15 Questions about Momma

 

Time for some fun! During one of my numerous Pinterest binging sessions I came upon some ideas around mommy and me activities. Now that the girls are getting older and communicating much more with me, I figured a questionnaire would be doable.

This one caters to the girls answering questions about me!

The thing about kids is that they answer so honest and those answers can either make you feel warm and fuzzy or worst-case scenario, inadequate. So, I took a chance! I want my girls to continue to feel safe to talk to me about anything regardless of how I feel about the situation. This questionnaire was the perfect warm-up exercise.

Here are the questions with their darling responses…

1.     What is something mom always says to you?

K: Remember to put on lotion and deodorant

A: Stop touching Kayla

2.     What makes mom happy?

K: Hugs and kisses

A: Helping you move things

3.     Which book, movie, or tv show character is she?

K: Sunny from Nick Jr.

A: Weather girl (from local news channel)

4.     What makes mom sad?

K: When your feelings are hurt

A: Talking to your family

5.     What is she really good at?

K: Doing hair

A: Working on your ‘puter (computer)

6.     What is she not very good at?

K: I don’t wanna answer that…

A: Cleaning by yourself

7.     What makes you proud of her?

K: How you take care of us

A: Using my big girl words

8.     What do you together the most?

K: Math

A: Playing CookieJam and cards

9.     How are you the same?

K: Our hair!

A: We are both girls

10.  How are you different?

K: I talk ALOT

A: I am a little girl and you are a big girl

11.  How do you know mom loves you?

K: You give us lots of hugs and kisses

A: You give me hugs

12.  If she had a million extra dollars what would she do?

K: Buy books and a new house

A: Buy chapstick, earrings, and vegetables

13.  What is her favorite thing to do?

K: Watch TV

A: Work

14.  What is her least favorite thing to do?

K: Talk

A: Fun things like playing games on my iPad

15.  What is the most important thing she has taught you?

K: Manners

A: To talk to other people and say Hi

 

Most of the answers they gave made me feel that I am doing something right as their momma!! Some of the responses definitely made me laugh out loud! Then there were a few answers that made me realize how much they are actually watching me, observing my actions and reactions…which is scary…but at the same time so beautiful.

Until next time,

TwoGirlsandaMomma

Adventure Time – South Carolina Aquarium

 

Hey there my fellow mommas!

It has been a while since I have been able to dedicate some real time to our blog. In my defense mommin’ really aint easy…life has been sort of a rollercoaster trying to juggle everything. I, personally, despise rollercoasters. I mean, why would any sane person put their life in that kind of jeopardy LOL. Well that is what the last few months have been like trying to adjust to our new “life” and I’m constantly questioning the reasons I said yes to this crazy journey. Besides the craziness, the girls and I have been up to some good things. We have since relocated “temporarily” to Charleston, SC. I have been busy with my studies and the girls have enrolled in school and gymnastics to pass the time. Being in Charleston is bitter sweet, with most days more bitter than sweet. My dear friend, Jo, told me to make a bucket list and be tourists in our home town. She’s brilliant! In spite of my sour attitude towards being here, there are so many activities to check off the list that I never had the chance to enjoy as a kid.

So first up on the list was the South Carolina Aquarium located in Downtown Charleston. I have no idea why no one ever took me here when I was younger, this place is amazing! The girls had a wonderful time doing all the various activities while getting close and personal with all of the sea life animals. We were there on a Sunday afternoon, a few hours from closing, leaving the aquarium empty and perfect for exploring! There were so many interesting sea creatures! Jellyfish, stingrays, sharks, and even Bald Eagles to name a few. The highlight of the outing would have to be the sea turtles and the Sea Turtle Care Center. At the Care Center, seven different species of sea turtles that are found stranded or injured are welcomed in to receive treatment in hopes of rehabbing back to full health. The girls were able to provide aid to sea turtles in need, interactively, using the touch screens in the Care Center. Stations were set up to show what processes and tests the endangered turtles go through during their stay with the Care Center.

As we wrapped up our visit, there was a perfect photo opportunity to capture the beautiful Ravenel Bridge that spans across the Cooper River. All in all, we enjoyed our outing and can’t wait to see what else Charleston has in store for us!

