Inside His Head: My husband cheated. Should I stay?

Dear Inside His Head husbands,

My husband had an affair about a year ago and I just found out in a roundabout way through a friend. When I asked him about it, he admitted it happened, but said he hasn’t seen the woman (or cheated on me with any other woman) since then. He says he wants to stay married, loves me and our kids and doesn’t want a divorce. I don’t know if I can trust him again. Do you have any advice for me? I’d like to stay, but I’m so hurt.

MAVERICK: He’s going to have to regain your trust and that will take more than admitting that he slept with somebody once he was caught nearly red-handed. To be honest, the way you describe him he’s not anywhere close to seeming to be sorry enough for what he did.

This is a huge red flag so proceed with caution and your eyes wide open.

I understand you’re hurt, anyone would be hurt in your situation. If you want to continue the marriage then that’s to your credit.

The thing is, he needs to want to continue it too, and he needs to be willing to take some serious steps to begin to rebuild your trust. This is not a situation where he gets to say “Oops, my bad. Sorry about that.” and gets to move on. If he’s unwilling to work on regaining your trust, well, he’s full of crap when he says he want’s his marriage back.

If he starts trying to deflect this back on you. If he tries to imply you let the infidelity happen. If he is pretty much anything but apologetic and willing to work hard and swallow his pride to get his home back, I wouldn’t put much stock in his sincerity or your chances for success.

The bottom like is this: He shattered your trust.

He has to admit that. You have to admit that.

He has to genuinely seek your forgiveness and if his effort is sincere you have to forgive him if you wish the marriage to continue.

He can’t just pay lip-service to this and neither can you.

You can’t say you forgive him and beat him up for the next few decades and he doesn’t get to sulk or imply that he was anything but wrong in his actions and willing to walk through hot coals to regain your trust.

If you don’t  really resolve this issue of infidelity, and just do it half-way, your relationship may still exist but it will do just that, nothing more.  It’ll just limp along, year after year, and never really have a chance to heal and possibly grow moving forward.

Don’t go through this alone.

Seek professional help with someone you trust, a therapist or a member of the clergy you both agree on. If your husband is unwilling to seek help, he’s not contrite, and if he’s not contrite, he’ll cheat again so don’t invest any more time with him.

Rebuilding your marriage is going to be tough, really tough. He must be truly sorry and be willing to prove that with his actions. Your job is even harder, you must be willing to totally forgive. I’m not saying this happens overnight but this is the attitude you must start from.

Good luck

MICHAEL: When we get married, we think we know how everything is going to unfold.

We tell ourselves all the things we’re going to do and all the things that we’d never do.

We envision our perfect children. We see our loving spouse continuing on unchanging from the day that we marry them.

Unfortunately, the reality is that we are all imperfect human beings.  We change over time and deal with issues that others may never know about.

We don’t see the curving path of life that lies in front of us with all its various challenges, pitfalls and setbacks.

We can’t really know what we’ll do in a situation until we’re there in it.  After we encounter them we can’t always be proud of our actions. But we can acknowledge where we are today and move forward.

So let me turn the situation around and ask me the same question as though you were the one that cheated.

Would you want to be forgiven?

If someone is worth loving, then they are no less worthy of that love after a mistake.

GRAY: Trust. Once it’s been broken things will never return to how they were before. Your relationship before this happened is broken as well. You have to rebuild a new relationship without ignoring the affair or merely keeping your fingers crossed that he won’t cheat again.

The first step toward rebuilding trust is to have a completely candid conversation. It doesn’t mean hearing the gory details, but you need to get an answer to every question you have. If you don’t know what made him cheat then you’ll never stop it in the future.

Don’t put a stranglehold on him. Had it not been for your friend, you would have never known about the affair and you may be fighting the compulsion to track his every move so you won’t miss the signals twice. Resist the urge. Hounding him down will just make you paranoid and won’t make either of you trust each other.

Keep track of how you feel as the two of you deal with this. You’re going to have some strong feelings at first, but if trust doesn’t seem to be returning over time you may need to rethink your stance. And it’s not only trust, how’s your self-esteem? Are you able to stand strong or do you feel too marginalized to respect yourself?

If conversation is a problem don’t be afraid to bring in a middle person. Counseling from a therapist or pastor can sometimes bridge the gaps and let you talk with each other without it turning into an argument. And if you’re spending your time name calling instead of really talking then you’re never going to gain traction.

