This is the place for moms In The Making, who smile with the messes, embrace the unexpected, and know that every day is a blessing.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Who is A Mom in the Making?

Who is A Mom in the Making? I just realized that I had been blogging just over a year, and podcasting for about 3 months, but I hadn’t done a great job introducing myself.

Who Is A Mom in the Making?

Listen To This Podcast Episode

While reading Mothers Niche I started to die laughing with how great her about page was. So I’ve redone my about page But I also wanted to introduce myself a little bit more.

I grew up in a big family and around tons of kids. When I was little used to say I wanted to have 100 kids! Clearly I didn’t understand morning sickness and labor back then. But still… I want a really big family.

Once my fairytale of motherhood began so did the sleepless nights. I remember watching tons of Netflix… but it gets to the point that you can’t take another moment of tv. In that moment, I finally understood why all my mom friends loved blogs. Kate at The Small Things Blog had a post one day on How to Start a Blog.

That was just the inspiration I needed. But there were so many blogs out there… Who was I going to be? The Queen of Hair was obviously Kate from the Small Things Blog, Busy Budgeting Mama was the Queen of DIY.

I thought about myself, tired and exhausted in the middle of the night with a hungry baby… yet somehow I was happy. This was the life I always wanted. I was in essence A Mom in the Making. I hadn’t arrived yet! I was up all night, so I clearly still had some learning to do.

Picture of Charlie sleeping

I knew there were lots of other moms out there too, who were still in the process of figuring things out. This would be the blog for them!

I have lots of friends who are annoyed by blogs or pinterest because everything seems too perfect. A Mom in the Making shows the fun and funny mistakes with motherhood.

I starting out with Discovering Beauty Being a Mom as my tagline. It was nice. There is so much beauty in motherhood even in the not so fun moments.

Picture of Charles taking a picture of Charlie

Now my tagline is Where Life Isn’t a Fairytale, but You’re Definitely Living the Dream. I don’t love being up all night, working while my son is at home, or squealing in pain as he sneaks up and pinches me… But I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ever Feel Like Your Life Has Termites?

comic - log cabin crumbling - me and scout and papa outside

My life has termites. Ok not literally… but roll with it. I feel like my life is sometimes like a strong log cabin. It has a great foundation, it is built of the best materials… everything that I need for success. Storms can come, wolves can howl, but my solid oak cabin is set.

However it isn’t the large looming danger that can take the house down. It is an almost invisible termite, and not one but millions. My life is great, all the major things are wonderful I’m blessed with a great husband, healthy baby, stable job and incredible family.

me charles and charlie walking on hill in the cemetery

But it’s all the little things that often make me crazy, the internet freezing while commenting on a blog, a burnt dinner, accidentally dropping my lunch in the parking lot when I was rushing to work and STARVING!. How silly.

Most people looking at a log cabin don’t imagine the little things like termites as a major threat. I feel like I give great attention to the big things in life… but really the little things, if unattended, can cause us to crumble from within.

I am looking forward to focusing on loving and laughing in the little moments of life. Knowing that those little moments ultimately define the big ones.

What is one of your favorite little moments to share with your kids?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Reach the Stars - 5 Tips for Reaching Goals

Reach the Stars

I want to reach the stars
Soar in the sky

I have dreams that are so big
I’m sure they’ll never die

Yet to reach those lofty goals
Today is so hard

I don’t live in a castle
I don’t have a big yard

My garden isn’t golden
My paint is getting old

I have a leaking basement
Warring with some mold

Living simply in the now
Will make our future grand

But it’s hard to sacrifice
As you can understand

What are your future goals
Or have you arrived

Are you working at them hard
Like bees in a hive

Smile as the sun comes up
It is a new day

Your dreams are getting closer
Joy is on the way

Listen To This Podcast Episode

Do you ever end up discourage while working towards your goals? I want to share 5 tips for reaching your goals.

What are your goals? One of the goals in our marriage is to be debt free… house, car, student loans, everything!

Piggy Bank

We have been working incredibly hard on this for the past 4 years of our marriage. When we began our minimum payments were practically a full time income!

We made sacrifices to work towards paying off our loans. To start we bought a very tiny house… Imagine this:

Somedays it just feels depressing. I want to be rich! Or at least quit being poor. But I’ve learned a lot over these 4 years and I know our hard work will help put our family in a good situation.

Now I want to help you achieve your goals. Maybe it isn’t paying off debt. Think about what your goal are. Do you surround yourself with people who will support you?

