Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oh, So Chic!

Have you ever asked yourself what your personal "style" is? I think about this when I see articles in magazines that make it look so simple to have a particular look. Preppy, boho (what?), classic, retro... Honestly, I am so-not-connected to that world that I don't even know the different categories. I do know that what fits and is unwrinkled(ish) will often determine my style du jour. I've done the argyle sweater with pearls on a Tuesday and then a pair of jeans and a long sleeve T on a Wednesday.

One category I would pretty much say I do NOT fit into is "chic"! This is mostly because I am pretty cheap when it comes to my clothing purchases. I'm a Marshall's/TJ Max kind of girl. If I can leave the store with 5 shirts under 50 bucks, I'm on cloud 9! Sadly, chic typically doesn't come cheap.

Until now! I was so excited when the ladies of Agape Chic Consignment Boutique approached Spirit FM with their support. I saw an ad of theirs in a coupon magazine (Clipper, maybe?) and the tag line, "Where Style is Reborn". I thought, with "Agape" in their name and that tag line, they have to be Christian-owned. I've got to check them out! Next thing I know, they are coming on board as Spirit FM underwriters!

I love Ann Taylor and Ralph Lauren and they have both, along with BCBG, Michael Kors and the fancy purse companies too! They are celebrating their 1st anniversary with a sale this Saturday. Their prices are already 40-80% off retail, so it's gonna be a doozy!

I know what you're thinking. "Abby, you haven't blogged in a week and now you blog a commercial?" Yep. It's important to support the companies and organizations that are run with Christian principles. So if you want to chic-up (not a real word) your wardrobe and not kill your wallet, swing by Agape Chic on Saturday. Here's their website.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Grandparents & Footprints (Not the Poem)

I think the reason grandparents have so much fun with our kids is not only because, as the joke goes, they get to return them at the end of the day, but also because they've finally got the joy of parenting figured out.

A few days ago my parents stopped by for a quick visit. When they arrived Liam and I were playing in the front yard. It had rained a few hours earlier, so the shady parts of the yard were still a little wet.

We got our toys together and headed up the sidewalk. My mom said, "Look at those little feet!" I looked back and both Liam and I had left footprints on the sidewalk. His tiny prints were perfectly formed and perfectly cute. I thought to myself about how I never would've noticed them if she hadn't said something.

We don't always have a chance to "check out the footprints" or step back and take it all in. Many times there is some disciplining or cleaning up that needs to be done or we just don't notice. I think that's ok. We can't be too hard on ourselves, but I DO think that we need to take a break from being parents every now and again to see God's amazing work manifested in our little ones. And for the record, I don't mean we need to take more pictures. Increasingly so, our lives are in jpg files instead of our hearts.

There is so much beauty in those little moments or footprints in this case. Let's all try to look for them, instead of needing them to be pointed out to us or missing them all together. I don't know about you, but I have a feeling the little print I saw will be as big as mine before I know it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

All the Wrong vs the Right

Deep thoughts come to me on my morning commute. It's dark out, so maybe there are less distractions with the lack of sunlight. Perhaps this isn't the deepest thought ever, but I wanted to share it anyway in case you are finding yourself questioning how you're doing as a parent.

I can question and point out a bazillion things that I am probably doing wrong: Is he napping enough? Am I keeping his teeth clean? Is he eating too many processed foods (see picture)? Does he know what "NO" means yet? Is he on track with his verbal skills? I know these questions will grow in number and complication as my boy grows older.

One thing that I can say without a doubt though, is that this kiddo knows he is loved. The hugs and kisses and smiles and affection he receives MUST communicate to him that he has people in his life who think he's the bees knees and would lay down their lives for him in a fraction of a heartbeat. So while the plaque builds, and the tantrums ring out, I can take a deep breath and say, "We are doing something right." And thankfully, it's the most important thing.

