Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Non Toy Gift Idea for Kids

Toys, Toys, Toys and all the noise, noise, noise. Remember when the Grinch said this? He had a point. When I was a kid, I thought he never got toys. Now that I'm an adult, I get what he's saying.

It's probably no surprise that How The Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my favorite movies of the holidays. It's really got a great moral behind it all-besides the love, it shouldn't ALWAYS be about giving toys, or things. I do LOVE to give gifts, but I always feel that most of the toy gifts I give, kind of get lost in the clutter of all the other toys.

This year, I was able to do something a little different. I have two children, and I always like keepsakes. Something with meaning. My name is one that doesn't have a great meaning and pretty much is associated with dirt. How lovely, right? Also, it's a unique name, so I never got a state key chain with my name on it, or a spoon, or a magnet, or anything of the kind. Even a sticker, with my name. Good luck! (I'm not bitter, really.) I know now that there are lots of people with unique names in the same situation. It happens. We're a special breed. I wouldn't have it any other way.

My children have different names, too. Not so much in the way of, "How do you spell that name?" But, it's more of a classic or traditional name that not many or no one has heard for awhile. Which is a good thing. 

By ElleJay
Anyway, while I was searching around the Internet I came across these Name Print Keepsakes. They were AMAZING! What a genuine idea. I loved it! ByElleJay on Etsy does these individualized prints. She gives you the name meaning of your child, and then based on the name will find a bible verse that goes along with it! How adorable and perfect is that? She also can coordinate the colors to match any room or whatever you have planned for this! Not to mention, they're a super price!

The wheels in my head were definitely turning and I had to have one for both of my children. What a great way to show God's love for your children, then by having a specialized verse match up with their name. This would make a great baby keepsake, baptism/dedication gift, Christmas gift, anytime gift! 

What makes it a great Christmas gift, is that it isn't a toy! You can actually make this look really amazing in a child's room, and you don't have to worry about them outgrowing it. This is definitely a gift, you can keep for your children forever! This is a piece that will definitely go with my kids into their baby books, and will be an amazing treasure for them later on in life!
Metallic Blue Frame with a White Matte! Beautiful! I blocked out his last name.
My son's bible verse is just amazing. I love that verse from Joshua. Commanding our boys to be strong and courageous, because God is with them! It is inspiring me as a parent as well! 

Finished Print with Purple Matte and White Frame! Love!
My daughter's is very fitting. God's grace is with her. Beautiful. Nothing like a wonderful reminder each time I walk into both their rooms. Such Love! How can you not want one of these?!

Plus, you can really have fun with these colors! She made ours to match our kid's rooms! They turned out pretty wonderful, don't you think??

By ElleJay Aren't these Adorable?! Perfect for EVERYTHING! LOVE!
She does a lot of other really amazing things on her shop...I found these super cute cards that I had to have with my kids' prints! Check One, Anything Cards! Perfect for all occasions and the cutest cards I've ever seen! These are perfect, literally, for anything! They are great to add to your card stash (I have one!).

I also posted a little while back, about the print gift I did for my nephew. He loves the book, Little Blue Truck. So I did a print for his room as well! It turned out really great, and seeing it in his room, was really special for me too! Check out the Little Red Truck Post here.

Another print gift idea I did, was giving a print of something that is a child's favorite. My son loves dirt bikes, my nephew loved the little blue truck, and I have another special little man in my life that LOVES farming! I found this print and had it customized just for him! I heard it got GREAT reviews from both parents and child!

I hope this gives you some ideas for gifts, when you're struggling about buying a toy, or just looking for something that will have more meaning than plastic. These prints look beautiful in my children's rooms. And who doesn't know a special child who could use one of these?

A few extra ideas besides these prints, can be books. Or use their favorite hobbies to gift.

I have a niece who was going to be taking dance. If you don't want to pay for classes, then you can get books that go along with dance classes, and a dance bag for her uniforms.

If you know there is an activity or concert coming up, if they're older, you know they'd like to go to, give them tickets. There are lot of other little things you can do to build up gifts, and create memories that will last a little longer than plastic.

