He Is The Gift
21st December 2014

Very rarely do I share things of a spiritual nature, even though they are close to my heart quite often, actually. But, ’tis the season to be reminded of what all of this crazy stuff we are doing is all about.

I get lost this time of year. I long for a closeness with the spiritual aspect of the season, and often don’t feel it amidst all the responsibilities of gifts, and shopping, and class parties. But, today I was reminded, and I hope this will remind you too. He is the Gift.

I hope you’ll watch this, and then share it. Because, it’s definitely worth sharing. And, most of all, I hope you have a WONDERFUL Christmas week. I know I’m looking forward to it. #ShareTheGift

How to Create Your Own Christmas Card in PicMonkey
4th December 2014

I have become obsessed lately with Picmonkey. I use it for all my blog editing, and I have so much fun creating images for my blog. I’m glad I’ve never done digital scrapbooking, because I’m pretty sure I would become totally consumed and obsessed with that too. Since I’ve been having so much fun playing around with it, I feel like I’ve gotten a little better at it, and decided to design my own Christmas card this year!

I did this because I saw a cute card on Minted.com that I LOVED the saying that was on it, but I didn’t want to pay their prices. You can see the card I was coveting here. I just knew I wouldn’t find that saying on a less expensive card and their price for 100 cards would have been $163!! Mine? Cost me $50. I’d say that’s a pretty good amount of money to save at Christmas time! I’m in LOVE with how it turned out. Printed it on 5×7 photo paper at Costco, and I’ve got a modern looking card for 1/3 of the price. LOVE it.

DIY Christmas CardSo, I thought I’d do a couple of simple tutorials to help you design your own Christmas card (or a birthday invite, baptism announcement, baby announcement, etc.) that you can save money on! Ready?

How to Design Your Own Cards in PicMonkey. Make a knock-off version of more expensive versions. Christmas cards, birth announcements, birthday invites, etc.
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This House Needs a Mouse. A Children’s Book Review
3rd December 2014

To say we like to read in this house, is a bit of an understatement.

To Read is to Dream Scrapbook Layout at PerfectionPending.netThis was my daughter on her 3rd birthday, before she could technically “read”. She is sitting with a stack of books her Grandpa had sent her. I’m not bragging, but she sat here for a solid hour going through these books. Think of it. 1 hour of contentment. From a three year old.

As a parent, I couldn’t be happier that I have a reader in the family. She is now 8 years old, and flies through chapter books in hours, and reading is always one of her favorite things to do.

But, I can’t say my boys have quite caught the reading bug like she has. But, if I will sit down and read a book to them? It’s pretty much the one quiet moment in our day where both boys are able to stop touching each other (for no apparent reason) and listen. Quietly. Heavenly right?

But, to be perfectly honest, life is busy, and not all children’s books are pleasant to read (for the parent). Unfortunately, there are some that make me crazy, and I find myself skimming the words hoping to get through it as quickly as possible. But, there are some, that I truly enjoy reading over and over again. Goodnight Moon. Bumblebee Boy. The Giving Tree. Dr. Seuss. There are certain books that capture the hearts of children, but are also entertaining for parents to read too. A win- win, right? That’s what I’m always looking for in a good children’s book.

So, when I was asked to review a children’s book, This House Needs a Mouse, I jumped at the chance. A new book to read? Awesome.

The day the book arrived, my kids were all eating dinner. I had a captivated audience, so I grabbed the book, and read it to them. And, I have to say, my kids were all mesmerized. Not a peep was made, and even I couldn’t wait to see what happened to the main character of the story. A not-so-ordinary mouse (who incidentally loves helping keep the house clean). That’s my kind of mouse.

House-Mouse-book-cover“A beautifully illustrated children’s book with a difference, This House Needs A Mouse is a fun tale of a mouse who seeks a life outside of his caged existence, and through a series of events, finds himself free and experiencing life with all its ups and downs. It’s not just a read-along for your child, this book aimed at 3 to 8 year olds, is a teaching tool for budding readers and writers. Filled with mentor text such as alliteration, vivid verbs and purposeful repetition to name a few, This House Needs A Mouse is educational and delightful.”

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The story opens with a cute little family of three, with one on the way. The mom is frazzled because she can’t manage to keep the crumbs off the floor. Ahem. I can’t relate to that at all. (wink wink) So, she comes up with a perfect solution. A mouse.
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Lego Memes. Because we’ve been in the house too long.
28th November 2014

My oldest has pneumonia.

