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    Favorites, Parenting

    Mom Crush Monday: My Mom

    In honor of Mother's Day, I wanted to do my Mom Crush Monday on someone who inspires me on a daily basis and has been there for me since Day 1 (Literally). A woman who has managed to do it all, day in and day out. She has been a supportive and loving mom, and is someone that amazes me with her ability to balance her marriage, her family and her goals with ease.  Honestly it was an easy pick for me this week. Every day as I venture into another day of being a mom, I ask myself how can I be more like my mom.  How can I be an involved, positive role model to my kids, while being calm and collected amongst all the chaos that comes with the responsibility of raising kids. The thing that I love most about my mom is she was always present no matter what she's doing. She has grown from my mom into one of my best friends. 

    The reality of her commitment hit me when I had my own kids. I would give my life for these kids. There is nothing in this world I wouldn’t do for them. Seeing them laugh brightens my day, seeing them cry crushes my world and watching them grow makes me wonder what the future holds for them. I can never thank my mom enough for all she has done for me.  She is my idol and my role model. She is everything I strive to be each and every day - brave, compassionate and of all things kind.

    I started by asking Austin what his favorite thing about Mima was and he said “playing with Mama and making handprints.” If that doesn’t speak volumes about her involvement in my life I’m not sure what does! She spends hours upon hours sitting on the floor with my kids tracing their little hands and laughing with them. She's exceeded every expectation I've ever had for my kid's grandparents. She makes me want to have more children just so I can see them laugh with her. 

    How did you and Dad meet?

    We first met when I was cheering for Castle Rock elementary school's boys basketball team. I felt so tall and uncoordinated compared to the rest of the cheerleaders. I remember one of my friends asking if I knew one of the basketball players named Andy from the school we were playing. I didn't and asked where he was sitting. Boy was I beet red when I looked over and saw such a cute boy staring back at me and watching me cheer. Talk about feeling self conscious! Well he finally got brave enough to ask me out in high school and the rest is history!

    You have managed to keep a strong marriage for close to 35 years! How do you do it and what is your secret?

    I think one of the biggest things is we really enjoy each other's company and have fun together! Sure we can annoy each other or argue over the absolute silliest things, but we are both quick to forgive and move on. We feel very blessed to have such a close knit family and now with the grand babies we are loving every moment with all the crazy fun times that are coming our way! It just seems to get better and better and we can't get enough of it!

    Looking back what makes you laugh the most about being a parent?

    Having 3 babies in 4 years makes you wonder if there was ever a sane moment in our household, but really it worked out pretty well because you guys had so much fun playing together! We had built in family entertainment! You three had us constantly giggling at your hilarious outfits you created as part of make believe. You, your sister and brother came up with the best adventures when you played in the backyard or when we went out for a walk or hike. We could always count on your dad's jokes and sense of humor when things got too serious and we all needed a laugh. It was a crazy fun time!

    Your best piece of parenting advice?

    The best days we had were when we kept a sense of humor with the three of you and didn't get bogged down with perfection or taking ourselves too seriously! We loved being parents more than anything but we were a better mom and dad when we had time just for ourselves either as a planned date night together or a few day getaway. We were very fortunate to have lots of family and friends that made this possible for us. We would get so excited to have time for just the two of us and planning our adventures away and then what did we do? We would start missing the three of you like crazy and talk about you the entire time we were gone! It was hilarious!

    What inspires you and how do you manage to stay so positive?

    I think what always kept us grounded is realizing how extremely blessed we were  with amazing family, friends and good health! We can't wait for all the crazy adventures ahead and feel very fortunate to be at this place now in our lives!

    If you could relive one single moment what would it be?

    I had always dreamed of being a mom and loved it so much! I think that first moment of holding all of you and staring down in total awe and amazement at you and feeling that sweet love is a moment like no other!

    "The only thing better than having you as a mom, is my kids having you as a grandma" (or a Mima as we like to call her). I am so incredibly thankful to be able to learn from the greatest person out there. She teaches me how to be patient each and every day.  The best part is now I get to watch my kids laugh and smile with her. We love you Mima. 

    Favorites, Parenting

    Mom Crush Monday: Amateur Super Mom

    Being a mom isn't always glamorous (is it ever?!).  Sometimes you have to laugh at every single thing. I loved learning about this new mama and her amazing site. It's a safe zone for all things MOM.  "Strive for Happiness", something I can try to do each and every day.

     Tell me about yourself...

    My name is KC and I am an overwhelmed mom. I am trying to not just survive, but enjoy motherhood while managing life with anxiety. After pulling myself out of a dark place of depression, obesity and loneliness, I found my groove in motherhood. Through positivity, self-care and a healthy(-ish) lifestyle, I was able to change my take on life... mom life in particular. Although I still struggle, I am finding that focusing on striving for happiness (rather than perfection) has allowed me to combat the monster that is anxiety, comparison and depression.

