To my son on your 6th Birthday

Dear Brayden,

I can’t believe today you turn six. What’s even harder to believe is you were diagnosed with a heart defect when you were only in my belly for six months. 

This day six years ago we couldn’t wait to meet you. We were excited to see if you would look like daddy or if you would resemble more of me. We hoped we’d be able to hold you and kiss you but we knew those hopes were uncertain to take place. My greatest hope though was that you would be breathing, thankfully you were! Hearing you cry from across the room while your team of doctors worked on you was the greatest gift. 

Fast forward to now, here I sit six years later at your tackle football practice!! How amazing!!! At one point we didn’t know if you would be able to play contact sports but just as you’ve done this whole journey you proved everyone that you’re a strong fighter who will never give up. 

I have to tell you what I’m most proud of and it’s your academic accomplishments. We moved to Arizona not knowing much about the schools and hoping you would adjust well and then there you go the first month of school getting student of the month! Like who are you?! It is so amazing to watch you come home excited about what you’re learning and then watching you practice those skills all on your own. Daddy might tell you sports is most important but know mommy thinks academics comes first! 

The world around us has been crazy lately and I want you to know that daddy and I will continue to do everything we can to protect you. We will not teach you to live in a world of fear so know that if you look back and realize there are things we didn’t tell you it’s because we wanted you to be a kid and enjoy your life free of fear

I hope that when you read this when your older you are still thriving. I have the highest hopes for your future and I can’t wait to see all that you will accomplish but for now I look forward to what this next year brings because I know it’s going to be awesome😃

Always remember you’re my warrior, my fighter, and my hero.

I Love You,

Mommy

Ps – I love watching you love life❤️

Parenting in 2017

Parenting isn’t easy. When you have a baby they don’t come with an instruction manual and as they grow and get older there is no guide on how to change your parenting as they grow and something that I have learned in my almost 6 years of being a parent is each child is different and needs to at times be parented differently.

I may only be 27 years old but I can say with certainty that my kids are growing up in a different world then I did. For example technology, my kindergartener has come home from school and already asked for a cell phone because he sees other kids in his class with them.  Um I didn’t get a cell phone until middle school and that was only because I spent more time at the dance studio then I did at home. 

A hot topic of late has been the protests going on in the NFL and I know you’re thinking how does this relate to parenting. Well since my son was at the age to be able to understood the concept of the national anthem he has stood in front of our tv every Sunday with his right hand on his heart and his left hand behind his back as he follows in the footsteps of the players he looks up to, my daughter follows by my sons example. 


Now that being said I am fully aware of our freedoms and rights in this country I have a bachelors degree in legal studies and I get it but I am a human and I have my own opinions on the actions of the players. 

Last Sunday was the normal standing in front of the tv for the national anthem because he saw his favorite Eagles players stand for the anthem but it was Monday night that changed things. As I stood in the kitchen finishing dinner I caught out of the corner of my eye my son get into a kneeling position instead of standing tall and proud. I have to be honest my reaction was to yell to him to stand up and the confused look on his face kind of broke my heart. He yelled back asking why he had to stand when the players on the field were kneeling and that’s when I realized that the actions of these players were now affecting my home. 

No we don’t talk politics with our kids they are little and we try to protect their innocence. We explained to him why we stand for the anthem and after a few minutes he accepted it and we moved on. Unlike last week today we didn’t wake up to news of who stood and who took a knee during last nights games instead we woke up to news of another massacre on our soil, the same soil we told our 5 year old to stand and show respect to just a week ago. 

How am I supposed to protect my children’s innocence when I constantly have explaining to do and no not the simple explaining like 2+2=4. 

It wasn’t until I was in 6th grade when the terror attacks of 9/11 took place did I encounter the first traumatic attack on our soil that I actually can remember. Since then there has been no shortage of sad devastating news on the tv about our world. Between the attacks going on in other countries and the shootings here at churches, schools, movie theaters and concerts how can I protect my children? How can I let them be kids?  How can I send them down the street by themselves to play with a neighbor? How can I send them to school and be confident I can pick them up at the end of the day? How can I take them to the movie theater and really enjoy the experience when I’m looking for sketchy people? And now how can I myself go to a concert with my husband and hope I make it home to my kids?

