Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Years Eve! - Ringing in 2015!

Happy New Years eve, all!

*Cue brief and sappy reflective post. Cliche and unashamed.*

I always get excited for the New Year. It's a chance for a clean slate and new beginnings. There is something sincerely refreshing about that notion. And yes, I know the start of a new week could possibly be a clean state but I'm a slow mover and prefer to just wait the year out. Judge me not. 

This year I will be ringing in the new year the same way I rung in 2014. In bed. Husband, kids, and pup in tow. Surrounded by snacks, naturally. Laughing and yawning equally. Awaiting the final countdown to midnight so we can all get to bed. I've a geriatric soul at heart. Anytime after 10pm is entirely too late.  I can't hang.

2014 was a good year. It was the first year, in a long time, to be a year of consistency for my family. No moves. No new medical diagnosis', or school changes. No new headaches pets. I did, however, get a gym membership! That was new and fancy and short lived. I honestly wish this tidbit made the year feel different and progressive, but everything remains status quo over here! #foreverfat Oh well. Just another year older, ready to grasp the reigns of 2015 and take it on by storm. 

My 2014 new year resolutions were to love, dance, and read more. I think I held onto them reasonably well. Loved my family harder for sure! Attended a few Zumba classes. (That does count guys. Who are you? The resolution police?) And I read many great books, too! 

My 2015 New Year Resolution is to keep focus. I've many things I hope to achieve and do in the next few years. Too many things probably. And time isn't slowing down. Time, it seems, is like a steep hill and the further we go down this hill, or further into the future, the faster we seem to tumble. It's easy to loose focus, however; it's extremely important not to. Time is flying us by! It's essential for me to keep my vision clear and not focus on life's insignificant bumps and distractions along the way. I simply want to put my best foot forward. Focusing on every step of the way! Word of the day? Focus!

I pray 2015 is another year of consistency. Just another year of good health. Another year of achievements. Another year of joy. For myself. For the Messy Household. For all of us. Christ willing.  

2015 has already promised me so much. I start a  new position at work Jan 5th! Hooray to career changes! RT will be officially in the double digits and QT a whooping 8 years old! Hooray for  my earlier point being made! Time flies!! I'm looking forward to my becoming a brand new aunt in 2015! Hooray for this precious baby boy! Taking my boys to Disney World for the first time! Hooray for empty bank accounts! And bringing more material and posts to this blog! Woo hoo!

Most importantly, I'm looking forward to my resolution. Focus! On Christ. On my family. On my goals. 



I hope 2014 was good to all of you and my prayer is 2015 will be ever better!

Warmly, 
Messy Momma



What are some things you appreciated in 2014 and are looking forward to in 2015? Comment below!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Vanilla Sugar Scrubs: Crafty Creative

Hey there!

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, I am singing. Yes, you are lucky you cannot hear me.

Christmas is quickly approaching and I truly cannot wait! I'm grateful I started early with the Messy Household. Everything is purchased and even wrapped! When I'm behind on things it can really suck the joy out of the season. Thankfully there will be no Grinch over here this Christmas! But lo' and behold - I have found myself last minute with something. A fun gift for my beautiful mother and lovely sisters. Also, getting out the family Christmas cards but who is really keeping track? 

I've been searching the beautiful black hole that is Pinterest for a fun idea that would be both thoughtful, useful, and economically sound. My pockets are running dry this Christmas season. Luckily, I found such a great idea for my mother and sisters!



Vanilla Sugar Scrub!




Look how fancy and festive they are with their miniature bows and santa hat background. & of course I've made one for myself. I can't wait to try it out!



And you can, too! I found the recipe for them here: Vanilla Sugar Scrub



Here's a brief and delicious overview of the benefits of the ingredients:

Sugar: Sugar exfoliates and rids the skin of dead skin cells. 

Honey: Honey is firstly delicious. Not the best reason to slab it all over your body? Okay. Point made. Honey is both an antioxidant and moisturizer for your skin. 
Olive Oil: Moisturizer.
Vanilla: Subtle and charming aroma. 

I just know they're going to love them!


Merry Merry Christmas, all!



What are some great and economically savvy ideas you've on your Christmas lists this year? 






Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Prayers for the Stolen: Book Review

Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement was not only shared the story of Ladydi Martinez; it shared the story of many young girls, women, and the tragedies to be had on that small mountain face in Guerrero, Mexico.



​I was hooked the entire time. Every part of Ladydi's life story held me in it's haunted grasp. It was an emotional, well written and quick pace read about the abduction of girls, life in the rural jungle, drug wars, murder, deceit, poverty, lies, and love.

