Kids are resilient!

Kids are resilient!
This past year, also known as the corona coaster, was a wild ride to say the least.  Worldwide confusion, fear, panic, and isolation sent us into a tizzy of finding ways to find normalcy in a vast canyon of unrest.  I found myself journaling more just to get things out of my head and doing things I had not done in a long time like busting out the sewing machine and digging through old pictures to relive some memories.  I went through the questioning phase, the consume all the news phase and then decided I couldn’t sustain that and maintain a good state of mental health.  

What I noticed though is that the kids just kept bouncing back time and time again.  When it all started and everything came to a screeching halt, they didn’t like it, but they adapted.  They did their schoolwork remotely and worked through the technology issues that came up.  Winter sports ended abruptly, and spring sports didn’t get to start.  Instead of choosing to just sit around, they found basketball hoops in the neighborhood to shoot baskets, threw baseballs to each other in the front yard, found things to jump onto to improve jumping skills, found trampolines to jump on to work on flips and challenged each other with workout routines they made up.  

Then summer came and they couldn’t do things like summer camps and hang out in groups at each other’s houses, so they figured out ways to still have fun and spent the entire summer outside riding bikes and running around in the woods building bridges and lean-tos and all sorts of things.  

When school finally started again in a totally different format (in person a couple days a week and remote learning the rest of the days), they didn’t like that either, but they adapted once again.  They figured out how to plan their week, they worked through even more technology issues and adapted yet again when quarantines started happening because of school exposure.   They wore their face masks and carried their desk shields, washed their hands and sanitized all day long. Did they grumble about it, sure, but they adapted to the new rules.  

Sports started up again, but they had to wear facemasks, be prepared with their own water instead of water fountains, keep distanced during practices, compete virtually, etc.  They agreed because they just wanted to get out there and play and compete.  

When it was announced that we were going back to school 5 days a week, they were ready and when ice storms and flooding prevented that from happening, they just rolled with the punches.  They have been the most resilient of all during all the restrictions and changes in rules over the last year.  I believe we have a lot to learn from how well they have adapted and bounced back after every set back.  

As babies, the only way they learn to go from crawling to walking is to fall down a bunch of times until they get it right.  Maybe it’s because they are closer to that time in their life than I am because they just kept going and kept trying different things.  They learned what didn’t work and tried different things until they got the hang of all the changes that we kept throwing their way.  

As an adult, I found myself acting more like a toddler and throwing a fit when there was a new restriction or change in rules.  I would argue that it didn’t make sense or didn’t seem right in some way.  I would work myself up about it and mull it over in my head for hours at a time, which always impacted my mood in a negative way.  When I recognized what I was doing, I would try to take a few minutes put some happy oils in the diffuser and write it out in my journal to get it out of my head and that helped put things in a better perspective.   

As we are coming to the end of this roller coaster ride, we will all get off of the ride but the only difference is, the kids rode through it with a lot less stress and trepidation than I did.  

Kids are sponges and soak up the entire life experience in a way that molds and shapes their way of thinking that they will carry into adulthood.  I believe they have learned a great deal about how to work within an ever-changing world dynamic at a more accelerated pace than I ever did that’s for sure.  

Kids are resilient.   Adults are too, we just have to work a little bit harder at it.  It might seem silly to some but journaling really helped me ride this corona coaster and keep things in perspective.  I delve deeper into this process in my course Corralling Life into One Notebook.  If you are looking for a way to corral your stress and put it in perspective, I would encourage you to jump on the waitlist for my course and snag a discount code HERE.  

Be resilient my friend… and keep your hands, arms and legs inside the ride until it comes to a complete stop.    😏

When your youth athlete gets hurt....

When your youth athlete gets hurt....
Your child is having fun and you are enjoying watching them do their thing and then it happens…  It could be a strain, a sprain, a broken bone, a sore arm but whatever it is, life comes to a screeching halt and it impedes them from continuing their sport for a while.  

As a mom, you know your kid better than anyone else!  You know their reactions to things.  You know if they scream bloody murder at a spider on the wall the same as they do about a splinter.  You know if they don’t say a peep about a skinned-up knee or bloody nose until you find the trail of band aids or tissues in the trash.  Or maybe you have already explained The Boy Who Cried Wolf story too many times to recount at this point!  

After you wipe away the tears and have a minute to assess the situation, I find it helpful to first take a minute to take a couple of deep breaths myself.  No need to have your adrenaline on overdrive when your dealing with an injury right?  

Some things will obviously need medical attention like broken bones, split open skin, and injuries that present concussion symptoms to name a couple.  If that’s the case, get in the car and go directly to the doctor, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars and do not worry about your chair.   

What I tend to deal with more often than not are repetitive use injuries, simple sprained ankles or bumps and bruises.   These can be troublesome in the form of actual pain for the child and the pain moms go through in hearing about the pain or missing practice or how it was someone else’s fault.  😂

I have 5 tips for you when dealing with these kinds of injuries.  

