Life on a Limb

Two of my three boys have a few more weeks before the start of school, and I was figuring out what to do with them because we had reached our limit of being in the house together all day. Either I was gonna kill them or they were going to kill each other. I thought to myself, it’s going to be a really bad day inside or an awesome day out. We chose life lol!  We were almost out the door and I remembered that the Botanical Garden is free for city residents on Wednesdays and Saturdays before 12 pm (thanks for the reminder Holy Spirit). We hadn’t gone all summer and today was the perfect day to visit the splash pad.

 

We get there and we decided to go inside the Climatron. The Climatron is a ginormous dome-shaped greenhouse that’s home to an array of trees and flowers, many of which do not grow in our state. While looking around at some citrus trees and pretty flowers, my eyes locked on this sign: Life of a Limb: known as air plants. Epiphytes are plants that use other plants for support. They are not parasites. They get the water and nutrients they need from the air. By growing on other plants they can reach positions where the sunlight is brighter.

 

My first thought was wow! That has so many life applications. I thought about my kids. Many times, especially in the womb and while nursing they seem like parasites lol, but they’re really epiphytes. They need us as parents for support. Any good parent wants their child to grow higher and reach farther than they have ever gone. Parents are great hosts for epiphytes.

 

I started thinking about other applications of this beyond parenthood into personal growth.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always wanting to learn new things. I want to grow in my faith, profession, as a wife, and mother. I’m an enneagram 7 in case you were wondering lol. I remember praying for mentors in certain areas of my life. It was and still is a deep longing. I realized that I’m an epiphyte plant. I want to be in community with people that support me and help me grow even when the growth is painful. Growth can be very painful at times, but what’s even more painful than that is staying stuck. I started looking for people who were where I wanted to go and I began to seek council from them. Some are friends and some I watch from afar, but it has been instrumental in pushing me forward.

 

I also realized that my husband and I are hosts to epiphytes. Obviously, because we’re parents, but also because my husband and I mentor and support others. We always say that we have a lot of grown kids lol. It’s been amazing and rewarding seeing our epiphytes graduate college, get married, beat addiction, overcome abuse, persevere through challenging circumstances, etc, etc. We’ve experienced highs and lows, growing pains, failures, and triumphs with many. We feel blessed to play a small role in their stories.

 

If you look at the picture of this epiphyte plant you can see how beautiful and healthy it is because of the community and environment it lives in. I propose a few things for you if you’re interested in personal growth.

 

  1. Look for your hosts. Take an audit of your relationships. Who stretches you? Who helps you reach for more? If there is no one in your circle that does this, ask God to guide you. Maybe you’re the one that’s supposed to create this dynamic amongst your friends.
  2. Look for epiphytes to support. Why? Because someone will do it for you. I remember my husband and I praying fervently for mentors. It wasn’t until we started to mentor others that we reaped a harvest of mentors in our life. You may say you don’t have time. It doesn’t take much time and it will be rewarding. You’re building a legacy that will outlive you. What do you want to leave behind?
  3. Imagine how the world around us could change if 1 and 2 were a part of our core values. We would be lifting each other up while learning from one another.  There would be so many things that could change. I am an idealist and I just dream of this being possible. A lot of times we put focus on what others are not doing, but I propose that we focus on what we’re doing individually. If we do that, the trickle-down effect will take shape and we will start changing the world by changing ourselves

From Time-Out to Time-In

Hi guys,

It’s been a while, huh? It feels like every time I get comfortable with a new rhythm, it changes. The latest change comes in the form of newborn life and returning to a demanding job. We are in the thick of it right now, but I’m trying to enjoy even the toughest moments. Being a mommy of  two high energy toddlers and a newborn can exhaust your patience by the end of the day, but I’m so thankful for resources like Generation Mindful that help parents and children grow and learn together.

I’m an educator, and the Growth Mindset Theory has been transforming the educational  world over the last few years. It is the idea that we are continuously learning and growing, even though I may not be good at something. But if I keep learning and practicing, I will get better. 

Growth Mindset does not only apply to students. Anyone can benefit from developing a growth mindset, especially us parents. Parenting is hard, and there’s no one size fits all. We tend to parent the way our parents parented us. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Parenthood is one area that my husband and I are putting the Growth Mindset into practice. 

