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I’m Grateful For…Wakeup Calls

I literally typed into Pinterest today, “tips to minimalize my life and enjoy motherhood more.” I was shocked, to be honest, after reading that sentence back. Is that honestly where I’m at as a mom? Overwhelmed and desperate to find those moments in the day where I can be stopped in my tracks and think, “wow, I’m so grateful for this moment and I want to take notice of that and document it.” The documentation isn’t for anyone per se. It’s for your own recollection and daily discipline so that you stay in the habit and mindset of being conscious of daily gratitudes. I listened to a podcast today as well that talked about how this woman keeps a gratitude journal. She makes it a common practice to write down what it is she’s grateful for and is able to see how God has been so amazing and faithful in her life. It can be super helpful to look back through if your in a low valley and need a reminder of God’s constant goodness. One example she gave of her journal entry was that a tree in her yard had fallen and destroyed the play set, trampoline, and part of the roof. However, if it had fallen two feet closer to the house, it would’ve wiped out the part of the house where all the bedrooms are and could’ve killed her children. In bleak circumstances when it seems like there’s much to grumble and complain about-guess what?! There’s still something to be grateful for!

I’m feeling convicted and challenged to start using this blog platform as my online grateful journal. I want to be an example to my daughter and those around me of what a life rooted in the Lord looks like, and that’s a life of gratefulness and love.

The Dreaded Paci Weaning


I am going to share with you my experience with weaning my 2 year old off of the paci. I can only speak from my experience as I know there are lots of ways to go about this delicate process.


For my Isla girl, her paci has been her best friend since day 1. I thought it was a miracle when a few months before she turned 2, we were able to cut down on the paci use to just naps and night time. Since she really struggled with teething every time she got a new tooth, and her paci was a comfort and help to her during those times, I just figured I’d wait until all her teeth were in to worry about taking the paci away altogether.
Fast forward to a couple days ago. She had turned 2 four months ago and I kept wondering when those last molars were going to come in so we could start thinking about taking away the paci. Well I felt like an idiot when I finally counted all her teeth and realized she already had those last molars in for a while now and that she no longer is teething. For some reason I kept thinking more were supposed to come in.


It was in that moment I thought, “Ok, this is it. We need to start the process of taking away the paci. There’s never going to be the right time. I’m going to have to create that moment myself.” I had these thoughts about an hour before her nap, so I tried to casually mention that she’s a big girl and big girls don’t need their paci anymore.
The reality of the words I had been speaking didn’t settle until I put her in the crib and told her she wasn’t going to be getting her paci for nap time. The look of sadness and distrust on her face just about broke me, but I knew it was going to be tough, but so necessary to get through. The screaming/crying/wailing for her paci last about 30 minutes. I went in to check on her about halfway through to reassure her and negotiate what a treat might look like if she takes a nap. That’s Isla for you—she loves to make a deal. To my amazement, she eventually fell asleep! She even woke up in a good mood, and that’s all the evidence I needed to know that we can get through this.
That night looked a similar way, but the crying didn’t last as long. The next day for her nap was even better, and that night before bed was even better. Here we are on day 3, and as I write this story, she’s taking another peaceful nap without her paci. I honestly thought her future husband was going to have to deal with the fact that Isla comes with a paci. She was that attached to the thing.


I wanted to share my experience to give hope to those terrified parents who are dreading the same process. I even asked some other mom friends what their technique was, and most of them said they got a paci bear, read books about a paci fairy, or they took several days to prepare their child letting them know the day was coming soon when they didn’t need their paci anymore. I don’t recall any of them saying they did it cold turkey one day without any planning, but for me and Isla, I think that’s the method that was going to work best for us. When thrown into a situation we adapt. Isla amazes me at her ability to transition and make adjustments where needed. She’s so strong and I am so glad that we embarked on this journey of no more paci without preparing much for it. That might seem like the opposite thing to do, but it really is just tough no matter your technique. It is about 3 days of lots of tears but they eventually do go to sleep without it, and it becomes one less transition to work through.