If you want to check out more info on the Sea Turtle Care Center, here is the link to the website: scaquarium.org/sea-turtle-care-center/

Feeling generous? The center even has a Sea Turtle Rescue Program Amazon Wish List to allow supporters the opportunity to buy fun, but essential items necessary for the continued success of this center!

See how much fun we had during this adventure below!

Our Visit to Buckingham Palace

If you were turning 6 and lived in England you’d celebrate your birthday at the Buckingham Palace…right?? Well that is where Kayla decided to bring in her birthday. I mean who wouldn’t want to visit this place. The pictures on the internet were fascinating and the stories that I have heard over the years were intriguing. So, Dad and I made it happen. She and Addy got to have a first look into palace life and affairs of the royals.

We did a full tour of Buckingham Palace and the State Rooms. The entire palace was decorated with beautiful paintings, furniture, and treasures from the Royal Collection. Each State Room has individual uses. Through our tour we were able to walk through State Rooms and visualize what a potential event would look like. It felt very surreal to walk around where dignitaries such as George IV once inhabited. Oblivious to this, the girls walked around excitingly looking at “all the gold and statues” of the palace.

We enjoyed being able to see the changing of the palace guards as we had our picnic on the lawn. This may have been my favorite part of the entire experience. Only ever hearing about it was nothing compared to being able to see it in person. It was a pleasure to be able to help them experience something that many people in our lifetime may never get to experience.

The end of the tour took us to the kid friendly room were the girls were able to learn more about the Queen and engage in some fun activities. I am sure that the best part for them was playing dress up in royal clothing! They were absolutely adorable in it too! It is going to be nice to look back on this adventure and fun pictures we took at the Palace. Before we leave the U.K. a few more trips are definitely in order.

 

Momma Feature: Jo Diaz

For this month’s feature, I chose a friend who has come into my life and made everything so much sweeter. She is the friend that literally just calls to say Hi! My saving grace beautifully wrapped in a blanket of southern twang, heavenly tunes and homecookin’. I could go on and on about her because she is just beyond amazing. She has taken a piece of my heart and I don’t think I will ever want it back! The epitome of Supermommy, Jo exudes love and passion for her husband and children. Over the past two years, our friendship has blossomed into a sisterhood that cannot be explained. My heart is so happy that she agreed to be my feature this month. Here is her interview…

Tell us about yourself.

Hey Y’all!

First, can I just say Shama! Shama! This blog is amazing and such a blessing. I stalk it now. LOL. You are an amazing soul and I can’t even wrap my head around how you do it all and still manage to be so sweet and look so flawless. Can I borrow your scarf? Any one of them will do. Haha! Love you to the moon girly! Prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.

I hate… talking about myself, so here’s my short and sweet and super short bio.

So, I’m Jo. Just plain ole Jo. I’m from Texas. Actually, I’m from an island in Texas which is pretty amazing! If you’re ever in Houston drive down to Galveston, Texas. Stop by Leo’s and get a pound of smoked riblets.

Ok… back to the Bio.

I have been a military wife for 10 years. I’m a crafter… hardcore crafter. I scrapbook, crochet, sew, quilt, make cards, paint (I’m horrible at it). I’m the lady that looks and a picture and says… I can make that thang. Of course, in the end it costs me $120,093 to make it and it’s on sale for $9.99. Still… I made it. LOL. Recently I acquired a Silhouette Cameo. It’s the fancy machine that cuts. But, you can make a ton of stuff with fancy cutting so I’m going to read the instructions sooner or later.

What’s the best part of being a parent?

Oooohhh… That’s a hard question. I guess the best part is probably seeing the love in your heart walking around in human form. There’s two people walking around on this planet who are the manifestation and embodiment of all the love I could possibly give from my heart. They are such precious gifts from God and I tend to just get all in their faces with adoration.

Also… those darn smiles! Every time my babies smile I can’t help but smile back and thank God!

Tell us about your funniest momma moment.

