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What do you get when you order a jumbo box of Bounty Quick-Size Paper Towels from Amazon and accidentally place the order twice? In my case, extra moving boxes and move-out cleaning supplies!

Yea, you read right. Last week I mentioned how anxious I was about a few things that were still up in the air. Selling our condo, an award nomination and a pending offer on what’s to be my dream house. Well, we wound up being three for three on good news. Though I’m wanting to knock on wood before we celebrate the selling of our condo until this Friday when we close.

As my husband put it, we’re up three on game four in the finals, but he doesn’t want to celebrate just yet.

I am celebrating my huge award honor (post coming on that very soon) and the fact that we are UNDER CONTRACT on a new home. WHAT?!

Almost exactly five years ago I snapped this picture of my kiddos in front of our soon-to-be dream home. I couldn’t imagine moving again. In fact I’m pretty sure I promised my husband I wouldn’t. I wound up leaving my full-time job at the news station and planned to be at home with the kids and chill and whatnot. Ya, know, keep blogging and see where that took me. Never did I dream my side hustle would turn into something so much more.

Then you probably remember the moment I announced meeting Oprah changed my life, and it’s time I let my dreams get even bigger.

I honestly didn’t even get a chance to put this thing on my vision board. But I woke up every day dreaming about it, and went to bed thinking about it, and I knew this could happen. The hardest part would be convincing my husband. Well, turns out if you show him enough pictures of man caves and third car garages, and all of the things you can do with a huge backyard, even he too can be a believer.

There will most definitely be way more updates to fill you in on during the process. While this isn’t our first rodeo, it’s going to be a lot different given how much more space we will have, and the fact that in the middle of it all we’ll be adding a plus one. We likely won’t be moving until November at the earliest, and I’m preparing myself for potential weather delays that could even put us in after the New Year, so we’ll see.

So for now, all of these Bounty Quick-Size Paper Towels will be used as I nest for our baby girl (Sneaky) coming in just a couple of months, and you know I’ll be folding the boxes for packing later this year. I should make some kind of spring cleaning/baby nesting list but I usually prefer to just go with what the urges tell me to do when the mood strikes. I’m hoping to clean out my daughter’s closet, get rid of the clothes that no longer fit her, and make some room for her little sister to share. Then clean out the cupboards and wipe everything down before adding bottles and such.

Since I ordered extra, we’re also planning to donate some extra paper towels and cleaning supplies to some refugees in our area. And then whatever we still have I’m sure will come in handy to tackle the many many messes big and small that come from kids and babies. Super soaking paper towels always get some use around here. To help stock-up for your own home, right now you can head to Amazon and use the promo code: “5QUICKBOUNTY” for $5 off your order. At check out, don’t forget to apply the extra $2 off coupon – that’s a total savings of $7!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bounty. The opinions and text are all mine.

I heard an unusual notification ping on my cell phone and looked down to read it.

“Congratulations! You’ve entered your third trimester!” My BabyCenter app informed me.

Say what? Already? How did this happen?

If you’ve been here a while you know with my first two babies I was so on top of documenting my journey to becoming a mom, and a mom of two. Weekly photos and love letters. Their pre-baby books were on point. This time around you may be thinking “Wait, isn’t she pregnant?”

Yes, I am! Actually I forget half the time too. Sometimes it isn’t until I try to bend down to grab something, or I feel her kicking me that I remember “holy cow I’m having another kid!”

So many things are so different with your first kid pregnancy vs your third kid pregnancy. These are my most common contrasts.

1. I can’t answer anyone’s questions

How far along are you? How many months are left? Do you have a name yet? I’m losing track of time, I never know how far along I am without checking my app. And unless I have some rotting produce nearby from a recently attempted bumpdate, I usually have no idea. Overall I’m just way more chill and oblivious about everything this time.  No birth plan, I need to set a reminder to pack a hospital bag. I’m just really trying to get by and get as much non-baby stuff done before the baby comes that I tend to forget to plan for all of the actual baby-related things.