For us next, we plan on tackling potty training this winter. She’s not ready for it yet, but I definitely want her to be potty trained before she turns 3, and I want to give us plenty of time to work through it.


I honestly just can’t believe I’m even writing this post. This day has come, and I feel so proud of myself and Isla for working through it and being consistent. Good luck to all you parents getting ready to embark on this journey, and I’d love to hear how your experience goes!


I’m so grateful to be Isla’s mom and to be able to come alongside her as she grows throughout her life.

My Experience Having a Baby During a Global Pandemic


On April 5, 2020, our family welcomed our precious Remington Palmer, who weighed 6lbs 2oz and is absolute perfection. She is adored by her older sister Isla, and we are so happy to all be home and healthy. Remi ended up being born via a scheduled C-section for a few reasons. The main one is that I previously had an emergency C-section with Isla, and since I hadn’t started showing any signs of going into labor by 39 weeks, we decided to play it safe with another C-section. On top of that, we weren’t sure how our hospital’s restrictions were going to look even another week out with positive cases of coronavirus being on the rise. We are so thankful that even though we weren’t able to have any visitors, my husband was able to be there the whole time.

Remington Palmer


Besides the surgery going smoothly, everything else about our experience just seemed strange. Anyone who came into our room wore a mask (thankfully we didn’t have to wear a mask in our room), and if we wanted to leave our room, we had to put a mask on. The hallway lights always seemed dim since there weren’t people walking around requiring it to be well lit. At one point, Remi was the only baby on our floor. It felt lonely not having our family and friends come and love on us and our new baby. In fact, 2.5 weeks after she’s been born, our families still haven’t held her. We’ve been trying to take this quarantine seriously, but at some point we also want our parents and siblings to hold her.

Wearing masks in the hospital on our way to go have our baby!


Sometimes we get visitors that come to see her through the glass in our front door, but it’s not the same as when people can come sit on our couch and visit for a while. We just miss the community feel of having everyone come around us when a baby is born. There is so much to be thankful for though. This isn’t me just complaining—I really am overall just trying to explain how our experience has been because of everything going on. I look so forward to being on the other side of this quarantine. Because my husband has been working from home, it’s also allowed for a sort of extended paternal leave for him as he’s been able to help out more than if he had to go back to work.

So in love!


I hope that others who have given birth during this pandemic have still had pleasant experiences despite the many restrictions they may face. What matters is that the babies are safe and healthy. We will get through this together!

2 weeks old

Last Pregnancy Update!


Before baby girl arrives in April, I thought I’d get one last pregnancy update out before I forget. Especially considering these peculiar times, I want to be able to look back and remember all that was going on surrounding the time that our Remington Palmer was born.


As I’m writing this, I am almost 37 weeks pregnant, and am going on a full week of isolation at home, due to recommended social distancing because of the Coronavirus. At my appointment today, my doctor said only my husband will be allowed in the hospital during our stay when Remi is born. It’s so strange to think that we won’t be able to have family and friends come and go to visit with us and meet our new baby when she is born. When Isla was born, we looked forward to having visitors and even Starbucks and other food brought in. This time, however, that will not be the case. Everyone will have to wait and meet her when we get home, and even those visits are going to have to be spread out.


I am thankful for the time Ross and I will have to bond with our baby before coming home, but gosh I’m going to miss Isla, and I’ll be so excited to introduce her to her little sister!


My goal right now is to stay healthy. I’m not leaving the house much at all. Going to the doctor today was my first public outing in a week, and it was almost eerie seeing all the steps that had been taken within a short amount of time to try and combat the spread of this virus. I also want my husband to stay healthy so that he can be with me when we welcome Remi into the world.


At this time, I haven’t started dilating. I’m taking it all a day at a time, but I am getting so excited, it’s hard to stay patient!
The next post I write may be a while from now, but when I do, I will have 2 children. That thought is so wild! I have been loving my time with Isla during these last couple weeks of my pregnancy as I know that things will be very different here soon. She’s still my baby no matter what, and I love and value the sweet relationship that we have.


I’m so excited to post photos of our daughter when she arrives!!

