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Cheryl Donely

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goodbye to elementary school

Goodbye, Elementary School: Honoring the Past and Moving Forward with Joy

(Inside: Today we are saying goodbye to elementary school. Our family’s been there for over a decade. I can’t believe this day is here. )

Today we’re saying goodbye to elementary school.

Our youngest son is wrapping up 5th grade.

We’re saying goodbye to so many memories.

Captain America backpacks and little shoes climbing on the bus.

Unpacking school supplies into small desks and taking pictures of our kids by the locker with their names on it.

Book fairs, ice cream parties, parent meetings, Bingo night, and family dances.

We’re saying goodbye to sifting through the take-home folders stuffed with stars-stamped-on-top papers.

The baggie books brought home to be read three times each to a family member.

Field trips to the Nature Center, Mill City Museum, a local pumpkin patch, Target Field to see their rainwater recycle system, and Mall of America Nickelodeon Universe.

goodbye to elementary school
In middle school, one of our sons did not want to do his schoolwork, and it became a huge source of tension in the home. I didn’t handle the situation perfectly, but I kept trying and finally figured out how to better communicate with my son to where we both felt things were going smoother. Read more in the description here.

We’re saying goodbye to finding a show-and-tell item to tuck into a brown paper bag.

Signing reading logs, checking daily planners, and listening to them practice their recorders.

The Fun Run and Field Day and outdoor recess.

We’re saying goodbye to their projects, like the Living History Museum where they researched someone famous, dressed up like them, and showed off their information board and iMovie in front of tables in the library.

The cute Mother’s Day crafts like the Time Magazine cover where the mom is drawn with lines for hair and big round circles for glasses, and shaky crayon words spell out “Mother of the Year.”

Coasters with their picture decoupaged onto it, crooked mugs shaped out of clay, cards stamped with a heart-shaped print of their overlapping hands, pictures drawn of the family, and square 1 art magnets of their painted masterpiece.

We’re saying goodbye to the Halloween parade with proud kids walking through the halls, showing off their costumes.

Decorated Valentine’s boxes stuffed with cards and candy.

Class parties with rotations of candy corn bingo, bowling in the hall where you have to hand pick up the pins, snowman fingerprint ornaments crafts, and creative snacks like Oreo worm dirt pudding.

We’re saying goodbye to musical performances called things like “Wild Things Zoo Review” where they sang “Never Polka with a Porcupine” and “Raptor Rap.”

Parent-teacher conferences where we look at all the various art projects hung around the room, and we snap a picture of the crest they created representing all the things their classmates should know about them.

And chatting with other parents as we wait in the lobby for our kids at the end of the day.

But mainly we’re saying goodbye to the most wonderful teachers and the best school community.

I’m all nostalgic over here.

I’m not remembering any of the hard stuff.

Instead, I’m just feeling grateful.

For eleven years in a place that nourished and taught my kids well.

Today, we’re saying goodbye…

Then looking ahead…

To so many more great family memories still left to make in whatever the next chapter might bring.

You’re saying goodbye to elementary school and hello to the big kid years. Be encouraged by the full “raising tweens and teens series.”

My two oldest sons are in high school now, and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler. 

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but now parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.


ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen
You Can’t Fix Your Struggling Teens’ Problems, But You Can Do This One Powerful Thing

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
*400+ Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman
Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope
Raising Tweens and Teens – THIS is what it looks like

HEARTWARMING STORIES IN RAISING OLDER KIDS
I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best
To the Mom Who Mourns That Kids Grow Too Fast
Moms of Big Kids, Did You See Your Sacred Moments Today?

goodbye elementary school

Join this community of other moms who have said goodbye to elementary school and hello to so many other new wonderful seasons…

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kids, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

goodbye to elementary school
goodbye elementary school
gifts for teen girls

Gift Ideas for Teen Girls: Top Gifts Your Teenage Girl Will Love

(Inside: Best gift ideas for teen girls. Gifts your teenage girl will love. Best gifts to get a teenage girl. Shop fun ideas for your teen.)

Are you looking to buy a gift for your teenage girl? A gift that reminds your teen that she is seen, valued, and oh-so-very-loved?

I’m right there with you.

I adore my six nieces and do everything I can to cheer them on during these crazy tween/teen years. I just spent a week with two of my nieces in which we scoured the downtown shops for great gift ideas for upcoming holidays and birthdays. It was extra fun, and I got a million ideas and made some great purchases. 

Maybe it’s only because I have sons and am used to buying gifts for teen boys, that when I get to buy gifts for my nieces it’s just special in a different way. So with their input, I thought I’d share some gift ideas for teenage girls with you.

 

gift ideas for teen girls

*These are Amazon Affiliate links – read more here.*

Crafts and Being Artsy – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

Being a teen is exhausting these days!

One thing that adds to the exhaustion is looking at screens all day. Between Chromebooks for school and cell phones for play, a teenager’s brain is tiredd.

