The Liebster Award 2018

The Liebster Award 2018

LiebsterAward

You know that feeling when you watch something grow over time? Like planting a garden. You prepare your soil, sew your seeds, and nourish over time. You wait patiently as nothing appears to be happening. Then suddenly, little sprouts shoot up out of the soil. You hope those little sprouts of green turn to produce-bearing plants. And you wait some more.

This is much like the journey I’ve been on.

Last summer, I was just a tired mom. That tired feeling when you know something just needs to change in your life. I didn’t know offhand what needed the most work. So, being Christian, I started to pray “harder”. And suddenly, this little seed of an idea came to me.

I wanted to create a website for other tired moms, who need a little inspiration and motivation. I wanted that mom-to-mom connection. So, Momma Bird Blog was born!

 

I would love to impact other parents! Other moms, especially! So, I was really touched when I was recognized! Thank you, Tomashia, for nominating Momma Bird Blog for The Liebster Award! 

The Liebster Award exists only online and is given to bloggers from other bloggers. Awards have been given since 2001.

“Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

Tomashia is a wife and mother who blogs on Unperfecting Motherhood. The purpose for the website; “Breaking the perfectionist image of motherhood while offering a godly perspective.” One of my favorite posts from Tomashia is “Encouragement for Mom.”

10 Facts about myself:

  1. I live in a testosterone-filled home. Although I’m outnumbered, I enjoy my boys!
  2. As you can probably tell by the gardening metaphor in the beginning, I do, in fact, love to garden. That once started as a way to deal with my husband’s deployment, and now we do it together as a family every year.
  3. Through the generations, I am the 7th Anna on my dad’s side.
  4. I knew something was different about my husband when I met him.
  5. Nature is my happy place (whether in a woods, at the lake, or in my backyard).
  6. Lemons are my favorite fruit. I know- that’s weird.
  7. I love photography. My lens perspective mixes with my perspectives on life.
  8. I’m frugal because I am a Stay-at-Home Mom.
  9. Two of my favorite pasttimes with my boys are reading to them and dancing with them.
  10. I still hold true to my teenage dreams. I will travel around the world someday. Although the destinations have changed from big cities to small countrysides.

 

The 10 Questions/Answers:

What is a piece of advice you’ve received that you want to share with others?

“Just be you.” Growing up that was hard. I felt like I had to impress people for the longest time. Then, once I started being more true to myself, I started attracting the right people.

Who is the most inspiring person in your life and why?

My Mom inspires me despite her memory of raising me and my siblings. She’s always been loyal, caring, and patient. But more so; she’s a great listener, loves to have fun, loves to treat us and the grandkids, is willing to help us with anything, and doesn’t expect anything in return. She’s shown me a great example of how to be a Mom and a caring person in general.

How do you de-stress?

I de-stress by talking with my husband or someone I care about. Sometimes relaxing music or a hot shower help too.

How would you describe your personal clothing style?

Target Mom.

What is on your bedside table right now?

I try to keep the clutter out of our bedroom so I sleep next to a framed picture of our boys, an alarm clock, and my cell phone.

What is your favorite on the go snack?

An apple. They’re healthy and aren’t messy in the car.

Do you consider yourself more of an introvert or an extrovert? Explain

I’m more of an introvert. I’m not shy. I actually enjoy chatting with people and don’t mind giving speeches. I just like 1-on-1 time over a crowd. At the end of the day I like to unwind by being alone with my thoughts for a bit.

Describe a fun date you’ve been on!

Beer tasting followed by the evening beach scene; walking the shore and watching the sun go down.

If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead who would you dine with and why?

I would love to have dinner with Joanna Gaines sometime! We would connect well since we are both Christian wives and mommas. She seems like such a thoughtful, down-to-Earth person. And I’m also sure I’d learn a lot from her as well!

Tell us about an item on your bucket list!

Although traveling has been one of my longest-lasting bucket list items, I just want to pay-it-forward. So many people have been good to me and my family! From doctors, nurses, friends, family, and even our church community. I just want to impact other people’s lives in return for our blessings.

What do you like most about blogging?

I love connecting with and impacting other Moms. This has got me out of some mom-funk because I can see my challenges as a positive turn-around for someone else.