Striving For Clean

The other day on Instagram, I asked what were favorite clean brands and products that people like to use. I was so surprised by the response! So many people reached out to not only share what their favorite clean products were but offered to be of assistance along my journey to slowly remove toxic products from my home. 
I don’t know what exactly prompted me to start looking into the world of toxin-free, but it can be overwhelming to say the least! All I know is, I have one body and I need to care for it and take responsibility for what I expose myself and my children to. I’m ok with this being a journey that takes me a long time because I want to do it the right way, and it can be a little bit more expensive, especially starting out. My hope is to do an updated post in a couple months reviewing my favorite clean substitutions that I have made. The categories I’m looking to change span the spectrum from makeup, to skincare, household cleaners, bath and body, etc. 
I know there is endless information to absorb within this topic, and while I may never become an expert, I am thankful to have access to so many options! There are so many companies that are transparent with their ingredients and their desire to not only offer cleaner options, but also options that are still going to perform! I think that was always my fear with going clean—that I’d end up spending more for something that didn’t do the job as well as their more toxic counterpart. 
I’m so excited for my first purchase, which is kind of silly, but it’s toothpaste! We needed more anyway, so I thought this was a perfect time to test out a new, cleaner option. I ordered it on Amazon (thank goodness for 1 day shipping!) and it comes in today. My next goal is to switch from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant.
A helpful resource for me to start this journey has been the Think Dirty App. This is a simple tool to search a general product or brand to see how “clean” it rates according to the ingredients that are listed. While not every brand can be found on this app yet, it still has many to look up, and I’m sure they’ll only continue to add to what is currently available. 
As a mom especially, I want to set an example for my girls that mindful shopping is so important. Just because it’s FDA approved doesn’t mean we should trust it. Just like I want them to be careful and intentional about what goes into their mind and heart and comes out of their mouth, I want them to be careful about how they care for their physical body as well. Let’s take this journey together! If there are any products you recommend, pass it along my way, and I’ll be sure to do the same as I have had time to test out my purchases. 

Second Trimester Recap

I can honestly not even believe that I am in the final stretch of this pregnancy! I remember thinking the second trimester lasted forever with my firstborn. The second time around, this whole pregnancy is flying, and I wonder if it mostly has to do with the fact that I keep myself busy chasing a toddler around all the time and can’t just sit around staring at my pregnancy apps, while slowly watching time crawl by (I may or may not have done this when I was pregnant with Isla). 
As mentioned already, the second trimester was a blur, but I’m going to do my best to recap what all I did/did not experience.

1. No Crazy Cravings

Along with the first trimester, I have not had any specific cravings that are out of my normal preferences. I will say that my appetite has increased, however, and I’m seeing that reflect on the scale! (I’ll talk more about that later)

2. Constantly Exhausted

I remember hearing that the second trimester is the golden trimester, as this is usually when women feel like a million bucks and get all their energy back that was zapped from them during the first trimester. Nope, not for me. I still wake up each morning super excited to take my nap as soon as I put my daughter down for her nap. This has effected my exercise as well. I still workout about 3 days a week, but those workouts are definitely nothing to brag about. However, I’m doing my best to stay moving and go on walks when the weather is nice enough.

3. Weight Gain

When I was pregnant with Isla, I gained about 22 lbs or so, if I remember correctly. I’m hoping to stick within that same number this time around, but it feels as though it has been packing on quickly lately! During the second trimester I gained about 8 lbs, for a total of about 13 lbs. I know I’m within a healthy range of weight gain, but it’s important for me to maintain my healthy lifestyle while pregnant so that I can bounce back easier after baby.

