#foulkfive past blogs

us

Run of Shame

{May 16,2016}

Well, I did it….my first run of shame after having Parker.  I’ve mentioned before how I struggle with the after birth body. It’s such an awkward transition for me and my first run of the season fell into that same awkward category.

Yesterday I needed to ‘pound’ out some bad vibes/feelings and I knew running was just what I needed. If you’re a runner of any kind, I’m sure you can relate to just sometimes craving the impact on the soles of you feet. It was a beautiful morning, my kiddos were at school and I loaded up, who is now, my new running partner-Parker.  I hit the path and quickly realized that my shorts were a little snug, my jelly belly was….well jelly and I needed to find my “stroller” running form again.

But I did it 2 miles done…so what if they were 10 minute miles and I’m sore all over today…It’s hard to appreciate a short run like that  when you think back to running 6-8 miles in a day and 2 is a struggle…but then I have to remind myself to be kind. Kind to myself…and most importantly that one-I did it…and two-it’s about enjoying the experience..and I did. I felt mentally happier, the bad feelings/vibes were gone, and I was ready to enjoy the rest of the day with a better attitude.

I know there are many parents out there like me. When it’s never enough. We are overly critical of ourselves and in the process of doing “life” we’re missing out on just simply enjoying the experiences of each day. I couldn’t just be proud that I exercised…I had to continue to critique and criticize myself and that’s not okay!

Celebrate who you are, what you do, and in the process ENJOY it! Then do it again the next day!

xo

Danielle

 

 

 

 

Full Hands + Full Hearts



Heartbreak and New Beginnings

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I am deeply upset over the loss of our four Robins today. When taking a quick peek in to spy on my little babies my heart sunk.  I hadn’t realized how much these guys meant to me.

Over the last month my kiddos and I watched in amazement at how the momma built her nest and she was a pro. Then we awaited the arrival of the eggs and over a two day period four beautiful eggs appeared. Once the eggs came, we always were careful to keep away so the mom could keep them warm. We would make fewer trips outside so she wouldn’t be disturbed. While we weren’t the ones keeping the eggs warm, we were certainly doing our part to make sure the eggs had their best chance at hatching.

This past weekend to our surprise the babies began to hatch out of their shells. What joy those little naked birdies brought to me. I think I was so disappointed today because I had already had it in my mind that we would get to watch them grow like I had done at our old house when my husband and I had just gotten married.  I wanted to see the momma feed her babes and maybe get to see them try and fly…I didn’t expect to find them sound asleep today.

With the journey God has sent Aaron and I on with our children, you would think we would just expect the worse or live in fear about certain things. But we don’t. We know God is standing with us all the time and giving us strength to conquer any situation at hand.

I think with the recent birth of our son and the complications he had and the threat of premature births with our twins, loosing these four precious birds kind of played into a hidden fear or maybe an extremely sensitive spot that was somewhat buried.

We don’t know what we are going to be handed each day. We don’t know of the unexpected in life and sometimes that is fun and sometimes it is just heart breaking. What is important is how we process it. What we do with it and how we channel the good and the bad events that come to us in life.

For me, the theme of babies plays a huge roll in my life. With every passing day I’m reminded of how special babies and children are-even baby birds. While I’m not starting a blog for birds, today’s events tie into an announcement that I was going to make. Bblissful.com is now cliftonandpark.com.  I am going to continue writing about my unscripted parenting moments as well as hopefully grow my hand stamped jewlery business so I can give gifts to parents who have children in the NICU at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati.

The parents who have children in the NICU are a special group of people who have found themselves in a very unexpected place. It’s my hope I can brighten just one second of their day. Please help by sharing Cliftonandpark.com.

In memory of our little birds…

Xo

Danielle




Finding Your Niche 

Do you ever feel like once you became a parent you forgot about who you used to be? It’s crazy but it’s difficult to remember what I used to fill my time with. Maybe leisurely lunches, weekend home projects, random trips and shopping..I honestly don’t know.  After really settling into parenthood, I’ve found a need for almost redefining myself.  I actually asked myself several weeks ago, “What is it YOU want to do?”

After mulling it over, I got down to I wanted to do something creative that I could work on here and there when I had the time and I didn’t want it to take up much space- I need to be able to leave it out and come back to it.  I also decided that whatever it was I did, I wanted to be able to give back somehow.  In the end, I decided to try out hand stamping jewelry and Clifton + Park was born.CLIFTON AND PARK

While being a parent is fulfilling, I have to say when I’m able to step a way for just a bit and do something creative for myself and in the end give a gift….I feel whole.  Being a stay-at-home momma can sometimes leave you feeling like a captive, but within these four walls I’ve been able to find something that allows me to make room for some other thoughts, aside from the family to-do-list, and feel like while I can be making a difference in the world within my home.

Have you settled into parenthood and forgotten who you used to be before kids? Do you have any interest in finding something that is special for you? With Spring here, it’s a great time to look at things with fresh eyes, reevaluate who you are and where it is you’re going and where you want to be. Maybe there is something more out there for you that could enrich your life and maybe even others… We’re all responsible for our own happiness….just take the time to find it!

xo

Danielle


Are You Kidding me? 

I had to stop by and write today. I’ve taken a hiatus and am honestly trying to figure out what I should be doing with myself outside of being a mom. I believe we all have gifts from God that we’re meant to share with the world and right now I’m not sure if this (writing) is it…but while I’m still soul searching I had to drop ya’ll a line to tell you what struck a nerve within me today.

On my way to meet my friend I saw this obnoxious billboard. It was one of those moments where you can’t help but respond out loud…It read:

“Mommy Makeover $1000 off”

Really? I can’t tell ya what the image was that went along with that lousy tagline, but I’m pretty  sure it was a chest shot or something.

I’ve really been struggling with what I’m carrying around -you know you spend 9 months getting a new body but then you give birth and you get this deflated pooch and so much more (like ripples, dimples, sag, and just fluff). There is no gradual transition…the crazy deflate just happens.
I’m aiming to eat healthy but I swear breastfeeding hunger pains are worse than when your pregnant. Exercise (I hated typing that word) I get in by running this crazy household from about 6am-8pm..oh duh that’s not right I’m up feeding a baby at night and letting the dog out because his meds for his cancer makes him drink a lot! So maybe I’m like not in ‘zombie’ mode from 6am-8pm (but between 2-4pm is questionable..lol).

I know I’m not the only mom out there who has given birth and feels like a teenager trying to find her way through puberty  again (I have no idea what to do with these boobs or how to dress them or hide them)…but the upsetting thing is when society takes it upon themselves to put up billboards suggesting that us Moms need a makeover on our bodies that have went through an experience that is life AND body changing.

