Life with the Wild Things

Just another mom of 2 boys in a house full of energy!

I completed the Crazy Mom Holiday Challenge from iMom.com January 4, 2015


I did it!  I mastered all 10 points on the list.  Not perfect at all times, but I tried and I did it.  This was the least crazy holiday I have ever had.  Which is surprising because I have so many changes happening in my life.

So… Here it is step by step….

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1. Roll with it and don’t expect a perfect holiday.  Well… the week before Thanksgiving my husband received a promotion that requires us to relocate.  It has completely turned our house upside down.  Needless to say it has lead to a less than perfect holiday season.  It is a blessing, but it meant changing a lot.  We didn’t spend Thanksgiving together.  We only saw each other on the weekends during December… all of which were spent on the road!  But, we rolled with it and it turned out that it was perfect for us.

2. Plan, so you won’t have to rush around like a crazy lady.  I start shopping in September for Christmas gifts.  I love to buy things for family and friends.  So it is fun to plan ahead what to get them.  I also have to start early because I ship everything to our family in Mississippi in November that way the car isn’t packed to the roof when we go visit everyone in December.

3. Remember your kids are kids, not angels.  Both my boys have ADHD.  It is always chaotic in our house.  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, basketball season started.  We just finished football before Thanksgiving.  The boys also take tae kwon do 3 nights a week.  So life is always hectic in our home.  I have had to repeat this one over and over to myself.  I want them to always be perfect little angels.  But I have to remember that they are kids.  I am way to uptight with them most of the time.  I feel like I am always on their case about something.  Number 3 is something I am going to work on for 2015.  Always remember the boys are boys.  That is one of my New Year’s resolutions.

4.  Cut your husband some slack, he’s not an angel either.  I have to work on this one too.  Sometimes I expect him to be able to read my mind and know what I need.  I have got to remember that he can’t do that.  I grew up in a house of girls and he grew up in a house full of boys.  Sometimes I forget that he doesn’t think like me… you know perfect.  just kidding.  But I think we did ok for the holiday.  We spent most of December on the road which is rough on everyone.  But we managed to enjoy each other and have fun.

5.  Spend less money on stuff and more time with people.  We nailed this one this year.  This year we stuck to a Christmas budget that worked.  We definitely enjoyed spending more time with our family and friends than we normally are able to and it was well worth it.  In the end it’s the relationships we have that matter, not the material possessions.  We enjoyed all our time with family this year.  There was a lot of love in the air!

6.  Be thankful for what you have instead of thinking you need more.  We nailed this one too!  This year we didn’t ask for a lot.  We surprised each other with some great gifts, but we were very thankful for what we have  We have 2 amazing boys and a solid relationship.  We have a great family and friends who are like family.  What more can a girl ask for.

7.  Enjoy that Christmas cookie and don’t beat yourself up for eating it.  Well, I ate my share of holiday food that is for sure.  I did have some guilty feelings about eating too much.  But I did enjoy eating with good friends and family and not worrying most of the time about what the scale would say.

8.  Get rest, so you won’t turn into the Christmas Grinch.  Oh I rested.  I took off from the afternoon of Christmas Eve until Jan. 4!  I took naps almost every day.  It was well worth each moment of relaxation.  For the first time in a year, I am ready to go back to work and tackle the world again!

9.  Love, and show it with patience and kindness.  I have to work on this a lot more during 2015.  I love a lot and I am normally kind, but patience is a virtue that I lack.  I am going to work harder on this.  I did try to show love through patience and kindness.  I think people who don’t know me well would say that I nailed it.  But family that spent the entire holiday with me… they would say patience was lacking and kindness could have been a little better.

10.  Think more about what the season really means.  The Thanks in Thanksgiving and the Christ in Christmas.  I definitely nailed this one this year!  For thanksgiving, we gave a lot of thanks.  The boys and I discussed what we were thankful for at length in our 4 hour car ride home from grandma’s house after Thanksgiving.  And to add Christ back into Christmas, we started praying together as a family again.  We prayed the Advent prayers around our table with the Advent wreath.  We started praying every night kneeling together in our living room as we say our night time prayers.  I started doing 10 minute devotionals each day that have expanded to 15 minutes or more each day.

Well, looking back, I think I did ok with this Challenge.  I can’t wait to look for another one to work on next.

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the little things December 15, 2014


I haven’t forgotten to update you about my holiday challenge.  I just have been super busy enjoying myself!