4. Troll Status

My husband thinks I’m crazy any time I compare my appearance to that of a troll, but I can’t help but think I’m onto something. I didn’t bother to buy myself any news clothes during the second trimester because I was in that “in between” phase where you can still kinda fit in your regular clothes, and some maternity clothes still don’t fit quite right. Regardless, that meant that most days I stayed in my comfy clothes if I wasn’t leaving the house, and elastic waistbands and no bras were my best friend. My husband was lucky if I did my hair or makeup. Poor guy, I know this isn’t going to get any better after I have the baby. Maybe in 5 years I’ll try a little harder (I kid! sorta..) I’m not one that feels particularly beautiful while pregnant. I know I’m growing a human, and that’s such a miraculous blessing, but I can’t wrap my head about the mental state of all the physical changes I’m going through. I’m going to make an effort during this final stretch of my pregnancy to see myself the way I know my husband does.
Overall, I am sure I’m forgetting quite a few things, but that’s what I get for not taking any notes during the second trimester! I really am just so excited to meet my daughter in a few short months. That is what makes any pregnancy symptom or physical change totally worth it. It’s not all glamorous, but it is such a gift, and one that I want to always remember to be so thankful and grateful for. 
Thanks for reading, and go hug on your precious kids!!

How To Survive Sick Week

As I’m writing this, we are on day 9 of myself being sick, while Isla is finally feeling and acting more herself. I am not quite in the clear, but Isla is thankfully. This was all so new to me. I hardly get sick, and Isla has never had more than a cold, so when I was told that she has RSV, pink eye, and an ear infection, I was at a loss. I have never had a sinus infection, but I’m convinced that’s what I have, and my symptoms are taking a little longer to subside. Because of all that she had going on, it affected pretty much everything about her from her sleep, to her eating, to her need for her paci, and overall energy. Since I was also feeling terrible, it just compounded on the entire situation. I don’t want this to sound like just a bunch of complaining, however. It’s definitely been tough to navigate this week, but I learned a few things that I wanted to share with any moms that may need some encouragement if they ever find themselves in the same situation.

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1. Forget what’s “normal” in your routine

You are now in survival mode momma, so that’s what you need to focus on. I was so stressed out in the beginning of our sickness wondering how I was going to care for my sick child while doing everything else. When I finally accepted that I was not going to get sleep and that our typical day-to-day routine was definitely not going to happen, it really helped me to just let go of any expectation to keep normalcy around. Just focus on staying up on administering medicines, getting in extra snuggles, and taking care of yourself and your sick baby.

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2. Don’t stress going backwards in your parenting efforts

I quickly realized that Isla was going to need me to be less strict on enforcing normal parenting habits like limited screen time and when she is allowed to have her paci. What she needed was plenty of rest and comfort, and I hate to admit it, but she was able to get more rest with her paci and a movie. We’ve been trying to limit pacis to just night time, which had been successful. But when she wanted it 24/7, I was worried that we were undoing every effort we had previously made. Same goes with how much screen time she was getting. I will say, on the other side of this, neither issue has taken more than a day or two to transition back into. It takes standing your ground and consistency, but I think that a week isn’t going to undo what you’ve been working on for months.

 

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3. Find joy in the little moments

While I could’ve been felt overwhelmed that my 20 month old wasn’t going down for her nap with gladness like she usually does, I chose to take the time she wanted with me to rock her while she reluctantly drifted off to just be thankful for this time I do have. It gave me time to give my tired and weary thoughts to God and find peace and rest in Him. I would rather have these moments than none at all, and as her momma, it’s my joy and privilege to be her person that helps when she feels absolutely helpless.Image result for please help

4. Ask for help

I’m not one that naturally asks for help all the time. I’d like to think that I can handle most things on my own (this is a big area I need help with in general). However, my husband has been amazing with picking up the slack that I so desperately needed, even without me asking for help. If he wasn’t able to help out as much, I would’ve needed to ask for more assistance on some days when I was at my wits end, but it’s something I highly recommend if you are going through the same thing and don’t have your husband as available to help during the day. I was surprised as to how many people that reached out asking if they could help if Ross wasn’t able to, and that is a blessing just to know that those people are there and willing. Image result for this too shall pass

5. Know this: You will get through this!

It was probably night 3 or 4 of having little to no sleep that I started to wonder if life would ever be the same again. In my dramatic and delirious mindset, it had felt more like it had been 3 or 4 years. In reality, most seasonal sickness seems to run its course in about a week or two which isn’t that long in the grand scheme of life. If crying and allowing yourself to feel overwhelmed for a moment helps release your stress and tension, let it out! It helped me tremendously a couple of times to be vulnerable with myself and just cry. But when you’re done crying, gather yourself, find some grit deep down, and get through another sleepless night. You are a strong mom, stronger than you know.