I hope for all the moms who have to drive by that ridiculous billboard everyday can ignore it and not think twice about themselves…but I have a feeling it could be hurting some women who struggle with their body image…and that’s just wrong …I only wish I had the money to put up a new billboard over theirs..that would then be a ‘mommy makeover’ with a more positive message.

Xo

Danielle

Always Expect the Unexpected

By: Danielle Foulk {February 23, 2017}

Yesterday I found myself, once again, trying to wipe away make-up only to find it wasn’t mascara that was darkening my skin but circles from a lack of sleep. So I pulled out my concealer and while putting it on I felt a sense of gratefulness. Having dark circles reminded me that I have a baby that is a dream come true…a baby that is healthy and nursing well. Things that some parents spend time wishing and praying for.

Our baby boy, Parker, was born at 37 weeks. It was an exciting surprise and while he was early, we knew we were just far enough along that he would be okay. The pregnancy had been wonderful..okay I say “wonderful” which includes morning sickness, moments of extreme hunger pains, and plenty of calf muscle cramps and body aches that led to sleepless nights. Regardless, I was thankful for having a ‘normal’ experience with this pregnancy verses our last…I was SO excited and a little nervous to soon be meeting our newest family member.

Labor was different this time. We weren’t in the OR with two teams of nurses and doctors. I couldn’t wait to hold Parker, I had been anxiously awaiting the first moment of laying eyes on him and snuggling with him and then it happened..I was holding him thinking “this is how it’s supposed to be and I’m getting to finally experience normal.” Well, normal only lasted for an hour and a half and then things changed.

In the weeks prior to Parker’s arrival I had joked with my husband, Aaron, that when we delivered it would be like a little weekend vacation. He thought I was crazy but I was excited to have a few days to spend with him and bonding with Parker. We even put ourselves on the ‘no info’ list so we wouldn’t be disturbed and so Landen and Caroline would be first to meet their baby brother (they had been sick so they couldn’t come to the hospital). Our weekend vacation I had imagined didn’t workout as I had hoped. After delivery I was wheeled into a room by myself with two nurses. No baby. No husband….it was the middle of the night. I was in a bit of a fog….it seemed like forever until Aaron showed up from accompanying Parker to the NICU.

I was hopeful Parker would be in the NICU for a short time like Landen had spent. I wasn’t too overly worried but one day turned into two days, into three. Parker was diagnosed as having respiratory distress. His lungs were wet and only with time would he heal and no matter how many times I asked no one had a crystal ball to tell us when he would be better.

Our “vacation” was spent bouncing between our hospital room, the NICU and the cafeteria. I would more or less check in a few times a day with my nurse and be gone for the day in the NICU with Aaron …things didn’t go from bad to good. Each day seemed like Parker only got worse. The drs and nurses were amazing with Parker and extremely patient with my tearful moments and Aaron’s intense questioning. Then discharge day came for me and Aaron.

Through all of this, Landen and Caroline had been staying with my parents. They had been so excited to FINALLY met their brother they had so anxiously waited for for months. On Sunday, we were discharged. Aaron and I packed up our room and we walked out to the parking garage in pretty much silence and many deep breaths. We were leaving empty handed. We were leaving with part of our newest family member in the hospital and there was nothing we could do about it.

The next week was spent divvying up the days so aaron or I could be at the hospital with Parker. We attempted to keep things as normal as possible for Landen and Caroline which made it hard to really express any emotion over the situation…but God got us through the days. While we were at the hospital I had stopped to listen to the morning prayer one day and in that prayer the pastor had said to more or less exhale through the difficult times…and I have to say I did that every night I would leave Parker behind in the NICU and every time I would leave Landen and Caroline behind at home.

Our stay in the NICU was short. We were there for 10 days…any parent of a NICU baby will tell you the days seem much longer than what they are and when you’re they’re you can have days where you become mentally drained by the unknown. While sitting next to Parker’s bed, the arm of the rocking chair caught my eye. The shiny finish that was elsewhere on the chair had been worn down to the natural wood. You know how people say, ” if these walls could talk?” As I sat in that rocking chair I couldn’t help but think of the parents that had sat in that same chair wringing their hands, crying, holding their little baby with a tail of cords attached to them…that worn rocking chair gave me comfort, a bit more strength, and a lot of hope.

I could write for days about the nurses at Good Sam. From the nurses we were reunited with after our first stay there with the twins to the new nurses we met but quickly grew attached to, they were nothing but amazing. Some knew when conversation was needed and when silence was just as good. Others wouldn’t let you walk out when they knew we were upset about how the day went. And on a day when you just wanted to feel more connected to your baby, they made it possible for us to help with Parker as much as we could. I’ll be forever grateful to all those nurses who helped us through those long days.

Watching the nurses care and provide for all their tiny patients in our days in the NICU allowed me a closer look at our family’s philanthropy. While our first pregnancy with the twins will always be very vivid we now have even more of an appreciation for The March for Babies after our first hand experience in the NICU with Parker. It’s a mission we will continue to support this year and in the years to come because we want to see fewer babies struggle to survive and parents to have that “normal,” as I call it, experience with their pregnancy.

💜If you would like to make a donation to our team in honor of Parker this year and all of his NICU friends, please visit

💜www.marchforbabies.org/landcfoulk


New Year, New Opportunities.

Well the time is near. Resolutions are being made, final get together and parties  are happening, and after tomorrow 2017 will have arrived.

I’m not big into resolutions…. I am, however, someone who sits down and finds a focus for the year. This past year I filled out my passion planner and now looking back I can see how much I accomplished and it’s so rewarding. What’s  interesting is this year I accomplished a lot but also had a lot of unexpected twists and turns . We took impromptu trips, I decided to leave my job, and we decided to grow our family. All things I never even thought would happen this year-God is always surprising us!

With that being said, I’m not the person I was at the beginning of the year.. life, priorities, and my view of things have morphed in an unexpected yet pleasing way this year. While I love to write and share positivity and inspiration for others through B|blissful, I have found I’m being lead on a different path for 2017. I’m not quiet sure what it is, but I’m longing for simplicity and getting back to the true basics in life. I want and need some time away from putting myself and my family out there because I’ve realized that time spent sharing is time I really want to have with my family.

As parents, our journey is always changing and I have found over the past couple of months of wrestling with whether or not I should table B|blissful for now, that we really need to listen to our guts and our hearts and do what makes us happy. Our days as parents are such gifts (even those hard days!) and spending time on the things we love the most are what life is all about…..

