My New Year's Resolution

I actually think New Year's Resolutions are kinda funny.  If you don't like something about your life, why would you wait until the start of the New Year to change it?  But, it just so happens that the New Year is starting in a few weeks.  So, I am calling my goal a New Year's Resolution because it sounds more exciting than, "The Resolution I'm Starting Today", but rest assured, I will be starting it today, not in 3 weeks.

There are a few women in my life that I REALLY admire.  Women who I aspire to be like.  They are women who are charitable, kind, wise, and render service.  I listen intently to their every word because I want to learn all I can from them.  I want to use what I learn from them to be a better person.

But, it has become apparent to me lately, that not every woman admires the qualities in other women that they wish they could master themselves.  I have been shocked lately by the number of women I have heard beating up on themselves for their weaknesses or worst- beating up on other women to make themselves feel better.

We spend our days teaching our children to not fight, to be nice and not bully each other, so when did it become okay for us, as adults to glorify blogs like this, where women compare themselves to and them shred to pieces another mom for trying their best.  When, on earth did it become okay to "punch [someone] in the throat"?  Sure, it's all fun and games... until someone gets hurt.  And quite often, when you talk like that, Your. Words. Hurt.

We all have our own individual and unique strengths.  Sure, some moms have a Magic Elf, and others have no where near the energy even think about it.  But, that is because those moms are planning and throwing amazing holiday parties, for each one of their kids or they are spending their Saturdays at their son's ball games, with all the other kids in tow.  Some moms fill their homes (and the minds of their kiddos) with beautiful, amazing music and others ensure that their children are flooded with the arts.  Some moms spend hours of their day reading to their children, while others are constantly volunteering at their kids' schools.  Some moms even spend every Saturday teaching their children the value of serving others and how to become more Christlike.  But, none of us, do it all.  Nor do we need to.  We all have our own unique and individual talents that we share with our families, and the world around us, that makes us all AMAZING wives, women and mothers.

Life is hard.  Being a woman is hard.  Being a wife, can be hard.  And being a mother is DEFINITELY hard.  We are all just trying our very best.  We should be judging ourselves (and others) much less and relishing in our strengths.  We should be building each other up and encouraging one another.  We should be sharing what we have learned through our kind, humble actions.  There is NEVER a reason to tear someone else down in order to make yourself feel better.

As my very dear friend recently said, "If you don't like something, change it."  So, instead of beating up on another mom for trying her best, change your own life.  Or don't.  But, let's stop beating on ourselves and each other.

So, my New Year's Resolution, that is starting today, is to be more loving and more supportive.  It is to be less judgmental and more helpful.  And it is definitely to be proud of my strengths and change the things I don't like.

So, who wants to jump on my bandwagon?  If you too want to share my 'New Year's Resolution' than do just that- "share" it.  Or comment.  Or "Like" it.  Or better yet, send a card to another mom you admire and let them know you think they are doing a great job.  But, don't wait until January 1st.  Do it today.

Whaddya think?


Lessons learned from Corvettes and Luggage Carts

A couple months ago, I sat down, finally, with a mountain of clean laundry to fold.  I turned on day time tv which I generally think is full of trash,  but found "Dr. Phil".  I like Dr. Phil.  I'd like to ask him a few questions myself, but that is a different post...

He was talking to parents with troubled teens, just like he is on almost every show.  I don't remember what the show was specifically about, but he said something that really stuck with me.  He talked about how his son had really wanted a fast, fancy sports car for his 16th birthday.  A corvette, or something equivalent to it, and his son was all excited about the horsepower and torque the car would produce.  Dr. Phil must have been pretty wealthy by then because he wasn't concerned about the price but rather the power the car had.  He said he wouldn't buy the car for his son because we shouldn't place our kids in dangerous situations that they don't have the experience to predict the outcome.  We shouldn't expect our kids to respond to life's challenges based on our life experiences.  They haven't lived as long and learned as much as we have.

Makes sense.

Logical but often forgotten.

I think quite often I expect different behaviors from my children than I see because that is how a grown up would react but I forget to take the time to teach them the lesson that would lead to the appropriate response.