If several months pass and you still can’t face the day without pain, anger and distrust then perhaps it’s time to go separate ways. At the end of this road you don’t need to feel like you’ve just accepted his cheating as a new burden you have to carry, you need to be able to confidently say “Yes, our trust was broken, but we’re too strong to have it break apart our family.”

If you have a question for our panel of husbands, please email it to them at mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com. Rest assured we won’t share your name in the Q&A.

Life with Ladybug: Perspective

Love people sign.

By Shannon Magsam

I picked up the phone to call my husband. To vent.

I’d been to the dentist and I really needed to get a crown — plus I was reminded that I really need to have some dental surgery I’ve been putting off. And I remembered at the dentist that I also “really need” to get a mammogram, but our insurance has changed and that may be an out-of-pocket expense this time.

All I could see were dollar signs — disappearing fast down a big, huge drain.

It put me in a terrible mood.

When I called, my normally upbeat husband sounded sad and I asked what was wrong.

He told me that a woman we used to work with – who moved to another state several years ago – just lost her only child in a car accident.

My heart squeezed and, as a mom, I put myself right there in her shoes. As best I could, anyway, since I’ve never known that kind of pain.

I prayed for her (and will continue) and her loss immediately put my petty problems into perspective.

I often say to my parents and siblings that we need to enjoy each other’s company THOROUGHLY whenever we’re together. I told my sister recently: We can’t take this time for granted. We don’t know whether all of us will be sitting at mom and dad’s dinner table this time next year.

Our friend’s loss is a terrible reminder.

I read these sorts of posts all the time and I remember to be grateful and less annoyed about the small crap that happens in life for a few days. I’d like to hold on to this perspective for much longer. Like, until my last breath.

Life can be short.

You only get one.

Love God.

Love your people.

Love other people, too.

Praying for you, Cristal. We are so sorry.

Northwest Arkansas Business Women’s Conference Wrap-Up

2012 BWC Logo-NoTaglineWe had a GREAT day at the 16th Annual Northwest Arkansas Business Women’s Conference on Tuesday, September 16th. There was a full house at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, with more than 1,200 women in attendance. (If you missed this year’s conference and want to go to the next one, be sure to buy tickets early because it ALWAYS sells out early!)

We hosted a nwaMotherlode booth and gave away a really cute Halloween wreath custom designed by Teresa Huddleston (who also designs the fabulous decor at the NWA Mom Prom.) Dilynn Dodd, Assistant Vice President with Farm Credit of Western Arkansas, was the lucky lady whose name we pulled out of a very full bowl of entry slips. Congrats Dilynn! Hope you enjoy the wreath this Halloween season. :-) (Dilynn and her new wreath are pictured below.)

winnerWe took one of the “celebrity prom dates” from this year’s Mom Prom and brought him along to the Business Women’s Conference. Channing Tatum was already wearing a business suit, so we figured he’d fit right in with this group of fashionable business women. Several ladies stopped by and snapped a few selfies while standing next to Channing. Here’s a photo collage of some of the fun people we met who cozied up to Channing.

biz collageWe met so many wonderful women who live and work here in Northwest Arkansas. Thank you to all those who dropped by our booth to say hello and throw your name in the drawing. Hope you enjoyed the conference as much as we did.

Beauty Buzz: Get a head start on upcoming make-up trends

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

First of all, I have had a wonderful article on beauty-related ways to stay cool in the hot weather in my back pocket the whole summer.

I have been mentally preparing these little nuggets of information and waiting for the right time. But every time I went to write it, we had a freak cold front.

I had my list of products, my opening line, and my funny quip to wrap it up, and then bam, a beautiful 72 degree day. C’mon nature! Some of us have plans! Some of us promised, PROMISED, our kids we could swim on Friday, or carefully laid out a weeks worth of clothes for a very picky 5 year old.

But, it looks like summer has officially passed, so I am throwing in the proverbial cooling towel (which you will hear all about next spring), and I’m embracing the cooler weather and diving into what’s hot for fall.

NY Fashion weekNYFW just wrapped up (that’s New York Fashion Week for those of you who didn’t say “huh?” and then Google it like I did).

Technically, the fall show is designed to debut collections for Spring 2015, but if you like to stay ahead of the trends, now is the time to start implementing some of the beauty looks to walk the runway.