 

 

I would like to nominate:

  • Savannah Espositio (and team) from Millennial Mrs. and Mom, “Psychology, the secret weapon to living life.” Millennial Mrs. and Mom cares deeply about relationships and the way they work. The blog explores topics like marriage, parenting, and families. One of my favorite posts is “The Small Moments that Make or Break Connection.” Check out the blog for tons of other useful relationship advice!
  • Jamie, Tuston from Perk Pack, an online resource and community made strictly to uplift moms. I love Jamie’s ability to be candid and share her tough moments as a mom! She also offers an online community to help moms support other moms! A great read the blog is “The Unspoken Struggle of Postpartum Anxiety.”
  • Nicole from Coffee and Carpool, “Mom Hacks, School Success Tips, & Support for Parents On the Go.” She is a “recovering elementary school teacher” and is also a Special Needs Mom and a Food Allergy Mom. I absolutely loved Nicole’s recent post, “How to Raise a Kind Boy Amidst the Tough Guy Boy Culture.” <<Check it out!
  • Natalie from Moms and Kids Creating Memories, “Making the most of the time we have with our kids.” Natalie writes about kids crafts, and motherhood. One of my favorites posts from Moms and Kids Creating Memories is, “3 Mom Fails and Fixes.” Natalie talks about ways to simplify motherhood and I love that she talks about wanting her children to grow up loving God and serving/loving others.
  • Amy from The Thoughtful Parent, “Research Based Child Development.” Something that drew me into The Thoughtful Parent blog was “Gift Guide for Raising Kind Kids.” I just love the idea raising our families in a more mindful process and caring for each other.

 

If you decide to accept this award….

Questions to answer…

  1. What is a piece of advice you’ve received that you want to share with others?
  2. Who is the most inspiring person in your life and why?
  3. How do you de-stress?
  4. How would you describe your personal clothing style?
  5. What is on your bedside table right now?
  6. What is your favorite on the go snack?
  7. Do you consider yourself more of an introvert or an extrovert? Explain
  8. Describe a fun date you’ve been on!
  9. If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead who would you dine with and why?
  10. Tell us about an item on your bucket list!
  11. What do you like most about blogging?

Rules of the Liebster Award 2018~

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.
  • Display the award on your blog.
  • Write a small post about what makes you passionate about blog posting.
  • Provide 10 random facts about yourself (optional in 2018)
  • Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel would enjoy blogging about this award.
  • List these rules in your post.
  • Inform the people/blogs that you nominated.

For more detailed information on the Liebster Award 2018 visit here.

To accept the nomination answer my questions, tag me and notify me of your post by commenting below! I can’t wait to read your answers! Remember to nominate other bloggers so we can all continue discovering new blogs, building relationships, and supporting one another!

Mamas loving mamas (by EdenCo)

Mamas loving mamas (by EdenCo)

As Moms, we face challenges that no one may even ever know about. And the truth is, being a parent is hard. Sometimes we just need that extra love and support.

Here is the story of a Mom on a mission. This Etsy shop owner designs gorgeous hand lettered cards which are crafted with a special purpose in mind. “Mamas loving mamas.”

 

Here is Erin!

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Photo Credit: Melissa Perry Photography

 

Hi! I’m Erin, a mid-west mama living her dream, as ever evolving as it is.

I grew up in a small town with a church, ice cream shop and pizza place nearly every block (and a landscape allowing you to see for miles). But, now home is in a slightly bigger town, surrounded by foothills (mountains to me!), new pizza places and cute twang in conversation.

My husband and my hearts were stolen fourteen months ago by our sweet little lady, who looks just like her daddy, acting just like her mama and she’s kept us on our toes ever since.

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Photo Credit: Melissa Perry Photography

After she was born, I LOVED my job as a case manager, but knew I loved being her mom more. We made the difficult decision for me to transition into staying at home with her. (Like I said, ever evolving, ha!) It is a transition I am incredibly grateful for and absolutely love but I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been without (big) struggle.

As I struggled, I talked with others, and found a common thread, not only with mamas, but with women- there was a need. A need for honesty, support and small ways to know of their strength, jobs well done and the empowerment to believe in their own stories.

Y’all, mamas need mamas and women need women!

In this discovery, I created EdenCo, a small hand-lettering shop, creating cards and custom projects.  While I am neither an artist nor entrepreneurial genius, the work created is inspired by real life; with the hope of spreading joy, reassurance and random acts of happiness (while embracing the imperfections of daily chaos of moms and women alike).

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EdenCo card collection, “Mamas loving mamas.”