A month ago, I took all four of my kids and I traveled across the country with them.  By myself. (sucker).  We had a 5 hour flight.  A 2 hour layover.  A 2 hour flight.  And then a 2 hour drive.  We left at 8 am pst and arrived at 1:00 am est.  It was a long day.  I had: a 10 year old, 7 year old, 4 year old, 2 month old, 4 backpacks, 4 car seats, 7 suitcases, a stroller, a baby front carrier and a partridge in a pear tree.  Once the 2 hour flight landed, I had to get a rental car and load all of us, and our luggage, up and drive the remaining 2 hours, by myself (super sucker).  I figured I could carry Bubbles in the pouch while pushing a luggage cart with half of the suitcases, Buster could push the other luggage cart and Dodger could push Rascal in the stroller.  And all of us could carry a backpack.  In order to test my theory, when my sidekick, nervously, dropped us off at the airport, we "practiced".  I'm sure we were a sight,  all of us loaded down and my Sidekick holding his breath walking next to us, empty handed.

As Buster pushed his (heavy) luggage cart up a sidewalk ramp, he took it at a diagonal.  Now, any adult knows that if you take a 3 wheeled cart (1 wheel in the front, 2 in the back) up a ramp at a diagonal, you will not get favorable results.  So, when the entire cart tipped over and my Sidekick saw possible future events displayed before him, he was NOT happy.  We were loaded down and I couldn't put the cart back together with a baby strapped to my chest.  So, in the tense chaos, as we were reloading, I took a breath, lest it happened again while I was alone with them.  I said, "Buster, look at the wheels.  If you take the triangle pattern wheels at a diagonal, it will loose it's balance and tip.  You need to go straight, head on, up the ramp."

He looked at me, wide eyed, with a new understanding in his eyes, and said, "oh and that's different from my bike.  I have to go at a diagonal on my bike up a curb so I don't loose balance and fall."

And thus it is Dr. Phil.  We expected Buster to handle the adult situation based on our experience but he had not yet learned the lessons he needed to succeed.  He used the limited experiences he'd had in his young life which didn't get accurate results.

This was a luggage cart, not a dangerous situation, but the lesson is still the same.

So, as you place your kids in new situations, take a minute to look at it from their perspective and see if they have the skills they need to succeed.  Because one day, that luggage cart could be a corvette.

Whaddya think?


This Mother's Day

My life is complete.

Last year on Mother's Day, I never could have guessed the year we would have and the lengths we would travel this year.  But, now that the hard part is over, and I can look back and reflect on the journey that we have taken, I am full of gratitude to my Father in Heaven who has entrusted me with this journey.

As I reflect on the immense blessings in my life, my heart is full and swirling with so many thoughts.

I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a mother.  After spending 2 years with so many adoption hopeful couples who are searching for the children who will complete their family, I am keenly aware of all of the mothers today whose arms ache for the children they long to hold.  The ones they have lost and the ones they have yet to receive.  Having had Mothers Days with aching arms, I will always say a prayer on this day, for those who long to feel as complete as I do today.  Happy Mother's Day to you.  One day, your arms will be full.

I am grateful to all the Mothers in my life.  Due to the course of events that my life has taken, I have been blessed to have many mothers.  From each of them, I have learned special skills.  Listening, Loving, Organization, Happiness, Nurturing.  I am grateful to each one of them and the love and guidance they have shown me.  Thank you.

I am tearfully grateful for this Mother's Day.  It was a Mother's Day that she didn't get to have.  So as my children run and scream around me and test our patience to the limits, I am glad that I have the opportunity to be tested.  My life would be so dull and lonely without the noise and chaos.  I am glad I get to live this Mother's Day and so many after.

But, mostly, this Mother's Day, I am grateful to feel complete.  Last year, on Mother's Day, I remember sitting in church and feeling the ache in my arms for the life we had yet to add to our family.  A dear friend handed me a card that she had written me acknowledging the ache I must be feeling that day.  As I sat in church today, I saw this friend and remembered that feeling of incomplete that I had felt.  I had so much, yet I knew there was someone missing.  But, as I sat in church today, I felt that the weight of the last year had lifted and a feeling of completeness had taken it's place.  This year, for Mother's Day, my Sidekick and I had 4 children and we were a Complete Family.  The brothers have voted and we have decided that our caboose will be named Bubbles.  She is our special gift.  We all worked so hard to get her here.