Here are a few of the NYFW trends:

A natural face continues to be a dominating look with designers, but took on a more ethereal glow with a dewy complexion and a nude lip. The glowing look designed by NARS Cosmetic’s Francelle Daly for the 3.1 Phillip Lim show was created using the new Jubilation Dual Intensity Blush, which will sadly not be available until spring. NARS recommends trying the South Beach Multiple for a similar look while we impatiently wait.

For a natural lip, the designers leaned heavily on the use of nude lip balm. I love the ease and non-sticky (it’s a word now) texture of Aquaphor for my lips. The multi-purpose moisturizer can also be dabbed onto your eyelids for a natural sheen to brighten your eyes, instead of the glittery white powder eye shadow you’ve probably been using. Aquaphor is also great for those raw, rashy spots babies get in their chubby little fat-rolls…just sayin’.

More subdued nails also made a showing, but the nail art craze was not completely forgotten. Models for Monique Lhuillier walked down the runway with peach and cream nails in an ombré effect.

Eye makeup ranged from nonexistent to “who would ever wear that”, but a smokey eye never goes out of style and was seen with softer brown shades or with a hint of winged eyeliner. Liquid eyeliner applied girl about townand tipped up at the outer corner is a fun look for the upcoming holiday parties.

If natural just isn’t your cup of tea, you are not alone. The models who were selected for the Carolina Herrrera show dominated social media, posting multiple selfies wearing bright fuschia lipstick. According to Vogue, the shade of the moment is MAC’s Girl About Town.

Braids are still having a moment, thank goodness, but were less bohemian than the looks we saw during the summer. Instead, hair was slicked back to the crown with a single plait in back. This did vary from a traditional braid to intricate fishtail braids, but polished was the common denominator.

Typically, I roll my eyes and skim right over articles about runway looks, because they are so rarely wearable. The lovely, glowing faces this year, however, kept catching my attention and are both beautiful and achievable.

If I can just get past the fact that it takes more effort to look natural than made-up some days…hmmph, I’m just not going to think about it and enjoy the moment.

AndiHave a question for Andi Douglas, a mama of three who loves hair, make-up and researching fashion trends? Email her at mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com. She loves to review products and write about them in a way that always makes us smile.

Giveaway: Win a Keurig 2.0 Brewer!

Today we’re giving away something we know is going to make you one happy mama. It’s a brand new Keurig 2.0 Brewing System! If you love coffee — or hot tea, flavored iced tea, hot cocoa, lattes or mochas — this machine can make it in a matter of minutes. What’s new about this machine is that, not only can it brew a cup of your favorite drink, it can also brew a whole carafe that holds up to four cups of whatever drink you’re making. Isn’t it pretty?

keurig 2.0With cool temperatures arriving, this is the perfect time to set up one of these beauties in your kitchen. I know, from personal experience, that this machine keurig win3has the “cool factor.” I just WON a Keurig 2.0 in a door prize drawing while Shannon and I were attending the Arkansas Women Bloggers’ conference at the Embassy Suites in Rogers on September 6, 2014. The Keurig came courtesy of one of the conference sponsors, the Kendal King Group, who works with national brands like Keurig and many others. (The Kendal King Group just launched a new digital influence division called Velocity. If you’re a blogger who’s interested in working with national brands, you might want to get to know the people at Velocity.)

The Velocity folks are smart, so not only did they hook us up with a new Keurig for ourselves, they gave us an extra one to give away to one of our readers so we can share the love.

I’ve been whipping up hot drinks for a few weeks now, and so far, we’re loving the results. And because I’m just vain enough to care, I have to tell you that the new Keurig looks really great on the kitchen counter. The design is sleek and features a beautiful touch-screen color display that you can change the look of anytime you want. If you want the 80-ounce water reservoir to have a beautiful blue glow at night, you can do that. And when the Hogs are about to play, you can change it over to red. When the holidays roll around, switch it over to green. You’ll never get tired of the same old look because you can kei love coffeeep changing it up.

This machine scans the top of each K-cup so it knows exactly what you’re making and it gives you the option to brew it stronger, if you like. You can also get hot water on-demand. Just be sure to buy K-cups that have the official checkmark on the outside of the box. It should say “for use in all Keurig K-cup brewers.” If the box has that checkmark and verbiage, it’ll work in the new Keurig 2.0 with no problem. Here’s what you should look for on the packaging:

kcup seal3HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the online hat to win the new Keurig 2.0 brewer, click on the words “post a comment” at the bottom of this post and tell us what your favorite drink is. (Are you like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, who likes to serve a hot beverage when someone is feeling distressed? :-) ) Shannon and I are both hot chocolate girls, but we also love a good cup of hot tea on a cold morning.

