Saturday, March 14, 2015


Kindness…I feel like maybe it’s taken me forty something years to start really appreciating this word, this quality, this attribute. Sure, I always knew the value of kindness. You can catch more flies with honey, right? Don’t say something if you can’t say something nice, right? These are all things we learn as kids, and they should stay with us into adulthood. But now I’m learning there’s more to kindness, like an inner light, and I think on some people, it’s much too dim and that is sort of a sad thing. It’s not that hard to be kind, to let your light shine a bit stronger, even strong enough to touch someone else. I believe it’s not just an attribute, but one of the most valuable ones we can have, and it’s something that should be instilled in our children maybe before anything else.

Throw kindness around like confetti.

It’s busy being a mom. We drive our kids around, feed them, and schedule them. We encourage them in their sports and personal life, maybe try to get some faith and religion in, and quiz them on spelling words and order AP study guides. But what about kindness? Where does that come in? And it’s not just us being kind to them, we also need to instill kindness, like teaching them to drive or to eat healthy. I have discovered, more than any other accolade, award or grade, having someone tell me my kids are kind is one of the biggest compliments I can receive. Instead of pushing others aside on the way to the top, isn’t it better to help someone up along the way?

Our world exudes negativity. I hear bashing all of the time, about our kids teachers, coaches, schedules, work, spouses, kids, obligations. But if we could only turn it around to shine, to be kind, couldn’t that spread like a great, good virile epidemic. Negativity is contagious, people can sit around and gossip, complain, vent for hours. And then they feel drained, exhausted, used up. But if we look around, isn’t it so much better to be grateful, compassionate, kind. And if one of us is uplifting, positive and kind, it spreads like a lovely glow. 

Be kinder than you feel.

And it’s easy. Think about going in a building and there’s someone behind you. How easy is it to hold the door for them, and better yet, smile? Maybe help an elderly shopper reach something on a shelf or let that guy with one grocery item go ahead of you in line. Or tell someone thanks. Or exude a little patience. Or try to turn someone’s negativity into something brighter and don’t go to the dark side of bashing. Kindness is easy. It doesn’t take up any more time. And it makes you feel good, stronger, happier.

There’s a song on a CD my yoga teacher gave to all her students, Nothing More by The Alternate Routes. It says, “To be humble, to be kind…We are how we treat each other and nothing more.” I love that, because it’s true. Slip a little kindness in your day. It’s good for you, and watch it, it just might spread.

Do all things with kindness.

Namaste, my friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Holiday Card Phenomenon

Every December, I vow to write a piece on The Holiday Card Phenomenon.  Even my own antics amaze me, and as cards begin to come into our home, I can’t help but think how the Holiday Card has morphed into a whole Experience, where once, not so very long ago, you just went to Target or Barnes and Noble, bought a box of pretty cards, signed your family’s name, maybe wrote a nice sentiment, and they were off. But now…

The Evolution of the Christmas Card.
When I first began to send out cards – I remember it was when I was in college and they went to sorority sisters – they consisted of a box of pretty cards found in a nearby store. Maybe I tried to get whimsical or funky or spirited, but nothing more crafty or creative came my way then a special pen at most. Oh, as I think back, could it have possible been a silver paint pen? So I sat and signed, and off they went for the mail to deliver.

The next phase was as a newly married couple. Not so different – a card we both liked, signed, sealed and delivered. That was it.

Then our first daughter was born. Ahhh…..the photo card begins. Oddly enough, I don’t remember the card or the picture – but there had to have been one, right? I vaguely remember those cards where you insert your picture inside a festive border. You could still write a message and sign your name. But soon enough, the flat photo card came into fashion, and here is where we are these days. And that, my friends, is where the true phenomena begins.

And the photo card is not alone – the counter part is….da da daaaaaaa – The Holiday Letter. Let’s take a look at these first, my friends.

