Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Slowing It Down

Today starts an 8 day stretch.  A stretch of time which I do not get to enjoy often enough.  Time I am able to spend completely with my family.  Today starts my only "long" vacation from work for the entire year.  I will be away from the chaos for 8 whole days!  I am excited for the mental break from work life.  I am more excited about just being a wife and mom for 8 whole days.

I have been looking forward to this for a long time.  A very long time.

Now the question is what will I do with the 8-9 hours more with my family duties.  Should I do more chores?  Plan wonderful things for us to do?  Nah.  I am going to just "be".  Enjoy what the day brings and enjoy the moments I usually miss out on.  The little things.  I plan to spend  my time on the little things and little ones in my life.

I will be slowing down for a bit, because let's face it, we often are moving too fast.

Moving too fast and we don't realize it until it is too late. 

Slowing it down...

Today I will put the brakes on the rush of it all and throw it in neutral for the ride.
An 8 day ride...
I am excited to see what this trip brings.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I submitted this to the work "Gratitude Writing Contest" and won some Starbucks from it this morning.

Mmmmm Coffee!
At first I was irritated that it took them over a month to send the results of the contest.  Then I thought about it a bit more and deciding it was genius.  Pure genius!  So many times we reflect on the things we are thankful for in that milestone month of November.  We often find ways to see the "good" in our hard times we have experienced over the past year. 
Then we go buy a ton of presents that mean nothing and forget about all those things we reflected on just weeks prior. 
So I challenge you to not forget.  And in the spirit of sharing, here is what I submitted.
Gratitude is an attitude.  It is a way of living.  Slowing down to appreciate all the small things we often take for granted.  Realizing that in one mere second, your life could change forever or end.  It is deeper than a simple thank you.  It is seeing the wonderfulness of each event in your life as a chance to better yourself for tomorrow.  A chance to better this world for the little ones we love so much.  Don’t allow the small things in life to cloud the big picture.  Strive to be gracious for each and every moment.
In the MommyRef house we will be creating a jar to place our best moments in for 2013.  Then we will be able to share those memories as a family next New Years Eve. 
Join us!  
365 days of Gratitude

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pay It Forward

What was I doing at 7am on a Saturday morning?  Standing in line at the store because I forgot we didn’t have milk on the way home from work the night before.  I know, why 7am...because the minions had already been up since 6am asking for took me an hour to listen.  So I decided to run to the store and surprise the kids with a rare treat of donuts since I would alread be out getting the milk I forgot.  Then of course I remembered I needed bananas and then I remembered I needed….well you get the picture.  An entire shopping cart later because I clearly have no self control I am finally in line. 

For those of you that shop early bird on a Saturday you know that they more often than not only have one register open.  The Express Lane.  Well I was by no means a qualifier for this lane but I had no other options so into the express I went with my cart of items.  I began to unload my cart…yes I did remember the milk I went for.  A young man got into line behind me.  He actually belonged there.  In his handle basket he had milk, hamburger meat, veggies, yogurt, and eggs.  I offered for him to go before me as I was still unloading my basket, with wheels.  He was thankful and stepped ahead. 

The checker rang him up as I continued to unload.  Then I overheard him asking about removing items from his total as he didn’t have enough money.  In that moment for a quick second I thought, how can you plan to buy all this if you don’t have the money to?  I began to judge...but then I stopped and from my lips came…  Here is $10 and keep the change.  The man looked at me in shock.  The checker paused to see if I was really serious.   This made me pause as well.  Had I just done that? Yes, I did.

The man grabbed my hand and said thank you.  A real heartfelt in his eyes.... Thank You.  He proceeded to tell us both that he had lost his job  a couple of weeks ago and hadn’t had time to put his unemployment check in the bank because he has been at the hospital with his wife and new preemie baby.  He was hoping to just grab a homemade meal with his 5 year son because he loves to BBQ hamburgers.  He thought he had more money in his wallet but remember when he heard the total that he had given $5 to a lady who needed bus fare from the hospital home and he didn’t have any ones.

I had no words.  I still have no words.  Pay It Forward Players.  Pay it forward.

Please share your own stories or plan a pay it forward of your own. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Undercover Writer - My Guest Post

When Miss Banana Pants asked me to write a guest post, I was really nervous to answer “yes”.  I actually read her request and did not respond at first because the original response was a swift "thanks, but no thanks”.  I am a rookie with this blogging/Facebook/writing thing. I don't entirely open up yet. I still hide the "real me" behind "The Mommy Ref" facade. Being new to the writing arena, I am often asked why I choose to "hide" who I am. Is it because I had something horrible happen in life?  Am I hiding to give me an opportunity to talk trash about the people closest to me?  Is the "real" me too afraid of being judged for my parenting decisions or life views by friends and family? Visit Miss Banana Pants.  To find out more!

