Baby Shower 101

I love baby showers.

In my pre-baby life, I was a wedding planner but I used to joke with Matt that if I could just plan baby showers for a living, I would! Not sure there’s enough of a market for that so here I sit waiting for another friend/sister to announce they’re pregnant so I can give them a shower. 
I have given two baby showers in the last two weeks so while all the details are fresh in my mind, I thought I’d share a few tips and ideas of how to throw a thoughtful and beautiful baby shower. 
The most important thing to keep in mind when planning a baby shower is mom’s taste. I know that sounds weird, but really, that baby is still snug inside that belly and hasn’t a clue what color scheme you’ve chosen for her (or his!) shower. So choose things that you think momma would like. I think sometimes people feel pressured to have tons of baby-themed items everywhere for a shower but I say pass. Try to create a space with your decor that celebrates what makes this mom special. Is she eclectic? Whimsical? Funky? Sweet? Just go with what she loves and don’t worry if it’s not all baby booties and butterflies. Choose baby-ish stuff to use very selectively and it’ll pack even more punch than an explosion of babies r us.
As far as decor goes, I love incorporating cute paper straws, fresh flowers, sparkly banners (for a girl) or bunting (for a boy). Depending on the time of day and what kind of food you’re serving, I think it’s a cute idea to incorporate some of momma’s favorite pregnancy cravings. It’s fun to work your menu around her favorite snacks! And let’s be honest, when you’re with child, it’s all about that food.
I know some people love them some shower games but I am just not a fan. Most of the games I’ve seen in the past seem more like tools of humiliation than actual fun so I have no tips there. What I like to do in place of games is to have a beautiful keepsake book that all your guests write a blessing for baby in. One of my dear friends did this for me at my shower with Reese and we still love looking thru her book and reading what everyone said to her. Even if you don’t do a book signing, try to take some time to think about incorporating something memorable and tangible that momma can take away from her time there. 
My favorite way to end a shower is to have a time of prayer and advice for the new mom. There are so many things I wish someone would have told me before I had my first baby and this is a great opportunity to pass along some wisdom to this new mom who has no clue what she’s getting herself into. If you’re afraid not enough people will share, you can always ask her mom/mother in law/grandmothers ahead of time if they could be thinking about a little piece of advice they would share. It just makes things more personal when you allow your guests to share about their experience in motherhood.
Hope this helps some of you first time baby shower planners! I hope to have a post soon on some of my favorite themes for baby showers but we will start here.
Happy planning!

Dear Girls

If you’re new to my blog, let me introduce you to my two beautiful girls.

Reese will be three in August and Rowen will be one in July. They are every bit as spunky and sweet as little girls should be. I love them to the moon.

Having five sisters myself, I know some of the challenges that girls face so I decided I’d start documenting some of the things I want my girls to know.

This first one is all about bullies.

The only thing that scares me more than my girls being bullied is my girls being that ones the bully others. So you’d better believe we are going to be talking about what to watch for and how to handle bullies. Goodness knows they’re out there.

Dear Girls,

Words are really powerful. You can hurt people with your words or you can help people with your words. You may not be able to control how other people treat you but you can always control how you treat others.

Choose to be kind.

Even when people aren’t kind back, choose to do it anyway. People will begin to appreciate your kindness and be drawn to it. Sometimes we think it’ll make us feel better about ourselves if we point out the yucky things in other people, but that never works. It’s a good idea to only talk about someone in a way that you would if they were sitting right in front of you. If you wouldn’t say it with them sitting right there, don’t say it at all.

I hope you’ll have the courage to stick up for yourself if someone is unkind to you. I hope you’ll have the courage to stick up for other people, too. You need to recognize that the people who are mean to others are almost always that way because they don’t like something about themselves. Remember that a bully is someone who finds people they think are weak and choose to be cruel to them. Watch out for those people and be careful about spending time with them. But if you must spend time with them, remember that

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

But also remember that sometimes the biggest bully you might ever come across could be in your own head. It will tell you that you aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, and on and on and on. You must remember that in the same way you should talk kind to others, you have to talk kind to yourself. If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, focus on what you see that you do like. If you’re going to make a habit out of looking for the best in others, it just makes sense that you’d do that for yourself, too!