The Holiday Letter
I have to go here first, because though the Holiday Letter gets more grief, I think the photo card has more behind the scenes to dissect, so we’ll save it. Your Holiday Letter is what it is, a review of the year. Sometimes quite nice and complete, full of cheer, good wishes and a little catch up for those not in touch much throughout the year. Other times, we receive the Holiday Letter that not unlike Facebook, is full of the Humble Brag. Gone are the gentle reminders of the lovely holiday season and instead are accounts of basement renovations, elite select sports team championships, precise numbers of hours spent volunteering and when little Darling began to read (at an early age of course).

The letter can be a lovely thing. We love to hear of new babies born, anniversaries celebrated, engagements and college acceptance. Do we need a list of tropical and European destinations visited or how many colleges sent those acceptances? I think the grades children earned can be saved for Grandma; we don’t all need to know, especially maybe those struggling to pass a class.  But the Holiday Letter often knows no bounds. Where those updates of interests, events and childrens’ ages are delightful to read, the detailed accounts of one’s lavish lives can sort of be a downer to others in the spirit of the season.

But enough on The Holiday Letter, it’s a time worn tradition and one that we can mock or love – or both. But time to move on to The Card.

The Photo Holiday Card
Around Thanksgiving, the holiday card dilemma begins to surface it’s seemingly innocuous head perking up and saying, “Come on and create me – we’ll have fun!” You make that cup of hot cocoa, put on some holiday music and begin to sift through some pictures from throughout the year, quietly recollecting fun times and smiling inside to yourself. Oh wait….First you take a quick look through Pinterest, searching Holiday Card Ideas.

But wait again, not everyone sifts through the year’s photos. Let’s begin with the ones who have a family photo shoot scheduled and perfect coordinating outfits are laid out and ready. Notice they are not matching, simply coordinating. Clothes must not look too contrived or things will be unnatural. So off they go on the Photo Shoot. Perhaps a prop, like the popular fancy frame or letters spelling out JOY will come along. Maybe the dog will be in the shoot or lights will be strung from a tree as a beautiful backdrop.

Another option, Mom will tell her kids to brush their hair and off they go to the neighborhood park, maybe she brings out the real camera, but sometimes the phone will do. It’s not unlike the professional photo shoot and props and dogs can come along. And whether Mom or Professional Photographer took the shots, that perfect one will surface, and no one will ever know the strife through the lens before and after. The angst and the arguing, threats and guilt from Mom will all quietly disappear as quickly as the golden hour, and the surly, sulking photo that says so much will be privately deleted, never to be seen by public eyes.

But for those who like a year in review rather than a photo just for the occasion – how do you decide? Will the card include multiple photos, one of each family member, or everyone grouped together? Will they be doing “their thing” or just hanging out looking fabulous? Can pictures take the place of the Letter, depicting the year with handheld chalkboard signs or catchy captions? So hard to decide…and by now, the cocoa is cold, the holiday music has been on repeat much too long, but a stack of virtual pictures is in the basket, weeded out and edited.

Still, decisions, decisions: Still deciding on a single fab photo or multiples? A great shot of the four of you or a so-so one with the Eiffel Tower in the background? Do you go fun or formal? Entire family together? Pets or not pets? Prop or no prop? What about the picture where everyone is together, looking right at the camera, soft expressions, natural poses and great smiles, the waves and beach a perfect backdrop and the lighting is heaven sent…but, wait, Mom’s hair looks more than not great, in fact, kinda bad? To use or not to use?

Not done yet…the pictures are uploaded, cropped and enhanced, but what about the photo card itself? Whimsical or traditional? Trendy or classic? Holiday or Christmas? Portrait or landscape? Rounded corners might be nice…? How many text boxes, and oh what font it is to choose on the four photo gold berry card…By this point, you’ve spiked your cold hot cocoa with bourbon and wanted to punch Bing Crosby in the gut when White Christmas came on for the twentieth time. But you’re almost finished you yell to your family, we’ll eat when I’m done.

Six hours later, you stagger from your computer, hungry (cause they ate dinner without you), exhausted, a little drunk, but the victor. You have created the perfect Holiday Card.  Just wait till they see it.