5 Tips for Reaching your Goals

  1. You have to know your goal. If you don’t know where you’re going you’ll never arrive… Even if you don’t know it 100% at least think about the neighborhood you want to end up in and start taking steps towards that.

  2. Have Friends on the same path. Both in front and behind you. We have some friends who are debt free. This helps us see the joys of our future. Other friend are right there with us… this is nice when I need to commiserate with someone.

  3. Know what you are giving up and why. For awhile I paid $4.50 on loans every morning at work instead of getting a coffee… This helped me to see active progress towards paying off loans.

  4. Doom doesn’t last forever, good days will come… Sometimes I’m depressed, thinking that we will be in debt forever! At those moments, I of course forget how far we’ve come on our goals.

  5. Remember you don’t see all of someone else’s story. Sometimes it is easy to look at someone else life and wish you were in their shoes, or had their ease in achieving goals. Everyone’s story is unique. Don’t be discouraged when you look at others. You don’t know all the struggles it took them to achieve what they have.

Bonus: Enjoy today. Life doesn’t magically get better at the end… You have to enjoy your life right now too… I really want to be debt free… but I also work full time and am not ok with the daycare options I currently have. Instead I hand picked who would be watching my babe. Is it more expensive? Yes! More hectic? Yes! But it gives me the joy and peace I need to leave him.

I haven’t reached all my goals yet… but i’m getting closer everyday. Being able to share with you on my blog is a goal!

Think about your goals. Could you use these tips to bring you closer to reaching your goal?

Do you have any tips for reaching goals that I missed?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Life Lessons from Cooking

Life Lessons from Cooking

I have a secret recipe that I can’t share with you! It’s not that I am greedy, or that I don’t think you’d enjoy it. I simply don’t have set requirements that I follow.

Having each meal as a creation onto itself can be a challenge, because I love to share my passion for cooking. Yet, how do I write down what I do when it changes every time?

This style of cooking recently paid off for me. I had all the ingredients for Italian Wedding Soup… except one main thing, endive.

Listen To This Podcast Episode

I knew it wouldn’t be the same without that leafy, green goodness. However my husband and I had already worked late and needed to eat quickly.

Stepping out in boldness I began my soup. Drum roll please… Instead of adding endive, I ripped up some fresh leaf lettuce! It was incredible! My husband asked what I did differently because the soup was even better than last time.

So I later realized leaf lettuce is an option for Italian wedding soup… but I felt bold as I was adding it.

My experience with making the soup reminded me of something important in our lives. There are 1000 books on how to be the best wife, mother etc. And they have some really great ideas and are a great place to find inspiration.

But if you try to follow all of them… You’ll drive yourself crazy.

1st, They probably conflict with each other.

2nd, You’re situation is different.

Recently, I shared the Chaos Behind the Pinterest Look. How life really looks.

Chaos behind pinterest image with books

You should absolutely use recipes, pinterest, books and blogs to inspired you! But never look at it like it is the only way.

I’ve learned that cooking is an art which is why I’m great at it… I’m are free to reinvent every time. Yet baking is a science… you really do need to follow the directions.

Life definitely requires some baking - your kids can’t hit, run in the street, or play with plugs… but there’s definitely room for some art too. There is no reason why you can’t blow bubbles in the house on a rainy day.

Do you like to follow recipes? Or is your cooking a new creation each day?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Why Does God Put Opposites Together?

Glug, glug, glug, glug… 5 gallons of water splashing into the back of our car!! I guess that’s what happens when you try to fill and transport a 5 gallon jug without a lid.

Pic Charles and I going in opposite directions text - Why does God put opposites together?

Do you ever find yourself in a pickle that you should have seen coming from a mile away? At one time or another we all seem to find ourselves in these situations. Luckily God built in a safety net so we don’t wallow in these situations too long. Having us marrying our opposite!

I’d had these water bottles for close to a decade… I bought some, inherited others from roommates while in college etc… There was just one problem. None of them had lids. I had tried finding lids but it seemed like my only options was to buy an entire new bottle which was like $15… I’d just live without the lids.

Water jugs without caps

But driving home that day listening to water splash all over the car, and bailing out the trunk with small cups… We decided to kick up our efforts to find lids.

Amazon was the hero! Our lids arrived and they work perfectly!! Why did I go for years without proper lids? I just didn’t have the right motivation. Or persistence like my husband to scour the internet…

I guess that is why God puts opposites together… So they can complement each other with different strengths. Do you ever feel annoyed by the way your husband does things? Or wonder, “Why are we so different??”.