Oh man.. this is bad. This is gross. You’ve been warned. O_O So a couple weeks ago one of my boys got sick in the night. It wasn’t the fever and occasional vomit that I’ve grown used to with five-year-olds. This was food poisoning. He woke up screaming, I rushed to him with a calm readiness to handle what I assumed was a nightmare. Oh boy, it was certainly a nightmare. To try to put it nicely, mud butt was on the bed and floor and it just kept going. My reaction to it was straight out of comedy film. Picture the Brides Maids scene… for mamas. I panicked! I screamed, jumped up and down, grabbed him up and raced to the toilet trailing you know what along the way. I stood him on the bathroom floor and tried to come up with a plan of attack. What on earth? What do I clean first? I don’t own Clorox! Do I need Clorox?! Yall, it was so bad and so gross… I was not ready.

While I was losing my mind, he was crying and bracing himself for more yuck, and my husband rushed up the stairs. He quietly and gently put our kiddo on the toilet and said, “Ok. You’re ok.” His response shook me right out of the crazed chaos that I so quickly jumped into. He was calm, he was ready and he was totally keeping our kid from panicking the way I did. I didn’t even realize how amped I was until the hubs said, “Ok, you’re ok.” He might as well have said it to the both of us. We managed to get through our first case of food poisoning with leadership of the husband… not me. This is the funniest moment in recent history, because I just had to laugh at myself… out loud. Too often we mamas get proud of ourselves in certain areas of parenting. I for sure thought I was a Mama Nurse extraordinaire until a case of mud butt knocked some humility into me. We mamas know and love our babies, but there is always a new lesson to be learned.

How has your upbringing influenced the momma you are today?

My upbringing was difficult. There were a whole lot of things that shouldn’t have happened, you know? Too much that caused me to grow way too fast. While I try not to judge my mother and father for the things I find myself still healing from, it’s hard. It’s hard to be at peace with all the nonsense a child has to cope with and grow with. So, as an adult and a parent, I find myself making a lot of mama bear choices based on protecting my kiddos from things I wasn’t protected from. I’m constantly unlearning the behaviors my mother taught me in those childhood experiences. I’m listening when I wasn’t listened to, shielding when I found myself exposed as a child, protecting in situations I received no protection from as a child, enabling strengths and talents when and where I was silenced and stifled. I’m a strict mama with my kids, but I want them to experience a love that is truly without conditions or limitations. I didn’t have that for a long time growing up.

What are some traits you hope to instill in your children?

I want my boys to be incredibly compassionate, first and foremost. If they grow up to be dish washing, compassionate young men I’ll be more than happy. You’re probably reading this and saying, say what now? Yup… just compassion. I want my little men to grow up and constantly consider the world outside of themselves and strive to help it. Of course, I’d like to sprinkle some integrity, passion, 2 scoops of persistence, and put charm on top. I’d also LOVE for them to be believers in Jesus Christ… this isn’t a trait but a commitment that I truly hope they’ll make.

Any personal suggestions for balancing life with kids?

Yes… protect your peace. Protecting peace is a choice you have to make DAILY. Every decision we make is a give or take with the peace we need so desperately to maintain. Do I cook that 4-course-meal and pull my hair out or will I laugh with my kids over pancakes at dinner? Will I allow that negative person into my house to treat me and my children poorly? Will I force my family to meet society’s standards even if it’s driving us apart?

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives…” John 14:27

We have this peace, a gift to keep and maintain yet we trade it with worldly concerns. Nope… do what you need to maintain peace in your heart and with your babies. Ironically, I find my household struggles and everyone gets anxious when I’m stressing.

Another thing that I’m learning… Take   your   time.

We load our plates with SO much stuff. Places to be, things to do, folks to see… but none of it is truly valued because we’re in a hurry to the next thing. I’m learning to plan my day so that I can truly enjoy whatever moment I’m in wherever that may be. We have to advocate for our own lives by earnestly taking the time to live it. I’m learning to live a life that isn’t in a rush to do anything.

Quote, scripture, or advice that you have used to get you through those tough mommy days?

Hmmmm….

I actually don’t have a quote or scripture. I sing ALL the time out loud and in my head. There’s a chorus that I sing to myself by Side Walk Prophets all the time that goes,

“Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope.