The times when it felt poetic were the most beautiful. Jennifer Clement did a wonderful job with imagery. You will feel what Ladydi felt, smell what she smelt, and see what she saw. ​
I felt the important characters were completely developed. The author developed them through experiences and interactions with others. ​Ladydi's mother was my favorite character. She was peculiar in many ways; indirectly praying for things, speaking what was on her mind and nothing less, and being brave at the most uncomfortable times when one would crumble in defeat. And even though she was displayed as a truly rigid woman, many times it was clear there were several soft spots underneath her crusted exterior. ​

As a disclaimer, there are bouts of strong language, violent and sexual themes throughout the book. 

Thank you to Blogging for Books for a complimentary copy for my honest review. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Messy Momma, you're not alone.

I created this blog as a creative outlet. I'm big on jumping into a new project at every twinkling of inspiration I feel and then letting go when inspiration has left me. 

I was feeling less than inspired and with life's constant demands, I wasn't finding the time for posting.

Until this morning. 

Last night, QT told me his framed Spider-Man Comic cover fell from the wall. (He was trying to put something in between the frame. Something he obviously shouldn't be doing.) I told him to set it aside and I would fix it later and to next time leave it alone. 

This morning, as I turn on the light to wake them up and come into their room to give them some morning inspiration, I notice the frame to the Spider-Man poster board was played with and now completely cracked. (This was a poster frame, an expensive purchase, and a sincere effort to make their room stylish, unique, and new for them in the new house. This poster lasted 6 months.)

I was annoyed.

Inspiration struck me again. It was a reminder why I created this blog in the first place. Am I the only parent who has to deal with this? Are my kids the only destructive beings around? 

I know QT isn't the "norm." But is there really such a thing? Sometimes, getting him to do something he has no interest in doing takes repeated efforts, stern reminders, and sometimes bribing. But, isn't this something all parents face? 

I spend time on Pinterest, eyes glazed over with pure envy, looking at the mommy bloggers who seem to have it all together. Everything is neat. No stains on kids cute matchy matchy outfits. Big smiles.Toys put away. Fun adventures. Perfection. And they still have time to up cycle furniture and do Pilates. And I think how my life doesn't represent this, 25% of the time. Who are these people?!

In the Messy household, it's yelling, disorder, noise, mess, but love. The love is what's important. 

Just this past weekend, I went out with my mom and sister and a family friend and her family and all I asked were for nice smiles. 

Examples: 



Hunched over with forced smiles. Their best effort. 

Here were 90% of what the others looked like:



This is my life.

I created this blog so that other Messy Momma's can know they're not alone. That in other houses too, the laundry seems to multiply every few minutes, stepping on multiple unforeseen Legos seems to be a right of passage into parenthood, the kids often wear mix-match socks, and frozen pizza for the second night in the row sometimes just has to do. And it's all okay.

As long as love and forgiveness will always be what's not only present but what's in abundance, you're doing okay Momma. 

We just need to remind ourselves, sometimes. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten: Book Review!

The Christmas season is upon us and unrelenting but if you're anything like me, you're Buddy the elf. The Christmas season sets you in a mood of absolute joy. From decorations and music to the movies and family there's so much to look forward to this time of year and I celebrate as soon as I can. Once the weather is chilly, it's automatically Christmas season to me!

"I just like to smile, smiling's my favorite" - Buddy, (Elf 2003)

Alongside the fun commercial aspect of this time of year, is the REAL reason Christmas should be celebrated. The birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The best Christmas present of all! 

During Christmas, to keep myself in the festivities of it all, I love a good Christmas themed novel with a strong family and faith foundation. Christmas, 2014, I'm recommending Where Treetops Glisten: Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II. This is a wonderfully written historical romance set during the difficult time period this country faced during World War II. Please see below my review!



"Where Treetops Glisten: Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II is a book of 3 novellas, each beautifully written by a different author, Sarah Sundin, Cara Putman, and Tricia Goyer. They told the stories of the Turner family during the Christmas season during the early 1940s during World War II.

Each story was perfectly woven and well blended with one another. It was an all around heartfelt read, focusing on family, Christian faith, sorrow, and joy. All elements we face and can truly relate to during the Christmas season. If you enjoy a historic fiction book, alongside a deep yearning for the Christmas spirit, and a little romance, then this is the truly book for you.

Each novella played it's part in displaying the real trials families faced during this time and the relentless hope that one  longed for and the timeless magic the Christmas season can bring. I loved that the book surrounded the Turner family and each novella highlighting this time period perfectly.
It was a pleasure to read!

