alive you are going to have to say no to some things. Maybe even a lot of things.

Fun things.

Good things.

How do you do that without feeling majorly bummed out?

That’s a fun idea. Maybe next year.

The mantra works for two reasons:

  1. You recognize that it is a fun idea. You don’t roll your eyes or say “pphhht, who has time for that?” You don’t devalue the hard work someone else put into their idea. It’s cool and you admit it. Let others be themselves without feeling like you need to be them too.
  2. You hold onto the hope that – if you still want to – you have the option to do it in the future. You don’t need to throw yourself a pity party because you can’t do allthethings. Screenshot it, pin it, or file it away and revisit it next year. I ogled Truth in the Tinsel for a few years before we were able to do it. And this year it probably won’t make the cut again. However, next year we will revisit and hopefully do it again!

Next time you find yourself pining over a sweet idea, try the mantra and see how you feel.

Stressed about the holidays? Make this your mantra.

 

Do This Instead of Doing It All

So, you can’t do it all. Then, what do you do?

First, check your focus. What truly matters the most during the holiday season?

I conducted a survey last year asking people what their favorite Christmas memory was. The results were staggering. Almost every single person’s memories revolved around relationships. 

Focus your attention and effort on the relationships around you. Make sure you don’t forget about your relationship with the One whom the season revolves around either.

Then, once you’ve got your focus right, here’s what you can do:

Pick one thing. 

Not one thing for now, one thing for tomorrow, and one thing for next week. Just one thing for now.

Just focus on that one thing.

Maybe you want to be intentional with discipling your kids during the holidays, maybe you really want to make your house feel cozy and festive, maybe you just really want to make time for a nap. Pick one thing and do it.

Once you’ve finished that one thing, revisit and pick another if you feel up to it.

Stressed about the holidays? Make this your mantra.

Give it a Spin

I really hope you give this a try! It might not help with all your holiday stressors (navigating family get-togethers anyone?), but I think it will truly help relieve the pressure of holiday perfection we so often feel.

As I continue my Instagram scrolling, I repeat my mantra a few more times. I put my phone away and attend to the life in front me.

My chest loosens. I take a deep breath.

I think our holidays are going to be just perfect as they are. 

Affiliate links included.

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self… (#2 of 4)

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self...

My little sister is getting married this Summer and it has got me thinking back to when I was preparing for my own wedding seven years ago. The excitement and the unknowns of it all. The first couple years of figuring out what marriage is all about.

The truth is, we’re still figuring out what this thing called marriage is all about, but if I could go back in time and share with my young(er) self my advice after seven years of marriage, I think I’d share four main things.

Today, I’d like to share the second thing.

Your attitude will affect more than you know

#2 Your attitude will affect more than you know

As a single person, your life has pretty much revolved around you. I don’t say that to mean you are a selfish, egotistical, brat – just that, especially the last three years, the main person your attitude and outlook on life has affected is you. 

Now that you are getting married, that’s about to change. 

Your attitude will affect not only how you see things, it will affect your husband, and someday your children. In the last seven years of marriage I’ve found that attitude is everything. Especially in these three areas…

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#1 Your Attitude in the Bedroom

I’m just going to come right out and say it – this area of marriage is going to be a lot easier for your husband than it is for you. I don’t know why, but this seems to be a common occurrence in marriage.

Your attitude can make or break this important aspect of your marriage. So, learn and grow and keep an open mind. I promise that the times that you decided to have a good attitude about it made marriage as a whole just that much better.

(If you are having difficulty in this area, I highly recommend the site To Love, Honor, and Vacuum)

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#2 Your Attitude when Facing Difficulties in Life

You are going to go through a lot in your first few years of marriage. Lots of moving, lots of craziness, and lots of busyness. There will be hardships and sickness, and yet also new life.

There will be some very hard moments.

The most important thing you can do is have the attitude of using these times to grow closer to God and closer to your husband.

Put away the “woe is me” attitude and tackle these problems together. Cling to God to be your strength. Do this and you will find that God used these times to refine your individual character and grow your marriage bond even stronger.

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#3 Your Attitude when Going about the Day to Day

You’d think that it would be these big trials of life that would cause the most stress on your marriage. However, you’ll come to see that’s not necessarily true.

Sometimes it’s easier to rally together to tackle the big problems. You know you’ll need to depend on each other, so that helps to drive you together. It’s when you have seemingly clear skies ahead that you’ll see you need to be on the lookout for problematic attitudes.