  1. Confirm what they are saying about the injury/pain – repeat it back to them – so they know you are listening, and this may also it may trigger more discussions/descriptions about the pain that could be helpful for you.  
  2. Ask them the question “what do you think I should do for you” this will often give you insight into how they are really feeling.  If they say something specific like “I want an icepack” or “I want you to put Ortho Sport on it” that will a good place to start.  
  3. Ask them to perform some simple moves and watch their faces while they do them.  For example, if it’s a complaint of shoulder pain, ask them to move it around in different ways and see what their face tells you about their pain level.  Unless your family is in a poker club, their face will usually tell you what you need to know.
  4. Ask them  “How is your pain on a scale of 1-10 (1 being everything is wonderful and normal and 10 is we need to go to the hospital now)”.   This may not tell you everything you need to know right now, but after you’ve done #2, you can ask this question again and see how it’s changing or if it is at all.  
  5. Take some notes in your bullet journal!  It is always helpful to refer back and know when something started, what they said, what happened when the pain started, etc.  especially if you end up at the doctor with the issue.  This information is gold when it comes to getting back to normal quickly.  
Injuries are going to happen, but it’s not the end of the world.  Everything is figuroutable!  If you’re like me, the phrase “we can’t go to the hospital right now, it’s covid season” has been used too many times to count in the last year!  😂  I have put together a masterclass on some of the ways I take care of my athletes at home in regards to sleep, keeping them healthy, dealing with minor injuries, and more!  I explain some simple shifts you can make to implement some of these strategies at your home too!  I am not a doctor and I absolutely will go to one when needed but many times, I rely on my gut instinct to try some things at home first and it works well for us.  
I have also relied heavily on my bullet journal for keeping track of everything, not just injuries, but schedules, to do lists, meal planning and more.  I highly recommend this simple way to keep things organized in one notebook.  This is also a great place to keep a list of medicines your athlete takes, or allergies they have or any other important information that you might need to tell a medical professional in the event something serious happens.  When that kind of situation arises, it's best to have a sheet of paper you can rip out of your notebook rather than relying on your adrenaline filled brain to remember the details they need.

I’ll be releasing a course in the near future about how to implement this bullet journal method for your life too!  You won’t want to miss out on this!  Jump on the waitlist for the course and so you can get notified when it launches and snag a coupon code for ½ off the course!  

You got this momma!  

Why an evening routine is just as important as a morning routine!

Why an evening routine is just as important as a morning routine!
I have read many articles about setting up a morning routine that kick starts your day in a way that boosts your mood, sets your focus and helps you stay on track.  I believe it’s true, the way you start your day absolutely impacts how you will move through the rest of your day.  

If you start your day by scrolling Facebook, that may bring up things that make you sad, frustrated or concerned especially in these days of COVID updates, mask debates, political debates, school debates and more.  If you start the day by watching the news, the same thing may happen as well.   

If you start your day by checking your phone notifications and emails, you might just feel overwhelmed and not even know where to start with all the to do’s on your list now.  

So, starting the day in a way that brings joy and peace to your mind is absolutely one of the best things you can do for yourself.  We all know that when you fill your own cup, you can be ready to pour into others.  As children of God, we are here to serve others with our unique gifts and talents.  If we begin our days with frustration and overwhelm, we will not be at our best to serve with a heart of joy and gratitude.  

But I’m going to propose something here, your evening routine is just as important and can set you up for success for the morning!  

I used to start the day with my people waking up asking for this shirt or that pair of pants or feeling frustrated because I didn’t get that uniform out of their sports bag/backpack to be ready for their activity that day.  So laundry was a point of frustration for me almost every morning in some way.

Another point of frustration was finding a coffee cup or glass still sitting on the coffee table or a bowl that someone used for a snack in a bedroom.  I’d run the dishwasher at random times during the day and then whenever I had time, I’d unload it and start loading again.  I wasn’t in a rhythm and found myself pulling something dirty out of the dishwasher and washing by hand because I needed it in the middle of the day.  

Well, it occurred to me, my evening routine needed to include some things so that my mornings were off to a good start.  So now, as I tell the kids goodnight and set up their diffusers, I scan their rooms for dirty dishes and laundry.  I throw any laundry in my room down the shoot too.  Once I get downstairs, I scan the living room and office for any dishes and I load the dishwasher and hit start before I go to bed!  

I also start a load of laundry every night.  I know some of you are going to think I’m out of my mind but I put all the clothes (unless it’s just a crazy big amount) into one load, add my Thieves Laundry Soap, white vinegar for the fabric softener and run that sucker.  I usually have time to switch it to the dryer before I head upstairs.  
And before you ask, yes I put it all together – jeans, under armour, shirts, leos, sports uniforms, whatever is in the laundry goes in together.  Now, some things I may not put in the dryer but I’ve never had any issues with throwing it all together in the washer.