In case you ever doubt that you're doing a good enough job, tell your son or daughter you love him or her and you can have a moment of rest.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fun Family Event

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, Hyde Park United Methodist Church is hosting a fun concert for the whole family. Christian artist, Yancy will be there Sunday at 5pm. The show is being billed as, "A Praise Party for the Whole Family!", so you know it's gonna be a good time. Tickets are just $5, but you need to get them in advance, here or through iTickets at 800-965-9324. Hear samples of Yancy's music and read more about her here!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Celebrate the Epiphany this Sunday

Thank you "Catholic Icing" for the pic from 2011! 
A Church tradition my family has just started participating in in the past two years has quickly become one of my favorites. On the Sunday when we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany (when the three kings, after following the star find the new baby Jesus), we are given pieces of chalk to use to bless our home. The chalk is blessed by the priest, but I would venture to say God will still honor your request to bless your home even if you don't have the "special chalk".

Wanna do it too? Here's what you do:

Above your door (on the outside) write this:

The "20" and the "13" represent this calendar year, 2013 and the "C, M & B" are the first initials of what tradition tells us are the names of the three kings, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. The “C, M, B" also stands for the Latin blessing Christius Mansionem Benedicat which means “May Christ Bless this House”.

There is a pretty extensive blessing here you can say where the priest or head of the household leads and everyone else responds. But for the abbreviated version, which I am pretty sure is what is handed out with the chalk at my church, use this prayer:

Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for each other may go out to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

You can involve all the kids where each person gets to write a different letter or number and every time you enter your home you'll be reminded that it is a home filled with people who know and serve the Lord!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

10 Things Your Family Can Focus on in the New Year | iMOM

10 Things Your Family Can Focus on in the New Year | iMOM

I'd bet the vast majority of resolutions are for the individual. After all, it's not very nice to tell someone else they need to lose a few pounds. I can hear it now, "Dear, this year, you're resolving to stay away from the cupcakes!" Yikes. But wow about a Family New Year's Resolution this year? It's something you can focus on to improve the way your family loves and interacts with one another and those around you. A big plus of the family goal is that you can keep each other in line. You have multiple accountability partners!

I love some of these suggestions from iMOM. My favorites:
1. MORE SLEEP! Ain't nothin' wrong with that!
2. MORE SURPRISES! I love surprises! (See, Baby # 2) The gist of this is to have a "Surprise Captain" each month. He or she gets to come up with an idea that is a surprise for the rest of the family. Fernando's first thought, "What if the Surprise Captain says 'Ice cream for dinner!'?" I say- it's only one time and yum! If you have multiple young children who might need assistance in being the S.C., maybe assign one to your husband so you're not bearing the brunt of the work each moth.
3. MORE PATIENCE! This goes for everyone. Parents towards kids. Siblings towards each other. Husband towards wife. Great idea!

I'd add to iMOM's list, Family Prayer Time. Now don't feel the need to bite off more than you can chew. Just try adding little moments to your day. Maybe as you start the car on the way to school you say a quick thank you to God for the day ahead. Or maybe instead of individual bedtime prayers you gather in one bedroom and pray together, listing what made the day special.

Just because it's not January 1 that doesn't mean you can't take this idea to "your people" and start fresh next week. Try one a month and see what happens!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

Is it just me or do you also know more people who don't make resolutions than do? I don't know a single person who has made a resolution this year. I think part of the downfall for the New Year's resolution is that we (possibly on a subconscious level) think that the time frame for this new habit is one whole year. As adults, we know what a year feels like, but it is still a pretty lofty goal to sustain anything for that long. Ask any fitness or weight loss expert & they'll tell you that setting small goals is key. Aim to lose 5 lbs, not 50. Try to walk three days this week, not 12 this month. In my efforts over the years, that is truly what has worked. Small, attainable goals.

If you haven't made a resolution yet, why not take a cue from Mom Squad Blogger, Julie? Yes, it feels nice to fit into your skinny jeans and you don't want to over-commit in the resolution department, but how about this year, we resolve to pray more? In essence, we're resolving to strengthen a relationship. A pretty important one!!

Check out Julie's blog entry here and may our Lord be with you and your loved ones in this New Year!