Enter crafts.

This creative outlet is a natural stress reliever! Not to mention working on a different part of their mind that needs attention!

Several of my nieces say that drawing, crafting, or participating in something artistic is one of their favorite ways to unwind. A way to get away from all the daily pressures and focus on creating something beautiful!

Here are arts and crafts ideas to get your teen girl engaged.

gift ideas for teen girls

Sports and Outdoor Fun – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

I’ll admit. Some days when I’m running my teenagers from one sports activity to another, this thought goes through my mind…

Is this worth it?

Because while I think my big kids are talented, we probably won’t be headed to the NBA anytime soon. But then I REMEMBER all the LIFE LESSONS gained from sports teams.

Hard work pays off.

Sometimes you lose and sometimes you win and both teach you something.

To improve you MUST be coachable.

Learning to work with teammates will give you people skills you can use forever.

Moving your body is IMPORTANT for your physical and mental health.

So as you think about the teen girl in your life, remember that supporting her athletic activities is so much more than you may think. Check out these gift ideas to encourage her.

Do you want a fun way to connect with your family? Try these conversation starters.

Cooking and Fun Food Ideas – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

Growing up I have fond memories in the kitchen. My mother getting supper ready for us or teaching me to make homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Visiting my grandma in Colorado meant fresh cinnamon rolls and from-scratch chocolate pie.

My grandparents in Iowa always baked special Christmas cookies the day after Thanksgiving, and my grandpa loved to make his pecan, chocolate turtle candy.

I can even look at a certain utensil, mixing bowl, or pretty dish and be filled with nostalgia.

Here are some ideas to create your own memories in the kitchen with the teen girl in your life.

Accessories and Glam – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

When thinking accessories and glam, I gathered my teen nieces and a few friends to give me the inside scoop on the must-haves. We hoovered over chips and salsa, and they brainstormed and filled me on what’s trending in their world.

The talk and laughter brightened my kitchen, and I think these ideas will brighten up the teen girl in your life too.

gift ideas for teen girls

Clothes and Fun Styles – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

I’ve been teaching high school for more than two decades, so I get a good taste of the current fashions and styles. My students and I talk fashion all the time, one even stayed after school to help me pick out online some updated jeans. I told her I was at a loss, she offered to stay – a win for me. My students definitely keep me in the know.

These are some of the fun styles and clothing that I’ve been seeing lately. Keep your teen girl up to point with any of these gifts.

Decorating – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

Decorating your teen girls’ room can be a blast with these fun and whimsical touches. With the internet right at your fingertips, you can get lots of inspiration and seemingly endless possibilities.

What a blessing it is to create a beautiful space for the teen girl in your life to unwind and rest.

But seriously, where was this Macrame Swing when I was a teenager!? I don’t know if I would have left my room.

Journals – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

Dear Diary…

Growing up…”Dear Diary” was about the only option I thought about when journaling. I love how flexible and creative journaling has grown beyond just documenting your daily activities and childhood crush.

These journals encourage you to dig a little deeper into gratitude and creativity. They can encourage teenagers to pray, color, practice gratitude, track their mood and even get silly with journals like Wreck This Journal.

An easy and cheap gift that can have a daily impact on a teen girl’s life.

Games – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

I love board games.

Some of my sweetest memories are of my grandparents, family and cousins squeezed around my grandma’s dining room table playing Trivia Pursuit. Yes, the game was fun, but it was the conversations, inside jokes, and teasing that filled the room with love and connection.

This connection can still be had with teens today.

Grandpa and Grandma having trouble conversing with their teen granddaughter? Maybe the ever-present cell phone is hovering in front of her nose?

Try grabbing some brownies, playing some tunes (share your favorite songs, ask the teens to share theirs), and gathering around the table. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how board games can bridge the generational gap in so many ways.

Not sure which ones to try? Here are some suggestions below.

Grow Your Faith – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

Faith is extremely important in our family, and I am acutely aware that so many things are competing for your teen girl’s time and attention.

One way to counteract the distractions is to be intentional about giving gifts that can strengthen and encourage their walk with God.

We know that this world can be tough. It is essential for teens to fill their minds with God’s truth. Bible reading, studies, and memory verse cards can help do just that.

Here are some ideas to get started!

Books – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

Oh my, books are my jam.

Trying to narrow down book recs for teen girls was an impossible task. (So much so that I decided to make a separate list for reading recommendations.)

Here are a quick few that I think the teenager in your life may enjoy.

Several are memoirs of Christians who have fascinating stories to tell. This piggybacks off of gifts that may help grow your teen’s faith!

I’m also a fan of historical fiction and just-for-fun fiction!

So whether you are buying a book for a teen girl or for yourself, these are a wonderful places to start.

Looking for more books? Check out the book list for high school teenagers  and middle school tweens

Electronics – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

If you have a teen in your life, they will most likely make a gift list that includes something that needs to get plugged in. It’s the reality of our world.