Thank you to Blogging For Books for a complimentary copy for my honest review."

I recommend you to cozy up with a copy of this book today! Below is a link of the book on Amazon.com.

Where Treetops Glisten

Cheers to the beginning of this magical season!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from Blogging For Books for my honest review. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Gifts for the Step-Father on Father's Day!




Although our Papi currently has no biological children of his own, he is very much a Father everyday! He deserves much praise on Father's Day. Below I've listed things to get a step-father and to recognize him on Father's Day. 

Homemade father's day gifts are usually the most sentimental and cheapest! Here are some sentimental ideas for the step-dad:

Create a homemade booklet. The front could read, (insert what the children call him.) is the best step-dad because... Each page inside could be dedicated to a separate great quality accompanied by drawings and a lot of color. 

Cook him his favorite dinner and bake his favorite dessert. A man likes to eat right? Why not give him the exact meal his stomach desires. He will not only appreciate the thought and gesture, but he will appreciate the time and effort as well. 

My boys say the funniest things. A great way to get some laughs out of your husband would be to comprise a set of questions and have the kids answer. What is he good at? What is something he is bad at? What superhero does he remind you of? He smells like? Where does he want to travel? The possibilities are endless! (The laughs will be, too.)

A clean home. Our Papi, being the neat freak his is, would love nothing more than to have a clean home. Sparkling. Shining. No sign of the messy clan in sight. Smelling of fresh laundry and bleach. After church, and time at my parents, this is something he would love to relax in. Not making any promises, this serves only as a suggestion to this list. ha!

If money isn't an issue, purchase him gifts that will mean something and that he'll truly value. Not just ties, cuff-links, tools, or any other typical Father's Day gifts. Does he have a favorite sports team? Purchase him tickets to a game. Does he have any particular hobbies? Buy him something that correlates with that interest. Since the weather has been warm has he been itching for the beach? Drive him to the beach for the day. What are his go-to treats and snacks? Papi loves Snickers. Maybe we'll throw a couple in a gift bag for him this year!

There are so many cute ideas for more complicated crafts and personalized gifts you can find online. There are infinite ideas. Most importantly, we need to recognize our husbands for their efforts and all they do in our children's lives. There's nothing like a dad. 

Happy Early Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

7 Way to Get Inspired to Write

As an artist, (yes, writers are most certainly artists), there are times when we feel.. less than inspired. Perhaps, it's the sink full of dishes. Or, the crying children. Maybe, it's the day to put the bills in the mail. Sometimes life can just drag us down to the point where it's hard inspire what we write and furthermore, harder to get ourselves to write. 

It's tough. I admit. Coming up with blog posts. Sometimes the will power just isn't there to get it done. My blog posts are all family and faith related; however, my realization of lack of inspiration actually inspired me to write this post! Writing is honestly one of my favorite things to do, but how does one overcome those days where writing another post is the last thing one would want to do? What about that novel you've been working on? What can you do to keep it going? What can you do to finally finish it? 



Below are someways to simply be inspired:

1. Read: Reading can give me the same escape writing does. I can find myself lost in a book and lose hours reading and meeting new characters. Reading can inspire me as well. It sparks my own creativeness and inspire me to begin writing again. Plus to be a writer, it is essential you are  reader as well. Stuck? Hop into a book!

2. Blog: If you're working on writing a book, whether it's your first or your fifty-first, blogging is a sure way to help get those creative muscles working. If your blog is different than the novel you're working on, writing for your blog is an excellent source of practicing. What do I mean by that? Writing is a talent. Just as playing the violin or running track would be. It's important we practice. Blogging is a great way to practice and to find inspiration.

3. Be alone: Spending time alone is one of the greatest ways to spark inspiration. It leaves you alone with your thoughts. Prayer and meditation helps. However, don't just sit alone on your couch at home in attempts to conjure up some ideas. Get outside. Walk around your neighborhood. Look at the beauty of nature, the birds in the sky, and the animals scurrying in your path. Go to a nearby cafe and eavesdrop. Listen to people talk, to the way they interact with one another. Sit at a local park and just people watch. Pay attention to their outfits, their gestures, their activities, and whom they are with. All ways wonderful ways to get inspired. 

4. Spend time together: Spending good quality time with those you love is always a sure way to help enhance your writing or simply inspire you. Listening to your husband tell a funny story about his work day can inspire you to take a comical turn in a work in progress you've sitting on your laptop. Watching your children play or talk about their day at school can inspire you to write a blog on family time, or use those experiences to enhance a story. 