    After seeing that my transformation was not only noticed by other moms but had inspired them, I found my calling. I wanted to ensure that no other mother suffered as I did. I started Amateur Super Mom not because I saw myself as a super mom, but because I realized super moms were fictional. I use the blog as a means for me to share my struggles, unite mothers in happy imperfection, and to provide the resources I found on my journey: family & coaches, grief counselors, self-care routines, family management techniques, and of course HUMOR! Finding time to laugh and seek enjoyment in simple things was a huge mindset shift that I hope to encourage in other mothers. In addition to the blog, The Amateur Super Mom Community online provides a tribe, a village of mothers to support each other through this adventure that is motherhood. We share our triumphs, seek help in struggles and find small ways to laugh and enjoy life each day. Thus provides community, resources, advice and humor for overwhelmed moms. Amateur Super Moms strive for happiness, not perfection. And my goal is to help moms reclaim their sanity, their happiness and ultimately themselves by embracing our core values. 

    Your favorite blog post...

    As I was developing and growing my blog, I kept pondering the idea of what it meant to be an AMATEUR super mom. One day I looked up the word amateur. It turns out that an amateur isn't a mark of inferiority. It is a designation for someone who partakes in an activity or pastime out of love, not for gain. Someone who works for something for little to no money or recognition. Sound familiar? My favorite blog post describes what it means to be an Amateur Super Mom and the changes I hope to see in our society relating to motherhood. You can find the post here

    "I hope my take moves you and inspires you to help us change the face of modern motherhood to be more inclusive, less judgmental, and, well... happier!"

    What is the biggest piece of advice you have received?

    The best mothering advice I ever received was to take care of myself. Always doing for others, even out of love or with the best intentions, can wear us thin. We have more to give our families and friends when we take time for ourselves to recharge, rest, and care for our bodies, minds, and souls.

    What is the most challenging part of motherhood?

    To me the most challenging part of motherhood is staying in the moment. It is so easy (especially with my anxiety) to get caught up in worrying... worrying about the past, worrying about the future. Things will always go wrong, kids will get sick, houses will get messy.... but letting go of all of the worrying can actually turn those bad moments into mere blips on your radar. You begin to see them as challenges rather than setbacks. This is easy in theory but difficult in practice. 

    Funniest thing your kids have ever done?

    My kids have an uncanning ability to repeat the things I say or do in the most inopportune moments. For example, my son overheard someone telling a friend at the store, "that is just bad karma." To which he replied, "yeah man... karma is a bitch." (gasp)

    Top 3 mom must haves- "A sense of humor, a self-care routine and wine (in case the first two fail you)."

    What is something you strive to do for yourself?

    As I already said, I strive for happiness, not perfection. Thus something I have been doing more and more is to focus on mindfulness... being in the present. Which means the best thing I can do for myself is practice: practice parenting, practice self-care, practice patience, practice yoga... practice! practice! practice!

    You can find out more about KC & her tribe on her blog or find her on instagram @amateursupermom.

    Favorites, Parenting

    Mom Crush Monday: Waves and Lilacs

    Mom crush Monday is back! I took a short little break to focus on more personal posts but missed connecting with fellow mom bloggers. I first discovered Bethany from Lilacs and Waves on Instagram. I fell in love with her bright and clean photos. The same bright and fun feel transfers right over to her blog. I found myself browsing and relating to her Raw Motherhood Essay series. She has so many wonderful things to share about motherhood, life and travel. 

    Tell me about yourself & your blog...

    I'm Bethany, wife to my best friend and mama to two littles, 3 years old and 10 months old. I write about motherhood, marriage, travel and share some of our favorite family recipes.

    Your favorite blog post...

    A two part series where my grandmother shared her 12 secrets to a successful marriage after being married to my grandfather for 62 years 

    What is the best piece of parenting/mothering advice you have received?

    "There is room in parenting for error." I think i always feel like the second I make a mistake I'm ruining my children. But the fact that God created our children to be so resilient knowing that they have imperfect parents is such a comforting and humbling reminder to just keep trying!

    Funniest thing your kids have ever done?

    My son recently decided to make a path around our whole house with the paper towels he climbed up to get from our counter while I was upstairs tending to the baby.

    What is the most challenging part of motherhood?

    "Finding time for myself and not losing it before I get there :D"

    Top 3 mom must haves:

    Jesus, iced coffee and my backpack diaper bag.

    Best part of Waves and Lilacs...

    I love to write, so while I try to include the typical "how to's" and guides, I also write and share motherhood and marriage essays. I have a series entitled, "My raw motherhood essays" where I just write from the heart and hope to encourage other mamas on this blessed journey!

