WFMW: When Moving is Bittersweet

We moved into our house Dec. 10, 2004.

We moved out July 27, 2012.

My older kids were 4 and 2 years old. There are a million memories dancing around the halls of that house.

We are super excited about this new chapter in our lives, but transitions can be challenging.

I borrowed this idea from my friend Shannon (the originator of WFMW): find a secret spot in the house and write down a favorite memory. We also wrote down our move in/out date. The new buyers will probably never see it, but my kids will never forget it!


We are making good progress on getting settled. And my kids are at their grandparents farm for the rest of week. I can’t remember the last time my hubby and I were HOME ALONE.

I’ll see y’all later.

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FB Giveaway {Announcement}

You might remember this massive giveaway that I hosted with these lovely blogging ladies: Jessica from The Mom Creative; The Nester; Jessica from Allora Handmade; Megan from Sorta Crunchy; Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy; Lisa-Jo from The Gypsy Mama; Hayley from The Tiny Twig and Kristen from Rage Against the Mini Van.

Thousands of you liked their awesome Facebook pages and checked out their blogs. Today I am pleased to announce the winners.

And the grand prize is an incredible gift basket including all of the following:

Grand Prize winner: Breann Wozniak

CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners!

This giveaway is restricted to US residents only. Thank you to all the amazing businesses who contributed to this giveaway, especially to Becky Higgins LLC for The Project Life kit and Xyron for the 5″ machine and adhesive – two of my most favorite companies.

End Summer With a Splash {Giveaway}

UPDATE:  Comment #12 has been randomly selected as the winner.  Congratulations Kirsten!

Sometimes an overnight staycation is exactly what you need.

Several weeks ago, before our summer got really crazy, we enjoyed a day/night on the town over Father’s Day weekend, just before we traveled to Kenya.

We checked into The Woodlands Resort (North of Houston, Texas) and the person in charge checked out the amenities.

My son checked out the rollaway bed. He was pretty excited about it:

My daughter found snow cones around the pool and the fun was just starting.

When we got back to our room, we devoured an afternoon snack (my kids were so impressed)

The night ended with a Dive-In Movie around the pool. But I’m not going to lie, my favorite part was the super, amazing, deluxe breakfast the next morning before church.

There were seriously about 200 choices!

It was an awesome weekend!

I’m happy to announce The Woodlands Resort is providing give away an Oasis of Fun package that is an overnight stay for two adults (and up to two kids) plus breakfast for four! It includes many amenities like the amazing pools, sauna, steam room, Fitness Center and Forest Oasis Waterscape.

Please check out The Woodalands Resort and leave a comment if you’d like to win!

This giveaway ends on Friday.

Parenting: How to Go for the Real Gold

It was 1984 and I was 12 years old.

I watched Mary Lou Retton flip and flop in the Olympics. I wore a leotard and leg warmers and cheered her to gold.

It’s surreal as I plan to watch history unfold this weekend with my own 12 year old daughter.


How did I get so old?

I’m on this parenting path and I’m running this race dodging obstacles and trying to avoid getting off course.

But it’s hard and I’m an amateur.

The other night, my daughter tapped on our door. It was hours past her bedtime, but I could tell it was serious by the look on her face. She slowly walked to the side of my bed clutching a folded letter in her hands.

She handed it to me and started crying.

My heart thundered as I read her carefully printed confession. It told of how she deliberately disobeyed us. And how she quickly discovered with her secret choice, there was no joy. She was riddled with guilt.

I have never been more proud of my daughter. 

Sure, I was disappointed by her choice (which in and of itself wasn’t a big deal, just something we didn’t feel like she was ready for), But I was more impressed with her honesty.

I hugged her tight, her body quaking. I wiped my own eyes.

And I felt like I had won gold.

Because somehow, some way in all of our parenting mistakes and mishaps, she got the one lesson we long to teach our children:

Be like Jesus, even when no one is looking. And when you mess up, ask for forgiveness and keep running the race.

My kids are going to make mistakes. It’s part of life. But hearing my girl ask for a consequence, made me feel like all this hard parenting work is paying off.

When I look at the world’s idea of successful parenting, it includes good grades, elite education, conforming to mainstream agendas, being politically correct and looking perfect.

I haven’t taught my kids any of that. Instead, I’m okay with okay grades and we are currently (purposefully) moving out of an exemplary school district. I’ve encouraged them to stand up for what’s right, even it it means they are alone and I’d rather overpay for a t-shirt that benefits a worthy cause than jeans that get the approval of peers.

This journey is long. It’s filled with victories and defeats.

But in this leg of the race, I’ve learned there is victory in defeat and I wouldn’t trade that bit of gold for anything.