What About Mom in Summer?

Summer has begun! And at our house, it’s been jumping into the new joy with both feet. Here are a few things working for us so far…

#1. The Fun Box. We already searched for, chosen, and purchased all the delights for the younger kids’ “Fun Box.” That’s the tub (expertly decorated with an 8 x 11 piece of paper boldly stating, The Fun Box) filled with talent developing goodies, brain games, and just plain fun prizes. When kids do their jobs for the week, or an extra great something, they can choose from the box. This makes life more fabulous and functional in every way.

#2. First Week of Fun. (Do you notice a continuing theme??) During the initial days of summer, the kids can stay up late, sleep in, and do whatever makes them feel joyful and silly. The summer schedule, family projects, and daily jobs (both paid and unpaid) can wait. For now, we delight in late-night snacks and movies, and cuddle long into the morning. Ahhhh.

#3. Momma Fun. You’ve got the family plan done—the kids’ camps, classes, and creativity set for summer, now what about you? What changes will you make, what goals will you achieve, what delights will you experience this summer?

For more on this and what I did about it, watch my Studio 5 segment this morning at 11 a.m. on Channel 5, “What About Mom in Summer?” After that it will be in written form on ksl.com/pagetwo and on my website.

Enjoy a fabulous, functional, and very FUN summer!

Hugs,
Connie

P.S. Enjoy my clean romance, Caribbean Crossroads, this week for only $1.99!

The Milestones that Matter

My son is graduating this week (we think). But that’s not the milestone that has my focus. It’s the milestone, for him, of follow-through. And to positively deal with stress. And to learn to communicate a clear thought and receive the same from someone else.

These milestones are really the ones that matter.

For example, he has had many assignments and experiences to get to this point. And completed them with help. But I needed to know he could champion one thing and see it through to completion. That thing was…his graduation announcement. Nothing crazy, high-risk, or seemingly vital. However, he did it, from start to finish: he drove himself to the photography shoot, chose the three final pictures, selected the announcement and ordered the number he thought best, then wrote the mailing addresses and even licked the envelopes (the latter with the help of family:)

A fairly nothing thing, but ironically, I saw him shift. He went from needing to be prodded in life items to texting me to find out if the announcements were ready. In this small experience, I gained hope and so did he. Because during this same time he’s had bigger, much more important items to complete. And that hope, and knowledge, would be needed as he has tried to apply the same principle to the many other things to be done for graduation (and an Eagle, and serve a church mission, etc.)

But he knows, if he can do this one annoying, inconvenient thing in the midst of craziness, he can do something else.

As mothers, sometimes our children get to major milestones and we want to hurry them through to know they’ve made it, or hurry them up to get it done so it’s finished. And yet, we can step back, let them lead, and look at what our children have truly learned, or become, in the smaller ways and celebrate that too (or cry at the deficit, whichever comes first).

Ironically, this past week my toddler “graduated” from preschool. Was that his major milestone? No, it was this: at the “graduation ceremony” he didn’t want to sing in front of all the parents in the big room with twenty other kids in hard seats. He was scared.

So we struck a compromise by me sitting near him at the front. As the other kids sang the songs and did the hand movements, my son and another little boy sat still, warily observing the group, and achieving a major milestone in their own way—they did something hard and that they didn’t want to do. Afterward, my husband and I congratulated him—on doing the difficult thing and succeeding. He walked out of the hall beaming.

Maybe this week, with many kids reaching the end of the school year, we can take a minute to list a few things we’ve accomplished.Whether it’s an autistic child learning to talk to another child, or a sleep-in kind of kid has learned to get up on time, we can share some of the “minor” milestones that have really mattered to each of us this year.

That’s definitely worthy of celebration.

Best,
Connie

Connie's Simple Summer Strategy, on Studio 5!

In case you missed Connie’s Live segment on Studio 5 yesterday, check it out here! You’ll learn some great tips on keeping your summer productive, fun, and simple!

Connie’s Simple Summer Strategy, on Studio 5!

In case you missed Connie’s Live segment on Studio 5 yesterday, check it out here! You’ll learn some great tips on keeping your summer productive, fun, and simple!

Make Your Summer SIMPLE, and $1.99 deal!

Sure, you’re trying to survive May. But in that mix comes decisions on what to do for summer—sign ups, job applications, and family vacations.

We’ve started this process too, in between graduation announcements and end-of-year activities. I’ve got a few key tips to help you make it simple and successful on my Studio 5 segment (see segment and $1.99 deal info below).

For example, to create helpful structure for the summer, keep it lean and focused. What are the must-dos for your kids—both your thoughts and theirs? What work opportunities can they use or create?

This weekend I talked with my 13-year-old who isn’t old enough to hold a regular formal job. However, she can do her own job or business. Together, we talked about her doing a Cooking Camp, teaching kids her own age and younger how to make simple meals and desserts. We brainstormed daily themes, a list of easy but tasty meals, and how to organize the schedule. Doing the camp for one week is doable, allowing only six people keeps it reasonable, and teaching something she loves makes it enjoyable.

Enjoy lots more ideas on making summer fun and functional on the Studio 5 segment, live today at 11 a.m., then tomorrow, right here on my site.