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: If you’d like to increase your odds of winning the awesome Keurig 2.0, just share! Email friends and family about the giveaway and CC us so we’ll be sure to give you credit. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for each person you tell. The email is giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com.

(You can also earn an extra chance to win by signing up to receive the free email newsletter we send once a week. The sign-up box is at the top right of this page.)

BE SOCIAL: You can also earn extra chances to win by commenting on our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or following us on Pinterest. If you do any of those, just mention it in your comment or email so we can give you proper credit.

Good luck! We’ll notify the winner via email at the end of the week, so you can be brewing your favorite drink by this weekend! Watch your inbox for the news.

Mealtime Mama: Honey Nut Popcorn

mealtimemama-ONF

Now that the weather is getting a little cooler, Honey Nut Popcorn sounds great for family movie nights, tailgating or just as a healthy snack to keep around the house.

onf recipesThis recipe is from the Ozark Natural Foods website, which has all kinds of great recipes. Click here to visit the site and find more recipes.

Honey Nut Popcorn

7 cups air-popped corn
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put popcorn into large bowl & flavor with salt, to taste. Mix in the nuts. Melt honey, coconut oil and cinnamon. Pour mixture over salted popcorn and nuts. Stir to coat well. Spread popcorn evenly in lightly oiled jellyroll pan or large sheet pan. Bake 12-14 minutes. Stir once while cooking. Let cool 15 minutes before eating or storing in airtight container.

10 min. prep time
Serves 4

Recipe courtesy of ONF Owner Kathie

CLICK HERE to visit Ozark Natural Foods and to see what’s at the store, how to become a local owner, to see the latest sales flyer, or to connect with their blog.

ONF store

Put this on your fridge: Printable list of ‘Mom Approved’ businesses!

Mom-Approved Certificate 2014 USE THISSince moms make the appointments, schedule the fun and research the best of EVERYTHING, they can tell you immediately where to go and what to do.

Some great Northwest Arkansas mamas voted for their favorite local businesses in our Mom-Approved Awards, so you can bet the winners are awesome. We gathered the list of winners together in a handy document that you can stick on your refrigerator for reference when searching for everything from a pediatrician to the best place to buy cute accessories.

CLICK HERE to print out the list of local businesses and service providers that know how to treat a mama right.

Devotion in Motion: Drive time with God

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.       

                 Romans 10:17 (KJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

Oh, how time changes things! When I first went into the ministry (almost 30 years ago), if I wanted to hear sermons by other preachers I had to purchase them on cassette tapes. And most of the time, a sermon tape cost between 3 and 7 dollars—which was a sizeable sum of money to a country preacher back then.  Needless to say, I was never able to afford as many cassettes as I would have liked to have had.

honda steering wheelBut with the advent of the internet and the mp3 file, my world has completely changed. Now I live in a world where I have more sermons than I could ever have time to listen to. And best of all, most of these sermons are free. It’s a treasure that all preachers should avail themselves to—and every Christian should do likewise.

My total daily commute is about an hour, and I use this time to listen to the teaching and preaching of the Word of God. I download Bible lesson mp3s onto a “thumb drive” and listen to them through the sync-feature in my car.

I’ve learned so much about the Bible. Right now I am listening to the recorded radio Bible lessons of Dr. J. Vernon McGee, who taught through the entire Old Testament and New Testament. You can download his complete library of lessons (free of charge) here:  http://www.ttb.org/contentpages/21793/e63bfac6-600d-436f-8231-5fcadefa77d6/5-YearSeriesinMP3.aspx

Why don’t you put your drive-time to its best possible use by learning God’s word? It’s likely to become the best hour of your day.

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher finished the Gospel of Mark in his car this week and is beginning the Book of Psalms.) Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).

The Rockwood Files: Camp NotGonnaDoIt

rockwood files colorBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

In a few weeks it will officially be fall, which means I can stop making excuses for why I can’t go camping.

I realize there are millions of people who go camping each summer and love it. They feel free, peaceful and closer to nature. They get a much-needed escape from the texts, pings, alerts and emails of our overly connected world. I love the idea of an escape, too. I just think turning off my cell phone can give me that same freedom, minus the bug bites and poison ivy.

