Missed Opportunities….

You know that expression “time flies when your having fun”….well I truly believe it does. Whether you are having fun or not….time is irreplaceable.

I took 8 weeks off for Maternity leave this summer after the birth of my son Holden on June25th. I was the last one in line for the “Matilda Jane Baby Boom 2012/2013” (if you follow us on blogs and FB, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about). I was hoping he would hold out until June 30th, so I could make it to all of the Art Fair festivities (it’s my favorite event at MJC). However, with my due date on the 28th, I knew it was a gamble. Needless to say I missed Art Fair, TK conference, and Kiara’s last day at MJC. It was bittersweet…..I knew I would be missing so much by being gone.

Eight weeks seems like such a long time, but it’s not really. I was lucky enough to have most of the summer off with my kiddos. I’d like to tell you  that we did amazing things and that I relished every moment of my time with them. I should have. When else would I have the opportunity to be off all summer with them. I’m ashamed to say that I got caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There was always something that needed to be done. Dishes in the sink, laundry piled up, trips to the grocery store, bottles to make, diapers to change, you get the picture….There just wasn’t enough time in my sleep deprived days to get everything done. If you know me, then you know that I think I am superwoman. I don’t mean that in a conceited way, I just mean I carry the weight of my world on my shoulders. I have a hard time asking for help.

Now it is August 18th, the eve of my return to work, and I find my self crying. I’ll admit it was for a mix of reasons. I was going to miss seeing my little guys face every day, I think my hormones were still out of wack, the kids were starting school (my little P-bot in Kindergarten), but mostly for all the missed opportunities for time that could have been better spent.

So here I am. I’ve returned to work. I’ve been able to establish a routine, of sorts..lol.  I also have something I didn’t have 8 weeks ago….hindsight, perspective, and a chance to change. Denise shared an amazing blog post with us this week that really hit home (Oh! For the love of Matilda Jane). It reinforced what I had been feeling about wasted time and not truly sharing myself with my kids.  I’ve decided I’m going to challenge myself. I’m going to slow down and just breathe. I’m going to ask for help when I need it. Most importantly I’m going to spend time, quality time, with the people that matter most to me.

Our kids are only little once….I can’t get back the time that has already past, but I can make the most of the all the time that is to come. I’m sure I will have to remind myself on more than one occasion, but I am really going to try to work on this-  I want to see them; truly see them, with my eyes and not though my iphone camera. I want to give them my undivided attention. I just want to revel in their wonderment. Children are awesomely curious beings and I want to share their thoughts. I just want memories…..

(it’s really hard to fit four people in a pic that you are taking yourself)…

I would love it if you shared a memory or activity(in the blog comments)  that you do with your kids (or anyone else special to you)! I will pick a couple “memories” on Monday and send out something special to them. Oh and keep sending in your pics to FB we all really enjoy you sharing you “littles” with us!








Stacey Mullins - September 9, 2013 - 9:49 am

Carrie your kids are precious!! We missed you at AF – but you definitly got the best gift a few days earlier! Thanks for the great reminder to slow down & make the most of my time with my lil girl Gracie(3yrs). I love the memories that we have on my day off (wed) its in the middle of the week, & its the best day for going to the zoo, cooking, snuggling, or her new obsession puzzles. Soon when she goes to school for a full day I will be missing my sidekick. Time is precious & goes to quickly!

Becky - September 9, 2013 - 7:12 am

One of my most favorite summer memories of my childhood is catching lightening bugs at night, just before bedtime. I remember thinking it was almost magical how they glowed in the yard at that moment just before the sun set. I waited for the lightening bugs to appear ever summer. I have carried that tradition on to my two girls. They love to run around in the yard after bath time, just as much as I did. Excitedly running over to me to show me that they have caught one and then me laughing to myself, watching them run after these very quick creatures. It is definitely a summer memory-maker that I love making with my children.

Annette M - September 9, 2013 - 12:41 am

I come from a big family, same as my mom. We love each other dearly but sometimes you just kinda get lost. So when my grandma was young her parents would take each child out alone for lunch or something every few months or so.
My mom did it with us too. I have such fond memories of spending time with her.
We now do it with each of our girls and my oldest has already planned out places to take her daughter sometime in the very distant future.

Erica S - September 8, 2013 - 11:07 pm

I typed a drawn out story on Friday, but apparently you were rescued by the computer gods because it all got deleted before I hit “post”. It basically amounted to this…my daughter was born on Jun 29, very early, very little, very sick and VERY precious. I couldn’t bring her home for over a month, so once I did I couldn’t let her go – and now she won’t let me put her down! As a result, I try to spend some special time with my son and daughter every day. With my son, our special time is typically playing Minecraft or Terraria with him, taking him to swim team and for a treat afterward or having a friend over. He said he’s glad I’m not a “normal mom” (I guess that’s good?). My daughter is younger, and before she could talk she insisted on wearing MJ. I love to take pictures so it’s a win-win! Our most special memory is driving to Art Fair and celebrating her third birthday this year. She tells everyone she had unicorns at her party and she now believes she’s a magical princess who pulls rabbits out of ski caps! On a daily basis, though, she picks out some special outfit and packs up her Matilda Jane suitcase with duck food and we head to the park, the Botanic Gardens, the zoo, a random sunflower field or cotton field…and she plays in the dirt or has (stick) swordfights with her brother, she twirls for a while, and I take pictures. We started this tradition over a year ago, but this year we’ve done a 365 project, documenting every outing with the kids. I’m pretty positive that although she only has a few MJ outfits, she’s wearing Matilda Jane on 90% of our outings. I think she feels like our special time deserves a special outfit, and she’s positive the ducks and geese only love Matilda Jane. (Sorry, I THINK this was my edited version! I tried.)

