Category Archives: People

Start Over

Good morning Friends!

Today I wanted to pass along something that has been helpful to our family. The other morning I was fixing Leanne’s hair.  She didn’t like it and combed the braid out.  It upset me because I had worked hard on it and we were running out of time before the bus came.  I told her she would have to figure out how to fix her hair on her own and walked into the other room, upset (probably not the best of parenting!).  To my surprise she walked after me and asked,

“Mom, can we start over?”

I replied, “Sure!”  She stuck out her hand and we shook on it.

She smiled.

In a cheery voice I asked her how I could help her get ready for school, and off we went.  It was as if the short moment of frustration never happened.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERADon’t get me wrong, when my kids or husband ask me to “start over” it takes a big swallow of pride to put my anger aside and agree to start fresh.  The human side of us just wants to stew over the problem, which only makes things worse and wastes a lot of time.

But just like ripping it like a band-aid, it only stings for a second!  Do yourself (and your loved ones) a favor by asking if you can START OVER the next time things head in the wrong direction.

Lara

Now that nicer weather is around the corner, do you need help getting motivated to do some spring cleaning? If so, read my “Rip It Like A Band-Aid” post!

 

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A Cookie & A Walk

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Years ago when I was living in Tulsa I got an unexpected knock on my door.  It was my good friend Cindy.  She knew I was going through a really difficult time and so she bought me a slice of a large chocolate chip cookie and asked if I wanted to go for a walk on my favorite bike/run/walk trail along the Arkansas River.

What a simple gesture and yet close to 30 years later I am still touched by the impact of her thoughtfulness.  Maybe at the time it seemed like no big deal to her, but it was a big deal to me.  A really big deal.  And a really big lesson.

To this day her gesture challenges me to search for ways I can give someone a little grace, show a little kindness, and spread a little love.  And lest I am tempted to think my kindness is insignificant I remind myself of the power of a cookie and a walk.

I know there are always people needing kindness and a little hope.  And so I’m looking for someone I can dispense a little kindness to.  How about you?  Who do you know who needs a little grace?

Robynn

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Honoring Teachers, Nurses, and Mothers!

It just occurred to me that this week we are celebrating three of my favorite professions…NuRsEs, TeAcHeRs, and MotHeRs!  Having been a first grade teacher for the 8 years prior to having my children I know how teaching can sometimes seem like a thankless job.  There are MaNy parents who go out of their way to let you know that they appreciate the difference you are making in their child’s life.  BUT…for every parent that thanks you there are 5 that say nothing and 5 that do nothing but complain about what you are NoT doing for their child!  I saved every card and thank you that was ever given to me by a parent or student and now being a parent myself know how important it is to simply say…ThAnK YoU!

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Next up…Nurses!  I have to say up until my late 20’s I had little experience with nurses.  I never broke a bone or needed surgery and had no reason to visit a hospital.  I guess I saved up my need for nurses for the grueling 2+ year struggle with infertility and then my 2 time bought with postpartum depression.  There is No WaY I would have made it through both of these experiences without the support of the nurses who took care of me during these times.  When going through my 3 IVF cycles, it was truly the nurses, not the doctors who knew my story.  I saw the doctors every morning on a rotating basis, but it was my nurses Mary and Pat who were my true cheerleaders.  They cried with me through the disappointments and were on the phone with me when I found out I was expecting my miracle baby.  It takes a SpEcIaL kind of person to be nurse and share in the highs and lows that come with the fragile life we are given.  To all of you…ThAnK YoU for all you do!

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Finally…a huge thank you to all of the MoThErS, AuNts, and GrAnDmAs!  For years I dreamed of having a baby and being a stay-at-home mom.  I am not sure what exactly I thought I was getting into, but I can remember saying a few times in the very beginning, “Where are the cute baby bunnies and little yellow duckies?!!!”  Baby gifts and baby cards always have cute little animals on them with cheerful little expressions…there have been MaNy a day that our house looks like a bull ran through a china shop and I have yet to see those cute animal faces!  That being said, I believe that being a mother is the hardest JoB in the world.  Every single decision you make directly affects those you hold so dear.  I wish all of you a VeRy HaPpY MoThErS DaY!

!BZQn3U!!2k~$(KGrHgoOKigEjlLm,etkBKl)tRL8Lw~~_12

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Don’t Post Until You Check Snopes!

It seems like I am coming across more and more inaccurate information circling around Facebook.  My news feed has been full of stories and pictures of sick kids with captions like, “If this picture gets 1,000 “likes” so and so will pay for their surgery,” etc.  There has been a Photoshop  image of Bill Gates going around saying something like if you “share” this picture he might give you $5,000.  The other day I saw one with a picture of the gold dollar bill with a false statement about the government printing them with the “In God We Trust” omitted from the coin.

If something comes across your news feed that you are tempted to re-post or share, check its validity out on www.snopes.com.  You can type in a key word and information comes up about whether it is true or false.  It also gives you an explanation for why it is true or false.

snopes

Click to see the Snopes responses to the Bill Gates Facebook scam and the gold dollar coin information that is circulating.

Bill Gates – Facebook Giveaway

Gold Dollar Coins Omitting “In God We Trust”

The bottom line is…YOU CAN’T TRUST EVERYTHING YOU READ…just because someone posts something, doesn’t mean it is TRUE!

If you are questioning something you read, check it out on Snopes Rumor Has It and find out the truth.

