A Place Where All Dreamers Live

 

“My favorite space is the one between where the sea ends and the sky begins. It’s the place where all dreamers live.”

 ~ Jordyn Hay

HuntingBeach,CAbyJordynHay

It’s lazy mornings, long hikes, picnics in the park, swim days, video games, playdates and books we said we’d read but didn’t.  It’s the life, COLLEGE LIFE!

Alright, so you’re on to me. I write for Mamas, and no, that’s not a realistic glimpse into higher education, well …first semester, freshman year, maybe…but live and learn, right!? Ok, so I’m not done with my list here:

Late(ish) nights, unkempt rooms, uncontrollable raucous, random stickers fused to the floor, leftover pizza, evaporated Lucky Charms (minus the marshmallowy yummies) crispfused to the table and a never ending pile of seriously dirty laundry. Still sounds like college, doesn’t it? I know what you’re thinking – too many charms in my bowl, but hear me out.

I have a theory.

If it *sounds* like college, then it should *look* like college…SpRinG BrEaK 2013, oh ya! With healthier snacks, extra towels and a lot more SPF! What I’m suggesting is a legit Spring Break vacation. Not every year, but some year, this year (or next – after you plan and budget – hey, we’re responsible parents here!).

I’m just going to go ahead and admit that it’s been a while since I had a real Spring Break (hard to believe, I know)…but for the sake of journalism, I am willing to go out and capture the story for you — after I score that gig (stay tuned). BUT, what I did do is ask the opinion of a very real college expert. Brilliant and you’re welcome. Check out her tips and suggestions for an unforgettable spring break experience:

…and THAT is just a teaser for my upcoming MHM post! I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not blog post MIA – I’ve been working on this (and many, many other things), and let me tell ya of the things I won’t do for journalism. Crickets. Yes, I landed that gig and ’tis good. Full report to come following SpRinG BrEaK 2013!

Meanwhile, plz don’t rob my house over SB’13 (I have few valuables and one neighbor with far too many guns – crazy and true), do know that my blog is alive and well, check out the invaluable advice that only a hip college undergrad can give – @MileHighMamas later this month and absolutely start planning your SB’14 getaway RIGHT NOW!

To come: “Is Spring Break a proper noun?”

photo credit: Jordyn Hay

Now Trending Holiday Gift Guide

There’s nothing wrong with the traditional gift card…um, unless you neglect to put a balance on that small piece of festive plastic. Contrary to the beliefs of my five-year-old, they aren’t just free at the register. However, if you’re going to gift to impress, you might want to do a little research and choose something a bit more thoughtful, unique, trendy…and remember…this season, EVERYTHING is better with a little facial hair. Ya, I just said that.

For: Mom
 Why just bake cupcakes when you could be wearing them too!? Give that special lady in your life a lovely, flirty adornment for the kitchen and let her know exactly how beautiful she looks as she whips up your favorite eat. Quick tip: hold the stache on this one. Available in children’s sizes – great mother/daughter gift! http://www.flirtyaprons.com/  $25-$35

For: Dad
I don’t think this photo needs a follow-up explanation,  BUT I did find an actual fake testimonial:

“Hector” Tech Support Laguna Beach, CA Hector says, “I still don’t like the fact that Beardo rhymes with Weirdo, but it’s really changed my life. Since I started strapping on the Beardo every morning, I’m finally getting respect. TSA just waves me right through at the airport and guys at the gym can’t figure out if I’m joking. I’m not.”

Yes: better (and warmer) with facial hair. Kid sizes too – perfect father/son gift! http://beardo.bigcartel.com/  $35-$40

For: Baby Sister
Trendy mustache lacking, but these adorable boots will still make winter epic fun! If a bout of inclement weather doesn’t put a damper on your outdoor adventure, you will appreciate this haute look. Just add tatoo stache. http://www.stonzwear.com/Stonz_Booties/Department.aspx?DeptID=7&&&RD=2 $40

For: Baby Brother
A bearded bink and a side of milk: shaken not stirred. Who could ask for anything more? http://www.etsy.com/listing/80024194/crocheted-mustache-pacifier-the-folk $10

From: Santa

Safety is always hip! With these adhesive helmet “fohawx!” in a variety of styles and colors, all of Santa’s good list will be safe and stylish. Spruce up last season’s new helmet…and, hey, who needs a stache when you’re rockn’ this up top? http://fohawx.com/ $20

photo: getkooky

Modern-Day Digital Phonebooth to Spark a Revolution?

Wise words by Christine Lagarde on the topic of career and motherhood resonated loudly with me recently. She explained, in a too often overlooked simplicity, the retort o’ day la touché of the ongoing – and ridiculous – debate of Working Mom vs. SAHM. Ms. Lagarde said, [brace yourselves]…

“We can’t have it all · ALL AT ONCE.”