Shanna S. - September 8, 2013 - 6:24 pm

Carrie, I follow you on instagram (I’m adayinmylife_143) and have loved seeing all your family pics and this sweet little guy!! We got some new additions to our backyard family this summer, 2 cows, a calf, and 2 horses. The kids and I spent a great deal of our time this summer learning about our new “friends” and caring for them. I love their joy and excitement that can be found in the simplest of every day events!!

Linda - September 8, 2013 - 5:38 pm

Last year’s summer was a total belly-flop for our family. I was in and out of the hospital three times and felt really cruddy the entire time my DD was out of school. So this year I promised myself and her it would be different. We decided to redo her bedroom with fresh paint, new bedding and all the trimmings. One night at about 1:00 a.m. I was painting with her looking on and supervising. I told her I thought it was time to turn in, but the evening needed just one more thing – A Sonic Run! (Sonic is a a drive up burger joint with car hops on roller skates). My daughter’s eyes grew huge, and she kept saying, “Really?” So we jumped in the car, rolled the windows down, cranked up some P!ink on the stereo and sang to the top of our lungs. We did several more late night Sonic runs during the summer. The last one was two days before school resumed. Afterwards, after tucking her in, I cried like a baby, knowing I had created a wonderful memory for each of us, and realized how precious and fleeting these moments can be.

Alison B - September 8, 2013 - 1:39 pm

Just something simple as a bike ride is my favorite… my little on is on the back of mine, and I love her pointing out all the hop hops (bunnys), squirrels, birds, trees, and everything thing else in nature she sees!

Tonya - September 7, 2013 - 11:14 pm

Congrats on such a beautiful family!!
It seems as if our life is hustle and bustle every day!! I’m a mother of 3- ages 7; 4.5; and 11 months. We have dedicated Friday nights to family night. The girls (who are the oldest) get to choose the theme….. typically game night or movie night. My favorite is movie night because that means the 5 of us can all snuggle on the couch under a blanket…….I try to get as much cuddle time as I can with all 3 because I know one day soon they won’t be interested in cuddling! 🙁

Christina - September 7, 2013 - 4:29 pm

You are one blessed mama, indeed! Congratulations!~ and it’s never too late to squeeze your babies and make memories with them that you’ll all treasure forever.

My littles love having their own special date night, with mommy and daddy~once a week we’ll take one child to see a movie, or get an ice cream, and have all the focus on them–nothing extravagant; just a place without distractions, without interruptions. A simple time to chat and enjoy who they are, and give them the gift of our undivided attention. They light up in a way that words can’t express, but that fills your heart with overwhelming JOY! 🙂 Enjoy these precious, numbered days where all they want is to be cuddled and loved by us! 🙂

Christina - September 7, 2013 - 1:39 pm

I loved this blog!! It’s very timely – my daughter just started preschool last week and I’ve been feeling many of the same emotions!

If it makes you feel any better, I’ve found, even when you try your best to soak up every moment, time still flies right on by. I think the truth is, these days with our little ones are just so precious, we’ll never be able to truly have our fill of them.

For better or worse, I am a planner and a list-maker. As overly-structured as it may sound, I add specific activities I want to do with my daughter to my to-do list at the beginning of each week. I certainly don’t schedule EVERYTHING, but I make it a point to include several plans to do craft time or play those toys/games that typically require a pair of adult hands.

Obviously, we play a lot more than the things on “the list”, but this ensures we’re having more quality time together (plus it makes sure things like those giant Play-Doh kits in the closet from grandma are actually getting used!).

I’d made my daughter a paper chain of Mickey Mouse ears to count down to her birthday party recently. She was so fascinated with them, and begged me for days to make some more with her. We spent 30 minutes one day making Mickey ears (in many forms), and she STILL talks about that as though it was the highlight of her life thus far! It was SO worth giving up whatever else I might have found myself doing with that time.

Many blessings to you and each of your little sweeties!! 🙂

Candace - September 7, 2013 - 10:08 am

Guilty of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle here, but hoping that my kids will look back fondly…maybe remembering backyard picnics, painting fingernails, curling hair, impromptu photo shoots, swinging til they reached the clouds, building sand castles at the beach, grocery store trips with “the car buggy”, dumping bottles of sprinkles over freshly iced cupcakes, or even just cuddles in mama’s lap…

And if they forget all that, maybe they’ll remember daddy getting them out of bed many Saturday mornings for breakfast at the local greasy spoon and a morning of finding yard sale treasures — sometimes taking them out in their pajamas, sometimes waiting for mommy to doll them up in some sweet Matilda Jane, sometimes letting them dress themselves in leotards, tutus and tiaras…but always knowing they are daddy’s princesses. 🙂

Amy Salisbury - September 7, 2013 - 7:21 am

Hi Carrie! Congrats on your little handsome bundle of joy! My daughter, Lylah, is turning two next week- wow how time flies! We have made some great memories in the past year especially because she has really started becoming more independent and choosing to do things on her own. She loves telling me she wants to “ride the bike” and I will put her in her ergo backpack and ride with her on my back around the neighborhood. We talk to each other and spend the bike ride talking about animals and hoping to spot a few “Meows” and “Woof Woofs”!! Sometimes we spot bunnies or squirrels and you can bet Lylah gets so excited at every single animal we see!

I love our bike rides. They are simple, sweet, and we spend the entire time so close to each other. I know one day soon she will grow too big to ride in that backpack and I will cry and cry BUT she will get big enough to ride her little bike next to mine an we will still be on the lookout for animals. 🙂

teisha m - September 7, 2013 - 7:14 am

Every night at dinner my children have to tell me something wonderful about their day, or they have to do the dishes!
Works great to start dinner coversations.

Laureen - September 7, 2013 - 2:05 am

We all LOVE capturing our children through photos and videos. However, I wanted to capture the details…there’s so much to document in the lives of our child(ren). I started capturing my child’s “favorite things” yearly which lists questions my child answers as well as funny things they choose to wear,say or do.

Play time:She LOVES building Forts and Castles–add some cute,recent photos. 🙂

As mom’s I think we can all empathize with how you’re feeling, keep your head up and know that it’s NEVER to late to create memories.