Charlies and I smiling walking with Charlie

Although you may not always appreciate your spouse’s difference… at the end of the day you can truly compliment each other. Thanks to my husband’s persistence we will never have to bail out the back of our car again.

What is a difference that you can appreciate in your spouse?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why Crushing a Dream Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Why Crushing a Dream Can Help You Achieve Your Goals - just words

You have goals and dreams, but sometimes it is tough trying to make it all work. Today’s episode of A Mom in the Making Podcast is for you!

Maybe you’ve never heard of a podcast, or you never really listen to them… basically it’s like a mini radio show. You do not want to miss today episode! “How Crushing a Dream Can Help You Achieve Your Goals”.

One of my dreams is a beautiful garden. The year after I got married and moved into my house, I achieve that dream. I worked incredibly hard tearing up our front grass with a shovel, shaking out the dirt from the grass by hand, because we were on a tight budget and that was the only way to make my dream happen.

Listen To This Podcast Episode

I loved it! It was beautiful. The next year my garden dream got a little foggy with new baby boy… I had new dreams to fill my time, but I still didn’t give up my garden, I just switched to 10 minute Tomatoes.

messy looking tomato plant from last year

This year was different I asked myself a strange question: How much garden can I afford?

Theresa with tomatoes

You might be wondering what prompted such a question. A garden can save money from buying things at a higher price at the store.

But I realized something… Sometimes you have to crush your dreams to achieve goals.

Having a perfect garden is totally a dream a of mine. So is…

  • Family time

  • A clean house

  • Peace of mind

For you, YOUR DREAM might be a garden, having perfect hair, spending more time taking naps or having a sparkling house.

Are there things in conflict with that? Your goals might be bigger than just one dream.

Looking back at last year my garden dream was on the fast track to being a NIGHTMARE. Thinking about last year, I came to three conclusions:

  1. While it was glorious that I was able to get my tomatoes in… so many of them rotted from not being picked on time or simple neglect. The weeds went rampant as I was too busy to ever spend time actually caring for the garden. And now that May has finally rolled around, I still have the tomato stakes in the ground that I never pulled out last fall.
    pic of garden right now- dying dandelion plant

  2. There is still a lovely bag of manure that I’ve been tripping over on the porch for the last 12 months. I bought it with high hopes of spreading it (much to my neighbor’s dismay) all over my garden last year. But when time ran short, I had a choice to make. Spread the manure or get the plants in the ground. So this bag of manure has been a daily sign on my porch of what trying to do too much ends up like.

  3. I don’t want to be stressed. A garden is a wonderful thing that can bring a lot of joy, but when it is running rampant I feel like I need to tend to it. Especially, because it is in my front yard. I want to enjoy this summer and for once I don’t think that is going to include 1000 plants.

What is the dream you have to let go? It may not be gardening… After tripping over manure or crying at rotten tomatoes…

It could be letting go of the desire to make the perfect dinner if it makes you overly stressed. Or accepting that the house many not look perfect if trying to achieve that makes you cranky with the kiddos.

Is your dream worth the cost? Is this a dream for right now?

I will have the perfect garden… eventually. Not this year or maybe even next.

Letting the garden dream go… I got peace of mind - I will have a nicer looking front yard once I clean up last year’s mess. More time splashing for in mud puddles and playing with bubbles.

Are you ready to crush a dream if it helps achieve your goals?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Save Mariam Yahia Ibrahim

Today is not a joyful post… It is sad and tragic about a fellow mother who is suffering the unthinkable. I was ill after reading about her story, but feel I must share so we can stand up for her life, her 20 month old and her newly born child.

This isn’t a good post for kids, I try to tell the story un-graphically…but it is still very disturbing.

Mariam Yahia Ibrahim

Listen To This Podcast Episode

Imagine giving birth while in chains. Being ripped away from your husband. Told that you must nurse your child for two years… and then be hanged. Your life has no value, but you must be kept alive because nursing is best for the child.

I kept imagining this must be a lie. That an overzealous conspiracy theory person was trying to write a scary story to scare the world. I googled and searched over and over again trying to find something to tell this was a lie.

It’s not… Mariam Yahia Ibrahim is Christian woman who is going to be flogged 100 times tomorrow for not renouncing her Christian Faith. The entire story is on Amnesty International UK

A Mom in the Making is a place for joy and encouragement for mothers. As a mom, I could not sleep last night after hearing her story. Suddenly all the problems in my life seems small and inconsequential.

