Family · Parenting · Perspective

Top 10: It’s Time for Summer Break

You are probably seriously wondering who is more eager to be done this year… me or my kids? I’d say it’s a tie.

10. It’s light out until almost 9pm and bedtime was no later than 8:20pm. “Mom, it isn’t even dark out yet!!!” Can’t argue with that.

9. Sticker charts are no longer working for anything. Nada. Zilch. NOTHING.

8. They’ve been watching movies in the majority of their “specials” (art, music, etc.) for two weeks already.


7. Summer baseball games have started, as they have every year previously for decades, and school is still in session.

6. Even the teachers are wondering why they voted for this later “last day” calendar.

5. Everybody is crying in the morning about getting up for school. Not sure my kids could move any slower.

4. School lunch. That’s what you are eating unless you are going on a field trip. No special lunches because you “don’t like what we’re having at school today.” Find something you can chew and swallow on that plate.

3. I’m only opening the backpack once a week…

2. We stopped with homework 3 weeks ago. The teacher said it was optional?


1. For the love of all good things: The sun is shining. Birds are singing. Grass needs mowing. Flowers are blooming. Garden is growing. Farming is kicking into high gear and I’m still running carpool!

3 more days!!!

Creativity · Family · Parenting · Perspective

Ode to Elementary Valentines Day


Hustle! Rush!
Get everything on the list.
Cutting boards and cookie cutters.
Should be as simple as a flick of the wrist.

Pens. Erasers.
One First grader and One Preschool.
Lists of names and Scotch tape.
Whoever commercialized Valentine’s Day was no fool.

Minions. Peppa Pig.
Friendship Bracelets and Fruit by the Foot.
Starts smiling and ends gritting teeth.
Almost 50 kid scrawled names – Creativity kaput.

Salty. Mostly Sweet.
Fruit skewered and Jello Poke Cake made.
Last Minute Reminder note sent home!!!
My heart is full but my neurons fade.

Cool Whip. Pretzels.
Kids excited and to school on time.
Mom looks like a wreck and laughs.
Off to work. To-do list mountain climbed.

We survived elementary school Valentine’s Day 2017.




Snack bags and fruit skewers. Cake not pictured because I was trying to frost it with frozen Cool Whip in the parking lot at the school this morning – which was after I ran to the store to buy the Cool Whip that I didn’t know I needed until the note above came home last night… Gave up and sent the tub with a spatula. And apparently unknowingly did all of this with doughnut frosting on my face because people, this. is. life.



I’d like to introduce you to someone. Her name is “JustAMom.”

So what are you doing now? Are you “just a mom?” Actually, I’m a mom and I have a job. That aside, I can’t be the only mother out there who gets this question a few times a week. Up until recently, it didn’t bother me. It was the kind of comment you brush off and move on. Within the past month, I’ve noticed a distinct increase in using the word “just” in the same sentence as “mom.” In this phrase, as an adverb it defines as “only or merely.”

Really? Really people?

I could rant about how much work goes into being a mother at my once a month girls coffee date. That would be preaching to the choir. I could vociferate about the lack of personal time to my husband. Why? He doesn’t get to use the bathroom by himself either nor does he get to do the hobbies he did pre-children. On the other hand, I could mush through a tear-filled love story about the pain, joy and stretch marks I endure for my two blessings. I might strive to inspire others with tales of the labors of love to bear the babies and to regain my body post-birth.

I’m choosing to do none of the above. Been there, read that.

It might sound touchy, but maybe as a public, we could drop the phrase “just” from any sentences containing the word “mom.” There are many many many of us in the JUSTAMOM category. Some are stay-at-home mommies. Some are full-time working mommies who love their babies just as much as the stay-at-home mommies. Some work part-time. There are generations before us who now have grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The thing that connects us all is that we LOVE our children. We strive to provide for them the best we are able to with the various gifts and talents God gave us.

A few beautiful quotes to ponder about mothers:

“No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you’ve got, say “Oh, my gosh,” and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It’s not a question of choice.” – Marisa de los Santos, Love Walked In

Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of a good report — if there is any virtue and if there is any praise — think on these things. – Philippians 4:8

“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.” – Mitch Albom, For One More Day