Moms and spiritual moms, Happy Mother’s Day!


When I think back to the women who have profoundly influenced my life, my own mother is at the top. I have been blessed with the most incredible, loving mother.

She really, truly is one of the most sacrificial and caring people I know. Her love for others shines out in all she does–from her encouraging words, to her generosity, to her love and kindness offered to “the least of these”. You can be sure that any good attribute you may observe in me can be traced back to her.

I want to be like my mother. I want my girls to grow up knowing the unconditional love I have known 33 years and counting. She embodies what it means to be a mother and why we celebrate our mothers on this special day of the year.

After my mother, I think of another lovely woman who greatly influenced my life and help set me in a positive direction. She has no physical children of her own. Yet she was a spiritual mother to many women (and men).

Her desire was to have children and raise a family, but that never happened. And yet, in spite of her own pain and suffering, she offered motherly love and guidance to those who needed it. She poured out her time and prayers and enouragment–her life.

The world needs women who are willing to pour out their lives for the good of others, be they physical or spiritual moms.  Women who are willing to lovingly and fearlessly guide the next generation.

So in honor of all moms and spiritual moms out there: Happy Mother’s Day! What you do matters.

10 Sensory ideas to rekindle the romantic flame

Couple HuggingOur senses are powerful. Use them to tap into some of the fire you felt early on in your relationship. Here are 10 ways to do just that!

1. Light candles and listen to music you played together when you first fell in love.

2. Wear the fragrances, perfume and cologne, from your dating days. Snuggle up close.

3. Visit your old dating haunts. Sit at the same tables, order similar food and drink, hike the same trails etc.

4. Watch a movie from your first year together and make out.

5. Dance to your wedding music, especially your first dance.

6. Hold hands, hug, and kiss in public like the “olden” days, unaware of who is watching.

7. Cook or order out a meal you ate when dating and eat it picnic-style in your living room.

8. Send a Continue reading

Mom, today can be different

Mom and Daughter

(This is Abigail and I during our trip to Martha’s Vineyard this spring)

Being a mom is one of life’s greatest privileges and joys. Really, truly.

And yet, sometimes, in the hustle and crazy of the everyday we sort of lose sight of that. Somewhere between the meals, the carpools, the lessons, the baths, the playdates, the homework, the concern, ALL the instruction, and the breaking up of fights. Somewhere between 6×4 and “Where are your shoes, we’re going to be late?!”, we forget the purpose of it all, the joy that should be ours.

We forget that this “mom with kids at home” thing is short-lived and we only get one chance.

We forget to cuddle and hold hands and giggle together while lying on the rug.

We forget to let our hair down, to have fun.

We forget to LIVE.

But today is a new day, a fresh start. Today can be different.

Increase marital heat WITHOUT crushing on someone else

KissI read an article on a popular blog recently that saddened me and frustrated me all at the same time. In it, the author encouraged married people to foster crushes on people other than their spouse. Her reason. Because it could turn up the heat in their primary relationship.

She wrote, “A crush can be entirely harmless. It can add a little bounce to your step. Who among us doesn’t feel a charge from flirtation? Someone else wanting us? … Come on.”

Call me old-fashioned…

But, I think that is TERRIBLE advice and I hope I can do this justice as I attempt to explain WHY.

But first, to be fair, the author did reference an internet survey where women reported that their crushes, mostly secret, resulted in more desire with their partner. The participants also claimed that these crushes did not impact their primary relationship.

Okay. So I am not going to argue that the survey, or article, is wrong in their observation (just conclusion). It is very likely that, “sex begets sex”, as the author of the blog post humorously observes. I don’t think anyone would deny that our minds/thoughts play a powerful role in our sexuality. It IS very likely that a crush could add “fuel back onto that home fire”.

BUT

And that is a big but! It does not mean that we SHOULD foster crushes on people other than our spouse. It does not mean that it is really, truly healthy for us as individuals OR for our marriages. In other words, it does not mean that the end justifies the means.

Most of us would agree that pursuing an exciting sex life in our marriage shouldn’t mean that anything goes as long as we get the desired result. Even the author of the article recognizes THAT when she gives warning signs for a crush that has become dangerous.