Happy Holidays, my friends – may be your card be the best one ever!
<3 writeymom

Monday, August 25, 2014

What Teenage Girls Need...

So many great parenting blogs are swimming around out there, and each one can not only inspire us to do better and keep a reality check, but often they inspire to write a response. Oddly enough, this mom of two girls (a teen and a so close we can taste it teen) learned a lot from The Grommom’s What a Teenage Boy Needs Most from his Mom. Maybe it’s my quest to learn about the boys my girls are interested in, or maybe it’s human nature, or maybe it’s that her words hold so true for girls and daughters as well as boys, and then some are so different that you realize girls and boys may truly be from different planets, but the weird breed of teenagers somehow converged into one.

I do have to say, I agree with @thegrommom that these years are fascinating, fulfilling and so much fun. I remember when my darlings were wee babies and I loved that stage so much. I tend to worry that time goes too fast and that I’d miss this stage so much. My mom told me, “Don’t worry, each stage is more fun.” Hard to believe surly, stinky teens would be more fun than rolly polly babies, but….they are! They interact, they discuss, they have thoughts and opinions and are becoming these wonderful adults with a lot of awkwardness and self-discovery thrown in.

Another bit of parenting advice I remember is one my husband shared. A friend a few years ahead of us in the parenting years told him something to this effect…The tween and teen years are so much fun, but go so fast. By the time they’re old enough to be fun, they’ve got one foot out the door. Well said, Mr. Dad. Well, kind of. I mean I get the point. I watch my friends send their kids off to college, and mine is only a few years behind. Again, as Grommom mentions, these teenage years are SHORT! They are packed full and busy and fun and worrisome and SHORT! So fellow moms, as I always say, take a deep breath and enjoy it!!!

Here are those few things I do think teenage girls need, those of us with girls may relate to these things below, those with boys may also, or else they wonder what the hell I’m talking about! Thank you, Grommom for sharing your boy insight and inspiring me!

1.     Love – there can’t be too much of this. If your teen girls know you love them unconditionally, you’ve done something right. With everything else that may be thrown their way, with the mistakes they’ll make (big or small), with the tough decisions they have to make, they have to know you love them whatever, whenever and strongly. Sure, you may get mad or you may be disappointed, but don’t ever let the grace of love slip away.
2.     Boundaries and rules – Just like the boys need it, the girls do, too. Set your boundaries and expectations and stick to them. Just because others are doing certain things doesn’t make it okay for your girls to do them. Whether it’s clothes or curfews or parties or a million other things, set what makes sense to you and your family. Help them set their own boundaries, too, when it comes to things like well… boys and dating. They will truly thank you for it.
3.     Let them be who they are – Maybe you always imagined your daughter would be a bookworm or a cheerleader. But she’s not. Maybe the girl you dreamed who would shake her pompoms only wants to be with her books at night, or the other way around. You did everything to raise an academic, but instead she’s a social butterfly. You can’t change her. You need to love and respect your daughter for who she is, not who you want her to be.
4.     Guidance – Yes, they want your guidance. These teenagers are still kids and need some guidance along the way. Whether it’s about school, friends, boys, offer up your guidance and your advice. You may be surprised that they actually take it.
5.     A bubble bath – Every so often, your daughter will have an awful day. She’ll be grouchy and snippy and yucky to be around. Help her out; there’s probably a reason. Draw her a bubble bath, play her favorite music and give her a place to breathe and regroup.
6.     Understanding – Remember when you were a teen. You may have felt like no one understood you. Try to understand. Try to put yourself in her shoes, not yours. Even if you don’t really get it, try. That will mean the world to her.
7.     A parent – You are her parent. You have rules to set and consequences to follow up with. You need to say “no” sometimes; that thing just doesn’t fit your values. Stand by those values and she’ll how important they are, she may take them with her forever.
8.     A friend (what!!!) – They say never be your children’s friend; I disagree. Sometimes your daughter will need a friend. She’ll come home from a date and want to talk – listen! She’ll need to vent about a teacher and maybe use a four-letter work – it’s okay. Let her. Be her friend sometimes; you can still be Mom, too.
9.     Laughter - Find things to laugh about. Weird YouTube videos or your dog. Laughter is important every day no matter what else is going on. The mlore we laugh, the more we can…breathe!
10. Listening – Sometimes there is nothing to say, so just listen. You don’t need to always fix things; sometimes simply listening is enough. And don’t pretend to listen, really, really do it.  Always, always listen. Do you get me?