Katie R. - September 6, 2013 - 11:54 pm

Tent camping – I love spending time with the kids outdoors – watching them dig in the dirt, ride their bikes, cook hot dogs on the fire, and trying to fall asleep with all 4 of us in a tiny tent. We always come home dirty, sticky, and smelly, but we all love the memories. We started when they were little “camping” in the backyard, but have now progressed to state parks.

Kelli F - September 6, 2013 - 11:40 pm

The last week before school started this year we both took the entire week off and made it a special last summer hurrah! We agent to a resort and did nothing but swim, paddle boat, and sit out by the docks. The rest of the week we made it a point to do something special too… a drive in movie in our pjs, ice cream at CherryBerry, mini golf, go carts and the butterfly house. This is the first real family vacation we have taken where we had nothing too do but relax and enjoy each other… we have views to do you this each year now as we all need that time to just enjoy life.

Laura - September 6, 2013 - 11:28 pm

At night when I tuck my kids into bed and say prayers they always ask me to tell them stories about when I was little, they love hearing about my childhood and asking me questions and I love reminiscing! It’s a sweet time for all of us 🙂

Michelle Lamothe - September 6, 2013 - 10:19 pm

When I was a kid we would always go apple picking in September. This year will be my son Owen’s first trip to the orchard. Big sister Chloe can’t wait to show him the ropes. We are bringing our radio flyer red wagon to hold all the apples and then we are going on the tractor ride. The last thing we do is go into the general store and have warm apple donuts! Delicious! The perfect ending!

Angie R - September 6, 2013 - 9:39 pm

My daughter and I used to bake cookies every Tuesday when she was in preschool (she only went to school on Monday/Wednesday/Friday). She loved dumping everything in and sniffing and tasting. Her favorite cookies are chocolate chip cookies and “snake-r-doodles”. We don’t get to do it as often now that she’s in full time school, but we still love to do it on winter weekends.

Courtney Wilson - September 6, 2013 - 7:52 pm

One of my greatest memories from this summer is taking my daughter on a Friday adventure that started with a prayer to take us out of our comfort zone that day. We started by going to a small donut shop we had never visited before, and while we were there, a gentleman approached us and asked if we went to his church (I work at the church and am frequently on the stage doing announcements, but it is a very large church, so we don’t know everyone there). I told him yes, we did – and I thought I had seen him greeting families at the door by our children’s area. He went back and sat with his group of friends who had known each other since high school, and we went back to eating our treats. After a bit, we went over to tell him goodbye and as my daughter talked with him and the other older people at the table, she brought smiles all around. The man ended up asking us if we wanted to see his 100 tomato plants and 200 sunflowers at his nearby home. I decided in light of our morning prayer, this might be just enough out of our comfort zone to stretch us and bring great joy to everyone involved. We followed him to his home, and found an almost storybook setting – tall sunflowers, a bridge over the creek, animal statues, a garden full of flowers and vegetables, and a small barn. The man’s wife was at home as well and they played grandparents for almost an hour to my little girl whose grandparents all live too far away. Watching all of that joy and feeling like going out of our comfort zone and taking a chance on following a sweet old man home was where the best memories are made is a feeling I will never forget. We went home with full hearts and bags of tomatoes and bouquets of sunflowers, shoes soggy from the creek and sun kissed cheeks – and not a bit of it caught on my iPhone, but every minute caught in my heart.

Tiff B - September 6, 2013 - 7:36 pm

I don’t know if this counts, but it’s something I do for my daughter (and for myself) I’ve wrote “letters to Blair” for a while now. She’s 4. For me so I can look back through and read about the things she did, or funny things she’s said, advice, insight, and so on. But mostly for her, one day I’ll forget how hard it was in these days but how beautiful they were. I want her to know how I felt when she was little so one day when she has little ones she will see, we were all right there one day too…and so she always knows how special our love is/was

Janelle Howe - September 6, 2013 - 7:04 pm

My favorite part about summer is being able to be “unscheduled”! During the school year we are scheduled right down to the minute. Homework, dinner, showers, bed. No time for much of anything. I love being able to stay outside and watch the kids play and not worry about what time it is or sending them to bed a little sticky!

Kristi T - September 6, 2013 - 6:40 pm

This spring we took DD to Disneyland for the first time. It was during spring break, it was hot, the park was packed. She was only 22 months old so our options were limited. Since the ride lines were so long we ended up sitting on Main street for 45 minutes with her waiting for the parade to start. It was a long hot wait but it was so worth it once the parade started and she recognized the characters. She was singing and clapping and so excited. In that moment DH and I just looked at each other and smiled because everything we wanted to do with her that day that we couldn’t, the horrible crowds, the long lines, the heat, none of it mattered right then. It reminded us that really it’s the little things that count. DD didn’t care that she didn’t get to ride Small World because it was closed, or Dumbo because the line was 2 hours long. She just loved what she was able to do. That’s one of my most special memories with her so far, not because of how happy she was, but because of the life lesson it reminded me of.

Sara Quinn - September 6, 2013 - 6:30 pm

We celebrate everything around our house – big and small – half birthdays, first day of school, first jump off the diving board, scoring a soccer goal, etc. The kids get involved in the planning and decision making and they own it! It is amazing how exciting the smallest little celebration can be. Often our celebrations are cheap or free (ie not elaborate), but it doesn’t matter to the kids. We all get to spend time together, and it forces us to stop and acknowledge the little things in life. Good luck with kindergarten…..I just sent my oldest off this week too!