The day to day, mundane activities of normal life. The laundry, the dishes, the vacuuming, and did I mention the laundry? It’s when you settle into the comfortable routines of life and stop intentionally building your relationship. It’s in these ruts that we can so easily develop destructive thought patterns…

Why doesn’t he see I need help?

If he really cared I wouldn’t have to ask him not to do that.

I’m too tired for that.

I think I’d rather just do my own thing.

It’s these day to day attitudes that creep in without much fanfare that you have to watch out for. They can easily build resentment and distance in a marriage. Not to mention they don’t actually do anything to solve any real problems that might be there.

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self-2

Sometimes it may seem hard to change your attitude, especially when things are in a rough patch. However, I assure you, with God’s help, you can do it. I leave you with this admonishment…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

 

The Most Important Phrase to Help with the Adjustment to a New Sibling

The Most Important Phrase to Help with

He came downstairs from his quiet time and wanted the cookie I had promised him. The only problem was that I was trapped.

Trapped under a peacefully sleeping baby.

I told him that I couldn’t get up and get his cookie right then. He would have to be patient and wait.

I could see the frustration building on his face and I felt for him. He was transitioning well into the role of big brother, but that didn’t mean it was always easy. Newborns are pretty demanding, so big brother was getting a lot of practice with coming second.

DSC_4259

Anyways.. back to the cookie situation. I really didn’t want to disturb said sleeping baby – either by getting up to get the cookie or from the screams of a three year old’s meltdown. So, I broke out the miracle phrase.

“You used to do that when you were a baby too.”

“When you were a baby you liked mommy to hold you when you were sleeping too. You always wanted to be held!”

His scowl immediately melted into a smile. He loves hearing about when he was a baby.

DSC_4358

Before Baby J was born we spent a lot of time looking through old pictures and talking about what K was like when he was a baby. He ate up every minute of it.

Not only does he like hearing about himself as a baby, the phrase helps him remember that he is the big kid. Baby J can’t wait patiently, but a big boy can. Baby J doesn’t help clean up, but a big kid can. Baby J needs mommy to help him with everything, but a big boy can do it himself.

DSC_4407

K had his time to be a baby, but now he is a big boy and before long baby J will be a big boy just like him!

But for now, when that frustration starts to well up, it helps to remember – “You used to do that when you were a baby too.”

What tips do you have for easing that transition when a newborn comes along?

Traveling With Kids – The ULTIMATE Round-Up of Ideas, Tips, and Tricks

Traveling With Kids The ULTIMATE

Coming up soon we are headed out on a two week trip to visit family. Between the drive from Mississippi to the midwest, the drives between locations in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, and the drive back home we will end up spending about FOURTY-FOUR hours in the car!

If we are going to survive the trip with a preschooler and a baby, I knew I needed to do some preparation! So, I wanted to share with you some of the great tips I’ve found as I’ve researched how to get through this trip with my sanity still intact.

8-Summer-Travel-Bag-Necessities

Travel Necessities

There are some things you just shouldn’t leave home without! Check out these four lists and you’ll have your bases covered for sure!

Eight Summer Travel Bag Necessities – Don’t forget a thing with these eight traveling necessities.

10 Things Moms Should Never Leave Behind… While Road-Tripping with Kids – I love the idea t0 bring flashlights in the car!

Ten Must Haves to Keep in Your Car if You Have Kids… especially #2 – Great ideas for road trips and every day car rides!

Road Trip Essentials – Great list of important things to keep on hand in the car. I love the idea to keep them in a bin.

road-trip-with-kids-best-ideas-activities-snacks-tips-car

General Tips and Ideas

Get some advice from mama’s who are pros at the art of the long road trip. With this many tips, you’re bound to find something to give you a little peace and quiet!

20 best ideas, activities, and resources for road trips with kids – Great little round-up of ideas.

The ultimate guide: 50 tips, tricks & ideas for road trips with kids – A huge list of all kinds of tips. So many good ideas!

40+ Tips for Road Trips with Toddlers & Preschoolers – Lots of great ideas for the little ones.

10 Things to Do Before Your Next Road Trip – Lots of good reminders, plus a handy printable checklist!

Cookie Sheet Travel Fun – Awesome ideas on how to use a metal cookie sheet for hours of entertainment.

Car Hacks for Happy Kids – Three nifty ideas that could save a lot of stress. I especially like the second one!

Traveling with Children – Some great tips for keeping your sanity while traveling with kids. I especially like her ideas for during pit stops!

