For the #momfail Days (And a Free Video Series for Moms)

Dishes are piled up in the sink. You’re pulling clean underwear out of the dryer for your potty training toddler. Your kids need a bath (and a haircut, too). Dinner is looking like scrambled eggs (again). And you’re pretty sure you didn’t win any awards for “the Most Patient and Gentle Mommy” today.

When I look back over my years as a dorm mama to my sweet girls I think about some of the things that could happen in a day…

One of my middle girls decided to let the older girls pierce her ears, with a dirty sewing needle…. Same said child, was peroxiding her hair for over a week before I noticed.

One of my little girls was hoarding some of her dirty clothes…

….that day I was doing laundry only to find a pile of poop in someone’s underwear. 

One of my sweet thing’s tongue was blue because she tried to eat marker…

…The preteen decided it was a good idea to press the hair dryer into the new carpet. Same child melted carpet on the other end of the house with an iron.

….a couple of my other preteens kids forgot to shut the chickens in for the night, now my front lawn (AKA, the patch of dirt and weeds) was now covered in feathers….

The time I decided to cut one of my girl’s hair myself, oh yes, that was GREAT….You would like I would have learned…

The list can go on… (Belive me it does). If Instagram had been around in my early to mid-20s so many of my days would have been #momfail days.

Can you relate? 

In fact, on days like this you might be tempted to judge yourself even more harshly than that. Not only were you not at your best, but actually, you’re a terrible mom. A pathetic homemaker. The day was a disaster. You probably deserve an F minus in motherhood.

And on and on goes the litany in your head as you stew about the ways you didn’t match up or weren’t enough or were too whatever (angry, critical, impatient, disorganized, fill in the blank).

You snap a shot of your depressing laundry pile after the kids go to bed and share it on Instagram with a self-deprecating comment and the hashtag #momfail. It’s only meant as a joke, of course, but deep down it feels a little truer than you wish it did.

If this sounds even remotely familiar, you need to know two things:

  1. You are not. Most of us feel this way far more than we ever admit.
  2. All the ways you failed?? How awful you did today or last week? It’s just not true. You’re doing better than you think.

I’ve had these sorts of days myself, and it’s precisely because I get it that I’m so excited to point you in the direction of this brand new (and free!) video series created by two moms who have lived their fair share of #momfail days.

Stephanie and Beth are not only popular bloggers, but they’re also moms in the trenches. They’ve got 8 kids and almost 20 years of mothering experience between them.

They also understand and have the deepest compassion for moms who are working their tails off, but still hitting the pillow at night with a heavy heart and tear-stained face, because they feel like they’re failing at one of the most important things they’ll ever do in their lives.

And so they’ve put together an honest, candid and incredibly encouraging series of three videos just for moms. It’s called “The Truth About #MomFail Culture: 10 Things You Need to Hear on the Hard Days”.

It won’t solve all your problems, and much as they wish they could, they can’t reach through the computer and fold that pile’o’laundry for you. But we can all benefit from a fresh perspective and encouragement from someone who really gets it.

Each video is short – around 10 minutes, and you can watch it on any sort of device and whenever you’ve got a few spare minutes.

To watch the video series, just click this link and enter your name and email to sign up. You’ll get access to the first video today, and then one per day after that.

Relying on God

Relying On God- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Life, it always takes us on quite a journey doesn’t it? It’s been very quite on here for over a month now, I’m sure you noticed that I took an unofficial break. It was needed, very needed.

Where to even begin? If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may have seen me mention that over the past few months my family’s world has been turned upside down. Opening up about the deep situations in life has never been easy for me.

While I was visiting my dear ones in Mexico my brother was landed in the hospital for pneumonia. I was at peace because he was where he was supposed to be, he was treated and then went home a couple days later.

Fast forward a few days and my brother is in the ICU, he stops breathing, is intubated, has a series of MRIs, and is diagnosed with a brain-stem tumor.

It’s not operatable and is currently being treated.

We are praying our hearts out for 100% physical healing.

Late November and all of December were very good months. The rest of the time has been a series of trips to the ER and several long ICU stays.

As the first of January rolled around I knew I needed a break. A break to be with family, a break to refocus, and a time to just enjoy those around me.

I have plans to be around much more. There are many circumstances that could change those plans. We press on and celebrate each moment in life, a good day for my brother, an engagement for my sister, birth of dear friends’ babies, and the simple daily joys of the sun rising and the stars at night.

Daily we are relying on God.

6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent

 

6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Thanksgiving has passed and the Advent season has begun. It is a season of waiting, preparing, and anticipation.