It was the qualifier that really got me. We all know and somewhat understand the concept – we weigh opportunity costs daily, but to hear a successful, powerful, strong career woman AND MOM explain this profound notion so nonchalantly left me pondering. It’s kinda like Clark Kent and a phonebooth. Now…where can I find a phonebooth these days?

We live our lives knowing that if we spend our days googling at drooly, wide eyed chubby faces, that, no, we probably aren’t going to be engineering the newest design nor actively developing that thing for which we will vigilantly implement to save our planet…ummmmm, YET!

No, we (and I’m including dads here) aren’t defined by what we do in the moment! It’s the big picture that really counts, thank goodness, because I’m most positive that we all fall short sometimes – probably most of the time…AND I’m just thinkn’ that no one plan is the best for everyone. So, we do what we can with what we have and make the best of each situation. AND  *no, we can’t do everything we want* all at once. {though I do admit to trying most of the time #stubbornweakness}

So, as I make my transition back into the career world (school included) I have to admit, this is both trying and exciting. You’ve heard the expression “helicopter mom,” right? I try not to be one. Yet, letting go is a challenge for me at times – and the thought of moving my “office” from a living room to a professional work space, away from my children for hours at a time, well, that’s when I have to face the truth: enroll me now…Helicopter Moms Anonymous.

In my search for comfort in transition, a brilliant solution came my way…no, couldn’t find a superhero phone booth on Craigslist, darn. I did, however, find my modern-day phonebooth…mobile phone app actually. Not shopping the Internet tho – this came to me via Facebook. Yes, I spend an inordinate amount of time with technology these days, but this wasn’t just the digital realm talking…friends of mine from college (techie dads) developed a mobile technology that just happened to fit the very need this self-proclaimed helicopter mom was having.

A way to continually monitor my children while I’m at work!

The digital app is called KidReports. It’s a real time report available from my desktop and mobile phone. This means that I can check my child’s status update, provided by the care facility, the way some people (dads) check the score while in church. So, while I can’t be there every minute, I won’t miss out on the little things I want to know about my children’s day.

The phonebooth is synonymous with Superman the way that mobile phone app is synonymous with KidReports.

I might be a mommy superhero after all, ha. Or…maybe I’ll eventually learn to let go…and maybe I’ll send my children to college with KidReports. We shall see!

With the changing seasons of life and young children growing up far too fast, I’m beginning to accept the fact that I can’t have it all…same time/same place that is. There’s nothing wrong with cheating just a little, right!? (Thank you KidReports!) Ok, now to contact Christine Lagarde for her thoughts on the superhero paradigm change made possible by modern mobile technology, wink! Continue reading

Key Factors in Aligning Values & Actions

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
~William Shakespeare

Worldly pressures, images and persuasions can be confusing and often misleading. If we are not careful, we can quickly stray from our original goals. We are continually exposed to media, social ideals and various other forms of information and unsolicited feedback, but thankfully, we have some insight and knowledge of these pressure pits which can help us thwart the mass of it…unfortunately, our children are still young and not as well prepared…but we are here to help them along their way!

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6

This transitional time of year is a perfect opportunity to help remind ourselves – and our children – of what our values and priorities are, and take a closer look at our goals…in order to reevaluate our cause. Learning more about who we are wonderfully made to be will help navigate this wide open space. Discovering more about who we *want* to be and less about what the world is *pressuring* us to be can be the key to true happiness.

So, how do we help our families achieve these ideals?

It helps to start with a list of values. Prioritize your top ten values and have your children do the same. The below list can be used to generate ideas, but choose your list according to what is most important to you.

Family
Spiritual Growth
Social Interactions
Sports
Education
Money
Health
Service
Career Advancement
Hobbies

There are no wrong answers on the values assessment list because every person is a unique individual! If we all shared exactly the same values and strengths, we wouldn’t be nearly as effective in working together.

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. Romans 12:4-6

Do your actions match your values?

Once you’ve determined your priorities, it’s helpful to check that you are appropriating your time accordingly. I like to do this using percentages, but you can simply rearrange your above list according to your current schedule. Now, compare the two lists and see where adjustments need to be made. Being aware of what we are doing and the reasons why can help in setting positive long-term goals.

Now that we know our values and can see where we are spending our time, we can use the information to set new goals and align our daily lives to reflect our beliefs. It’s not uncommon to slip into a bad habit of doing too much of that in which we would rather not…a whole lot less of that in which we should.

Goal Setting

One of the best ways to get back on track and moving toward the original goal is to set a main long-term goal with several, reachable short-term goals along the way.

All goals should be SMART:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

Your goal setting sheet should look something like this:

Main Goal = _____________ (keep it positive)

Short-term Goal #1 (include specifics and an achievable date)
Short-term Goal #2 (cross s-t goals off as they are accomplished!)
Short-term Goal #3 (almost there…stay on track)

Motivators: (I like to put encouraging words and helpful reminders here – something to keep the focus. Sticky notes on mirrors, in the car or somewhere they will be viewed daily can help too!)