Photo from Amazon. The Strider Bike.
We also, have children entering the "trike" stage. But, we bypassed the trike and went straight to the Strider Bike! These cool little non-bikes, help teach children to balance, in order to transition smoothly to a pedal bike.  Our son LOVES this bike! He's had it since just before he turned 2, and he rides it every day! 

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I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments! Share some ideas!

*I did post some affiliate links in here, in case anyone would like to check out the stuff I mentioned!  Enjoy!
I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I will talk about all your wonderful acts.
Psalms 9:1

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Making Them Smile, When They're Sick

When my kids are sick, I'm the mom that will do anything to try and make them smile and comfortable. Even if it means buying something a little, well, ridiculous.

We bought the kids balloons on a stick the other day. To me, it's something that any other day, I would walk by (or avoid at all costs if I could) and tell them that we really just didn't need them. However, the other day, I was on a mission for them. 

They were miserable-being cooped up at the house for days. Since they had been on antibiotics for over 24 hours, I thought one quick trip out of the house and down the street would be nice for them. It's been some of the nicest days of the year, and we had all been missing them.

Who doesn't love coca!? And one that fizzes!
While we were at the store, I stumbled upon these babies! Fizzies, hot cocoa style! I bought them. My son looked pretty thrilled about this, and when I got home and suggested he have a cup of cocoa, he was so happy! I missed his little smiles.

We quickly glanced the directions-pretty simple enough! Heat up warm milk, drop in tablet. Fizzing action begins and drink. 

We heated the milk (not really that hot for kids) and then I let him drop one in and we watched it fizz! 

Heat Milk, Drop Tablet, Watch Fizz. Pretty Simple!
My son also pointed out that it smelt like chocolate, while we were waiting for it be done fizzing! (LEARNING!! Extra Bonus! See my Smell Lab and Great Pumpkin Hunt for more!)

*Tip, Pretty sure, since I did a very light warming for instant kid drinking, it affected how well it dissolved. We ended up stirring. Also, it's light on sugar, so if you need more...add some.*

These can be pretty fun for adults too! Maybe even a neat little gift. I included an affiliate link, just in case some of you can't find these at your local stores.

Hopefully, if you're buying them, it's not because you're sick (or someone you know is), but just want some FUN Hot Cocoa!

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Broken Toy Etiquette...

Since having kids, I have gone on play dates. Lots of them. They're fun, most of the time. Lots of women talking and kids playing. I usually end up with two pretty tuckered out children, who don't complain about an afternoon nap. (And I didn't have to do all the work, for once, of wearing them out!) I love this!

But occasionally, not all play dates go super smooth. Once in awhile, a toy will break. (Usually it isn't a household item that breaks, but never rule this out either!)

What do you do?

Most toys aren't built today the way they used to be. (Sounds kind of like someone talking about cars being built out of more plastic than steel right? Pretty much the same concept.) There are a hand full of toys in our house that aren't made of plastic. These, of course, will probably last forever. These, also, don't get played with as much.

Anyway, so it's bound to happen that something will inevitably get destroyed. At our home it's usually no big deal. We throw it away when no one is looking (if it's beyond repair), and go on about the day. Unless it's a toy dirt bike, then we're in trouble.

What do you do with a broken toy? 
If, however, its at someone else's house during a play date, what do you do?

We don't bring toys with us to other people's houses. Probably because I'm already toting so much stuff, but also because it's a pain. I'm really hoping the kids will play together, as opposed to play with stuff in separate corners, giving them the 'socialization' they need.

But, if while at that house, a toy does get broken...what happens? 

I think most people usually say it's OK, and that it isn't such a big deal. But, do you hold your children, if they're older, a little more responsible, and replace the toy? What if it's a joint action in destruction of the toy? Do you pay for part of it?

I think it all depends on the situation. I've heard a lot of talk about teaching empathy to children, being very crucial for development. I think this might be a good way to help your children understand this. Maybe even help you understand it a little. Or, maybe it is just polite social etiquette. (Or, I'm just old fashioned and out of date.)