There are several petitions to save her life… At first I ignored them feeling someone else would sign them. And the whole situation just made me uncomfortable.

Then I realized what if I was her? I hope I would have the courage and faith to suffer all that she has. I would hope that mothers around the world would storm the gates of heaven with prayer and authorities with outrage to save my life.

There is a petition at Amnesty International UK

Amnesty International Petition

There is a direct petition to President Obama

Above all pray. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” - Edmund Burke

Friday, June 13, 2014

Why Is Life Always Better...

Do you ever want a different life?

Why is life always better text over pic of me with field in background

As mom’s we can often look at others and see a bigger house, better behaved kids... although let’s be honest we KNOW are kids are the cutest. But does that really make sense?

pic Charlie without shirt - cutest kid ever written on pic

If you ever find find yourself wishing for a different life, or a least a makeover of your current one here’s a funny story to give you some perspective.

close up looking sideways

I am often quite dramatic feeling sorry for myself that I don’t live in the best neighborhood. I dream of the day when life is perfect, and I’m surrounded by corn fields.

Visiting friends living by those cornfields I walked outside at night without a second thought… Then I heard rustling and footprints? Ok now I was freaked out, it was just supposed to be me and the stars.

From the bird feeder came the biggest racoon the world has ever seen, I’m quite confident it could have eaten me alive.

I guess it is just scary to go out at night in the city or the country!

Next time you’re wishing for a change or new look in life, Remember you might lose one bad guy and gain another.

What challenges have you encountered when you finally got something you wanted?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Does Church Still Count If I'm Outside?

pin image

Does Church still count if I’m sitting outside? How do you handle getting your kids to behave during church?

We don’t have a baby class or kiddie day care during church, so they’re right there with us… I like it… in theory it teaches kids to behave… but what about when they don’t?

Or even better what about when you’re out of town and at a different church? I really started thinking about this while visiting our in-laws. When we got to mass, late (of course), we found ourselves in a tiny church with 90% adults and no noise.

Listen To This Podcast Episode

We tried to sit quietly, but our little guy had a lot to say :) He was trying to join the choir, and I’m not sure they were taking applications. Being that there was no where to go we found ourselves out on the lawn during church. I felt so guilty, I was supposed to be in church and instead we were on the grass and he wanted to sword fight with sticks.

As mothers too often we second guess our decisions and feel guilty. Has this ever happen to you? Trying to feel better we went back into church… disrupted everyone, and found ourselves outside again.

I felt guilty for the rest of the day! I kept wondering if it still counted as going to church if I was out on the lawn. After hours of feeling guilty and talking with my husband I came to the conclusion that I did what was best in that situation.

Does this mean I’m packing a picnic basket and skipping church from now on? No. But God sees your heart!

After, I was finally feeling better about my decision I realized that if I felt this bad other mothers have felt this too. We need to encourage each other. If you ever see a mom looking exhausted after church, shoot her a smile. Or if it is you leaving exhausted and burnt out, know that church totally counts even if you’re on the church lawn.

Now that doesn’t mean you can pack a picnic basket and give hubbie a kiss while you and the kiddo camp out for an hour each week… But if you’ve given it your all and you end up outside, know God is smiling on you.

To End: Motherhood is messy… But you’re incredible! Just for being a mom. God totally sees and appreciates your efforts even when you have a hard time appreciating them yourself.

How do you handle when your kiddos act up in church?

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Chaos Behind the Pinterest Look

pinterest compare with toys

Are you inspired or angered by Pinterest? Do blogs make you happy or feel like a failure? As mom’s, too often we compare ourselves to others.

When you look at pin you don’t see what was thrown in the other room to make it look perfect.

Leanne left an awesome comment on my blog: “Never compare someone’s cleaned up outsides to your messed up insides…”

What is most important to you? Make that your priority. Then be ok to let some other things go…

Listen To This Podcast Episode

For us, it is the grass. Our neighbors are retired and their grass is always perfect… I’m sure we are an eyesore living next door with our not so perfect grass. But every once in awhile… there will be a day when our grass if perfectly cut… and theirs is a day past due. I want to take a picture and frame it! “Look world! There was a moment when we had the best grass in the neighborhood.” I have to take the picture quickly because 20 minutes later that moment is gone :)

picture of the grass

Do I look like that pin

What is your priority? Are you able to let other things go so you can achieve what you truly want?

Know that it is ok if everything isn’t perfect. The whole goal of A Mom In The Making is that you are still in the making! Life doesn’t have to be perfect right now. Everyday you are still learning.