Before we got married, I was honest with Tom about my aversion to spending the night in the great outdoors. He knew going into this thing that I was never going to be that girl who loves to wash her hair in the creek and spend the afternoon hiking around and pointing at birds. But men will be men, and occasionally they fall in love with the idea of a Grizzly Adams type of existence. Every summer, he tries to convince me that taking our three kids off on a camping vacation would be fun.

hiking iconBut I know myself. I know my limitations. And I know I’d be very “un-fun” on a camping trip. I tried it once back when I was in college. I was dating a guy who talked me into a short hike in the woods to see a nearby waterfall. It sounded simple enough and he assured me he was an experienced hiker who knew exactly what to do.

Several hours later, after reluctantly agreeing to take an alternate route back from the waterfall that was just “a little bit” longer, we were lost in the woods and had run out of water and snacks. The trail map was useless, and there was no one around to ask for directions.

After miles of wandering, we stumbled upon the road that led to the trail head where the car was parked. But we had no idea how far away the car actually was, and we were already dead on our feet. So we hitchhiked back to the car, which is another one of those activities I tend to avoid because it carries an elevated risk of “deadness.”

Since that first failed hiking experience years ago, I’ve noticed a pattern about the woods that’s hard for a cautious woman like me to ignore. Where do the police search when a criminal escapes from prison? The woods. Where do they search when someone goes missing and is feared dead? The woods. Where do the most unpleasant creatures like snakes, ticks and angry badgers tend to hang out the most? The woods.

And we all know how isolated the woods are. If a woman screams in the woods, does she make a sound? The answer is yes, she does. She makes all kinds of sounds, only nobody is there to hear her. And if by chance there is someone nearby, they can’t get a decent cell signal to call 911. (Conversely, when was the last time you were bit by a poisonous snake while strolling in the mall? Exactly never.)

So I’m looking forward to a beautiful fall spent in the city limits. I will wave fondly to the wilderness as I pass by it in the car. And next summer, if Tom insists on camping, I won’t stand in his way. But he’ll have to rough it alone because I’ll be enjoying the comforts of home, where I stand in wholehearted agreement with one of the greatest humor writers of all time, Dave Barry, who once wisely said: “Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business.”

gwen rockwoodGwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography

Funny Friday: Craziest selfies?

good mythical morning logoHappy Friday, mamas! We’ve made it through another busy week, so why don’t we celebrate with a few minutes of gawking at some of the weirdest selfies on the World Wide Web.

Also, if you don’t already know about it, the Good Mythical Morning video series on YouTube is becoming wildly popular with kids. And mamas love it, too, because it’s funny, interesting, and clean!

Watch a few episodes and see if you think it’s something your kids might like, too.

Voted Best Mother’s Day Out: First School at First United Presbyterian Church

Award Winner Facebook badgeThe moms in Northwest Arkansas have given their stamp of approval on the best local businesses and service providers by voting in our annual Mom-Approved Awards.

And what could be more important than the people who work with our kids when we need child care/early education?

firstschoolMoms endorsed First School at the First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville for Best Mother’s Day Out in Washington County.

First School not only has MDO, but they also have preschool and 5-day private kindergarten. This faith-based school has low child-to-teacher ratios and earned accreditation (three-start rating) from Arkansas Better Beginnings, which is very rigorous.

My daughter (Shannon here) attended First School every summer for several years in a row when she was younger and LOVED it. There was lots of outside exercise, art, music, learning and structured/unstructured play time.

Here’s are a few of the cute classrooms:

first school classroom collage

first school roomAnd we couldn’t resist sharing this cute one on the playground:

First school playground

Contact First School at 479-571-4516 or CLICK HERE to visit the website for more information! Here’s a great shot of the great teachers who work with the children at First School:

First School Teachers use this one

 

Five Minutes with a Mom: Kim Sirmans

Kim Sirmans

Name:

Kim Sirmans

Kids’ names and ages?

My son Julian is 4, and my little girl Ella Grace will be 3 in a couple weeks

Where were you raised?

I was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida

How long have you lived in NWA and what brought your family here?

We just moved here two months ago from Florida. My husband is a finance guy and took a job as a research professor with the Walton College of Business at the UofA.

What was the last song you sang along with?

ha! I am currently singing the “Days of the Week” song in my head: my kids were jamming out to it this morning on the way to preschool ;)

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

My brother and sister live in Destin, FL and we always enjoy our time there (who doesn’t?!). It’s going to be strange not having it just an hour and a half away anymore! But I’d say some of the most incredible places I’ve been on vacation would be Aruba, the Republic of Panama(!), or the Virgin Islands. The Lord made such a beautiful world for us to enjoy:)

Your favorite place so far in NWA?

