Weddings that welcome Children

It is that time of year again, wedding season! I become a kid in a candy store when I see the elegant envelopes in our mail box. I tear them open like a child delving into their gifts Christmas morning eager to see what’s inside.  The paper, fonts, and phrases so delicately and gracefully announce the future union of husband and wife.  I am an advocate for marriage and I realize the time, energy, disagreements, financial obligations, and work that goes into a wedding.  So when I open that envelope and see that I have been invite to witness such a magical, holy, and emotional union I am truly honored.   In fact, it rather makes my day; I find it difficult to remove the grin from my face. That is until I finish reading all the wedding ceremony and reception details.  I am finding that these days the invitations far too often include the following words, ADULTS ONLY. It is then that the huge grin on my face fades to a frown.

As a child I remember attending weddings, becoming excited when the entire church rose as the gorgeous bride walked down the aisle in her breathtaking gown.  I remember the magic that occurred when they exchanged vows and were announced Mr. and Mrs. The experience of attending weddings encouraged a dialog about marriage, why we marry, and the importance of marriage. In fact; children attended so many weddings back then that they could actually pretend to get married and make that pretend wedding look pretty realistic.  These days’ children are not welcomed to weddings like they used to be, which I find moronic.  Forgive me if I am wrong, but isn’t one of the purposes for the union of husband and wife to bear children, have a family?

Marriage is already getting a bad rap. A considerable amount of people prefer to “shack up” instead of proclaim a commitment before God, family, friends, and future generations.  Apparently, at least based upon one television show, Whitney, the reason they prefer to “shack up” is because it is nice to know your partner is there because they love you, not because of a piece of paper.  Funny, I wonder how that “love” will hold up when you are deathly ill, when you lose your job and are caught up in financial woes, when you have to care for an ailing parent, when you are up 5 times in one night with a sick child, when you are so exhausted that you can’t give one more ounce to another individual.  It is in those moments that the union, bond, promise, COMMITMENT comes into play. That euphoric love feeling does fade but COMMITMENT, UNION, PROMISE and VOWS are what maintain the relationship through the tough times and make the good times that much more enjoyable.

Thus, with society portraying that it is okay to live with a person, that marriage isn’t necessary, it disheartened me that much more when I glance down at a Wedding invitation and see ADULTS ONLY. It seems like the New Age or, sadly, what has become a rather unorthodox thing to do these days is to invite children to a wedding, which is why I would like to give praise to my cousin and his wife for going against the grain and inviting children to attend their wedding.

Our kiddos can’t stop talking about their wedding; they had such a wonderful time and will remember it always. In fact, that was the first wedding 2 of our kiddos had ever attended and only the second that our eldest had attended. Our son was very excited for the entire process, he felt so special to be a part of something so monumental. He had so many wonderful questions that would have otherwise never been brought up without the experience of attending a wedding. The highlights of the evening, from a child’s perspective was, the beautiful bride (I agree, her dress was gorgeous, it looked vintage and her makeup and hair complemented the dress perfectly), trolley, bubbles (hello, a child’s dream come true, bubbles at church, AWESOME!), the Wedding Day Fun activities packet & crayons, the chocolate covered mint Oreos, the photo booth (they had a blast with the hats, glasses, etc.), cake, and dancing! I have to admit, I think those were my favorites too, in addition to the amazing itinerary provided that included various local destinations to pass time between the ceremony and reception.  Those included fun family destinations such as, Firehouse Museum, Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, Curtis Park, Ypsilanti Riverside Parke, and more. I also really enjoyed the venue, Wellers Inc. was gorgeous, a wonderful backdrop for pictures outside and inviting décor inside.

Five minutes after we left the reception….and yes, our little man is still wearing his medal from the Olympics held at his preschool two weeks ago.

Congratulations to Rob and Desiree!!

May God be with you and bless you. May you see your children’s children. May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in blessings. May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

 

What are your thoughts regarding children at weddings?  For it….against it…..indifferent?