Addy Van Anne - September 6, 2013 - 6:23 pm

Welcome back Carrie. Congratulations on your newest addition. All of your children are beautiful. My children are 8 and 4 years old. We had one of the best summers ever. Sure we did a ton of traveling and had a ton of fun, but one of the best moments of the whole summer was a rainy day. It was late in the afternoon and it started pouring rain and my kids were watching out the front door. For some reason I was compelled to run out in it. I said to my kids lets go play in the rain. They looked at me and paused for a minute and then it was on, we ran around, jumped in mud puddles and just acted like we were crazy. It was so much fun and I was completely in the moment with them. So many times as a parent I have to say no, please don’t jump in that mud puddle on the way to school/church, please don’t do this or that. It felt so good to say yes get wet and dirty and I am going to also. We weren’t out to long but it was fun while it lasted. A great memory!

Bethany - September 6, 2013 - 5:56 pm

We get off pretty cheap here!…when my 2 kids think of summer, they think of daddy making a fire, and mommy buying ingredients for smores. We love making a fire, singing songs, telling stories, laughing like crazy, and falling asleep outside all cuddled together. I hope we continue to have family camp outs for years to come.

Lisa Lynch - September 6, 2013 - 5:38 pm

I find myself being one of those busy moms, too. After my 1hr work commute each way, dinner, etc…there isn’t much evening time left, but I’m trying ever so hard to make special moments for us together. I cherish our night-night reading time together and before bed, watching her sleepy eyes get more and more drowsy, finally drifting off into happily ever after land.
We always tell each other “night-night, sweet dreams, love you” before lying down (her daddy started that one, but I’m keeping it!). I hope we keep this saying going, until she leaves for college <3

Pamela M. - September 6, 2013 - 5:27 pm

Hi Carrie – Great post and love the pic! There are so many fun things we do around our house….I have to say that on Labor Day (we don’t start school until the day after in MI) we get up and go to the pool at our club and relish the last full day that it is open. We spend the whole day there….we leave for about an hour and go home to have a family dinner and then go back to the pool until it closes, soaking up the last of the summer sun and chlorine! My kids love to be the “last ones” in the pool and to touch the water until it closes for the summer…that’s one of our favorites. They do have the distinction for the last three or four years for being “the last ones in”…

Katie - September 6, 2013 - 5:05 pm

Welcome back Carrie! Congratulations on your sweet little man 🙂 He and my little man are only about 2 weeks apart! I feel like the Summer flew by so fast this year too……I have to say that my favorite thing to do with my kids is taking them to the park. There were so many days this Summer when my house was a disaster and I just packed the kids up along with a picnic lunch and went to the park with them. I figured the chores could wait but the beautiful weather and opportunity to watch them play couldn’t. I absolutely love the “Oh for the Love of MJ” blog post. I shared it right away. I refer back to her “Twirl away” quote often. Thanks for sharing the photo of your beautiful family with us. Enjoy those babies! You are an awesome mama <3

Marina - September 6, 2013 - 4:56 pm

Since my kids vary greatly in age, we do a bonding activity on Sundays. We all take my littlest (3) to swim lessons and then we all go to the bakery for breakfast/treats. My oldest 2 (19/16) still remember doing this every Sunday and love keeping up this tradition.

AMY J - September 6, 2013 - 4:47 pm

Time sure does fly! It astounds me most days! One of my favorite memories with my kids, is “balloon time”, and it’s the thing that stands out most in their memories out of all the goofy things we did/do. Sometimes we would have days that just got waaaay to hectic and big-stress. On those days, we would pull out a package of red balloons (I always had several in the cupboards) blow them all up, throw them on the floor of the living room, play 99 Red Balloons on the sound system, and we’d all just run around throwing balloons around and dancing. It sounds so silly, but it was a great stress reliever, and a great way to just laugh and live in the moment, if only for a few minutes. <#

jennifer c - September 6, 2013 - 4:35 pm

congratulations and fabulous

NLLM - September 6, 2013 - 4:12 pm

Welcome to the World of Three kids..I just had my third last October and life moves much too quickly. Time relished together is a truly wonderful thing! My favorite activity is trips to the Zoo this last year together…just the four of us while dad is at work….The baby in her ergo the two big kids in the stroller lots of treats, walking and taking in the animals. Its a great place to go and being outside walking from animal to animal is so much fun. Everyone gets to pick a favorite place to visit.
My favorite memory is when my Grandma would take care of us and we would watch her sew, cook and she would tell us all sorts of stories. I treasure that kitchen table where she taught us so much. I have that same kitchen table in my kitchen today and I hope some of those beautiful memories that I made with my grandma can be recreated with my own kids. Treasure the little things that might not be planned because those seem to be the things that kids cling to most. Unplanned spontaneous adventure….and that is always in our daily life when the kids out number the parents. Welcome back to work!

Julie - September 6, 2013 - 4:03 pm

I have two kiddos, Ruby age 4 and Rowen 1. Ruby and I enjoy going on mommy daughter dated. Our first stop is always Starbucks for hot chocolate. They sometimes its grocery shopping, a visit to some of our eldery family or sometimes just back home to make brownies. It generally doesn’t cost a lot and we try to make it about giving and serving others. She is starting preschool this fall and will leave Rowen and I to have some mommy son dates for the first time. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to make memories with him!!

Katie E - September 6, 2013 - 3:55 pm

My family moved from St. Louis to Louisiana when my sister, brother, and I were young. Since we still had grandparents, aunts and uncles, and lots of cousins still in the area, we made it back for visits frequently. When we did, my parents would take us to Ted Drewe’s to get their famous frozen custard. It was something we always looked forward to. Now that I have two kids of my own, I take them to Ted Drewe’s every trip to St. Louis. I love to watch my four year old daughter’s face as I read the various flavors of concretes to her. Her brow furrows, lips purse and eyes squint, as if she’s making the most important decision of her life. And at that moment in her four year old life, it probably is. (My 20 month old son just yells “ice cream!”)