So while B|blissful takes a rest in the New Year, I wish you all the best for 2017.  I hope you find ways to stop and appreciate the small moments, the big moments, and everything in between!

With lots of love,

Danielle

Daddy’s Hot Chocolate

By: Danielle Foulk {December 13, 2016}

The first snow fall in Cincinnati is happening!  I used to dread having to get up even earlier so I wouldn’t be late to work, but today is the first snowfall of the season as well as the first time I get to enjoy it from home as a stay-at-home mom.

My kiddos must have been able to feel the snow coming because they were up early and raring to go!  Shortly after the snow began to fall, I got them bundled up to head out and play.  After being out for over an hour the anticipated question came up, “Can we have hot chocolate?” I never have box mix on the shelf because my hubby likes to make it from scratch.  And it’s SO easy!  I didn’t have the chocolate chips for whip cream and I substitute almond milk for whole milk…. Landen and Caroline still loved it.  For a special touch, grab a candy cane off the tree for stirring-my kiddos insist this is the only way to have their hot cocoa because Mimi always gives them one when they’re at her house:-)

Here is my hubby’s recipe…enjoy!

Daddy’s Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

Servings: 4

  • 3/4 C water
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 cups whole milk (or almond milk)
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (If you’ve got it), finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  •  whipped cream, if you’re feeling fancy
  • Candy Cane, for stirring
Preparation
  • Bring ¾ cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder until no lumps remain, then add milk and return to a simmer. Whisk in finely chopped chocolate chips (optional) and sugar and cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is smooth and creamy and chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes.

dsc_0949-2

Disconnecting & Reconnecting

Discovering My Unhappiness & Redirecting Our Marriage

By: Danielle Foulk {November 29, 2016}
Well the technology stars must have finally aligned. My hubby replaced the hard-drive (he’s nothing short of amazing!) in our computer and the latest iPhone update has fixed the issues I’ve had with posting to social media…. While I was without the technology I have to say the forced break has made me realize two things. I have realized how I enjoy living without sharing every moment and how disconnected and uninformed I instantly become about the people and world around me when not scrolling through social media feeds.

DISCONNECTED
Being disconnected allowed me to live in a bubble. A bubble that allowed me to really focus on myself, husband, and family without any outside distractions. And when there was news to be heard it only entered my life because I turned on the radio or tv. There is something about being able to control how much and how often you expose yourself to the bigger world around you. Without the news your thoughts are soon consumed with things more relevant to your life because the worry and anxiousness of the world are more in the back of your mind instead.
Over the past few weeks, I have found myself more aware of changes both physically and emotionally. I’m not sure if it’s the hormones making me more emotional but I can definitely say it’s the pregnancy that’s making it harder to put on my shoes, shave my legs, and pick up those ever loving Legos on the floor 😉 With having been on bed rest for three months in the hospital with the twins I have to admit I live with a little fear and anxiousness that it could happen again. In turn, I am soaking up being home with my family and having all of us experience my growing belly together. Our past pregnancy experience continues to be a huge driver in our outlook on life and the appreciation we have only grows deeper.

THE ROOT OF IT ALL
Emotionally, I have found myself searching for fulfillment. You have to keep in mind I’ve only been a stay-at-home mom since June. While I feel like I’ve pretty much adjusted from being a working mom to a SAHM I find there are still things I’m getting used to and things I’m finding I need now that I didn’t need then. I have become more aware of how much my students used to fill my heart and soul on a daily basis.I didn’t realize how their kind words, colorful pictures, and big hugs throughout the day “filled my bucket.” So since June I guess you can say my bucket hasn’t been as full as it used to be and I actually feel like my bucket has become a little too empty.
Have you read The 5 Love Languages book? If you haven’t, it’s worth the read. My husband and I read it together when we first got married and provided an opportunity for us to get to know not only each other but ourselves. My love language was acts of service and was accurate for the past nine years of our marriage. But with the changes in our life this year and with how I’ve been feeling a little empty I am beginning to see my love language has changed towards  affirmation +physical touch.  Much different than acts of service.

I have to be honest here and tell you I have been feeling like my unhappiness was my husbands fault.  After spending time reflecting I understand now that it was just easier to look to someone else, my husband, to blame for my unhappiness when  I needed to dig a little deeper within myself to really find the root of my problem.

Since 1998 I have loved my husband ( yea it was love at first sight). We went through break-ups and I experienced what it would be like to loose him back then…something I prefer to never relive. While it may sound a little silly, our past experiences as kids has made me very guarded when it comes to our marriage. I have found over the past month communicating and revisiting past teachings/readings are really helping to redirect our marriage in a way we will only grow from.

START THE NEW YEAR RIGHT

I wonder had we not read The 5 Love Language book and if I hadn’t had a long break from the distractions of the news and social media if I would have realized why I haven’t been feeling fulfilled and what road that could have led our marriage down-especially with a baby on the way in the New Year.

Have you had a chance to check in on your happiness? Your marriage? While I know it’s a busy time of year, I challenge you to two things: 1-Disconenct to some degree 2-Check out or buy The 5 Love Languages book. Wouldn’t it be nice to head into the New Year with a better sense of yourself, your marriage, and your family?

Xo

Danielle


cp

PASSPORT TO CINCINNATI: REDISCOVERING THE CITY WE CALL HOME

By: Danielle Foulk {November 9, 2016}

There is no question that we’re in the midst of autumn. The temperatures have dropped, the leaves have warmed the skies with shades of red and gold, and festivals have begun. With Halloween behind us many are starting to plan for Thanksgiving, marking the beginning of the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is a time in which we reflect, gain a sense of renewal, and a time we gather together with friends and family from near and far. For many, coming back home to where they grew up is what the holidays are all about. If you’re a Cincinnati native who travels home for the holidays, you’re among 40+ million people who will also be traveling this holiday season. You, however, will not only be coming home to your family and friends, but you’ll be greeted by the Queen City that has flourished into a vibrant and culturally rich town featuring family friendly venues, restaurants, businesses, and shops that are unique to Cincinnati alone.

Whether you’re dropping into town for a few days during Thanksgiving or currently live here, you may wonder where to even begin exploring the newest establishments. Being a lover of everything local myself and looking for fun ways to see Cincinnati with my husband and children, I reached out to Justin Tillson who is one of many working on a new event called Passport to Cincinnati. Passport to Cincinnati is an event designed to showcase the latest attractions this great city has to offer and what better way to do it than with family Thanksgiving weekend!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What is Passport to Cincinnati?