Advent is one of my favourite times of year a we celebrate the coming of our Savoir. We spend the short days of winter in the dark anticipating the coming light of Jesus. We are reminded of the darkness of our sin and the light that salvation brings.

Advent seems to be a lost tradition on many who grew up in non-liturgical churches. Though I did not grow up in a liturgical church it has been a tradition carried on from my maternal grandparents passed onto my mom, and now myself.

Intentional celebration does not mean adding all you can to your month. Often it means simplifying and cutting back. Over the years, I have found 6 simple ways to create an intentional Advent that I would like to share with you.

1. Light an Advent Wreath

Advent wreaths are simple, yet meaningful addition to our celebration. For many families it lighting the candles each Sunday. Others, myself included light the week’s candle each night. A popular theme is hope, love, joy and peace.

I attempted to color my own soy wax candles with crayons. You can see my “failure” on Instagram. Next year I may buy these bee’s wax candles, or even buy a DYI kit to roll my own.

2. Go Light on the Decorations

Have grace on yourself, your house does not be decorated from head to toe. Choose decorations that reflect the spirit you want to show. In all honesty for years I was not able to have a tree most years so my Advent wreath and nativity were the focus of my decorations.

3. Read an Advent Devotional

There are so many wonderful devotionals that focus on the why of celebrating.

For years, my girls in Mexico and I read through Ann Voskamp’s “Jesse Tree” devotional. She converted it into a beautiful full cover hardback called, “Unwraping the Greatest Gift“. Every day we added a new ornament to our tiny tree and read a devotion that wove the story of salvation from Creation to Jesus’ birth. You can make your own “Jesse Tree”  and ornaments like we did.

This year I am going through two. I have one on my Kindle, “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” by Asheritah Ciuciu from One Thing Alone. (Right now she has an Advent Bundle Giveaway going on!) What better way to prepare our hearts for Christmas than focusing on who Jesus is and why each name is a part of who he is?

My second devotional is Ann Voskamp’s, “The Greatest Gift”. I’ve had to keep myself from diving into it too soon!

6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

4. Carefully Choose What Events to Attend

As it gets closer to Christmas the invites and activities we can participate in pile up. Trying to go to every.single.one can get weary and take away from family time. Just because it’s a good thing does not mean we have to do it. Give yourself a break a pick just a few. It makes the season more relaxed and allows you to more fully enjoy the things you do participate in.

5. Create an Advent Play List

I love listening to Christmas music, I am definitely guilty of listening to some of it year round. (Jesus wasn’t born this time of year so why not listen to it in the spring?) As much as I enjoy Bing Crosby and bit of Jingle Bells I have come to crave the songs that focus on Jesus himself.

This year I have been working on an “Advent Playlist”. I am looking forward to celebrating Advent with songs of waiting and anticipation. Songs that remind us that we were once in darkness and now are in the light because of Jesus. (Maybe if I’m on top of my game I can put it up on Spotify in a few days for you.)

I am planning on saving more of the music focused on Christ’s birth for closer to Christmas, that way I can enjoy it through Epiphany as well. I enjoy celebrating all 12 day of Christmas and ending with a Rosca de Reys (Mexican 3 Kings Cake).

6. Keep an Advent Calander

Advent calendars are a fun way to count down the days till Christmas. Traditionally they go from December 1st through Christmas Day. The calendar I grew up with was a cloth one where a little bear moved from room to room in a house.

The calendar I created for my girls in Mexico was a long string with muslin bags attached. Each day had a different activity ranging from drinking hot cocoa to doing an act of kindness for someone.

 How do you create an intentional Advent?

Sprouted Strawberry Shortcake

Sprouted Strawberry Shortcake- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Who doesn’t love fresh strawberries — vibrant red and bursting with flavor? They’re one of my favorite foods to eat in the spring! Although I’ve meant to plant my own strawberries for several years now, that still hasn’t happened. For now, I’m happily enjoying them from a roadside stand.

Strawberries are perfect on their own, but I love adding them to a lightly sweetened dessert (like… shortcake!) for a spring treat. When I was little, my family would sprinkle a biscuit with cinnamon and sugar, and top it with whipped cream and strawberries.

I’m sharing my shortcake recipe at Traditional Cooking School, so if you want to learn how to make this tasty treat yourself be sure to head over there!

Sprouted Strawberry Shortcake- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

On Life, Dishes, and the Frog in My Sink

Dirty dishes piled in kitchen sink, close-up

So, I had a frog sitting in my sink one day. The next day there was three…thankfully there weren’t five the following day. Lovely sight when you go to wash the dishes that have been sitting in the sink all day don’t you think?

