Monday, May 20, 2013

First World Problems

It began like this:

My son, exclaiming with drama, "Oh no!" in a devastated and forlorn way.

Me (concerned): "What happened?"
Son: "I didn't realize there was still a little milk in my bowl, and it splashed on me when I went to put it in the dishwasher."

Me (Insert sad face): Sounds like a first world problem to me.
Son: A what?
Me: A first world problem. In third world countries their problems can include not enough food to eat , no shoes, or a place to live. You're lucky, you don't have those kinds of problems, so the milk issue -- that's a first world problem.
Son: "Oh."
Cleans up the milk.

"First World Problems" have become our saying now, for those issues in our house that cause drama, but in the scheme of the world, aren't really problems at all. And now I've even started seeing this topic on the web.

I have included some examples for your entertainment. Some of these have actually happened in our house recently and some, well, are just funny.

I created and photoshopped the photos above; the photos below, I found here.


While this topic has put problems into perspective in my house, it has also come full circle.

Me: "Nooooooo!"
Son: "What happened mom?"
Me: "I didn't mean to hit send on a word in Words With Friends. I had just seen a better word."
Son: "Sounds like a first world problem to me."

Thanks son. Thanks. Point taken.

Have you experienced any first world problems in your house lately? Can you relate to any of these photos above? :o)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Kindness Wins

“It seems we can’t go ANYWHERE” one of my friends recently stated.

First we were all afraid to fly.

Then we couldn’t go to the movies.

Even worse, we couldn’t even send our kids to school without worry.

And now, we can’t run marathons or cheer from the sidelines.

Where did goodness go?

I look at all the tragedy, the hurt, the pain and I think,

what tragic and hurt and painful life is hiding inside the evil of the offenders?

It makes me angry and it makes me sad.

Angry that the world is this way. Angry that evil’s broad hand has such a cruel reach.

Sad at the heart that is being cultivated in our nations right now.

Sad that my kids are growing up with these realities. 

Sad that it gets more and more difficult to shield them from these events with all the social media and propaganda.

We don’t watch TV, I would stay off Facebook, but the media gets in.

And so, I change my strategy.

I search

“Positive stories from _________” {the sad event.}

And somewhere in all the mess,

I find goodness.



I find heroic and kind people.


And decide not to give up on the world.
That for every bad person in the world, there are thousands of GOOD.

That I will add to the good  
and do my best to raise my boys in faith,



and goodness.

And to intentionally seek out the kindness in the world ourselves.

Because, after all, kindness wins.

"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people" (Galations 6:10)
When was the last time you saw someone doing something good? What acts of kindness have you witnessed lately?
Share more acts of kindness on Facebook and Instagram #kindnesswins
Sharing this post here.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dear Mommas

Dear Mommas,

It will take more than one well planned day or one well planned post to tell you how special you are. Because, you are more than a mom.

Way more.

You are a teacher. Guiding little hands and feet along the right path, helping with homework and sharing life’s lessons.

You are encouragement. Your child’s first cheerleader, building up their confidence and their character. Showing how to lose gracefully and win even more gracefully.

You are honesty. An example of truth, trust and reality wrapped in love that shelters their young minds and gives them room to grow.

You are vulnerability. Your children see you at your best and at your worst. They view the faults and cracks in the surface and see right through the fa├žade of perfection to who you really are. And still love you with all their hearts.

You are kindness. Modeling manners, social graces and reactions to difficult situations. When the world can be tough and cruel, you offer love.

You are broken. Don’t hide it. Embrace it. You are human, you throw momtrums, you make mistakes and your children will know that it is okay to make mistakes too.

You are craziness. Let it in. It is the silly and crazy that often bonds our families into tight knit units of inside jokes, humor and acceptance.

You are a nurse, chef, organizer, personal shopper, assistant, disciplinarian, maid, stylist, chauffer, mediator, fighter and pacifist.

You are a hero. To them. To your children you are their first friend, their best friend, and despite all our faults and brokenness and vulnerability, or perhaps because of them, you are irreplaceably and unconditionally loved.

You are unique. You may feel you are none of these things, one of these things or all of these things. And no amount of advice, books or blog posts {wink} can tell you what kind of mom you will need to be on any given day. God gave you your  specific children for a purpose; because you have a unique skill set that only you can share with them.

Own it.

You are real.