2. Embracing the maternity clothes

I don’t know why I put this off for so long, maternity clothes are everything. I got my first pair of maternity jeans last month and now I have three pair, including a pair of maternity shorts and my first pair of destructed jeans. I’m enjoying this pregnancy in a different way. While it’s not the main subject of every conversation I engage in (like the first time), I’m enjoying it in a different, more seasoned way. I love how excited my kids are, and being a more mature mom. I thought I’d be 32 when I had my first baby and instead it’s the age I am with my last. No lie, comfy and cute maternity close make me feel partial regret for not doing this before. And partially makes me wish I was saving these to use again. Or maybe I can walk around with a fake bump or something? Who knows, we’ll see.

I went on a babymoon of sorts as a girlfriend getaway to Disney World and enjoyed the spa and sleeping in. I even ordered a maternity-style swimsuit. I’m living it up people. I’m enjoying my kids and husband who are willing to grab things for me so I don’t have to walk across the room. Or help me take my shoes off, or rub my swollen feet. Just soaking up this stage, while also not overly consumed with it, if that makes sense.

3. Getting the nursery ready then vs now…

First kid: Crib up, room decked out three months prior to birth.

Third kid: What nursery?

I’m not kidding. Lil’ J wants to share a room with her little sister, and I need to make up a plan before that point. I hear laundry baskets work nice. Or we could splurge on another bassinet. I haven’t thought this through yet.

This baby may not get 35 weekly love letters, but she is loved. Actually I’d argue that the amount of love pouring into this belly of mine is far more than the others because there are more people anticipating her arrival this time. I surprisingly feel pretty darn good and I’m getting very excited to meet her.

How did your pregnancy experiences differ with each child?

You can score all of my maternity looks at Macy’s from the fun Motherhood Maternity line, and the stylish and chic Pea in the Pod line. Which is your favorite?

Motherhood Maternity Chambrey Shirt Dress
Motherhood Maternity Tie-Sleeve T-Shirt
Motherhood Maternity Ruched Elbow-Sleeve Dress
Motherhood Maternity Tiered Top
A Pea in the Pod Maternity Ruched T-Shirt
Motherhood Maternity One-Piece Swimsuit
A Pea in the Pod Maternity Cuffed Denim Shorts
Jessica Simpson Maternity Destructed Skinny Jeans

The women who inspire me on a daily basis, help me when I’m in a bind, respond to my texts at the wee hours, and let me drop in for a playdate or weekend getaway… These women are my Mom Tribe. It’s so easy to name them, but it’s not easy to get them all together in the same place at the same time.

Some of my tribe is just down the road while others are across the country. But no matter the distance, it’s important to make the time to reach out and reconnect.

merci Chocolates offers a collection of is fine European chocolates. With a name that literally means ‘thank you,’ merci and is a delicious, thoughtful way to say thank you to a friend you’ve lost touch with, haven’t seen in a while, or needs a reminder of how much they mean to you.

Brittani and Ami are close friends in distance and in heart. We actually live in the same town. Brittani watched my kids when I was working full-time at the news station and I have the absolute sweetest photos of her rocking Big T to sleep in the baby carrier. We’ve watched each other’s babies grow up and navigated all the paranoia motherhood brings together. Our husbands also work together and it’s priceless having some friends to vent to about a tough career not many people understand. I’ve always admired how neat and clean she manages to keep her house, but she’s never made me feel bad for my cluster of a home. We have tons of fun whether we’re out for a girl’s night or just chilling on the couch talking about The Bachelor.

Ami and I met at an informal homeschooling meeting two years ago when I decided to jump right into this new endeavor. I’ve always admired her passion for important issues, her family and her creativity. It can be really, really difficult learning how to handle homeschool and feeling like you aren’t doing it right. She’s constantly reminding me there’s no right and wrong and that the possibilities are endless. We also totally vibe when it comes to books and dreaming and whether she realizes it or not, she’s always inspiring me to be the best version of myself.

You don’t have to be a mom to be a part of my mom tribe. Christina and I hit it off while working at a news station together oh, six or seven years ago. There’s no question that Disney played a big part in our friendship. So much so that last year started planning a girls getaway at Walt Disney World. The idea was to go without my kids and ride all the coasters and see all the shows they hate. Little did I know I’d be adding one more to our brood. I thought about canceling but Christina suggested we still go and said we could make it a chill trip. I didn’t realize Disney could be done in chill mode, but it can, and it was marvelous.