You’re going to do great things, I already know.

God’s got His hand on you so, don’t live life in fear.

Forgive and forget, but don’t forget why you’re here.

Take your time and pray. These are the words I would say.”

I sing it so much that I hope it’s become engraved on my kiddos’ hearts. I’d love for it to just plague their minds into adulthood. Hey! It’s much better than singing, “The best part of waking up”… yall 80s babies know the rest.

Momma Feature: Constance Williamson

Welcome to our first Momma Feature!  I am so excited about this segment and the number of women who will be featured over this year, hopeful that it will inspire some other mommas!

It is with great pleasure that I get to introduce an amazing lady who has been a part of my life for over 13 years! She is the Sun to my Shineeee…I’m Thelma, she’s Louise…she’s Mary and I’m DEFINITELY Martha! LOL! Her name is Constance to some, but Meghan to me. We have passed the threshold of besties, officially labeled as sisters. She is a fellow a military spouse that has been all over the place with her wonderful hubby. Read on for her interview…

Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in the historical town of Charleston, SC. Graduated from Claflin University! Married my high school sweetheart, who has a wonderful career that allows his family to travel all over the world. We have 2 handsome baby boys, Wyatt and Devin. Wyatt is 3 years old and he likes to mock everything I do and say. He loves to dance, so I’m always looking forward to our next dance battle in the kitchen. Devin is 8 months old and he is very adventurous at the moment, so it’s always exciting to see what part of the house he will explore next. My current hobbies include crafting and discovering new natural foods! Not really sure where I’m going with the natural eating but I’m loving the fact that the meals we are consuming have been made in my own kitchen. Almond milk, flavored and unflavored, almond meal/flour, homemade baby food, peanut butter, orange juice, are the items that I have experimented with so far. I’m hoping to create a brand in the near future!!

What’s the best part of being a parent?

To me, the best part of being a parent are definitely the unexpected moments! The moments where I may be trying to explain to Wyatt what he did wrong and he says “mummy, I love you!” or when I may have had a rough day and he comes to me and rubs my back and says, “it’s okay mummy”. These beautiful, unexpected moments let me know that I am doing something right.

Tell us about your funniest “momma moment.”

I’m constantly being reminded of the things I did with my first child that I no longer do with my second! My parents remind me every time we are on Facetime! Wyatt was blessed to have a warm wipe with every diaper change. Devin not so much. LOL! It’s hilarious to look back on all the things I did as a first-time mom!

How has your upbringing influenced the momma you are today?

As a child, you don’t really understand how the things you see will affect your life. By “things” I mean: morals, values, traits, exceptions, etc. I watched my mom struggle with her relationship with her mom and I’m so glad she made it a mission to break that cycle. At the same time, I did not realize how influential my parents’ ways were in shaping me into the mother that I am today. I watched my mom raise us in the midst of stressful situations with grace and understanding. For instance, my dad is a truck driver and was on the road for weeks at a time. Leaving her to take on the temporary role as a single parent despite what she was feeling. Now, as a military spouse, here I am raising my kids in a stressful military lifestyle where my husband is either working long hours or thousands of miles away. They taught me that family comes first, which has prepared me to handles most situations that this lifestyle encompasses.

“THE HAPPINESS OF EVERY BEATING HEART UNDER YOUR ROOF SHOULD BE FIRST PRIORITY.

What are some traits you hope to instill in your children?

There are a million traits I would love to instill in my children. The ones that I would love to see stick are self-love, humility, self-discipline, gratitude, and respect. I want my boys to be able to find love in themselves first. I believe once self-love is found then the other traits will be easy to put into practice.

 Any personal suggestions for balancing life with kids?

Organize and plan! After baby number two, it was evident that a plan needed to be implemented. I, also, needed to organize my house! Once I did those two simple things, life got much easier!

Quote, scripture, or advice that you have used to get you through those tough mommy days?

One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 20:7, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.” My boys are such a blessing to me!

