Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I read somewhere that one of the differences between truly happy people and the general public is their ability to be thankful and recognize the good in life.  I have a personal journal that I have been recording at least three things I am thankful for in each entry for a few months now and it has been a wonderful blessing.  Some days if have to work a little harder than others to come up with something, but no matter what the day might hold, I have found it incredibly rewarding to go back over these entries and recall the little things that make life so wonderful.

In hopes of inspiring some gratitude and happiness, I am going to start a new section of my blog dedicated to the things I am thankful for each week.  I would love for you to join me by either leaving a comment or starting your own thankful journal and see how it transforms your life!

This week I am especially thankful for new opportunities that come in the form of four walls, a new roof over my head and more documents than I know what to do with

For littles who take naps together - never bothered by onlookers and photographs

And for the memories made in winter, but the promise of spring right around the corner

What are you thankful for this week?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

5 months

22 weeks and this little is moving A LOT!  Today Jared and my mom felt the babe kick with a vengeance which was very exciting.  

The bump is not going anywhere fast and has started to make it difficult to take deep breaths.  But it has not slowed down my appetite which includes breakfast food and chocolate....hmm maybe my baby is on a sugar high, which would explain the movement?!? 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Day

There is no better way to spend a snow day than with this little guy

We started out the morning with yummy breakfast in front of the warm fireplace

Then we played trains and with the lincoln logs

We watched for the snowplow truck

And, of course, what would a snow day be without actually playing in the snow?!

Here's to a four day weekend with a little man whose energy and playful spirit inspires me to be a better person and enjoy each moment with a smile!  What did your snow day look like?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Gender Reveal

We are so excited to announce that we will be welcoming our Baby GIRL in June.  

Our family and friends joined us for the big reveal.  It was exciting to have so many celebrate this little life with us.  Although I never thought I would have a 'gender reveal', it was fun to see how excited other people become with anything surrounding a baby.  We decided we would have the party because there were so many people we wanted to share the news with and we knew it would be easiest to do it all at once.

I am also excited to be over half way through my pregnancy and walking through this experience with my best friend.

We are just four weeks a part and I cannot believe how fun it is to be pregnant together.  It is fun laughing about gaining weight, cravings and our poor husbands.  I am so excited to find out if her little one will be a mister or miss in just a few short weeks. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Florida Weekend

My mom and I traveled to Florida for the weekend to visit my brother.  It was not long enough, but it's amazing what a few days in flip flops and sunshine can do for your soul.  We spent time at Daytona Beach and Saint Augustine, ate lots of yummy food, and fought back tears when it was time to leave.  Here's a few of my favorites... 

Zeno's a Boardwalk Sweet Shop, Daytona Beach
I highly recommend the salt water taffy and vanilla fudge!

Lenny's New York Pizza Co., Ormond Beach
In a carb overload, we tried the most amazing garlic knots I have ever tasted and had sicilian pizza that was as close to New York as you could get.

Whetstone Chocolates, St Augustine
If you visit St Augustine you can tour the chocolate factory.  We opted out of the tour for time's sake, but did not pass the store without a few treats.  My brother had mint chocolate chip gelato and my mom and I shared a sampling of truffles, including an amazing milk chocolate champagne truffle that I can now only dream of. 

World Market, Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach

Baby Shep in St. Augustine

Thankful for the sunshine...dreading the 5 inches of snow that had piled up on the car while we were away.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Resources to help children with death and dying

While this topic is certainly not fun to discuss, I feel strongly that parents who are empowered with support and resources can successfully help their children through the stress of grief, loss, death and dying.  It can be especially helpful to have these resources before an event occurs to decrease the stress of trying to come up with the right words to effectively communicate with a child.  Some of my favorite books to use with children when explaining death and dying include:

I Miss You:  A First Look at Death
By:  Pat Thomas

This book helps children understand that death is a natural thing and that the intense feelings of grief are normal.  It helps to put words to the feelings a child may be experiencing and is helpful to parents when words are difficult to come up with.

When Dinosaurs Die:  A Guide to Understanding Death
By:  Laurie Krasny Brown

This book explains many different aspects of death and does a great job of explaining that death can occur in many different forms, not just when a person is really old.

Tear Soup:  A Recipe for Healing After Loss
By:  Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen

I love this book for teens and adults.  It is all about the recipe for healing and how each person will add different ingredients to make it a personal experience.

Help Me Say Goodbye:  Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies
By:  Janis Silverman

This activity book can be started when a loved one is dying or after death.  It is a great combination of thoughtful topics and normalizing the experience which is important for kids.  It also gives them something to do which is so important when things seem out of control.

Along with books, there are some amazing resources on the internet that can help children understand death and dying.  These resources can be used by parents as a guide and starting point or children can get on these websites and safely explore the topic of death in a non-threatening way.

The Dougy Center is a National Center for Grieving Children and Families in Portland, OR.  This organization has so much to offer, however, it is not always feasible for families to travel to Oregon so they have created a wonderful website that includes different resources for all ages.  There is a page specifically created to help parents know what to expect from their children and activities for kids and teens to process the death they have experienced.

Sesame Street also has an amazing website dedicated to helping families through the grieving process.  This website has numerous resources that can be downloaded and printed for families to support each other during times of loss.  They have also created a long list of resources including camps and counseling centers around the country that specialize in work with children and families after a loss.