Today, my devotional in my Small Steps for Catholic Moms book was…

Help me to see You in all my little moments today, God.   Open my eyes to the peace and the beauty that are all around,but I am usually too busy to see.

WOW!  Today I am slowing down to notice all those little things.

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First we had this hard morning rain.  Right after, the sun came it out so bright and so beautiful.  I normally don’t even notice.  I have 2 huge office windows, but I get so caught up in my daily grind… I don’t see the beautiful sky after a rain.  It was so lovely.

Walking to my car at lunch there were birds chirping in the bushes out near our parking lot.  LOUDLY chirping.  It was so nice.  It was like they were saying slow down, listen to us.  So… I did.  I walked a little slower to the car.

I hope I can see all the other beautiful things I normally miss in a day.

 

The iMOM.com holiday challenge November 22, 2014

Filed under: Family,Motherhood,The boys — jdkihlken @ 11:00 PM
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My life is headed in a completely new direction.  Not one I planned on or was ready for, but sometimes we have to have faith that everything is happening for a reason.  It’s not bad, or horrible…even though I have a tendency to make everything out to be impossible at first.  It’s just different and change.  I don’t do change.  I don’t do different.  I am a creature of habit.  I have to have everything just so or the world isn’t turning the way I feel comfortable.  I am trying very hard to not let the changes effect the holidays.

So… I decided I would participate in the iMOM.com “Crazy Mom” Holiday Challenge.  You can follow it at

http://www.imom.com/printable/crazy-mom-holiday-challenge/

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I always want the holidays just perfect.  You know everything in its place, wonderful food, perfect weather, a dress that fits just right (even without dieting all year), no fighting, no arguing, perfect angelic kids, a husband who magically knows where all decorations must go and places them there just right.  You know… a dream world and not reality.

perfectI am going to enjoy every moment of these holiday season.  How did I start?  Well, I am not putting up my Christmas decorations until I have enjoyed a thankful Thanksgiving.  Every year I put up the Christmas decorations at the beginning of November so we can enjoy them.  But we seem to then just pass over Thanksgiving.  Not this year.  Nope, No Way!  I am enjoying all parts of Thanksgiving.

I am going to document my process on my blog.  I think I need it to be accountable for sticking with the challenge.  But also to not beat myself up when I have a “moment”.  Come on… you know about having a “moment”.  I tend to then feel guilty because I fell off the wagon with one of my “moments”.  Nope, not this year.  I am going to learn how to relax and embrace the chaos.

Number 1 on the challenge… roll with it and don’t expect a perfect holiday.  So how is this for not having a perfect holiday.  The boys and I will be at home with my mom and family in God’s Country.  Hubby will be at our home.  He won’t be able to make it over to spend the holiday with the family.  Well, just roll with it.  We can Skype or FaceTime. The Wild Things and I will have a great time.  We can check in with hubby throughout the day.  So even though it won’t be perfect, it doesn’t make the day any less special.

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I will not have a moment this week when I am driving to God’s Country by myself.  I will listen to music, sing really loud (because I’ll have 4 hours in the car by myself), and stop at Starbuck’s whenever I want.happyIt will not be perfect, but I will roll with the changes.

 

Writing again May 26, 2014

Filed under: Family,Motherhood — jdkihlken @ 5:39 PM
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I took a long, long break.  I guess it has been two years since my last post.  I find writing to be very therapeutic.  I feel better when I can get my thoughts on paper.  But, after a while I felt like maybe people didn’t really care what I had to say. 

We went to see Moms Night Out.  It reminded me why I started writing in the first place.  I wanted a space I could share my thoughts and have other moms share their thoughts.  I think so many of us feel the same way.  We want to be the best at everything…the best mom, wife, daughter, niece, cousin, sister, employee, boss, etc.  Watching the movie Moms Night Out reminded me that I really am enough. 

I am enough.  That is going to be my new motto.  I am enough!  When I am tired, drained, and wiped out, I need to remember that I am enough and it is ok to slow down and stop pushing so hard.

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Travel February 12, 2012

Filed under: Family,Marriage,Motherhood — jdkihlken @ 9:11 PM
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Why is it that no matter how much a need a break from the wild things, I still miss them so very much when I have to go on the road?  Wild Thing, Sr (senior) misses me already… he texted me to say come home come home.