Forget the Tribe…Enjoy the Journey

Being a military spouse, many days you feel like you are in this all alone. For our spouses, work consumes their life. As for us, we have to pick up what is left of our lives and start over and over and over again. What seems like a never-ending cycle of new jobs, new homes, new schools, and most importantly new friends. I never imagined that I would be in search of adult friends.

Kids make finding friends so easy. They meet another kid once and instantly they are BFFs. There are so many different levels to finding adult friends. Then add the military lifestyle to it. Yep. Might as well forget it. So, my quest for new friends was nonexistent following this last move. I refused to be worried and decided to just focus on myself. And it felt SO good. Casually meeting people for coffee dates, hanging out during a few girl nights, going to church, taking the kids out for playdates…

Then the most amazing thing happened. Guess what?!

My tribe found me. One year later, I had a crisis and the tribe was there. I had no idea they were my tribe. Right, crazy! I was off just focusing on myself, not even thinking about the friends I had or didn’t have. These 3 ladies truly had my back without me even asking. They pushed me to do what I could not do on my own. They prayed and loved on me when I could barely open my mouth to speak. As I look back, I can see how the relationships just grew. There was no requirement for this friendship. We loved and accepted each other for all we had to offer. We all shared the same struggles but most of all we knew the life. This unforgiving military spouse life. That no one wants to admit sucks more times than not.

Finding your “tribe” may seem like a priority, but I’d like to urge you to look around and see if you don’t already have one. Maybe there are some friendships that you have put on the backburner because you have been focusing on YOUR journey. Maybe there are some broken relationships that need to be mended in spite of what went wrong. Just maybe finding a tribe is not what you are meant to be searching for in this season. Taking sometime to evaluate your life and where you are right now may open up room to cultivate those sisterhood tribes that make even the darkest times worth going through.

Mommy Makeup Session with Martiya Ray Artistry

There are so many TALENTED military spouses out there and I had the pleasure of meeting a genuine one. She goes by Martiya of Martiya Ray Artistry. Martiya is an International Professional Makeup Artist and Beauty Advisor with a working profile that includes clients in the United States as well as abroad. Michigan, North Dakota, New Mexico, Japan, and England are a few places where Martiya has worked her magic! With a humble and lovable spirit, she continues to make amazing strides in her career while being a military wife and mom to three precious babes. Some of her services include one-on-one makeup instruction, full makeup application, hair styling, and even male grooming. To add to ALL OF THAT, Martiya has Powder and Prosecco. Powder and Prosecco is a makeup education branch of her artistry company. Under this branch, Martiya creates lively discussions surrounding beauty questions while guests enjoy an elegant evening with Prosecco, sweets, and small bites.

 I was able to book with Martiya Ray Artistry for a personal one-on-one makeup session. I am in no way a beauty nerd or makeup junkie so I had a sort of fear against the use of makeup. I dabbled a little here and there, picking up products that looked important for a twenty-somethin’. (LOL) Over time I had built up a mini collection and still had NO IDEA what to use or even where to begin. I randomly applied eye shadows and lipstick, staying away from bright or bold colors because neutrals were always safe. If I had a night outing I’d spice up life with lots of mascara! People told me to check out YOUTUBE… but those videos rarely had products that I had sitting in front of me. Plus, I am a visual/kinesthetic learner, so when I began to see Martiya’s beautiful work I was excited for the chance to book my personal session.

As a mom it is sometimes a challenge to get some true “me” time in. Martiya was a such a blessing! She booked around our homeschooling schedule and came out to my home to complete my instruction session. The girls hung out in the living room while Martiya and I headed to the kitchen. The session began as Martiya went through my stash, providing insight on what I had in stock. The session was 90 minutes long but we got to chatting and it was about 3 hours before we said our goodbyes! I was happy to support her dreams and she gave me an amazing session full of knowledge and fun. One thing that made me LOVE this session was that she made me do my own application! I was grateful as she could gauge my skill level and advise me while sitting in the chair right next to me! She helped me to understand so much about the basics of skin care, makeup, application, and the beauty world. I was provided details for how to take care of my skin type and appropriate products to use. I am still in awe of her knowledge and skill level, making every penny (or pence) worth it! Professional and classy are some words to describe Martiya and Martiya Ray Artistry. Thank you Martiya for removing the fear of makeup and teaching this momma how to achieve a fresh, glowing face in the midst of the hustle of motherhood!

