Marriage

Before you decide to Drink & Drive Read This!

March 31, 2012

Before you decide to Drink & Drive Read This!

Today I am going to share something that has been passed around the internet probably more times than can be imagined. I can not bring myself to post the picture that is being shared with it because it was just to heartbreaking.

My reason for sharing this isn’t because of a personal experience with Drunk Driving but because I am a parent and a human being. Too many times people take life for granted and are selfish in the choices they make. Rarely, do they think how are my actions going to effect others. Is my one moment of thinking I am sober enough to drive going to decide the fate of someone else?

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Raising Amazing Children (… While Having a Life of Your Own)

March 14, 2012

Raising Amazing Children (… While Having a Life of Your Own)

Hello from the author of “Raising Amazing Children (… While Having a Life of Your Own)” Deborah Drezon Carroll:
Our daughter’s wedding was a glorious event for us, as you might imagine. After it was over, though, one thing stuck in my mind. People, our friends and other guests whom we didn’t know, repeatedly came up to us and said, “Your daughters are amazing. What’s your secret?”

While that is a beautiful sentiment, and may even be true (if I do say so myself), I wondered: Are they really amazing? We have three daughters who are really just lovely people with good hearts and good souls. They weren’t exceptional students (they were good students for the most part) or outstanding athletes (they did try, though); they didn’t cure cancer in our basement, or discover the secret to solving the world hunger problem. They didn’t win scholarships or attend Ivy League colleges. They just were good kids (most of the time but certainly not without challenges along the way) who grew up to be teachers.

And that’s when I realized: maybe they are amazing.

If the goal of being a good parent is to do the job well enough for our kids to leave us someday and be happy people who are independent and live with integrity and decency, and if achieving that is amazing, maybe we were all amazing.

I thought about how we achieved such greatness. What was our parenting secret?

My husband and I had both been teachers early in our careers. We learned a great deal about how children develop. We learned strategies for facilitating growth in young people by treating them with respect, trust, faith, and high expectations. And, when we had our first child we got some very good advice.

The advice was to find ways to integrate our child into our lives rather than turning our lives completely upside down to integrate ourselves into our child’s life. In other words, we were advised to raise our kids while living life the way we loved it before our kids were born as much as possible. We were told to find ways to keep doing the things we loved so we could share them with our kids. And so we did. Whatever we did, we invited our kids to do it with us. From cleaning the house to traveling across the country on a camping trip (Yes, we did go on a cross country trip with three kids under the age of 5!), if it was something we did before we had kids, we did it with our kids. We tried not to give up any of the things that mattered to us before we became parents, we just found ways to incorporate our children into those activities.

As a result, our children learned life skills by experiencing life with us. They learned to love reading and writing as we do so they value education. They can do simple home repair, they all did their own laundry since they were very little, and each can negotiate a tight deal of any sort. They understand the value of work and the need to budget money as they watched us do both and learned by seeing our struggles and our successes. They learned compassion and caring for family, friends, and strangers as they lived both on a daily basis. In short, they learned how to live life by living it with us and witnessing the ins and outs of making a life work.

The simple tasks of everyday living provide parents with opportunities to teach children something of value each day. By inviting your kids to work alongside as you do things like shopping, housecleaning, gardening, cooking, home repair, traveling and more, you both win. You’ll save time as you’ll have helping hands to get the jobs done faster, your child will learn priceless life skills, and you’ll all have more time to enjoy life together.

By incorporating your kids into your life, you get to continue living a life that makes you happy. Happy parents raise happy children. Your kids will thank you for it… some day!

Raising Amazing Children (…While Having a Life of Your Own). The title sums up our parenting secret.

No Matter How Hard Marriage is, Do Not Give Up!

March 3, 2012

No Matter How Hard Marriage is, Do Not Give Up!

This post is going to be about  hitting rock bottom and working our way back up. It’s hard to talk about this – because honestly, no one likes talking about how hard life can be. Sometimes – it just needs to be said.

Before Eric and I got married and had Audrey, we had spontaneously moved down south and thought that we could get a fresh start on things, with it being a new place and all. Before we knew it, we were barely living pay check to pay check. We both had jobs, and at some point, Eric had two jobs but got laid off from the one that made more money. It just seemed like a giant black hole was eating whatever money we did bring in.

We were toying with the idea of moving back home to be closer to our family but we knew we barely had the money to do so. We could barely afford to keep a roof over our heads. Towards the end of us living in that house, we both were burnt out beyond belief. We had went from not arguing about anything to just arguing just for the sake of arguing, sometimes, in a matter 6 months to a year of living there.

As we found out I was pregnant, we were both in a frenzy of do we literally pack up and move pre-baby or wait until after she is born. We wanted to be closer to more family, but financially, it just wasn’t possible at the time. I had gotten laid off that month, and the job Eric was working was not giving him hours. Around 5 months of me being pregnant, we worked it out to move back. We now live a lot better than we did, and it seems like things are working out a lot better. We aren’t fighting like we used to, and although there is a small cushion in case of emergencies- which me managed to save up pre-baby and have just added a little bit since, we don’t feel as trapped by money. {Well, Eric does – but he is working on it.} I am even fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom while I go to school – which is a blessing!

Why living on nothing actually has helped us:

We know we can make it work if something were to happen again with jobs.

There are people out there less fortunate than us, and we should realize that, sometimes step back, and be thankfulwe have a roof over our heads and a hot meal every night.

That blessing sometimes do come in little bundles of joy.

What my daughter did for us, was make us put our priorities in order. She actually helped us start living a better, healthier lifestyle, more frugal and has brought some serious joy into our lives. Most of all, she has taught me patience and sometimes you need to go through a little hardship to get to a better place. Even though she wasn’t planned, it seems like it was meant to happen. She renewed our purpose and made us reevaluate our lives.

I know that looking back that, I am thankful that we had gone through that because it did make us closer, even if we were fighting. No Matter How Hard Marriage is, Do Not Give Up!

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