4 Tips that will Change Everything When Traveling with Kids – Some good advice on traveling, accommodations, and sight seeing.

Sticky-Time-Tabs-Pinterest

Keeping Kids Entertained

Sitting in one place for hours and hours is not most kids idea of a super fun time. So, the key to road trip success is to bring along some great road trip entertainment!

Traveling with Kids? Don’t Leave Home without this Idea! – Who would have thought a sticky note could achieve so much?!

DIY Kids Travel Activity Kits – How to pack the perfect kit for your kid!

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Free Printable – I’m definitely going tho print this fun game out for our trip!

Traveling With Young Kids | Homemade Activity Book Idea – What a great idea for keeping the crayons organized!

Make Your Own Kid’s Travel Binder – A great idea to use dry erase markers and page protectors in a travel binder!

Traveling with Kids – Montessori-Inspired Activities – Portable Montessori activities? Yes, please!

Holiday Air Travel with Toddlers: Packing Entertainment Items – Super detailed post on what to pack to keep young kids entertained during travel.

Road Trip Binder for Kids – Really detailed road trip binders. With printables!

How to Prepare for a Road Trip with Kids: Keeping Them Entertained – Some great tips for keeping kids busy in the car. I love the organization ideas!

iPhoto-12-480x486

Packing

From what to pack in the suitcase to how to fit it all in the car, these ideas have got you covered!

How to Pack for a Long Trip with a Baby and Toddler {Free Printable Packing List!} – When you are already lugging around your little ones, the last thing you need is a ton of luggage to carry too. Here’s how to get it all in one carryon!

Our Christmas + Tips for Packing & Traveling With Kids – Great ideas for keeping the kids things organized!

Traveling with kids – Packing the Car Tips and Tricks – Keep it all organized in the car!

How to Have a Successful Road Trip With Young Children: Pack an Emergency Box – I never would have thought of this!

How to Pack Your Car for a Road Trip – Once you’ve got it all packed up, you’ve got to figure out how go get it all in the car! Here’s some tips!

photo-number-1

Food

For our last big road trip I finally decided to pack food instead of stopping along the way – it was revolutionary! It saved us tons of time and our tummies thanked us greatly! Wondering how to make it work? Try one of these posts for some great ideas.

Eating on the Road: Meals and Snacks – A comprehensive post of ideas for eating on the go.

5 Things I Learned From Feeding My Family Real Food On The Road – Traveling while eating a restrictive, real food diet? Totally possible!

Real Food Road Trip – The why and the how for packing real food on the road.

tips-for-flying-with-kids

Flying with Kids

While we aren’t flying this time, I’ve been there before and it can be really hard! I’m definitely going to have to remember some of these tips for next time!

7 Tips for Traveling with Small Children {It Can Be Done!} – I especially love the first tip!

Toddler Airplane Activities and Tips – How to survive the airport with little ones.

17 Tips for Flying with Kids – Some great tips, plus a pre travel pep talk!

Traveling with Creative Kids: 10 Things to Pack in Your Child’s Carry-On (Preschool Age) – Some great ideas of what to bring along for the plane ride.

Tips for Traveling with Kids: From the Experts… Expat Moms! – Tips from someone with tons of experience.

50 Kid Friendly Airplane Snacks – Cause no one wants a hungry, cranky kid on the plane!

traveltheworld

International Travel

Now I’m really just dreaming! I’d love to travel abroad some day though. If you’re lucky enough to travel the world with your kiddos, here’s some great tips for getting it done!

Get the Passports Ready! 14 Things To Know About International Travel with Kids (& Why You Should Give It a Try!) – Great advice from a family that has done it!

You Can Travel the World with Kids and Enjoy It – Great advice for general travel too.

Travel Tips: Traveling Abroad with Kids – Very detailed information. Also, can I go to Italy now!?

 

 

5 Things To Buy For When New Baby Comes (That You Might Not Have Thought Of!)

Onesies, blankets, and diapers.

Burp cloths, pacifiers, and bottles.

You’ve made your list and checked it twice. You’re all ready for new baby to come.

Or are you?

As I am going through my second time in the newborn stage, I’ve come up with five items you might not of thought of buying, but sure are making my life a lot easier!

5tobuy

 

#1 Lamp with a Dimmer Switch

The last thing you want when you wake up for a midnight nursing session is to be blinded by the lights in your room. When K was a newborn I just happened to have an LED lamp with a dimmer switch and I quickly found that it was perfect for all those middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. Being able to adjust the brightness means I can turn it up to see better while changing that diaper and turn it down when baby is finally sleeping again.