Well, I wanted to stick with 7 for some reason – my family likes the number thanks to soccer and Harry Potter. But I couldn’t. And that my friends, is my final, unnumbered bit of what teenage girls need – sometimes the plan needs to be amended. Whether it’s yours or theirs, big or small. Sometimes you have to change what you thought you were going to do for whatever reason, and you know what, things usually work better.

So give your teenage girls a hug, make them laugh and it’s okay to be their friend. Take another deep breath, good luck and enjoy.


Friday, August 8, 2014

That dirty liar - Nostalgia and Happy New School Year!

Every year when the kids go back to school, I make a mental list of my own goals. Usually one of them entails blogging on a regular basis. Usually I don’t stick to that one. I’m not even sure if it’s a goal this year, but I do feel the beginning of the school year begets at least one blog entry.

So here’s what summer meant to us…
Frisbee at dusk

One girl learning to drive

A year of French in 4 weeks

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (such a beautiful book)

Oliver Twist (well, you know Dickens)


Lots of Rainbow Loom bracelets

24 years of a happy marriage

One kid learning to cook

The coast of California

Full House over and over and over and over

Staying up too late


You might think, wow, these sound kind of boring. That’s really what you did all summer? You didn’t have a neighborhood waterballon fight for all the kids full of mason jar decorations, craft stations and handmade invitations? You didn’t host a dinner party with themed cocktails, fairy lights and party clothes? None of our adventures are star studded spectacular out of this world summer adventures, well, I guess California was, but the others could appear sort of mundane. However, the beauty of it all, is nothing you do laced with love is mundane. I see the struggles of many moms trying to make everything just perfect. Perhaps they need a real activity, an organized, planned day to make it count. That’s fine if it works for them, but it also can turn into lots of work, stress and not enough reward for all of the effort put in.

It took me quite a few mom years to realize that kids don’t need the biggies to make them count. I think this summer my girls will remember our evening Frisbee games as much as our trip to California. That’s not to say the big stuff isn’t awesome and important for a family, but it also says don’t knock the little stuff. Those overplanned outings and playdates can cause a lot of undue stress; they lose their authenticity and that little lacing of love.

You read a lot about the overplanning of this generation, how “back in the day” kids just ran free. They say we’d leave in the summer mornings and be home by dinner, no cell phones to check in with or violin lessons to prep for. Well, parents, those days don’t really exist anymore (for better or worse) so stop pining for them and get on with the 20 teens. Life changes. Times change. But every summer day doesn’t need to be a day out of Parenting magazine or Pinterest worthy. It’s okay to stay home all day and well, check out Pinterest. Maybe read a book or watch Full House, or do the laundry while your kid plays on his iPhone for an hour or texts a friend. And there’s nothing so bad about having some planned, organized time, either, like a cello lesson or a dance class. It doesn’t make you a hardass. In fact, you can even go to the neighborhood pool for an hour or two on a hot afternoon (maybe not even pack snacks – as scandalous as that sounds); you don’t have to head to a water park and post it on Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, saw this recently and it made me laugh…
"Nostalgia is a dirty liar that insists things were better than they seemed.”

Sure the summer days when I took my toddlers to the library and brought home a stack of picture books to read all day in the living room were fun and sweet, but we just don’t do that anymore. Ya gotta move on. You can’t pine for the good ol’ days or you’ll miss out on the joy of these days – the present ones.

