Thirteen

This is a letter to my daughter,

I can’t believe that you are a teenager! Although I do see some major eye rolling and a lot more time away from the “mommy” you used to be glued to, you’re still the beautiful, loveable you! You will always be our baby.

I want you to know that the day you were born was the most magical day of our lives. God blessed us with the most amazing little girl in the world. You are the most precious gift we have ever received.

You changed our lives forever. You are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. You are an old soul, wise beyond your years. You fill our hearts and our lives with so much love and purpose. I know that whatever you do in life will positively impact the world. Your beautiful heart is filled with love, kindness and compassion. The love and loyalty you have for your family members and your friends always amazes me. We are so privileged to have you as our daughter. While we help shape the person you will become as an adult you have helped us to grow and learn as well. I know you will teach us a lot more as you continue to grow into the beautiful woman you will soon become. Know that love and the bond you shared with your grandparents will sustain you for life. You will always have them watching over you. They were so proud of you just as we are. I know that you will continue to make us proud.

We love you Sophia and wish you the happiest of birthdays. Welcome to your teen years, they go fast, so learn, live well, make the right decisions and always know that your family will be here for you. Remember, God and family first, always, that’s the legacy that is left for you by your grandparents.

Love, Mommy

I love this manifesto on parenting by Brene Brown and thought that I would share it with you all.

If you want to download the parenting Manifesto..click on this link. Wholehearted_ParentingManifesto (5

And if you want to shop for some pretty gorgeous little girl clothes make sure to visit http://www.ariaandsophia.com

Friendtastic

When was the last time you went out with a group of your girlfriends? If you have to stop and think about it, it’s been way too long.  A new study by a group of researchers from the University of Oxford, recommends that you go out with your girlfriends at least twice a week.

I’ve always been a girls girl. I love my time with my friends and I cherish my friendships. Those relationships are so important to me, I don’t think that I can live happily without them. I love talking to my girlfriends, listening to them and just connecting with them in general. It’s nice to be able to pick up the phone and share your life with someone who cares, it’s even better to see them in person. It always leaves me feeling happier.

According to the study, spending two days a week with four of your gal pals will help you recover quicker from illness, strengthen your immune system, and decrease anxiety levels. But, when the group is bigger than 5 people, funny situations that generate the necessary endorphins for happiness and well being are less probable.” says one expert. That’s why it’s recommended to meet in a group of maximum four friends.

Research shows that we women need to maintain our friendships because it increases serotonin and oxytocin. Having these close connections becomes even more important as we age. I know that whenever I go out with my friends, I always feel amazing! And a happier me means that I’m a better mom, better wife, just better overall.

So pick up your phone, call your girlfriends and plan your outing, remember, it’s good for you!

 

YOUR WORDS GIVE LIFE TO YOUR LIFE

“What we speak becomes the house we live in.” ~ Hafiz
“Words are things, I’m convinced. You must be careful about the words you use or the words you allow to be used in your house.” -Maya Angelou

Think about how profound that is, especially if you are a parent. 

Words bring out the best or the worst in us. You can uplift people or tear them down with words. You can empower or disempower both yourself and those you share words with. And that is why it is so important to pay close attention to our words.

Words are seeds that do more than blow around. They land in our hearts and not the ground. Be careful what you plant and careful what you say. You might have to eat what you planted one day.-unkown

We are all human and lose control of ourselves from time to time but for the little humans we are raising, it’s imperative that they hear words that encourage, uplift and even heal. So the next time you have something to say, speak with intention. It all goes back to being mindful.

INVICTUS

Out of the night that covers me,   
  Black as the Pit from pole to pole,   
I thank whatever gods may be   
  For my unconquerable soul.   
   
In the fell clutch of circumstance 
  I have not winced nor cried aloud.   
Under the bludgeonings of chance   
  My head is bloody, but unbowed.   
   
Beyond this place of wrath and tears   
  Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years   
  Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.   
   
It matters not how strait the gate,   
  How charged with punishments the scroll,   
I am the master of my fate:
  I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

 

Invictus means “unconquerable” or “undefeated” in Latin, The poem was written while Henley was in the hospital being treated for Pott’s disease.

If you are fighting some sort of battle be it depression, loss, divorce, just go inward and feed your soul. Be kind to yourself, take it slow, meditate, pray, surround yourself with people who love you and want to listen to you. This may be a painful time but know that you are strong and you are never alone. And remember to count your blessings, that in itself is a way back from the dark.

Until next time……

Live Life Now!

In just a second your entire life can change. Someone you love can be diagnosed with cancer, or get hit by a car. You can have an accident that can leave you disabled. Your perfect idea of a relationship can suddenly end in divorce. These are changes that can leave you filled with anxiety and fear. There are also many positive changes in life, such as a new partnership or marriage, the birth of a new baby, a new exciting career opportunity.  Change is inevitable, it’s all part of life. Some are planned, others are unplanned

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We forget that we are all on an inexorable journey that will end with the obliteration of our individual ego. Change is all around us but we ignore it. I can remember exactly how I felt bringing my daughter home from the hospital. She was so tiny and perfect, so helpless, unable to do anything for herself. Now she is a tall, lovely, competent ten-year old girl with her own opinions and ideas. Before I know it, she will be a teenager and there will be even more changes in my life. These are things we can’t control. When you can’t control what is happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That is where your power is!

The end is inevitable. The journey is irreversible. We die because we are born and that begins the unrelenting odyssey. We don’t know how much time we have in life. What matters is what you do with the time you have. In fact, with each day. Live it now!

