The 10 Best Educational Apps For Toddlers: Guest Post

Hey, everyone!

I just wanted to give you all a heads up that my most recent post for My Joy-Filled Life is now live!

When I first became a mom, I was dead-set on never letting my son play on my phone, tablet, or even watch much TV.  I was sure I’d be soooo good about keeping him away from screens and being a low-media mom.

That’s one of the many things I’m now totally eating my words on 🙂

Don’t get me wrong:  there’s definitely a time and a place for electronics.  My son isn’t consuming media all day long, every single day – but I’ve found that electronics can be useful tools.  And not just to give me a short breather, but also to help teach him different concepts in a new way.

To The Police Wife Who’s Struggling: You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are

Hey there, it’s me.

I see you over there.  I know you’re feeling broken down, frustrated, and overwhelmed.  Sometimes this life is just way harder than you imagined, am I right?

Sure, at first it seemed a little exciting – after all, admit it: uniforms are super sexy.  And you’re so proud to have a husband who’s a real-life superhero.  But after the excitement wears off, it’s just flat out tough.

After all, when you said “I do” to your husband, you might not have realized he’d have another wife – one that’s much needier, that calls him at all hours of the night.  One to whom he responds, every single time.  It’s hard to feel treasured as a wife when there’s something else that always comes first.

And that other wife?  She can be a real wench, right?  She sends your husband home tired, frustrated, worn out, even traumatized at times.  You can’t ever really tell what his response is going to be after a long shift, whether he’s going to shut you out and refuse to talk, or whether he’s going to need to feel close to you (even if he still doesn’t want to talk.)

5 Ways To Fire Your Boss And Make Money From Home

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Have you ever considered working from home?

Honestly, I’d never thought much about it.  All the work from home jobs I’d seen before seemed spammy and questionable, or were part of a multi-level marketing scheme (although, to be honest, I joined one of those once simply for the discount :))  The problem I had with that was, I didn’t want to be at the mercy of someone else.  I didn’t want to be locked into the number of hours I needed to work a week, or have to follow someone else’s set of rules.

What can I say?  I just like doing my own thing.

3 Ways To Set (And Actually Reach!) Financial Goals As A Couple

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I was so excited this year to set New Year’s resolutions.  I mean, my resolutions weren’t things I planned to do every day or anything, just goals I want to meet by the time 2018 rolls around.  Two of them are just mine (losing 15 pounds and publishing a book), but the third is one my husband and I are working toward together, and that is to save up a down payment for a house.

It’s been exciting!  I mean, it’s only February, but we’re relatively on track with our plan to save money each month.

And even more exciting than us progressing toward that goal is the time we’ve been able to spend thinking and planning together.  We spend a lot of time thinking about what we’d like in a house, what kind of neighborhood we’d like to live in, how many rooms we want to have, how we think A would like having his house, whether we want a dog someday, how we’d like to garden, and so on and so forth.

Having a goal in common has been amazing for our marriage.  There’s something about rallying each other to meet our big goal and getting to celebrate each accomplishment together that has made us excited about each other and about the future again.  It reminds me of when we were planning our wedding, and I’ve loved every second of it.

How To Teach Little Kids About First Responders: Guest Post

Hey everyone!  I just wanted to let you all know my latest post on My Joy-Filled Life is now live.

I think it’s so important to teach kids about the importance of first responders in society, especially when they’re young.  Luckily, it’s easy to broach the subject with my little boy because he gets ridiculously excited whenever he hears a siren.

The other day we were at the playground and he saw a police car go past, and he clapped his hands over his mouth, gasped, and did this funny little dance.  I mean, seriously – he freaks out.  He loves them so much.

Dear Police Recruit (A Letter to my Husband on his First Day)

Dear Police Recruit,

You looked so handsome this morning as I sent you out the door.

You tossed restlessly last night, and I laid next to you just thinking about all the new changes coming our way.

You woke up and showered and tied your tie in the bathroom mirror. We both smiled and exchanged those nervous glances. This is it!

You squared your shoulders and grabbed your lunch and then I kissed you goodbye.

It’s your first day at the police academy, and I am so, so proud of you.

Like a Broken Vessel: My Struggle With Anxiety

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a Mormon.  I don’t normally talk much about it, simply because it’s not usually that relevant to what I’m writing about.

Every six months, the church has a conference where we get to listen to the prophet and apostles speak.  It’s an edifying experience every time and somehow, whatever issue I’ve been wrestling with at the time, I’ll have new insight on the issue after watching.

There was one conference, however, where one of the messages made my heart drop.

It was David O. McKay speaking, and he talked about the importance of controlling your thoughts.

“Your thoughts are the architects of your destiny,” he said.

It’s a harmless idea, powerful even… but it terrified me.

5 Ways To Help Your Husband Eat Better

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My goal this year has been to clean up my eating and get into a better exercise regimen so I can be healthier and more confident.  I’ve done pretty well so far (yay!), but it made me realize how much my husband struggles with it.

I mean, he actually enjoys vegetables, and he’ll eat pretty much whatever I make for dinner (even if it’s hours later), so pickiness isn’t an issue: the issue is time.

And it’s not uncommon.  That whole donut-eating-cop stereotype has a lot to do with police officers not really having time to sit and have a relaxed mealtime.  They’re usually downing energy drinks and whatever food they can eat in a hurry before they’re needed again.

If You Want A Happy Marriage, It’s What You Do Daily That Matters.

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So, I want to talk to you guys about something: what you read versus reality.

I read this article the other day that compares a lot of the things you see on Pinterest (perfect homes, perfect families, etc) to porn, because it casues you to have unrealistic expectations of your life (much like porn causes you to have unrealistic expectations of sexual relationships).

I got to thinking about it because, every now and then, I get reader comments/emails saying what a wonderful wife I must be, and how I’ve inspired them.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the compliment (and the latter part of it just about makes me cry every time), but I feel, lest I give the wrong impression, that I need to address something.

I’m really not a wonderful wife.

13 Inspiring Scriptures for Police Officers and Their Families

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When my husband was in the academy, he struggled a lot.  Even though he had always wanted to be a police officer, it was tough.  He had moments of doubt in his own abilities, and he had moments where he had to ask God whether he really was where he was supposed to be.

To encourage him, I bought him a small set of scriptures (similar to this) and highlighted any that I thought would help him with a blue highlighter.  I figured he could read them at the academy, then when he had his own car he could easily store them away since they were so compact.

It surprised me that there were so many verses that seemed to apply directly to law enforcement, and as I went through the pages and searched for them, I found more and more.  This project was inspiring for me, and has been helpful for him.