5. Sleep: Give that overworked brain a rest. Sometimes it's as simple as that. People are often inspired by a dream. Who knows what great message will be sent to you during that nap?

6. Happiness: Personally, eating tacos with my husband and children is one of my absolute favorite things to do. It makes me truly happy. Going to church. Reading a great book. Watching a TV show that both my husband and I enjoy. Rubbing Chubby's belly. These things bring true joy to my life. They inspire me to write and they inspire my writing. Little pieces of your joy are always going to be sprinkled into what you write. That's the beauty of being a writer. We're raw. Open. We leave much of us on the paper. Let happiness be an inspiration. 

7. Do something different: What's something you've never done before? Drive in movie theater? Rollerblading in the park? Running a local marathon? Being adventurous can really get those creative juices flowing. Allow experience and life to inspire you to not only write but also inspire what story you tell. 

Writing is a beautiful gift and art. It's up to us to continue sharing it. Inspiration lies everywhere, we must pay attention.

What are some things you do to stay inspired? Comment below!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Papi and I's Summer 2014 Bucket List




I was adamant about creating and following through on my 30 x 30 list: 30 things I hoped to achieve before I turned 30 years old! I griped Papi for days to complete his. My griping has only landed him 4 items and they were most likely all my ideas. (Mine is still a few short - I'm letting time inspire me!)

Some things I've been able to cross off my list half way to 30 are:

1. Receive my Bachelor's degree.
2. Traveling outside the county again.
3. Purchasing a home.

A few things I still hope to achieve:

1. Teach the boys something unique.
2. Knit something amazing! (Actually, completing a knitting project I've started would be more realistic.)
3. Complete and publish a novel.

After periodically skimming over my list, I thought about what great fun it would be to great a bucket list as a couple! Below is Papi and I's FUN summertime bucket list!

1. Get a trip in to the beach.- We go every year, usually just for the day with the kiddies. I'm not a beach person, yes we exist, so one day is all I can possibly muster.

2. Have movie marathon day in bed. - Yes, I mean the entire day in bed with all of our favorite movies. With the AC on and snacks surrounding us.Sounds like absolute heaven.

3. Play 1 on 1 basketball game at our local park.

4. See a movie at a drive-in theater. Neither one of us has been to one before. It's great trying new things together as a couple.

5. Celebrate our 2nd year anniversary somewhere new and different.

Creating a short seasonal bucket list is a great way to keep your marriage fresh and fun which is so important! 

Papi and I at a recent Phillies game enjoying the beautiful weather spring brings. Sports events are always a great way to spend time together in the summer!  (I wasn't as amused as my sports guy - It was late on a work night, can you blame me?) 

What are some FUN things you and your husband are looking to accomplish this summer?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Messy Musings: A Letter to my Mother

Dear Mommy,

I am so proud to be your daughter. I am so thankful to be your daughter. You are a strong, intelligent, and beautiful woman. I attribute much of who I am, to you. You have supported me throughout my life in more ways than one. You've taught me how to be a lady, a mother, and wife merely by me looking at you. You are a woman of class. And sass. Ha! You are a woman of honor and great strength! A breast cancer survivor!!! You are a fellow "Messy Momma." Although everything isn't always dusted, everyone is taken care of. Everyone is happy. You are a fellow dreamer but you're also thankfully very literal. You're my go-to for advice. You will always be the first person I can in times panic. (Choking kids, bursted pipe,etc.) You've all the answers. Sometimes not what I want to hear but always what I need to hear. You've sacrificed so much for me and my sisters. I hope we are all making you proud!!

Cheers to you Mommy!! Thank you for everything. I love you to the end of time!!

Love,
Squinky



Happy Early Mother's Day to all  from Messy Momma!!!

God bless xX

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

In honor of Mother's Day this weekend. Here's my beautiful mother. The kids call her "Gammie." Mothers have to be one of God's most precious gifts.



She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 

Proverbs 31:26-27




Monday, May 5, 2014

Yoga On the Steps 2014 and Breast Cancer Awareness

Hello all!!

In honor of Mother's day this weekend, all the posts will be Mother's Day and all things mother related! Here's a way to get involved in bringing awareness and raising money towards finding a cure for breast cancer. This is a subject that has hit home for us in the Messy Momma household, multiple times, and is unfortunately touching families everywhere! I will be at this event. (Team Tattaroo) This event is taking place Sunday, May 18th from 8a - 12p. Below is more detailed information on the event:

Please join us in 2014, for our 13th annual “Yoga on the Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “Yoga on the Steps” is LBBC’s signature fundraising event and engages and connects over 2,000 participants at a large, outdoor yoga class suitable for all ages and all skill levels. “Yoga on the Steps” educates the community about healthy living and quality-of-life-issues while creating awareness and raising funds for LBBC’s education and support programs - which are always provided for little or no cost.