Thankfully, electronics can be used for really cool things! Besides entertainment, these gifts can be used for school, writing, art, photography, and connecting with family and friends.

Browse through these ideas to get some inspiration.

Self-care – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

Being a teenage girl can be tough! So many activities are competing for their attention. It can be hard as a parent to teach the importance of REST, and sometimes it’s because we’re not practicing rest either.

We need to be intentional with our young people to both model self-care and encourage them in pursuit of healthy rest.

To be the best version of ourselves, we need to take care of ourselves.

Here are a few gifts that will help get them started!

Teenager t-shirts and hoodies and things – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

Have a teen girl with a sense of humor? Or someone who likes quirky gifts?

These items can bring chuckles and smiles to their faces.

I know that I would love to cozy up in an “I’d Rather Be Home With My Dogs” hoodie and will definitely be sending a “Call Your Mom” Mug to my niece heading off to college!

Personalized Gifts – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

Personalized gifts are some of my favorite gifts to give.

We’ve all been there…staring at a rotating jewelry case in a touristy gas station and desperately looking for OUR name on a key chain. And of course, it’s not there.

This is where the internet wins. Now we can get personalized presents for any occasion from the comfort of our own home.

I think the teen girl in your life is sure to love a few of these. 

Gift cards – Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

When all else fails…

Grab a gift card.

Whether you have a teen girl that is just hard to buy for, or you’re just short on time. Gift cards can come in clutch.

These are gift card ideas to get started with.

Your Turn

What gift ideas for teen girls do you have? What have you bought a teen girl that they love? Leave your thoughts in the comments, we’d love to add your gift ideas to this list, as well. 

Want more gift ideas for your family?

Book ideas for high school teenagers

Book ideas for middle school tweens

Inspirational books ideas for moms

Gift ideas for moms of tweens and teens (Great for Mother’s Day!)

Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens…

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms
gift ideas for teen girls
perfect mom

Moms Have a Weird Relationship with Perfect

(Inside: Perfect mom life – isn’t it what we all want? How moms have a weird relationship with perfect, and how this one realization can improve your happiness.)

Moms have a weird relationship with perfect.

We know we get this one shot at having kids in our homes, so, of course, we want to say/do the “right things,” create a positive experience for our children, and enjoy this season.

Yes, yes, our heads KNOW that it’s not going to be perfect, but our hearts THINK it just might be anyway.

We could possibly be the exception.

Because we REALLY love motherhood and maybe that will help us pull off “getting it all right.”

But this rose-colored thinking misses one big thing…

Yes, motherhood comes with so many beautiful moments where you think your heart might burst, but it also comes with dips and curves and stumbling and getting back up again.

Imperfect IS THE PARENTING EXPERIENCE.

You can’t avoid it. It’s the eggs in the cookie recipe. It’s the cream in the chicken wild rice soup recipe. It’s an ingredient that comes with parenting. For everyone.

In mom life…

We’re going to lose our cool when we wanted to be a great listener then say something wise.

We’re going to struggle with when to push our teens and when to pull back.

We’re going to question if we’re leading our family in the best direction.

But, in the imperfect parts of parenting, we reflect. We pray. We talk it out with trusted people. We read a helpful article. We go for a walk. We cling to hope. Then we continually come back together as a family and try to figure it out.

Our teens are going to sometimes not turn in that assignment.

Our teens are going to keep it together at school, then unravel their big emotions when they get home the debris ricocheting off our hearts like hail.

Our teens are going to fall for the peer pressure when we wanted them to stay strong.

But, in the imperfect parts of being a teenager, we listen. We remind them how loved they are and that God is working in their lives. We go back to our family values and share the “whys” of good choices. We hold them accountable so they mature. We give space and grace. We maybe seek professional help. We cling to hope. And we continually come back together as a family and try to figure it out.

The dog is going to chew up the soccer cleats right before the game.

The family’s going to forget the orthodontist appointment.

The house is going to get messy.

But, in the imperfect parts of living together, we revisit routines. We talk about needs and how we can help each other. We divide up tasks so that everyone is contributing. And we continually come back together as a family and try to figure it out.

perfect mom
Read more about our family overcame a huge challenge in one of our sons not wanting to do his school work in the description here. I didn’t handle the situation like the perfect mom, but I kept trying and finally figured out how to better communicate with my son to where we both felt things were going smoother.

Moms have a weird relationship with perfect: we know perfect is unattainable but wish for it anyway. But then as life rolls out, we find that…

Through the imperfect, we get to know each other on a deeper level.

Through the imperfect, we grow and mature.

Through the imperfect, we learn to persist and find hope.

Through the imperfect, we build a strong family

And maybe, shaping a family that continually comes back together to figure things out just is the perfect experience.

You won’t have the perfect mom experience (because imperfect is the only experience to have), but you can join our community of moms raising big kids.