Yep. So, we’ve been stuck in our little house for too many days in a row. I might be going insane. And I’m definitely eating too much and exercising too little. If I had a fitbit, it would probably laugh at me.

My house is strewn with legos and other kid paraphernalia (did you seriously know there was an r in paraphernalia?), and I’ve lost all motivation for picking them up. So, instead, I created some Lego Memes. You’re welcome. Please feel free to share, like, pin, and pray for my sanity.

Give me some more great meme captions for this picture, and I’ll make one and add it to this post!  See, now I have you working for me. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and aren’t getting in fist fights on black Friday.

Parenting Tip Legos will protect you from intruders. perfectionpending.net

Legos. Protecting your home from intruders since 1949.

 

Thanks to my loyal reader (and commenter) Kim from Protean Mom, here are two more for your pleasure. :)

Legos. Helping Parents teach their kids swear words since 1949. Perfectionpending.net Legos. Teaching the parents the two step since 1949.

The Perfect Rolls From Scratch
25th November 2014

I’ve been meaning to get an updated post about this recipe. It’s my mother-in-law’s and she was the roll queen. Luckily, my husband loves to bake bread (mostly because he loves to eat bread) and he paid attention when she was still alive to learn how to make these rolls.

I mean, he made these this week. Aren’t they beautiful?

The perfect rolls from scratch! perfection pending.net

Baking bread takes way more patience than I have time for, so I don’t even attempt it, but I always have people asking for the recipe after they try my husband’s rolls, so I thought I’d share it with all of you!  And, I’ve even known some families to give up their roll recipe they’ve been using for years for this one. They even make amazing cinnamon rolls too!

How to Make PERFECT Rolls from Scratch. This recipe will become your go-to recipe for holidays and special events!

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The Identity Crisis of Motherhood
10th November 2014

He reached up for my hand in the store and said, “I hold your hand, Mommy?” I grabbed his tiny, almost 3-year-old hand and for a second, my heart exploded. I wanted nothing more in the world than to hold that tiny hand forever and ever.

Lately, I’ve been feeling more often than not those quiet feelings of immense gratitude. I look at my kids and feel a love so enormous it would literally be impossible to express. I see glimpses of the big kids that they will one day be. Some days, I feel glad life seems to poke by slowly, and they will still be two years old tomorrow. I’m finally wishing for life to slow down instead of speed up.

Some days, I think, I’m finally beginning to be the mom I’ve always wanted to be. The one that is present when it’s important. Who follows those little whispers to give undivided attention when it matters. The one that breathes in their smell right after a nap and promises herself, wills herself, to remember it. The one that sees the importance of child-rearing and not only appreciates it, but loves it.

But, I’m imperfect, and well aware that next week, I might be crying in the bathroom because I yelled at my kids for letting the glow stick leak onto the living room chair and ruin it. I hear a quiet whisper in my head of a quote I heard somewhere that one time, “People are more important than things”. I swallow the anger and promise myself that I’ll do better the next day. And, I might forget that a few days before I was the mom that I wanted to always be.
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Easy Taco Soup
24th October 2014

We LOVE soups. You may have noticed because I’ve shared a few of them here. I like them mostly because they are usually one pot meals, and I can hide veggies in them and my kids will eat them. I made this recipe this week for dinner and my two year old ate it. I repeat, my two year old ate it.

I let my kids dip chips in it too, so that always helps.

This recipe comes from my amazing sister in law who is coincidentally named, Meridith. She made this for us years ago, and it’s been a staple ever since!

Easiest Taco Soup! Uses Fresh Ingredients and canned soups so that this comes together in just minutes.
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25 Foods That Scare Me More Than Pumpkin
22nd October 2014

It’s a problem, it’s true. Pumpkin flavored food is EVERYWHERE.

People love to make fun of pumpkin while they secretly stuff their faces with it. And, drink it down by the millions at their local starbucks.

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Pinterest LOVES pumpkin. Heck, I love pumpkin. Frankly, if you don’t love pumpkin (and I know some of you are out there) then I get why it’s annoying. All the cool kids (or hypocrites sipping on their pumpkin spice lattes) are mocking pumpkin these days.

But, for the rest of you that love it…you have to admit you salivate just a little when you hear the words, pumpkin flavored ….

But, I have found that there are far too many other foods and food posts that scare me a lot more than pumpkin season. When it comes to food, recipes, and pinterest, there is a lot to be worried about. There are many foods lurking out there that are down right spooky, creepy, and disgusting. Why pick on pumpkin? Here are 25 foods that bother me more than pumpkin spiced flavored anything.

