Saturday, April 20, 2013

A coffee date

If you were to come over to my house you would find coffee ready and waiting.
There few more dishes in the sink than I would like, a mound of laundry waiting to be folded,
and my son’s toys scattered across the living room floor.

I would tell you how much I love to do crafts and drink coffee;
and that I wish I had more time and money for both.
I would share stories of when I ventured off on a missions trip to Africa
or how I met my husband when I was 13.
You would see my oldest son running around in the backyard with no shoes on
pretending to fight dinosaurs with a stick.

We would probably have to pause our conversation more than a few times for me to help Monkey to go the bathroom, change Bug’s diaper, grab snacks and drinks, discipline, answer about a million ‘why?’ questions, or whatever other parenting moment may arise.

I would tell you how much I love this crazy life I am living
and that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I would be telling you the truth in all of that but there is so much more under the surface.
Deep inside, within secrete places of my heart, there are numerous hopes, dreams, fears, and desires.

If we were sitting at my picnic table today enjoying a good cup of coffee together
I would begin to tell you that these things are weighing heavily on my heart right now.
I honestly am struggling, fighting between holding onto these things tightly and giving them up to God.

I worry about my sons.
Raising two Godly boys in a sex crazed world terrifies me.
Keeping their innocence in a world that threatens to steal it from them every chance it gets.
Protecting them from danger.
Protecting them from all of the violence in our world as of recently.
I would own up to the fact that I’m sure I let my oldest watch way too much TV.
I would tell you that I try to turn on the local Christian radio station for their Noon report to catch the news while I’m making our lunch
but quickly turn it off or bring the volume down low when my son comes into the room.

I worry about my husband.
I would tell you how desperately my sweet husband and I want to have
our own custom printing business.
I would tell you that we are not completely sure what the next step is.
I would tell you how proud of him I am for working so hard and doing his
best to keep me home with our boys.
I would confess that some of my favorite times together are
when we’re driving home late at night from friend’s or family’s,
the boys asleep in the backseat, and my husband and I just talk.
We share our hopes, dreams, and ideas with each other and it makes
me feel emotionally connected to him in a special way.

I would tell you how God is working on my heart in ways that I am not always a fan of.
I have gone through so many changes over the last four years.
Things that didn’t matter or bother me four years ago now matter and bother me and I get embarrassed thinking of how bad things were back then.

I would tell you that I have dreams of opening up an etsy shop by the end of this year.
I would tell you that I am praying that God opens up some big doors for my husband and me.

I would share with you my struggles as a wife and mother.
I would tell you that even though these past few years have been some of the loneliest, isolated years in my life they have also been the most rewarding.

I would tell you how I am terrible at making sure I take care of myself.
I am quick to take care of everyone else’s needs but not always my own.
I desperately want to start running but am terrified of trying for fear of hurting my pelvis and doing more damage.
I find it ironic how before I got married and had kids I hated my body. I could always find something about it I didn’t like and now I would be very happy to have that body back.

I’m sure there are a lot more thing that would come up in conversation.
Like how blessed we have been with Dowe’s job and the amazing ways in which
God worked that all out. How my cousin is going to Africa this summer with the same organization I went with 7 years ago.
How I love listening to my husband sing to our boys and talk to them
when he gets home at night.
I would tell you how I am so thankful for the authentic friendships
I have been blessed with over the last few years with other women.

But these are just a few of the many thing that are currently on my heart
that I would share with you if you came over for a coffee date.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blogger Opp: Prefold Party!

Do you cloth diaper? Do you love prefolds? Are you a blogger?
Come help celebrate The Median Mommy's year of cloth diapering! 

 photo DSC_0334-004_zpsb23e6cf8.jpg

She's looking for a total of 18 bloggers to sign up to party with her!
I'm joining in on the fun! Personally I haven't used prefolds (YET!) but I would love to.
However, this is going to be a lot of fun! 

Bloggers will be allotted 1 free link on the giveaway form for an announcement post AND promoting (via Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Ect.) a minimum of two times a week during the giveaway. One additional link may be purchased for $3.

You can email lauren AT themedianmommy DOT com
And go HERE to sign up!

And if you aren't a blogger but cloth diaper or want to be sure to check back and enter the giveaway coming up in July!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Not my finest parenting moment.