From spa days to fancy dinners, sleeping in, and going at a preggo pace, it was a delightful girls getaway and I’m so glad we did that.

Maybelline and I met in college at Black Student Union. We immediately clicked. I gravitated to her uplifting positive spirit. Though she’s across the country I can still see her light shining through every picture, status update, or video message she sends. When I think of #momgoals or #womangoals, I think of her. She encompasses so many qualities of a person I aspire to be. Her children are woke, she’s raising them to be strong spiritual little beings, and she gives relentlessly. I love how open and vocal she is about her beliefs and how she’s not afraid to stand her truth, even if it’s contrary to popular opinion. And when my daughter and I decided to take a homeschool trip to Washington D.C. she didn’t hesitate to open up her home as a cozy hotel.

How amazing is technology where we can become friends with people who otherwise would have been strangers our entire lives? If it weren’t for blogging I likely never would have met Vanessa, one of my best friends and a huge piece of my mom tribe. Our friendship started online but evolved to include trips to visit with each other and our kids have become friends as well. She’s often the first person I tell about a new big idea or dream and she supports me and all of my crazy ideas. She listens to my rants and keeps me grounded. Everyone needs a friend like that.

My friend Emily is another friend I met on Twitter when we were pregnant with our oldest daughters. That was eight years ago! It seems like I’ve witnessed her go through several moves through the years, and I probably have. Her husband is in the Navy. Sadly only one trip brought her close to us, but it was a short stint in Texas and we missed our change to meet up. So no photo together. I’m putting it on my dream board though so I know it’ll happen. I live for our late night texting and Marco Polo chats. I’m sure sometimes I annoy her with my rambling but she hasn’t told me to shut up yet and I love her for that.

Finally, a cornerstone of my mom tribe is my own mom and sisters. My kids absolutely believe they have the best aunts and if given the option of going to Granny’s house or doing anything else they will almost always choose Granny’s. I feel so blessed to have family close by who are always willing to help and to offer a couch to crash on while my kids run wild when I just can’t make it through the day.

I could go on and on with half a dozen more friends and other women who probably don’t even know I secretly adore them. The truth is while writing this I’ve been asking myself if these women even realize how much they mean to me. Probably not, because I don’t tell them. I say thank you, and give hugs and my cup is so full after a chat with any or all of them. But I need to make sure I let the special people in my life really know how important they are to me. Whether it’s a simple text, a quick message, a thank-you card or box of chocolates, it’s important to be deliberate about expressing our gratitude to the ones who make up our tribe.

People ask me how I do it all and the answer is  I don’t. I have so many different people I can count on when I need support. They say it takes a village to raise a family. It takes a tribe to raise a mom. I’m so glad I have mine.

Macy's Maternity Fashion

“You know what mom?” My daughter started as she was trying on different styles of shoes. “If I had to choose, I would pick comfort over pretty.” Wise words from my 7-year-old. Hmm, I wonder where she gets it from.

In the bottom right corner of my vision board I have the word “style” glued above a couple of photos of celebrity moms with their kids. I’ve always been a comfort over style kind of gal but recently I made a decision to make an effort to go for both. Funny that I get that sudden urge when I’m six months pregnant but hey, gotta jump on it when inspiration strikes.

With my other two pregnancies I got by wearing my regular clothes and stretching my cotton tops out a bit. Or used that good old hair tie around the button trick so I could keep wearing my regular jeans all nine months. A long tank top over unzipped pants got the job done too. But this time, I’m doing something I’ve never done before, and I’m buying maternity clothes.

Now and then I’ll debate a new top, shoes or an outfit on my Instagram stories, and I’ve gotten lots of tips for comfortably cute that way. Just as I was getting into this, Macy’s reached out about trying some of their popular maternity lines I’m sure you’re familiar with: Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod. If you’ve been here a while you know I’m not what you’d call a style blogger. But it was really fun getting together with my little sister and photographer in training to take some photos of my new looks. Ok, ready to see some of what I’m wearing so far? Don’t laugh at my attempt at modeling. I totally went for it.