I’m thrilled to team up with the beautiful Anna, creator of such a wonderful cyber space, to release our first collection of cards created for specifically from my inspiration: Mamas loving Mamas. 

My dream for the collection, was to make the cards simple, relatable and affordable, so it would be easier to send them with babies in hand, or in-between work meetings. My hope is they arrive in mailboxes across the country, simply bringing smiles.

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EdenCo “Mamas loving Mamas” collection

 

EdenCo

Visit EdenCo on Etsy here.

You can also follow EdenCo on Facebook.

 

 

 

The Tired Mom Fix (Besides Coffee)

The Tired Mom Fix (Besides Coffee)

To the tired Mom, you’re not alone!

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Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

When you’re routinely running low on fumes, is it possible that you need a bigger change? Do any of these 3 areas of your life sound like something you could work on?

  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Spiritual

Over the past year or two I’ve noticed a huge change in myself. I went from the kind of Mom who would create with our son; play dough figures and paint pretty pictures. I would take him on trips to the playground. We danced a lot together. And we were always laughing together. I was the fun Mom!

And then I became a Mom of 2 more amazing little boys! My heart was so full of happiness that we all had each other. I didn’t realize I could be so in love.

….Then one day the baby was mobile. And soon they all decided that things in our house are more fun if they’re flying through the air. And messes are good. The messier, the better. And who doesn’t love a rowdy boy? I mean, if Spider-man can climb walls, why can’t they?

So, I grew tired. There is still only one of me (when my husband goes to work). Some days I want to beg him not to leave me here with all the craziness. But I don’t.

It took me a long time to realize that there is no magic fix-all for any of that. But, I needed to fix my weary self. And I knew other tired Moms need to as well. So I created the 21 Day Challenge on my Facebook page, Mommas Group. This challenge was created to help tired Moms to become positive, energized, and reconnected. And over all, the goal is for you to feel rejuvenated.

All you need is 10-20 minutes a day minimum, or more if you need it.

 

The 21 Day Challenge is split up into 3 weekly smaller goals:

Week 1: Positive Mind

Week 2: Energize Body

Week 3: Reconnect Spiritually

 

Week 1: Positive Mind

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Photo by sergee bee on Unsplash
  • Be positive (Let go of the Mom guilt)
  • Get help (Chore charts & teamwork)
  • Organize (A clean and clear house allows the same in your mind)

A big portion of us being tired is trying to do too much. Although have the world’s greatest intentions, we compare ourselves all the time. So let go of Mom guilt! Things change, and we just have to “go with the flow.”

Then, write a to-do list and divide that baby up! You can do it!

Small kids: pick up clothes and toys and dust

Preschool-aged kids: wipe table, chairs, cabinets, appliances, and windows

Kindergarten-aged kids: sweep, mop, vacuum, take care of pets, make their bed

Older kids: clean the toilet, wash dishes, and fold laundry

And lastly, clean up social media and emails (opt out of those subscriptions causing you to be distracted and unfriend negative people). Then organize an area of your house that really needs attention. It may just free up that nagging feeling every time you see that mess!

 

Week 2: Energize Body

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Photo by Roberto Nickson (@g) on Unsplash

Make sure you’re putting nutritious food into your body. And swap out the juice and pop for water. Keep healthy snacks on hand like almonds, berries, apples, carrot sticks, cut up celery and cucumbers…. Making simple switches can dramatically change how you feel.

Enjoy a detox bath with essential oil and epsom salt (only try this once this week, while drinking plenty of water). 20 minutes of exercise per day will get your blood circulating and release endorphins, which is alsoo a plus. You’re looking for a good sweat, though, to detox. Make sure to hydrate well!

No skimping on sleep either. You need 7-9 hours! According to sleepfoundation.org, the right amount of sleep can regulate your mood, hormones, immune system, and also improves cognitive function and memory. Still tired? Take a 10-20 minute mid-day nap to freshen-up!

 

Week 3: Reconnect Spiritually

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Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash
  • Reconnect inwardly (meditation, yoga, tranquil music, quiet time…)
  • Reconnect spiritually (daily devotions, prayer, music, thought-provoking,faith-based movies)

This is probably the most important week. Try one of the many different types of meditation. Also, set aside some quiet time for thoughts and focus.

You may also read daily devotions. I have a book called “Jesus Calling,” which I feel that I can apply to my every day life. And even more straight-forward- you can and should set aside some time for prayer. Even enjoy Christian music or movie!