    For more on Bethany and her adorable family, check out her blog here or find her on Instagram @wavesandlilacs.

    Favorites, Must-haves, Parenting

    38 Must Have Summer Dresses

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Okay I went a little overboard with this one! I started looking for a couple dresses to get me through the next few months of summer. Dresses are an essential part of my minimalist wardrobe. One piece of clothing that you can dress up or down with a few accessories? YES PLEASE! 

    Here are my top favorites that can take you from a day at the beach to the perfect wedding guest look (okay not all of them are versatile but you get the point!).  

    Scroll down to see the 38 dresses that I fell in love with! I am only buying two but a girl can dream right?! If you see any you love, click on the link and it will take you directly to where you can purchase it.  Happy Shopping! 

    Which summer dress was your favorite? Share your summer wardrobe staple in the comments below <3 

    Favorites, Parenting

    Spring Styles with Janie and Jack

    It’s still winter here in Northern California.  The grass is sprinkled with rain drops and the fog slowly drifts in and out.  But spring is upon us and it was more evident than ever in our little adventure today. See below for our must have spring outfits by Janie & Jack

    Yesterday in eagerness to tire out the kids, I took them on an adventure! We hiked through the drizzly rain and the low fog all the while laughing and singing “she'll be comin' around the mountain when she comes toot toot’. Flashbacks of my nonnie taking us for ice cream flooded my brain and I was immediately brought back to those cool Spring days! As I marched along with the kids, we began to see flowers peeping through the bitter cold and we knew it was time for Spring. 

    As soon as the kids were home they threw on their new clothes from Janie and Jack

    Janie and Jack clothes left us craving more outdoor fun! Charlotte danced around in her comfortable pink dress.  She picked flowers with her new white purse and placed them perfectly inside. Austin couldn't wait to put on his anchor sweater which so perfectly reminded him of Zuma from Paw Patrol. He became inseparable with the sweet boat shoes that reminded him of his papa's big slippers. 

    It was fun to dress the kids up in new fresh Spring clothes and watch them dance all over. It was proof that Janie and Jack's pieces were not only stylish, but also comfortable enough for the kids to run and play in!  Be sure to check out Janie and Jack here.   In the comments below, let me know what your favorite Janie and Jack piece is! 

    This post is sponsored by Janie & Jack.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    Favorites, Parenting, Uncategorized

    Mom Crush Monday: My Lovely Ohana

    Boy was I dreaming about that island life when I fell upon this mama and her adorable little one! Her Instagram is splattered with thoughts of love and sunshine. This cold weather has me wanting to jump on the first flight out of here. Next blog post brought to you from the beautiful islands of Hawaii? Hmm.. lovely thought but not as lovely as learning about Summer and her beautiful family! 

    Tell me about yourself & your blog...

    I’m a 24 year old military brat turned military wife, mommin’ it up on the beautiful island of Oahu.  In my free time, you’ll find me sippin’ on coffee (or wine!), dippin’ in the ocean, or hanging’ with my girl gang.  On my blog, you'll find a lot of “new mom- gone wrong” experiences, tips inspired by passion, and a million pictures of my beautiful daughter Teigen.

    Your favorite blog post...

    My favorite blog post so far has been a piece I wrote for called "Five mom expressions I finally understand".

    "It's my favorite because it's totally relatable for new moms!

    What is the most challenging part of motherhood?

    It's really challenging trying to keep your little one from every single danger day to day. And even more, realizing that they are going to fall down, bump their heads, or get bit by the dog a time or two. As mama bears we are extremely protective of our cubs and never want to see them hurt!!

    What is the best piece of parenting/mothering advice you have received?

    The best advice I've received has been from my oh so brilliant mother, "Don't sweat the small stuff!".

    "As mama bears we are extremely protective of our cubs and never want to see them hurt!!"

    Funniest thing your kid(s) have ever done?

    Teigen is a hilarious kid (she gets it from her mom of course). She has me cracking up all the time with her HUGE baby farts, crazy tongue that likes to lick literally everything, and super awesome dance moves. Just the other day she got a dolphin puppet book from her aunty. The second I put my finger in that puppet, she started laughing non stop! It's those kind of moments that really get me.

    Top 3 mom must haves:

    I could NOT live without my Infant Optics Video baby monitor to watch my snoozing babe from anywhere. I'm totally in love with my Baby Trend jogger, it's the perfect size and so fun to push T around in! And the Fawn Design diaper bag is my absolute favorite bag to take everywhere!!

    "I strive to get a workout in at least 5 days a week. Its a great way for me to get out some stress and keep my body healthy!"

    Share with us the social media accounts you love to follow...

    @gparrish @memoirsofmotherhood @diaryofafitmommyofficial

    For more on Summer and her adorable family, check out her blog here or find her on Instagram @mylovelyohana