If a toy gets broken, there isn't anything wrong with that. But, it does show caring and concern for some one else's feelings, when you go to replace it, or pay for part of it. Making the kids understand that it might make their friend sad, to not have their special toy anymore, and that you want to help them get it back.

I'm sure with really close good friends, you'll understand the situation, immediately when it happens, and know what to do. But, what if it's a little bit of a newer play date situation? 

I guess I'm one of those people that likes to err, on the side of caution. I'd rather be the person that did something they didn't have to do, than, be the person who didn't do anything. If it were one of my kids special toys, I'd probably hope that it wouldn't just be left up to me to replace it.

Have any of you had any experience with this? Good or Bad? I'd love to hear how you've handled any situations!

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A person finds joy in giving an apt reply- and how good is a timely word!
Proverbs 15:23

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Charlie Brown Birthday!

We were so fortunate and blessed to be able to celebrate my son's 3rd birthday (a little early) with his cousins.

We get to make the trip back about once a year, and every year it is just amazing to see how the kids have grown. Developmentally, it is also wonderful to see them playing with each other.

When they were babies, they just kind of sat around and near each other and did their own things. Now, they're little humans. Running, talking, playing, everything! What a wonderful life!

My kids, LOVE Charlie Brown and Snoopy! Case and point, we had a Snoopy Birthday party/Pumpkin Hunt to celebrate them! We also, have Halloween Costumes that will compliment this!

So, while we were home, I threw a little birthday party, so that all the kids could get together and play! (And eat cake, of course!)

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law own a bakery. They make very DELICIOUS things! They even ship some of these wonderful items at different times of the year. (Their Easter Cake Eggs are to die for!)

They made him, his own Charlie Brown Cake! (And a Cookie to compliment!)

It was perfect for the day and was absolutely delicious! 

We are so blessed to have such wonderful family. 

We had a little pot luck and everyone got a chance to chat (even though the time went way to fast). We also had 14 little kids running around! It was excellent! The best party we've ever had, to date. This makes me so excited for the next few years. Just wish we all lived a little closer.

In any event, it was a success by all standards of a child's birthday party. There were little people friends to play with and there was cake. (And hardly any crying!!!)

What do you enjoy most about your children's birthday parties? 

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For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.
Proverbs 9:11

*Affiliate Links included in this case you're jonsing for some Charlie Brown Love as well!

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baby Time: Tips I Wish I Had

Babies, Babies, Babies! We're entering the stage of our lives where most of our friends are entering either their second or third children.

The people with the second still are in awe, another wonderful miracle. The people with the third, I just wish I could do something to help with the craziness.

We opted out of the third option, a few months after finding out about our 'surprise,' second.

If you're just starting out with your first child, there is SOOOOOOOOOO much to share! 

I know there are a ton of lists out there, but if you're children are spaced apart, there are a few things I learned that are VERY helpful, in the beginning. I can't nurse your child, or help you with the lack of sleep, but I can hopefully give you a list to look at, when you can't remember what it is you're supposed to be preparing, and why!

Things to Buy Either For The Hospital/After:

Stool Softener
Dermaplast (It's my new best friend!)
Tucks Pads
Pads, Pads, Pads
Ibuprofen, the BIG KIND
DARK pajama bottoms (You'll thank me for this)
Underwear (You don't have to, but yours might get ruined, think dollar store disposable!)

Tips of Things to Do Before Baby:
#1. Meals
Pick a day or two, and a few friends (they are totally willing to do this) and start cooking some meals to freeze. I did this with a friend, for my second, and for some reason, all the cooking I thought I did (2 lasagnas and 2 casseroles) were supposed to be enough to feed us. Boy, did I have mommy brain! (And seriously, who eats two lasagnas in a week?) 

Food Ideas:
Sloppy Joe's 
Taco Meat
Shredded Chicken (For Quesadillas, BBQ, etc.)
Brown Hamburger (for pizza toppings, fillers, etc.)
Bread (Garlic French Bread)

Make sure you have enough room in your freezer and just go to town. Also, remember to pull it out of the freezer to use it! Put a note on your fridge to remind yourself of the food in the FREEZER!