Marcy Schneider Hoffman - September 6, 2013 - 3:53 pm

One of my best memories is when we packed up and went hiking for a day. It was with my husband, children and my parents. We were free from distractions. No t.v., no ipod, no ipads, no computers, nothing. Just us and nature, nothing else. Often I find that if the distractions are removed, connecting and creating memories is inevitable. One little photo to remember the day! Coming prepared with snacks and water was a must also…..you know, to keep the kids from saying…..’When are we going to be done? I’m starving! LOL Have fun making your memories!

adina - September 6, 2013 - 3:52 pm

Thanks for the reminder, sorry you had regrets this summer 🙁 I think the little memories are the best, the trips to the park, splash-pads and out in the canoe here will be treasured.

Angie L - September 6, 2013 - 3:48 pm

I think for me one of the toughest things is spending one on one special time with each kiddo once you have a few:). Especially right after baby, when that sweet little one is taking so much time. I love to try to make it a point to spend time with my oldest kiddos with things like a surprise early pick up from school and a one on one day with them doing simple things like a picnic @ the park. Such a huge blessing for both mom and child. It’s not the quantity of time, but the quality 🙂

Marla H. - September 6, 2013 - 3:44 pm

We had several rainy days this summer…. so we went to an indoor jump park called Sky High here in Nashville, TN. It has trampolines everywhere even on the walls. It has a dodgeball court(all trampolines as well). It also has a foam pits and a rope swing. Anyway, I wasn’t going to jump at first. My kids convinced me that I would have fun. And you bet I had fun! I felt like a kid again. Even though my age definitely showed(I got tired a lot faster than my girls), I came to one conclusion.

Join in with your kids and play with them!

So many times as a mom I have wished I would have played with them more during the day or shared more moments….It so easy to forget and stay in our adult world. I go back to this memory….. I need to remember to “jump” on the opportunities and keep making memories with them together.

Oh and by the way I did go on the rope swing and jumped in to those foam pits(It’s hard to get out of those things when you are an adult. Believe me, I know.). And I can still do a backflip on the trampoline too! I think it’s seriously been 12 years or so since I had tried one. lol!!!

Thanks for your blog post Carrie!

Carly Bridgeford - September 6, 2013 - 3:42 pm

I started a journey 6 years ago, into motherhood. I have made so many mistakes and blunders, but I also have gotten a few things right. When I had my first daughter, I had so much time with her, building memories and giving her all of me and then 3 years after having her, that all changed for me. I had my first son and when he was 6 months, I conceived my second son, and when he was 6 months I conceived, my now 11 month, darling daughter. A lot of times, while pregnant with her, I was certain I would lose myself in it all. Having 3 babies in a row really took its toll on me. But looking at them now, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. They are all so precious in their own little ways. Watching my 3 year old and 2 year old go at it like brothers do. Watching my 11 month stand and try to walk, the excitement in her face is so overwhelming, I tear up. And listening to my 6 year old talk about Doc McStuffins, Sophia the first and Taylor Swift as if they are really present in our home, is so heart filling, I am just so beautifully broken by it all.

Brandi P - September 6, 2013 - 3:40 pm

Hey Carrie!!!! So glad you are back and time does fly!!!!

My favorite memories are thanksgiving. I love that holiday!! It’s the one holiday every year that everyone gets together and eats. That’s it. Fellowship. Nothing is expected (except home cooked food) and family and friends!! I love sharing this tradition with the kids in hopes they pass it on!!

Have a great weekend!!

Jennifer Raymond - September 6, 2013 - 3:27 pm

My favorite memories with my kiddos will always be the excitement they have when I am there to pick them up at school, and hearing how awesome it is just to be the line leader that day!

StateCHick - September 6, 2013 - 3:22 pm

My favorite memory from this summer was our visit to celebrate our Mamaw’s 100th Birthday! 12 hour car trip, fun with cousins (close and distant), “unplugged” in our cabin, and just treasuring the time with family. It isn’t every day you get to visit a 100 year old!

Mama Hope - September 6, 2013 - 3:17 pm

38 years ago on this very day … Just like that … I became a mother! Jason Pyle made a grand entrance … and my life was forever changed for the better! The one big think I did was decorate the house and serve an appropriately themed breakfast to celebrate! I may not have control of the rest of the day, but I could make that one morning work! And I went BIG for each birthday in terms of it being a special day … a very special day! At Christmas, we concentrated on giving rather than receiving. But the birthday kid had a great time. It was easier to do big that one day for one kid! And now those kids are have kids of their own … it delights me that they carry on the tradition!!

Lisa Beard - September 6, 2013 - 3:11 pm

One thing I try to do frequently with my 3 1/2 year and 22 month old daughters is bake. It is so easy to measure and then let them dump the ingredients in the bowl. My 3 1/2 year old can already crack eggs and mixes things up pretty well! She told me the last time we made some cookies, ‘Mom, we need to do this every year!’ She has no concept of time, but was just so happy to do something special. Plus, they are learning the gift of giving as we share our baked goods with friends and family!

Mary C - September 6, 2013 - 3:10 pm

Every Saturday morning, I take my 5 year old to our neighborhood Starbucks and she gets to choose a pastry. It’s a lot of fun and all the employees know us now (we’ve been doing it about a year). I have some sweet pictures I’ve taken of her with my phone as we enjoy these special moments together.

Alyssa P - September 6, 2013 - 3:08 pm

We had the most amazing summer. y daughter just started first grade and I loved every moment we spent together. We loved the zoo, play dates with friends, big girl lunch (just her and I at a restaurant and just hanging out on the front porch, reading books, singing songs and enjoying our days!

Sarah - September 6, 2013 - 3:03 pm

We have a little secret hand squeeze. Ever since Abby was a baby I would squeeze her hand 3 times and say I – Love – You and when she started getting older she would always do it back to me. Sometimes at random she will grab my hand and squeeze it 3 times. I hope that it can always be our special thing and imagine sharing that little squeeze at graduation, her wedding and so many more.