It is so hard now a days to feel safe. The purity of childhood is gone and that’s why as parents our parenting decisions are as important as ever. We can pick and choose what we share with them based on their age all while making sure to teach them things to be aware of when out of the house, like not going to strangers. For the older kids I can imagine it’s harder because that’s when kids talk at school and based on what the other parents are saying your kids may find out more about the world then you were ready to share. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is parenting is hard and you’re not alone. Between technology devices, the internet, politics, terror attacks both internationally and on home soil and throw in the crazy natural disasters there is no shortage of explaining you’re going to have to do. My best advice is hold on tight and get ready for the ride, think before you speak, be available to your children if they have questions and be aware of changes in their behavior. Hug your babies and give them extra kisses every night. 


Keeping all those affected by the many tragedies in the last few weeks in my thoughts🙏🏻

– Brittany 

My 5 Latest Obsessions!

1. Starbucks Tumbler

I was at the Starbucks in our grocery store the other day and this new pink tumbler totally caught my eye! Not ready to make the splurge I didn’t get it and thought about it all night so the next day I got one! Not a pink one since I decided it’s nice to be able to see how much is left in the cup. I got it filled for the first time and Oh My Gosh I am in love😍 If you’re an avid frappuccino drinker you know that the cup sweats as it melts and can make a mess and be annoying well with the tumbler this didn’t happen! Even while I was sitting at the park in the 105 degree weather my cup stayed cold but also dry – amazing!! I’m so glad I made the splurge! Head to your local Starbucks to check out the available designs and get a ten cent discount every time you use your cup!



2. Sweet Ava’s Paper

This ones for my planner girls! I have been ordering from Sweet Ava’s Paper on Etsy since October of 2016 and here’s why I’ve stayed a customer: 

  • Great original designs with the cutest brown haired girl named Ava (lots of other great characters too)
  • The colors are so vibrant and really pop in your planner
  • Always has a discount code for her Instagram followers ( @sweetavaspaper)
  • Quick shipping and super cute packaging

These are just a few reasons why I love this sticker shop. If you don’t use a Happy Planner or an equivalent but want fun stickers to use on a family calendar on the fridge definitely check out Sweet Ava’s Paper, place your first order and trust me you will be hooked!

Some of my favorites!

3. Sally Hansen Diamond Strength French Manicure Pen Kit

I’ve been neglecting my nails since we got to Arizona since I was constantly opening boxes and knew they would get ruined. Now that the unpacking is basically done I really wanted to give my nails a good French manicure but there was one problem, my nail polish was still in Pennsylvania. So I drug the kids along to Target, as if thats hard to do since they’re obsessed, to find a kit and to my surprise the only French manicure kit with everything needed for the perfect manicure was the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Kit. I’m not going to lie I was hesitant because instead of a white nail polish bottle for the tips it included a French Manicure White Tip Pen.  I’ve never used the tip pen before but since the whole kit was only $9.99 I figured I’d give it a try. I did my nails last night and let me tell you the White Tip Pen is awesome! The instructions say to roll the pen along your tip but I did a dab method which worked really well. There are tip guides included if you arent comfortable doing the tips free hand. If you’re ready to conquer a French manicure by yourself this is the kit for you!

4. Cinnamon Roll Waffles

I was looking for some fun but easy 4th of July treats to make with my kiddos so I went to my Pinterest page to check out the boards I had created, you know the random things you pin then never look at again. Anyways on one of my food boards I saw Cinnabon waffles and they looked so easy I had to try it! All you need is a waffle iron and a tube of cinnamon rolls with the icing, preheat your waffle iron and separate all the cinnamon rolls from eachother.  Once the iron is ready place one cinnamon roll on each corner of the iron, close the iron and wait until it’s done and then take each corner off of the iron. Lather it up with some icing, which you don’t need to heat up because it melts as soon as it hits the warm waffle! They were so quick and easy to make that I can see this as a good school morning option to switch up breakfast. The only downside is you may need a few tubes of cinnamon rolls depending how many people you need to feed but if you get the store brand its still a really cheap option.




