Family Friday: Make funny faces

I think some of the best memories come from making funny faces with our kids. They are so expressive! And they love to be silly.

Sometimes we just need to have little moments to bring enjoyment and happiness into our lives. Moments don’t need to be grand or take a lot of planning or time. They just need to be genuine. And making silly faces at each other is a good way to strike up an entertaining moment where you can also connect with your child or children.

Have you noticed how people will engage in conversation on social media regarding a kiddo making silly faces? How about those baby GIFs that make us all laugh? It is because we all enjoy the silly moments and the expressions that bring joy. So why not incorporate it into your days with your kiddos?

This week, try to have some silly face contests. Or moments of making funny faces at each other. You will create some good memories and connect with your kids. No matter how silly, you will feel great. In fact, the sillier the better!

Self-Care Thursday: Mani-pedi time

All parents, hear me out on this one. Not just mamas. This is for all!

If you have never had a manicure or pedicure, you are missing out. Just taking a little time to get pampered, or to pamper yourself, is time well spent. You do not have to paint your nails. And you do not need to spend a ton of money.

There are many available scrubs that you can purchase to scrub and smooth your skin. You can even find ways to make your own sugar scrubs at home, if you are a crafty person looking for a good project. And a soothing lotion to follow is an excellent option.

You can clip and file your own nails, and push back your cuticles. And if you like, decorate your nails! You can paint them with nail polish or use another application such as ColorStreet. And if you have a child interested, you can do their nails too.

Every time I give myself a manicure or pedicure it is through the prompting of my daughter wanting her nails done. She pushes me to take the time with her and to take the time on myself. She is only three, so she doesn’t know she’s promoting her mom’s self-care, but I am thankful she does.

Taking a little time to pamper yourself and promote foot or hand skin health will make you feel so much better! Take a little time to take care of yourself today.

Work it Wednesday: Get up early

Okay, this is a do as I say, not as I do moment. Because truthfully, I’m not good at waking up early so I can take care of myself before the kids. Perhaps it is because our kids are early risers, or because I’ve never been a morning person.

If you are able to start your day before your children start theirs, you can start the day feeling refreshed and accomplished. Even if it only happens on Wednesday, it will still be a moment of accomplishment and success. Because, truly, who doesn’t appreciate a nice long shower without an audience? Or time to meditate or do something for you without yelling and screaming in the background?

Today I got up early. Partially because I needed to physically go to work today, and partly for me. I started my morning with yoga. It was fantastic!

Try taking some morning time to yourself. Even if only once a week. Enjoy a little time and start fresh so you can be a better you!

Daddy Takeover Tuesday: Choose to teach your kids kindness

In our household we love the saying: Above all else, be kind. And we believe in living by it.

My husband reflected on this today. With all the heartbreak in our country right now it is more imperative than ever to deliver the right message to our children. When we start with kindness, everything else will fall into place.

Our children will learn what we teach them. Inevitably that is how things unfold. But with this, we need to be thoughtful on what we do teach, because with each generation we can instill more change, more hope, more kindness.

Today I ask you, as a parent, choose to teach your children to be kind. Teach them the foundation of kindness, and why it is so important. Teach them to love everyone, to help everyone, to be kind always. With that foundation your children can do anything. They can change the world.

On an ending note, much like the opening quote, the other saying our family lives by is: Be the change you wish to see in the world. It starts with how we teach our children.

Mombie Hack Monday: Pick comfort

Mama, find the clothing that works well for your mommy lifestyle. You need to feel great, which means picking clothing that looks great and is comfortable.

Yes, I believe being comfortable is the key! If you do not, that is okay. Keep it up Mama, with whatever works best for you. If you function better when you can move and feel comfy, then you should choose comfort.

I must say I am so, so glad that leggings exist! I love my workout leggings that are built durably and made to stay in place. I live in active leggings like this! Next, I find the most comfortable shirts to go with them. Shirts, sweaters, and sweatshirts are how I introduce style. But they must be comfy or they won’t make it through the day, and they will end up in the back of my closet collecting dust.

Mama, please find what makes you comfortable. This means what gives you confidence in what you look like, and how you feel emotionally. It also means finding pieces that make you feel comfortable physically so you can do the best in the hard job that is Momming. Find those clothes! You will be so much happier and feel great!

Setup YOUR Success Sunday: Exist in the moment

Sometimes we get so caught up in preparing our next move that we forget to just exist. While I am all for having continued movement toward goals (I live like this myself), sometimes we just need to be present and live in the moment.