Have you ever have a moment you're not so proud of?.....
Come on, admit it: we all have moments we are not particularly proud of and would rather not remember.

I just had one of mine.

We were at my husband's family’s Easter get-together this past Saturday.
The day had been going fairly smoothly other than a few minor things but that's bound to happen when there are 22 people in one house.
Dowe (Husband) is 1 of 8, there are 7 grandkids (5 and under), and Dowe’s Grandpa and Grandpa’s wife (R) were there as well.

We were the third car-full to arrive at my in-law’s house.
I went to work putting together the food I was asked to bring and chatted with Grandpa and R about my babysitting job.
The four of us women (MIL, oldest SILs, and myself) were all working preparing dinner while the husbands chatted and kept an eye on the kids: this was all very routine for us.

Growing up, I was one of two children.
I have a younger sister whom I like to call BuckBuck (it’s a long story…)
and we rarely had large family gatherings, except for when my dad’s whole family got together.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed being around my husband’s family: actually more frequently than I like to admit, and even after being married for almost 4 years.

As the night at the in-laws progressed, I could feel myself getting overwhelmed and my mood was changing even though I was trying not to let it happen.
It always gets crazy after dinner.
The same four of us women clean up from the meal, then there is the Easter egg hunt for the younger kids, and before you know it it’s time to leave.

When it came time that families started to leave, parents started to get impatient and short with spouses and with the kids…. All of us.

Monkey had taken off his socks at some point in time during the night.
Not a big deal, right?! Well, instead of giving them to someone or tucking them in his shoes, he just left them somewhere. When it came time to get ready to leave, he could only find one sock. I told him he needed to go look for the other one and he told me he couldn’t.
He would walk into the other room and come right back out without looking.

I lost it: I completely flipped out right in front of everyone.

I took hold of my son and scolded him for not listening to me and not looking for his sock.
I yelled at him VERY harshly for being, well, a two-year-old boy.
Only I didn't know or realize that before my husband went to play Foosball with two of his brothers and dad, that he had helped Monkey try to find the sock.

Then the guilt set in. 
I knew what I had to do: I had to go apologize to my son.

Not only was I beyond embarrassed that 70% of my husband’s family saw me in one of my most unflattering moments as a parent, but I saw my son sitting, crying, and unable to look up from his foot with the missing sock.

It’s one of the most humbling things as a parent to have to go back to your child and tell them you’re sorry. But that is exactly what I had to do.
My husband was going to take our son out to the car for us to leave and I told him I need to talk to him first.
I scooped up my little boy, looked him in the eyes, and told him I was sorry.
“Mommy had a stinky attitude and talked to you in a not nice way.”

I was overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated and I took it out on him.
It happens that way a lot doesn’t it?
If we’re not careful, our kids get the brunt of it.

I would love to tell you that I keep my cool all the time and that I never discipline when I’m upset or angry.
I wish I could say I’m EXACTLY the mom I always dreamed I would be.
But let’s face it, we all have our days and our moments.
We all have our breaking points.
And I would be lying to you if I tried to convince you of anything less.

I’m not a perfect mom (by far!),
I don’t always handle things in the best way possible, but at least when I mess up I know I can go back to both God and my son and ask for forgiveness.
I think in the end, that is what matters most.

Zumu 3 in 1 Bicycle Trailer/Jogger/Stroller Giveaway!

Are you ready to get out and enjoy the weather this spring and summer? 
Well then, you've come to the right place!

Welcome to the Zumu 3-in-1 Bicycle Trailer/Jogger/Stroller Giveaway (ARV $200)!

Hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Co-hosted by Viva Veltoro!

April 12-28th
Enter daily using the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

$100 Clothing Shop Online Gift Certificate Giveaway!

I don't know about you but I'm a busy momma who doesn't take time to shop for myself unless its something quick and easy to grab (like my new socks), or if I have a gift card! And I still don't take the time to shop for myself more often than not.
However, this is an online clothing shop I would totally check out (and plan to!)
So why not enter to win a gift certificate and go online shopping for yourself (after the kiddos go to bed of course.)

Blog with Mom and Mommy's Favorite Things are super excited to bring you this giveaway opportunity!!! sells t-shirts, hoodies and outerwear for the whole family. They sell clothes directly to you and skip the stores (middle men) so they can sell you items at better prices, like 20%-75% lower! FREE shipping on orders over $75 means you can save even more!

