Motherhood & Parenting

Baby Emma’s 1st Birthday

We celebrated my daughter Emma’s 1st birthday over the weekend. We don’t have family around right now, because we moved in 2016 for Jay’s job in the military. I considered throwing her a little party out here with a few of our friends, but honestly there was something really appealing about just doing an intimate […] Read more…

How to Choose the Right Camera for Your Child

If your child has recently started showing an interest in photography and you are thinking about buying them their first camera, there are a few things you need to consider. As a parent you probably know that a kid’s interests can change tomorrow, next week or even next year but the good news is that you can still support their new hobby without breaking the bank.
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7-Day Memory-Keeping Challenge for “Starting a Family Journal”

Hey friends! I’m launching a 7-Day Memory-Keeping Challenge for “Starting a Family Journal.” With Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years on the horizon, this is the time of year families are wanting to enjoy that quality time together, and documenting memories is a high priority this time of year — so its really the perfect time […] Read more…

My Life Inventory: A stream of memories… the world through my eyes.

I am currently going through a blogging course called Write Your Worth by Alicia Cain. She is guiding us through the process of finding our unique voice and telling our story. This Life Inventory is one of our first activities, which is to go through our memories and document what you saw, felt, did, experienced. Even if your observations were of big world events or something you witnessed happening to someone else, you were still present for them and experienced them, and what you saw became a part of who you are. Here is my list:
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When We Lost The Baby ~ A Story About Grief & Loss

Three Things to Say to Your Child Every Day

   I see you.  You matter. I love to watch you.  “When spoken and repeated every day,” she writes, “these messages begin to take up residence in a little one’s soul. He begins to believe in his worth. She begins to carry these messages with her. He learns how to see others. She learns how […] Read more…

Seeing others through the eyes of Heaven

What is really important to you? How to protect it.

One day at a time ~ Living in the moment

Printable Chore Chart by Age ~ Teaching Kids Responsibility

I LOVE this age specific chore chart printable from thirtyhandmadedays.com! My almost 2-year-old helps clean up her toys and throws her diapers in the trash and likes to “help” wipe counters and dust, but I’m excited to start working on some of the other Toddler Age Chores. She can start taking her clothes to the laundry, but putting clean clothes away might need some help from mommy. She’s not in a toddler bed yet, so I don’t need to mess with the make bed one yet. The “little helper” years are already upon us in the Willems household and I think its the cutest. <3  Read more…

What is a Busy-Bag? One of the Best Ways to Keep Your Toddler Occupied! (Plus Resources for Ideas)

If you have a toddler of your own or have ever watched a toddler, you understand this strange phenomenon they have where the most random, ordinary things in your home, are one-thousand times more interesting and engaging to a little one than the toys you spent good money on. Sad, but quite often true.

Toddler love to sort, organize, touch, tug, pull, scribble, stack. The name of the game is physical exploration and experimentation. This is the stage where they really focus on mastering their fine-motor skills and making connections on how things work… and concepts like cause and effect.

So your toddler keeps getting into all the things in your home that are not traditionally for children. What do you do? Fight it or embrace it? Why not make this interest in ordinary things and discovery and use it as an opportunity to inspire and engage your young toddler.

Enter Toddler Busy-Bags!! What is a toddler busy-bag, you ask?  Read more…

My Favorite Baby & Toddler Music CD Picks

Music is very important in this family, as both my husband and I come from very musical families. We want Olivia to develop a love for it as much as we do. In little ones it can help to teach them to embrace quiet times and teaches focus. Sometimes music is just the ticket to […] Read more…

Children… the extraordinary thing about them

This makes me cry. I totally feel this!

“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood — finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”

~ Jodi Picoult, Via Thrive Moms
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I am just the Messenger, not the Load-Bearer : A Post about Letting Go

So lately I have been thinking… how many times do I care so deeply about outcomes with other people that I obsess over their decisions and become “naggy?” Or I keep things inside and become horribly depressed. I worry that if I am not involved and continually “remind” others of the truth, they will continue to struggle — and it will be all my fault. Or if someone is in pain, I believe it is up to me to “fix” them. Can you relate?

I am an emotional, intense, and compassionate person. God made me this way intentionally. I often pray for my loved ones, but sometimes the worry keeps me up at night. This burden that I carry, this heavy load… sometimes becomes too heavy, and I feel overwhelmed. I am learning that this is not the way God intended me to live.

I can care for others, empathize, intercede for them when God places them on my heart. But the burden for them was not meant for me to carry continually. Read more…

#SheSharesTruth ~ Spiritual Mothers

Some of these women in particular really invested in me, inspired me, spoke into my life (You know who you are). These “mother” figures gave a SIGNIFICANT amount of their time, invited me into their homes, and encouraged me as a wife, woman, and future mom (I became pregnant with my daughter during my time there). They taught me recipes, inspired me with their home-making, crafting, sewing, thriftiness, the way they raised their kids, loved their husbands, served the church, volunteered in the community, and treasured their quality time with their loved ones. Read more…

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