Macy's Maternity Fashion

Macy's Maternity Fashion

Macy's Maternity Fashion

Macy's Maternity Fashion

Macy's Maternity Fashion

The Motherhood Maternity line is fun and appeals to my comfort level a little more. I bought my first ever pair of REAL maternity jeans (you know, the kind with the stretchy fabric at the top) and I can finally see what all the hype was about. I got a couple of simple tops with ruching on the sides to go with them. The polkadot and coral-colored shirt are from the A Pea in the Pod line. The blue top is by Motherhood Maternity. Cute jeans, stretchy top, throw on a necklace and instantly I’ve upgraded from my yoga pants and baggy t-shirt to a similarly comfortable but much more stylish ensemble.

My favorite picks are the dresses because then I don’t have to take the time to choose a top and a bottom. They’re so comfortable and perfect in the Texas heat. This floral maxi dress is my absolute favorite choice this month. It’s A Pea in the Pod brand and it’s totally chic. I’ll include all links at the bottom!

This other floral dress is more form-fitting but it’s lightweight and super comfy. Also by Motherhood Maternity. All of these looks from Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod can be found in Macy’s maternity department in-stores and online.

As I went through these pictures with my sister I was so glad I did this.–The shopping and the photoshoot. I’m eight years older than I was during my first pregnancy. I’m 32! Ack! I look and feel much more mature. I’m wearing my hair in its big beautiful state, and you can see some of my pesky grey hairs. But funny enough, it’s exactly the age I thought I would be when I had my first baby. The age I decided was “perfect.” And here I am, having Sneaky, my third child.

I’m trying to be mindful that this is exactly the place I’m suppose to be right now, and to be present and enjoy it. Now that I’m past the initial shock, I’m letting myself savor the pregnancy. I’m taking time to stop and enjoy the little kicks, and I’m having fun styling my bump in clothes that were made for this stage of life.

Do you like what I picked? What’s your favorite?

Motherhood Maternity v-neck top
Pea in the Pod scoop-necked polkadot shirt
Pea in the Pod coral ruched shirt
Motherhood Maternity skinny maternity jeans
Motherhood Maternity floral dress
Pea in the Pod maxi dress

When I tell my daughter to start taking out ingredients and bake ware she looks an awful like that emoji with giant star eyes.

It’s sad that a girl who loves cooking so much has a mom who is seriously lacking in that department. But I don’t want to deter her from learning her way around the kitchen if that’s what she loves. I’m trying to be more intentional about spending time with her doing things she enjoys. Before long I may have missed my chance to join in on those opportunities. And maybe some day she’ll look back at these moments as days we grew closer.

I’ve been trying to come up with easy grab and go snacks. You’d be surprised how busy a homeschool schedule can be. Most days we’re rushing from our own studies to tutoring, to piano, or a private lesson for cheer. There’s been more than a time or two that we’ve forgotten a buffer for lunch.

A friend of mine suggested yogurt bark as a fun recipe we could try together and it hit my criteria of 1. Not too complicated… There’s no 2. That’s the only requirement.

We wound up making Texas-style yogurt bark. Meaning everything is bigger in Texas. So it’s thick and chunky like an ice cream bar. We used four containers of Yoplait original yogurt but next time we’ll just use three to make it more of a thin bark.

Yogurt Bark Recipe

 

Ingredients:

Three cups (or single serving containers) of Yoplait Original Vanilla Yogurt
Your preference of fruit (sliced bananas, kiwi, or in our case strawberries and blueberries)
1-2 Cups of granola (optional)

Directions:


    • Step 1: Line a 13×9 in cake pan with parchment paper.
    • Step 2: Pour the yogurt inside, spread thinly just across the bottom of the pan. It’s ok if you can see through it a little. It doesn’t need to be super thick.
    • Step 3: Add desired amount of sliced fruit and granola.
  • Step 4: Freeze for 4-5 hours
  • Step 5: Pop out the snack by pulling up the parchment paper. Slice and enjoy! Keep the leftovers in the freezer.

 

If they come out thick like ours you can make the slices smaller, add toothpicks or popsicle sticks for mini frozen yogurt fruit pops on a warm afternoon.