Kirkland’s Grand Opening EVENT! (And great must read organizing tips for moms)

Moms mark your calendars!! On Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Kirkland’s Home stores are having a grand opening of a new store in Crossroads Centre. You know the amazing Kirkland’s stores that contain everything you need to meet all your interiors’ design needs?  Yep, that’s the store!! But wait; it gets even better, not only can you shop where the designers shop (or at least this Interior Designer) but as part of the celebration, Toledo personal organizer and decorator, and owner of In Its Place, Ltd., Lori Eckel will be offering free one-on-one consultations.  (Okay, you have my permission to give out a woo-hoo!!)

 

 

The grand opening events will be the weekend before Mother’s Day. I think we all know a mom who can never find her keys, steps on toys in her house, or is always racing against the clock (and yes, I meet the criteria for all the above). So, in the spirit of crazy-busy moms everywhere, Lori has some great suggestions to help de-stress, increase productivity and creativity, get the family’s daily schedule flowing more smoothly, and actually make parents more punctual. Here are some of her tips and tricks:

·         Put limits on toys: The less they have, the more they actually play with them. If you don’t have the heart to purge the toys, then ROTATE them! Remember, the less they have, the less that needs to be picked up.

·         Drive through: You can run a lot of errands without ever getting out of the car – pick up prescriptions, dry cleaning, hit the bank and more. This way you’re not dragging the kids in and out of the back seat, you’re not making impulse purchases at the cash register, so you’re saving time and money, and not bringing home more stuff you don’t need.

·         Merge errands and make it family time: When the kids are old enough, leave one in the dentist chair, with one observing while the sibling is having his or her teeth cleaned. Meanwhile, mom can go shopping across the street with the third child. Then have the dentist’s office call on the cell phone when they’re done. Kills two birds with one stone!

·         Start chores from an early age: Kids love to help.  Start them out early and make them feel important when they accomplish small tasks.

·         Contain it: Setting aside a drawer for mail, bills, or kids’ drawings you want to keep isn’t helping. Get expandable file folders, a filing cabinet, or even collapsible storage containers – and use them.

 

Lori can help guests of the grand opening events get started on the baby steps to find out what systems or routines would work to keep their families organized. She can also help get plans in place to follow through. We may not all need professional help, but many of us aren’t solving our organizational problems alone.   

Lori Eckel

In its Place, Ltd.

Toledo, OH

419-270-8232

Lori Eckel strives to help people de-stress their lives and reclaim their space. The owner of In Its Place, Ltd. is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and part of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, and when she takes on the task of organizing your home or office, she’s all about making it FUN! On Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, Lori will be at the grand opening of the new Kirkland’s at Crossroads Centre in Rossford. She’ll share tips and tricks on purging, downsizing and decorating to help organize your home and give your family a less hectic daily routine.

 

 

 

Again, just to recap, the Grand opening celebration and FREE personal organization and design consultations with Lori Eckel Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Kirkland’s ― Crossroads Centre

9830 Olde US 20

Rossford, OH 43460-1723

Do you have a room that is dying for some finishing touches, furniture, accessories, etc.?  Maybe you have an organizing question you would like to ask a professional organizer?  Please share….

Marriage is Divine: Year Nine!

On this date 9 years ago my husband and I stood before our friends, family, Priest, and God and proclaimed our love, trust, bond, and commitment to one another in Holy Matrimony.  I remember walking down the aisle with such joy in my heart.  I had made a considerable amount of important decisions in my life but when I said “Yes, I will marry you” that was by far the most important! Two years and much planning later, I walked down that aisle stood before everyone and confidently proclaimed “I do”.

9 years later and I still do. Our marriage has grown and evolved over time and with each life altering event we learn more about one another.  Of course the most life altering events, the birth of our children, which has greatly transformed each of us, it is precious to see the amazing father my husband has become.  But everyday can bring about a new challenge or even path in the journey called Holy Matrimony.  So I collated a few tips that I feel are helpful to remember when entering or maintaining a marriage.