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kids, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below.
 

gifts for moms

The perfect mom doesn’t exist, but imperfectly thriving in motherhood is all around us and exquisitely beautiful. Read more stories in our “imperfectly thrive in motherhood” series.

Parenting is one of my biggest joys. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. From a young age, I prayed to have a family, and sometimes I pinch myself that my dream came true.

However, because this phase of life means so much to me, I can put too much pressure on myself to make the most of every moment, handle every situation flawlessly, and be the best mom ever. The truth is, I won’t do it all well and it’s not supposed to be that way. 

One of God’s goals for me is to lean on him – to turn to him, to trust in him, to seek his guidance and favor in this motherhood experience. The dips and turns and messy in mom-life help me do that.

What a gift the imperfect can be. I do my best to try and articulate this idea in my imperfectly thrive in motherhood series. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing. 

Do You Need to Simplify Parenting? Collect Moments, Instead
Healthy Helicopter Parenting: A Story to Life You Up
Why Mom Mistakes Can Be Good
Parenting Regrets: 3 Truths About “I Wish I’d Parented Better.”

family at dinner table

The Lasting Power of a Simple Meal: It’s Not Just Your Family at the Dinner Table, It’s More

(Inside: Moms, we think it’s just our family at the dinner table, another meal, nothing special, but it’s so much more than that…)

It’s not just dinner.

Moms, we think it’s just dinner, but we forget.

It’s not just noodles, a jar of spaghetti sauce, and a side of broccoli.

Or pizza showing up at our door.

Or chicken sandwiches ordered from a booth.

It’s a place for our family to fill their empty bellies – a mood booster and an energy-giver.

It’s a place to unpack your thoughts and process your day. To be heard and to listen. And for your family to speak truth and encouragement into each other’s lives.

It’s a place to just focus on eating because everyone’s too tired to talk, but it’s your safe place to simply sit and be. The dinner table is a place to belong.

It’s a place for good conversations. And belly laughs. And heated debates. And dumb topics. And intellectual thoughts.

family at dinner table
Do you want to make your meals more interesting? Discuss these awesome conversation starters for families of teens.

At the end of a busy day, we can quickly throw together/order/pick up something to eat and not think anything more about it. But it’s not just dinner.

It’s a pause in life to soak in the people you love. To refuel your body. To show and receive emotional support. To create and deepen family connections. To nurture a sense of belonging.

Life gets busy and this certainly isn’t going to happen every single night.

But, that rhythm of continually coming back to family meals.

It’s not just dinner.

It’s life.

Want to connect more than over your family at the dinner table? Read more in the “Create Family Connections” series.

We all want to feel connected to our family. I know, I do. 

One of my favorite things to do with my family is to create family time. Yes, life gets busy, and no I don’t do this all perfectly (who actually does!?!), but it sure is fun to try. 

I hope you enjoy these family connection articles and ideas too…

FAMILY ACTIVITIES
400+ Great Conversation Starters for Families of Teens
7 Powerful Reasons to Pray as a Family (+ Prayer Journal)

INSPIRATIONAL STORIES
My Big Kids, No Matter How Fast Your Grow, I’ll Always Be Your Mom 
Moms of Big Kids, Get Lost in Motherhood if You Want

CELEBRATING HOLIDAYS
30+ Ways to Connect With Your Family Over the Holiday Season

family at dinner table

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens…

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kids, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms
family at dinner table
get lost in motherhood

Moms of Big Kids, Get Lost in Motherhood if You Want…

(Inside: “Don’t get lost in motherhood” was a piece of advice I got when I first became a mom. Unpacking the mixed messages moms receive.)

“Don’t lose yourself in motherhood.”

I rocked my third child to sleep, enjoying a few tender moments of holding a baby and reading on my phone. Mom blogs were new to me, and I ate them up like honey. Hearing the hearts of fellow mothers felt beautiful, beautiful, beautiful – and the piece of advice that was dancing in front of my eyes was…

“Don’t lose yourself in motherhood.”

I’m not sure I knew exactly what the recommendation meant, but I took it as this: To fully enjoy life and be a strong woman, I SHOULD meet some of my goals (personal and professional) during this season of motherhood.

“Don’t lose yourself in motherhood.”

This suggestion grew deep roots in my mind. Maybe because I needed to work at least part-time for financial reasons, and it felt like validation. Also, I love chasing dreams, so despite the busyness, it felt great to give wings to a few of mine.

But then somewhere in this mom journey, the advice that once empowered switched to burdensome.

Because you know the “blip” from Avengers: Endgame?
 
Blink – it happened here.
 
My kids are in 10th grade and 9th grade and 5th grade and oh-my-heart, their focus has shifted to activities and friends and driving and talking about college. No one has listened to my suggestion of stopping all this growing up so fast.

I’m big emotions over here. Now, when I hear messages about going for one’s dreams or meeting that goal, I think – that’s such a great idea FOR ANYONE OTHER THAN ME.

I just need a hot moment. Or ten. Or a hundred.
 
