Category Archives: Guest Post

{Guest Author} Holiday Perspective

Guest post by Meghan, aka FaithGirl

Vyv in the Christmas Tree
Now that the holidays are over let me just say that I think I need to avoid all social media from the week before Thanksgiving until January 2nd. Because did I REALLY need to see posts of beautifully dressed children in immaculate kitchens making extraordinary looking Christmas cookies? OR did I need to read on facebook that “Santa found us in Cancun…so very BLESSED.” My holidays were far from this portrayal of yuletide bliss.

Here is how my holiday season came and went in a nutshell:

  1. Baby #2 was born two weeks early at the beginning of November. I was totally unprepared. Unprepared as in no bag packed, no arrangements made for my 2 year old. Unprepared as in went for a routine ultrasound and ended up in labor and delivery immediately following. Thankfully, baby #2 is healthy and thriving.
  2. The help that was lined up to come when baby #2 was actually due arrived but then decided to leave a week early. Yikes!
  3. Thanksgiving came – my husband grilled steaks for dinner.
  4. Christmas season started – the outdoor lights went up.
  5. We got a Christmas tree but only put lights on it. No ornaments touched the tree.
  6. No stockings were hung by the chimney with care. Seriously. No stockings up.
  7. No advent wreath, advent calendar, or elf on a shelf was a part of our Christmas season.
  8. No one sat on Santa’s lap this year.
  9. No Christmas cards when out – not even to announce our new baby. Nope. Not one Christmas card was sent.
  10. No Christmas presents were wrapped – not one.
  11. No Christmas cookies were baked – we ate oreos instead.
  12. We did not attend one Christmas church service this year.
  13. Most of our Christmas presents were sent out after New Years.
  14. Our outdoor Christmas lights are still up – just unplugged.
  15. We are probably going to be on an episode of Hoarders soon.

There have been people who have shamed me about my Christmas season Continue reading

Safe Side SuperChick Weighs in – Keeping Our Kids Safe

[This post is part of the "In Defense Of" Series]

I am SO excited about today’s guest poster… Safe Side SuperChick!  Well, her name really is Angela Shelton and she actually is WAY more awesome than even SuperChick.  Angela is an activist, screenwriter, author, actor and public speaker. She blogs about writing, performing, enhancing your creativity, and living a joyful well-balanced life no matter what you’ve been through.  Today Angela is sharing with us tips on keeping our little ones safe.

You want your kids to be safe, right?

I assume the answer is yes.

Parents of young children are (hopefully) always looking at new ways to cultivate awareness in their children, establish healthy boundaries and give them confidence to defend themselves.

Playing Safe Side Superchick in The Safe Side series was not only my most favorite job ever, it was a blessing to be able to help keep kids safe after having been through the kind of abuse that the videos are helping protective parents and guardians to avoid!

Safe Side Superchick!

The Safe Side DVDs really are great and they are very fun and funny so they don’t freak kids out with creepy perpetrator information. They teach fun ways to stay on the safe side.

I received this email from a parent yesterday (and I get these a lot)

My 3 year-old utilized her SafeSide super skills this week and ran away from a creepy guy who got between myself and her in a public place. (Note that I’m not neglectful but was trying to chase down my 15 month-old son and let go of her hand to grab my baby before he toddled off the edge of a stairway.) Creepy dude stepped inbetween us in that instant. Thank GOD she loves that DVD and comprehended what she should do if ever such a situation were to occur! She screamed “DON’T KNOW… He’s a DON’T KNOW…MOMMY!!!” and ran toward me. She got the attention of all the adults around her and creepy dude’s wife grabbed him by the elbow and took him off to a corner to scold him. Meanwhile all eyes were on her and everyone nearby seemed relieved when she grabbed my hand and we walked away. So, thank you, again for being such an awesome teacher!

I love hearing these good stories! And I love it when little ones run away from creepy dudes! But as fun and helpful as the videos are, you can’t just pop a video in and be done with all safety measures.

How do adults keep kids safe?

Want my opinion? Here it is!

  1. Be sure all adults around your children are educated about predators. has a great program called Stewards of Children that teaches adults on how to recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. It is very affordable and can be taken online or taught in person by a facilitator. I urge any parent to be sure that ALL adults around your child have this training. It does not take up that much time and you are also doing a service to other parents by insisting that the teachers, coaches, bus drivers, Sunday school teachers etc etc are all trained. Continue reading

{Guest Post} Things to consider before having a baby

This is a guest post by Jeans with a Nice Hand Bag:

My husband and I were married 6 years and in our mid-thirties before we decided to try to have a child. When we got married we didn’t know if we wanted to have kids yet so we knew we were going to wait. Since we were a little bit older, we watched several of our friends go through the ups and downs of becoming parents and this is what we learned.

Are you financially prepared to have kids? Things to consider…

Before the baby

  • Health insurance for the pregnancy
  • If it is a difficult pregnancy can you afford the cost of extra testsprocedures?
  • What if you have to go on bed rest in your 9th month –can you afford the loss of income?

