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Top 10 favorite books

Whenever I go to a baby shower or get a gift for a new baby, I always add a book for the child’s library.  Over the years with my boys we have received many books and several have had written inscriptions from friends and family.  Reading the book was like finding an old letter and the boys always remember who gave them “The Polar Express”.

Here are my top 10 favorite children’s books, and why

10. Teddy’s Busy Day - As you can see from the blog photo, we got our monies worth on this book!  Each page offers your child a new activity to place the cardboard Teddy.  This is the perfect “child on your lap” book.  This was the final book of the night for a very long time. 

9. Guess how much I love you - I got this book while I was pregnant with my first.  I used to read it to him while I was pregnant imagining what it would be like to read it to him when he was on the outside.  I get chocked up to this day when I see that book in a store because of the storm of emotions it brings out of me.  As parents, the book also teaches us how our children want and need to understand that we love them.

8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Like every book by Eric Carle, this...Read more

How do you measure success?

Does your 3 month old give you a standing ovation at the end of the day?
Does your toddler compliment you on the meal you served him for dinner?
Does your 5 year old thank you for choosing the perfect outfit for her?
Does your 10 year old acknowledge that you taught her right from wrong and show you the gratitude you deserve?
Does your 16 year old applaud you for not allowing him to go out the weekend before midterms so he is not distracted and is able to study?

I'm guessing you answered NO to the age appropriate question or questions above.

So how do we measure our success as parents? The answer… I'm not really sure. Sorry, I'm guessing you were hoping for a better answer than that.

What I do know for sure is that the answer, lies within our children. We must be patient and we must pay close attention. We must be looking for the answer in order to receive it and we must communicate with our partner while we seek it out.

Let me explain…

Erica, now 20 and our first born, recently moved out of our home that she spent the majority of her life growing up in. It wasn't exactly the move out scenario one would imagine. I remember my own "move out experience" being about how quick I could get the hell out of there and we watched it unfold quite differently for our daughter.

You see, everything about her life was calling her to move about 40 minutes away from...Read more


This week my Daughter, Tyler Patterson shared with you one of her most magical childhood memories in a blog post. It got me thinking…. We should make the weekends more fun, less serious!

So, look forward to the new Saturday Morning Top 10! Expect top 10 lists of everything from toys to kids recipes to ways to pamper yourself and more!

With Tyler’s inspiration, we are gonna kick off our first list with…

The Top 10 Ways To Create Magical Memories For Your Children

10. Make green eggs and ham! Just add a drop or two of green food coloring to the eggs, Grab the Dr. Seuss book and gather round the Sunday morning breakfast table!

9. Make your own butter for the Thanksgiving meal. Get everyone in the house (and a friend or two, that makes it even more fun) Fill a jar half way with heavy cream and put the lid on TIGHT. Simply SHAKE! Shake that jar up and down, sing songs, count to 10, tell a story, keep it fun. Pass the jar as your arms get tired. Before you know it, you’ll have a jar of butter! Pour off the buttermilk and enjoy!  Want variety? Add some fresh herbs to the cream before shaking ☺

8. Match a snack to a story and bring it to your childs classroom. For us it was always the story of Johnny Appleseed and a basket full of beautiful red apples! My kids were soooo excited to have their mom come to school to read and their friends...Read more

“Randy does not accept constructive criticism”

“Randy does not accept constructive criticism” That is what it said in the comment section of my report card throughout my early education. Now, that may have been true but who was checking the integrity of the authority that was providing the criticism? How was it being spoken to elementary me? Was I being praised for my accomplishment, gently reminded of a possible improvement and encouraged to be my best? Or was I told to go back to my seat and stay in the lines next time?!?!

This is how foundations are built! Messages we are given accompanied by the emotions that follow. Send me back to my seat when I think praise is in order and I will stop looking for your praise. Recognize my accomplishments and I will learn to trust your critique.

So instead, I built a thick shell around myself. A sort of “You can’t tell me what to do” attitude. I know it stems from an emotional immaturity but that piece of me is often unstoppable. It is ingrained in me in a way that emotionally keeps me safe and is completely destructive at the same time. Now don’t get me wrong, doing things MY way hasn’t been all bad. Not being capable of working for someone else (who would be telling me what to do, what time to do it etc…) has led me to owning my own business. I call that a win. But… the rebellious attitude that comes with these feelings still gets me in trouble now and then. It is challenging for me to work...Read more