The 1970’s weren’t better, and who’s to say these days are better, either? They’re just different. So, Moms, here’s the thing…enjoy your time with your kids. Don’t stress so much about making it all perfect (man, if I could go back and take away those giant bday parties with goodie bags and overdone cakes…), the fun and the memories will happen, but be part of them, not the overstressed mommy who exhausted herself before she could enjoy. So go play some Frisbee or make your kid practice her cello, whichever is okay…just enjoy it!

Happy school year, my friends!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Letter to My Toddler Mom Self

In response to great post on by Kelly Claire, Letter to My Pregnant Child-less Self (that I heard first about on +The Bert Show )…, I thought I’d go down the road a bit. I’m sending this one to the toddler mom me. If only I could have read this back then…

Dear young mom of two toddlers self….
You happily sailed through two pregnancies right into babydom. What sweet, beautiful babies they were, and poof - all of a sudden they’re now chubby toddlers. Wow – what a time this is! Gymboree and music classes, naps and playdates, coloring books and Fisher Price. Oh yeah, potty training. Gotta get that done on time...

Wait, wait, wait! Let me tell you something, sister. It doesn’t matter. Let me rephrase – some stuff matters – happiness, joy, appreciation, wonder. Those are the things that matter to a toddler, not when she poops in the potty or if she sings her “bum bums” in music class. And you shouldn’t sweat it so much either, because do you know what’s down the road – big kids - teenagers. And those happiness and appreciation things will still matter, maybe even more, but those little things (that seem so big right now) might not.

Yep, and you’re going to look back and think how easy these toddlers were, safe and with you all the time. You think you’re not getting sleep now? Didn’t you just doze while they napped? And wait, they go to sleep before 8:00, snug in their beds. Prep yourself, honey, cause that’s changing. There’s that Lit project they have to stay up till midnight working on (maybe they’ll want your company), and then they get up at 5 AM for swim practice, and so do you since you’ll be driving them. Maybe they’ll go straight from school to a couple of dance classes, with a homework marathon to follow when they are so hungry and just want a hug before jumping into that homework, but they may have forgotten how to ask –remind them. But also remember when all this craziness is going on, you are the one that lets them do it. So take a deep breath and enjoy it, or else cut it back, despite what other families around you are doing. And maybe (if you’re lucky) they want to stay up past the homework and projects and rehash their day with you; teenagers and tweens like to talk at night which means you need to no matter how tired you are. That’s one of the very best parts.

And again, if you’re lucky – they’ll talk. Boy, will they talk. These little tweens talk all about puberty and pubic hair, sex and Justin Beiber; they’ll tell you about Minecraft and Video Star. So listen. They’ll tell you more than you think you should know about their friends, and you’ll have to pretend like you have no idea the next time you see those kids.

You also are now thinking that soon enough you’ll have time to go out on dates with your husband again, just when your sweet toddlers are a little older and don’t cry when you leave them. My ass, you will. Because as soon as they’re old enough to stay home alone, they go places with friends (and you drive them, but remember, now is the time to chat up their friends), they may have a boyfriend and God knows you can’t leave them alone, or they have Lacrosse tourneys or swim meets all weekend. So not only do you not go out on romantic dates, but you wear weird clothes like high school spirit wear and sneakers.

Speaking of weird clothes, remember when you were a kid and you imagined your future life of glamour, a stunning wardrobe and a home ready for the cover of House Beautiful? Nope, you won’t have it. But you won’t be sorry you can’t have new window treatments or expensive furniture, because your kids won’t remember that. They’ll remember how you were there for them, how you laughed hard together in the kitchen for almost no reason, whether the countertops are new or not. The money you wanted to redo your kitchen or buy those Prada shoes with will go to the dance studio, the booster club or the orthodontist. They’ll need new clothes cause they really do grow. And please moms, don’t wear your daughter’s clothes, even if they fit you – it’s just weird.

As far as friends go, let’s talk about yours. Try to surround yourself with those who build you up, you’ll need those conversations with other moms just like you do now, it’s just your topics will change. Keep your network strong and supportive; it will save you sometimes. And ditch those bitches who judge and compare. You don’t want your kids hanging around the mean kids, so don’t you do it, either.