So in the morning, I get up to my alarm on my phone which is downstairs (so I have to get up and get moving to turn it off), drink my Ninja juice, take my thyroid medicine, let the dog out and feed him, unload the dishwasher, fold the laundry out of the dryer and voila – I know the dishes that I need are clean and if anyone asks me for a particular piece of clothing, they know its in the laundry basket about to go upstairs.  

There are a few other things that go into my routines in the evening and morning but I find these 2 things have made a huge difference in my levels of peace and joy in the household!   

What about you?  Do you have a routine that helps you stay on track?  

The one thing that you should invest in for a power outage that isn’t a generator

The one thing that you should invest in for a power outage that isn’t a generator

Living in West Virginia comes with pros and cons.  The beautiful landscape, friendly people, outdoor adventures galore and all four seasons are just some of the pros.  

The frequent power outages is one of the cons.  There is nothing worse than starting your day with a cold shower to really put you in a great mood. 🤨

During a power outage one of the biggest things people complain about is not having hot water.  I mean who wants to be stuck in a house with your family and not be able to shower?  It’s one of the luxuries that we have become accustomed to and don’t want to live without, am I right?  And a cold shower is, well, less than pleasant at best.  

Not to mention all those dirty dishes piling up.  

Now this little ingenious trick will save you some frustration and give you a needed stress relieving hot shower  during your next power outage.  I will preface this by saying we have a natural gas fired water heater that uses very little electricity once it gets going.  

If you have a hard wired water heater you will need to have an electrician create a way to plug it into an outlet for you first. 

For under $200, you can purchase a device that can jump start your car, inflate a flat tire, charge your phones with a USB port but most importantly for this discussion, it can also help you get a nice hot shower!  

Most people grab one of these to have in the car for emergencies but don’t think about the possibilities of what you can use it for during a power outage! 

When you know bad weather is headed your way and there's a possibility of a power outage, take it out of the car and be sure it's fully charged.  When the power goes out and you need hot water, plug in your hot water heater to this handy and very portable battery backup!  

We have survived for almost a week without power and no generator during the great ice storm of 2021 using our gas fireplaces to keep the house warm and dry clothes from playing in the snow.  Our natural gas stove top to cook and this little battery to keep everyone from stinking up the place. 😂

What I like about this device is that it's multifunctional - you're not just buying a generator that will only be used for the house when you loose power, this thing has come in handy several times for helping people jump start their car, inflate tubes for tubing the river and charging phones on the go.  

This is the one we have and I highly recommend it!   

Here's to making your next power outage a little more pleasant!

*this is an affiliate link and I may earn commission from it, however, I would not recommend a product I don't actually use*

Back to school mask hacks

Back to school mask hacks

One year ago, I was planning out the last few days of summer vacation and how to get the most out of it before the kids headed back to school.  Planning last minute trips to Ace Adventure lake, an overnight camping trip to FMC Sportsman’s Club so we could swim ALLLLL day, and deciding who needed new underwear, jeans, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, mechanical pencils because the ones they have accumulated over the years are some how not good anymore… you know all the things to start a new adventure.

This year things are a little different.  Still packing in all the summer fun we can manage while staying socially distant of course… isn’t it strange how we use this term “socially distant” like it’s always been in our vocabulary?  But what school supplies do we need, are we going to be schooling from home, going to the classroom or something in between, we don’t know yet.  And that is unsettling.  There’s all these new rules, suggestions and recommendations, I can’t hardly wrap my head around them and I know for certain our kids and teachers will be more stressed about school that ever before.   

One thing that appears to be certain is wearing a mask.  I don’t like wearing one, I’m not sure who does really.  But there’s a few ways I’ve come up with to make wearing one a little more bearable.  
  1.  Make it fun – give it some personality!  Ask a friend to liven one up for you with their Cricut machine or find some fun material to make your own (they aren’t hard I promise) or find a cute one on line – there are tons of places selling them now.  And make sure you have several for each person in the household because you’re going to be washing them…. Every day ok?
  2. Set an example – when kids see adults doing something without complaining about it, they will generally fall in line – maybe not right away, but they will…  think of a fun game to play while wearing your mask like guess the face I’m making, have a special one to wear to certain places and be sure to do something that makes you smile or laugh while wearing it.  
  3. Make a spray to freshen up your masks and make them more enjoyable to wear – In a small empty spray bottle fill with witch hazel and add 1-2 drops of Citrus Fresh Essential Oil.  Shake and spray your mask before you put it on.  The smell of citrus will brighten your mood and make wearing the mask a little more bearable!  
We can complain about the circumstances we are in, or we can choose to make the best of it.  The only way is THROUGH!  There are a lot of things we cannot control, but one thing is certain, you are 100% in control of your thoughts.  
Choose joy, fun, and love over frustration, anxiety, and fear.  

A mask cannot hide your joy and love.  

If you like these ideas, I invite you to join my upcoming “5 Days of Gratitude” challenge in my free private Facebook group called Hearts of Gratitude.    We are going to delve into all kinds of topics in that group and you will get massive value out of it, but everything starts with gratitude.  Get access to the group by clicking HERE

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