I am grateful to the other moms that encouraged me while navigating a tough week nursing my daughter back to health. This was all new to me, and oftentimes overwhelming. I’m also so grateful for my family’s health. I have a new appreciation for each breath and a good night’s rest. My heart also goes out to those who have children with chronic or debilitating illnesses. You are amazing, and there is so much I can learn from you.

Don’t Sweat the Clingy Phase

I’m speaking to myself on this one, but I’ve also been learning a lot about how to navigate this phase, and I’ve picked up on some really helpful tips! I can only speak for myself based on my experience, but I feel that being a SAHM has contributed to Isla’s tight circle of people that she trusts. Her separation anxiety has been pretty constant since she was a couple months old. For us, this looks like her not wanting to be in the nursery at church without me in there. Or even when we’re out and about in public, if she had wondered too far (even still in the same room), she’ll start to cry and rush back over to me. At the same time, she loves people and is super friendly. She just so happens to want me around probably 95% of the time. I’m so thankful she also loves being with grandparents because that can be a lifesaver for when this mom needs a break! Anyway, here are some things I’ve learned from my experience along the way with having a child that has separation anxiety:
  1. Pray- I’m not saying this to be funny or cliché either. I’ve found myself having terrible dreams the night before an event where I know I’ll be putting Isla in childcare for a couple hours. In these dreams, Isla is miserable the whole time, and it makes me super uncomfortable because I hate pushing her into situations like that as her mom, the one she should be able to trust 100%. In reality, these are not just bad dreams though. This is real life. When she can be so miserable apart from me, the anxiety can run high. So one night as I was putting Isla to bed, I prayed with her about the upcoming day where she would need to be in childcare, asking God to help us both not to be nervous. But that if she did have a hard time and I needed to come get her, that I wouldn’t be worried or stressed about it. And that night, I felt as though I truly had given all my fears to the Lord. I slept well, and Isla even lasted the whole time with another caretaker the next day! I’m not counting on that being our new normal, but I’m grateful to have had the peace going into it. That was what changed my perspective the most. 
  2. Don’t worry about establishing super high expectations- I used to create these ideal expectations and scenarios in my head where Isla loved going into the nursery by herself at church. And every time that didn’t happen, I’d find myself more and more discouraged. Finally, I decided to toss my currently unreachable expectations and be a little more flexible and relaxed. 
  3. Keep trying- Even though I may not have those high expectations right now, it doesn’t keep me from trying. I still put Isla in the nursery at church each week, and in childcare for my MOPS meeting each month. 
  4. Create opportunities as consistent as you can for them to be around other caretakers- My last point leads me into this next one, which is similar but adds an extra step. Along with your normal routine, be creative in thinking of ways to incorporate new opportunities for your child to experience being under the care of others. An easy way to start is by introducing one new person and having them watch your child often. I’ve found this to help Isla. She’s never been one to click right away with someone and trust them, but if she’s given the opportunity to build a relationship with them, we’re more likely to find success. And start within your home if you’re able. Having someone care for your child within their own comfort zone can be super helpful for the child as well. 
  5. Enjoy-They’ll grow out of this before you know it! It will definitely get better in time. It may not be today, but being anxious about it definitely won’t help, so don’t stress! This can be the hardest tip to implement, especially all the time, but is crucial in getting through it with joy. 
I’m grateful for my daughter teaching me so much beyond just how to parent. A lot of my flaws have become painfully clear to me since becoming a mom, but through realizing them I’m also seeing that there are always ways to improve. 