Though I supervised and encouraged her, I let my daughter pretty much make these entirely by herself. I asked her how much yogurt was in one Yoplait container and she figure out how she could do that without wasting the food. Science and cooking, win win!

Seeing how capable she is and how much she loves creating in the kitchen I’m thinking I’ll help her pick out some more simple recipes and put her to work have some fun together.

Think you’ll give these a try? Let us know how they turn out!

This post today is sponsored by Yoplait. The story, and opinions are my own.

“Ma’am, we’re going to need you to sign this form too,” the groomer at Petco slid over a piece of paper for me to sign acknowledging my dog was a senior dog and the risk associated with that.

SENIOR dog? How did this happen? 

This was more than a year ago. Snoop turned 10 in December. TEN! I think that’s 70 in dog years. In my eyes he’s still just a big puppy. He gets excited when he sees bunnies or birds in our back yard. He plays tug-o-war with the kids, and does all of his old tricks. Snoop may be getting old but the only real indicator is the grey on his muzzle. Ok well, he’s always slept a lot, but he sleeps even more now. He farts all the time and he snores louder than ever. But aside from that…

My husband and I adopted him from an animal shelter in Utah 10 years ago and immediately started treating him like our little child. Including dressing him and taking him with me anywhere dogs were allowed. Seven years and two kids later, Snoop’s had a bit of a fall from grace. There were some rough patches in there where he got fleas and I had a newborn and didn’t think I could handle it all. But he’s stayed loyal and so sweet and as patient and happy as ever. Even as we prepare for our third baby, he is extra attached to me and as snuggly as he has been each time I was pregnant. But now we know we really need to appreciate these days with him.

How to enjoy time with your senior dog. Last days with dog.

I’m hoping he has at least another five years in him. That’s possible right? I hope so. I know a lot of people work to make the last day with their pet extra special: Take them to their favorite spot. Give them their favorite food. Play with their favorite toy. That sort of thing. I want us to do more of that before we get to the end. We want to make these senior years some of the best he’s had.

Lately we’ve been pulling out all the stops. We’re letting him sleep on the bed now and then. Or jump on the couch when that’s always been forbidden. We are playing more of his favorite games. My daughter even finds him sleeping in her closet under her dress up clothes and doesn’t make him move. Maybe we realize how much we’ve been taking him for granted. To Snoop, we are his everything. And he means so much to us too.

Freshpet review for senior dogs

He seems happiest when he’s licking our toes, doing a trick for a treat, or eating soft food. We’ve always bought him high-quality dog food, but lately he doesn’t always eat it. I get sad when he’s bowl stays full most of the day. I  recently discovered Freshpet (he’s been eating the tender Beef Recipe – with shredded sweet potatoes, green beans and carrots) and he always eats it right away. Actually, he gets excited before we even set it down. Freshpet, is an all-natural pet food, fresh from the fridge. Freshpet never uses any additives or preservatives.  It’s the next best thing to a home cooked meal for your pet.

Snoop has always been the perfect dog to us. So great with the kids, easy going, and quick to learn tricks. My husband says Snoop will be our one and only dog. While I’m not sure if that’ll be the case, I definitely can’t imagine another dog as perfect as he’s been for us.

It seems as though we’ve reached his doggie retirement years and I hope they last a long time. I pray our new little girl gets to meet and know him like our other kids have. And hopefully we’ll get that big yard soon enough for him to run around and enjoy too.

Even if he is a senior dog, we still love him like he’s a puppy we all want to cherish him, and continue to spoil him with good food and lots of love through the rest of his (hopefully much longer) life.

Thanks to Freshpet for sponsoring this post. Check out Freshpet refrigerated pet food, made in small batches with fresh ingredients and no artificial preservatives, for a difference you can see and your pet will feel.

Every year it never fails we get Christmas cards from family and friends and enclosed is a letter highlighting their year and I love the reflection back on the highlights of their year. We are always late to send holiday cards but I like to try to do a little reminiscing here.

I mean wow, what a year, and it’s not over yet. And considering the latest announcement we shared with you, I’m sure next year is going to be even more jam packed, busy and exciting than 2017 was. But before we get there, let’s highlight a few of my favorite moments from this year.

