Home Life: Bread and Butter

There’s nothing like fresh bread baking in the oven, butter from the local farm, and quality time with one’s family. It may sound cliche, but these are the small things that bring a family together. It can almost be guaranteed that if you bake a loaf of bread, little feet will soon come scurrying down the stairs asking what smells so good. This is family life – it brings everyone together without stress, anxiety, or expectations. What a simple, but memorable concept – sitting around a table enjoying homemade bread coated in fresh butter.

The sports may be canceled for the summer. The camps may be canceled for the summer. But your family is not canceled – it is here and ready. Your children are waiting for the simple things. They are ready to love, to grow, and to work together during a time when these qualities are not so easy to find in society. So, I have included one of my favorite homemade white bread recipes from Crazy for Crust. Take the time to bake as a family, enjoy food as a family, pray as a family, and love each other through the process.

Book Review: Giving Thanks and Letting Go by Danielle Bean

If you are in need of support or moments to contemplate your vocation as a mother, this beautiful vocation given by God, please pick up Danielle Bean’s book: Giving Thanks and Letting Go – Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood.

Ave Maria Press – Giving Thanks and Letting Go

I’ve been meaning to write a review on this book for months, but God had other plans: my electronic copy as an initial reader through the publisher didn’t work so I purchased my own print copy through Ave Maria Press, I was then surprised with first trimester pregnancy symptoms, usual homeschooling deadlines, and in fact, at one point I needed St. Anthony to step in for me because I couldn’t find the book and had only one chapter left to read. Let’s just say that my 2020 is been about the same as everyone’s – trudging along, praying for relief, and confidence in God’s Will. Well, I just found some relief from this estranged world and have a chance to sit down to review this book.

I’ve read a lot of books written by Catholic moms, but Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood is one of my absolute favorites! I could relate so closely with Danielle Bean as she reminisced the times with young children and her transformation throughout the years. There were times I laughed out loud and other times when I started to cry, because it was so relatable. I’m in those busy years of little children, but I’m also watching my older children reach middle school while being pregnant with baby number six. It’s an odd realization that my older ones are at a different stage and they will soon need to spread their wings, while I’m left with motherhood gaps. I’m learning to embrace this time with them more now and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to homeschool them and spend these fleeting moments by their side.

I appreciate Danielle Bean’s raw narrative and her trust in God’s Will for their family in regards to finances, children, and life in general. Thank you for writing such a fantastic book, Danielle Bean! I highly recommend every mother to read this book. Motherhood truly is a transformation and each day I’m learning to let go a little more of my expectations and giving into God’s plan. I’m so grateful for mothers like Danielle Bean, who followed their passion for motherhood and writing while raising many little ones and trusting in God. I will fully admit that trusting is God is not easy, as I have had my moments of apprehension, but I never regret relying on His goodness in the end.

If you are in need of support or moments to contemplate your vocation as a mother, this beautiful vocation given by God, please pick up Danielle Bean’s book: Giving Thanks and Letting Go – Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood. It will be a great book to have in your home library for man years to come!

Motherhood Truths as School Begins

It took me awhile to write this post as I sit back and feel a bit sad that my children are returning to school. Yes, I am looking forward to that schedule, but I’m not going to pretend that our lives were chaotic with no schedule during summer. For everyone who knows me well, knows that I can’t live without schedules. I love to-do lists and planning my day. It doesn’t mean that we are doing something each moment, but I like everything to be in order, it’s one of my obnoxious personality traits. So, yes, it will be nice to have a few hours during the day with two children, instead of all four, since most of the older ones don’t take naps anymore…but it’s also not easy for me to let them go. As I sit and ponder why it’s getting harder for me to send them to school each year, instead of easier, here are a few of the “Mom Truths”that best describe my thoughts as another school year begins.

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Credit: DMHeckenkamp

  • As I stay home with my little ones and get to witness their first words, first steps, and much more, I don’t get to see all these firsts with my older children when they are at school. It’s part of letting them have independence and learning on their own, but I don’t get to see their first smile from meeting a new friend, or the feeling when they receive a treat for a job well done, or how they play in gym class. Yes, I get to hear about it, but I miss seeing these firsts and sometimes I wish I could be a fly on the wall.
  • It’s exciting to know that my children are learning to develop and become independent people as they step out of the house and venture into a new classroom. But, honestly, it’s really hard to let go. It’s hard to not be their only happy place. I’m so grateful that my children have a wonderful school to attend with loving teachers and I know it’s part of motherhood, to them fly, but it isn’t easy.
  • I didn’t always cherish these moments, but I have learned to love any extra time with my children when they desire me to be by their side. They haven’t reached the moody teenage years yet and they still want to sit next to me or hold my hand. As they enter a new grade this year and are another year older, it’s making me more aware that these days are going to end.
  • No matter how tough it is to be in the thickest waters of motherhood with four little ones, it’s getting hard to let this phase go with some of the older ones as they become independent. I am appreciative that the older ones are much more self-sufficient than the 20 month and 3 year old, but it does sadden me to know that they no longer need my help as they once did. I still remember feeding my oldest child yogurt in the living room over seven years ago on a lazy morning. Those were the mornings before I had any children in school and it could be a whole day of play. Now that I focus attention on more than one child, there are many more responsibilities and less time for lazy days.

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Credit: DMHeckenkamp

I am so happy that my children are growing into beautiful people who one day will need to thrive on their own without my help. It’s our job as parents to provide all of these life lessons in order for them to succeed, but as we do, we also give up a bit of ourselves. That is the hardest part. It’s beautiful to love, but it sad to lose a bit of ourselves with each life lesson we teach our children. But, isn’t that the ultimate gift of love? To remember that our children are only on loan to us and they have their own missions in this world. Let’s hope that we are all giving them the tools to succeed and make it a better place for everyone.