I think you might be surprised at the many things you can learn about your children and their amazing, loving hearts as you help them set and keep their goals. They may be surprised to learn some pretty cool things about you too (and gain some wisdom into the reasons *why* you do the things you do!) …so in whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23

A Guide to Raising Well-Behaved Children

I recently made a most amazing discovery – a treasure, if you will – hidden deep in the suburban basement of a neighbor’s home. No, I wasn’t in search of a valuable find…it was just random luck as I helped good friends in the clearing of cobwebs in preparation for their summer company. The unexpected find was a serendipitous bonus.

“Manners are the way we communicate good intentions.”

Wise words from another friend of mine, spoken to our children. Being that this particular friend was from another country and English was a second language made it all the more interesting. I began to ponder the vast importance of this politeness stuff…making translation unnecessary.

It was pristine, untouched, recklessly abandoned beneath tattered copies of Harry Potter and the latest Lucado…Emily Post’s Etiquette book. So, it wasn’t an original, first edition – but it was a 75th Anniversary, 16th Edition, revised and updated by Emily’s great-grand-daughter-in-law, Peggy Post. I had been searching for this book for years (um, ok, so I could have gone to a bit more trouble in accessing a copy…but lets not take away from the moment.). I believe my friend’s response to that admission was something of the, “You’re so weird!” sort, but I suppose that much is true. (And with that, I was confident that she had *not* read the book, ha!)

Etiquette, according to Wikipedia, is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class or group. Let me paraphrase here: RuLEs FoR NorMaLCy. Oh, and this stuff can be hysterically funny too!

Food For Thought…

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” Emily Post

“Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.” Emily Post

“A compliment is baloney sliced so thin that it is delectable. Flattery is baloney sliced so thick that it is indigestible.” Archbishiop Fulton Sheen via Emily Post

Continued Wisdom…

“When it comes to general conversation, the old adage ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is good advice.” Emily Post

“Suitability should be a factor in choosing your stationery, just as it is in choosing your wardrobe.” Emily
Post

“Graceful standing and walking posture includes the following components: shoulders back, chin in and slightly
up, abdomen and stomach in, back straight and knees relaxed.” Emily Post

“There is little you can do about the annoying speech mannerisms of others, but there is a lot you can do about your own.” Emily Post

So, yes, some of this stuff is seriously funny…BUT

Laughter aside, rules for appropriate behavior according to social norms are great ways to help our children excel in their world, and there is now information on internet etiquette in the updated edition…a concept called “netiquette.” Read, laugh, enjoy, giggle…but in the end, you might have a few extra insights that could come in handy – personally and professionally.

Take it from me… and my proven success in raising well-behaved children. Etiquette, manners and the way in which we conduct ourselves speaks volumes about our good intentions and the person we hope to be.

“Women frequently ask whether they should call an unzipped fly to the wearer’s attention. Unless you are total strangers, do.” Emily Post

READ MORE AT MILE HIGH MAMAS

The Radical Art of Corn Starch

We’ve talked MuD RuN, TrI AtHAlON, 5K, HeALtHy TRadITioNs and TrYiNG SoMEthiNg NeW…so, I think it’s only fitting that we take a closer look at one of the newest, craziest, most colorful races available in our state ~ COLOR ME RAD!!! Um, can you say #PhotoOp?

This 5K incorporates an array of vibrant explosions of blue, green, pink, purple and yellow along the course (so don’t think you’re going to take that short cut and not be found out!). As you come to the finish line, coated in rainbows of 3.1 miles of pure success and adrenaline, prepare yourself to finish out that last bit of unbridled, passionate aggression – as you pummel your friends and family with handfuls of beautifully crafted, colorful cornstarch (kids, this is your chance at letting your parents know how you really feel about limited game time and the crackdown on sugary snacks.)

As if finishing this 5K wasn’t enough, just think about your new, wayyy seriously cool image as your co-workers view your epic profile photo – dripping in the evidence of a seriously awesome race – come Monday morning. Oh ya.

“This is the royal rumble of color. Every 15 – 20 minutes everyone will grab handfuls of color and pummel each other until you’re black and blue (from corn starch – no real bruising will occur). There will be music, food, and sponsors welcoming you across the finish line with open arms. Hugs are free and just like any good AA meeting, spectators are welcome.”

I know…you’re still wondering one thing: how did they make the vintage term “Rad” hip again?

“Unlike Communism and my late Uncle Steven, “Rad” has survived the fall of the Soviet Empire, the scrutiny of the SEC and Webster’s Dictionary, heart disease, and the disdain of high school students everywhere. Like an old vinyl record, it was lost in common practice and parlance and has now reemerged as the vanguard for everyday nomenclature amongst babies, toddlers, teens, and business execs.”