Creating Heathy Routines and Habits

This can be a big topic, and there really is a lot to tackle here, but we’re going to do our best to walk through some different thoughts. Hopefully, you’ll be able to pick up on some ideas and begin incorporating them with your family!
First of all, I’d define a healthy routine as something that you want your family to participate in on an almost daily, if not daily, basis. To not do these things would be unhealthy habits. Let’s talk through some practical steps:
1. Make these daily habits consistent
When teaching your kids the importance of creating and repeating healthy habits, these need to be things that apply to them often. For example, after we finish eating, we always pick up our dishes. Or every night before bed, we brush our teeth. Some things don’t have to be chore related, but can still be a good habit to instill like reading a certain amount every day (maybe even before screen time).
2. Say what you are doing and why
My 19 month old has already picked up on the fact that we pick up after ourselves because it’s a mess, and messes get picked up. It’s a simple concept but helps her to understand the reasoning behind picking up our toys, cleaning our hands after eating, etc. It also helps our children to understand that it’s a way of taking care of the things that we have. That is a bigger lesson that’ll continue to be developed as they get older, but is a good one to get started on now! Another example would be explaining that we read the Bible every day so we can know more about God. My daughter loves reading books already, which is great, but I also want her to understand why we prioritize reading this specific book every day.
3. Keep at it even if the concept seems lost on them
Don’t be afraid to stay consistent even if it seems like it’s not catching on at first or that they may be too young. If my 19 month old can say “Grinch” first thing when she wakes up and all throughout the day because she wants to watch it all the time, then I think she can pick up on “time to pray before bed” or “let’s pick up our mess before we move on to another activity.” Hearing the same message over and over is one way they learn!
4. Make sure some of these healthy habits are enjoyable
Hopefully, all of the daily habits you want for your family are always enjoyable for everyone! But the reality is, that may not always be the case. That is why I feel it’s important to make sure that many of the healthy habits are things that your kids look forward to throughout the day. If we’re lucky, these habits will become some of their favorite things to incorporate. Examples of this for me would be that Isla loves bath time, so I make sure she is getting in a bath at least every other day, if not more (she’s been asking for one on a daily basis lately). She also enjoys helping me unload the clean dishes out of the dishwasher, put clean clothes on each morning, and eat fresh fruit. Because she enjoys these things, I try to make sure I’m making an effort to see that these happen often. As our kids grow up, the list of things that they will need to accomplish will only continue to lengthen. My hope is that I can facilitate a healthy and fun atmosphere around daily habits.
Overall momma, what do you want your home to be centered around? Daily habits that I have for my home may not be the things that you prioritize in yours, and that’s totally OK! Just be sure that you have identified those things that are important to you and your family, and stay consistent. It’s amazing how quickly kids pick up on bad habits and routines. If we are on a road trip and let Isla watch the iPad while traveling, she’ll expect it to still be there when we get back home and aren’t traveling long distances anymore. This habit that’s been established within a couple days takes at least that long to undo. Consider that it’ll take some time when setting up healthy routines if you are also trying to break a few bad ones at the same time as well. I’ll end with this thought–do you want to encourage helpfulness, imagination, and creativity? Shut down the screen time after a certain amount of time and explain why. It can be easy to redirect their focus if a different activity is still engaging them, even if it’s just you doing the engaging! We have the responsibility of raising up these young ones that have been entrusted to us. Hang tight and reach out to other moms for support if you are feeling overwhelmed with instilling any habits that are going to be healthy for your home because it is worth it and you can do it!
I’m Grateful For…
The role and task of teaching my children how to behave and know what is expected of them as participating members of the household. I want my kids to feel they are just as much a part of the family without thinking that they are in charge. That is my role along with my husband, and we want to take it seriously because we love them so much!

Making Christmas Memorable for Yourself and Your Kids

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In this blog post, I wanted to include ways to make the Christmas holiday memorable for yourself as well because I’m finding it easier and easier for the holidays in general to lose their magic and sparkle, but I don’t think it has to! No doubt, finding ways to make it fun for our children can be easier, but I have put a list together of some ways I think the Christmas season can be a special time for parents and children alike.

1. 25 Days of Reading

Wrap 25 books for your children to open every day in December leading up to Christmas. This not only creates a fun moment your children can look forward to every day, but also ensures some family time together as you follow up with reading that book along with them.

