Five Things I’ve Learned About Parenting

5 Things I've Learned about Parenting l

The earth could have opened up and swallowed me. I wouldn’t have cared.
And now? The elderly women in front of me was giving me “the look”.

“The Look”
You know, the one that veterans of motherhood give? The look given by the ones who have forgotten what it’s like to have an independent, high-spirited, impatient toddler. The look of “you should take care of that!”

Yeah, I got a double dose today.

Moments before I had maneuvered my grocery cart into the narrow Wal-mart checkout line. My daughter, ever impatient, tapped me on the arm and said, “Mama! Go! Go!”
I explained that there were people that were in our way and we could not move.
Easy fix in her mind. She turns and says “Beep beep!” – because I have started a bad habit of saying “beep beep” whenever she’s in the way.
The women don’t move. So, she tries again. And again, the women don’t move.


So, my daughter, my sweet, loveable, sassy daughter, turns to the women in front of us and screams at them. She points her finger in an spot-on imitation of an old schoolmarm and yells “YOU! MOVE! YOU MOVE!”

Commence ground opening up and swallowing sequence.

I seriously wanted to die. Because we DO practice our manners. We DO encourage polite behavior from her. We do. We do. We DO! But, how were they to know?

We had a “chat” about how that was not a nice thing to say; we talked about waiting our turn, about all the nice words  we could say instead (like “Hi!” or later to say “Bye!”). But, we are never to yell and say “move”.

Finally, the ladies checked out and went on their way . I swear, it took FOREVER!.
I checked out and headed home while calling my mother to tell her of the days escapade. She just laughed.

Thanks, Mom.

Still, the looks I received have these women on my mind.
I often wonder if the veteran mothers remember what it was like to stumble through parenthood, to wonder if they were doing a good job, to wonder “How in heck fire was I allowed to bring home and raise a kid?”
I wonder if they remember what it was like to get “the look” from another veteran, to know that no matter how “together” they might look, they have no earthly idea what they are doing?

Some days, I feel like I’ve got a grip on this parenting thing. Some days, I feel like a 5-year-old walking into an advanced Physics class. I know I don’t know everything there is to know about parenting, but I do know a few things. So, in light of today’s shopping events, I thought I would share the top 5 things I have learned about parenting in these last two years.

A donut from Wal-Mart is not going to kill your kid. In fact, it might actually help you keep your sanity while you are shopping.
EDIT: A donut from Wal-Mart will not kill your kid, unless they somehow manage to pick it up off the floor and eat it before you can stop them. At this point, it’s questionable.

Some days, the only thing that can keep you going is a Dt. Vanilla Coke from Sonic and some Dove dark chocolate – and it’s totally ok to hide in your bathroom and eat those.

No matter how many years you have worked with kids or been a nanny; no matter how many blog posts, articles, or parenting books you read; and no matter how many friends give you well-meaning advice, your child is going to upset the learning curve. It won’t even be a learning curve. It will be a parenting roller-coaster with unexpected twists, turns, and flips. You can’t get off, so you’d better hold on!

Your children will embarrass you, make you look like a horrible parent at times, and make you wonder if you ARE a horrible parent. But, when they take your face in your hands and give you a sweet kiss, it’s all worth it.

And, the #1 thing I have learned in this parenting journey??

I have no earthly idea what I am doing!

I really don’t. And I know we have all felt like that.
But, I guess that’s ok, because that’s the learning curve of parenthood right?

Still, my prayer is that in the midst of mistakes, detours, stumbles, and fumbles along the way, His grace will intercede for me; that regardless of how royally I flub up, how screwed up my parenting can be, how many times I forget to be patient, and kind, and loving, that He will be her foundation.
My prayer is that I will see the truth in Proverbs 22:6 when it says that if I “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (ESV)

My prayer is that He will go before me.
And my prayer is that, despite me, my daughter will see Him.

This post is linking up today with Joy Dare Blog
Where Joy Is
Time Warp Wife
Mandy’s Recipe Box

A Rasberry Body Masque and a Toddler’s Pride

Raspberry Body Masque and a Toddler's Pride | Joy in These Moments


I raced around the house, scrambling to get everything together before I had to leave for work.
I was already running behind (which has been the norm these last few weeks).

Evie had her breakfast before her, which included some fresh raspberries. She’s recently developed a love for them, so I gladly gave her some of my favorite fruit.

Then, not 10 minutes before it was time for me to head to work, I peek into the living room where Evie had been eating and watching Thomas the Train.

There before me, in all her toddler happiness, was my daughter covered head to toe in freshly crushed raspberries.

My girlie girl LOVES lotions. That is her favorite thing to do with her Nana. They put on lotions and necklaces. So, this morning, in the absence of lotion, necklaces, and Nana, she had taken it upon herself to make today a spa day and created her own raspberry body masque.
I mean, I’m sure the seeds make a great exfoliate. And, I’m sure the berries have some antioxidants that benefit the skin.
They DO NOT, however,  benefit a cream colored carpet!

Pretty sure I had a momentary panic attack. That can only explain the calmness I experienced as I turned, walked to the kitchen and grabbed a washcloth to clean the impromptu spa day that was occurring my living room.

When she was clean, my daughter hopped up and gave a twirl. She threw her hands in the air, yelled “TA DA!”, then gave a deep (off balance) bow.

Her exuberance over her morning is what I love about her. She finds joy in so many things, things that I probably wouldn’t find joyous.
But some days, their laughter and joy is contagious.

And, some days, you just have to laugh!

My daughter inspired me today, so try out this great raspberry face masque..