Why does everyone pick on Pumpkin Here are 25 Foods That Scare Me More Than Pumpkinphoto credit: Sakurako Kitsa via photopin cc (text added for purpose of this post)
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The Secret to Feeling Happy as a Mom
21st October 2014

When I used to work full-time, I was that employee that lots of other employees resented.

I was always on-time.

Never missed a deadline.

If anything, I got my work done ahead of time and asked for more. Annoying, right?

Even when I was a waitress, I was the one that was standing around waiting to get another table because all of mine were happy as could be. I still miss that job sometimes. Weird, I know.

Today, when I picked up the spoon from underneath the dining room table that had been sitting there for 3 days, I thought about how no one else seemed to notice it but me. While I seriously doubt that’s true, because as far as I know, the other 4 members of my family all have perfectly good working eyes, I came to the realization that it was my job. Plain and simple. My job now is to pick up that spoon that no one else cares about. I’ve made it my job. I wanted this job.

I’m the one who always puts the toilet paper on the roll, I’m the one that vacuums and dusts. I’m the one that makes sure we are to doctor’s appointments and homework gets done, and I’m the one that picks up that dirty sock that has been sitting just outside the laundry basket for a week. Some days, I think my sole purpose on this earth was to follow behind people and pick up their messes.

If I’m so miserable, why don’t I just go and get a hobby? You might wonder.

Well, the truth is, I do have a small, part time job that I love. But, the dirty clothes, the homework, the piano practice and the mopping still has to get done, regardless of my job. I suspect moms that work full-time feel this way too. They have to be a breadwinner (how 1950’s is that term?) and do the laundry. I’m grateful my most important job is staying home.

But, let’s be real, the reason why stay at home moms complain is because our job is hard just like everyone else’s. The thing I realized about myself is that in every job outside of the home I’ve had, I’ve excelled. I got praise, raises, good reviews, and rewards for a job well done.

Being a mom and a perfectionist don’t mix well. I’m never asking for more work because I have so much that I often feel that I’m drowning in dirty shoes by the back door, and laundry sitting folded at the foot of my bed that never seems to get put away.

There is an occasional sweet moment where a child says thank you un-solicited, or a husband comes home from work and actually notices the clean bathrooms without being told to notice them. But, the typical day in and day out work of a mom is unforgiving. There is never a pat on the back. You can never say to yourself, “Well, I finished that” when you’re talking about raising a child. And, there certainly is no paycheck.

I wish I could say that being a stay at home mom fulfills every part of me. But, that would be a lie. The truth would be, I believe I’m doing the right thing by staying home for my family and my kids, but I don’t always feel 100% happy having my only title be stay at home mom.

So here is the real truth behind why I complain sometimesI’m not completely fulfilled as a stay at home Mom, but I think it’s important, so I do it. There are moms out there who ARE completely fulfilled staying at home with their kids. I’m not. I cringe even writing that because I know it’s the most important job I could ever have. Yet, it’s not all I want out of life. I want to write. I want to be creative. I want to have time alone. I want to eat a hot meal. I’ve sacrificed in ways I never dreamed I would have to.

The Secret To Feeling Happy & Satisfied Being a Mom. It's not always easy, but if you look in the right place for satisfaction, it might be possible. -- Perfectionpending.netphoto credit: ~PhotograTree~ via photopin cc (Text added for the purpose of this post)

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10 Things Every Parent is Doing Right
16th October 2014

You know those posts that tell you, 10 Mistakes You’re Making as a Parent, or 5 Ways to be a Better Mom? Well, forget those. I’m tired of those getting shared to motivate us to be better. I am good enough. So are you.  All parents are getting something right, and I think we need more positivity spread that is realistic, achievable, and just plain honest. So here’s my list of 10 Things Every Parent is Doing Right. Share it with someone you love.

Maybe you think you aren’t doing anything right? My guess is you probably are.

Forget the posts telling you all the things you can improve. Here are 10 Every Parent is Doing Right!!

You sacrifice yourself. Daily. Every mom and dad does it. Whether you work or stay home, or whatever. It doesn’t matter. Moms (and dads) sacrifice themselves. Their bodies. Their peace of mind. Their personal space. We all sacrifice something. Why is this a good thing? Because sacrifice helps us grow. It helps us become less selfish. And, we learn to serve. Service is a good thing.

You also take time for yourself. This one seems to contradict the last one. Yet, it’s SO important. If you’re doing this, you’re doing something right. Letting someone else hold the baby while you take a nap? You’re taking care of yourself so you can be better later. You’re also teaching your children you’re human. Girls night out? Perfect. You’re re-filling your soul and reminding yourself that you are more than just a milk machine. You’re a human being that likes to laugh at stupid stuff with your friends, and then come home and appreciate your babies more.