I’m not feeling a full-steam-ahead season.
 
I don’t want to sign up for all the things.
 
I don’t want to work longer-than-necessary hours.
 
I don’t want extra obligations, no thank you.
 
And please, I need zero suggestions of some long quest for self-improvement.
 
I don’t want to feel like a failure because I’m not doing enough self-care or meeting the “right” kind of goals.
 
Off, off, off noise.
don't get lost in motherhood
Do you want a simple, fun way to connect with your family? Read more in the description.

The only “more” I want right now is to focus on simply being present.

I want to not sweat the small stuff but still invest the time into guiding and parenting my kids through the important stuff. I want to say yes to the family movie. I want to cheer from the sidelines at their games and concerts. I want to go out for ice cream. I want to open our home to friends and not worry about the mess, noise, and late hours. I want to pile into the booth, order dinner, and hear about my family’s day. I want to walk around the mall with them to shop for hoodies. I want to smile at the pile of shoes and backpacks by the door because that means everyone’s safely home.

I know I’m not going to enjoy every moment of raising big kids. Of course, there will be hard parts. But I just want to be around so I can lean into the moments that I do enjoy.

I’m sure someday I’ll be back to wanting to chase that goal – but not now. Not even a little bit.
 
“Don’t lose yourself in motherhood.”
 
Not every message we hear about mom life is for us.
 
And if it is for us, that certainly doesn’t mean the message is for every season.
 
Previously, maybe I didn’t want to get lost in motherhood – but right now, I don’t care if I do.

Read the full series on how important you are, momma!

Do you really understand how important, how vital, how life-giving your role as a mom is?

Maybe you feel like you just poured the bowl of cereal this morning, but that’s not all you did. You nourished your kid. And through simple daily interactions, you teach responsibility, leadership, love, grace, faith, courage, and kindness. Your child will go out into life and share his or her gifts. Then pass everything you taught down to their kids. And next, their grandkids – your impact keeps rolling.

I’m getting chill bumps. Your ordinary work is extraordinary. 

Let me continue to convince you through the full series on the importance of motherhood: 

Why Moms are Important: This is the Impact You Make
Momma, How You Inspire Other Moms in Every Day in Amazing Ways
3 Realizations that Will Help You Enjoy Motherhood More

don't get lost in motherhood

“Don’t get lost in motherhood” and other mixed messages. Join this community of moms of older kids as we unpack this mom life together.

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms
quit sports

It’s Okay to Feel Disappointed When Your Kids Quit Sports

Your kid quit sports, and you hate that you feel disappointed. Here are some good things that might come from your kid quitting sports.

Can we talk about parenting disappointment?

I don’t mean the socially acceptable disappointments like binge drinking or wrecking the car or failing classes. I mean times when we HAD A PLAN (a good, thought-out plan) that our kids decided NOT to follow and the disappointment hits unexpectedly (and annoyingly) hard.

My high school-age son quit soccer.

At first, I was okay with it.
 
But then he got asked to play on a just-for-fun winter league with his former team (“wear the red uniforms!”), and when I saw all those boys walk out with the new uniforms and my son wearing last year’s, my stomach twisted into a left-out-knot. Later, I questioned my son’s choice, “Soccer is so fun, why are you quitting?” He wavered but landed on his initial decision.
 
That night, I tucked myself under a blanket of disappointment and stared at the ceiling hating that I felt such big emotions over soccer. Because we’re not supposed to feel disappointed when our kids choose a different path. We remember the “miscarriage” or “hard pregnancy” or “infertility” days, and we know that we’re crazy-lucky to have kids.
 
But, guess what, moms and dads…

Parenting naturally evokes big emotions, and we GET TO FEEL.

We get to feel disappointed because we like sports, played sports, get how it all works, and wanted to share our knowledge with our kids.
 
We get to feel a loss because we loved watching our teens play and hanging out with the other parents.
 
We get to feel sad about not having the car rides home to talk about the game, grab a hamburger, and crank up the music.
 
We get to feel the let-down of not connecting with our kids anymore over something we love.
 
And we get to feel panicked because being a teammate teaches so many great life skills and provides an automatic community, and it seems like they’re going to miss out.
 
About soccer or AP classes or music or whatever that thing that YOU love that your kids are not having right now.
conversation starters teens
Do you want 400+ conversation starters to bring your family closer together? Grab them here.

They’re our feelings, and we get to FEEL all of them. Guilt-free – big emotions are a part of the parenting experience. But then, somewhere in the middle of the heart storm, let’s also remind ourselves of something else: what we KNOW.

God cares about our children way more than we can fully comprehend and is moving in their lives in mighty ways.
 
For example, maybe not playing soccer again will be the best thing that’s ever happened to my son.
 
Maybe the change is because he will meet new friends, perhaps even people he needs to know. (Like my friend who met in high school someone who helped him get into his current profession where he’s thriving.)
 