Just look at the prices! 

They carry name brands as well like alo, Calvin Klein, IZOD, Lee and more! And their site is really easy to navigate as well. You can shop by category, brand, Top Sellers and more!

ClothingShopOnline sells items for the whole family. They have some wonderful sections to choose from like Tie Dye and uniforms. They also carry dog wear too, so literally ever member of your family is covered. Does your dog get cold in the winter? Will this help?
I just love their selection and that they truly have 1 of everything. They even carry accessories like socks, hats, sports bras and loungewear. If you need an item for your family, ClothingShopOnline is sure to have it. Consider them the next time you need something.

$100 Gift Certificate
You can find a full review on Blog with Mom

Giveaway Rules:
  • Giveaway will run from 4/8-4/29
  • Opened to entrants 18 and older in the U.S.
  • All Entries must be in the form below and All mandatory entries must be completed.
  • Winner will be chosen through Rafflecopter and will be contacted via email. Winner must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. ALL ENTRIES WILL BE CHECKED.
Thankful For Thorns is acting as an advertisement for the sponsor and is not responsible for the prize. Prize will be given by ClothingShopOnline. This event is brought to you by Mommy's Favorite Things and Blog with Mom through Advertising with Bloggers! If you are interested in sponsoring an event like this, please contact Advertise with Bloggers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cloth for a Cause: A great origination with a great blogger opp!

Did you know that 1 in 3 families struggle to diaper their babies?!

Now before passing judgement and saying that they shouldn't have kids before they can afford diapers you should know something.

We were one of those families.
We had just gotten married. I was 19 my husband 21.
We wanted a family but didn't think it would happen quite so soon!
Monkey was born just 10 months after we got married.

My husband was working full time and I was working part time but without cloth diapering it still wouldn't have been enough. Thanks to cloth diapering I was able to be a work at home mom, put diapers on my baby's bum, and save my family thousands of dollars in diapering costs.

However, some families need even more help. Meet Cloth for a Cause!
A fabulous cloth diaper lending organization that is completely staffed by unpaid volunteers!
The people who help make this organization believe if cloth diapers and understand that having babies is expensive! They primarily service Canada, but have also aided families in the Unites States that are struggling as well.

Like most charitable type of organizations, they desperately need help to meet the demand. They need help with both cash donations and material donations like cloth diapers, KAM snaps, and 1/4 inch swim elastic. Some of their chapters are getting so many applications for assistance that they are unable to keep up with the demand, so diapers are desperately needed... particularly in Nova Scotia. 100% of all cash donations go directly to Cloth for a Cause.

This company is such a big blessing to so many families and without our help they won't be able to help all of the families that could really use a hand up. They take both monetary donations as well as used cloth diaper donations.

So what does this mean for bloggers?

It means that you can help Cloth for a Cause out by taking place in the Cloth for a Cause Build Your Stash Bash, hosted by Cloth Diaper Addicts, Leettle Baby, and Viva Vel Toro.
Cloth for a Cause Built Your Stash Bash (and Diaper Drive)
It's going to be amazing and huge. We've got some amazing sponsors lined up, including Cozy Bums, Nicki's Diapers, Lagoon Baby, AppleCheeks, Diapers by Chris, and more! 100% of the funds raised go directly to Cloth for a Cause.

How Do You Get Involved?

We're looking for bloggers to participate in the event. Bloggers can have up to three links on follow pages, available by donation. The prices are:
  • $3 (1 link, no announcement)
  • $3 (2 links, announcement post)
  • $5 (2 links, no announcement)
  • $5 (3 links, announement post)
  • $7 (3 links, no announcement post)
Of course, if you'd like to donate more, you're welcome to! We also would love it if you'd repost this announcement, regardless of your donation amount. Please take the image from above and load it on your site to publicize. We want the Build Your Stash Bash (and diaper drive) to be a success. All you need to do is sign up and join a Facebook group to be kept up to date with the event.  

If you're not a blogger you can still help out! Send them your used cloth diapers, send them money, tell friends and family about them, or even post about this great company on facebook or twitter! :)  And be sure to check back for an amazing giveaway in the near future!