Try checking out this one, this one, or this one.

#2 Bedrest Pillow

I had no idea what I wanted was a “bedrest pillow” – all I knew is that I wanted one of those pillows with the arms! I knew that I was going to be spending a lot of time sitting in bed nursing and I thought that one of those pillows would make that a lot more comfortable. I was right! It has been great having one. The bedrest pillow can just stay at the head of the bed and I don’t have to worry about rearranging the pillows to nurse comfortably.

I got mine at Target, but you can also grab one from Amazon here.

#3 Giant Water Bottle

While you are nursing you are constantly thirsty! I know for me as soon as I sit down to nurse it’s like all of a sudden I’m stranded in the desert. Must. Have. Water.

When K was a newborn I just used two regular sized water cups and this go around I have a nice big water jug from the hospital. Oh, and a water bottle with a straw is a must! Just trust me!

This large CamelBak would be a good choice. This large water bottle would also be great. Bonus points since it’s double walled – you don’t have to worry about water rings!

#4 Snacks

Second only to thirst while nursing, is hunger! Snack attacks seem to come out of nowhere when you’re a nursing mama (even in the middle of the night!), so having healthy snacks around is so important.

Already chopped veggies or baby carrots and dip, Larabars, trail mix, cheese sticks, etc. Don’t forget to stash some away wherever you do your nighttime nursing!

#5 Amazon Prime

Back around Christmas time we signed up for the Amazon Prime free 30 day trial for the first time because there was a gift I wanted to purchase and have arrive in the quick 2 day shipping. I thought about canceling before the 30 days were up, but honestly forgot about it until it was too late (that’s how they get ya I guess!). However, I’m so glad we ended up keeping it!

There have been multiple times already where I needed to buy something but really didn’t want to have to go out to the store with a newborn. I was able to order it on Amazon Prime and it was here in just two days. Perfect!

Plus, access to Amazon Prime Video has been perfect for some nursing entertainment.

You can grab the free trial here – Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Bonus – Amazon Baby Registry

Another cool thing that I wish I would have known about when I was registering for gifts for baby #1 is the Amazon Baby Registry. What an easy and convenient way to compile a registry! If you are looking for something like this, you can check it out here – Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Now I want to hear your must haves! What baby items have you found that are indispensable? 

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

5 Ways to Intentionally Point Your Kids to God This Summer

5-Ways-to-Intentionally-Point-Your-Kids

Summer.

With such a big break from your normal routine, how are you going to make sure you remain intentional in pointing your kids to God?

In Deuteronomy 6:6-9 it says:

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (NASB)

Even during times when life gets busy and unpredictable (like Summer!) we are supposed to be diligently teaching our children God’s truth. Thankfully, this scripture gives us some insight on how we are to go about doing this! We are to talk about God “when you sit and when you walk, when you lie down and rise up.” We are to incorporate learning about God into everyday life.

Today, I’d like to share with you five ways that you can incorporate discussion about God into day-to-day life and intentionally point your kids to God this Summer.

Continue Reading Over at Intentional By Grace…

Nature Tray – A Solution For All The Outdoor Treasures Your Kids Bring Home This Summer

I don’t know about your kids, but almost every time my son steps foot outdoors he comes back with some “treasures.” Sticks, rocks, flowers, leaves, anything he can get his little hands on. He loves being outdoors and he always wants to keep his collections.

However, up until recently, the rule was that outside things stay outside. Too many times I had stepped on a rock in my living room or found crumbled up leaves all over the floor. K was pretty good about this rule, but I knew he would love it if he had a way to further explore his treasures inside.

I had seen a lot of fun “nature centers” set up in people’s homeschool area, but I knew our preschool room didn’t have enough space for something like that. Then, inspiration struck!

The “nature tray” was born.

nature tray

I picked up this pretty metal serving tray from Walmart for about 8 bucks (something similar here) and ordered a set of magnifying glasses (I searched forever for something that seemed high quality and also wouldn’t break the bank, this is what I ended up getting). I added a couple little plastic trays out of the recycling bin (for holding small items) and we were ready to go on a nature walk!

K and I went outside and I let him gather his “treasures.” He was so excited! We brought them back home and placed them in the tray.

Then, it was time to investigate!

IMG_0820He had never used magnifying glasses before so he was pretty intrigued.

IMG_0824

After his exploration is over, the tray can easily be slid back onto his school shelf – ready to be pulled back out when he is ready to look at his treasures again.

