Ways to spend your two week quarantine!

Ways to spend your two week quarantine!

Is it ironic that yesterday I wrote a post about how to pack lunchboxes and today I’m writing about how to spend two weeks at home with your children?! Yesterday, I never would have thought when I was packaging food up for next week’s lunches that I would be sitting here today thinking about spending the next two weeks at home with our kids.

The coronavirus, COVID-19, has taken over our lives. It’s all we see and hear about. Now our Virginia schools are closed for two weeks. Our Rec baseball and softball seasons have been put on hold. So what will you do if you’re going to be home for two weeks with the fam?

Here are some ideas to make this a positive experience!

Put down your phone and read! Grab that book you’ve been trying to make time for. Read to your kiddos! You won’t have to rush to get them home, fed, and in bed so take a few extra minutes to read them a book. They will love you for it!

Watch movies instead of the news. Rent a movie, check out Disney+ or log into your Netflix account. We know the world is going crazy.. distract yourself from the chaos by watching some good ol’ family flicks instead.

Start a project. Use the resources in your home that you already have and get creative. Spray paint that old chair. Paint your front door. Rearrange your closet. Declutter toys and go through clothes. Take that project you haven’t had time to do and dig in! What better time that two weeks at home?

Get outside. It may not be a good idea to travel or leave your home but you’re safe in your own yard! Go outside and play. Challenge your kids to a game of tag or have them play kickball. Swing. Take a walk. Get those flower beds ready for spring and pull those weeds! Make the kids pull weeds! Or just sit outside and read a book! At least we are having nice weather in VA!

Deep clean your house. Coronavirus brings a new meaning to spring cleaning! Get down and clean those baseboards! Clean the showers, flip your mattress, clean your ceiling fans, or wash windows! Do some of that cleaning that you often put off for another day. It will also mentally make you feel better about the sickness that is constantly being discussed in the media. A clean home always makes me feel more comfortable!

Cook dinner and actually sit down with your kids to eat it. How many days out of the week do we actually cook dinner and sit down as a family to eat? For us it’s never. Honestly. I think it’s been since Thanksgiving. Have your kids help cook or bake something! Take the extra time you have to prepare a dinner. Sit down with your kids and enjoy the meal!

Get out those board games! Has it been a hot minute since you played Clue??? How about Monopoly? Everyone has a board game hiding somewhere. Engage your kids and encourage them to put the electronics down and play the game!

Rest. It will probably do your crazy, busy, mom bod some good to get some rest. Binge watch your favorite show. Take a nap while your littles nap. Sleep in if you are as lucky as me and have sleep trained your kids!

We are constantly complaining about not having enough time or being super tired with the every day stresses of life. How many times have you said “Oh I didn’t have time.” Look at the silver lining! You will never regret spending time with your family. The world can be scary. Coronavirus or not, tomorrow is never guaranteed. Let’s try not to live in fear, but to look at every day as a blessing and take advantage of it. Take care of yourself and your family and enjoy them while you’re doing it!

Stay home and stay healthy!

Xoxo,

MK

Lunchbox hacks for every day

Lunchbox hacks for every day

With four kiddos in the house packing lunches every day can be a CHORE.

I have bought individualized snacks.. it can get very expensive! Especially when you have to buy them in bulk! The individualized Pringle’s or Lays chips or Cheez-Its… there are few packs in the box and with four kids, they disappear quickly.

I also try to buy some healthy snacks so our kids aren’t eating junk all day long at school.

Here’s what works the best in our house and makes mornings much easier!

Individual yogurt, jello, applesauce and fruit – I just throw them in the fridge on the door or throw them in a plastic container in the fridge. Not all of this has to be refrigerated but with limited storage space in my house this is the best place to store them! The kids can literally open the fridge, grab, and go! I also pre-package fresh fruits and veggies (like baby carrots and grapes) and keep them in the fruit drawer for easy access!

I buy large bags of animal cookies or Doritos for example (because what kid doesn’t love doritos) and then individually bag them up for the week! Graham crackers, fig newtons, and cheez doodles are other choices! Once I bag them up I throw them in a zipper bag so they are all in one place and the kids can grab them easily!

My kids love salad so I’ll also pack salads for them to eat during the week and store them in the fridge for each day!