Remember back when you worried when your little one got a boo boo? Now you get to worry about mean kids and heartbreak, drugs and peer pressure, bullying and academic transcripts. First crushes and gossip run rampant, and you watch your teenager’s moods swing back and forth like the Jolly Roger on a stormy sea. And that’s not all there is to worry about – what about cars? Remember how you used to strap them in, oh so tight, into their car seat with that weird stick on mirror. Now they’re the ones gearing up for the driver’s seat. Holy Shit!

Your big kids will be stressed, sometimes sad, and because they are essentially your heart living outside your body, you, too, will be stressed and sometimes sad. For now it may be because they can’t have an extra cookie, but as they get bigger, their problems get bigger. Maybe it’s way too much homework, or anxiety over perfection, or because they didn’t get invited to a party. Maybe it’s way bigger than any of that, like anxiety disorders, fear, sex, eating disorders, depression, addiction – that which haunts many a teenager.

But, they’ll be happy, too, and you also get to live that with them. I think the excitement of a teenager or a tween is like a long lost art that we moms have forgotten - faces glowing, smiles widening, their whole bodies taking on that bounce…whether it’s for their new hair cut, an academic award, a big sports win, or cause the boy texted back – you’ll feel their joy as much as their pain.

Remember how you loved your little baby so very much; you stared at her toes forever. That love doesn’t go away. You still will love them like that, despite the sometimes pretty hideous BO; every moment is worth it. Your heart will break and your palms will sweat for them. You’ll get mad at their surly tone and too much time on their phone. You’ll pick up clothes off bathroom floors again and again and then realize mid reach that it’s not so far off that they won’t live here anymore so you won’t have clothes to pick up, and you’ll want to cry. Your heart will still melt and they’ll never know cause they’re so wrapped up in themselves. But that’s okay. Just keep loving them.

Oh yea, two more things to remember, don’t use that loud, cutesy mommy voice when you’re in stores like Target – it’s annoying and no one cares that your darling little one ate another pretzel goldfish. And fancy birthday parties where you invite the whole class- scrap ‘em (all they do is stress your kid out), and save the money for an iPhone.

Now if only my future self could write to me about what’s next.

Me, the mom of your 12 and almost 15 year old.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Anxiety, swimming and letting go...

My friend Rachael and I were chatting the other day, and sometimes talking to her is like a confessional – she’s one of those friends you can tell anything to and it’s kind of, well, therapeutic. So we were covering all the random topics we tend to, toilets, weird words like weenis, basketball games and violin lessons, then we got to anxiety. Ohhh, that’s a big one. Because it’s everywhere.  It’s in me, it’s in her – it’s in our kids and in our daily life. I once a read a statistic that stuck with me, about 8% of kids suffer from some sort of anxiety; I would wager in our area it’s much higher.

Anxiety is tough. How much is too much? When do you worry about your worries? When do you let them go? Many a mom knows the empathetic feeling of that quick read in the moments that her kid is walking off the bus or to the car. We do a covert scan – are they smiling, do they look nervous, what was their day like? Happy? Sad? Anxious? Were there boy problems, girl problems, teacher problems, academic problems….? Then we can react accordingly. We can sooth them or say suck it up. We can say, yes, that sounds awful or maybe you could try to be a little more empathetic yourself.

Oddly enough, I just read this in Alea’s swim newsletter taken from Dr. Aimee Kimball, about zenning your thoughts. And we have a lot of thoughts in our house….boy do we! Though this in reference to swimming, I think it can be taken to just about any facet of our life, especially our general well being.

Accept and Release
 If you've ever taken yoga, instructors often teach you to focus on your breath or the muscle you are working. Zen thinking is very similar. Basically, if you have a thought that is irrelevant to your race/practice or detrimental to your performance, you don't judge it or dwell on it, you accept it as simply a thought and then let it pass quickly through your mind, returning your focus to the task at hand. For example, if you say to yourself, "What if I don't win? These other swimmers are just as good as I am," you wouldn't want to follow that by thinking, "Why am I thinking that?!?! I should be confident!! Maybe I really won't win. What would others say?...". Instead, you simply accept you had a thought, imagine it departing from your head, and focus on your breath/race/clear your mind. Don't give thoughts extra energy unless you want them to stick around.