Couple at parkA better way

I think we all want to be in loving, hot marriages, right? But I believe that there are much safer ways, than extra-marital crushes, to stoke the home fire. Ways that don’t risk burning down the entire house. Do you know what I mean!?

Here’s the deal. I view my marriage as Continue reading

Mom, always be who you are

Mom always be who you are

Mom and childYou are unique, one-of-a kind. You were hand-selected to love and care for your children.

Mom, always be who you are.

Even on your difficult days, you are more than enough. Allowing your children to watch 20 more minutes of TV, having to say you are sorry because you were short, and serving cereal for dinner, doesn’t make you a failure.

The fact that you are there, that you are trying. The fact that you care enough to worry, says that you are a great mom. The fact that you are able to say that you are sorry when you are wrong is better than never being wrong.

Your love and support and care is the water that is nourishing your children and helping them grow – helping them flourish. You are more important to them than you or they will ever know.

Mom, always be who you are.

There are days when you wonder how you will put one foot in front of the other. You wonder if your struggle at life will somehow mess your kids up. You wonder if perhaps they will grow up and not like you.

Instead, wonder at how many beautiful experiences you have shared. Wonder at all the laughs and giggles, all the cuddles and kisses. Wonder at all that you have been able to do right.

The person you are – your love and compassion, your strength and fortitude, your gifts and talents – is shaping your children’s lives. Never forget that.

Mom, always be who you are.

When the days are long and memories are short and you ponder why you do what you do, know that Continue reading

Always by our side…

IMG_2289They were there to greet us eyes full of love the day we entered this world. They cheered as we took our first steps and held us close to comfort us after each fall.

They made sure we had snacks to eat and that we brushed every day. At night, they tucked us in with our favorite stuffed toy, soothing any fear away.

Then when the time came, they painfully dropped us off at school, but only smiled and said we were going to do great. And they sat many hours in drop-off and pick-up lines and always were so excited to see us, and to hear all about our day, even when they were tired.

So many sacrifices they made Continue reading

Of Daddies, Daughters, and Cupcakes in Boston

cupcakes in BostonOne of the great things about having daughters is that I can now go on a date with more than one beautiful girl at the same time, and not get in trouble! In addition to dating their mother, I try to take my girls on “Daddy Dates” pretty regularly.

I’ll write more about Daddy Dates in the future, because I think it’s extremely important for our daughters, but today I want to share with you some pictures and thoughts from our most recent Daddy Date, just to give you a taste.

This was an afternoon date, and we decided to head downtown. We have a few favorite spots for dates and Continue reading

A Great Way to Connect with Kids

SONY DSC

Finding moments throughout the day to enjoy and connect with our girls is something that is very important to Brance and I. We want to do this parenting thing with no regrets AND enjoy the ride (like most parents!).  But it is easy for mommies and daddies to allow life (dirty dishes, laundry, jobs, bills etc.) to wedge itself between us and sweet hugs, cuddles, and the funny/crazy moments we can have with our little ones, isn’t it!?

A great way that we have found to bond with our girls, especially in the evening, is through novels and book series. We’ve read books to our girls since they were small, and it’s always been something they (and we) enjoy, but the enjoyment level has gone way up since we started reading chapter books and even more with book series. Continue reading

9 Wonderful Years!

Brance and I celebrated our 9 year Anniversary yesterday. I am so thankful for this guy! He seriously is one of the most amazing husbands and dads out there. I am not sure how he does it. He spoils the girls and I rotten with love and yet he still manages to help us to grow as people. Poor guy has had to put up with a lot, because of my health issues, during our marriage (and dating and engagement), but he has never once complained or made me feel like I’m inconveniencing him. And for that I am forever grateful and totally smitten!

Brance and Haddie playing tug-o-war with the pappy.

We are pretty low-key about special days and holidays and are not big on making regimented plans (although we do have some fun traditions). Especially when it comes to dates where more often than not we just let the night unfold. We did plan to have a sitter though! I really was mostly looking forward to spending time together alone, just the two of us and of course taking in Christmas in Boston. This is one of the most beautiful places at Christmas time! Continue reading