2. Look at Christmas Lights

Growing up, I feel like some of my most favorite memories are were the ones that cost little to nothing. This can definitely be one of those memories for you and your kids! Whether it’s driving around from neighborhood to neighborhood admiring others’ hard work or seeing a professional lighting display put on in your local city or town, this can be made into a tradition I guarantee your children will remember for years to come.

3. Baking/Decorating Gingerbread House

This is a great way to stir up holiday cheer for all involved! Not only do we get the satisfaction of enjoying the fruits of our labor afterwards with either some hot cocoa or glass of milk, we also got to have fun as a family being in the kitchen together laughing and making memories.

4. Watch ALL the Christmas Movies

I exaggerate a little, but really, watch a bunch of movies together! Sometimes watching a favorite Christmas movie can be just the thing to help us parents also get more in the Christmas spirit. Do this with your kids but also with your spouse after your kids have gone to bed. Holiday cheer between adults is super important and fun too!

5. Decorate!

I want to start off with this, more or less, obvious way to make Christmas memorable for your family by saying that I feel like there should be no rules when it comes to this. This year, we decided to put our Christmas tree up a couple weeks before Thanksgiving. Some may think this is too early, and that’s just fine for them to think. But in our household, it’s extending our favorite time of the year and allowing us to enjoy the beauty of the lights on the tree even longer! Since my daughter, Isla, is only a year and a half old, she isn’t able to help put ornaments on the tree yet, but this is definitely a tradition we look forward to continuing through the years!

6. Be Generous

Tis the season to be generous to others. Create opportunities for your kids to watch you giving to others whether it’s through giving presents, your time, or even just kindness (especially when we want to be impatient or rude to the people crowding the grocery stores and shopping malls–where did all these people come from?!) Being able to demonstrate generosity in front of our kids is a wonderful lesson we can teach them, and there are many ways to let them join in on it too!

7. Read Luke

For this idea, read a chapter in Luke from the Bible every day in December. There are 24 chapters, so you can get through the whole book together as a family by Christmas. Luke 2 contains the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth, and the rest of the book goes on to talk about his life on Earth. This can be a wonderful tradition to establish as a family that may even go beyond just the month of December! If your family isn’t already in the habit of reading Scripture together, this is great way to incorporate it long-term within your daily routine.

8. Fill in the Blank

Incorporate any other Christmas traditions that have been passed down through your families that you want to hold onto. It can be anything! It’ll be special to you because of fond memories from your past while creating new memories with your children.

I hope this list gives you some ideas if you are feeling stumped this Christmas season. It can feel like it’s a lot easier for children to get into the holiday spirit, and while that may be true, I think it’s also important for them to see their parents taking part in Christmas cheer. It doesn’t hurt if we find ourselves a little less stressed and overwhelmed because of it too!

I’m Grateful For…

Past memories during my childhood that helped to shape my fondness towards Christmastime and the wonderful opportunities that I have no to pass down a lot of those same traditions to my children.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m Grateful For Cherry Vanilla Bagels

If you haven’t tried these from Panera Bread, you should! I don’t know why I haven’t heard of these sooner, but they are my new fave! On Tuesdays, their baker’s dozen is on sale, so we like to stock up on our favorite bagel flavors for the week. There’s just something about a warm, toasted bagel with butter that makes feel so thankful! And that’s where I’m getting with today’s post, which is also the last of the “Countdown to Thanksgiving” posts! I’m thankful for the “big” things, of course, like my house, husband, children, family, etc, but I’m super thankful for the everyday small things too, like my current favorite bagel flavor! In the grind and day-to-day routine that may or may not always be super exciting, I find it important to notice those things that are a part of your everyday that you are super thankful for. And don’t just think of one thing, although that’s a great place to start! My goal is to be able to think of one thing every hour that I am grateful for. I’ll give it a try right now: coffee, bagels, ability to stay home and stay in pjs, Isla’s laughter, exercise, rest, lights on the Christmas tree, baking, feeling Remi moving in my belly…and those are all things just from today! I know I’m always grateful for the bigger things, and those are easier to think of, so I’m going to enjoy the rest of this week focused on opening my eyes to the smaller things to be grateful for because they are all around. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!