Raspberry Face Masque
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup rolled oats

Use a blender or food processor to blend until oats are broken up and ingredients are combined.
Apply to damp skin. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, then wipe off.

Super fun and refreshing.
Then, when you are done, make sure you do a twirl, a “ta-da!” and a bow!
It apparently makes all the difference!


Crockpot Mississippi Roast and a Guest Post

Crockpot Mississippi Roast I Gluten Free with Southern Charm
I have never mastered cooking a roast. It typically comes out flavorless and/or dry. And, truthfully, if it can’t be like Mom’s, then I don’t want it.

Then came the advent of Pinterest and suddenly I kept seeing this Crockpot Mississippi Roast EVERYWHERE. It most definitely wasn’t Mom’s, but I decided to give it a try – and that was a great culinary decision!

I’m guest posting at Mommy B Knows Best and I would love for you to head over and check out my recipe (it even has a gluten free version).

Did You Ignore Him?

Did You Ignore Him?

The body lay in the middle of the parking lot, curled in a fetal position. Not moving.
It was Valentine’s Day and one by one, people stepped around the man. Each one hurrying to get that last minute something for the person they love.

I don’t know how long this man was lying in the parking lot, ignored by those capable of helping him. All I know is he was someone worthy of love and attention. And he was ignored, stepped around and stepped over like garbage.  Ignored by people who probably assumed he was drunk or high.

He was ignored because it was convenient.

My brother-in-law saw this man. And instead of worrying about being late with the eggs my sister asked him to pick up, he stopped. He saw a person in need and did what comes naturally for him.
And I love that about my brother-in-law.

This man, all alone, lying on the Wal-Mart parking lot, had been in a car accident that day. He thought he was fine and had even been in to Wal-Mart. Upon leaving, however, his back gave out. He was in pain and couldn’t move.
Austin ran into Wal-Mart and got a wheel chair, then stayed with the man until the man’s friend could come and take him to the hospital.

It was a small moment in time for Austin, but for the man, I’m sure he will always remember it. Because when everyone else was rushing to get around the man, my brother-in-law stopped and selflessly gave the most valuable gift a human being can receive – the gift of being acknowledged, of being loved, of being treated like a human.

He showed inconvenient love.

So often, we get into the rush of our lives. We turn a blind eye to the things around us because we’d rather not be bothered. But, how can we refuse to show it?
Christ came to show us love. He DIED to show us His love.
Yet so many times, we refuse love in even the simplest forms, even in the simple question “Are you ok? Do you need help?”

We refuse because we are selfish. We refuse because we are in a hurry.

We need to slow down.

We need to acknowledge.

We need to love, even in the most inconvenient of times and ways.

Austin may never see this man again.
But, he did as he was led.
And he made us proud.

When you see the body on the ground, the soul abandoned and in pain, the lonely eyes of the mother at the park, the child that’s afraid…
Don’t be the one who ignored the man.
Be the one who showed inconvenient love.

Matthew 25:40 (Message)
Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.

I Gave My Hair Away

I Gave Away My Hair

Ever since I learned about Locks of Love, I’ve wanted to donate my hair. But, by the time I learned about hair donation, I was well into my fickle hair years.
IE: I would cut these locks off at the slightest whim. I can’t begin to tell you how many styles and lengths I had since high school.

In the last few years, though, I’ve let it grow. It was just easier to throw it up in a ponytail while chasing a little munchkin. I was shocked, though, when all of a sudden, my hair was past my shoulder blades. I know that’s normal for some, but when I posted a picture on Facebook, all my close friends were shocked. They didn’t realize it was so long – and they couldn’t remember when or even IF it had ever been that long!
So, I figured it was time to cut and it was time to donate.

It was a MAJOR change and I’m pretty sure my husband was sad that it was shorter than what I had said/thought it would be. BUT, I am loving not having to spend 40 minutes drying and straightening my hair. I’ve shaved off (haha…did you get that? Shaved? Hair? yeah….) probably about 25-30 minutes of my morning routine just by cutting my hair. And not only is the shorter hair helping me of the mornings, but it’s helping someone who may not normally get the chance to fix their hair.

If you are looking to donate, there are many options. These are the three that I considered. I ultimately went with Locks of Love as I had highlights, but all are wonderful ways to give hope and confidence to those suffering from permanent hair loss or dealing with the effects of chemotherapy.

Locks of Love
Provides hair for those who have long-term/permanent hair loss and are financially disadvantaged. Your hair donation must be at least 10 inches long. They will accept color treated.

Wigs for Kids
Provides wigs free of charge for children with hair-loss regardless of permanency of hair loss (ie: children who lose hair from chemotherapy treatments can receive a wig for the duration of their hair loss). Your hair donation must be 12 inches and may not have any form of chemical processing.

Pantene Beautiful Lengths
Provide free wigs for women with cancer. Hair donations must be 8 inches long, no chemical processing, and no more than 5% gray hair.

So, are you ready for the end results??
Here’s my transformation!

I Gave Away My Hair

This was how long my hair had grown. CRAZY long for me. Yeah, I know it’s not THAT long, but seriously, I used to have a pixie cut. This is like Crystal Gail length. (Don’t get it? Google her. Her hair is INSANE!)

I Gave Away My Hair
No turning back now! It’s all chopped off.

I Gave Away My Hair

So short! But, I really do like it. (Of course, I would have to get it cut when it was below freezing. My neck was not happy with me!)

I Gave Away My Hair
The final product. I love it!

So, are you ready to donate?
Or if you have donated before, who did you use?