To be honest I crashed and burned on my resolutions. I stopped practicing piano every day some time in February, we did read A TON of books but since we picked up long 500+ page novels, and I stopped reading as many short stories we weren’t plowing through them as quickly and didn’t hit 365. I’ve still been drinking tons of water but my intake was up and down throughout the year. It’s still a goal that’s been at the forefront though and I guess I could count that as still being a commitment. As for losing 20 pounds… Well that didn’t happen and it’s not happening any time soon.

There were some lows to this year, but honestly I block most out of my memory. Aside from all of us getting the flu last month, most of the other bad news is a distant memory.

And there were so many other surprises and accomplishments we added to our list that make me so proud of 2017.

Rebranded the blog

After eight years I retired the Baby Making Machine name and started anew as Cherish 365. Same mission to make and cherish the memories with our family. I’m hoping to dive even more to this focus next year and grow this to be more than a blog, but a movement. Where we’re sharing ideas to grow closer together as a family and cherish these moments that fly by so very quickly. I’m excited to see where this new shift ultimately takes us.

My first international trip

Work trips took me all over this year and to many new places. Memphis, Detroit, and Walt Disney World were a few but the most life-altering was my trip across the world with Vibe Israel.

My daughter making a competitive cheer squad

It started as an “Ok, yea we’ll see maybe you can try out next year…” to jumping in head first and sitting by watching as my daughter falls in love with her sport. She’s taken off learning tumbling, team routines and going to monthly competitions. I didn’t see myself becoming anything like a cheer mom for many years but here we are!

Big T learned how to ride his bike

It’s funny because both of my kids actually learned how to ride their bikes but my son was the bigger surprise. A friend gave us a hand me down bike with no training wheels and one afternoon on a whim I let him give it a try. Since he’d already used a balance bike for months he had good balance on two wheels it was just a matter of learning how to pedal.

We started a VLOG

Around March I challenged myself to go a video every day on YouTube. It was a fun experiment but definitely nothing I could sustain. I’ve bounced a round from doing videos a few times a week to twice a week, once a month and so on. We seem to have landed on doing a vlog about once a week. Yes we… Meaning my daughter and I. It’s turned into a fun way for us to document her cheer progress and a fun activity for us to do together. She’s even taken up editing so she helps out with production.

Lil’ J completed her first Kids Adventure Games 

Ok so my daughter is awesome but before this I never would have classified her as daring or particularly brave. But our trip to Vail, CO for the Kids Adventure Games made me so incredibly proud of her. Sponsored by CLIF Kid, she and hundreds of other kids ran, biked, zip lined, rafted and went through a dozen obstacles. Without their parents! She was terrified before she began but when she finished… Man she had the biggest smile on her face. I was so incredibly proud of her for facing her fears. It’s an accomplishment will never forget and definitely a highlight of our year. I’m hoping we’ll continue the tradition and maybe do another family 5k next year. CLIF Kid has been a snack brand we’ve loved a long time (we’ve told you time and again how much we love their CLIF Kid Zbar Filled Apple Almond Butter bars) and this year they definitely inspired us to get outdoors and active more this year and I hope to keep that up.

Big T became a budding architect

My son has loved his train tracks for years but this year he learned how to put them together himself and also add blocks and other structures to make them into “bridges” as he calls them, “they’re not tracks!”. He’s my little snuggle bug and I’m always saying I’m trying to figure him out. My daughter is so much like me and my son is a total goofball, but still so sweet and smart. He has known all his letters for years but has picked up all his letter sounds and we’re showing him how to read them when letters are string together. He pays more attention to details than most little kids I know. For instance he is the one who taught me that Destiny from Finding Dory is a whale, not a shark. Like I thought. I’m excited to see all that he learns this next year.

And then of course we can’t forget the biggest change for us this year, though it’s sure to make a bigger impact next year, when the new baby arrives.

2017 was pretty great, and I’m so excited to see what’s next.