“Over the past several years of development in Cincinnati, local stakeholders have been eager to highlight the latest attractions in Cincinnati’s urban core, particularly along the new Cincinnati Bell Connector route.” Tillson explained.  Knowing this desire, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, C-Change Class 11 program took the initiative to work collaboratively with the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, sponsors, and local vendors to create Passport to Cincinnati.

Tillson further explains that, “Passport to Cincinnati is a collection of restaurants, bars, museums, activities and other businesses along the Cincinnati Bell Connector route, organized by categories.  Passport participants can view all of these attractions in a helpful map provided in the Passport.” Beginning November 23rd through November 27th you can pick up your passport, which includes family friendly spots, by visiting one of the 32 participating business.  When visiting select businesses found within your passport you will receive discounts along with a stamp.

Want a chance at winning a grand prize? If you collect all the stamps within a category or one stamp in each of the categories you are then eligible to win one of several grand prizes just by simply depositing your completed passport at one of the participating businesses.  You can find more information on Passport to Cincinnati on Facebook and Instagram.

HOME

Passport to Cincinnati is also part of the larger HOME weekend project which features scheduled events such as Cincinnati Symphony’s HOME concert, Thanksgiving Day Run & Walk, Macy’s Light Up the Square, Santa’s Workshop at Washington Park along with many more. Being a part of a city with such dedication towards renewal and community is really something to be thankful for as well as those who are behind the scenes making it happen- it truly “takes a village.” I hope you, your family, and friends will take time Thanksgiving weekend to step out onto the city streets, ride the Cincinnati Bell Connector, and see for yourself why we’re so lucky to call Cincinnati home. More information and a list of events can be found at www.cincyishome.com.


img_8290

“Momma, when do I get to go to Heaven?”

by: Danielle Foulk {October 28, 2016}

You never know what you’re going to be asked at any given moment as a parent. From “How does that work?” to a million questions that begin with “Why?” we’re greeted with curiosity from our children daily.  Now depending on where you are in your journey in parenthood, you may be a novice when it comes to child questioning or you may be well versed in all things easy and difficult. Being a mom of four-year-old twins, I still consider myself a novice for sure, but as I experienced this week,the questions are beginning to get more difficult.

HEAVEN

For the last four years, I have spent endless hours in the car with my children talking about everything under the sun and since becoming a stay-at-home mom, I have in a way missed all of that quality car talk, and singing, we used to have.  This week, I was loading up Landen and Caroline to head to preschool and I had mentioned a memory about my grandmother to Caroline. Right away Caroline asked if she could “go see her” and Landen pipped in with, “She’s in heaven.” (We’ve had a lot of heaven chats recently). As I tugged on the strap of her car seat, Caroline asked with excitement, “Momma, when do I get to go to Heaven?”

I took a pause, smiled and said, “You’re not headed there just yet.” I took the walk around the back of the van as a moment to gather some thoughts quickly and as I buckled Landen in I followed up with, ” You know why you can’t go just yet? It’s because God has put us her on earth to do his work and God still has a lot of things he needs you to do for him.” Caroline responded with “but I want to see…” -a list of people and pets and I replied with, ” As soon as you’re work here is done, then you get to go.”

There is something about that moment this week that leaves me a little teary eyed. It could be these pregnancy hormones are playing hard on my heart strings or because my daughter gave me a reminder that I, as an adult, needed. I needed the reminder of  WHY we are put here on earth and what it is we should be doing while we’re here.  Because, God willing, my time is going to come before my children’s and I need to make sure I’m one of those people waiting for them when they get to heaven.

You know I spent this past summer struggling to transition into this new role as a stay-at-home mom. I became very “I” centered. I wanted my husband home by 5 for family dinners and was frustrated knowing he couldn’t make it by then. I wanted this and I wanted that. I wanted control and I wanted everyone to just fit some mold I was trying to make them fit into. I was trying to fit our life into an old past time like Leave it to Beaver or the Brady Bunch. But that isn’t what family is about or what living is about.  It’s about taking the time give a little, to show a little grace, to be understanding, and most importantly to figure out what God wants us to do with our gifts and to do it.

We’re here to serve.

GETTING INTO SHAPE

So while I have spent the week getting myself back into shape so that I can be a happy and healthy Momma for myself and my family, this reminder from my daughter has me now working on getting myself into shape spiritually because I’m not about to let God, or my kids down when it comes time to meet in Heaven.

Where are you at with yourself? With your family? Are you feeling good about your daily interactions with others? Do you feel like you could use a little more happiness and focus in your life?  Whether your driving, having a cup of coffee, or enjoying that glass of wine, take a few moments to step back and look at your day/week. What moments stand out to you? Take some time to really think about how that moment reflects on your life. How does a moment speak to you?  You may find an amazing lesson or “ah ha” moment that could be pivotal for you in your parenting journey.

xo

Danielle


MCM.jpg

Make a Change Monday

by Danielle Foulk { October 24, 2016}

It’s Monday. First thing when you wake up and realize it’s the beginning of another work week, are your thoughts met with a GRRRRRRRoan or are they met with motivation?  Like some of you,  I know those mornings of burying myself in my sheets and wishing I could just take the day off (honestly, I still don’t understand why more companies don’t have four day work weeks-I mean who wouldn’t be more productive at work when you get that break!) .

Now, while I’m no longer having to set an alarm clock for 5 a.m. let’s just say the GRRRRRRoan is gone but I’m not necessarily motivated by Mondays. After a crazy last year at work and burning the wick at both ends, I slid into summer and pretty much just let life come to a halt.  Instead of continuing at 100 miles per hour I decided to take things slow, make fewer commitments so I could finally take time to do what I had been wanting to do. While transitioning into my new role as a stay-at-home mom, I found out I was pregnant and with having had issues with preterm labor with our twins, I really made it a point to take it easy until we knew what this pregnancy was shaping up to be.

PREGNANT AND WORKING OUT

At my last Dr.’s appointment with my OB, I asked if I could be a little more active than just taking daily walks.  Knowing what my recovery was like after being on bedrest for 3 months, I knew it was important for me and my family that I stay strong for when after our new baby boy arrives. After discussing my motivation to be more active she cleared me to do more but reminded me that I need to listen to my body and watch the intensity.  That day I threw in my 21 day fix program that I had loved doing  this year and got to work…it felt SO good!

Now I have to be honest with you. After having been so excited and feeling AMAZING after that one thirty minute work out, I didn’t do the program for the rest of the week. Do you know why? Honestly, because I found a million excuses and totally said to myself, “Hey you’re pregnant…take it easy while you can….” While that horrible chat with myself felt good at the moment, each night that ended, I started to feel a little more disappointed in myself.  Disappointed that I didn’t end another day saying, ” Hey you did it! Way to go!”