These should all guide you into a stronger spirituality, which will then make you a stronger Mom. I mean, who is able to always handle stress on their own? It’s nice to turn to faith when we are feeling extra blessed, and sometimes when we are desperate!

 

Want to start your 21 Day Challenge for rejuvenation?

HERE are 3 printouts, that go week-by-week.

 

Week 1: Positive Mind

Week 2: Energize Body

Week 3: Reconnect Spiritually

 

 

If you feel that you’d get the most from combining all 3 weeks tasks throughout the whole 21 days (instead of split up week by week), then feel free to choose items off of each list that would be challenging and helpful.

Example of how to combine all for 21 days: 

  • List positives & Do something for yourself
  • Drink more water & Rest for 10-20 minutes mid-day
  • Read Daily Devotions & Listen to Christian music

Set aside 10-20 minutes of alone time in the morning, mid-day, and evening.

Morning: read daily devotional, while getting a head start on drinking water

Mid-day: rest 10-20 minutes, list positives in life

Evening: Take a bubble bath while listening to Christian music

 

You don’t have to be a tired Mom any more. Sometimes you skimp on what you need because of what your family needs. But a Mom who has been taken care of, can also take care of her family.

 

 

 

 

 

*I am not a doctor. Please always consult with your physician first to address mental or physical health needs!

New Year’s Resolutions for 2018

New Year’s Resolutions for 2018

 

Who’s ready for 2018? What is your New Year’s resolution? Quit a bad habit, eat healthier, or maybe be more positive? Maybe you simply want more for your family.

We desire to be perfect parents. And at first, we expect it to be a fun little hike in the woods. But as time goes on, parenting turns into this CRAZY obstacle course. Life happens, things are out of our control, and we adjust.

So how do we turn these parts of life into something better for our loved ones? I’ve been chipping away at a great parenting resource. “Raising a Loving Family” (by Virginia Scott, George Doub, and Peggy Runnels). This book explains how influential parents can be when modeling their values.

For our New Year’s resolution, I’ve collected 10 quotes for inspiration! Let’s be good role models for our families by being more;

  • Positive
  • Supportive
  • Firm
  • Attentive
  • Patient
  • Spiritual
  • Forgiving
  • Loving
  • Respectful
  • Courageous

 

Be Positive:

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Help your children see the good in themselves and others around. Try not to focus on bad people, but rather, bad behavior. Do you think your child will change bad behavior if you let them know they are good, but need to make better choices?

 

Be Supportive:

support

 

Sometimes we need to let our kids feel free to be themselves. No judgments. No lectures.  Just accept them for who they are.

 

Be Firm:

firm

It’s easy for kids to be upset when their parent says “no.” But overall, being firm teaches kids that needs are more important than wants. And sometimes it teaches them to think of others first.

 

Be Attentive:

attentive

This little fact stuck with me from a family retreat that we went on this year. The famous philosopher John Dewey spent at least an hour of face-to-face time with his kids each day. No matter how busy, he would leave his study to give them quality time. He believed in higher education and he knew it started with the home life.

 

Be Patient:

patient

It’s natural for kids and adults to feel emotion and make mistakes. No one’s perfect. Use these opportunities to help your kids learn. When your kids are emotional, ask them to use words to explain what’s wrong. It puts the logic into the situation.

 

Be Spiritual:

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See your blessings and thank God every day for them. Then, parent with religion first. If they ask a tough question, it’s acceptable to tell them that’s how God made it. Show your kids how to have a prayer life so they have someone to turn to when they’re lost.

 

Be Forgiving:

forgiveness

As parents, we have a big responsibility to act like things don’t bother us. It is our job to be the steady in our children’s lives. What’s more important; pointing out flaws, or accepting them?

 

Be Loving:

love

No matter how uncool we are, our kids return to us when they feel loved. Do you kids ever go to you for a snuggle or a chat when they’re having a rough day or don’t feel well?

 

Be Respectful:

respect

Respect is defined on Google Dictionary as “a feeling of deep admiration for someone…. or honor….” You can model this by showing your kids how to be respectful of grandparents and your spouse.

Be Courageous:

Courage

Raising kids takes courage; doing the right thing for our family, even if it’s tough. We often face scary decisions, including trying something new. All in the name of love.

 

I hope these 10 parenting quotes are inspiring to you!

Let 2018 be the year that your New Year’s resolution stuck the whole year. Even modeling one of these 10 virtues would be influential to your whole family!

Happy New Year!

Dear Mommas

Dear Mommas

Dear Momma,

You love your family so dearly. No one else could ever love them like you. From the moment you knew you were expecting your entire life changed. You were cautious, you were always at the doctor, you had to eat a certain way, you swapped out your favorite wardrobe, and you could feel everything emotionally and physically that bonded you to your baby.

Now your baby is a full of curiosity, abilities, and a big personality. You look forward to seeing their bright little smiles first thing in the morning. You love having a chat that the both of you can understand. You love when they bring something to show you. Or the times when they climb into your lap and snuggle, even for a minute.

But lets face it, as your kiddo(s) gets older, and gain independence, things start to get tricky. They try to rewrite the rules. They think your standards are up for negotiation. They forget their manners. And when they get hungry or tired, their emotion comes out like hot lava.

So for the less memorable parts of your every day, when you feel that you are coming unglued, know that you are doing just fine.

The days when you literally slept 5 hours overnight and you cried like your 2-year-old. The days when you had to yell to get your kid’s attention because you needed to be heard. The days when you are so tired of feeling like you are putting in your all and watching it get shredded apart. The days when you feel lost as a person because you gave everything up for your family. You gave so much, you feel mentally worn out.

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You ask yourself what you did wrong. What happened?

The answer? Nothing. You changed. You grew as a parent. And you still wildly love your kiddos. Just because you have needs, doesn’t make you any less of a parent.

Get more sleep. (You need 7-9 hours of sleep according to helpguide.com). Don’t forget to eat. Healthy food. Often. You need your family to respect you. To hear you. You need them to chip in around the house. And you need to do things for yourself.

Do something for yourself, even if it seems silly. You deserve it!

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Crank up your favorite Pandora station, pick up an old hobby, go see your best girl friend, go shopping with your mom and sister, have that glass of wine at the end of the night. And do not feel guilty about doing those, even if the house is the same disaster that it’s been all day.

Raising kids is hard. And not hard in the fact that we don’t think we can’t do it. Hard, in the fact that we feel that we can’t be the parent we want to be.

Stop comparing yourself to who you want to be. Look at what you have overcome. Look at your special relationship with your family. And just know that you are doing just fine. Really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/sleep-needs-get-the-sleep-you-need.htm

Picture by:

https://pixabay.com/en/users/vborodinova-6314823/

https://pixabay.com/en/users/Counselling-440107/

https://pixabay.com/en/users/StockSnap-894430/

Top 8 Parenting Quotes

Top 8 Parenting Quotes

The best way to do anything in life is to surround yourself with positive thoughts. Thoughts of love and happiness. Thoughts of strength and courage.

Many parenting quotes are treasured, but only 8 made it to the top of my list.

Here they are:

1.

quote1

Children do reflect the care they are given. They often seem the best behaved with one-on-one time between their parents. Grandparents even. Giving attention isn’t bad, it just shows that you care.

2.

quote2

The entirety of parenting. We hope to establish our children in knowledge and good decision-making as they grow up. As they grow bigger and more knowledgeable, it can be hard to let them try things on their own. But giving them wings means letting them succeed or learn from their failures.

3.

quote3

Always. All-around peace.

4.

quote4

If you have parenting guilt, this is for you. You have to take your children part-way in life. Then it’s up to them to do the rest. Anne Frank was a wise girl!

5.

quote5

About every weekend we ask our kids what they want to do over the next 2 days. Their response every time, “play with you guys!” They want our time. And on the days when we can play more, they seem to have great behavior.

6.

quote6

Nicholas Sparks is a brilliant person. Parenting is hard. But yes, I often think that on a deeper level, this is why God allowed us to have children, so he could help us understand a fraction of how much He loves us.

7.

quote7

All the corners, nooks, and crannies.

8.

quote8

Courage to do the right thing, no matter if it’s not easy. Courage to push yourself each day, past your limits for your little loves.

 

 

If there’s one thing good parents have in common, it’s our inability to give up on our families. Good parents doubt themselves and criticize themselves. Often times more than necessary. We fill our days with worry and stress. Trying to do our best.

There is no one right way to parent. There are lots.

But good parents love their children more than life itself, no matter what.

 

*Quotes from Brainyquote.com, Designs by Mommabirdblog.com