Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

The Tween Years | Twelfth Birthday Party

Monday, October 20th, 2014

tween birthday party

Over the years, I’ve thrown a lot of birthday parties—twenty as a matter of fact. TWENTY! We’ve come a long way from the garden party I threw Ellie for her first. I remember cutting out an unreasonable amount of little flower shapes out of card stock. My hand was cramped for days. A picture of our daughter was glued into the middle of each and then affixed to a large cut out garden attached to the wall. (more…)

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Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

photo ©Dave Cooper

Taking a bit of break today from all the Halloween posting (hope you guys aren’t too sick of it yet, because we have 5 more days to go) to talk about a very important day—today! Today, the girl who made me a mama came into this world. She didn’t want to; she was quite content to stay put and no amount of pushing by me or pulling by the docs would make her budge.

I am as awestruck today as I was the day I met her—in awe of her laugh, her spirit, her strength. And her silliness.

We have a birthday eve ritual that the story that night is the story of the day the kids were born. I almost forgot about it until Jonah reminded me. “Hey, you’re supposed to tell Ellie’s story.” So I did. After the story, as everyone set off for bed, Jonah told her, “I wasn’t going to let you get past 10, 11 was an exception, but 12 is unacceptable.” He was joking…sorta.

Twelve. Can it really be twelve years? I suppose I’ll say “Can it really be this number of years” every year. But this year, I feel like we’ve hit a milestone. It’s a good one, no, a great one.

Thank you Ellie for being our daughter. Thank you for being you.

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Kids and Screen Time, New Study Results. Eek!

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

screen time + the effect on kids


New research out of UCLA found that screen time affects kids’ social skills. The research suggests the more time kids spend with screens, the worse they become at reading other’s emotions. Yikes.

Here’s what the researchers discovered… (more…)

Posted in Parenting | 10 Comments »

Parenting | Writing a New Story

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

writing materials

Over lunch the other day, a friend shared his reluctance about writing. He had been asked to write a new blog about video editing.

“Maybe I should get you to write it,” he joked.
“I find that most people are better writers than they think. Who ruined writing for you?” I replied.

Dave says I have a way of shining the harsh light of day on a situation. It’s a useful skill sometimes. I can cut through BS like nobody’s business. It’s also why I rub some people the wrong way.

My friend took a minute and then shared his story. (more…)

Posted in Parenting, The Tween Years | 4 Comments »

The Tween Years | R Rated Movies + Television

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Tweens and movies + television

I should probably start this post by saying two things:

1. I remember a time before PG13 rating became a ‘thing’ and
2. I’m probably considered strict or conservative by many when it comes to screen time

Both of these things probably color my stance on movies and television. I remember my parents saying, “Close your eyes! Close your eyes!” during certain parts of movies growing up. There are two stand outs moments that are seared in my brain. The first is when the Arc of the Covenant was opened and all the Nazis faces melted. The second was during The Right Stuff. To this day, I don’t know what Ed Harris was doing, but I assume kissing or worse, sex, was involved.

My parents didn’t have the luxury of a PG13 rating. So there were things that popped up they weren’t anticipating. And it’s entirely possible my memory is fuzzy, but I don’t remember as many ‘family-friendly’ movies when I was younger. (more…)

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What I Love About Being a Parent | Birute Efe of Playtivities

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

I met Birute Efe through a comment she left here on the blog. Since that time, I’ve grown to develop a deep admiration for this mother of two raising her family in Turkey. I am honored to have this passionate woman who has a joyous outlook on life here to share her thoughts on motherhood. This parenting gig? It is tough, and it is beautiful. -Jen

what I love about parenting - Birute Efe of Playtivities

There is a video (still in VHS) of me in my pony tails answering a question: “What do you want to be when you grow up.?” My friends picked professions like doctors, bankers and teachers while I stood up and proudly announced that I will be….” A Mommy”. I was 6 years old then. 20 years later, my “career” took off so now I am devoted, fully employed and happy mama.

I love parenting every day for many different reasons.

Yesterday, I loved being a parent because I got to witness my child create something unbelievable. I feel so lucky to help her with her creative poetry journey. Honestly, I think I am in a bubble when she calls me and says, “Mama, I got a new poem!” I drop everything, sit on the porch and write as fast I can every word that comes out of her little mouth. I feel like the luckiest person on earth. To top that, I spend the evening with my husband reading and quoting poems of our daughter.