For over 20 years, Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) has been providing educational resources and support services to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and their families. Through your donations, LBBC has continued to expand services to help navigate the way through a breast cancer diagnosis. LBBC has earned its national reputation for delivering responsible, clear, credible and comforting information to individuals affected by breast cancer.

Registration (includes yoga class, Yoga on the Steps commemorative shirt and event “goodie bag”):
Adults: $20
Youth (11-18): $10
Children (10 and under): Free

Registration: 8:00 a.m.
Yoga Class: 9:30 a.m
Healthy Living Expo: 11:00 a.m


Click here for even more information. Please be advised, I know NOTHING about Yoga but I do know I'm supporting a great cause! It's sure to be a great time!!


Below are some knowledgeable links on the topic and/or other ways to get involved in the fight:

Susan G. Komen

-- 5K This link takes you to a search that will allow you to find a 5K SGK walk near you. I will also be at this event. 

CDC

WebMD



In loving memory of Roxanne Johnson. Our ladybug in heaven. You are greatly missed.



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Messy Momma Musings: Rest!


Super mom? More like super tired? Who's with me?!! 

Is there any right way to manage our time, ladies? To juggle the important components in our lives? To make the crucial decisions? The answer is simpler than you think and perhaps not what you want to hear:  Just do it! 

As mothers, wives, Christians, co-workers, etc. we find ourselves wearing many hats. Each hat with it's own responsibility. It's own messiness. And while each of us approaches our various tasks differently, we all must simply "do it." (This is not in any way shape or form an endorsement for Nike, however, a recognizability in the power behind two, two letter words. Do it!")

I know life can get busy! We've so many obligations that we're constantly going throughout the week. (The reason for my messiness and madness!) How often do we have time to just sit and stare at the walls, enjoying quiet and solitude? I hear some Mommas asking what quiet and solitude even is. I hear you ladies. I completely understand. 

I find quiet and solitude is just as important as the rest of the weeks scheduled events. Having "Momma time" allows you to recharge as to not end your day locked in the bathroom crying hysterically while little fingers wiggle under the door. The horror. I do not wish this scenario on your any of you. Make your rest a priority. Schedule it in. Do it! 

Use your quiet time to spend with God. Praying and talking to him. Reading His word. Thanking him. Also, what were some hobbies you were into before your family grew in size? Take some time to enjoy those activities again! 

Isn't he just the most precious pup you've ever seen!? 


Have your husband take the kids out to a movie, the basketball court, the local YMCA, or even downstairs in your basement or den. You need some you time, Momma! The house chores can wait at the bottoms of your to-do list but your sanity cannot! (Chores weren't even on my list but I digress.) 

Enjoy!

God Bless xX 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Messy Momma Musings: Loving Our Differences


QT: I'm done my homework. 

Me: Bring it here so I can check it.

QT: I've already checked it.

Me: Q, bring it here.

I grab his homework and he has completed his homework correctly. Not only that, he has accented it with a star. (Teachers method of saying job well done.)

Me: ::struggling not to laugh:: What's this star?

QT: It's a star with a smiley face. 

He says with such conviction and sincerity, I can do nothing but respond with, "Nice." The star goes there when his work is correct. No fun and games about it. His work was correct. Next topic. 

This is not out of the norm for my baby boy. 

He knows what he knows. Likes what he likes. Does what he wants. Lives in a world of literalness. 

Like when he seemed down one morning and his teacher asked him where his shine was. QT was so upset at the interpreted insult. 

QT: Shine? What shine? I don't shine! 

Teach: Your sparkle. Your swag. 

She tried explaining to no avail because my boy knows, humans are opaque. We simply don't shine. 

There's no one more loving than him. He sees an animal and literally melts into a puddle of love from the sight. He's very forgiving, always willing to turn the other cheek. He loves to read. (Almost to a fault. It's extremely difficult to get his head out of a book!) He loves to sing and dance. He loves to be happy! 

The great stories about this great boy are absolutely endless. I'm blessed to be his Momma!!

Although, having a child who needs are different is an everyday challenge; however, having him as a son is truly an everyday blessing. I don't like to harp on what makes him different because we're all different. He's too great of a little boy to shed too much light on it. God has called me, in spite of me and all my messiness to be his Momma. I will never take this gift for granted.