That is hard to choose! We have found quite a few gems we love! To eat- I’d say Stone Mill Bread or Briar Rose Bakery (I love carbs); outdoors- Devils Den, War Eagle Caverns, or biking around Lake Fayetteville. I love the classes at Fayetteville Athletic Club! And I also LOVE how many adorable locally-owned shops and boutiques there are in NWA.

What about your favorite chick flick?

Also tough! I finally narrowed it down (to six! ha!) by thinking about which movies I’d try to watch if they were on TV. Let’s go with “Father of the Bride” (1 & 2!), “A League of Their Own”, “Baby Mama”, “The Blindside” and “The Help”

When/where did you first meet your husband?

We met at church when we were about 10 years old.

Was it love at first sight?

No, not quite! As we grew up, we always had the same mutual friends, but never really saw much of each other (we attended church at different times and went to different schools). Then he asked me to his senior prom when I was a sophomore. I was so excited simply to go to prom as a sophomore! I knew he was nice and cute, but at the time he was also very shy. However, it didn’t take long for me to become smitten with his kindness, gentility, humility and humor. (The fact that he played guitar and sang in a band didn’t hurt either;) We’ve been together ever since!

His family used to tell me how nervous he was to ask me to prom: he’d dial the first six digits of my telephone number and then hang up over and over again. Finally he decided he wanted to ask in person so he found me at church and asked me there. Sometimes I think about what life would be like if he hadn’t gotten the courage up, and still to this day, I thank him regularly for asking me to prom.

What are a few of your favorite parenting moments so far?

Even though my son is “all-boy” he and my daughter are both very affectionate. Some of the sweetest moments have been spent snuggling in the morning. Julian will put his hands on my cheeks and quietly says things like “you are the most beautiful mama I’ve ever had.” I also love waking up and seeing my little girl just smiling at me. I can see in her eyes her pure excitement and anticipation for all the fun the day might bring. In those moments (and always), she is so enthusiastic about life. It is such a good way to start the day! I love watching them learn new things and gain confidence through doing so.

A few days after we arrived in Arkansas and as we were waiting for our moving truck to arrive, we went to the Rogers Aquatic Center. My little 4-year-old wanted to go across the floating leaf and lily-pad path where you have to go across a rope “monkey-bar style” to get across.

Well, he was too small to do that, but he was undaunted in his determination to get to the other side. So he figured out a way and jumped from float to float. There was a group of four or five teenage boys behind me just cheering him on, clapping, and encouraging him. He made it across and was just beaming! It was such a sweet moment and such a kind welcome to Arkansas!

Incidentally, he wanted me to go across after him, so I did. When I made it to him, I picked him up and gave him a big hug and said “I’m SO proud of you!” and he hugged me tightly back and said “Thanks! I’m so proud of you too!”

What’s your favorite way to get your kids laughing again after a hard day?

An almost foolproof way to get my kids laughing again is just to be silly with them. We’ll sing songs in a silly way or dance around. Another way is to play “Red Light, Green Light”

What’s a meal you make over and over for your kids?

Do peanut butter sandwiches count as a meal? ;) Really, we are all about easy and try to be healthy, so we’ll do chicken or salmon on the grill and veggies a lot. They also love Taco Tuesday :)

Your most-loved hobbies?

Since moving here to Fayetteville I’ve taken up biking and hot yoga! I love taking pictures of my kids and documenting their lives. I enjoy cooking and baking and serving a dish or dessert I can be proud of. I have strong opinions politically and enjoy (and sometimes cringe) learning more in that arena. I also love learning more about (and striving to grow in) the gospel.

What’s your idea of a relaxing day?

Having nothing to do except go outside and play with my family :)

One word to sum me up

friendly or passionate :)

Good Gossip: Details on THE wedding

good gossip celebrities

Yes, we do love a little celebrity gossip but we also know it’s not cool to do something we teach our kids NOT to do. It’s never okay to indulge in stuff meant to humiliate or hurt another person. That’s why we came up with the concept of “Good Gossip,” which is celeb news minus any mean stuff. Have as much as you want because this “dish” is all guilt-free.

