Friday, March 07, 2014

Hip Hop Happiness

Just one of our responsibilities as moms is keeping our families healthy- choosing the right foods that the kids will eat or the right activity to burn off some energy.   What activities do your kids enjoy? Are you a soccer fam, or do you call the baseball fields "home" every weekend?

It's not just about the kids, though. We also have to de-stress and take care of ourselves. Maybe you love to run at the end of your day or hit yoga after dropping the kids off at school. I personally love walking with a friend, as well as riding bikes with the kids around the neighborhood. Do you love Zumba?  Are you into CrossFit? Do you or your kids train for the next 5K together?

It can be challenging to find the right fitness trend or sport that fits your family's tastes and schedules, but when we do it can be a lot of fun (and what mom doesn't need a little more of that?)


For our family, we're all about HIP HOP these days!

When we moved here almost a year ago, we looked for a quick way for the kids to make friends and get connected.  It turned out that there was this fun hip hop studio just opening about five minutes down the road.  My oldest two watched videos over the summer and couldn't wait for classes to start in August.  They've been hooked ever since!

My daughter decided to try the competition team and hasn't wanted to skip a single practice!  My son works on his dance moves around the clock, which of course means my 3-year-old is preparing for his own hip hop debut. Even Mom tries to hit an evening dance workout for the grownups once a week. It's become a family affair (with the exception of my 6'4" husband who's waiting for my kids to join the basketball team)! We all have a blast cranking up the beats and tearing up the family room dance floor at home (Please, no videos).

I feel so lucky to have found a place that we all love to be.  The happiness is infectious at this studio, which is why we keep going back.  Every week, the kids are inspired to work on something new and dance their cares away.  I can't count the times my daughter came home crying about some school day drama only to leave her dance class in a completely better mood.  And of course, I love that it keeps everyone active!

So this post is a shout out to our new favorite activity...and to my daughter's dance crew, who keeps bringing home first place!

What's your family's favorite activity?  SHARE!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

My New Vacuum: A Funny Thing to Get So Excited About

The other day, a mom friend and I decided to venture out to Target together. This was a genius plan, by the way, and I am really considering a repeat performance. Our little guys sat in one cart together playing on our phones, while I pushed another cart with our purchases. We chatted as we searched for items and helped one another make the best choice of non-leaking water bottles for the kids.

When my shopping partner stated that she needed to replace her mini-vacuum, I was like, "I've been wanting one of those for ages!  Will you show me which one you like?" 

After we found our new cordless cleaning devices, I couldn't contain my excitement (is this how guys feel about their tools?).  I told her that I couldn't wait to charge my handheld vac and start cleaning out the snack crumbs in my van!  

My fellow mom laughingly replied, "I know!  Me too!  How lame are we?"

And for a second, I paused.  I considered her statement.

At the end of the checkout line, we ventured to the in-store Starbucks for a rainy afternoon treat, and I thought, We aren't lame.  

I wondered how many times I too have uttered similar self-deprecating words- making fun of myself?  As if all the small things I experience in the life of a stay-at-home mom are not things to be grateful for. While having a sense of humor is imperative in the life of a mom, hearing the joke come out of someone else's mouth made me realize that we may be looking at our present circumstances all wrong. 

I get it.  I do.  It seems silly to revel in such ordinary things.  Who in the world does cartwheels over a new vacuum? Not many, I'm sure. But finding a spark of joy in our day is not something to belittle.

Do you know what motherhood has taught me?  Of the many lessons, I have learned to appreciate minute moments and unexpected gifts.  I am so thankful for breaks in the mundane and appliances that make my life easier. Being a mom has changed me and how I view so many things: what hard work it is raising children and managing a household.  You have to be positive and grateful as often as possible in order to maintain a good attitude.  Because let's be honest, the other residents in your family circle can be downright grumps and leave trails of clutter wherever they roam.

Let's be proud of every day we DO this!  And keep noticing the things that add value to our lives. When we find ourselves laughing away a simple pleasure, let's remember that God has given us this season to really SEE what is good and noteworthy.

A thankful heart is a happy heart. -VeggieTales

For people who can't understand my excitement over a lightweight, portable vacuum, it's probable that they've done very little lugging around of cleaning equipment, or haven't spent much of their existence riding in a vehicle whose inhabitants treat it like a trash can.

My van is going to be so CLEAN.

What simple thing do you appreciate today?