Missy Jungling - September 6, 2013 - 2:58 pm

Loved this post! It is so hard being a mom and trying to keep EVERYONE happy! Life is full of “what if” and it is so easy to second guess ourselves as a mom!
So one of my favorite things to do with my kiddos which was introduced to me by my ever so creative 4 year old is to hold a party at any given moment! His imagination runs wild and many days I come home to the announcement of some toy’s birthday or some stuffed animal wedding. We go all out! Balloons, streamers, party hats and snacks. It is always a good time and a great way to remember how simple it is to have fun. It doesn’t take months of planning or perfection, it is an impromtu celebration. I wait in anticipation of the days that I hear an announcement of the celebration we are about to have.

Lil - September 6, 2013 - 2:54 pm

You are awesome Carrie and always such a pleasure to talk to. You look beautiful with a lovely family with you. Enjoy, as your right time does fly. When you least expect it. They are grown and right b4 your eyes. 🙁

Stacey C - September 6, 2013 - 2:51 pm

I get goofy. Whether it’s dancing in a store to a song my little daughter finds unable to resist dancing to, blasting a praise song in the car with the windows rolled down and screaming it out with her, or reading a story with every last bit of energy I have left at the end of the day; my husband will confirm that I get a little crazy. But I won’t let my “grown up” side ever calm me down. As crazy as I might look or sound to anyone around, the only opinion I care about is one little girl.

Stephanie E - September 6, 2013 - 2:46 pm

We take a family walk after dinner every night. We talk about our days and just enjoy each other’s company before the bedtime routine. It’s precious time together each day. The sweetest thing is recently our little guy wants to get out of the stroller to walk and then he runs up and hugs his big brother and sister. These are the things I want to remember.

Jenn M. - September 6, 2013 - 2:38 pm

We have a family campout every summer with cousins, aunts and uncles in Grandma’s backyard. Complete with bonfire, a movie projected on a sheet, tents, bbq, movie theater candy, popcorn, etc. It’s very fun. This year we even added a game of hide-and-go seek in the dark – who knew mom could climb a tree?? =)

Heather Gruber - September 6, 2013 - 2:37 pm

Every night for the past 8 years I have read to my children at bedtime (ages 8, 6, and 3). There are nights that I wish I didn’t have to crawl into 3 separate beds and read 3 separate stories, but that one on one time out of a busy day is loved by all of us. It is those quiet moments with them cuddled with a story that really puts a positive spin to whatever kind of day we had. Even if I start out the story in a bad mood, it always changes by the second page. The power that their little bodies hold to encapsulate all that is important to me is amazing!

Jamie S - September 6, 2013 - 2:35 pm

I stole this idea from Pinterest last winter. In late October, we welcomed our 4th child to our family. Things were crazy busy and it was chaotic, but we loved our little family. However, I began to notice that my oldest daughter seemed sad all the time. One evening as I was tucking her in, I learned that she was feeling left out and all alone in this great big family of ours. I sadly realized that because she was the oldest and the only child that didn’t physically require us to care for her (baths, diApers, feedings, ect.), we had completely neglected her!! It was true! We were so busy with the others, she thought we no longer had time for her and my heart was broke. So how could I fix it when I had a newborn and 2 toddlers that demanded every ounce of my time!! Then I found my answer (and I’m not this creative so I found my solution on Pinterest lol). I took my daughter to pick out a journal!! We talked about how busy I had been and how one day the little kids wouldn’t be so little anymore and it would be better. But for now, we were going to have our own secret conversations. She could write whatever she wanted to me In her journal and leave it on my bed every night. When the dishes were done and the last little one was asleep, I could read it and write back!! When she gets up the following morning, her journal and my reply to her would be waiting on her desk!! So even though we weren’t getting as much one on one time as both of us would like, we were still bonding in an amazing way. The baby is almost one now and things have calmed down a little, but we both agree that we love our secret conversations and still continue them every night 🙂 and the best part is, one day when She is grown And I am gone, she will still have these conversations to treasure.

Shannon H - September 6, 2013 - 2:34 pm

This is something I constantly struggle with also. One thing I find so awesome is all the little rituals we have in our house: off to school/good bye rituals, bedtime, etc. that are the cement of our family. Recently my child’s teacher and a colleague sent me this video. It REALLY hit home (you won’t have dry eyes!). Watch it..it shows you a small song you can sing with your children to increase your connection with them-an “I love you ritual” it is called! (I promise it isn’t spam!)


Kari Bennett - September 6, 2013 - 2:31 pm

My little princess all dressed in her beautiful MJC is a boy at heart. We love to play baseball. Sometimes I am so tired, cranky after a long day at work, and want to sit down with a glass of wine. My kids are age 21, 17, 16 & 3. She was planned and is well loved. However her momma is OLD! When she looks at me with that sweet face, not asking for anything but my time, I have learned to embrace it. Soon enough she will be asking a boy to spend time with her, or asking to leave the house, or spending more time in her room then with me. I always need a reminder, even 4 kids and 21 years later, so thank you! xo

Leann - September 6, 2013 - 2:29 pm

I love to make memories with my kids by taking them outdoors to National Parks or other Hiking nature Trails! The main reason is because that is what my parents did with us and I have such great memories.

Stacie Petta - September 6, 2013 - 2:26 pm

I know exactly what you mean Carrie! I too had hoped to do more during the summer with my two girls (6 & 4). I even had a ton of ideas pinned on pinterest. However, the daily life of just getting things done to maintain order in the house took over. We did however have our fun family weekends camping! We got a new camper this year and the girls were so excited! The endless days were spent getting dirty making mud cupcakes, exploring, swimming, hunting for Smurfs (found 2), eating Smores, having campfire talks, & biking. It made me so happy to see them enjoying themselves! It as nice to truly take a step back from the hustle and bustle and enjoy true family time! The laughter shared will last a lifetime!

Melody - September 6, 2013 - 2:23 pm

“Here is to making memories that last!” I recently had the opportunity to resign from my full time job of almost 8 years to make my kids my full time job. A very exciting change for my 6 year old daughter who had to share me with her 1 year old brother with the little free time my job and commute left me with. My first week off she and I attended plays daily at a local park, painted pottery, went swimming and participated in a dance camp. I am looking forward to and so very thankful for these memories.