As always, this feature is sponsored by Great Day Farms, a national brand based right here in NWA. Look for their products at the Walmart Supercenter. Click HERE to like them and get coupons on their Facebook page.

jennymccarthyThree famous couples tied the knot during the Labor Day weekend. Jenny McCarthy married Donnie Wahlberg on August 31st. Actress Gabrielle Union married Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade on August 30th. And singer Ashlee Simpson married Evan Ross (son of Diana Ross.)

carrie underwood 2013Carrie Underwood is pregnant! She and husband Mike Fisher (who is a professional hockey player) are expecting their first baby next spring. She announced the happy news by posting an Instagram photo of their dogs wearing big-brother and big-sister shirts. Carrie and Mike got married in 2010. Congrats to the parents-to-be!

shakira2Shakira, singer and former judge on The Voice, is having her second baby with soccer player Gerard Pique. (The couple already have a son who is 1 1/2 years old.) She announced the news via Facebook on August 28th. No news yet on when the baby is due.

people magazine jolie pittThey did it! One of the most famous couples in the world, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, managed to pull off a super secret wedding along with their six children, all under the age of 14. They did it by keeping it super small and simple. In fact, there wasn’t even music during the wedding. Angelina walked down the aisle (escorted by her two oldest sons, ages 13 and 10) while the 20 wedding guests hummed the tune of “Here Comes the Bride.” The flower girls (daughters Zahara and Vivienne) tossed flower petals that were gathered from the family’s garden. Angelina’s wedding gown was a simple, elegant design and the veil was hand-sewn to include several of the kids’ drawings into the tulle. Angelina also wore a special ring that belonged to her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who passed away in 2007. Shiloh and Knox served as the ringbearers and accidentally dropped one of the wedding bands, which earned them some giggles from the wedding guests. Angelina said the best part of the ceremony was just seeing how excited their kids were. To see the adorable picture of the whole family cutting into the homemade wedding cake (which was made and frosted by son Pax), check out the latest issue of People magazine.

Source: People magazine, September 15, 2014 issue

Good Gossip is sponsored by CCF Brands, a Northwest Arkansas company which makes Great Day All Natural Eggs. These eggs are produced by happy hens who are fed premium vegetarian diets with no animal fats, animal by-products, or antibiotics. Great Day Farms also offers hard-boiled eggs, which you can find in the deli section of the Walmart Supercenter. (Love the hard-boiled eggs because they’re peeled and ready to eat! Perfect in salads.)

Mamas on Magic 107.9: 5 Things Moms Should Stop Doing

stop doing slider

You’re busy doing a million different things, right? So let’s make things easier this week by talking about the five things we can (and should) stop doing. Some radio 3of them might surprise you.

Click the LEFT side of the audio bars below to hear the discussion that took place during last week’s Mamas on Magic 107.9 radio segments. Catch the show each weekday morning by listening to Magic 107.9 at 7:45 a.m. during drive time.

Monday’s segment

Tuesday’s segment

Wednesday’s segment

Thursday’s segment

Friday’s segment

 

Devotion in Motion: How do you think?

7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.    

        Proverbs 23:7a   (KJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

I’ve had a really good week this week, and I’ve completed a great deal of work.  That always gives me a feeling of accomplishment.  So, I thought I’d share with you a “household hint” that has really been helpful.

Some years ago I read an anecdote in an old Guideposts magazine about a man who was always happy when he was working at the office. His secretary asked to do listhim the secret of his joy. He explained that he had a strategy for tackling the enormous pile of tasks that he was required to complete each day. First of all, he made a list of all the things that he needed to do.

Then, he chose the easiest task and completed that task. Upon completing that simple task, he chose the next-easiest-task on his list, and then completed that one.  Thus the businessman continued until he had finished his list. “How could I not be happy,” he replied, “when I spend my days doing only the easiest things?”

I’ve been using that strategy this week, and it is extraordinarily helpful. I find it is useful to use this kind of thinking even in the middle of a task;  for instance, when I am folding a load of laundry, I look to find the easiest garment to fold. (“Hmmm, that handkerchief won’t take any effort to do, and then I’ll fold that hand towel….”)  It may sound a little silly, but you can’t argue with the results.

In so many facets of life, improving our way of thinking about a situation is the equivalent of improving the situation itself. King Solomon said it this way, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7). So, approach your work with hope and joy. Because nobody ever got a sunburn from “looking on the bright side.”

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher is ready for Autumn weather even though it still feels like summertime in Mississippi.)  Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).

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