Our kids pack their own lunches! I haven’t packed their lunches in a couple of years now and teaching them to do this has made a huge difference in the mornings! They know they are limited to a lunch + 3 snacks for the day and they typically stick to it. Make 👏🏻 your 👏🏻 kids 👏🏻 be 👏🏻 responsible 👏🏻 and 👏🏻 independent! All I do is purchase the food and make it easy for them to access! They do the rest!

Honestly I would go insane if I had to pack lunches every day!

Xoxo,

MK

To My Daughters: Marry the man who will always be there

I know it’s easy to fall for the other guy. The one who looks good and talks sweet. The one who takes chances and lives on the edge. Or maybe it’s the one who is nice but doesn’t pay enough attention. He misses your new haircut or doesn’t hold the door for you.

You can love them, but leave them behind. They aren’t for you.

Marry the man who is going to pay attention. Marry the one who opens the door for you and comments on how beautiful you look, even when you’re in a t-shirt, hair in a messy bun, and no makeup on.

Marry the man who is going to wash your hair in the shower and rub your feet on the couch.

Marry the man who makes you laugh… the one who will do his best to make you smile when you’re having a bad day.

Marry the man who is going to cook dinner and doesn’t mind vacuuming the floor… the one who lets you sleep in on Sundays and when you’re not feeling well, lets you go to bed early.

Marry the man who takes care of the kids… who not only disciplines them, but enjoys them. Marry the man who will play with your toddler on the floor, and let your preschooler sleep in the bed with you… sacrificing his own sleep so that kiddo can be close to you.

Marry the man who cleans up the dog messes on the floor and helps you pick up dirty socks. Marry the man who works all day and comes home to work some more, just so you don’t have to do it all on your own.

Marry the man who would rather hang out and drink beer with you than his buddies. Marry the man who enjoys watching your tv dramas on the couch with you. Marry the man who loves to travel with you, takes you places, and lives to make memories with you.

Marry the man who worries with you. Marry the one who hides his stress most days just so you don’t stress more. Marry the man who will get through the bad times with you. Marry the man who is willing to see your perspective and understand how you feel. Marry the man who will stay when things get hard.

Marry the man who is willing to chip in… who is going to help you be a mom… who is going to make you happy… who is going to be your best friend… who is going to make you a better person.

It won’t always be easy. Even the good guy is going to make mistakes. YOU are going to make mistakes. He’s going to say the wrong things at times. He’s going to forget to pick up something on your shopping list. He’s not going to be perfect. But, he’s going to be perfect for you and he’s going to be there. He will always be there. And I promise you… you deserve THAT life.

Xoxo,

Mama

It’s Just the Opposite

Usually you see my second photo here first and the caption is just the opposite of this one. There are so many people trying to lose weight… get thinner, skinnier… longing to look thin like this second photo of me and my sister. Wishing on every star they had a six pack and looked great in a skimpy bikini.

But let me tell you, that perception isn’t always better or worth it.

In the second photo I was fresh out of a bad marriage.. going through a divorce… trying to figure out how to bring my children through it… trying not to let my trauma of an abusive relationship affect them or the people who loved me which I failed at miserably. I was also so lost in who I was, who I needed to be, who to turn to. I didn’t respect myself or my body. I had believed what had been drilled into my head for the better half of four years.. that I was worthless and selfish. And it showed.

The second photo was taken today. I have never weighed this much in my life. My thighs have never stuck together, or even touched for that matter.. I’ve never had cleavage with the exception of the time I was breastfeeding all of my babies. I’ve never had love handles big enough to actually grab. I’ve always been ”the skinny girl.”

But I would take the body in that photo with the big hips and thighs over my unhealthy, too thin body that represents how unhappy I was any day.

Every time these photos pop up in my Facebook memories from that time in my life, it reminds me just how different life can become over time. Even in my recent grief of losing a baby… which was by far the worst experience of my life… I am way happier and at peace than I was back then.

It’s funny how life happens.. we don’t understand it at the time… when we feel lost or broken and a year later everything has changed. And every now and then a quick trip down memory lane reminds me not to complain when my old jeans don’t fit, to not be envious of other women who work so hard at the gym to look amazing, to not wish I was something that I’m not, or that I don’t want to be. Simply because I’m happy.