Maybe the change is because he’s going to get involved in something different and discover new sides of himself. (Like some of my high school students who have quit sports, taken more leadership roles in clubs, and flourished in new ways.)
 
Maybe the change is because he needs to slow down and the break from hurry-hurry is going to do wonders to his mood and attitude.
 
Maybe the change needs to happen for him to gain confidence in making choices and discerning the whispers of God’s voice – all in a low-stakes environment wrapped in the safety of our home.
 
Maybe my teen has learned all he needs to learn from the sport, and it’s time to move on.

So, about those parenting disappointments, I say – feel them.

Feel them deep and hard.
 
Then zoom out.
 
And remind ourselves what we KNOW: we might feel some loss to not connecting with our kids in one of the ways we envisioned, but only a minute’s worth. Because there’s much gain – crazy amounts of gain – in watching our children grow up into their own beautiful selves.

Join this community of moms raising big kids

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms

Read the Full Series on Parenting Tweens and Teens

My two oldest sons are in high school now, and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler.

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but now parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.

Raising Tweens and Teens Articles

SCHOOL
Teen, Forget Grades, These Big Reasons are Why You’ll Like Trying Hard in School

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen
You Can’t Fix Your Struggling Teens Problems, But You Can Do This One Powerful Thing

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
400+ Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman
Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope
Raising Tweens and Teens – THIS is what it looks like…

HEARTWARMING STORIES IN RAISING OLDER KIDS
I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best
To the Mom Who Mourns That Kids Grow Too Fast

quit sports
Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.
moms of big kids

Moms of Big Kids, Did You See Your Sacred Moment Today?

(Inside: Moms of big kids, did you see your sacred moment today? They sneak in unexpectedly. And only take a sliver of time.)

Momma neck deep in raising big kids, did you see your sacred moment today?

I slowed the car into the drop-off lane as the sun peeked over the edge of the high school. My oldest (of my three sons) usually flies out the door with a hurried bye, but he just sat there. Big sigh, he turned and looked at me, “Can I just go back home with you?”

He might as well have just thrown his arms around my neck. That beautiful sentence.

And there it was for the day – my sacred moment.

They sneak in unexpectedly.
 
But every single day.
 
Quietly.
 
And only take a sliver of time.
 
Like when my non-chatty son interrupts my freezer-search for peas to tell me about how his teacher paired him with a new person in PE basketball, “but we won our game, mom, and it was so fun.” He beams, grabs the milk over my shoulder, pours it over his cereal, and is gone.

Or when my middle son is ricocheting the ball around that our puppy dives to get. He passes the ball to me and my whole world pauses for a few throws.

Or when the screen flickers a football game, my husband and sons lounge on the couch, the chair, the floor, and I feel my day exhale. For the first time in the past 24 hours, I see – really see – the wonder of my family.
 
Or I’m sitting on the stairs, fingers laced around a steaming mug, watching my youngest methodically packing his 5th-grade school folder, his iPad, his lunch. The snowflakes blow from the trees and flicker the sun as they pass the window and, for an instant, all things feel perfect.
 
Connect with your big kids over these powerful 400+ conversation starters for families of teens.

Or when my big kid is working a tournament and calls me because he can’t find where to go. He could solve this himself and normally does. But this time, he chose to call me, and I absolutely eat up the whole conversation.

Or when I ask at bedtime what I could pray for them about, one of my teens shares something vulnerable.
 
Or when my teen texts his after-school activity is canceled, and he’s coming home.
 
Or when one of my sons says yes to running to Target with me.
 
Or when my boys and I are leaning over the counter sharing chips and queso.

The whole day is a hamster wheel of busy, but then it all pauses for a split second, and it feels like God moves through my life gently shaking the overlooked beauty so that I actually notice it. And for that teeny second, I am overwhelmed with how exquisite my ordinary life is and how grateful I am to live it.

And then the moment is over and I’m annoyed about my messy home, and one kid can’t find his shoe, the other is grumbling about schoolwork, and the phones/electronics are back to driving me crazy.
 
But that one second is so powerful.
 
It fills my heart all the way up.
 
A mom’s sacred moment – did you see yours yet today?

Read the full Raising Big Kids Series

My two oldest sons are in high school now, and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler.

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but now parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.


SCHOOL
Teen, Forget Grades, These Big Reasons are Why You’ll Like Trying Hard in School

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen
You Can’t Fix Your Struggling Teens Problems, But You Can Do This One Powerful Thing

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
400+ Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman
Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope
Raising Tweens and Teens – THIS is what it looks like…

HEARTWARMING STORIES IN RAISING OLDER KIDS
I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best
To the Mom Who Mourns That Kids Grow Too Fast

big kids
For more resources, encouragement, and stories (written in the descriptions), check out my ETSY SHOP.

Join this community of moms raising big kids

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

once a mom always a mom

Once a Mom, Always a Mom – What a Gift

(Inside: Once a mom, always a mom. Your kids grow, but you will still always be their mom. What a gift that is to us and to them.)