MINDSET 

So with that disappointment I started thinking of how I could motivate myself to do that measly thirty minute work out everyday that leaves me feeling so amazingly  good…I’ve been thinking about it since last week, have discussed this with my husband, and then it happened.  This morning I saw a post from my coach, Brooke Griffin, and saw Beach Body on Demand is free for 30 days. I have been wanting to try a different program and I wanted to start today, so I signed up. All while I’m doing this, my kiddos heard me say I wanted to workout and as I was busy signing up, Landen and Caroline went to the basement on their own to grab my weights, mat, and even our workout ball and carried it up to our living room. Landen greeted me with weightlifting gloves on and some light green weights in his little hands and said, “I’m ready mom! Let’s workout!”

Sometimes we have to change our mindset in order to make a change for ourselves. For me, I have to drown out that old record playing in the back of my head that keeps telling me how much I hate to exercise. I have to override  those old thoughts with what’s current in my life today-my family. Seeing my kids get excited to see me working out again IS enough to put on my shorts and t-shirt and push play. But even more, I’m showing them a healthier lifestyle. Something they will embrace and for them as they get older will have a different recording playing in their minds. For me. That’s my motivation.

MAKE A CHANGE MONDAY

I have always had plenty of excuses as to why I can’t work out. At various points in my life I’ve thought I can’t do that because I’m not fit enough to begin with, I don’t have money to join a gym, I’m pregnant, I may re-injure this or that, I can’t commit to everyday of the week yhatta, yhatta …Have you been there?

But what If we all took Monday’s as a time to wipe the slate clean and started with one single change for that day? What if we conquered that change for the day and then woke up and did it another day?  How do you think you would feel? How do you think it would impact your mood?

Now it’s not easy to make these changes (It can feel SOOOO PAINFUL!!!). I have to keep telling myself to not worry about tomorrow and to just focus on today. If you want to join my Make a Change group for this week (because it’s really about taking things one day at a time) feel free to join and share what you’re working on this week that will have a positive impact on your day. My hope is you will motivate me and others to keep with it until another new week begins!

P.S. Invite your friends!! It’s always more fun with friends!!

xo

Danielle

The Stressors of a Stay-at-Home Mom: Go Ahead…Laugh.

by Danielle Foulk { October 18, 2016}

It hasn’t happened in a while. Since calling it an early retirement from teaching this past June I had yet to feel extremely overwhelmed, helpless, extremely emotional, and overly irritable.  Ugh-STRESS…Or maybe I was feeling all of those things because I’m having mood swings due to the baby boy that’s living inside of me- I like to think the latter.

I laid in bed this afternoon at nap time on the phone with my poor husband on the receiving end of my complaint list and while he was a really good husband and listened to me, I could tell he wanted to get the hell of the phone. So what happened to me that sent me over the edge today? Well let me tell ya…

We’re Going to be Here Awhile

Today was our day to get errands done and for once I actually had a list of things I really needed to get done. First on the list was to get my oil changed because I was already 3,000 over what the sticker said-which the hubby wasn’t so happy about last weekend. So I packed the kids up in the late morning-snacks, toys, and all the other stuff that I know would keep them happy during our wait and while we drove a country mile actually get to the dealership…because you know we had to buy it at the place furthest from our house, just like everything else.

After hearing “are we there yet” for the 10th time (not being dramatic here), I pulled into the dealership parking lot and saw the big doors at the service center with a long line of vehicles spilling out of it. I’m instantly ticked that I didn’t have better timing and frustrated that the “fast lane” or “oil express” (whatever in the heck it’s called) looks to be the slowest place on earth.  I threw the car in park and grumbled to the kids were, “Grab your stuff, looks like were going to be here for awhile.”

At this point the service guy comes out to greet me and says it’s going to be about an hour and a half wait and as he glanced into the back of my van at Caroline and Landen rustling around he asked,” will that work for you?” At this point I think I hit a low when the four-year-old came out of me and I sighed the biggest sigh of frustration out loud, because what like at this point I was going to get out of line to drive that country mile just to do it again on another day with my kids in hopes there would be a shorter line? No! Because this place doesn’t take appointments because they have a freakin’ “FAST LANE” that isn’t FAST at ALL! After my childish sigh and all of the above flying through my mind, I said, “We’ll stay.”

Watch Out, Here we Come.

Have you ever walked into a quiet room with your kids and people glance at you with this look of fear. Their eyes pretty much say, “Please don’t sit next to me!” Well, today Landen and Caroline blew through the doors of the waiting room at the dealership and literally descended upon an area where there were exactly three seats available, out of four,arranged in a circle with a table in the center. The one seat unavailable had a lady sitting quietly reading a book. Landen didn’t hesitate to set up shop, clearing the magazines from the table and setting out all of his markers and coloring books. He would have been standing on top of her feet had I not mentioned to him that he needed to “slide over.”

Out of everywhere to sit, they picked well because shortly after we sat down the lady in our area was called to leave-lucky her!  With the three of us in our mostly contained area, Landen and Caroline got out everything from their backpacks. Caroline ,being Caroline, said, “are they done yet?” I slowly turned my head and gave her the mommy look of, “don’t even start!”  Now, you have to understand why I dread going out and having long waits. I’ve always been an  “old soul” and ever since I saw a kid in church sitting between her mom and dad with an iPad during the service, I vowed to my future parent self that I would not use the iPad as a babysitter and only in the most extreme circumstances would I ever pull it out. So when I go to places knowing there is going to be a wait, I prep myself for having to do a lot of parenting-like reminders of inside voices, keeping their feet off the furniture, etc. (work, WORK, WORK!!) And did I mention I don’t like it when people watch me “work.”

While we were waiting, L&C played waiter and waitress with Dr.Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham book being the tray. I think I ate about three orders of green eggs and ham, some toast, and about three cups of coffe-my pregnant self only wished it could have. When that got a little boring they played “kitty” making laps around our sitting area and me screaming quietly through my teeth to “get up off the floor!”

Just when that game started to loose their attention, out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the biggest spiders crawl out from under a chair. Knowing this would give them a few minutes to “have some fun” I called their attention to it….and apparently everyone else’s attention to it who was near by. I told L&C not to kill it-only because then the entertainment would end.  After a few minutes of them chasing this thing around the floor, the gentleman next to them said, “I’d prefer you let them kill it.” Well if that didn’t make Landen run for a magazine on the table and with it rolled up in his hand he gave it a whack.  Don’t worry, I tore the back page off where the guts were before returning it to the table.