There are few things that gross my out but tiny frogs in my sink did the trick, that and the crocodile lizard that was chilling on the counter a different day. I just LOVE reptiles and amphibians in my kitchen sink said no one ever, unless they were prepping frog legs I guess but who really does that at home?

My Frogs

In my old home the kitchen was in the lean-to/mud room, which meant critters loved to find their way in. If you want a tour of my old kitchen be sure to check out this video.

The solution would have been to stay on top of the dishes and my friends would only be hanging out in an empty sink. Back then I was a dorm mama for many and sometimes dishes didn’t get done when they should have.

Now I try to stay on top of things and either wash the dishes after each meal or put them in the dish washer. Thank the Lord for that invention! You can totally live without one, I did for 10 years but it is a thing of beauty, especially when you have a full plate and really what woman doesn’t?

Focusing on your kitchen sink being empty after every meal (or snack) leaves your kitchen clean(er) and allows your sink to receive the dishes from the next meal. Another great thing to try to do is clean as you prep a meal. That is the #1 tip my mom taught us growing up. That way you are not left overwhelmed by the overflowing sink once dinner is over.

Dishes are just one of many things that leave the homemaker (or single gal) feeling overwhelmed. Other things like laundry and what is the world are you going to fix for dinner while the kiddos are trying to climb up your legs or ask a “Mommy, can I?” question for the one millionth time in the last hour can leave you frazzled as well.

If you are stressed-out homemaker there is no need to stay feeling overwhelmed! 

Check out this free eCourse: 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking!

4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking

Are you tired of getting behind on laundry?

Do you struggle to keep your kitchen clean?

Does the dinner hour have you harried?

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If so, you cannot miss a FREE 4-part mini eCourse that is available for a limited time: 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking!

In this eCourse, you will learn:

  • how to never get behind on laundry again,
  • how to wake up each day to a sparkling clean kitchen,
  • how to avoid the 5 ‘o’clock scramble with a super simple meal planning method, and
  • how to set yourself up for success with a quick nighttime routine.

Control My Spin’s Holly Dvorak, a popular speaker and home management coach, and her long-time homemaking mentee, Erin Odom, of The Humbled Homemaker, have put together this eCourse to help curb homemaking overwhelm and give you the tools you need to run your home like a well-oiled machine.

4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking will not take you long to complete, but what you learn through it can totally revolutionize your home.

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What comes with this eCourse?

  • 4 videos: These videos are all less than 10 minutes long, so it won’t take up a lot of time to watch them. But they each pack a punch!
  • 4 printable worksheets: We don’t want to just leave you with the teaching; we want you to brainstorm ways to implement it in your life!
  • FREE REWARDS by sharing this FREE eCourse with your friends as well!

What rewards can you earn?

  • Share this FREE eCourse with 1 friend to get $5 off the 2015 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle! This year’s sale starts next Monday, April 20!
  • Share this FREE eCourse with 5 friends to get a FREE 1-year magazine subscription!
  • Share this FREE eCourse with 10 friends to get the 2015 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle for absolutely FREE!

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We let a sampling of bloggers get a sneak peek at this course, and this is what they had to say about it:

Kayse Pratt

“I absolutely loved the course! It was so encouraging for me to hear someone else’s homemaking struggles, and the tips I learned are so practical, I can implement them immediately! Each video is less than 10 minutes, and well worth your time. I’m recommending it to all of my friends!” ~Kayse Pratt, blogger at Kaysepratt and author of Worth the Fight

Angi Schneider

“I was really encouraged by the videos to really think about the little things that make my day go smoother when I do them. Thank you!” ~Angi Schneider, blogger at Schneiderpeeps and author of Hope: Thriving While Unemployed

Jill York

“I cannot tell you how much this simple free course has helped me already! I’ve watched them with my oldest daughter, and we are putting them to action! The motivation it provides can be life-changing! It made me really look forward to digging into the rest of what’s in the bundle.” ~Jill York, blogger at Jill’s Home Remedies and co-author of Homeschooling Day-by-Day

Kristen Smith

“The four mini lessons taught in this eCourse aren’t overwhelming, won’t load you with guilt, and are really doable. There’s also room to tweak the lessons for your family’s unique needs, which I appreciate as a homeschooling mom of give younger children. Instead of feeling like a failure by watching it, you feel motivated to make the small changes that Holly explains.” ~Kristen Smith, blogger at Smithspirations and author of Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker

Don’t miss out on this FREE eCourse that can help take the stress out of homemaking! Get immediate access by signing up here, now! Don’t forget to check out the preview too!

Click here for immediate access!