I’m really excited to team up with Generation Mindful. Having a sassy two-year old and a four year old with sensory challenges, it’s been difficult to find a balance between punishment and learning moments. We’ve decided to dedicate those learning moments into developing emotional intelligence in our children.

When we first found out our four-year old, Shiloh, had proprioception sensory challenges,  it was overwhelming, and we felt like we had failed. As we learned more about it, a lot of his behaviors started to make sense. He’s a sensory seeker and if he’s not getting enough input, he seeks it no matter if it’s in a positive or negative way. Shiloh has been going to occupational therapy for almost a year now, and we are seeing a lot of improvement with him. He can better articulate his feelings, and now I love having resources at home to help build his emotional intelligence. 

Our kids were so excited to set up the Time-in Toolkit. They were both decoding their feelings on the chart, and we even had our first calming corner experience.

Shiloh got upset because he wanted to continue putting tape on the posters, but we were all done. He got to explain why he was feeling “frustrated,” and we talked through some calming down strategies. He decided that he wanted to take a few minutes to read a book in his tent as a way to calm down. I caught a snippet on video.

My boys are benefiting greatly from our Generation Mindful resources, and here are 5 reasons why I’m loving them as a parent:

1. Visuals: Kids begin to put language to their feelings, and going through the visual tools helps them process their emotions.

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2. The non-judgmental online community and classes help parents with challenges they may be experiencing and give great ideas to take a positive approach to parenting where there are more learning moments than punitive.

3. The snuggle buddies are AWESOME. My kids absolutely love them. They talk about their feelings with them, and put on puppet shows with help from daddy :).IMG_3378.JPGIMG_3374.JPG

4. The kit grows with your child. Some of the items in the kit are too old for my kids right now, but I’ll definitely be adding them in the future.

5. My husband and I are growing as parents. We always say we don’t know what we’re doing. We’ve never been parents before lol.

 

So talk to me guys. Do you have a growth mindset when it comes to parenting? What aspects of parenting littles are challenging for you? What’s your parenting strategy?

 

 

3rd Trimester Style Challenge; Staying Fine with Only 9.

Hey guys,

It’s literally been forever since I posted a blog. A year ago this past September to be exact. I think a combination of lack of creativity and time are the culprits, but I never stopped thinking about this blog. I’m almost finished reading a book called the The Artisan Soul, by Erwin McManus and it’s sufficiently set my creative soul on fire! So much so that I had to return to one of my loves, this blog, and talk about one of my favorite topics, fashion.

If you follow my instagram posts, you should be aware that I’m pregnant with baby boy number three (pray for your girl 😂)!

Honestly I love having boys. Heck, I don’t know any different. So as a veteran, I’m not freaking out… well that much!

One of the things I’ve done differently this time around, since it’s my last pregnancy, was enlist the help of a personal trainer. I really wanted to continue to grow in my fitness journey and didn’t want to slow down momentum just because I was pregnant. If Serena Williams can win a grand slam six months pregnant, I can definitely have the fittest pregnancy of my life.

Thank you Jesus that I’m connected with an amazing trainer who has helped me so much. I’m eating clean and training with her twice a week, and I’ve never felt better. At 30 weeks, I have lost a total of 19 inches all over my body while growing baby. I have not experienced pregnancy edema (yet), most of my clothes still fit, and I feel really good! It’s been a great decision.

Although I feel really good, I’m at the stage where I barely want to put on clothes 😂. However, as a working mom I don’t have that luxury. I’ve got a little less than 10 weeks left, so I’ve challenged myself to “stay fine down to the line.” 😂😂😂😂 That’s something my husband would say or this one, “stay fine even with 9… weeks to go”.  I’m also taking the minimalist approach to the challenge. Unless you have an endless supply of maternity clothes, most mommas-to-be are limited to the number of items they fit comfortably in the last trimester. So I’ve styled 25 outfits with 9 items of clothing + 1 scarf.

 

Plaid shirt: Target

leather leggings: Target

Rust sweater:  Shop Dress Up

Scarf: Vinnie Louise

Pink Blazer: NY&CO

Houndstooth Blazer: Forever 21

Black Dreas: Motherhood Maternity

Leather Jacket: Marshalls

Africa Sweater: Grass Fields

boots: Bronx  Diba

flats: Target

black booties: Target

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