Let’s be honest. Motherhood is messy… But you’re incredible! Just for being a mom!

Everyday is an opportunity to smile with messes, embrace the unexpected, and know that today is a blessing.

How do you enjoy things like Pinterest without feeling overwhelmed?

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Nursing Challege That Will Surprise You

A Nursing Challenge that will Surprise You - pic me looking down at Charlie

Nursing is the most rewarding and challenging thing you’ll ever do!

Typically when you talk about Nursing Challenges they are all at the beginning… getting the baby to latch, making sure your milk supply comes in, is the baby gaining enough weight?… And trust me these were all challenges! But I wasn’t shocked by that. Even thought I figured I would be a nursing champ… I had heard of people who struggled so I knew it happened.

The real surprise hit me when I had to quit. It is so difficult, I just want to cry all day. I have the sweetest child in the world. Just think of the way you feel about your babe. He just doesn’t understand why we aren’t nursing anymore.

He comes up to me with the sweetest little look on his face and says, mulk! When I tell him not now buddy. He just blinks his big eyes, pleeese! Mulk pleeese! What kind of monster am I to say no to that?

close up Charlie’s looking up

In full discloser after he takes the sweet endearing route, he’ll often resort to punching me in the nose, or biting… but he starts off so sweet!

I know that I can’t nurse forever, and that he needs to eat big boy food.

Charile eating in highchair

I know he can survive without me. But it just seems so unfair to rip his little heart out, when it is ripping mine out at the same time.

me holding Charlie up by me

I have been incredibly blessed to be able to nurse for so long! But I wanted to share how hard it is to wean. For some, weaning is an exciting moment, when they’re finally done nursing. But if you are struggling to wean, or feeling sad about giving up this special time with your child, know that you are not alone.

Confession: I’ve kinda given up on weaning for the moment… it was just too heartbreaking :)

If you have already successfully weaned a child, how did you make it a livable experience for both of you?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Why You Should "InstaGrams" Everyday

How do you view social media? Is it a resource that helps connect your family or a distractor that steals away time?

Why you should InstaGrams everyday

Listen To This Podcast Episode

We try to limit our little guys expose to technology…

But I strongly believe in what I lovingly call “InstaGrams” - where we instantly see Grams, as I call her.

How did we solve the problem of seeing Grams even though she was miles away…

video chat pic

All us kids went together and bought my mom an iPad mini for Mother’s Day. Now we can use Facetime to video chat on a regular basis. I can’t imagine life without it. Charlie knows his “Computer Grandma”. When we visit he doesn’t have warm up time, because he already knows her from seeing her on video.

video chat pic

She even created a special song to sing with him each time. He not only recognizes her, but her voice and the son she sings him.

Technology has actually been remarkable in bringing our family closer together, helping us share special moments. We never miss a birthday and even try to sing along… (ok that’s a lil’ hard with the delay.)

Do you use technology for connecting with family?

(Ok… I know I didn’t actually talk about Instagram…until recently I didn’t have a smartphone… but now I am in love. Check out my Instagram here.)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Should You Teach Your Child "No"?

image - should you teach your child "no"

Isn’t it crazy how the first word kids learn seems to be, NO! Do you remember the first time that sweet little word escaped your child’s mouth?

My husband and I plotted and schemed trying to avoid this predicament. And we succeed for quite awhile, he learned mom, dad, duck, and ball. It seemed that the concept of no hadn’t entered his small mind.

Listen To This Podcast Episode

Then one day it clicked… he didn’t say no, but he just looked at us and shook his head. Although he didn’t have the word, he understood the concept.

We realized that while my husband never said no to him, he would shake his head when Charlie did something wrong. Charlie picked up on this and realized that when you disagree, you would shake your head.

pic of Charles & Charlie

When did your kiddo learn the concept of no? Was it with shaking the head or the word?

Then one day it hit… probably a week or two after he started shaking his head. I hear from the other room, no, no, no, no. He wasn’t saying it to anyone, but he certainly knew the word. We tried to play if off like we didn’t know what he was saying. Nose?

pic Charlie pointing to nose.

I guess around this time he also learned where his nose was… Because now when he says no, we’ll question him and say, Nose? Then instead of pointing to it, he sticks his finger clear up his nose.

I’m not sure what’s worse a kid who says no to you all the time, or a kiddo that says nose… while shoving his finger in it. (Ok, he’s quit shoving his fingers up his noses and just settled on saying no… Was it a win? I truly don’t know)

How did you handle your kiddo learning the word no?