That laughter and full satisfaction I feel, is because I am a parent. And I love it.

Birute Efe has daily fun at her kids activities blog Playtivities and the farm where she lives with her family. She loves creating activities and toys for her 2 kiddos by up-cycling household items, so she will never walk pass by a big cardboard box or a pile of old magazines. She believes the best learning comes from exploring and creating.

About this series:
Throughout the month of April, I’m teaming up with my friend Jenny Yarbrough of The Southern Institute to celebrate the joys of parenting. Consider it a prelude to Mother’s Day. We’ve asked some of our readers to share what they love most about parenting.

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What I Love About Being a Parent | My Invisible Camera

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

When Jenny and I reached out to our readers to ask them to participate in this series, I was thrilled with their enthusiasm. Today, Tanya King from My Invisible Camera shares what she loves about being a parent. Many, many, many thanks to Tanya for being here today. You should absolutely check out her site. Her photography is full of love. -Jen

a girl and her boys

The thing that I absolutely love about being a parent is seeing them evolve into their own beings. When they’re first born and are so utterly dependent on you, you know that you are their entire universe. Here are these little creatures who know nothing about the world except for you, you, you.

Now this is the part I love: I feel as a parent that I can’t waste a single moment and I must share everything that is important in the world; that sweet potatoes taste better than mushed peas, that grandma gives the best hugs, that Star Wars is a part of life like breathing, and that there is good in absolutely everyone. You plant the seed in the hearts, you nurture it with lots of hugs and talks around the dinner table, and then you watch. You watch them grow into their proper little selves that they were always meant to be. They might decide they love mushed peas despite what you served at your house or that Star Trek is like breathing and you may be shocked and say, “Where did this kid come from?” But you will also stand in awe when you hear them say “I missed you today, mama” or when you see them open doors for other kids at school or be brave and stand up for a friend on the playground.

That is when you will know that this ‘being a parent’ thing is such a beautiful honor.

Tanya King is a girl who loves taking pictures, making crafty things, writing, and sometimes she even pretends to know that she can cook. She lives in the woods with her husband and three boys. After being diagnosed with lupus she gave up professional photography and now focuses her attention on staying healthy, doing yoga, and blogging all her family’s adventures.

About this series:
Throughout the month of April, I’m teaming up with my friend Jenny Yarbrough of The Southern Institue to celebrate the joys of parenting. Consider it a prelude to Mother’s Day. We’ve asked some of our readers to share what they love most about parenting. This week, hop on over to see what Kellie Snyder had to say.

Posted in Parenting, What I Love About Being a Parent | 3 Comments »

What I Love About Being a Parent

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Let’s face it, parenting is a tough gig—there’s no pay, the days are long and the people you manage can be…a challenge. But having a little one call me Mom is one of the most incredible and amazing and darn near miraculous experiences I’ll ever have.

Throughout the month of April, I’m teaming up with my friend, Jenny Yarbrough of The Southern Institute, to celebrate the joys of parenting. Consider it a prelude to Mother’s Day. We’ve asked some of our readers to share what they love most about parenting. Each week, we’ll hear from one of them.

Today, we’re kicking off the celebration with Jenny…

What I love about parenting

There’s no argument that parenting is hard work, but the joys of parenting far outweigh the struggles for me. One of the things that I love about parenting is discovering what makes my children tick. Each one of them is so different, expressing love in their own way and processing experiences differently. Figuring them out is like unlocking a puzzle. While my daughter feels most loved when I spend time with her, my youngest son feels most special when given special little gifts or surprises. A good snuggle makes my older son happier than anything else. The differences between the three is what makes parenting so much fun, and it’s one of the things that I love the most about this parenting journey.

Jenny Yarbrough is a wife and mother raising three beautiful children in Nashville. She stays busy homeschooling, sewing, designing patterns and writing, among the many other things that mothers and wives do each and every day. You might find her sitting with her daughter at a local coffee shop, sipping a yummy drink and poring over schoolbooks, but rarely will you find her just sitting around.

Posted in Parenting, What I Love About Being a Parent | 4 Comments »