  • I am a work in progress. I am not perfect, I am human.
  • My spouse is not perfect, he is human too.  “I would rather live with his dirty socks on the floor and computer bag by the front door than live without him”.
  • Love and value each other and not “stuff”.
  • If you are wrong, mistaken, or did not follow through on a promise admit it, own it! Apologize, rectify, and most importantly, move on! (I like this scene in the Lion King ….It’s in the past! Clip below)

 

  • Always remember the golden rule: Treat your spouse how you would like to be treated.
  • Think before you speak.  Is what you are about to say valid in the long run or are you simply experiencing a moment of frustration? How is what you are about to say going to influence your spouse’s day?
  • The silent treatment is more harmful than helpful.
  • You can’t give your spouse the responsibility to make you happy. Genuine happiness can only come from you. That being said…..
  • Things will not always go your way or how you envisioned them unfolding. When this occurs you have options; this is where that wise saying comes into play, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react”.
  • Money will come and money will go but the memories will last a lifetime.
  • Always kiss each other goodbye and end a phone conversation with “I love you”.
  • Value and love your spouse not “stuff” or materials. Obviously you need to maintain your livelihood but at what cost?  Is a large home, fancy car, designer clothes, etc. worth both of you working late and never seeing each other?  
  • Unplug and shut off screens when speaking with your spouse, give your spouse your undivided attention. Isn’t that why you got married?
  • It is called Holy Matrimony for a reason.  Here comes another valuable saying, “The family that prays together stays together”.  And trust me, in marriage there is a lot of praying!

Marriage is tough at times and those who say otherwise are not being truthful.  However it is also one of the most amazing journeys. It is comforting to know that I have a witness, partner, lover, and friend to share this journey with and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In honor of the past 9 years I had hoped to put something together that included just my husband and me, but apparently our life didn’t officially start until we had children (or at least we didn’t actually purchase a camera until we had children). So without further ado….a dedications to me and you…..

Have any valuable lessons or tips to share about marriage? Maybe a story to share?

Versatile Blogger Award!!

I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Susartandfood Blog.  It is such an honor to be nominated especially by such a creative and respected blogger. Susartandfood Blog contains examples of their gorgeous art work and many delicious recipes that are easy for me, a more culinary challenged individual (there are also great photos so that you know if you followed the recipe correctly and exactly what your food should resemble) to follow, and more.  Thank you Susartandfood Blog!!  And thank you to all of you for taking a moment out of your day to visit this Mom on the go, it means a lot to me.

 

Now, onto the rules for accepting this award, which are as follows:

 1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post.

 2. Share 7 things about yourself.

 3. Pass this award along to 7 or 8 Bloggers.

 4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

 

Here are 7 random things about me….

  1. I choose to count my blessings as opposed to my problems.
  2. I have recently formed an obsession with Spicy Buffalo Wheat Thins. I like to crunch then up and place them over lettuce and then crumble a little blue cheese on top, YUM!
  3. I love to paint, in a past life, before children (B.C.) I used to enjoy a clean canvas, oil paints, and a cup of coffee. One day I will get back to painting but for the time being I have more important hobbies to dabble in like building with Legos and designing Barbie doll dresses.
  4. If I won the lottery I wouldn’t tell a soul but I would secretly pay off my friends and family’s debts.
  5. I would love to go to Alaska some day on a family vacation.
  6. Some days I can’t wait till bedtime!
  7. Other days I become so overjoyed and caught up in pure mommy bliss that it is difficult to hold back the tears.  For I know they will be all grown up in the blink of an eye and I so desperately want to cherish and remember it ALL! (tissue please)

So, without further ado, the list…..