After the murder of the spider, it was time to clean hands and have a snack. While L&C chilled out in their comfy seats, I decided to take a little breather by watching whatever was on the TV.  A popular morning show came on which only threw more fuel onto my already burning fire. I have two pet peeves. One being whistling and two being repetitiveness. With the election going on, you better believe this show started pushing on every last nerve that I had left. I don’t care what side you’re on, but I’m sick and tired of the same things being mentioned day in and day out. So the last hour of our wait was me being tortured by a group of people I now despise.

Lesson in Parenthood.

Ya know, I’d love to tell you things got better today. But now at 9:00 at night when I’m trying to finish what I started at 4:00 this afternoon, I can’t help but find myself still irritable-I can’t stand myself and I hate feeling this way. So has today been my best day as a parent or even as a human being? No. Do I hate that I have spent a day being annoyed by every little thing when it’s small potatoes compared to what others are experiencing ? Yes. But sometimes as a parent we fall into funks-pregnant or not. We get stuck in ruts, wake up in bad moods, and just get sick and tired of all those “little” insignificant things that surround us in our “stay-at-home” worlds.

All I can say is this. I’m chalking it up to being an off day and planning on waking up in a better mood tomorrow. Surely a good nights rest (if I can get one) will help make tomorrow a more pleasant day for my family and anyone I run into. If you’ve had one of those days like me, I hope you can just call it a day and start fresh tomorrow. Lord knows our sanity as parents can only handle so many not-so-good days.

xo

Danielle


Why I”ve Been MIA

by Danielle Foulk { October 7, 2016}

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted because I honestly have not felt like anything from my life has been worth sharing. I mean who really wants to hear about my morning routine of snuggles and coffee on the couch with my kids? Or how I’ve figured out a weekly routine that allows me to get yard work, cleaning, and grocery shopping done before our weekend reserved for family time begins.

I’m not saying that being a stay-at-home mom isn’t rewarding and fun, because I have found it is and I’ve been completely wrapped up in enjoying this new life…that’s where my problem lies when it comes to writing.

Before when I was living a busy life of work and managing chaotic family schedules, I was constantly giving myself pep talks and trying to look on the bright side of everything. From that I wrote as an outlet for myself as well as to help others find the good in days that were just exhausting and hard.   But now things are what I once wished for. I have a slower pace that I am embracing and instead of adding more to my plate, I’m simplifying by doing the things that are truly important to myself and my family.

Fork in the road.

Now that I no longer need to cope through writing, I have found myself at a fork in the road. I’ve been standing at this fork for awhile now trying to figure out if I want to continue to write about this new life and if it’s even a life people are really interested in reading about…so while I’m pondering my next move, be sure to continue to keep up with the rest of B|blissful. Brooke Griffin continues to share amazing fitness and health articles, Amber is sharing creative ways to have fun with your children in the B|creative column, and the B|you and B|real columns have the latest from parents like you!

B|real. B|blissful.

xo

Danielle


Overwhelmed with  Your Child’s Art?

Here are Some Solutions.

by Danielle Foulk {September 8, 2016}

It’s that time of year. School is underway and soon, if not already, you’re going to be the recipient (once again) of masterpieces and projects from school.  I don’t know about you, but the refrigerator is only so big and my twins tend to want to keep EVERYTHING they make. If they spy it in the garbage can it gets pulled out and placed back on the refrigerator…usually accompanied by a look of “don’t let that happen again.”

School has now officially started in our household.  My husband and I recently went through a closet that is in our soon-to-be baby’s room and boy oh boy did I do some collecting of masterpieces over the past couple of years. Every easel painting was kept along with all the holiday projects. I mean really, how can a parent pitch their kids hand prints?

While I managed to depart with the abstract easel paintings, I was still left with a huge box of art that is now put away in the basement. Not having room to really keep things, like I was, I’ve started to wonder what I’m going to do with everything  that will come home this year. So I did a little digging and here is what I’ve found.

Ways to Hang on to Everything

Honestly, If a digital copy won’t satisfy your parenting heart and you want to keep the original, you’re going to need to start a filing system to organize your child’s work. Use a filing cabinet or large binders with sheet protectors that you can slide art into. Keep in mind if you use a binder it may be tricky to store some of those larger pieces of art.  You can also choose to use mailing tubes to store the art or if you’re like me, a classic brown box or plastic tote that will protect from water (just in case a pipe burst or your basement floods-not wishing that on ya!). Just keep in mind you may want to be somewhat selective in what you keep so you don’t end up needing a storage unit to put it all in!

If you’re cool with all things digital and  want to the ability to keep EVERYTHING and not think twice, you’ve got some choices in apps. Here are three to check out: ARTKIVE, Keepy, and Art My Kid Made.

ARTKIVE is neat because you can use it on your computer or you can download the mobile app. You can organize by child and their age and you can build a book for purchase. The only downside is you have to pay $4.99 for the app.

Keepy is similar to ARTKIVE but allows you to record voice features to add commentary to the works of art. If you like to share with family, this app allows you to easily share by simply putting in their email address. You can also purchase more products featuring your child’s work like mugs, lunch boxes, and stuffed animals.  I have to say from experience this app is very easy to use and the reason I tried this app out first was because it’s FREE!

Art My Kid Made is the same idea as the previous two, but allows you to back-up your photos to Dropbox or Evernote and is FREE.

How do You Store Things?

Know of another way to keep track of all those precious creations? Share with us by posting a comment on Facebook! We’d love to hear from you!

XO,

Danielle


September Says it All: Starbucks & Pumpkin Spice Lattes

by Danielle Foulk {September 5, 2016}

I don’t know about you, but once September 1st hit it seemed like social media blew up with photos of pumpkin spice latte’s, pumpkin cereal, and a million other fall favorites! I do admit I was one of “those” posting on Facebook about my trip to my Starbucks to get my precious pumpkin spice latte….there is a catch though-well for me. I spent a ridiculous amount of time thinking about whether or not I should even get that expensive cup of joe or not.

THINGS-THEY ARE A CHANGIN’

If I was still working I wouldn’t have thought twice about grabbing my latte and I would have ordered my standard grande… but instead I ordered a tall to fit the family budget and told myself it would be until next month that I’d probably be enjoying another one of these treats.  Oh how things are a changin’. On my way home I remembered a really good recipe for a pumpkin spice latte that I had tried last fall from my favorite website, Food Network. Not only does it fit into my budget, but I can enjoy a lot more latte’s without trekking a country mile to our local Starbucks.