I remind myself that I am what I want myself to be now, because it’s my choice, surrounded with so much love in our home, even through all of our chaos and craziness that is a home with four kids… even through the sadness and darkness of losing a baby… even through the disappointment of not being able to get pregnant month after month… there is still laughter and joy and love and healthy kiddos surrounding us.

Those extra 20 lbs that I’ve gained are the late night dinners on the couch with my hubs watching our recordings of The Young and the Restless… the many dinners eating out because we love the memories we make trying different foods and restuarants. Those extra lbs are the extra couple of hours I get at home watching my kids play outside when I could be at the gym. They are the sausage and bacon breakfasts my husband fixes me on Sunday mornings when he feeds me in bed.

Whenever you’re doubting your self-confidence… the way you look in a bikini… or that dress you’ve been wanting to wear… remember that those extra lbs are the memories you’ve made, your freedom to live like you want, and ask yourself if you’re happy and loved for who you are now. For me, it’s focusing all of my energy on being a mom and a wife and finding joy in each little moment, each little memory. No matter how much I weigh.

Stop. Comparing. Yourself. To. Others.

You don’t have to be skinny to be happy. You don’t have to be thin to be pretty. You don’t have to be a toothpick to be loved.

So when you compare photos, it‘s actually just the opposite for me. This is a girl not wanting to change anything at all. This is a girl appreciating the stretch marks from my 3 pregnancies because I never before respected the “getting pregnant process” and how difficult it can be for some people. This is a girl loving the hips I have because they remind me that I’m in a healthy marriage where fights are few but worthy and making up is even better.

This is a girl who knows looking back on the first photo will make her heart happy no matter how much she weighed.

Xoxo,

MK

When People Disappoint You

Over the last few months, I have realized how naïve I was… that my expectations for other people were too high. I think this subject is somewhat of a taboo subject.. because people rarely discuss this, unless they are doing it in vain, gossiping about being wronged or someone else being wronged. How often do people, in general, disappoint us? In friendship, in your job, or in other relationships? How often do we brush things off that really do bother us but we refrain from saying anything?

I know I have and I do that way more than I should. And this is something that is really on my heart lately.

I have to constantly remind myself… not everyone has the same heart as I do. Being a good person does not guarantee that others will be good people. The reality of discovering that people were not who you thought they were is when you start seeing people… or sometimes seeing through people. And when you start seeing yourself.

When you start seeing your worth, you will find it harder to stay around people who don’t.

Is it possible to be too nice? I always try to “friend” people because I believe they are kind, good-hearted, and want to be my friend back. Or in my career, I find myself consistently smiling and being kind to everyone, even during and after times of conflict. I didn’t realize that I have been giving so much of myself and my time worrying about these people…. mostly about pleasing them. There comes a time when you start to realize that you cannot control other people. Some people are so miserable with themselves that they cannot help but to try to bring you down too. You have to realize that their misery is self-inflicted and out of your control….as are their actions and opinions.

You have three choices. You can choose to accept people, choose to distance yourself, or choose to walk away. But you do not always have to please others.

If PEOPLE… whether in your job or friendships… are constantly disappointing you, cut them out… Time goes on… life goes on… You’re going to be ok. You cannot be your best self when someone else is in control of how you feel. No matter how hard you try.

Being disappointed by people who you respect… can make you really bitter. Don’t let it have that control over you. If it’s not my husband, kids, family, or the people who I have chosen to be in my very small circle, then I am choosing to give it a very small amount of me. I will be kind to these people. I will understand that I am human and have my own flaws… but I can always be kind. I will see them, speak to them, and even answer their texts. I will not allow what doesn’t matter to take any more of me. Jobs, friends, people who don’t matter.

Be mindful of how you treat people. Be mindful of your intentions and the outcomes of your words and actions. No one owes you anything. The only expectations you set high are the expectations you have for yourself.

I was watching the movie The Help the other day. If you’ve ever seen that movie… you know that there is a woman named Ms. Hilly who isn’t very kind… not even to the people she calls friends. As you know, the maid, Ms. Minnie, made a pie with a certain special ingredient and watched Ms. Hilly eat it and then said the words, “Eat my sh*t.”

The next time you find yourself dealing with people who disappoint you, talk about you behind your back, or just try to bring you down… think about what they would do if you made them a special pie.. at least it will give you a little laugh! People like that might not ever eat your special pie but they will eventually reap what they sow.

Xoxo,

MK