  • Spend time with the people who bring you happiness
  • Do what makes you happy
  • Don’t fall into the ‘some day’ trap
  • Use your best china
  • Go on that vacation
  • Explore the world, go somewhere new every year
  • Show your love to the people who mean everything to you, saying I love you is one thing but actions speak louder than words
  • Be kind, serve others
  • Spend one on one time with your children, parents, partners and friends you cherish

Do it now, this is not your practice life!

 

Children and Electronics

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Recently I was talking to my cousin about the amount of time he allows his two-year old to be in front of the screen. This started a conversation about how I don’t let my 10-year old watch any television during the week. Our conversation turned into whether or not the amount of time in front of the screen makes a negative impact. This prompted me to put some research into the subject and find out what the professionals suggest. I really always went to my sister, a speech therapist and my go to guru for what I should and should not allow my daughter. I trust and respect her input and her knowledge.

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So first, here is what screen time means, watching television, being on computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

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I found out that too much screen time has been linked to health problems in kids including obesity and emotional problems. Experts say using media while in the classroom can be helpful, but too much use outside school decreases academic performance. Using it at bedtime has been shown to disrupt sleep. Technology can also get in the way of family time. As with anything in life balance is key.img_6336

Here is a family media use plan that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Mealtimes should be screen-free.
  • Homework should be done without any electronics.
  • If homework requires a computer, have kids work on it in the kitchen or other common area.
  • Don’t use electronics during the school week; this will help avoid creating a dynamic where kids rush their schoolwork to get to their screen time.
  • Have kids earn screen time by equal time spent on physical activity or chores.
  • Make bedtime screen-free.

Here are the limits of screen time for kids in different age groups according to experts:

  • Ages 0-2, no screen time
  • Ages 2-3, 30 minutes per day
  • Ages 3-5, 1 hour per day
  • Ages 5-6, 1 and a half hours per day
  • Ages 6-12 2 hours per day

So now we know that too much screen time is harmful, but it’s important to also think about what our kids are doing online. Content matters! We can use screen time to learn, create and challenge ourselves or simply to veg out. It’s important that our children’s screen time emphasizes the first three.img_6337 img_6338

Obviously technology is here to stay and we want our kids to thrive in this digital world. They can do this with our support and involvement. Start a conversation on the risks of technology use and how much screen time Is too much.

Good luck, they aren’t going to like it now but they will thank you later in life.

Oh the joys of parenting!

Time is Fleeting

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 Let me love you a little more before you’re not little anymore. I want you to be my little girl forever but at the same time I’m excited about all the great things you will do in the life. In the meantime I cherish every minute I have with you because I know it will all end way too soon.

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You will have a newborn for a month…

An infant for a year…

A toddler for two years…

A preschooler for two years..

A child for five years…

A preteen for three years..

A teenager for five years..

And then they are off to college and life.

Be mindful and present in what you do with the years that you have with your children.

They are few. And then you’ll have to let them go. So until then, listen to them when they want to talk, hold them tight when they want a hug. Play with them even when your tired. Read to them, take in their innocence and show them that everything they do interests you. Breathe in their sweet smell, love them. Take note of how very lucky you are to have them and pay attention to how much they teach you. Appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate what you had.

Yoga for Kids!

 

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If you’ve ever tried Yoga, you have already felt the benefits of it. Why not try it for your children? My ten-year old has been taking yoga from the very beginning. I first exposed her to it when she was just an infant. We took Mommy and me yoga together. Since then, she has been practicing yoga on and off for years. I also practice meditation with her.img_9735

I recently signed her up for a series of yoga classes that my friend teaches right in my town. Both Yoga and mindfulness have been shown to improve physical and mental health in children.

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Yoga can be fun and beneficial for kids. It improves balance, strength and endurance.  In fact, research has already shown that yoga can improve focus, memory, self-esteem, academic performance, classroom behavior and can even reduce anxiety and stress in kids.

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Another benefit of yoga is self-awareness. Through this practice kids begin to listen to their internal cues and emotions. By shifting self-awareness inward, a buffer forms between the yoga student and the many negative outside influences that promote poor body images.

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Thousands of schools across the country are now offering yoga. If your school hasn’t implemented the practice yet, you can always find one in your neighborhood. So go ahead and look for it at a studio near you. You will see for yourself just how great it can be for you and your child!

Namaste

 

Lavender Feilds

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Forgiveness is the smell that Lavender gives out when you tread on it.-Mark Twain

img_9311Every second of every day is an opportunity to be grateful. Grateful for the air we breathe, the beauty that surrounds us, our health, the children we are fortunate enough to raise, our loved ones, our friends. Every situation in life good or bad gives us an opportunity to grow and to be grateful. Even in the worst of times we can find something to be thankful about.  Live this way and you will see your life change for the positive.

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Here are some other ways to live a positive life

  1. Spend time getting to know yourself
  2. Appreciate what you have
  3. Accept and love yourself 
  4. See the positive in every situation
  5. Live in the moment
  6. Travel to new places
  7. Stop worrying about the future
  8. Spend quality alone time with your spouse
  9. Enjoy every second of your children, they grow fast
  10. If you are lucky enough to still have your parents, spend time with them
  11. Make time for friends that want to spend time with you
  12. Be a positive role model for your children by living authentically
  13. Teach kindness and compassion by practicing it yourself
  14. Do something for others on a daily basis, you will be surprised how much happiness this will bring you
  15. Keep on learning, a new language, knitting, dancing, cooking, something that will keep you reaching for goals
  16. Take time to make new friends and reconnect with old ones
  17. Forgive, love and let go
  18. Stay away from negative people
  19. Live your dreams and take risks, life is happening now
  20. Connect with your source, learn to meditate, pray

In all things in nature there is something of the marvelous -Aristotle

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Take time to be present, stop and smell the flowers.