Ok, so you’re preety much convinced, right!? BUT, you did just drain your FSA account on those fancy new frames and top-shelf contact lenses…and it could get dangerous out there. Precautionary concerns ARE legitimate, and guess what…they thought of that too!

“Using the same tactics you use protect your “special parts” from the sun and wanton eyes. Clothing, for starters, works wonders for keeping your skin as soft, supple, and as unseen as a baby’s backside. Goggles, glasses, shirts, shorts, shoes, cooking aprons, hospital gowns, or radiation suits can be worn to protect you from the frequent blasts of color from Color Me Rad, and any stray UV rays from holes in the ozone overhead.”

No doubt you have several other questions and concerns – check out the Color Me Rad round up of FAQs and gain a true appreciation for the seriousness and professionalism of this event.

*This race is NOT timed (aka: shame-free), children 7 and under run FREE (but won’t receive a shirt), all ages welcome*

Color Me Rad will take place Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield on September 29th and benefits the YMCA of Denver. Expect to be coated in color every 5 minutes following the 9 a.m. start time.

[Coming soon via Mile High Mamas: ENTER TO WIN … FREE Color Me Rad registration for two!]

The Art of Laughter…and Courage to Try Again

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. ~Pablo Picasso

If I fail to instill all else in my children, I hope to leave a legacy of insatiable passion and eagerness for life. With that, the courage, determination and faith to follow the unique and wonderful will intended specifically for my children’s lives. Through example, I hope to demonstrate that if we believe, we can achieve.

You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. ~Wayne Gretzky

It can be difficult to take a chance at something new, particularly because the likelihood that it will not go as planned is, well, quite likely. With that, I say – throw caution to the wind (in that level-headed, commonsense kinda way…aka: wear a helmet) – if you succeed, you will be forever grateful; if you fail, you might actually learn a little something along the way! “Of all the people I have ever known, those who have pursued their dreams and failed have lived a much more fulfilling life than those who have put their dreams on a shelf for fear of failure.” ~Author Unknown

A fellow blogger and good friend of mine recently posted a catalog of her main achievements over the past several months. As I pondered this, I realized how much of what we do as parents directly affects our children’s actions and choices. It’s one thing to encourage our children to feel confident and follow their dreams, but it’s a whole different kind of parenting to push our own limits to exemplify this type of behavior.

I was pleasantly surprised, as I looked back at this past year, to discover several laughable but achieved risks…and a couple that didn’t go quite as planned ~ surely I (and hopefully my children) learned a good lesson in those endeavors as well. In all of my attempts, I hope to have provided a positive example of determination.

An entertaining glimpse at some of what I found…

Dabbling in Home Improvement:

After reading an inspiring DIY success story, I was sure I could revamp a couple of mundane walls in our home. The bedroom stenciling went rather well and I learned a thing or two about measurement and patience too.

So, when a family member convincingly suggested a DIY exterior paint job, I was in. This one took wayyyy longer than anticipated, but in the end, we had serious bragging rights – and the insight to never, ever take on this level of DIY again, lol.

My kitchen decor got a bit more creative, much to the demise of the entire project. The white was a bit too light, so I added shadow brushes here and there – which was artsy and attractive in the daylight – and made the wall look dirty as the sun went down. Oh well, just a good reason to close the kitchen at dusk, right?

Endeavors In Ocean Sports:

During a recent trip to Virginia Beach, I was able to try three water sports I have always wanted to try…and with the expert instruction of professionals.

Ocean kayaking *with the dolphins* was nothing short of amazing…a fabulous way to tour the coastline and view the glorious Virginia Beach sunset. Favorite challenge: surfing the waves back to shore. Favorite benefit: chiseled upper body (ok, so I might need more than one outing for that!).

Paddleboarding is one of my new favorite sports – and one I can pursue in Colorado! The sea nettle (a type of jellyfish) lurking below the water’s surface at this Virginia Beach location made the whole experience that much more daring! Earned my bravery badge.

 

I learned to surf. Yep, it’s official…not professional, but well on my way, wink. I can’t say I actually know how to catch a wave without the guidance of my knowledgeable instructor, BUT I did get up on that board and land gracefully (a few times) without guzzling salt water. My one inquiry: what does all that ocean water do to one’s sodium intake levels!?

Along my personal journey of trying new things, I’ve found it of utmost importance to be able to laugh at myself. Allowing grace in failure provides me the confidence I need to pursue unknown adventures. Sometimes I surprise myself in what I can achieve…and other times I just get a really good giggle! In all of it, my children have a role model to look to as they come to the point of their lives when they ask themselves, “Shall I try something new?”…and knowing that they have a choice…find the confidence to step out, risk it all and take the opportunity.

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic. ~Author Unknown

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