So for those of you who love your Starbucks but can’t indulge as often as you would like, I’m sharing with you a great recipe that I know will satisfy your pumpkin desires!

A Fall Favorite: Pumpkin Spice Latte

Prep  Time: 5 minutes  Cook Time: 5

What You’ll Need:
3/4 cup milk (Almond milk makes a great non-dairy substitute)
2 tablespoons  pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, save a little for topping
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
Whipped Cream (optional)

Directions:
Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a medium microwave safe bowl. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and put a small hole in the plastic to vent.  Microwave until the milk is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy, about 30 seconds.

Pour the espresso or coffee into a large mug and add the foamed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

(Thank you www.foodnetwork.com)


Honesty is the Best Policy

I have always told my students I much rather hear the truth, no matter how bad it is, than to be told a lie. A couple of days ago, I stumbled across some pink yogurt on the wall that looked like splatter art. When I asked Landen and Caroline how in the world it got there, neither would admit to being the owner of the masterpiece. With friends on the way over, I set interrogations aside, cleaned up the mess, and moved on.

Later that night, I was sharing the events from our day and the yogurt came up. I decided to see if I could get one of the kiddos to fess up and sure enough after reassuring them I wouldn’t be mad, Caroline cracked.

Honesty and Parenthood

How is it, we (adults) go from being children, such honest care-free people, who make mistakes and admit to them to adults who feel the need to fit a mold and pretend we live in a acceptable prescribed life ?  Why do we feel the need to cover up the blemishes that occur throughout our journey in life when those journeys are the ones who have shaped us the most?

I’ve been there. I’ve covered up secrets, I’ve told white lies, and I’ve pretended for months at a time that my life was nothing but blue skies. When in reality I was in the trenches of a dark place trying to find my way to the light at the end of the tunnel (read more on that story here).  It wasn’t until I became honest with myself and others, that I really began to live again. Carrying around a secret that didn’t need to be a secret had me more tied down than I realized. I’ve recently found myself in a place where I don’t know where to begin “explaining” and I’m hesitant to be honest in the way I feel about it in fear others will have a different opinion of me.

Identity: Who the Heck am I?

Two months ago I quit my job as  a kindergarten teacher in effort to slow things down and to make our lives a little less chaotic and a little more memorable and fulfilling.  The day I walked out the door for the last time, and no longer a working mom, I found myself feeling stranded. I felt I was leaving a huge part of who I was behind. But was teaching all of who I was-no. I reminded myself that I was still a mom and that my journey to motherhood was what shaped me into who I am today. The journey to becoming a mom gave me a group in which I belonged and has been my inspiration behind all of my writing-a huge part of my identity. But now that has even changed. So who the heck am I ?

I could have wrote this post weeks ago but I have wondered how it would make others feel.  I have been identifying myself with a community of women who have suffered from infertility for the past five years and still do-it’s not like you can just erase your experiences. But a couple of months ago, I found myself on the “other side.”  Instead of waiting a couple years to be honest with myself and with readers, I decided it’s probably just best to start this new chapter in life without the white lies and tall tales because there has to be someone out there who has experienced this or is experiencing it.

On the Other Side

Like our lives weren’t crazy enough two months ago when I left my job, my husband and I decided we’d try for a baby this year but without all the fertility meds. We agreed if it happened great and if not we were going to stay a family of four. We figured what was meant to be would be. Not expecting a baby so quickly, based on our past experience, we found out Father’s Day weekend I was pregnant.  I honestly couldn’t believe it and am still a little in shock…we’re going to have a baby.

Experiencing pregnancy like I thought I would experience it the first time, but didn’t, has got me wrestling with emotions I didn’t expect to have. I thought I would be crazed over being pregnant again, and I find myself definitely happy, but I am kinda feeling just matter of fact about it. Actually it just hit me….I think I’m in disbelief that it’s happened because I thought it never could.

Having now been on both sides, having difficulties getting pregnant and now not, I feel conflicted. The woman inside of me who had difficulties getting pregnant is mad at my current self for not being overly ecstatic that I’m pregnant.  But my current self is not used to a “struggle free” conception-not that I wanted that.

Lesson in Parenthood

This is why I write. I have spent weeks wondering what was wrong with me. Wondering why I wasn’t just smiling ear to ear about being pregnant and how I really didn’t want to spend any time really talking about it-it has to be shock. Being honest with myself and reflecting is, for me, how I figure things out.

I’m beginning to think that each time we become a parent, we get to add another book (about parenting that child) to our own collection and that within each book we write the the lessons we have learned. So instead of defining ourselves as a parent based on one pregnancy/child we become a collection of experiences that have their own journey.

So while our journey through parenthood may not look like what we once knew, maybe as parents we need to adjust the lens we’re used to looking through and be more observant of what may seem small or insignificant…because we may be missing out or overlooking something great in a new journey.

Until next time…

B|real.B|blissful.

Danielle


blogger-image-1139355026

Envy Got the Best of Me…

I did a really crappy thing. To continue on the honesty train, I have to say I feel a little better after what I did. But part of me knows I probably should have delivered things in a different way. So I owe an apology and will not be doing it again in the future.

I’ve always struggled staying home in the summer with my kiddos. Doesn’t that sound horrible..well to those who are like me you get it…to everyone else..you’d have to be on our side to understand. I have found I like to go 100 miles an hour doing eight million things. Unfortunately, this spurt of crazy energy usually lasts from August until February/March and then I start to feel worn out and as if I have just flew through the days with no quality of time with anyone. Having been a teacher, you make it to spring break and feel better and then summer break arrives. You get refreshed and the cycle repeats.

Bubbling Up
So here I am at the end of summer. The morning walks to the park are just routine, story time has become an ants in their pants session, and the dog days of summer just seem to last FOREVER (Sandlot-yea we’ve watched it about 30 times this summer). I’ve made play dough, spent time with friends, played with all the summer toys-pools,bubbles,sprinklers and all. It’s just getting to be mundane. But school is right around the corner, for everyone else but me this year.

Thinking back on having made the conscious decision to stay home I still don’t regret it. It’s what I needed to…but at the same time I didn’t realize how much of the social aspect of my profession I relied on and needed. See at my job I had co-workers who just so happened to be my best of friends. While we worked really hard while we were together, we also had a lot of fun and always made time to get together at least once a month after school. This is the topic in which I “bubbled” up today.