Lindsey - September 6, 2013 - 2:21 pm

We just bought a new house and have been taking the kids over to do projects with us- it is so precious to see them lugging in their own tool bags loaded down with tools to help us with the new house projects. At the end we always tell them we couldn’t have done it without them.

Nancy M - September 6, 2013 - 2:20 pm

One special treat I like to do on my children’s birthday is make cinnamon rolls before the wake up, put one on a special “birthday plate” and light a candle in it and wake them up by singing happy birthday…and of course they get to eat their cinnamon roll in bed that morning! Even as they are older and get up on their own, they will still stay in bed until I come in and sing to them (because they know it would break mommy’s heart if they grew out of that special moment I like to share with them)

Jennifer Valsted - September 6, 2013 - 2:20 pm

First of all, your family is adorable!!! And I know what you mean about everyday life getting in the way as it’s hard to keep up with everything when you have three kids!!

I have three kids, ages 15 (boy), 11 (boy) and 10 (girl), and for the past year we have created a special activity just for us that has provided us with some wonderful memories. Late at night, after it has gotten dark, we all go out in our back yard and lay down on our net-enclosed trampoline and star gaze. My kids point out constellations and we have even seen several shooting stars which they think is cool. We usually spend at least an hour out there talking about anything we want with each other and reminiscing about fun things we’ve done or trips we’ve taken. It’s been such a wonderful activity to get all of us out in nature without the interruption of TV, cellphones, video games, etc. and brings us closer together with simple conversation.

Mindy - September 6, 2013 - 2:19 pm

Neither one of my husband or I’s jobs has holiday parties, so we started our own tradition of taking our girls to Chicago for the light parade and shopping. It is such a fun time for us to enjoy a holiday tradition and spending time together. An added bonus for my girls is riding the train into the city, shopping at the Disney store, and enjoying delicious food. For me, I also get to squeeze in a little bit of time on Michigan Ave!

Amber L. - September 6, 2013 - 2:19 pm

The local/downtown farmers market it a fun outing for my kiddos. There’s so much produce to see and people to smile at. I usually let them each pick out something to buy — we usually end up with blueberries and raspberries. Now that it’s fall they both pick apples. My favorite part is treating them each to a French macaron. A $2 each they’re not cheap, but they are tasty and it’s a “fancy” treat for them.

Karen - September 6, 2013 - 2:18 pm

Some of my best times spent with my kids and family are our weekly bonfires throughout the fall. My whole family, my sisters, nieces, nephews and my parents all get together every Saturday evening to cook out and just have fun. It is the simple things that are amazing!

Leslie Click - September 6, 2013 - 2:15 pm

HI Carrie!!!! Congrats on your sweet new baby boy!! Every once in a while I like to take my kids out of school at lunch time and go have a special lunch- just us:) And a lot of the time its a surprise. I mean who doesn’t love that?A lot of times- its the little things that they remember- A note in their lunch box, or tucked in their bag… Robyn likes for me to play restaurant with her… and sometimes my mind is going 5 million directions and trying to multitask that I forget to just be in the moment. I have a frame in my hallway that was my moms, “Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow…for babies grow up weve learned to our sorrow…so quiet down cobwebs….dust go to sleep… Im rocking my baby and babies dont keep!! ” <3

Crystal Annett - September 6, 2013 - 2:14 pm

Tide pooling at Anchor Point, AK. Our very favorite camping spot…my kids love it and I’ve been coming to this place since I was a child.

Nicole H - September 6, 2013 - 2:14 pm

I have three little girls (5, 4 and 2) who are all growing up a little bit too fast. A few years ago I told my husband that I wanted to pick apples with the girls every year. He humored me and we picked out first fruit as a family. The next year we added blueberries and strawberries. This summer I made it my quest to pick as many different fruits as we could visiting different orchards all decked out in our favorite Matilda Jane. Some would say that my girls were overdressed for the occasion but it was worth it to see the smiles on every ones faces as they saw my girls decked out in their tiered ellies and ruffle pants picking the fruit of the day. So far this year we have picked strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, raspberries, pears and still have grapes, apples and pumpkins to go. It has become something we love to do as a family and enjoy making memories with each trip. I will post a few of the girls picking on the FB page.

Jayna - September 6, 2013 - 2:09 pm

Just today my two youngest were playing outside and I kept checking emails. I wasn’t present. So I put my phone away and played. We played with the hose, we sang the wheels on the bus. Their laughter and smiles were memories I will have forever! Not exciting stuff but it is the little stuff that matters. Yes, I’ve dishes piled in the sink and laundry everywhere, but that can all wait.

Heather H - September 6, 2013 - 2:08 pm

One of my favorite “activities” that I share with my girls is the Birthday Bunny. Every year when you wake up on your birthday you find that the Birthday Bunny came while you were sleeping and decorated the dining room with balloons and streamers and a special sign. This is something my parents did for me and I always loved it. They love it too — so much in fact, when they woke up on MY birthday they were all sorts of angry that the Birthday Bunny didn’t come and decorate for me. 🙂

Kaatje Pitzer - September 6, 2013 - 2:07 pm

My favorite memories are helping my kids learn new things like riding their bike or a new card trick, helping them along the way & then seeing the pride on their face when they master it! I also haw a newborn & with three other littles life gets hectic! Thanks for the reminder to slow down & enjoy every moment!

Ashley Miskel - September 6, 2013 - 2:06 pm

We take a trip out to the “country” where my in-laws live every November, before all the holiday bustle and just LIVE! We have bonfires at night, go fishing, and attend the apple festival in Kentucky. It’s such a great time for all of our families. My kids get to enjoy their grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, all the while enjoying life on the back roads. {We live in a BIG city}. It’s so amazing to watch the leaves fall, sip sodas on the deck, fish in the pond and not worry about traffic, appointments, or anything really! Cheers to Memory Making!