5. Outdaughtered
 

One night this week I was scanning the tv at night looking for something to watch and as typical summer tv schedules there was nothing so I clicked on TLC and instantly got hooked on the show “OutDaughtered”. Adam and Danielle are so normal and real that it’s enjoying to watch plus their girls are adorable! You get to go through their ups and downs with them and even though I only have two kids there are certain conversations between them that are so similar to conversations I have with my husband. If you are looking for a good real show head on over to TLC on Tuesday nights and hang out with the Bugsby’s!! 


If you already love or try out some of these obsessions let me know!

Happy Sunday!

Brittany

One Month In

So there’s all these weird superstitions revolving the number 13, the most common one being when the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday, you know the dreaded Friday the 13th?  The 13th of the month has a whole new meaning to our family significant to our new journey in Arizona.  Yesterday being the 13th marked one month since the kids and I got on a plane and arrived in our new home but it also marked four months since my husband started his job here. It’s hard to believe we’ve only been together again as a family for a month but I guess no matter how long you are apart if you really are family it will always automatically be right again.  Don’t mistake that for its been easy because transitions like this with young children are hard.  It has been and is still at times hard for them to accept that I am not the only one that can help them.  They relied soley on me for 95 days, give or take the few days daddy was home here and there, so the adjustment back to having two parents being able to do things for them is hard.  The most difficult time for this is bedtime. We had such a routine about how shower, pjs, teeth brushing, story time, and getting tucked in went that trying to add in the second parent was something neither of them were willing to accept, if it wasn’t mommy doing it then it wasn’t happening. It seems that having daddy help certain nights doing certain things works for them so if thats what makes nighttime not so stressful we will go with it plus I love reading to them at night even if I know the books by heart.

For the first time on Wednesday I actually felt like this was home. Dying to know why? My daughter had dance class. Its kind of crazy right that after a month its taken a simple dance class to make Arizona feel even remotely close to home. Even after registering my son for kindergarten and my daughter for preschool and doing dance and football registration, having my grocery store and don’t forget Starbucks of choice and the Walmart I favor and I of course had to find the closest Michael’s which is conveniently smack dab between a Target and a Starbucks (thank you shopping Gods) it still just didn’t feel like home. Maybe because the last month has been filled with unpacking, having no schedule and not knowing anyone that the lack of emotional attachment to this new place we call home just wasn’t there. But Wednesday when I got her dressed for dance class and we got in the car and pulled into the studio parking lot and I put her ballet shoes on and she went into class like she knew exactly what she was doing did it finally seem real.  She walked in with such confidence like this new studio and teacher and classmates weren’t going to stop her from doing what she loves and this is why having kids is so amazing.  It took my 3 year old to show me that this new place doesn’t change anything.  It doesn’t change the things we love or our ability to do them we just have to be open and adjust to this new adventure. Boy was she open, she kicked butt in class and I’m so proud and thankful for the confidence she is able to radiate, my star in the making.  Of course the no family thing is hard but as we start planning our first trip home and we continue to FaceTime with those who are making the effort to stay active in our lives I know that we will see eachother again and be able to embrace the time we have together.   


As we put this first month behind us we have so many things to look forward to. Football practice starts in nearly two weeks followed by school starting just a week later. We get to do fun things like school shop and open house night at school and get the family pictures taken I’ve been secretly dying for since we made the decision to move.  I know as time goes on things will get easier and hopefully this new place we consider home will truly start to feel like it.