I love this. We waste time on negative, irrational thoughts and so much energy. If only we could let them go so easily. But, really, why can’t we work on the letting go just like other activities. I work on my back hand in tennis and my forward fold in yoga. Alea works on her breast stroke and dive in swim and Kiyah on her double pirouette. So why not take the mental effort to work on letting the thoughts go. Mind you, there’s a big difference in letting them go and trying to rid yourself of them. For many of us, the thoughts are part of us, regardless of what they may be about. But they take us over when we give validity to them. I love this piece and how it advises the swimmer (or anyone) to accept the fact that the thought exists, and then let it go. Whether you imagine it leaving by giving it some sort of visual (putting it in an envelope and sending it far, far away) or physically throw or blow it away or even say something to it to bid it good-bye like (Ok, Thought, time for you to go) – let it go.

Believe me, I’m not making light of anxiety or repetitive thoughts- these can be scary, scary challenges. But I do think what has worked a little in my house at least is to acknowledge what’s going on. Don’t be afraid or ashamed, and then shoo it along.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Snow Days and Dr. Seuss

It’s 8 AM on the first back to school after winter break. Here I am, sipping coffee in the quiet house, gazing outside into the oh so cold morning (record breaking cold at that) and the kids, wait, the kids are still upstairs asleep. Because of that record breaking cold, we get one more day of winter break.

I’ve discovered there are two schools of moms out there when it comes to snow days, cold days, weather days – no matter what you want to call them – two schools exist. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out, either, just take a look at Facebook. That’s where you’ll find the pleas of the one group of moms begging the schools to take their children back, “Why close schools in single digit weather, that’s babying the kids,” they cry. Do they forget that not all kids get driven to school and some wait for the bus (unattended) in the wee, cold, dark hours of the morning? Do they forget not all southern kids have North Face jackets and enough winter gear to keep them safe on that wait?
The other side consists of the moms who relish the time their kids are home. They’ll bake cookies and create Pinterest worthy crafts, or maybe take 6 girls out to lunch or have a football game in their basement for the neighborhood boys, feeding them bowls of homemade chili. Or maybe some make up this side who just want more day to sleep in, avoid the rush for a bit longer and have another homework free night. Either way, they are the ones who send their county thank you’s via Facebook when the school closing announcements go viral.

So yes, another day of winter break. I love it when I’m up first and can savor those few moments of sleeping kids and quiet house. Right now, I climbed over boxes of Christmas decorations, remnant needles from the Christmas tree and laundry baskets full of clean pajamas to get to my computer without spilling my coffee. I’ll take this so called snowless snow day and enjoy one last day of winter break. Maybe the girls will clean their rooms or get an edge up on studying for what’s yet to come. Probably not. I doubt we will make that Pinterest craft, either. Well, maybe Kiyah will…And those days, even those snow days, of PBSkids and early bedtimes are long gone. There will be dance class and swim practice tonight regardless of closed schools and single digit temps. I’ll still have to hurry someone along and make sure bags are ready for the early morning tomorrow. But one more day, ahhhh…..thank you!

I’ll still be a tiny bit sad when I look at the boxes of Christmas decorations that it seemed we just took out. Will there still be excitement next year to decorate and pull each ornament out of the box and hang it on the tree? Sometimes I feel like time is a big game and we’ve got to learn how to play it the best way, savoring all of that time in between turns, even when it’s not your own or something exciting isn’t happening in the game. Time goes so fast, just like winter break, so an extra few minutes to play is welcome. They’ll get back to school, Moms, no matter which camp you’re in, don’t worry.

And I love this quote, it’s been playing a lot in my head these past couple of days as the holidays and 2013 have ended… as Dr Seuss says, “"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

So you probably figured out I’m in school two of the winter storm days…I love an extra cold day with my girls at home.