Sometimes we all need to sit back and thank God for our blessings. In spite of our challenges, there is such joy that we should be taking advantage of and enjoying! Laughing at the little things. Rejoicing in the big things. God's plan isn't always ours, but trusting in Him is beyond important. It's crucial. He's thankfully in control. 

God bless all the Messy Mommas with special children!! Xx

Share some of your heartfelt stories below! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easy Ways to Maximize Family Time Together

After working all day, packing lunches, getting dinner ready, and checking homework, the last thing on our minds is the dusty living room mantel or that the kitchen floor that desperately needs to be mopped. These things are always the last things on my mind! Constantly running from one sports practice to a birthday party here and an after-school program to a scouts meeting there, life as a mother  is a life constantly on the go. Spending valuable time as a family is important and here are some easy ways to maximize your family time together.
Chores can easily fall behind. Do the chores together! As a family, designate an hour or two of time together where you can dust, mop, weed, and wash, each member taking on their own personal vital role in getting everything done. You can make it into a game, or turn on good music and dance while getting it done. This will teach the children the value of taking care of their fair share of household duties as well as lessening the load of the parents. For some, (definitely me!) chores are a bore, but they need to get done regardless, right? Working together can turn a drag into a delight! 
During the work week, life can be an unvarying green light, but there are ways to take advantage of this. Use car rides as a way to turn off the radio and talk with your children. Ask them about their day at school: Who did they sit with at lunch or how did their history test go? Use this as time to discuss family weekend plans or future family vacations. Or even get to know them better: what great books have they read lately or TV shows that interest them.
If you find some free time in your evening schedule, spend time watching your child’s favorite TV show alongside them, or help them study, or act as a live audience while they practice their musical instruments. Once you begin dinner invite them into the kitchen to help you prepare that evenings meal. While it’s cooking, pack the next day’s lunch together. This will save you time in the morning and teach the children some great cooking skills early on! These small moments of a quality time can mean a lot to your children.
Give yourself more time. This means don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Cook a larger dinner if possible so that leftovers can be served the next night and you’ll have more time the following the day. Create a structured environment at home: specific place for schoolbags and sneakers or toys and books for your children to place their things. This will help eliminate clutter and save you and your child more clean up time in the end. Invest in a crock-pot. Throw ingredients in earlier in the day and dinner will be prepared right on time!
Moving forward, being a busy mother doesn't always mean that you are never around or too exhausted to be mentally present. Above are all easy and minimal tips to help make best use of your time together as a family.
What are some ways you try to maximize family time together throughout your weeks? 
God bless xX

This article was originally posted here: Working Mother's Philadelphia Some changes have been made.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Messy Musings: With God ALL things are possible.

It's so easy to doubt ourselves, isn't it? It's easy to forget all the wonderful gifts and strengths we have. To forget God is ALWAYS on our side. Encouraging us. Using us. Molding us. He wishes us nothing but greatness and love. He wishes for nothing but us always! He's amazing!!

It's important to remember in times of self doubt and worry that God is right there with you. Holding your hand. Touching your heart. Using you for the plan He has specifically for you. 


Here's a fun story where trusting in the Lords strength would have been useful to QT during a difficult time of self doubt: 

The entire Messy clan and I were meeting my mother and sister in town in a little. The kids had a late breakfast so I decided to make them an early dinner/late lunch. I quickly threw some frozen ravioli stuffed with spinach and cheese on the stove while we took turns taking showers and getting ready. (Yes, it was late in the afternoon and we were just getting dressed. We're friends, right? Don't judge us. It was the weekend. Getting dressed is often optional.) Moving forward, QT is the last to come downstairs to eat. He shouted he wasn't hungry for a good 20 minutes straight, and once he was tired of the back and forth, he decided was in fact hungry. While cleaning up, I glance over at the dinning room table, to a lonely curly haired QT sitting at the table, staring at his seemingly untouched plate. 

Me: QT, did you finish your dinner?

QT: I was eating until I saw green stuff in my ravioli.

Me: it's just Spinach. 

QT: ::clearly annoyed:: Okay. 

I imagine he muttered to himself, 'Help me Lord.' a few times before he mustered up the strength to try again. He lifted the ravioli to his face to take a bite as if there were worms crawling on it. The expression on his face - absolutely painful. He proceeded to finish his meal using this uncomfortable method as if he were in an episode of Fear Factor and he were going for the grand prize! That's my QT - dramatics always!

However, there was no grand prize here. Just strong will and no choice. (More so no choice.) During times when we have no other choice, I hope we always call upon The Lord for strength and trust Him always. Prayer is a powerful tool!! 