Trying to adjust to my new role as a stay-at-home parent, I have these bubble ups where I either feel like I’m screwing up or not doing enough or where I start missing the chaos of my old life. Well today the green-eyed monster came out and I did a crappy thing…

Green with Envy
The green-eyed monster is bad. Being envious is never good and it’s something I and unfamiliar with feeling. Until today. In the past weeks my memory seems to be keeping track of all the fun places my husband has been going for lunch over the past few weeks and apparently the envy started to grow back then. I was jealous he was out dinning with adults and I was home eating peanut-butter sandwiches or whatever I could find in the fridge while he was getting to have what I consider the bestest time ever. So I woke up this morning remembering the hubs was headed out to the ballpark tonight. Good for him..beautiful weather,nice night to go..lucky duck.

Why I felt the need to ask if he was in a ‘box’ or not is beyond me…I guess if he was going to be sweating all squeezed in with a bunch of guys I wouldn’t feel so green and wouldn’t mind a night at home to relax and watch the Golden Girls or Fixer-Upper. So when I heard he was going to be in a box watching the game I became a dark shade of green…again so unlike me. Typically I would be happy to hear he’s getting to have fun and be comfortable…but oh no…not today. All I could think of is how I haven’t been to a Reds game in years…4 to be exact let alone sit in a comfy box where there is unlimited food, drinks, and most importantly friends. What I wouldn’t do to get out of the house for more than an hour or two to just have some fun with my girl friends.

I feel like such an @ss writing those words because I know how hard he works and he deserves the world because of it…that is what’s really in my heart…but for some reason I felt the need to pretty much tell him how I quit my job because his work was taking over our lives and how I was carrying the load. I know shitty thing to do and I’m not proud of it. I wish I could just take the envy away. I wish I could see the importance of my new job and get used to not doing eight million things…because I know in my heart that wasn’t working for me or our family.

“Don’t Live There.”
As people and as parents we feel what we feel. We are allowed to have feelings…but sometimes we need a reminder, “Don’t forget you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown. Just down unpack and live there. Cry it out and then focus on where you are headed.”

So on that note, It’s time to move on. It’s time for dinner, soccer practice, a trip to the grocery, and bath time…and then maybe a little bit of that quiet time for me….which will be spent partially thinking about the type of apology I need to say…keep away from that monster!

B|real.B|blissful.

Xoxo

Danielle


blogger-image--1101725473

Where’s Mary Poppins & My Review

Battle Zone Within
This week has seemed more like a battle…a battle between myself and my mind. I’m exhausted from it and I wonder if the battle will return or if in the days a head it will start to deteriorate.

I’ve got a husband who is a gem. He doesn’t expect that I accomplish XYZ at home while he’s gone at work all day and he doesn’t give me a hard time when he’s come home to me looking like I was just ambushed which honestly that’s like most of the time. However, we both know at the end of the day I’m to tackle the groceries, cleaning, laundry, and all of that other crap I hate doing. That just so happens to be a part of my new job description.

You know to some degree I thought I may do those chores with more ease now that I’m staying home, but I have yet to find the Mary Poppins in me joyfully singing and dancing around the house while the children enjoy playing. It just ain’t happening and I don’t think it ever will…me doing laundry has resulted in a standoff between four laundry baskets stacked on top of one another and the front loaders loaded and awaiting for me. The laundry room has become my arch enemy and the dishwasher isn’t far behind.

As I write this, the dishwasher is full and there is a load waiting in the sink and on the counter-it NEVER ENDS! I thought about doing it but decided maybe I should take a shower and get out of my ever lovin’ pj’s so my husband comes home to someone that looks like the woman he married….so a shower it was- I even did my hair…but no make-up it’s hot and I’ll have to just take it off in a few hours before bed.

Where is My Review?
As a teacher I always had observations twice a year and formal written reviews. Most teachers hate them, but deep down I loved them. Why? Because I needed the feedback from someone other than the person inside my head. I was pretty critical of myself everyday when thinking about how lessons went or how something should have been handled differently. But those reviews reassured me I was doing things right and gave guidance when needed. Those reviews made my mind stop beating me up….but now I’ve got nothing.

As a stay-at-home parent there are no reviews. There are no outsiders giving solid feedback. And FORGET social media. Don’t even get me started on the things parents post on there sometimes. Granted some will make you feel empowered but some just post stuff that make you feel inadequate, behind the times, and like you don’t have your sh*& together. No thanks…not what any parent needs in their life…I don’t know where we go from here.Got advice? Please share!

Have an awesome Friday night!

xoxo

B|real. B|blissful.

Danielle


On the Other Side: What it’s Like to be the Parent and Not the Teacher

EARLY WAKE UP CALL
This morning Landen and Caroline woke up at the crack of dawn. While 6:30 is still an hour later than I used to get up for work, it was earlier than our summer norm of 7:30. I flopped myself on the couch, hunkered down beneath my blanket, turned on cartoons, and snuggled with the twins.
Having spent the day before cleaning, doing the grocery list, and the laundry (it’s so painful!), I knew we needed to get out of the house today. I’ve been trying to mix things up, activity wise, for the kiddos so they are getting to try new things out but also do the trips to the parks because really what’s better than being active. With it being so hot today, I hit the web and found the local library was hosting a free craft day.  This was perfect!

ON THE OTHER SIDE
Landen and Caroline were so thrilled to head into the library’s bright room with several stations set up. They were instantly drawn to the monkey hat station, then the family bird activity, followed by the American flag windsock, the ring toss, and lastly “what’s on your plate” food sorting project. Needless to say they did all the activities and we left with full bags of adorable art!
As a teacher, I know how much time and energy went into organizing  and prepping all of those activities. Then on top of it finding volunteers who were willing to help man the stations and give directions to all the children-not always an easy feat.
Being on the other side today, and attending the event, I couldn’t have been more appreciative for all the hard work the library staff and volunteers put into the activities. Every activity was seemless, engaging, and generated a ton of excitement for both Landen and Caroline. They left so happy and proud of everything they created!
REMINDER TO SELF
With back to school coming in about a month, I’ve been a little sad at the thought that I won’t be setting up my classroom this fall. But on a day like today where I got to be with my own children and watching them have fun, it helped remind me of why I stepped  away from teaching for now.
I don’t know why it’s hard for me, but it seems I need a constant reminder that I can’t get these moments back with Landen and Caroline. If I weren’t home with them I’d miss fun opportunities, like today,and we wouldn’t get this quality of time-and I wouldn’t get to hear, “Thank you so much mommy for taking us to the library today!”
Being a stay-at-home parent is a gift given to our families and while for some parents it’s an easy thing to do, for others it’s a little more difficult. Regardless of where you stand, take hold  of the moments, cherish them, and enjoy your opportunity on the other side of the table….many aren’t fortunate to have the opportunity.
B|real. B|blissful.
Danielle