This evening we did precisely that. We forgot about the mess in our house and the need to prep for our week. We just let the kids play with the neighbors for a couple hours. We let them stay up past their bedtimes. And we momentarily forgot about our responsibilities. It was nice.

Of course, that is why I am publishing this post so late today. And perhaps later this week I will regret my choice, only briefly, when I realize I didn’t get something done today. But honestly, it is okay. Sometimes we just need to be with our family, and enjoy our loved ones. Sometimes we need to close the electronics and stop thinking about our next strategic move.

Sometimes just existing in the moment is exactly what we need to be successful in our quickly approaching week. Take some time. You deserve it!

Active Saturday: Play in the rain

Today we kept trying to catch the sunshine window so the kids could get their play on. When we finally thought we were in the clear and the sun was out, we got outside.

Not even 15 minutes after we went outside a very dark cloud moved over us. At first we played in the rain. After all, why not! The kids thought it was fantastic!

The rain progressed into a downpour of hail, followed by a downpour of rain. So as a family we watched from the doorstep. It is June after all, and we are ready to be outside.

Playing in the rain, even for a short time, can be such a fun gift. And it can remind us parents how to be children again.

Family Friday: When frustration sets in – recenter

Do you ever have weeks that just knock you down a little each day? And when Friday hits you suddenly realize you are snapping at your kids because they asked for something simple, like a glass of water?

This was the truth in our home this week. Usually it is either my husband or me, as if we take invisible turns with rationale and frustration. But this week has gotten to us both. At dinner I felt us both getting frustrated for no reason. And when our oldest turned to me and asked, “Why does Dad always say no?” I realized we needed to switch course immediately.

Thankfully me and my husband are comfortable with pointing out our pain points. We have created a safe zone where we can call each other out so we can immediately recollect ourselves and move forward better. I pulled my husband aside and told him we were both being too short with the kids and saying no without actual reason. And together we redirected our course to better behavior.

If you experience hard days, or worse, hard weeks, I encourage you to find a way to give yourself grace and find ways to recenter your attitude to a more positive one. Likely your children aren’t being as difficult as it feels they are. Perhaps they are just being curious kids.

Give yourself grace. Give your kids grace. And choose a more positive note to end your day with. You’ve got this!

Self-Care Thursday: Get your workout in

Yes, part of self-care is treating your body well. It is a holistic venture we all must consider. One way to give yourself the care you deserve is to exercise.

A sedentary lifestyle is not a healthy choice. Our bodies age faster and become more susceptible to injury if we don’t take the time to use them. This is where regular exercise comes in. And unfortunately, this isn’t just picking up after your kids or walking in and out of the kitchen a hundred times a day to feed the insatiable appetites your children have.

Plan activities that promote your body’s health. You can do this by designating workout time, or by scheduling daily walks or bike rides with your family. It is important though to take the time to just be in a state of activity.

Personally, the last six months for me have included daily random activity that included squat lifts using our youngest child as a weight, and jumping jacks scattered throughout the day. And occasionally I was able to get a walk or run in. But until recently I haven’t intentionally scheduled my personal exercise time, and my body could feel it. So I started scheduling, joined a group for accountability, and let my children either participate or work on school activities while I follow along with a workout video.

When you take the time to care for your health you give yourself a piece of you back. You strengthen your body and give your mind more clarity. Today I encourage you to find some time to be active. You will appreciate it.

Work it Wednesday: Finding my words

If you haven’t gathered already, Wednesdays serve as my start days. Or rather, my get my bottom in gear days, as I realize the week is dissipating with still so much to do.

This week, and really even last week, have been a struggle for me. I am finding doubt and sadness rather than inspiration and positivity. For this I know I am not alone. But I know I must keep moving forward.

Sometimes moving forward doesn’t follow a straight line. This is something we tend to forget, thinking the path that is laid out is the only one. This is not true. The only real failure is stopping completely (aside from being present that is) when you are on a journey toward a goal.

For me, this meant switching gears in my writing today. Currently I am working on writing a book about parenting, but for a week and a half I have felt stuck and uninspired. So today, instead of spending another day staring at my scattered thoughts of a partially written book, I opened a new document. I started writing a fictional story.

Mixing it up, getting creative, and seeing things from a different perspective, can change everything. If could mean that your successes far exceed what you previously imagined. It is okay to try a new path. It is okay to restructure your goals. It is okay to improvise. And it is okay to pause and choose to be present, to listen to the world around you, and move forward thoughtfully.

If you are needing a new direction today, or at least an evaluation of the path you are on, I encourage you to do so. It is important to connect with your soul, or your inner voice, and listen. Stay true to yourself, be kind, and the rest will fall into place.