Always remember during trials of self doubt, with God ALL things are possible! 

Take some time today to reflect on the times when you didn't know how you were going to make it.. Whether it be health, financial, spiritual, etc. During those times, didn't it seem like all hope is lost? Well, look at you now! Leave a comment. Share your story. Encourage other sisters and brothers in Christ. 

Xx

Friday, April 18, 2014

Messy Musings: A Letter of Gratitude!

Marriage is such a beautiful and sacred thing that no "Messy Momma Musing" would every be able to accurately display it's greatness into words. When the Lord if your foundation in marriage, you truly have an awesome thing. I'm thankful that Papi and I's faith is the playbook to our marriage.

As I'm writing this, (probably not accurate to when you'll actually read this but..) it's currently around 35 degrees outside and a Friday night. Papi is watching a basketball game and the kids are playing video games. Papi knew I was tired and sent me to the bedroom to relax. He said he'd keep an eye on the kiddos so I could rest. I'm happily wrapped in a blanket, reflecting on this gift God has given me. As it often happens, when I think of the blessings God has given me, an overwhelming sense of gratitude overcomes me. So, as I lay here as a giant human burrito, I thought I'd write my husband a quick public thank you...because he absolutely hates just adores this sort of thing!

Dear Esposo,

Thank you for coming home from a hard day of work and allowing me to crawl shamelessly into the bed at 6:30pm to play around on my phone take a nap. Thank you for making the rugrats dinner, and then making another dinner when they expressed their distaste for chimichangas. Thank you for asking about our days, scratching Chubby behind the ears, and watching the game downstairs as to not disturb my rest. Thank you, for praying for us each and every night. For answering our sports related questions DURING the game. (Exactly what RT and QT are doing right now.) For loving us still, as you pass the collections of our week scattered throughout the house, never anything in it's appropriate places. For being a man of organization but lovingly accepting a Messy Momma and her two messy piglets into your world of order. Thank you for supporting my dreams. All one million and one of them. (How I wish that was some sort of exaggerated number...) Most importantly, thank you for being a wonderful man of God. I love you.

Love always,
Esposa




Take some time and thank the ones you are grateful for today!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday


"There's power in looking silly and not caring that you do." Amy Poehler


QT


 RT



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Social Links!

Our social links are to the right. However here they are! 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MessyMomma?id=235915616591849&refsrc=http%3A%2F%2Fmessymommah.blogspot.com%2F&_rdr

Twitter: 

https://www.twitter.com/messy_momma 

Messy Musings: Homework Time!

Is it just me, or does the overjoyed, euphoric feeling you first felt when you realized school on all levels was finally over get violently ripe away from you every time you assist your child with their homework? Branching off that, does an overwhelming feeling of shame wash over you when you've no clue what's going on?! It can't be just me! God bless all teachers and parents who home school!!

Although homework time can be a great opportunity for bonding and a time to reflect on the wondrous growth of your child both inteligently and physically, homework time can also lasso in less positive things. Lie a frustrated child and sometimes a frustrated Momma, too!

Looking over his math homework, RT let's out a defeated sigh, pushing the homework away from him.

RT: I'm going to get it wrong. I'm just not good at this stuff.

Papi: Give it a try. Just try.

After blowing my nose, (I'm not only messy! I'm very emotional, too!) I managed to snap this photo of my dear husband giving a helping hand to my sweet boy.



It is little life moments lie this that remind us to appreciate the little things always. Have a good week, all!

God bless xX

Friday, April 11, 2014

Messy Momma Musings: Reflections of His Love

As I drove into work this morning, I saw an older man standing in his driveway as an older woman, presumably his wife, (I don't know these people - assumptions) backed out of their driveway in a red mini van. The home was quaint with a yard filled with flowers, bushes, and little trinkets. It looked well lived in and made me feel as if home was truly where their hearts were. I watched as the man mouthed I love you, (Or olive juice - who am I to say?) and the woman mouthed it back. It made my heart skip a beat! How beautiful! This couple could have been married one day or married a 100 years, but that love was there, it was evident, and it was strong. It stayed on my mind the rest of the way to work. Love is just awesome and it truly makes me so happy to see.

Love has the same effect on me when I think about God's love. His love for us is great. He's standing outside to mouth I love you before we drive off to work. He's also in the car with us in our travels. He's next to us in our cubicles while we work. He's always with us. Keeping us safe. Always expressing His love for us. How can we not appreciate that? How do we allow our hearts to not skip a beat but to expect His grace. We're horrible sinners. All of us. No matter how we depict ourselves on social media or in front of family and friends; deep down, we're all the same. Broken. Weak. Imperfect. Dirty. Unworthy. Incomplete. Messy. Sinners. Yet, His love for us remains. Always. How awesome is that? 