I’m passionate about getting my kids outdoors to play, and making meaningful memories together. That’s why I’ve partnered with CLIF Kid for 2017, to share our adventures of being active as a family. CLIF Kid Zbar® Filled is crafted with creamy, delicious nut butter filling and a blend of nutrients for energy to help keep your kids zipping and zooming along. Their products are free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.  You can learn more about this product here

Has this month been a beast or what? I was so excited to run into the holidays only to get knocked down and back with the flu! We finally recovered from that but we’ve been up and down with coughs and runny noses and ear infections. Needless to say it hasn’t been the holly jolly season I was looking forward to.

Last year I had a whole plan mapped out of different activities we could do each day for 25 days of giving. We sorta just went for it each day based on how we were feeling and what we had on hand. One night we made Christmas cookies and surprised our neighbors with them. Another day we wrote letters to missionaries. We also volunteered at a nursing home, and bought toys for kids in foster care. One night we doorbell ditched and delivered homemade ornaments to people in my mom’s neighborhood. And one super simple thing we did was pick up trash around our park.

I wanted to do the same thing this year but a week and a half into the month and we are so far behind. The nice thing is giving doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing. I may not have a perfectly planned advent set up arranging what we’re doing each day but I think it’s important that my kids know Christmas isn’t all about presents and what Santa is bringing them, but about love, charity, and kindness.

I’ve mentioned more than a few times that I’m not much of a cook. You may also remember that my daughter LOVES creating anything in the kitchen. We recently got a recipe to make some holiday snacks and the second we opened the package my daughter was all “Can we PLEASE make this?!”

It took me awhile to actually getting around to making them with her but she was thrilled for the activity. When we finished we boxed up the goodies and she put on her sneakers cause she was ready to doorbell ditch them to a half a dozen of our neighbors (her favorite part).

Later over the weekend we had a trip planned to head downtown for a Dinosaur Expo coming to town. There’s a large homeless population in Austin and when I worked in news I learned that one of the most needed and helpful items was socks. So we made some care packages for them to hand out including socks, some CLIF Kid Zbar Filled  and water bottles we decorated to be festive.

There’s something really cool about doing things for others. No matter how bad you’ve been feeling, doing something nice for others is a great pick-me-up. My kids get really excited for Christmas. But it’s awesome to see them get just as excited about surprising others and realize giving to others can feel even better than getting something for yourself.

We’re working on our other days of giving ideas. We’re going to do a lot of the things we did last year and hopefully add in some new activities.

What giving traditions do you have during the holiday season or through the year? We’d love to hear your ideas and maybe borrow some of them for ourselves!


I’m passionate about getting my kids outdoors to play, and making meaningful memories together. That’s why I’ve partnered with CLIF Kid for 2017, to share our adventures of being active as a family. CLIF Kid Zbar® Filled is crafted with creamy, delicious nut butter filling and a blend of nutrients for energy to help keep your kids zipping and zooming along. Their products are free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.  You can learn more about this product here

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

My Photography Course

My Photography Course

Featured Posts

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I’m a 2017 Iris Awards Winner

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Inspiring Moments Positive Parenting Spreading Joy
How My Husband Inspires Me to Give Back
Here’s a Fun Way to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth
I’ve Been Trying to Drink More Water for Years and Now I Finally Am
Family Travel Food & Culture Homeschooling
Here’s What’s New at Toy Story Land
From Homeschool to Public School – We Made It!
Tips for visiting Walt Disney World with an Infant, a happy baby riding a Walt Disney World ride.
Don’t Wait to Take Your Infant to Walt Disney World
Creating With Kids (DIY) Disney Motherhood Pregnancy & Baby
best live action disney movies ranked
Disney Live Action Movies Ranked and a Free Printable Checklist
5 Reasons to Take Your Kids to a Farmers Market
Biracial baby girl eating a birthday cupcake
You’re ONE! A Love Letter to Lee Lee
Interracial Marriage Multiracial Parenting Our Family History Photography & Videos
This is How We Saved for Our Dream House
Ariel is Black and People are MAD but Here’s Why We are Here for it!
Mother and daughter Disney bound Dumbo as Timothy Mama Jumbo and Dumbo
Why I Let My Kids Watch Dumbo Even Though it’s Pretty Racist