Best,
Connie

P.S. Enjoy my woman/wife/mother read, The Life is Too Short Collection, for only $1.99! It’s the best of the best of my newspaper, online, and weekly columns—three books in the Life is Too Short series in one collection!

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Surviving May…

This past weekend and into the week was tough. As in, Dodge Ram tough. And by Tuesday I was feeling the weight of many things stacked and layering, giving me the distinct desire to dive quickly under the covers with only my Austen books and lemon cookies to see me through.

Ever felt that way? In MAY?

But something beautiful happened. A few beautiful things. And I want to pass on this little tidbit I relearned through them.

That is, to honestly, openly, and in a very raw and real way go through it. First, I had to acknowledge that I was, indeed, in a funk. Then, I had to do something about it (not right away, of course, because a funk—in and of itself—requires a sort of time lapse of wriggling and struggling with the whole concept of acknowledging said funk).

Thankfully, I was led to a friend and I proceeded to let it all hang out. She was delightful. She was thoughtful. And she is getting a fabulous gift card because that was the equivalent of several months’ worth of I-need-therapy sharing.

Then, I made homemade soup and rolls (okay, I put the frozen Rhodes dough balls in a pan, happy?) And called the house cleaners who haven’t been here in ages (and despite our weekly deep cleans, YOU COULD TELL). And read marvelous words on women in the scriptures. And while my toddler enjoyed a playdate I got myself to the temple on the most gorgeous of spring white-puffy-clouds-and-blue-sky days. Back home to said soup and rolls, a peaceful house, and a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich to top it off.

Perfection.

How do you think I feel now? FAB. U. LOUS. That’s right, beyond fantastic. Because I actively took the funky bull by the oh-no-you-didn’t horns and DID something about it.

So if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by Mayhem May, or Nightmare May or for short Nightmay…then evaluate what would make it better and choose ONE thing to move on. Then move on it. Go girl. Let’s do this. And all those Home Depot catchphrases that make you get out of bed and rock your day.

Now I’m headed out for sunshine and my daughter’s track meet, putting on my shades, and giving my best swagger walk of, “Bring it.” Or, on a more feminine note, “There is [finally] sunshine in my soul today.”

Hugs,
Connie

 

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So, You're the Parent of an Adult- Now What?

Are you at that transition stage of motherhood from teens to almost empty nester? Connie’s got great tips on Studio 5 to navigate it more smoothly! In case you missed the live segment yesterday, check it out today! Watch it here or read it here. Enjoy!

There’s still time to enjoy our Mother’s Day special! Find 2 amazing books, one inspirational the other humorous. Get an instant download of both ebooks, only 2 for $5. Good for any mother at any stage!

So, You’re the Parent of an Adult- Now What?

Are you at that transition stage of motherhood from teens to almost empty nester? Connie’s got great tips on Studio 5 to navigate it more smoothly! In case you missed the live segment yesterday, check it out today! Watch it here or read it here. Enjoy!

There’s still time to enjoy our Mother’s Day special! Find 2 amazing books, one inspirational the other humorous. Get an instant download of both ebooks, only 2 for $5. Good for any mother at any stage!

Women Helping Women

Recently, I spoke at a women’s conference and shared the following experience that I feel to share here.

As you know, the Women’s Suffrage movement—helping women obtain the right to vote—had difficulty getting going on many fronts. However, two women came together in the most amazing way to create miracles.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, born to privilege yet schooled in and a fierce supporter of anti-slavery (having even met Harriet Tubman and wept as she listened to her personal experience), felt the injustice women received from not having the vote. Her husband, an avid supporter of this woman’s right, helped her to spearhead the first Women’s Rights Convention to seek the possibility of women receiving the vote.

As a mother of seven, her time was limited. She did what she could by writing letters to conventions and private friends to stir their interest in this important goal. When things shifted was in meeting Susan B. Anthony. They formed an incredible, useful partnership. Elizabeth would often write the content, and Susan would deliver the messages in a powerful way.

I love this quote Ms. Stanton shared about their friendship. “It has been said that I forged the thunderbolts and she fired them.” Although it took twenty years, women finally received the right to vote.

What a beautiful complement of two women’s gifts and purposes! In giving and receiving with each other, they changed the course of history and made better the lives of women everywhere.

This personally hits home for me in so many ways! As a mother of seven too, my gratitude goes bone deep for the women who over the years have assisted me in sharing my message to women, wives, and mothers everywhere of God and family first, and, pursuing your personal purpose to make your difference in the world, without sacrificing the others.

As women partner together, we allow each other to do just that, and make it MORE ENJOYABLE AND IMPACTFUL than it ever could have been as one person. This week, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, I invite you to celebrate those who have helped you fulfill that vital calling more happily and successfully, who have used their strengths to shore up your weaknesses, and move forward your abilities. Who have helped to make you whole through their love and contribution.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Love,
Connie

Studio 5 Segment Today!

Enjoy a little extra treat this week! Catch Connie’s Studio 5 segment, on channel 5, 11am TODAY titled “Letting Go of Everyday Fears.”

 
And just in time for Mother’s Day, enjoy 2-3 day shipping in western states on our Blog Tour Mother’s Day Special! Find 2 amazing books, one inspirational the other humorous, only 2 for $20 (print) plus S&H or 2 for $5  ebooks. Good for any mother at any stage!