Raising Caines

Francesscott

The Goon Room

There’s Just One Mommy

Reporter Turned Mommy

colorfulmama

High Heels for Muddy Boots

Moms who Wine

I hope you enjoy reading what these moms have to say as much as I do.  If you know of a great blog I didn’t mention please share, I am always on the lookout for funny, versatile, mommy bloggers.

Staying Sane in Fort Wayne

Moms have you ever had one of those days where you wish you could just run away from home and check into a hotel, or better yet, a Marriott Suite? Just to get away for a few hours, to do whatever your heart desires and not be responsible for one gosh darn individual, activity, group, chore, etc.?  I fulfilled that dream this past week and I thought it only fair to share with you, other hard-working parents who also deserve to run away from home every once in a while.

My husband was in his college roommate’s wedding which was held in Fort Wayne Indiana.  So we made arrangements with my parents to watch the children over the weekend and we headed for Fort Wayne. Once there my hubby had to tend to his groomsmen responsibilities, you know, get his suit, change, take pictures, etc. So that meant that little old me would have to be all alone for 4 hours.  Oh dear, what to do? HELLO, live out my ultimate mommy moment!

So I dropped off my hubby and headed to TownPlace Suites-Marriott where I proceeded to check in, all by myself.  I walked the luggage in, all by myself, not having to hold anyone’s hand.  I slowly and effortless got on the elevator, all by myself. Our eldest is not a fan of the elevators so I usually take the stairs with her or I calmly walk her through the elevator ride. But not on that luxurious day, I stepped on that elevator like I owned it.  I walked into the room, all by myself, and let out the hugest sigh ever.  I had arrived; it was finally my moment, the mommy moment of all mommy moments, I was all by myself!!  No dog to let outside, cat to feed, nose to wipe, shoes to tie, argument to put at bay, food to prepare, laundry to fold, butt to wipe, spilt milk to clean, etc. it was just me.  IT WAS JUST ME!!

What to do????

So I did what any mom would do when they find themselves in this situation: I jumped on the bed, I turned on all the lights, I flipped through every channel on television, I paid homage to the ever so popular self-portraits in the bathroom while dancing and singing, I jumped on the bed again, read my book, ate some salty snacks (thanks for the Chex Mix Lilly), gave props to the interior design who designed the suite (except for one small detail that I did not quit agree with, ever wondered what you look like while taking a crap? Well now you know thanks to the full-sized mirror located across from the toilet), made some coffee, watched the Client List (scandalous, seriously), and….I know I did something else… oh, yeah, and then I attended a wedding.

Living the dream…..WOOHOO!

That’s right….I am dancing with a shower curtain because I can. Jealous?

NO KIDS….AHHHHHHH!!!!

Ever wondered what you looked like while taking a crap? Good news, just check into the TownPlace Suites-Marriott and wonder no more.

Thanks for helping this mama relax, let loose, and ultimately, even though it may not be apparent based upon these pictures, maintain her sanity Fort Wayne Indiana.

This post is dedicated to the one I love.  Don’t we clean up nice? And congratulations to Adam and Brooke we wish you many happy years together!

So how was your weekend? Have a dream mommy time moment to share?

Saying Bye-bye to our Local branch’s Legendary Librarian

From a young age I remember going to the library on a weekly basis to get new and exciting library books, Videos, cassette tapes, and of course, the piece de la resistance, story time! I would become elated with joy when the librarian would walk in with 3 books tucked under her arm and smile big and say good morning boys and girls. A huge grin would appear on my face when she said okay; it is time for our first story. I would look at my mom for that nod that said its okay; you can sit closer to see the pictures. Once I received that confirmation nod I would rush up front and intensely listen to the words while carefully reviewing each illustration. I so enjoyed story time and I was always happy to see the story time librarian, to me she was like a local celebrity.  In fact when she would approach me I found it difficult to talk, like she was some famous rock star are something.  Well, I have grown but my love for adventures found in books has remain and since I now have chidlren of my own I enjoy sharing the expereince with them.