You feed your children. Mac and cheese or all organic? It doesn’t matter, really. I recently told my kids that we had cheese on our broccoli almost every time when I was growing up. They thought that was weird. I told them it was VELVEETA and they didn’t even know what that was. I was proud. But, then I fed them mac and cheese for lunch. If you feed your kid breast milk, or formula, you’re doing a good job. If you make your own baby food, or buy it, you’re good. You’re giving sustenance and feeding another human being!! You’re getting it right. Because, hello. You’re feeding them and they are growing.

You clothe your children. Maybe they stepped out of a Baby Gap ad, or maybe you are lucky if you remembered underwear. Either way, you wrestle tiny bodies into clothing so that they don’t go out into the world baring everything. Booties are covered and feet have shoes on them, so you’re protecting your kids from serious injury. Every day. Good job, mom and dad.

You manage a household. Maybe you haven’t changed the sheets in 3 months, or maybe your house runs like a well-oiled machine. Doesn’t matter, really. Either way, running a house takes immense amounts of effort and work. If you manage to do laundry often enough that a kid doesn’t look homeless, then it sounds like you’re doing a good job. If your house looks like a pottery barn kids catalog, good for you! Tell me your secrets, please? Are you cleaning the bathrooms at 2 am?

You play with your kids. Maybe you hate make believe. But, trust me, if you’re a mom, you’re probably playing with your kids. Maybe you read with them, or take them to the park, or watch movies while you cuddle. You don’t have to play barbies for it to count that you’ve played with them. I have to really be in the mood to play with my kids in the make believe kind of way. I do it, sometimes. But sometimes? I keep it simple. We play a game while we’re eating dinner, or I teach them how to cook. Whatever you do with your kids that is even slightly fun (which most things are for kids), count it. Spending time with them is what matters.

You Celebrate Magic. When you’re a parent, you’ve got a lot on your plate when it comes to this one. The Easter Bunny, Christmas, the tooth fairy. It’s all so exhausting. Let’s not even talk about that little elf on the shelf. Whatever it is you do, if you’ve got kids, you’re celebrating magic. Maybe it’s not fictional characters. Maybe you walk slowly around the block and let them inspect every leaf and rock. Childhood is the best time to believe in magical things, and even if your elf on the shelf doesn’t wrap the toilet in toilet paper or some other crazy escapade, if you’re helping your kids believe in something magical or letting them enjoy the little things, you’re doing it right.

You sometimes don’t screw up. Sure there are plenty of times you do, but we’re not talking about those. We’re talking about the times you get it right. Like the time that your kid told you about his science fair project the night before and somehow you stayed up late when you were TOTALLY exhausted and helped him put it together. We’re talking about the times you did stay calm and didn’t yell. The time you actually remembered that it was crazy hair day at school. If you kept a running total, you’d probably realize, that you don’t screw up just as often (if not more) than you do.

You’re a teacher. I underestimated this as a parent. Not only do we teach them basic things like eating, talking, walking…SLEEPING, but we have to teach them crazy stuff too. Like, why licking the pavement is not OK, and why we don’t peek under the door of the bathroom stall next to us in a public restroom. You have to teach them not to interrupt, how to be a good friend, and how to be a responsible, respectful, kind human being. As a parent, you have to teach E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. So, good job for being a teacher of all things common and crazy. You’re probably doing it right.

You’re surviving. In the trenches is a term I keep hearing thrown around a lot. But, let me tell you, some days it definitely feels like I’m in the trenches. Last night, I got no sleep. OK, maybe like two hours. But, today, I accomplished 25,000 things. If you’re a parent, then you’re putting one foot in front of the other and getting stuff done even when you want to hide under the covers. And, let’s face it, days turn into weeks, months, and then years. And before you know it, you realize that you WILL come out alive on the other end despite the sleep deprivation, and the extra 20 lbs. you put on eating your kids’ leftover mac and cheese. So, good job for surviving. You’re almost there.

Parenting is hard. Some days it sucks, and yes, some days we mess up. But, remember the most important thing, you’re doing the best you can, and YOU are the best parent for your kids. So, you’re probably doing it right. No matter how your friend, neighbor, or enemy might be doing it different.

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Do you know a parent that is doing something right? Or maybe they feel like they aren’t doing anything right? Then share this post with them. I’m sure they’ll thank you.