Miss Banana Pants - Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts with your fans.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Ten down….many many more to go.  Today is the 10th of December and I am officially down 10 pounds since I started this little thing called taking care of myself.  Co-Workers are asking what my secret is but I don’t have one.  I am just finally taking care of me.  Making sure I have time to choose the right foods to get me through the day.  Forcing myself to get out there and “do” things.  Making sure I have time to be the fun Mom.  I got out there and got active instead of dictating how to play a game.  I was out there showing them (winning sometimes too).  You know all those things that we should be doing but we often get too distracted to do.  Shhh, I even got DaddyCool to dance with me in the kitchen while making breakfast.  At first the kids thought we were crazy….then they couldn’t stop laughing.  Go “be” a kid again, even if just for a little while.  It does wonders.  Promise

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Public Children

Parenting is hard. If it is not, then you are not doing it right. Don’t get me wrong some days, even weeks are smooth sailing. That is why many of us have more than one. Well that and they are so darn cute and funny. Do not forget the funny!!! The funny is what keeps us all going and this is by design so we won’t kill them! But really, parenting is hard! Whether you are a Domestic Engineer or work outside the home having kids is a full time adventure. So why do we make it so hard on each other as parents? If I had a dollar for every peer parent out there that started the comment off with…. “I know every child is different BUT…” I would be rolling in dough! I literally mean that because if I was that rich I could cross that item off my bucket list. I dream of the day….ok back on track here.

Recently I was invited to a Mom’s coffee on one of my very few days off. I was extremely excited that they would invite me to their weekly coffee. If you are a working mom you can relate…that is a whole new topic. I arrived to the meeting place and put my cheeks in the sit. The topics were normal, school, husbands, lack of help, blah blah blah. I listened and nodded but didn’t say much. Not because I didn’t want to because I didn’t need to. There was plenty of talking! Then one mom looks over at me and says, “Well your children are always so well behaved, maybe we should go work so someone else can raise our children too”. Pause…because I know you are.

I wanted to say many many things that would not be appropriate. I also wanted to ask her if what she was really saying was that she was capable of raising her own children? I mean really she is basically saying that she stays home all day to tend to them and is failing.

However, I simply smiled and told her that I have “public children”. They behave in public because we have always taught them there is no choice. If they want to go and do things they simply must behave. Ever since a young age we have given them jobs or tasks while we are out. They are included in the event not just brought along. Apparently I have six heads people….the looks…could…make one laugh. So I asked, don’t you include your kids in the things you are attempting to accomplish? I received no response.
So I asked a more simple question… do you make your children order their own food if you are out? I was amazed that they all said no. 

DaddyCool and I are not perfect, we are far far from it, but we use each and every event to create a learning opportunity for our children. Now do they know it, not always, but it builds them. Ever since they could speak clearly, we have encouraged them to speak up with eye contact to the server and order their own food. I cannot even count to number of benefits this provides them for the future. Public speaking, confidence, decision making on the spot, living with the choice they made… the list could go on. 

When we are driving down the street we price shop for gas and decide which station is cheaper and why. 

When we grocery shop they know to look for the price per xxx price and not just a price to find a bargain.

If we go through a drive thru we play a game called good or bad. Once we order the food (and roll up the window…very important) the kids rate the customer service of the speaker voice and then have to decide if they would return here solely based on service. This is a dangerous one as my youngest, 3, had his window open and blurted out, “Hey Momma he didn’t say please when he took your money”. The man, all of 19, looked in the car and say “You are right little man and I am sorry,” These are all life skills.

I am not sure I will be invited back for coffee on my next day off, but I am hoping I helped some children that morning. I think as parents we too often focus on all the things that others do or think we should. We need to do the best we can with what we have. Every home situation is different that is true…but all have down time, drive time, errands and other events that promote the opportunity to build and grow our kids to be better “people”. These are awesome opportunities to teach them what they won’t get in school and the most important stuff to get from YOU.

Oh and by the way…no one is allowed to drive in my car at any time I have kids in it or visit my house between the hours of 4pm and bedtime. It is just safer that way…..
Parents we are all in this together…..just play nice.