Secondly, if you've already got other kids at home, make a list of snacks, or snack foods for them, or easy lunches. Go buy them, in bulk. I found myself at the grocery store quite often and pretty much with out a brain for this. With two children under two, and a sore, sleep deprived mom, this is a nightmare!

Snack List Ideas:
Tortillas for Tortilla pizzas
Cheese, of all kinds
Fruit (but not necessarily bananas, unless you know you're baby is due the next day)
Animal Crackers
Cheetos (dad's need snacks too!)
Graham Crackers
Carrots & Other Veggies (Dip too, if they eat them that way)
BREAD (This is essential at our house!)
Nutella (might as well splurge)

And whatever else you LOVE to snack on and eat.

#2. Get Help!
No one is super mom. Assume, right now, either you, or your friend will need help. If this is her/your first, call friends and ask for help, or tips. We've been there! Crying in the shower? It's NORMAL! Laundry piling up? It's OK!

If this is your second, or third, ask friends or family now, ahead of time, for help. Just tell them that you'd like to maybe plan for someone to take the kids (if they aren't in school or day care) maybe once a week for an hour or two, for the first few weeks, until you feel you've gotten things under control.

Maybe see if someone can help clean house or fold your laundry. My mom came and stayed with us, when my son was born for a week. She cooked meals, and folded laundry and tried to help us in the middle of the night, when he was up, so that my husband could get some sleep. 

(Husband's are lucky-but I was really more concerned with his safety at work. He works with high voltage and if he comes home safely at the end of each work day, it was a success in my book. I didn't need him jeopardizing himself because of lack of sleep.)

#3. Get Addresses, Stamps, Thank You Cards 
You're going to get gifts, flowers, cards, meals and visitors. You're going to have to send a thank you card. Have you ever seen a mom, tired and struggling, standing in line at the post office, just waiting to buy a book of stamps? I've been there. It was NOT fun. For anyone involved. 

Additionally, you're probably going to be sending out announcement photos to family and friends. Right now, get all your addresses, and print them up on labels. That way, all you have to do is stuff and stick. Plus, it makes your count, for getting announcements easy too! You've already got the names printed, count them up quickly. Takes the guessing and thinking out of the game. (PLAN for STAMPS for this as well!!!!!)

#4. Plan to Leave Your House
I'm one of those people, who will go stir crazy, just sitting in my house, day after day, after day. After my son was born, during the peak of swine flu, I found myself in a dead panic when I had to go to Target. He was a week old, and I covered him from head to toe with blankets and clothes. The minute I stepped foot into that store, I could hear anyone, within a two mile radius, coughing. But we survived.

And you should plan to leave your house too! Even if it is just for a walk. Make sure you have a sling, or a stroller, to get some fresh air. Does wonders for you, baby and any extra kids! If you find yourself going to a store, or the doctor's office, and you're scared, buy hand sanitizer now! It'll be ok.

#5. Sleep, and Watch Movies NOW!
I think everyone tells you this, and I never listened. I worked up until I had my kids. I wish I would have napped. I miss naps. My kids think they are punishments. I wish someone would punish me with a nap.

One of the last things my husband and I did, before we had our first, was go see a movie. I tried to see a lot. I even tried to rent a lot. That really doesn't happen that much anymore. I'm not really missing out, or I tell myself that I'm not.

#6. Go to a Quilt Shop for Baby Bedding!
With my son, I struggled so hard at finding something that didn't have light blue, or trucks, or tractors, or baseballs for his room decor. I kind of forgot all about quilt stores, and those amazing people that have sewing machines and can sew. We ended up settling for jungle animal theme. Just like everyone else.

For my daughter, I had WAY more fun! The quilt shops had fabric galore! In every color, in every animal, in EVERYTHING! I could make her room whatever I wanted it to be! Bold colors, dark colors, shapes, and more! I wished the first time around I had known about this. I picked out a few different fabrics, and had a bed skirt, curtains, pillows and wall hangings made for her room. This was WAY cheaper, and didn't limit me as much. Also, I didn't have the exact same room for her, as everyone else had. It was very nice being able to think outside the box.