I think it is actually more exciting from my perspective, as a parent. Sure I enjoyed the library and story time when I was young but there is something to be said about witnessing your own little blessings finding so much joy in the exploration of learning.  Like when my son becomes overjoyed with a book about his favorite superhero, or when our toddler claps uncontrollably during the first verse of the Itsy Bitsy Spider during story time, or better yet, our eldest daughter just learned how to read the easy reader series of books and the proud smile she bares when she completes a book on her own melts this mama’s heart.  And the day when our kindergartener and preschooler received their library card was right up there with the other many milestones in their young lives (they each received their library card at age 3, so our youngest isn’t quite there. This was our choice as parents; we factored in a lesson about responsibility). 

Our library, Sanger branch library has a really cool children’s reading area “A Walk in the Park” which contains larger than life scenes from the author Denise Flemings books.  The children really enjoy the space; there are intricate details that capture their little eyes such as a mouse cutout in the gate and lightning bugs that actually flicker. Parents like the fact that the space comes fully equimpt with a gate and all; moms can open and shut the gate as they please thus keeping little crawlers and new walkers within eye site.

Our kiddos have grown accustom to our library routine and the librarian who does story time. And just as the story time library was like a celebrity to me when I was a child our children’s librarian has very much become a celebrity in their lives too.  Our preschooler becomes so shy around her while our toddler runs up to her with pure elation, like a teenage who just met Justin Bieber. Ms. Kristin, the children’s story time librarian at Sanger branch library is definitely a local celebrity in our household. After all she is one of the few adults they have seen in their lives on a regular basis besides family. The kiddos each started off attending baby story time and now our eldest is in kindergarten and our youngest just attended her last baby story time (time to graduate to toddler story time…pass a tissue please) so she has definitely been a constant in their lives. So it was sad to hear that this past baby story time series would be her last at Sanger branch library.

We will miss seeing her on a weekly basis at our library but the good news is she hasn’t gone far.  She is now at the downtown main branch library which means we just got another reason to visit, besides the awesome kids’ library that includes computer and play area, fish aquarium, car, Dr. Seuss’ Cat-in-the-Hat figurine, and more.

So, we wish you the best of luck and fun at your new library Ms. Kristin and we look forward to visiting you very soon.

Does your child have a local celebrity? Maybe it is the cashier at the grocery store, the mail carrier (ours is more like our dogs favorite local celebrity, she always has treats for our dog), care provider during the day, etc.?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Win a Las Vegas Mother’s Day Weekend for two!

If lounging at a beautiful hotel in an exciting city, sipping on the new Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosè sounds up your alley, point your kids (or yourselves!) in the direction of Facebook! By simply telling Santa Margherita why their mom deserves a getaway, they’ll be entering you for the chance to win a Las Vegas Mother’s Day Weekend for two, including airfare, two nights at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino and a memorable Mother’s Day Brunch featuring HGTV star and entertaining expert Monica Pedersen. Other great prizes include bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates and copies of Monica Pedersen’s new book, “Make it Beautiful.” Encourage your kids to enter or log on to Facebook to enter on behalf of your own mother!

 

 

Because Italians’ love of their mothers is internationally renowned, Mother’s Day provides the perfect occasion for America’s favorite Italian wine to introduce Americans to the delicious new Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosè. The Sparkling Rosè joins an acclaimed lineup of Santa Margherita wines that also includes Pinot Grigio, Prosecco and Chianti Classico Riserva. The #1 Imported Italian Wine crafted this beautiful, sparkling blend of Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Chardonnay, and a hint of Malbec in the crisp, easy-drinking style for which Santa Margherita is renowned.

The new Santa Margherita Sparkling Rose isn’t available in stores until May, but we want you to be among the first to try this delightful and refreshing wine!

What are you waiting for enter today! And it would be appreciated if you “liked” the mom (me) who informed you of this amazing oportunity.

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Santa Margherita prize package in exchange for this post.  No monetary exchange took place.