Once you are a mom, you’re always a mom.

I released the bowling ball, scrunched my face at the result, then turned around to see my mom holding her phone out recording me.
 
I laughed out loud.
 
I am in my forties.
 
And I was throwing more gutter balls than not.

As moms of tweens and teens, we can grieve that our kids are growing up way too fast. But the truth is: motherhood doesn’t end once our kids blow out their 18th birthday candles. Once you’re a mom, you are always a mom.

It doesn’t matter how old your kids get….
 
You will always cherish spending time with them.
 
You will always wonder how they’re doing and want to know their thoughts.
 
You will always hope that your kids are finding friends and people to connect with.
 
You will always see the best in your children and know what they are capable of. You will always hope they are as confident in themselves as you are in them.
 
You always want your kids to discover their talents and be proud of how they are contributing to the world.
once a mom always a mom
ONCE A MOM, ALWAYS A MOM FAMILY CONNECTION IDEA: Instead of playing cards, play a round of “5 questions.” Pick 5 interesting questions from this list of 400+ and learn more about each other.

You will always want to comfort them when life gets hard – you want them to know that you are there, and you cherish when they choose to open up to you. And if they don’t want to confide in you, that’s okay – you hope they will reach out and find other help.

You will always pray for their safety, health, and well-being.
 
You will always look for hope in your children’s situations and be ready to cheer them on.
 
You will always think about your child and hold them in your heart.
 
You will always love them, more and more each passing season.
 
And you will always be ready with your phone to record a moment you’re enjoying with them – even if they are middle age and throwing gutter balls.
 
You can’t shake motherhood.
 
No matter how many years flip by.

Once you’re a mom, you’re always, always, ALWAYS a mom.

Once a mom, always a mom – and your importance to your family is immeasurable. Read the full series on the importance of motherhood.

Do you really understand how important, how vital, how life-giving your role as a mom is?

Maybe you feel like you just poured the bowl of cereal this morning, but that’s not all you did. You nourished your kid. And through simple daily interactions, you teach responsibility, leadership, love, grace, faith, courage, and kindness. Your child will go out into life and share his or her gifts. Then pass everything you taught down to their kids. And next, their grandkids – your impact keeps rolling.

I’m getting chill bumps. Your ordinary work is extraordinary. 

Let me continue to convince you through the full series on the importance of motherhood: 

Why Moms are Important: This is the Impact You Make
Momma, How You Inspire Other Moms in Every Day in Amazing Ways
3 Realizations that Will Help You Enjoy Motherhood More

Join this community of moms parenting teens and tweens.

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 



once a mom always a mom
parenting teens and tweens

Parenting Teens and Tweens Will Rip Your Heart Out

(Inside: Parenting teens and tweens will rip your heart out. There will be a moment when you find yourself emotionally spent.)

Parenting teens and tweens will rip your heart out.

There will be a moment when you’re sitting on the bathroom floor, back against the tub, feet tucked at the base of the sink, emotionally spent.

Your kid is the one sitting alone at the lunch table.

Your kid is repeatedly self-sabotaging in her actions, and no matter what you do, nothing helps.

Your kid has health and/or mental health challenges that just won’t shake.

Your kid got cut from the team in a sport he’s spent a decade playing and being in that uniform means the absolute world to him. The “no” hit like a nuclear bomb.

Your kid doesn’t seem to care – about anything.

Your kid is painfully distant – you don’t have the kind of longed-for relationship you want, and you just don’t recognize your teen anymore.

For tweens and teens, these years can be fun and interesting and great. Then they also can be some of the absolute hardest years of their lives: there are so many changes, so much to learn, so many obstacles to navigate, and so much perspective to gain. The perfect storm for big hurt in our big kids.

And when our kids hurt, we hurt too.

So, we find ourselves on the ground, sandwiched between the tub and sink, at 1 am. But momma, on the floor, with a ripped-out heart, feeling like you could crawl out of your skin anxious…

Deep breath in.

Exhale slowly.

parenting teens and tweens
Parenting teens and tweens can be so tough. My mom was in a tough spot with me when I was in my early 20s. Read what she did to help in the description here.

The Lord is here with you on this floor.

Maybe say a few words to him…

GOD IN HEAVEN, will you reveal yourself to me? Will you nurture me through reminding me of what I know about your character?

You love my children so much you know the exact number of hairs on their heads. You see where they’re at and are moved with deep love and wide compassion.

I believe that you are working in mighty ways in my kids’ lives. I don’t get why tough things happen, but I do know that you can and will pull good out of difficult. You are growing my teens, shaping them, molding their character. You are preparing a way – people for them to connect with and places for them to thrive. I know you can move mountains, and I pray that pebble-by-pebble you do.

Open our eyes to see you around us. Helping us notice how much there is to be grateful for. Help us see the people who do show up. Give us the strength to seek and accept help. Reveal solutions, then shower us with discernment and direction.