From now on, for each of my kids, when we go to do their rooms, we'll be making it our own. Instead of just relying on whatever the stores have on the shelves.

#7. Buy Diapers and Wipes!
I used every paycheck, after I made the 12 week mark, to buy diapers and wipes. One box of each, to stock up. I had my closet filled! I never filled up on newborn, but I bought boxes of each size. I always tried to balance out the sizes. With a newborn, they poop and pee round the clock! I went through more diapers. But, as they got older, it slowed down. The wipes, however, you will continue to use all the time! They will be in your car and almost every corner of your house, diaper bags, purses, etc. They will be every where and you will ALWAYS have a use for them. These also make great gifts!

I joined up with Amazon Mom the second time around and I always loved shopping at Target for diapers, because the coupons and deals and clearances were always AWESOME!

#8. Enjoy it the last of it!
With my daughter, I didn't realize the sadness I was going to have, as I started putting away her newborn clothes. It was a sadness of, "I'll never have a newborn again." I didn't know I would miss it that much.

I do blame hormones for half of it, but there is something that is just kind of sad, I think for most of us women, when we really, truly, realize, this is the last child of our own. Sure other people will have kids-friends, family members, etc. But, they won't have come from your womb. 

Now, if you've never had a child and are thinking of gift ideas for a friend or loved one who will be having one, I can help there too!

I think there will always be people who want to give you flowers and balloons. While, it's a nice gesture, they really get ignored. And then they leave a mess to clean up afterwards. Plus, getting them all from the hospital to the home, can be a nightmare!

If you'd like to give a gift, one bouquet of flowers is perfectly acceptable. Same with balloons. If they have already received that, give them diapers (not size newborn, but sizes 1 and up!), and baby wipes, or gift certificates for restaurants that do take out so they don't have to cook a meal. 

Or give the MOM a gift you know she'll love. Mom's get kind of passed up. Sure, the baby is new and the big deal, but mom's are special people too! She just performed a miracle! Shower mom with some love!

If you're offering to cook, make sure it's a meal, you know the family enjoys. Don't give them something they've never had before, because if they don't like it, then they're stuck scrambling to find something else to eat. (Unfortunately, we've experienced this. This is bad for mommy hormones!!)

If you're feeling really generous, get them a cleaning lady for a few weeks! Seriously. Who doesn't like a clean house?

My girlfriends and I have a hospital tradition. We give each friend their favorite candy and champagne, and the dad gets his favorite beer! That's a gift that is awesome!

Get her a massage, a hair cut, or pedicure/manicure gift certificates to make her feel good! It's a stressful time, and child birth is rough and tough! Pamper her!

These may not be all the greatest tricks and tips in the book, but these were definitely the ones that helped me, or would have helped me a lot! Especially the second time around.

If you have anything else to share, please leave it in the comments below! 

Looking for more on Babies? Check out my post on Natural Birth (It isn't negative or scary either!)

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For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Flying with Thanks!

Being an airline employee is one of the top stressful jobs you can have. If you're doubting this, you've either never been an employee for an airline, or never flown and had your flights cancelled, delayed, or rerouted, and encountered a mob of angry passengers.

When you fly, you basically check your control, at the curb. For type A personality people, this is hard. You check your bags, hoping they'll make it to your final destination. You hope you get a good seat (and are always secretly hoping they'll call you up and 'upgrade' you to first class for being such an awesome person, for free!). You hope you'll be on time, or early. You're basically just hoping for the best, knowing full well, you can't do anything about whatever it is, is about to happen to you!

Most of the time, if you pay attention, those airline agents rarely ever smile. But, if you listen to what they're dealing with, you'll understand why. They get paid just barely minimum wage, to deal with world's angriest population, on a daily basis. If you come up with the comment, "Well, they fly for free." You'd be wrong. Over the past several years, they've had these rights taken away as well. They pay for their seats now too.

Most people are aggressive to these people from the get go. Just always ready to battle in hopes of getting something for free. You messed up my checked bag last time, I get this one for free. My seats were in the back next to the toilet and it smelt, I want a free upgrade. I want, I want, I want. Honestly, these people have no control over that either. The constant battles, make it hard to really do anything for a lot of people. Even if they start out on a positive note, it will usually end sour. 

When I travel, even when I was working for the airlines, I liked to travel with little gifts. Just something to say, "Hey-good job today! I understand." Even now, as just a regular paying passenger, I do this. Might as well spread a little love around the world, right? What's wrong with putting some good out in the world? Plus, having someone come up and give you a little treat pretty much ensures, even the person in the most rotten mood, will probably, if it needs to happen, go out of their way to help ensure you're taken care of it something should go awry. What's wrong with having a little help on your side? Nothing! Win-Win, I say!

Giving them a little treat and thank you!
We have a small out station in our town. This is a regional airport, where the same person you check in with, will also be boarding you. (Best NOT to make these people mad, because you WILL be facing them over and over again. *Just a tip!*)

Plus, they LOVE food! As I was checking in our car seats, I gave them this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake, with a little note of thanks! Something to brighten the morning mood of everyone!

It's nice to see smiles at 6:30 a.m. Especially, when traveling with kids. 

Denver Airport Gate
When we got to Denver, as you can see, it's a little clustered. People every where! My gate agent, never looked up. She had a line that went from her podium to the end of the wall. Talk about stressful, and she was trying to board the flight by herself to boot. 

Give a little thanks, to anyone you can!
After she had cleared her line, I walked up, smiled and handed her, her 'treat.' I told her she was doing a great job, and walked away. She seemed really happy. I didn't give her gold, just a compliment, but that's the stuff that can help change a person's day.

I've offered to even get some of these people coffee before, too! Never know when a cup of Joe might just change a person's perspective.

In any event, spreading the love around, never hurts. Helps a lot. Try it next time you fly. Give them a little thanks and understanding. They don't like it when your flight is delayed or cancels either. They don't like pulling people off flights, or when your bags get lost. They're people, who fly just like you, too! They've experienced everything you have, but times ten.

Hope this gives you some great ideas on how to share some positive goodness on your next trip. Just knowing I was going to give them treats, really made MY day!

Need other giving ideas? Check out Encouragement in a Balloon, The Library Fine, Coffee Dates, and Little Red Truck.
I'd love to hear if you've done something like this before! Share your ideas in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise.
Psalm 100:4 

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ShopKick App is AWESOME!

Good Morning! I rarely ever do this, but I need to share. I'm secretly couponer (not a big one, but I use them, and LOVE them!). 

I've been using the ShopKick App for over a year and I LOVE IT! I actually used my points last year for my iPad!

It's free, and you get points for walking into stores, and they have coupons as well. You redeem the points for gift cards. They Also have a Target Starbucks coupon for BOGO Drink!! Today has been like Christmas on my shopkick app!

To my surprise today, they completely updated their app and now-you can get gift cards to Starbucks, Target, Tiffany & Co., Coach, a Kitchen Aid Mixer, American Eagle, and many more!!! Pretty easy and you don't have to buy anything! (Who wouldn't like some FREE Tiffany's?????? Or Starbucks?????? or Target???? (Those are my favs!)

Check it out! You get points for signing up!

By the way, this isn't sponsored or anything, but I really just love sharing this stuff! This helped us so much at Christmas last year! And we all know it's right around the corner!

Enjoy! Let me know if you join or how you like it!!

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Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm a Her: Saying Sorry (Part 2)

Yesterday, I talked about dealing with the Her's in your life. Sometimes, you just need to vent, or find someone who understands what you might be going through. But, now let's dig into the big stuff.

Today, I'm sharing about, how I WAS one.
“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”  Corrie Ten Boom

I went through a really dark time in my life. I was really mean, and spiteful. Honestly, I was probably EVERYONE's HER. I deserved it. I know I lost a lot of people during this time. But, I was definitely a person who was tough to be around.

I did get help though. I really did. I'm so thankful for the anti-depressants I started taking. I no longer have to take them, but they were blessing. They helped to change my life, back to the me, I knew.

But once you get yourself stable, you still have to deal with your mess that you leave behind.  I hurt a lot of people. I said and did a lot of things that weren't good. I felt bad. REALLY bad. 