4 hours on the road tonight and I still can’t fall asleep because I missed the good night stories and tucking in the wild things.  I wonder if the wild things miss mommy as much.

Wild Thing Sr gave me an early Valentines Day gift.  He took the wild things for hair cuts when I left town.  WOOHOO.  It’s those little things that make a dad sexy.  Check out www.howtobeadad.com for more on how doing the little chores makes a dad sexy.

Only 1 day out of town.  I should relax.  Paint my nails, condition my hair, go to bed early…but, I keep thinking right now the wild tings are laying in bed and they didn’t hear mommy read their stories, or kiss them good night.  I know they are ok because daddy is there, but it’s not the same.

Hugs and Kisses wild things!

 

 

Mommies need a support group January 19, 2012

Filed under: Family,Motherhood — jdkihlken @ 8:09 PM
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I started this blog because I really believe that mommies need a support group.  Weekly meetings (virtual or real) where we can let it all out.  All the stuff about being a mommy.

Lately it has felt like the mommy things have been pulling me further and further from center.  Between work, the kid’s school, the kids, the kids’ activities, and the list keeps going, it has felt like I can’t quite balance life the way I did in the past.  So… I started looking for books to read to help.  Organization books, inspirational books, anything.

I am currently reading two books.  Smart Martha’s Catholic Guide and Handbook for Catholic Moms.  Yes…I guess you can tell I must be Catholic.

Both of these books have been very helpful.   I am remembering what is important and what isn’t.  I’ve noticed that 2012 is shaping up to be a much less stressful year.  Not because work and the kids changed, but because I am changing.

I am not spending 2012 yelling all the time…that was 2011.  Out with the old in with the new.

One theme I noticed in these books and other ones I have picked up recently is that having girl friends is really important.  Sometimes I think we forget that we need to spend time with our friends.  It’s very therapeutic.  So my original idea that a support group helps moms may not be that strange.

We need to take more times for lunch together.  We need to set aside time to talk to each other.  Our best allies are other moms who have gone through what we are going through or who are currently going through the same things or just other moms who understand.

 This week I had lunch with a dear friend…my son’s best friend’s mom.  She has turned into one of my very best friends.  This weekend I am going to go to a Pampered Chef party with my son’s 2 best friends’ moms.  That is 2 times in 1 week that I had some girl time!!  I am so proud of myself…this from the woman who spends all her time working or with the wild things.  I very rarely take time away from the wild things…my babysitter is laughing so hard right now I can hear her from across town.  So it isn’t from lack of an amazing babysitter and 2 wonderful back up sitters or a great husband who offers to watch the wild things that I don’t take time away from the wild things.  It is just me.  Something about me…my need to be that perfect mom.  That mom that is always there taking care of everything.

Instead of being the mom on the right.  I am going to strive to be the mom on the left!  A good mom.

 

 

 

 

St. Jude Children’s Hospital Game Day Give Back January 12, 2012

Filed under: Family,health,Motherhood,The boys — jdkihlken @ 8:31 PM
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This year I am participating in the St. Jude Game Day Give Back.

It’s a virtual Super Bowl Party.  Below is a link to a website to donate to St. Jude.

Why am I participating?  My story is a personal experience with St. Jude.

31 years ago, my cousin, Kelly Belenchia, passed away from childhood leukemia.  She was about 21 years old.  I was in the second grade.  I remember when I was told she lost her fight with cancer.  It was such a shock.  I just knew that she would be ok.

Kelly was a passionate, active, amazingly cool young lady.  She played softball and rode a motorcycle.  I remember looking at her thinking she was the most awesome person I had ever meet.  She never let her illness bring her down.  From a 7 year olds perspective she seemed invincible.

I remember they took her to Memphis, TN to St. Jude a lot.  She would come back with less hair (or no hair) and weak, but she would be better.  The doctors, nurses, and researchers worked so hard to make her better.

This would have been in the late 70s.  Imagine what they can do now with today’s technology.  My cousin was a fighter and she was surrounded by the best support team in the world.  The facility was first class even then.

I am so lucky that the wild things are healthy.  My other cousins and I are so blessed to have healthy children.  That is why we love the healthy children we have and thank God for them everyday.  We donate to help those who aren’t healthy.

So this year as you get ready for the end of football season.  Take a minute to check out the page below.  Thanks!

http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/GameDayGiveBack/GameDayGiveBack?px=1989552&pg=personal&fr_id=3621

 

 
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