Approaching Zion—A Quality Quarantine

IMG_7756I hate to express unpopular opinions, but for many reasons I am LOVING this quarantine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of deadly viruses or endless school closures, but some of the resulting outcomes of a worldwide pandemic have actually benefitted our family. The mandatory quarantine is one example.

During the mush and mix of motherhood—especially on days when I feel totally overwhelmed—I have often wished for a long VACATION: a few weeks (or months) where the world stops and we can actually catch up on life. Right? Get through the family photos, organize the cupboards, finish the books, watch the movies, take the walks and DO everything on our “someday” lists.

Well, my at-home dream vacation wish has come true!

Our calendars are EMPTY! Our kids are all HOME! My husband CAN’T go to a meeting or run an errand or leave on a business trip. The soccer games are gone. The dance practices are on hold. The flute lessons have been cancelled. There is NOTHING going on.

Frankly, this absence of appointments is HEAVEN! For a few blessed weeks (err….months) the world has stopped spinning.

And I love it. Continue reading

Simple Things: Kate Middleton’s take on Motherhood

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I traveled on a plane this week and listened to a podcast I’d never tried before: Happy Mum, Happy Baby, by Giovanna Fletcher. The episode caught my eye because HRH Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, was the guest.

Like most of the world, I’ve watched Kate with interest during the past decade as she married Prince William and started motherhood. I felt for her when she appeared on the steps of the hospital holding a newborn–her make-up and hair flawless–and wearing heels(!) while smiling at the enamored masses. Poor Mama, I thought.

I was stunned when she arrived a few weeks later for royal duties and I couldn’t detect any baby fat anywhere! She looked amazing!

When she quickly became pregnant again and struggled with morning sickness, my heart went out to her. I hate those long days, weeks and months when nothing stays down and you become a limp mass on the couch or floor, holding onto hope that “this, too, shall pass.”

When her daughter, Charlotte, was born, I was also in the hospital (with my 10th baby) and felt a strange kinship to Kate. But, again, I was eternally grateful that I could lounge in my nightgown while she dressed and showed up for the crowds.

And when she had her 3rd child, Louis, my interest and respect grew yet again. She appeared a committed and happy mother.

Anyway, as my plane took off, I settled in with my headphones to hear what the Duchess had to say about motherhood. And, I was pleasantly–in fact, more than thrilled–at her replies.

Here are a few of my favorite take-aways from Kate’s comments:

*families are at the CENTER of our society

*it’s the SIMPLE things that create a happy childhood

*the world is a ‘real adventure for children

*the more loving people you have around, the better

*nature takes its course during birth

*midwives can play an ‘extraordinary’ role in birth

*I totally UNDERESTIMATED the impact our first baby would have on our lives.

*once a baby is born, it’s amazing and extraordinary to see pure joy on a husband’s face

*we have to try and remember the SIMPLE THINGS through the complications of life

*the STRENGTH OF FAMILY and SIMPLE ACTS OF KINDNESS unite us as a society

*How can you physically get three children out to the car at once? You can’t!

Kate also shared two aspects of childhood which make a tremendous difference:

1.) the quality of relationships

2.) the environments children spend time in, including a happy home and the power of spending time in the out-of-doors

And my favorite quote…

“Since being a mom I have found a new enjoyment out of life.”

Like I said, I LOVED her down-to-earth answers and the respect she emanated for parenting and motherhood. I felt like Duchess Kate truly valued her role as a mother and was doing her best to raise her children in a happy, loving home.

Here’s the link to the full podcast: http://aca.st/045608

I HIGHLY recommend listening!

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Meals for the Masses: Lots of Lunches

I manage LOTS of lunches everyday… You probably do as well!

And like any meal, I get tired of food and redundancy. That’s why I try to keep lunch SIMPLE and HEALTHY. And, I streamline my efforts so that my kids pack their lunches in the morning. That’s one less thing for me to think about during the day.

Here is an overview of how I manage MEALS FOR THE MASSES…at lunchtime.

Meals for the Masses: Three Easy Breakfasts

There are a MILLION ways to be a good mom… AND, there are a MILLION MEALS to fix!

Spending time in the kitchen is (unfortunately) one of my least favorite parts of motherhood. However, cooking is a necessity! And there are lots of people who depend upon my efforts everyday.

Welcome to my next three posts: MEALS FOR THE MASSES. I like to keep food simple and healthful, with minimal cleanup during the week–especially when I have kids (and a husband) coming and going at all hours.

Here are my THREE FAVORITE BREAKFASTS that make my kids happy while keeping my kitchen life stress-free.

What do you like to fix for breakfast???

 

Sibling Solutions

Every family deals with sibling rivalry, right? Arguments, bickering, disagreements… Irritation is common among brothers and sisters. After all, living in a house with other human beings isn’t always easy!

I’m not a child expert, just a mother of 10 children. But I’m happy to share what works in our home when arguments pop up. Here are a few ideas I use to limit contention among my kids.

(Thanks to my friend, Shellie, for requesting this two-minute tip.)

Enjoy!