Check out Martiya and her beautiful work!  

Website – www.martiyaray.com

Insta – @martiyaray

FB – Martiya Ray Artistry

Check out some pictures from our session:

Three Ways to Cope With Temporary Relocation

Feelings. Why do we need them? More importantly, why do I have to deal with them? Life has a funny way of taking you through things at, what seems to be, the worst time ever. When you feel like you have it all figured out…you turn around to find out that you really don’t.

Well here I am. One week away from doing something that is absolutely amazing and terrifying at the same time. Moving. Well sort of. More like temporary relocation. When we moved to England, I originally started to look for work and when that didn’t work out I decided to be a SAHM and get into volunteering. I also decided to go back for my Masters. I mean, I didn’t have anything else really to keep me occupied. Silly me didn’t think about the possibility of having to intern in a foreign country as a health major. After a year of taking classes, my school told me that I’d have to find a site on our military base or come to the states.

Seriously, like for real? Nah. Nope. *Screams* 

I immediately went into panic mode. I regretted every accomplishment that I had made so far over this one email. It didn’t make the situation any less real and to make things worse we were in the middle of a deployment. My broken family was going to enter 2018 broken yet again. (cue sad music)

Live your dreams they say, it will be great they say…ummmm maybe…

 I mean who in their right mind would intentionally break apart their family for such selfish reasons. *raises hand* Although that might not be completely true, the fact remains that the girls and I will spend January to August away from daddy. Away from our newfound home, away from our new friends, away from the new life that we had just got settled into for the last year. Mind you, most of our friends will leave during our time away.

Just icing on the cake, I guess.

I feel a million and one emotions the closer we get to our flight departure. Sadness, loneliness, excitement, optimism, freedom, depression, but mostly blah.

We will miss another anniversary, another birthday, and all the other important events and milestones in between. Truth be told, I have no idea why this feels so hard, we have done countless deployments. We have learned to cope.

This just doesn’t feel the same. Not the same at all… 

For fear of falling into a hole of depression I decided to make a plan using some power words. 

Here are 3 R’s that I will implement during this transition to lessen the sting:

REST – I will be intentional in not overcrowding my schedule as I go into “single mom” mode. 

REALIGN – I will place importance in aligning my energy with the tasks for that day to avoid unnecessary stress.

REFOCUS – I will focus on the great things happening while refusing to dwell on things I cannot control. (one of my greatest challenges)

When we begin a new journey, it is important to remember that with every challenge faced there will be a testimony revealed. Consciously make the best of the circumstances presented by properly planning and preparing for the days ahead. 

 

City of Bath

The city of Bath is definitely a destination worth heading to! It is southwest of England and the coach bus travel made it convenient for Dad and I to enjoy the 4-hour trip. As we drove along the outskirts of the city the sights were nothing short of amazing! Once we got off the bus, we quickly went into a city center tour that gave us an overall of what to expect from Bath and a good bit of history. Bath is a popular tourist destination for a number of reasons including the Roman Baths, being the home of famous author Jane Austen, and the numerous museums and galleries. We walked around the gardens and saw many beautiful landmarks that kept the tour interesting.

During our day trip, Kayla and I broke away. We wandered onto the Jane Austen Center. This was definitely the highlight of my day. We got some much-needed daughter/momma bonding time in. We sat in on a presentation of the life of Jane and received lots of information on her family. Following the presentation, we were able to go into a gallery where Jane’s life and accomplishments were presented in detail. There were paintings, letters, and achievements on the walls of the gallery. We were then able to try on clothes that Jane and people during this era wore. I convinced Kayla to dress up and it turned out to be good fun. Definitely another #momwin for me!

 

Click through the pictures below to see more of our fun in the Jane Austen Exhibit! 

 

As we completed our journey through Bath we took loads of pictures and just enjoyed the time together as a family. Being a military family, we have to take each moment by the hands and run!  Check out the photos from our trip below…

 

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