Stay confident and kick butt,

Brittany 

The Stay at Home Mom Stereotype

I need to take a minute to discuss the stigma/stereotype behind being a stay at home mom…


Quite frankly I’m sick of people asking what I do and when I say I’m a stay at home mom get this look of almost disgust. Now a days you hear great things about working mothers and they get all this praise because they work all day and take care of their family at night. This praise is rightly deserved as I’ve briefly been a working mom and I understand how hard it is to juggle it all. Now as a stay at home mom it so frustrates me that some how me staying with my children and taking care of my home has been so glorified that its not seen as a job. I may not get up and go to a 9 to 5 job but I can guarantee you I don’t spend my day sitting on the couch watching tv, going to the nail salon for a fresh mani and pedi, and having lunch everyday with my girlfriends.  Everyday I get woken up by my little bosses voices already making their demands. These little bosses don’t care if I need to pee or have to change out the laundry they want their juice when they want it and they don’t want excuses as to why they cant have it immediately. So as a stay at home mom not only are you acting as servant but you’re also the cook, the dishwasher, the cleaning service, the laundry service, the personal shopper, the taxi driver, the referee and most importantly the teacher and caregiver. Does it sound like a lot now? 

People wonder why I have my planner and believe in it so much and it’s because setting goals for yourself even when being a stay at home mom is so important. How am I going to get anything accomplished if I don’t have a plan? It is so easy to get sidetracked when you are constantly being asked for something or just simply being followed around that knowing what you want to get done keeps your day moving forward in a way that you ‘should’ feel accomplished when its over.

Planning aside its not easy.  The other day in one of my mommy Facebook groups a mom asked if any stay at home moms resent their husbands? I have nothing to hide since its a conversation my husband and I have had before and yes there are the occasional days where I resent that he gets to go have adult relationships and he can stop for his morning coffee without having kids in the back yelling that they want their own frappuccinos, yes I’ve created mini Starbucks addicts. On those days my husband likes to tell me that those adults he deals with act like children so really it’s the same.  I have to be honest and say its not because you arent wiping those kids asses, maybe kissing them but not wiping them (insert giggle). Sometimes the longing for adult interaction can leave you feeling lonely and sad, I cant wait for sports and school to start so we all can start meeting people in our new state. 

Not only does my husband get that adult interaction but he also gets to leave his job! He may get the occasional email which warrants a quick reply but as a stay at home mom my job never ends. Even after the kids are asleep I still usually have to pick up toys or wash dishes and make my husband lunch, the job is never over.

Another thing that frustrates me about the perception of stay at home moms is this expectation that everything should always be perfect. Like what makes anyone think that staying home with children ALL DAY will result in a perfectly clean home? I will never forget one of my fellow Heart mommies saying “I have kids and my house is lived in” which was in response to a negative comment about her home not being perfect. That’s the thing people forget we are home with our kids and we are living! We are playing games and doing crafts and occasionally mommy gets daring and tries to bake something cool, yes we have household chores but we also play entertainer most of the day and sometimes cuddling with your babes and having movie day is what everyone needs. 

In reference to cleaning today I had written in my planner that I wanted to; finish organizing the playroom, clean the floors and the bathrooms, and finish laundry plus whatever school worksheets I picked out from the kids workbooks.  I spent the morning with the kids and doing some laundry and then after lunch I started my tasks. It took me 5 and a half hours to do the playroom, bathrooms and downstairs floors because I got asked for juice 4 times, a snack 4 times, had to break up 6 fights, change the tv channel 3 times, wipe 1 butt, pick up toys I already put away twice and ignore the door bell because I was in the middle of Swiffer Wetjetting my floors and I just didn’t have time to deal with anyone. By the time I was done my husband was walking through the door I had to start dinner and never made it to the kids workbooks. Luckily this was a day where I didn’t need to run errands because then I would have been lucky if half of this got accomplished. Adding in 2 different school drop off and pick up locations and times and the kids dance and football schedules will have these tasks I accomplished in one day feel impossible in three weeks when chaos ensues. So for those thinking houses with stay at home moms should always be perfect need to reevaluate what actually has to be dealt with besides the cleaning itself and remember our kids are living and making memories.

And here’s another thing, at work when you do a good job you usually get acknowledged maybe by an email or in a meeting and on those special occasions recieve an award at an event and heck even sometimes its with a raise! That acknowledgment is good motivation to pump you up and keep you going strong and focused on doing a good job. All I want is for my kids to realize I cleaned all day and that when I ask them to pick up their toys before bed that the world isn’t going to end and mommy is just trying to make sure they have a clean place to play tomorrow – appreciation. Or how about instead of fighting with me over what I made for dinner (which you had no problem eating two weeks ago) you say thank you and just eat it – appreciation. It’s not hard to say thank you and give your wife a kiss on those days when you do walk in to a sparkly clean house. If you really want to blow her away surprise her with flowers or her favorite pastry and drink just because – appreciation. Feeling appreciated as a stay at home mom really is a feeling equal to getting a raise, especially when it’s a thank you from your child accompanied by a hug.

To be clear I love being able to be home with my kids and being able to be the one to teach them things like manners and to watch them grow a little bit everyday. I am blessed to have such a hardworking husband that I get to be in the position where I can drop off and pick up my kids from school and to be able to take them to their activities without having to worry about a work schedule. I love those days where we can get out of the house and go on fun adventures and make new memories. So yes being a stay at home mom has its perks but don’t think its a stress free easy life because I am here to tell you that glamourous perception you conjured up is wrong.

Keep it real,

– Brittany

PS – think before you speak 😳 


4th of July🇺🇸

You were thinking 4th of July – let’s party – while I was thinking first holiday without- home, family, friends, and baseball.  The morning was hard, I woke up to an almost empty house since Jay was off being an awesome boss and taking breakfast to his employees who had to work and he took Bray along since he was up before us and is always asking about the new plant. Makayla was still sleeping so I picked up my phone like I do every morning to check my messages and emails and then I opened my Facebook app and up pops the On This Day. I of course have to click to see what comes up and it’s all of our great pictures from the last few 4th of Julys at the baseball field and the park and pictures of my brothers and I together.

[ It’s not easy being away from family especially on the days where you typically have a tradition. I know that once we meet people that these things may get easier but probably never fully be okay.]

So after going through the pictures I chalked the day up to be a loss in my head and half shut down. Jay called and asked what I wanted him to get me for breakfast and unlike myself I said nothing just come home. By the time him and Bray arrived Makayla was in bed with me and we were watching Paw Patrol together. Bray comes upstairs and handed me my Starbucks drink of choice which I didn’t ask for but the gesture from my husband was nice. After talking about his visit to daddy’s work everyone left and I decided I needed to start the day. I ended up taking my sadness, anger and annoyance on cleaning my car and I have to say nothing makes me happier then a vacuumed, wiped down Pilot😍

Jay and I had a nice conversation about our plans for the next few weeks and where we want to visit followed by our plans for the day. I made fresh burgers which we grilled for lunch and then we all got to relax and take naps before we headed over to the entertainment area not far from our house. Side note- events don’t start around here until 4-5pm because it’s just to hot. 

Ready to celebrate!!!
We decided our first piece of business at Westgate was to get dinner so we went to Mama Gina’s Pizzeria and got a delicious pizza…

We did have to wait a few minutes for a table so the kids took in the sites and checked out the fire trucks shooting water on daddy’s shoulders


After dinner we joined the crowd and walked around the plaza ending up at these really neat fountains…

We hung out for a little while and listened to the DJ before we trekked back to the car to set up for the fireworks and boy were we in a good spot.  We happened to park right in front of where they were setting them off the downside to this was the hour wait getting out of the parking lot😐 Needless to say our attempts in not letting today go to waste were successful. We had a nice night as a family celebrating and experiencing new things together and that’s what makes this crazy journey we’re on so special. 


From my family to yours we hope you all had a great 4th of July too,

– Brittany 

Two weeks…

Two weeks ago the kids and I boarded a plane unsure of what life was going to hold. Now two weeks in I can tell you we are surviving and making great strides in becoming settled and also preparing for the looming school year. Don’t let my “were surviving” fool you, a lot of things are different in Arizona then back in Pennsylvania.

Let’s just get it out in the open – the H.E.A.T. – yes it is Arizona and it is hot. Temperatures have been anywhere from 110-120 and yes it’s HOT! The heat is totally different though, in PA as soon as you walk out of the house you get drenched with sweat from the humidity but here instead of getting sweaty you can feel the sun on your skin hence why on the 100+ degree days you stay inside, go to a park under a canopy or stay in a pool and don’t get out. 


Grocery shopping is different too, they don’t believe taco kits should come with soft shells so now I have to buy a shaker of taco seasoning and  a package of shells separately. Grocery stores also don’t carry Italian sandwich bread in their bread aisles which is all we use in our house so this was a major issue but finally I found some at Walmart and all is good on the bread front again. 


Street signs. In Pennsylvania we were used to seeing signs for Bethlehem, Allentown, Harrisburg, Quakertown and Philadelphia. In Arizona we see signs for Phoenix, Tucson and the one I still can’t believe I see is Los Angeles! It’s so unreal to me because I just never imagined I’d ever see a sign for L.A.  

You also have to be conscious of things like – will my electric bill skyrocket if I do laundry between 12pm and 7pm on a weekday? The answer to that question is yes since electricity is triple the price during those hours (in the summer months). So you adjust and do laundry first thing in the morning, late at night or save it for the weekend! 

I don’t want this to be seen as one big complaint because it’s not. So far I have loved being in Arizona, heat and all. I of course wish my family was here but thanks to technology texting, Facebook and FaceTime is making it easy to communicate with our family and friends. One of my favorite things is the amazing mountain views when I’m driving. They are so spectacular I don’t think looking down the palm tree lined road to the mountains in the distance will ever get old. 

In two weeks I’ve accomplished a lot. My Arizona drivers license is on its way, Brayden is registered for kindergarten, Makayla is registered for preschool, we took care of finding a new bank and the boxes are starting to disappear from our house. There is still a lot to do especially with the school year only starting in a mere 40 days. This life change hasn’t been easy but taking it one day at a time seems to work best. 

Stay cool,

– Brittany

Mommy Guilt

Last night, well really early this morning, laying in bed trying to fall asleep mommy guilt started to set in. I had cleaned the house did all the laundry laid out their clothes for the next three days and even somehow managed to pack myself and although everything was done to make my trip away easier for them I still felt guilty. Why mommy guilt? Well for starters Makayla is 3 years old and I’m pretty sure our time apart has only ever consisted of one night away from each other. She’s my sidekick, my extra arms, sometimes a pain in my ass but nonetheless my baby. For Bray it’s different. We’ve spent time apart I think really just Jay and I’s honeymoon but he’s also older now and I know if he needs something or something is out of routine he won’t be afraid to voice it, a comforting feeling. But then there’s his soccer game, the first game of the new season this weekend and as the involved mom I always try to be my heart is breaking I can’t be there but again all of his stuff is laid out and the latest email about our weather conditions and instructions has been emailed to the family member caring for them so really everything is taken care of and his Grammy will be there too so his support system is in place.

So as I sit here and try to eat this oversized greasy slice of pizza waiting for my plane my heart still breaks. Being a stay at home mom is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing that I get to be with them everyday watching them grow, helping them when they need it and helping shape them into the little human beings they are becoming. A curse because being with them everyday is my place so when separation which should be extremely exciting for me because breaks like this are as often as seeing snow in the town we are moving to in Arizona I should be ecstatic. Not sure it helps that Bray followed me around all morning like a lost puppy instead of his usual routine of going downstairs and playing with his cars or on the iPad. 

Regardless of my feelings and anxiety about the kids I am excited to see my husband and the town I am uprooting mine and the kids lives to live in.

 So here’s to new adventures🍻


– Brittany

Never Underestimate a Little Human

So it’s Saturday night which meant a movie and pizza for the kids and I. It’s unbelievable that with all the DVD’s we own, Netflix and On Demand the kids (and I) could not come to an agreement on a movie. Like seriously 20 minutes of back and forth because Brayden wanted to watch Hop and Makayla wanted to watch every Disney Princess movie we own. Finally as I was 2 seconds short of saying “forget it no movie” I went into the kids DVD bin and found The Peanuts Movie still wrapped in cellophane from Christmas. Finally we had an agreement and better yet it was a movie none of us had seen.