This year, on Mother's Day, my life is perfectly complete.  I am grateful for all the mothers who have loved me, but mostly I am grateful for the gift I have been given to be a mother to Buster, Dodger, Rascal and Bubbles.

I love you all so much.

Whaddya think?


There's a chair in the restroom, just for you....

Lately, the news in Seattle has been bustling with the story of a group of mothers that are trying to pass a city ordinance to support breast-feeding in public. They are wanting it to be legally proclaimed a civil right. Since I am about to have a baby any day now, and fully plan of breast-feeding in public, I've been listening.

It is interesting to me that there is already a Washington State Law in support of breastfeeding. It essentially says that a mother has the right to breast-feed anywhere she has a right to have her baby (so- no bars) without covering up or excusing herself to the bathroom. Apparently this law is not very enforced due to budget cuts and staffing issues, so this group of moms have taken it to the city level.

Personally, I have never had a negative experience nursing in public, but since I am about to enter the nursing world again, I am very interested in this movement that would support mothers doing what is best for their babies. Which is why it infuriated me, when the news interviewed John Schmidt, co-owner of the Neighborhood Grill and he said 'that women sometimes breast feed in his restaurant and he's fine with it. But what if it bothers his other patrons? Would he want a city law to protect it?'

He actually said, "I support a women's right to breast feed her child," says Schmidt. "I have a problem with the city legislating how I run my business. We want to make a decision for my entire client base, not just one category."

When he said this, my sidekick and I just about blew our tops! I could care less that the fact that my public breastfeeding could make someone else uncomfortable. Should we ask every couple in love to not hold hands or kiss in public? Every parent with a busy toddler to never eat out? Or every every disabled person, who is missing an arm, a leg or an eye, to stay out of public eye?

My right to feed my child the most nourishing, stabilizing nutrition I can, is indeed my civil right, no different than my right to feed my toddler healthy grains, fruits and vegetables. The fact that it is made from my own body is completely irrelevant, but a definite plus for me. I know exactly what it is made of. And forcing me to nurse my child under a blanket is akin to forcing you to eat your dinner under a heat lamp.

So, John Schmidt, and every other business owner who thinks that their close minded patrons come before the health of my baby, I have the perfect solution for you. You should provide chairs in the restrooms. That way, when one of your patrons is "uncomfortable" by a mother breastfeeding, the "uncomfortable patron" can take their dinner and eat it there.

I look forward to eating at the Seattle Neighborhood Grill with my nursing baby, and I dare you to ask me to leave or cover up.

Whaddya think?

Due to some of the comments and emails I have received, I feel I should make a clarification. I do not believe that women should be able to nurse anywhere at anytime.

I think I should have a legal right to feed my child, uncovered, anywhere it is appropriate to have my child and anywhere similar activities (eating) are appropriate.

For example, if my child is not welcome (adult only restaurant, a bar, etc) I don't have the right to have my CHILD there, and therefore should not be nursing. In settings where eating or similar acts are not appropriate (some religious meetings, etc) it is not appropriate to nurse my child because EATING is not appropriate (in the same way it would be inappropriate for a grown man to eat a ham sandwich). Also, in religions where it is inappropriate for women to even show their face, or some similar belief that would make public nursing inappropriate, they should be allowed to claim a religious exemption in their house of worship.

I shouldn't ever have to leave or cover up just because some men/boys think my breasts are a sex object and are uncomfortable by my child nursing if I have a right to have my child there and other similar activities are appropriate.


that if you blog, post, email or tweet about the cookbook 2 posts down, you will be entered in the drawing to win a FREE COOK BOOK!! Please help support this amazing family by helping to promote the charity cook book below. Drawing will be THIS MONDAY, April 9th, so be sure and LET ME KNOW, if you blog, post, email or tweet about it.