As a self-admitting "Messy" Momma, I recognize my many flaws and because of this I can truly realize how unworthy I am of His love. This quote by Ann Tatlock explains this concept clearly:

“Here's the paradox. We can fully embrace God's love only when we recognize how completely unworthy of it we are.” 

Love is a beautiful thing. In small moments where you see acts of love it's a great reminder of God's infinite and unbreakable love for you. Embrace His grace. Accept His son. Be gracious for your many blessings. Trust in His plan. Share His love and word. Always love one another. Let love be an inspiration! 

Olive Juice! Xx

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Worldless Wednesday

If any day was acceptable for the duck face it would be everyday birthdays!!!
Happy Birthday, sister! I love you tons!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fun Indoor Activities for the Family

It's been one heck of a winter! I suppose, because the last couple were pretty mild, God said, "I owe you!" Ha!  With temperatures in the teens and mountains of snow, it was simply not suitable weather for kids to play outside in. Not only does cold weather prevent us from going outside, so does the unbearable heat, and spring showers!  So, in honor of it FINALLY being spring, here are some indoor activities to do together as a family!
Purchase a canvas for each member of the family and paint! Have everyone pick two or three colors of their choice of acrylic paints which are relatively cheap at your local arts and crafts store. Equip each member with paint, brushes, and even a paint palette! Once completed and dried, hang the masterpieces in a special place in the home for everyday enjoyment. We did this in the Messy Momma household recently. We all painted a picture of our home! The variations are so.. interesting, but it's a great memory to hang in the living room!
Receiving a letter has become a memory of the past due to our advances in technology. (Can you tell I'm all about writing?!) Have the kids write a letter (or draw a picture depended upon the age) to an aunt, grandparent, or family friend. Have you and your husband join in on this almost forgotten art, too!
If you are looking to gain some exercise and want to shake off those winter blues, conduct a freeze dance party right in your living room! It helps to get the giggles and relentless energy of out everyone! This is a huge hit here!
Entertainment is important and plays are fun! Have the children put on a play. Help them choose costumes and equipment and sit back and enjoy their imaginations run wild!
All of the above activities are great ideas for a simple night in or because of inclement weather. Of course there are our old time favorites: board games, movies, baking, hide and seek, camping out indoors etc. Whatever you choose to do - stay dry and wait for the May flowers!

This article has been previously posted:   Working Mothers Philadelphia Some of it has been changed. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

RT Reviews: Lego Movie

This is a guest post by RT. - MM


Hey guys! I just want to tell you about the Lego Movie. My favorite part is when Emmett becomes a master builder because it was cool. I recommend this movie. Remember guys everything is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 


Hey guys this is me in my Ninjago shirt. This was a good movie, too. It's also a TV show. 




He makes me one proud Momma!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Messy Musings: Encouraging Your Child to Write!

In a digitally run world, sadly, the use of pen and paper has dwindled quickly. However, the appreciation for it doesn't have to! As a mother of a 9 year old boy who finds anything without controls, buttons, and noise of some sort a small step below torture, I knew I had to find a way to encourage him to write and further more, dare I say, enjoy the craft, too! My big idea, you ask? Pen pals!

I e-mailed a few of my friends with children around my son's age with the idea and gladly everyone responded with great interest. Not only should catching up and meeting new friends be exciting, but who doesn't love the anticipation of waiting to receive a letter back from your pen pal. Some fun stationary and cool colored pens and he's sure to enjoy this experience. He has no choice. It'll be great fun!

If you find yourself having difficulty motivating your own child with writing, below are some fun ideas! I hope some of them will be exactly what you need for your little one!

Journals. Have your son or daughter journalize their thoughts, a prayer, or the days events everyday before bed! This private way will have writing become an outlet rather then a chore. Also, a book full of memories for them to look back on!

Writing games. Writing games can be whatever you make it to be. An example would be purchasing a notebook for you and your child to share. You can start a story and have your child finish it. You could write a funny joke and have your child answer it. There are so many possibilities!

Create a "Writing Center." Create a special and comfortable area in your home where your child can be encouraged to write. This space could be used for homework, penpals, creativeness, etc.

Have you needed to think outside the box to encourage and motivate your child in a subject of school? What things did you do?

As always, be the example you want to set!

God bless xX

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Welcome!

FYI - this blog will be active effective APRIL 1st! So until then, bookmark us and stay tuned!!!