And if you are reading this as a first time momma, single mama, a one day momma, a seasoned momma or reading this thinking of YOUR momma; I want you to know,

you are loved.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Keep your love for one another at full strength, because love covers a multitude of sins. ~I Peter 4:8

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Medal Display

Something my kids and I like to do together is run. I'll admit that sometimes running isn't fun - in fact, some days it hurts. But the family bonding time we get from it is worth every pound on the pavement. So, ever since my oldest son was about 7 years old, we've been running races together. Their first race was a one mile kids race, and when they figured out they got a MEDAL at the end - it was ON! They both now run 5k's and my eldest is even contemplating running a half marathon!
Well, when you run a lot of races, you accumulate a lot of medals, so the quest was on for a creative way to display all our bling! Last year, my friend gave me her daughter's old crib rail. My initial thought was that I'd paint it a fun color and use it to hold craft fabric. I held that thought until I saw this photo on Pinterest. KariAnne used an herb rack for her medal display, but the crib rail was equally up for the task. So, I painted the light oak wood a stainless steel and the result was this unique medal display:

These are just my medals right now. (My boys' medals are waiting patiently on corkboards in their bedroom.) I have a few more medals in a box somewhere... but no more excuses on not hanging them up now that they have an official display!!

You can see a couple special medals above, but my favorites are by far the ones we earned together.

 {Their first 5k medal!}

This medal will get a special spot on the display. xo

How about you? What activities do you enjoy with your family? Would you use this idea to display sports medals? Team medals? What other ideas do you have to repurpose a crib rail? I'd love to read your comments!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

Last year for teacher's appreciation week my son's school had a theme for each day. {You can see the ideas I shared for each day here.} This year, it is more simple. I will be using some of the same ideas I used last year, plus a couple more.

For example, this year, instead of a little bag of candy -- how about putting the treat in a mason jar with some twine and a cute tag?

I found these mini jelly jars and they were the perfect size for a teacher treat! Plus, I like that they get to use the jar after they eat the candy! {It's the perfect size for a tealight or refilling with treats.} I also used this idea for Administrators Professional Day and it was a huge hit!

I was searching around for more ideas and found  this printable from Capital B. Isn't it sweet? I love the poem and my son's teacher is always asking for school supplies!

And finally - Love the Day always has AMAZING ideas! I am in love with this little Owl!! I usually say us teachers have enough mugs - but I'd make an exception for this adorable Owl mug!

You can see more of this mug and download your FREE printable here.

And I would be BESIDE MYSELF if a student gave me this berry basket filled with all these goodies!!! {Hint, hint if any of my students see this.} Also from Love the Day! Check it out here!

Has your school had Teacher Appreciation Week yet? What did you do? What other ideas have you seen? I'd love to hear them!

Sharing this post hereThe CSI Project and tatertots and jello.

Garage Organization ~ Sports Equipment

One of my goals this year is to be more organized. (I know - it seems like this is a goal EVERY year - doesn't it?) But this year, I REALLY mean it! Starting with my garage. I have two very active boys. They love to play sports (Organized and just for fun!) and as they get bigger, their stuff seems to get bigger too!! So this year, I am reigning in the clutter, getting rid of A LOT of old equipment they've outgrown and creating organized spaces for the things we want to keep.

So, the first step was creating a space for some of their gear. Pegboard is a popular garage storage item and I actually scored three whole sheets for $2 at a garage sale a while back! Yes, you read that right!$2! I only used one piece for this project -- I still have two more LARGE sheets! I cleaned and painted the pegboard a nuetral gray for the background and then, to give my boys no excuses for putting their things away {wink}, I painted the silhouette of each item on the board in white. Here is the result -- can you guess what goes in each spot?

I think the first one is kind of easy... from left to right... the first item is a lacrosse stick, then their baseball bag, their flag football game bag and the last two are for pool sticks. {About 2 feet away fron this board is our convertable foosball/air hockey/pool table.}

What do you think? I had seen people use the silhouette method for storing tools, and thought it would be a fun way to store our sports equipment. How did I do it? I took each item and traced it lightly with pencil on the pegboard. I then took a small paint brush and outlined the item in white paint. The rest I free hand painted - very slowly and carefully. The baseball bag and pool sticks were fine of course; the lacrosse stick and football bag however.... let's just say I'm glad I didn't have to do any redos! {For once!}

 And now when my boys need to clean up - they will know where everything goes!

Here is what the board looks like with all the equipment on it:

{Hooks used to hang each item}

Garage sports organization: Check!! One project down, only a few {Too many to count!!} to go!! I will show you the rest of the garage as we go. {There's a reason you're not seeing the the rest! lol} But what's next, you ask? A craft space {yay!} and a mini man cave for my little men! More on that soon - I hope!

How about you? Have you started spring cleaning yet? What area would you like to get more organized?

This post is MAN APPROVED! ;)

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