And now, when K comes home with pocketfuls of nature finds the rule is that he has to put them in his nature tray. No stepping on rocks for me and K is able to save his treasures – win win!

What do you do with all the treasures your kids bring home?

Teaching the Bible Using Different Learning Styles

from guest poster, Anne Marie.

Children come in all shapes and sizes. Each has differing abilities and talents. Each looks at the world differently. While it is important that Biblical Truth not change, how we *teach* the Truth can, and should, differ.

learning styles

Many teachers of the Bible, parents and lay church workers, can become set in “how lessons have always been taught.” Or, we do not feel like we are equipped to teach the scriptures well.

Our God is great because he supplies all our needs and He commands us to teach our children. Therefore, we should never worry about what to say. The Lord will provide the words. We must always be ready for the moment though. Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us to diligently teach God’s words to our children. We are to do this when walking, sitting, in the morning, and in the evening.

But HOW?” you ask. “Each of my kids are different. How can I teach so each understands and grows in the knowledge of the Lord?

Study God’s teaching style. He used object lessons AND taught to different learning styles. You can do the same thing!

Visual/Spacial Learning Style:

The greatest way God used visual learning was when he created. Nature is the largest object lesson. Pick up anything in the woods, backyard, beach, desert, and mountains and God will teach you something about himself. Have your children go into the backyard and find something God created. Ask them, What can you tell me about this object? and then ask, How does this object remind you of God? You might be surprised by your conversations.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. ~ Romans 1:20 (NASB)

Verbal/Linguistic Learning Style:

I find it amazing that God spoke and everything was. He is that He is. God is verbal and he desires to speak with us. Scripture memory is vital to wielding our sword of the spirit. If you aren’t already, introduce a new Bible verse to memorize each week. You can chose a topic such as ‘wisdom,’ or you could chose to memorize an entire section of scripture, such as Psalm 1.

Saying the scripture, doing copy work, or playing with words are wonderful ways to teach Truth to our children. My children and I have a index cards which I put on a ring to hold our verses and we recite them every day.

scripture memory 2

Aural/Musical Learning Style:

Music is a fantastic way to teach! There’s a song I teach that lists the 50 states in alphabetical order. I still have students 17 years later telling me they *still* remember their states! Scripture CDs are a great way to teach scripture memorization. Bible dramas on CDs are good too. For a struggling reader, you might find it easier to read a passage of scripture aloud and then have the child tell you about the story you just read. There are also audio CDs you can find that tell missionary stories. Our favorite series is The Brinkman Adventures.

Physical/Kinesthetic Learning Style:

Any time you can add moving the body into a lesson the better! Assign parts to each child and then read a Bible story aloud while the children act it out. Using hand motions to help memorize the 10 Commandments or the 12 disciples will make learning a list easier. Have your children think up hand motions to go with scripture they are attempting to memorize. You may find they have an easier time remembering the words if their is a motion to go with it.

Logical/Mathematical Learning Style:

God is a God of order, not chaos. Logic and mathematics are daunting to many, but it has such strong significance when it comes to scripture. For children who enjoy numbers, have then think about every time the number 40 is used in scripture. The numbers 12, 3, and 7 are used quite a bit as well.

Consider studying the genealogies of the scriptures and creating timelines of the births and deaths of the patriarchs. Click the link below for chart genealogy lesson:

Biblical Genealogies 2

Teaching scripture does not need to be a fearful activity for parents and lay teachers. Our God is a creative God, and if you find yourself stuck on a Bible lesson that seems boring or confusing, talk to Jesus about it. He wants to be found. He wants us to seek him. Count on him to help you be creative. You will find that the Bible will come alive for you and your children when you teach using different learning styles!


businesscardheadshot

Anne Marie has a Masters Degree in Education with a focus on Christian Education. She is the author of the blog Future.Flying.Saucers. Anne Marie has a passion for biblically equipping parents and teachers so children can fly for Jesus. On Wednesday nights you will find her teaching Biblical concepts to Awana clubs at her church. All of her Awana and Bible lessons can be found on her blog.

The Top Ten Things Getting Me Through My Last Trimester

last trimester

As I try to keep my focus on the to-do list and off the fact that this baby could make its appearance any day now, I thought it would be fun to share the things that have helped me through this last uncomfortable stage of pregnancy.

So, here they are. The top ten, in no particular order.

1. Watermelon

One word. YUM.