With our pizza and drinks on the coffee table we started the movie and to be honest about 10 minutes in I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the end.  I am happy to say it did get better. Brayden (5) sat through the whole thing while Makayla (2) was watching while bouncing around on the couch and demanding more pink lemonade. After awhile we made it to the part where Charlie Brown sees his crush practicing dancing in her window and to impress her he goes home to learn how to dance for the winter dance at school. The kids enjoyed the dancing but they really enjoyed the song. Then the winter dance scene finally comes on and the song plays again, “Better When I’m Dancin'” by Meghan Trainor. It is really upbeat and catchy and the kids loved it, Makayla was even up dancing!

As the movie continues you see all the disappointments Charlie Brown goes through it’s like nothing ever goes his way but then finally at the end of the movie he has success; he flies the kite and talks to his crush. Now as a Mom I’m thinking “aww what a cute ending he finally talked to his little girlfriend and we seriously need to download this song for the car!” So the kids and I went on iTunes and downloaded the song, the kids danced for a little bit and we headed upstairs for bed. As I got Brayden’s toothbrush out I asked if he liked the movie and his response caught me off guard:

Brayden – “I did! Charlie Brown never gave up!”

Me –  “Wow bud your right he didn’t give up, can you tell me what he didn’t give up at?”

Brayden – “Talking to that girl and he flew the kite.”  (5 second pause) “I’m like him I don’t give up.”

Me (with a happy heart) – “You’re right you have never given up.”

We exchanged big smiles and I went about brushing his teeth. You don’t realize just what your 5 year old picks up on until moments like this. For those who don’t know Brayden’s story he has been through a lot. He had heart surgery at 5 months old. A second unheart related surgery at 15 months old. He’s struggled with medical issues from his heart during the winters and this past December had oral surgery. So yes at a mere 5 years of age him recognizing that he doesn’t give up is HUGE for me as a mother. He has been a fighter from the beginning and he is where I have gotten my strength on my weakest days. (I will be writing more on Brayden in the next few weeks during congenital heart defect awareness week.)

So lesson learned don’t underestimate your 5 year old, they may drive you crazy and make you want to pull all of your hair out but they are paying attention. They are paying attention to the journey they are on and all that’s going on around them.

And if you’re ever having one of those rough mommy days listen to this song it’s a good pick me up and bound to get you dancing 🙂

Better When I’m Dancin’ – Meghan Trainor

– Brittany

Should you join the planner community?

Let me start by saying regardless of your profession or how big your family is (aka how many kids you need to keep track of) there may be a form of planning for you. It’s a common misconception that because I’m a stay at home mom and don’t work a typical 9 to 5 job that I have no reason to plan the way I do. What could I possibly be keeping track of? Well here’s a list of the things I write in my planner:

  • My babysitting schedule
  • Kids school schedules
  • My daughters dance schedule
  • Dinner plan each night
  • TV show schedule
  • Fitbit steps
  • Household chores – vacuuming, laundry, dusting, clean bathrooms, etc.
  • Birthdays/anniversaries
  • Drs appointments
  • Typical family events
  • Sons sports schedules
  • Husbands coaching schedule
  • Basic list of tasks – phone calls that need to be made, things to be done on the computer or bills to mail
  • List of things we need at the store
  • Notes
  • Date nights!

For a stay at home mom I have plenty to keep track of! There are a lot of other ways to use a planner though. Some people use them for journaling while others use them as memory planners where they put in pictures and captions to remember their day. If you have fitness goals you might want to look into the specific fitness planner or there are free printables online that you could add to your everyday planner. Other people use them as faith planners where they keep track of bible studies and put the scriptures they may be specifically focusing on.  Then there are the students who use them for school and activities. Professionals even use them at work to keep track of tasks, deadlines and meetings. If you fall in one of these categories planning may be for you. Remember planning doesn’t need to be as creative or decorated as I make it. I choose to make my planner fun and set aside “me” time to decorate it but again that’s not necessary. 

Still not sure you should join the planner community? Think of the things you could keep track of and write them down. Remeber there are different size planners so if your list isn’t real long there can still be a planner for you! Just for reference I use a Big Happy Planner, there is also a Medium and a Mini which is great to keep in your bag while on the go!


Happy Planning!

          – Brittany