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 (When He Eats Like a Cop)

I really admire how hard my husband works.

It doesn’t matter what job it is.  If there’s something that needs to be done, he does it to the best of his ability.  He genuinely takes pride in his work and wants to do a good job.

Honestly, his work ethic tends to blow mine out of the water.

The downside to this work ethic, however, is it often means his work comes before anything else – including his health.

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 crappy my husband’s diet is.  Yikes.

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.  He’s on the go all day long, and when he’s hungry, it’s a matter of finding the quickest thing he can – even if it’s not the healthiest.

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.

Plus, they’re stressed out – which means lots of comfort food 😉  Which I get.

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

Have you ever considered the similarities between Pinterest and porn?

I read this article the other day and it kind of blew my mind, because I’ve never considered it – but I found I totally agreed.

The thing the author talks about is how when you see the crafts/homes/parenting tips on Pinterest that are based on a fantasy, it causes you to have unrealistic expectations of your own life… Just like how porn causes unrealistic expectations for sex.

And you know what?  It’s totally true.

I mean, I think I’m pretty good about presenting a full picture of my life on this blog.  I don’t spend much time pretending our lives are perfect or that I’m a perfect wife.  And if you think otherwise, trust me – I’m definitely a hot mess.

But the article it made me think a lot about what I expect of myself as a wife and mom… and why.

13 Inspiring Scriptures for Police Officers and Their Families

When my husband was in the academy, he struggled a lot.

I mean, the academy is hard on everyone.  It’s not supposed to be easy.

But he had a lot of moments of self-doubt, a lot of moments where he wondered if he was really in the right place.  He struggled with injuries and with getting past his chronic pain (which usually just meant toughing it out and pushing through.)

While he was so happy to finally be in the academy, it was still tough.  There were many times 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.  I used a blue highlighter to keep it “on theme” 🙂  I figured he could read them at the academy, then when he had his own cruiser, they could easily be stored away since they were so small.

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.  And they didn’t just help him – searching for them helped inspire me, too.

Surviving a 24: 6 Tips to Get Through your Husband’s 24 Hour Shift

My husband is the hardest worker I know. I don’t anyone else who is as diligent, thorough, and hard-working as him. He works hard at home with the kids and on many odd projects, but he also works incredibly hard at work.
For the last three years, he has worked at the fire department – and his shifts are 24 hours long.
Yes, twenty-four.

3 Ways To Develop Positive Body Image In Children: Guest Post

Becoming a mom has had a big impact on my New Year’s resolutions this year.

For one thing, I’ve never had a fitness/weight loss resolution before, but you know how it is post-pregnancy.  I just want things to fit properly again!

For another, because I have this particular resolution, it makes me think about the example I’m setting for my little guy.

The Book You Need To Read If You Struggle With Angry Parenting

I’ve struggled with anger for as long as I can remember.  Even as a kid, I had a short fuse and little patience for crap.  I’m dreading the day I have a child as stubborn as myself and my parents can laugh at the karma.

It may not have manifested itself the same way it might have in a boy.  I mean, I never got in fights (apart from that one time I punched an ex-boyfriend in high school – but he was asking for it :)).  I wasn’t “out of control”.

But I’m stubborn and short-tempered as hell.  I can admit that.

When I was pregnant, however, it was on my mind a lot.  I knew I wasn’t naturally a “kid person”, and I was terrified I was going to be a bad mom.

Granted, after a super long labor followed by a C-section, my first thought when I looked at him was, “I love you. You were worth every second, and I’d do it again if I had to.”  So not 5 minutes into motherhood (well – not sure if it was 5 minutes, I was on a lot of drugs) I knew for sure I could make it – because I loved him so much even then.

3 Ways To Be Your Husband’s Girlfriend Again

You know what gets me?  How much more fun I was before my husband and I were married.

I mean, we actually went out and did stuff together, for one thing.  I actually can’t tell you the last time we saw a movie together in the theaters – sometime before I was pregnant with our little one?  I have no idea.

I also dressed up and made myself look cute before I saw him.  Not that I wear a ton of makeup, but I was so excited whenever I got to see him that I’d make sure to put in more effort.

Nowadays, I spend so much time taking care of our son, the house, and work that, admittedly, not a lot of effort goes into myself – or him.

It’s understandable, and it’s normal – but I can’t help but think “girlfriend-me” was way more fun than “wifey-me” is.