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Set Up to Fail

This week my son and I started planting our seeds indoors so that when the weather warms up they will be strong enough to be transplanted outside.  Once we had picked out our seeds we planted them in self-watering containers that we learned how to make on Pinterest.  With the internet and Pinterest available for gardening tips and ideas it is easy to get started even if you have never grown a single thing before.  For some reason as my son and I were working on our self watering containers, I had a flashback to my first year of teaching and a window box planter I painted with my class and attempted to grow flowers in.  That was almost 15 years ago and I didn’t have “how to” information right at my fingertips.  I didn’t even have a computer with the internet in my classroom at that time.  I bought dirt, about 5 different kinds of seeds, and we started planting.  I planted all of the seeds together in the windowbox one on top of the other and to my naivety thought they were going to grow into a beautiful garden for my class to enjoy.  I didn’t check plant size, seed spacing, and I certainly didn’t know anything about starting seeds in starter pots and then transplanting them once they had matured.

One afternoon after the kids had been dismissed for the day I was watering the windowbox and a veteran teacher (and avid gardener) came in to see what I was doing.  I showed her all of the seed packets and told her that I was planting a windowbox garden with the kids.  I remember like it was yesterday her smile and words, “I’m sure it will be beautiful.”  That was all she said and walked out of my classroom.  Looking back, I realize she knew my garden was going to be a disaster and didn’t say anything to me about how to ReAlLy grow a garden.  She had a wealth of knowledge and years of experience and made a conscious decision to leave me in the dark and LeT Me FaiL.  It wouldn’t bother me so much if it was just me who was going to be disappointed, but I had 18 first graders who though they were growing a beautiful garden.  I will never know why she didn’t offer to help, or why she even bothered coming into my classroom to see what I was doing in the first place.  What I DO know is this…I will NEVER knowingly set someone up to fail.

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This is a lesson I will pass on to my children in hopes that the little voice inside their head will say, “Do the right thing” when faced with an opportunity to help a friend or even a stranger.  Life is hard enough when you know what you’re doing…having a little help when trying something new can only raise your chances at success.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Theodore Roosevelt

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Day 6 – Advent Calendar

Advent Day #6 – Sleep by the Christmas Tree.

{You may choose to simplify the process big-time and do something as easy as  pick one person a day from now to Christmas and pray for them.  It doesn’t need to be time-consuming, stressful, or cost you anything.  Do what works for you and enjoy the season with the ones you love!!}

Alternate Activity: Pray for God’s blessing on someone who has wronged you. 

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”  Luke 6:27-29

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Just Do It – Say “I’m Sorry”

As humans none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes.  Sometimes on accident, sometimes on purpose.  And occasionally sometimes those mistakes call for an apology.  Whether or not we give one is completely another story.

Knowing I need to say “I’m sorry.” to someone gives that sinking feeling in my stomach because a true apology requires complete humility.  It requires that I put aside any justification on my part, any of those pathetic, “I’m sorry if I offended you.” pseudo apologies and just say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”  But when I finally do, I feel like I’m walking on air.  I guess that is because a clear conscience is as the MasterCard commercial says, “Priceless.”

Do you need to make a sincere apology?  What are you waiting for?  Free yourself from the pain of a guilty conscience and just do it – say “I’m sorry.”

:) Robynn

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Pay it Forward: It’s Your Turn!

In my recent Pay it Forward post I shared a story of a random act of kindness my sister had done on our recent Disney trip.  As we prepare to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving, what better time to think about ways we can Pay it Forward to those around us?  Whether you help a family member with a rent payment one month or put money in a parking meter for an unknowing stranger…you are PaYiNg it FoRwArD.  We will be collecting Pay it Forward stories from our readers between now and Monday, November 19th.  These stories will be compiled into a special post for Thanksgiving to share with our readers.

Please email your stories to suedesofa@yahoo.com

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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When Someone Won’t Forgive You…

…what do you do?  Whether it was a friend from 2nd grade, a boyfriend, or family member, we can all remember of a time that we hurt someone.  If you were lucky, they forgave you.  If not, you may still be seeking forgiveness.

I’ve really struggled with this question over the years.  It is upsetting when you do everything you can to mAke iT riGhT—apologizes, phone calls, a kind demeanor, or even space away from you—to result in nothing more than a cold shoulder years later.  This is frustrating and can often tempt you to be angry at the person.  It’s this vicious cycle of you wanting forgiveness, them staying resentful, and then you being mad at them for still holding a grudge!

There comes a time when YOU just have to LeT Go.  Let Go of the fact that they may never forgive you.  If you have exhausted all options, you have done the best that you can.  You can’t live the rest of your life in misery because of something you’ve already tried to fix.  When you see them, continue to be friendly but don’t put your life on hold because you may never get the answer you are wanting.

And if you are the one that is still holding a grudge…re-read this post and put yourself in their shoes.  Realize how much you are missing out simply because you won’t give one of the biggest gifts you can give…FORGIVENESS.

~Lara

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Pay It Forward

This summer my family spent 9 AmAzInG days in Disney World.  It was the first trip for my two kids and the second trip for my niece Taylor.  With 3 kids ages 5 and under and my parents who toughed out the long days and heat…the fast pass system which can save you up to an hour and a half of waiting on lines is a NeCiSsItY.  My sister was given 8 fast passes for the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror from one of the ride managers.  If you haven’t been to Disney World, these two rides are located in the Hollywood Studios theme park and  have an average wait time of at least an hour.  Throughout the day our family used the passes that we wanted, but she still had a handful left over.  Before we left the park, my sister decided to go to each ride and give out her fast passes to people who were waiting on the actual lines which as I said before were about an hour-long.  She was met with SmiLeS, ThAnKs, and DisBeLiEf!  One recipient said to her, “Thank you so much, I’ve done this for other people, but no one has ever done it for me…way to PAY IT FORWARD.”

In the upcoming months we will be asking YOU to share your own PAY IT FORWARD stories!  Remember…a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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