Join me in my daily walk through the joys and struggles of parenthood. Share a word of encouragement or be encouraged. Cry a little, laugh a lot, but know it is all in divine order.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Muffins with Mom – When mom needs a helping hand

My helping hand on her big day

Have you ever had so many things to do that you wished you could clone yourself? You may have discovered that there are many benefits that come with the job of parenting, but a paid vacation is not one of them. Now that my bundle of joy was almost a high school graduate, I decided to take a vacation, without him.

As I was approaching the gate where my flight was to depart, my cell phone chimed. I looked at the caller-ID, it was the employment agency. My son applied for a summer job and a representative from the agency was calling me with more details. He said my son needed to have an adult accompany him to the mandatory orientation.

Pulling my carry-on luggage behind me, I found a seat and conversed with the man on the phone. “Can my older son attend the orientation with his brother?”

“He has to be at least 21 years old.”

“Oh,” was all I said. What I really wanted to say was, “He’s 20 years 6 months, 8 days…he’s almost 21, doesn’t that count?”

There was less than an hour left before time to board the plane. I needed to find a mom substitute, someone who could stand in my place at the orientation, but who? My mom and brother were with me. My options were limited…then the thought occurred to me. My babysitter. The young woman began babysitting for my boys when she was only eighteen years old.

My former babysitter was now a married woman, I needed to pull her out of retirement. I scrolled through my phone until I reached her number and with the tap of my screen, the phone began to ring. In a rushed tone, I spilled all the information from my head to her listening ear. “I can be there,” she said.

Clutch. My babysitter came through in a clutch. That’s the word my teenager uses when someone comes through for you in a challenging situation. My retired babysitter was my helping hand in that moment I needed a stand-in. Her kindness is appreciated and goes a long way.

Have you ever needed a helping hand in your parenting journey?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Word-less Wednesday – National Photograph Month – 3 ways to celebrate

Typically on Wordless Wednesday, I post pictures or very few words. Today is designated as Word…less Wednesday since I have still posted fewer words than I do on other days. Getting to the article…
The month of May is celebrated as National Photograph Month. Do you have favorite photos that you’ve take or that have been taken of you? It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

What do the photos below say to you? How do they make you feel?

How will you celebrate National Photograph Month? Below are three was to get you started celebrating.
  1. Dig out old photos that you haven’t seen in a while, share them with family members and reminisce about the experiences they hold.
  2. Walk through a park and take photos of things you see along the way-flowers in bloom, a squirrel standing upright starring at you…you get the picture
  3. Sign up for a photography class at your local Parks & Recreation Department or Community College.
Make this month an opportunity to take lots of photos and save them for generations to come. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words and they tell a story.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fun Friday – 3 tips to creating a memorable vacation

When was the last time you vacationed with family? Not just a getaway with your significant other and the kids, but one that includes other relatives? It happened to me, actually it was a planned vacation.

Here’s how my vacation began…

It was the cruise of a lifetime. We traveled with 682 folks who were a group ballroom dancers and steppers. My mother and uncle are seasoned ballroom dancers, but my brother, my other uncle and I were along for the family camaraderie.

I should have known from the turbulence in the air on our flight to Florida, that my trip would be rocky. On the airplane, I sat next to a husband and wife. I had the window seat, the husband was in the middle and the wife was on the aisle.

At one point, we hit a lot of turbulence and the wife screamed and grabbed her husband’s arm. I just shut my eyes tight and grabbed her husband’s other arm. I apologized once the turbulence ended. We chatted after that and I had made new friends.

Tip #1 – Don’t be afraid to make friends

My family and I, along with 100 or so others in our group spent the night at a hotel the day before our cruise was to leave.

With so many people in our traveling party, there were 3 buses and 3 time frames that the buses traveled from the hotel to the port we were leaving from. No one from my family was scheduled to leave the hotel at the same time I was scheduled.

My mom went to the waiting area with me to see if they would allow her to board with me. I wanted someone else to go with me because I was unfamiliar with the process and my mom and uncle have traveled with this group for the past few years.

We waited along the side walk until the leader told us we could board. After a few minutes, the leader made an announcement. “If your ticket does NOT say 9:30, you will not be allowed to board the bus.”

The line began to move. I told mom, “I guess I’ll see you at the port.”

I pulled my luggage behind me slowly. You would have thought I was 5 years old and not 51. I felt like I was being torn from my mother. I almost reached out like an actress in a movie and said, “Mama.”

Tip #2 – Relax, don’t sweat the small stuff.

Once aboard the ship, it was smooth sailing…almost. On the fourth day of the cruise the ship docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. My family and I disembarked together ready for an adventure. As we walked the quarter mile from the ship to our destination, right in front of us was our first tourist stop - Walgreen’s Drug Store.

I said to my brother, “Really…we came all the way to San Juan to shop at Walgreens? Can we go somewhere else first?”

I actually made a purchase while we were there – a few souvenirs and some candy, so all was not lost.

Once we left Walgreen’s we hopped on a tour bus a wonderful experience.   We saw Old San Juan, visited historic areas and walked along a beach.

All in all if was a fantastic trip.

Tip #3 – Live, love, laugh – it’s okay to laugh at yourself

What tips do you have for creating a memorable vacation?



Monday, May 15, 2017

Muffins with Mom – Mother’s Day

Mama's young men
Are you a proud Mama? Although Mother’s Day is recognized as the second Sunday in May, this entire week will be dedicated to celebrating mom’s. Kudos to you for all that you do for your family.

If you had to name one thing that you are proud of at this moment, what would it be? My source of parenting joy place right now is my youngest son’s accomplishments. The fact that he has grown/matured during his senior year of high school.

I have learned to celebrate the small accomplishments along the way-Rookie of the Year in Rugby, honor roll, acceptance to college. As my son’s Senior year of high school comes to a close, end of the year activities are underway. Most recently was his prom.

As you celebrate your proud Mama moment, here are a few words of encouragement.

YouTube Video Credit: Jamar 813

You are a great mother.