Okay, more than one word. What has been the deal with the last few weeks? Its like the appetite of my first trimester all over again! Nothing sounds good. Unhealthy things sound good. Weird things sound good. Then nothing sounds good again. I’m hungry after just eating. But have to choke down food when I’m starting to feel shaky from not eating. It’s crazy!

Enter, watermelon. It always sounds good. Sure, it doesn’t exactly satiate, but it is so stinking tasty.

2. Bedtime Snack

Speaking of food, for the last few months as soon as 9pm rolls around you better believe I’m grabbing a bedtime snack. And not just any bedtime snack. It’s gotta be cereal.

I know, cereal. Bedtime snack of champions.

And not just any cereal. Peanut Butter Captain Crunch. Hey, gotta shoot for 80/20 with the healthy diet, right?

3. Nightly Walks

We’ve been keeping up on our nightly walks for the most part, and for all the reasons I talked about here, I’m still loving them. Plus, they keep my ever growing body moving, which can only be a good thing.

It won’t be long now and I’ll be doing continuous laps around the neighborhood in an attempt to encourage this little one to make his or her entrance into the world. Will that work? I don’t know. (Hint: It didn’t with big brother!)

4. A Goofy Little Three Year Old

My child. How I love him.

He just keeps getting goofier and goofier. I love it. He makes me smile every day.

He has a newfound obsession with Star Wars and walks around humming Darth Vader’s theme. Although, he doesn’t really know it, so it just comes out as very intense humming.

He loves to dance and show me his “moves.”

He is completely convinced that he will be getting a baby brother.

He is my first miracle baby and every day I think I love him more.

5. Afternoon Quiet Time

Yes, yes, I really do love my child. But that 90 minutes of (mostly) peace and quiet in the afternoon is priceless as well. I’ve even managed to sneak in a few naps to combat the end of pregnancy exhaustion! Score!

6. Wild Kratts

Speaking of being exhausted, want to know my super secret trick for getting a few more minutes of shut eye in the morning? Wild Kratts.

You see, sometimes my lovely son likes to wake up with the sun (you know, “The sky’s awake, so I’m awake! Let’s play!”) and I do not. Solution? Invite said child into my cozy bed and turn on an episode of Wild Kratts (Amazon Prime, yes!).

First of all, the Kratt brothers are awesome. I used to watch them on their show “Kratt’s Creatures” when I was a young ‘un. Second of all, K gets to learn all about animals when he watches, which he loves. Third of all, Wild Kratts is like 100 times less annoying than our previous show of choice, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Win-win-win.

7. My Pregnancy Uniform

Being just a hair shy of 6 foot, it has always been hard to find long enough shirts. Add to that a growing belly and slowly but surely I have grown out of almost every maternity shirt I own.

Combine that with our lovely southern heat and I’ve pretty much lived in a maternity tank top and stretchy athletic shorts. It’s like yoga pants version 2.0. Please don’t be jealous of my mad style.

8. My To-Do List

I keep at least four of them at all times. My planner, the one by my bed, two dry erase boards on the fridge, and the random assortment of loose papers scattered on my counter.

You see, if it doesn’t get written down it doesn’t get done. I think you’ll find my picture next to the entry for “pregnancy brain” in the dictionary (well at least wikipedia!). My husband finds this a continual source of teasing delight. Don’t worry, I still love him.

9. Super Easy Meals

Seeing as spending hours in the kitchen preparing food which I may or may not even want to eat (see #1) is not high on my priority list, easy meals have been a necessity. Enter, grilled chicken. I marinate it early in the day, make a few simple veggie or fruit sides, and hubby takes care of the grilling when he gets home. Beautiful!

10. My Awesome Hubby

Speaking of my hubby, he’s great. I’ve had a lot more sickness/pains this go around and he is always willing to step in and help out. Couldn’t do this without him!

 

Well, that’s my top ten! What helped get you through the end of your pregnancy?

5 Tips for Including Young Children in the Kitchen {while still staying productive!}

Five Tips For Including Young Children In The Kitchen (and Still Staying Productive!)

It’s 5 o’clock and you know bellies are going to be rumbling soon. It’s time to make dinner. You start pulling food out of the fridge and pans out of the cupboard. It isn’t long before you hear the patter of little feet and a small but willing voice asking, “Can I help?”

The only problem is these little helpers aren’t always the most helpful.Oftentimes, by the end of a long day the last thing you want to do is take twice as long to cook dinner due to the “help” of your little ones….

What are you going to do? 

I’m over at Intentional By Grace today sharing five tips for including those little helpers in the kitchen, while still saying sane and productive! Read more here.