So be kind. To others and to yourself.

I love you both so much!

Love,

Mommy

“Let no unkind words come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up.”

Ephesians 4:29

Being a YES mom

If you follow our little fam on instagram, you probably couldn’t miss the fact that we took our first little vacation as a family of four. We had so. much. fun.

One the way down to the beach on Mother’s Day afternoon, I told Matt that I wanted this to be a week of YES. I wanted to say yes as much as possible. We are pretty disciplined people on the reg and that means a lot of no-nonsense parenting. Being strict isn’t a bad thing but I was beginning to feel that maybe we were using an iron fist where a gentle nudge could have worked just fine.

I always feel like the beach helps me to regain a sense of balance. It’s like I find my center there. If I feel like I’ve been swaying too far from one extreme to another, it just seems like everything evens out.

This week was no exception. We said YES so much that we started recognizing things that really were necessary to say NO to. Funny how it happened. We relaxed but we didn’t feel like we were being permissive.

We also found we started to enjoy this parenting thing a lot more. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always liked being parents. Though goodness knows it has it’s moments. But we didn’t take ourselves so seriously. We just enjoyed Reese for who she was. She wanted to play on the wooden train longer? Well, we didn’t have anywhere to be that night. What could it hurt? So many times we are in such a hurry to get to the next destination, we miss out on the journey with our kids. Sounds very Hallmark channel, I know, but it’s true. Lingering a little longer was so sweet. We slowed ourselves down and let ourselves operate on her time frame for a few minutes.

I know what you’re thinking… “give kids an inch and they’ll turn into little dictators bossing their parents around and ruling the roost!” But the craziest thing was that saying YES actually made our NO carry even more weight to her little ears. Once we said it was time to go, she was much more willing to GO. And as we allowed her to have a little more freedom to just be two years old in all it’s craziness, we saw that it didn’t hurt anything.

I read once that you have to recognize the difference between childish irresponsibility and willful disobedience. Striving to set an environment where she has more freedom to be who she is kept us from having unrealistic expectations for her. For instance, if she wants to walk up the back steps by herself every day instead of walking up the front steps with us, she can do it. When she first asked, my initial response was “No, you need to walk with mommy” but then I thought about it further and realized “OH! Another opportunity for YES!” So up the back stairs she went. Maybe that was our biggest takeaway. Keep your eyes open for chances to just say YES.

Since we’ve gotten home we’ve returned to a lot of our daily disciplines but the difference now is that we are looking for opportunities to say yes. And it’s been so fun. I highly recommend it! After all, like every grandma tells me in Target, “These little years go by in a blink! Enjoy it!”

So let’s enjoy this, Mommas. Let’s say YES as much as we can. Let’s be YES Moms. Let’s look for opportunities to say YES to our kids so that our NO carries more weight.

Happy Weekend to YOU!!!!

Memory Verse Monday – Week 3

Hi, friends!

So excited about this awesome verse this week and I promise we will post a video tomorrow so you can see the hand motions. I think having little cues helps a LOT with remembering these verses week after week.

“Let no unkind words come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up.”

Ephesians 4:29
This one is pretty self-explanatory and if your kids are anything like mine, you won’t have any trouble finding opportune times to teach about speaking kind words. Some translations use the word “wholesome” instead of kind but we decided on kind since that’s the word we already talk about on a daily basis. 
Hope y’all have a great week!

Memory Verse Monday – Week 2

Hey y’all!

I hope you had a fun with your littles learning last week’s verse. We will be working on ours from the beach this week!

Here’s our verse:

“Be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24

The motions we do along with this one are to show your muscles, hands on your heart, point out, then point up. You can probably see where each motion will take place in the verse.

One of the things we have found to be helpful in memorizing scripture is leaving reminders of the verse around the house and in the car. These can be really simple note cards so don’t try to make them too fancy. Just get them up!

Another thing that’s helped us be consistent with talking about our verses is always saying them the same times during the day. We do ours in the morning and at night. We like to go thru all the verses before bed time so it takes a while but it’s so worth it.

Hope you have a great week!