After the baby

  • Who’s health insurance is the child being added to?
  • How much is the additional cost of adding a child to your policy?

Day care verses a stay at home parent

  • Full time day care can cost anywhere from $100 a week up to $400 per child. Plus if your child does become sick, can you afford to take the necessary time off to stay at home with your child.
  • Becoming a stay at home parent can mean going from a dual income household to a single income…is this feasible? Continue reading

{Guest Post} A Day of Remembrance

1775 – The Revolutionary War; 1861 – The Civil War; 1914 –  World War I; 1942 – World War II; 1950 – The Korean War; 1964 – The Vietnam War; 1991 - The Persian Gulf War, 2002 – the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This weekend we honor those men and women who have died in their fight for our freedom. Formerly known as Decoration Day, this special day was instituted in 1868 to honor those who died in the Civil War, today we commemorate all who have died in service to their country. Continue reading

{Guest Post} Worth their weight in GOLD

A few things (in my experience) that make the day survivable…

The Keurig Single Cup Coffee Brewer

Yes, it’s a luxury but it makes my cup of coffee in the morning quick and there is little clean up. When I wake up in the morning, I’ve learned that going to the bathroom first is very important before I grab my child to start the day. But my other important thing is my morning coffee. I know it would be cheaper for me to buyground my own beans and make a traditional pot of coffee, but when my child is demanding to be fed but my body is demanding coffee, I just hit the power button and within a minute I can have a cup of hot coffee. Totally worth it for my day and I would like to give my husband a shout out for getting this for me as a Christmas present.

The iPhone

Or any smart phone.  A newborn steals time and sends you into a black hole. With my iPhone, I was able to check email at those 2 am feeding times. When I actually had two minutes to myself, I would check bank balances and the news. I was also able to send pictures to my husband at work about what adorable thing our child was doing that day (you know…those things that are exciting and fun for parents but not anyone else). If I had a question or concern about said child, I would do Google searches and read message boards before freaking out. Yes, they are expensive cost each month, but it helped me out tremendously. Continue reading

{Guest Post} Pregnancy should have a Warning Label

Things no one told me about pregnancy or things that were just glossed over…just to warn you, it could get a little graphic.

Morning sickness can last past the 1st trimester.

I knew that morning sickness could really happen at any time of the day but I was told it shouldn’t last past the first trimester. Oh and the first trimester is not 12 weeks but really 14. Mine lasted until 20 weeks. I was sick ALL the time it seemed. I would be sitting at my desk feeling perfectly fine and then blamo – I would be turning green. People would say to eat saltines, but even the idea of eating a saltine would make me sick. Which leads me to me next revelation…

Some foods you will not allow anywhere near you your entire pregnancy.

My husband got a promotion so we went out to celebrate. It was our first night out since we found I was pregnant and I was having a good evening with no feelings of nausea. I had something with raw onions and it tasted delicious. Needless to say, starting at two o’clock in the morning I was sick as a dog for the rest of the night. I thought I was having a rough night and just chalked it up to being pregnant.  Then my husband ate my leftovers and breathed that onion breath on me – I thought I was going to projectile vomit. Raw onions were banned from the house. My husband couldn’t even have them on his sandwiches at work – if I even got a whiff of raw onion I would get so sick. This lasted the entire pregnancy. Continue reading

{Guest Post} Parenting through the loss of a parent

As I try to navigate through motherhood, one thing I had to deal with is becoming a parent after losing a parent.

My father had great plans for his grandchildren…teach them how to fish on his boat, take them for walks around the neighborhood and he couldn’t wait to play the game “pull my finger” with them. We often joked my father had the humor of a 10 year old boy. Then my father was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. He was given 3 months, maybe a few more with chemo. We were a very tight knit family and neither my brother nor I had children. Even if my brother’s wife or I got pregnant when Dad was diagnosed, we would have lost him before the baby had been born. However, the stress of my father’s illness was so great at time, I don’t know how either of us could have handled a pregnancy.

I had sought counseling after Dad had died but when I became pregnant, there was a whole other slew of emotions…my Mom had said that Dad had the hardest time dealing with the fact that he would never know his grandchildren. He would ask “who’s going to tell them about me?” Ugh, even writing about it makes me weepy.

Here is what I found best helped me. AND just to be clear, I am in no way a counselor! Some of my suggestions may not work for you depending on the relationship you had with your parent.

  1. I realized it’s okay to talk about Dad with my family and others. My brother and sister-in-law had their little girl eleven months after we lost Dad. When I held her for the first time, I remember looking at my brother overwhelmed with love and telling him that I wish Dad was here because he would have been so proud. It made me happy thinking that and telling my brother…he agreed. He said the same thing when we had our daughter.
  1. What would Dad have done? My daughter is now giggling at everything. The other day, she tooted and then giggled. I immediately told her that her grandpa would’ve also been giggling. Continue reading