My actual text message to a hurt friend.
I'm not sure why as parents, we really focus on making our kids say they're sorry, when we as adults, rarely seem to be able to do it. I think this is taken to be a sign of defeat. For me, it was embarrassing. But, it needed to be done.
I read a book called, The Resolution For Women. (They also have a men's version of this that I HIGHLY recommend for anyone. I actually preferred this version to the women's one.) I really enjoyed it. Though, it didn't answer all of my questions, it definitely answered enough. I knew what I had to do. 
I needed to ask for forgiveness and give closure to the people I had hurt. 

When you think back on things, most of the time, wouldn't it just have been nice to have an apology for hurt feelings? An apology to just clear the air, one that really meant, I'm sorry? I think so.

I think back to times when I was younger and in school. I was picked on, a lot! For many different reasons. Bullying seems to be a big issue today for parents and kids. I know today, that if someone would say, "Sorry for what I did," it would probably make me cry. But not of sorrow, but just for clearing the air. Starting over. Feeling that sense of release. Apologies are for healing.

I made a list. Seriously, of all the people that I had on my heart that I felt the need to apologize to. These are the people I felt I had done something to wrong them. 

One by one, I went down that list. Some people I had really lost touch and it took some searching. Others I found quickly. Some people were still friends with me today. I am very lucky.

I even did a few face to face apologies. Those were tough. Those were the ones, where my face went red, I almost couldn't make eye contact, and I was full of shame and embarrassment. I was humbled, to say the least.

A few of the "friends," I had lost, that I had apologized to, reached out. One was so shocked, she responded back and we talked for almost two hours on the phone. I'm not sure we'll ever talk again, but there isn't any regret now lingering on my behalf. She got closure as well. 

Not everyone took it well. One person ignored the apology completely. That's ok. That's for them. Not everyone can just be ok with an apology. Sometimes, it takes time. I'm ok with that, that's their right, to do with the apology as they please. Again, you can't change people, you can only change yourself.

"I'm sorry for the way I acted and treated you. You deserved better." Powerful words, huh? A few of those people were family members, who also got an, "I love you."

I have to say that I'm thankful for having a chance to do this. I take my relationships so serious now. I don't take people for granted, or I try not to at least. 

I've been at both ends of the spectrum. This side, is definitely better. I'm not saying everyone should turn into a Her to have to recover from it, but if you know you have been someones Her, you know you have steps you can take to heal the hurt.

Have you ever felt the need to apologize? Have you ever done it? What are you waiting for?

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Let all the bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Pin It

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Zoo....I Mean, The Pet Store

We have a dog. He's extremely mellow with our kids. He's also broken. (I'm serious. He has no ACL in his left hind leg.) But, he's still good. He doesn't mind it when the kids body surf him. He also doesn't mind it when they throw him food from the table.

Once a month, we go to the pet store to buy his specialty dog food.
We found lots of Nemo's!

Since having kids, I look at the pet store in a whole new way. I call it, "The Zoo."

Since, basically, it has all the properties of what an actual zoo has. Animals. Just on a more domesticated scale. You can observe them, watch them get feed, buy souvenirs, and food/snacks. Plus, admission is FREE!

During the summer, when it's really hot here, I take the kids a couple times a month. They never tire of "The Zoo," and it's air conditioned. (Plus, it's a great way to kill an hour.)

Cool Neon Fish
We have PetCo and PetSmart in our town, along with at least one small business pet store. Sometimes we rotate where we go. (PetCo tends to be more my favorite, since Michael's is right next door!)

When we enter this magical world, my kids are in wonderment! All the animals! The fish tanks are always a big hit, along with the guinea pigs and adoption cats.

I think people think we are crazy, because I would refer to it as, "The Zoo." But why not? We don't have an actual zoo in our town. The closest one is four hours away.

At the "Zoo" with the kids!
If you're like me, and not blessed with a local zoo, go check out your pet store! It makes for such an exciting day for your children. Plus, a nice escape from the house for you!

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"The godly care for their animals..."
Proverbs 12:10

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