Abby - September 6, 2013 - 2:05 pm

Congratulations on your little guy! Mine is both a tradition with my own children but it is because of a fond memory I have as a child with my sister and mom…she used to pick my sister and I up from school and once a week, we would go to get a treat – a cinnamon roll or an ice cream cone…and I look back with such a fond memory of this time together following a school day. Now, I do the same with my littles…we pick-up a donut or cookie one day a week following work/school. It puts the biggest smile on their little faces – love that!

AMB - September 6, 2013 - 2:04 pm

My favorite memory of the summer, was our vacation to South Carolina. My four year old seen the ocean for the first time. It was chilly and we were waiting for our room to be ready, so we decided to walk on the beach. My four year old ran out to the water and begged to stick her feet in, which she did. Right them a huge wave bowled her over. She toppled head over heals. I waited for her to cry. She stood up with sand all over her (she had the sugar and spice lap dress on and the pockets were filled with sand). She looked at me smiled and said “that was awesome!” she ran back to the water to meet her brother and they played until their lips were blue. The next day as soon as we got to the beach, she yelled, “it’s on like donkey kong” and ran to the water. I hope she gets to see the ocean again one day.

khara - September 6, 2013 - 2:04 pm

Alexa, my 2 year old has been going to gymnastics for the last year. She recently graduated from the parent/tot class to the teacher/tot class about a month ago. After her first class I told her that since she did a good job, she could be rewarded by picking something out of the vending machine. Since then, she has made it into her own tradition by getting something from the machine every week. It’s something cute and simple, and it gives her an incentive to be good, but mostly it’s sweet because she made it her own thing.

Carrie - September 6, 2013 - 2:04 pm

Love this!!!! With this summer heat, I really had fun setting up a sprinkler in the back yard and playing with the kids. We turned on some music, danced, and had a blast : ) Having children lets us be kids again

katya d - September 6, 2013 - 2:03 pm

every year I take my kids and we travel to Eastern Europe for the summer to visit my parents. I love to watch them there, to give them these experiences that they wouldn’t have had here in the USA. We wake up every morning and my Mom makes fresh crepes, as kids and I pick fresh raspberries and strawberries from the garden. The whole summer they don’t care about watching tv, playing video games, or IPAD..Its pretty amazing to just disconnect and enjoy the simple life. Every single summer. Priceless 🙂

Melissa T - September 6, 2013 - 2:02 pm

I think memories are created daily. Every night I tuck in my kids, give them a hug and tell them I love them and good night. I feel it is the perfect ending to our day!

Kim S - September 6, 2013 - 2:02 pm

I’m living the memory right now in FL. I’ve seen my 7 year old conquer some fears zip lining, doing rope courses 3 stories tall and chase sand crabs under the moonlight. I’m so proud of her. And my 3 year old has no fears which has been fun to watch. She rides the waves and begse to go faster on the go kart.

Tiffany Phillips - September 6, 2013 - 2:02 pm

I am a runner so everyday after I dropped my kiddos off at school I would get my run in. I didn’t know what I would do about my running in the summer until he first day of summer when my older son asked if he could run with me!! So every morning and every evening for the entire summer we all went running together. (daddy had to miss the mornings!) it was alot of fun and they really enjoyed it. It was nice seeing my boys work hard and as a team together motivating each other to finish the run! Now that school has started we still keep up the family runs but they are only in the evenings! Love every minute of it! 🙂

Tiffany - September 6, 2013 - 2:02 pm

My favorite is painting my daughters tiny 2 year old toes. As soon as I am done she always asks me to paint her little nails. I could paint those toes and fingers every day! <3 her so much!

Jamie brown - September 6, 2013 - 2:01 pm

Every morning all of our kids (all 6 of them) make their way to our bed and it’s family snuggle time for a little while, I know I will really miss this as they get older! We always make it a point to sit down and eat dinner together everyday, in between running to sports. I think that is so important!

christy - September 6, 2013 - 2:00 pm

I am a SAHM to 3 little girls. I wish I could say I’m the super creative, Pinterest momma but I’m so NOT!;) We still magage to have fun though. One of our favorite things to do together is after baths they all take turns getting manicures and pedicures! They love picking out their favorite colored Piggy Paints! I’m always amazed at how well my 2 year old can sit still during her turn! They all run and show their daddy which colors they picked out after their turn is up 🙂 I’m glad you were able to spend your summer with your kids and that you got to enjoy them! They do grow up so fast.

Jessica - September 6, 2013 - 1:58 pm

Welcome back Carrie! You have a beautiful trio there with you 😉
My girls and I have a tradition – every Thursday, we go to my grandmother’s house to visit. She is 81 so I don’t know how much time we have left with her but she’s my hero and my role model and I can’t imagine life without her so I soak up our moments together. She took care of me while my parents worked when I was little and I grew quite attached to her…so it’s quite special watching her with my daughters – whether dancing to Hungarian music in her kitchen, playing with the building blocks she has in a basket in her upstairs den, or pretending to be on “The Voice” (my grandmother always ends up being Shakira because of her accent) – I am blissfully capturing and tucking away those moments into a special place in my heart and mind’s memory bank!

Brittney Bell - September 6, 2013 - 1:58 pm

It’s becoming a yearly tradition to take a family trip in September to the zoo. Last year my son wanted to go to the Zoo for his birthday party and we made the journey (closest one is about 2 hours away). It was so much fun to watch the kids enjoy the animals. A gentleman next to me in the penguin display told me that my son’s excitement and interaction with the penguins paid for his zoo admission alone. I had never seen penguins interact with the kids like that, but it was such a fun thing to witness. My daughter was fascinated with the flamingos and the seahorses. I can’t wait to see how they enjoy themselves this year when we make our zoo trip in a couple of weeks. 🙂 I hope that we can continue to enjoy more memories in the years to come!!

Congratulations on your sweet new baby!!!!