And through it all, wrap your hands of protection and love around our family.

Oh.

And one more thing…

Please, please, please, help me not to think this is my fault.

Help me to treat myself with the same tenderness and care I would treat anyone else with a ripped-out heart. Squash negative-self-talk with force, again and again, because it is a beast. AMEN.

Deep breath in.

Exhale slowly.

God loves your kids and is working in their lives.

God loves your kids and is working in their lives.

God loves your kids and is working in their lives.

Believe.

Stay on that floor as long as you need, there are no rules here. But when you get up, do so holding tight – with epic amounts of tenacity and stubbornness – to HOPE.

Read the full Parenting Teens and Tweens Series

My two oldest sons are in high school now, and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler.

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but not parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen
*ou Can’t Fix Your Struggling Teens Problems, But You Can Do This One Powerful Thing

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
400+ Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman
Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope
Raising Tweens and Teens – THIS is what it looks like…

HEARTWARMING STORIES IN RAISING OLDER KIDS
I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best
To the Mom Who Mourns That Kids Grow Too Fast

Join this community of moms parenting teens and tweens.

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms
teen struggle

You Can’t Fix Your Struggling Teen’s Problems, But You Can Do This One Powerful Thing

(Inside: Watching your teen struggle can be so incredibly hard. We often can’t fix their problems anymore, but we can do this one powerful thing.)

One of the hardest things in parenting is watching your teen (or big kid) struggle and feeling helpless.

That’s where my mom was with me when I was in my early 20s.
 
I can’t exactly put my finger on why I was in such a funk. I’d followed the formula (college, then career), and yet there I was in the golden-young-twenty-years feeling lost.
 
Not just lost, panicked. With screeching anxiety. Pounding me every second.
 
Maybe it was that everyone else was getting married and my boyfriend had written a two-sentence letter, put a stamp on it, licked the envelope, and mailed it to break up with me. (Me calling him: “Did you just break up with me in an actual letter?” Dumpster fire moment.) Or maybe it was that everyone else seemed confident in their direction, and I was bouncing between temporary living places and uncertain about my career.

I just couldn’t.

Couldn’t manage my emotions.
 
Couldn’t make decisions.
 
Couldn’t get on top of life.
 
But, my mom…
 
My sweet momma.
 
She invaded my space in the best of ways: she typed up all of her favorite verses about hope, printed them out, and hung them all over my doors, next to my bed, by my mirror – nourishment sprinkled everywhere.
 
Y’all my mom doesn’t even like that kind of crafty stuff.
 
I was overcome.
teen struggle
It’s so hard to watch your teen struggle. If you want to save time and simply download some encouraging scripture verses for teens, click here.

Now, two decades later, I get why that simple gesture meant so much to me – because I better understand pain.

Pain is like a spiderweb of cracks that slices through your life in crazy directions. There isn’t one magic “thing” that instantly heals the mess. Rather, it takes an accumulation of solutions to slowly bind up your wounds. For example, one small slice of crack gets better through taking care of your body (long walks, water, eating well, sleep). Another by connecting with your people (hugs, conversations, petting your dog). A different crevice mends through inputting inspiration (books, podcasts, church, prayer, encouragement). And other slice heals by seeking professional help (doctors, counselors, therapists, medication). Each little step towards self-care stitches small sections of your cracks back together until, over time, you feel healed.
 
Changed and maybe different – but definitely better.
 
During that period, I worked hard at healing and did “all of the above.” But when I look back, what sticks with me the most were the actions of my mom. Her going out of her way to remind me of her constant presence and support through hanging up God’s promises was powerful.

Now, I’m the mom. And I’ve experienced how excruciating it can be to watch my teen struggle.

Often, I can’t often fix their problems anymore.
 
But I remember that the small gestures…
 
A text.
 
A hug.
 
A warm dinner.
 
Words of encouragement.
 
Listening.
 
Or printed out verses plastered everywhere.
 
The tangible ways of reminding our kids that we’re always there for them – they all matter. Parenting will always have its ups and downs, including difficult seasons with unclear solutions. But, in the hard, when we feel helpless…moms, we can encourage. We can choose to operate from a place of hope knowing that being a mom who is always there for her kids has a positive ripple effect.
teen struggle
Download encouragement for your struggling teen.

It’s so hard to watch your teen struggle. Read more for encouraging parenting resources to help…

My two oldest sons are in high school now, and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler. 

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but not parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.

Parenting Tweens and Teens Series

TEACHING GRIT
The Pandemic is Shaping Kids in These 6 Powerful Ways

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
400+ Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman
Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope
Raising Tweens and Teens – THIS is what it looks like…

HEARTWARMING STORIES IN RAISING OLDER KIDS
I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best
To the Mom Who Mourns That Kids Grow Too Fast

Watching your teen struggle can be so hard: encouraging downloadable printables can be found here.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens (We’ve all been there watching our teen struggle. You are not alone!)

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms