28-Day Taking Control of Your Phone Challenge

I don’t know if y’all are guilty of this, BUT I have the problem frequently of having a constantly dead or almost dead phone {because I never charge it} and spend more time on it than I need to. I normally am going on to check something intentionally, like the weather or my email..next thing you know it’s been 20 minutes and I’ve been on Instagram and Facebook and just got strung into things when I just needed to check the weather! Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these things and phones are SUCH a blessing–but, I want to be in control of my phone and my time instead of the other way around.

Isn’t it sad how addicted we all our to our phones? My worst nightmare {that thankfully hasn’t come to pass yet} is that my kids will get asked what their mom likes to do for fun and they’ll say “look at her phone!” Oh my gosh, I would die if that ever happened. I SO don’t want to be one of those non present but physically there people all the time. And, I want them to see their momma developing talents, playing with them, serving them, and just being available.

So, in an effort to reach one of my new year’s goals {to be a more present mom–check my goals here} I made this 28 day challenge for myself for the month of February in regards to taking control of my phone time and making it a doable, realistic, and just plain HEALTHY habit for myself.

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My MOMGOALS for 2017

As I have mentioned before, I LOVE goal setting and striving to improve myself [maybe because I always have lots of room for improvement 😉 ]. I find it inspiring and motivating to set specific goals and to go after it. When I don’t set goals I find I stop progressing and get into a funk. So New Year’s Resolution time is one of my favorite times of year.

I still remember setting goals as a young girl with my dad every New Year’s Eve before we did the “Polar Plunge” into our unheated Texas pool every New Year’s Eve. Not quite as Polar Plunge like as other states and countries where it is actually super freezing, but it was STILL cold. Point being, goal setting is engrained in me and I just plain love hearing other people’s goals and coming up with new ones for myself.

So, comment with some of yours too because I LOVE getting ideas for more goals for future months.

Here are MY goals for 2017::

1. Use my REAL camera more.

I don’t know about you, but a lot of times I just pull out my phone {like the picture above} and call it good. They are just so dang convenient; but, I saved up for that camera a couple years ago and LOVE taking pictures and want to actually get good at taking pictures of my children and family. I don’t know if y’all have heard of #thebethadilly52 challenge, but that is what I am doing to make this goal of using my camera more often a reality. You can check it out on Instagram! She give weekly prompts for the whole year of what to photograph. {i.e.–documentary, candid, your style, depth, etc} We are on week 4 and it is a manageable + fun way to stretch your photography skills….at least I am hoping that’s what will happen with mine. Do it!! You can totally catch up with a picture a week. You’ll find my pics on my @thestrivingmomma instagram also.  I am as BEGINNER as they come with photography, but it’s enjoyable to me and I have ALWAYS loved pictures and capturing and remembering life for years to come. Photography has such a huge learning curve, but it’s fun to be challenged and play around and this challenge was doable enough for me to go after.

2. CONSISTENTLY exercise.

This is one of my battles, consistency in general really. But, consistently exercising with 3 kiddos and hubby who is gone usually is HARD for me!!! Between cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking care of the house, laundry, scripture study, church callings, exercise is one of those things I sometimes push to the side sadly {even though I enjoy it}. Being pregnant and sick for 4 months and not exercising AT ALL during that time always sets me way back with fitness and gets me discouraged because I start ALL THE WAY over again with 0 stamina….buuuut, I know I can do it. People way busier than me do EVERY day! I just need to focus on CONSISTENCY not the result to get the habit and endorphins going. I’ll have future posts and challenges for most of my goals in coming posts.

3. Start+COMPLETE my Personal Progress.

I am lucky enough to work with the Young Women in my Church and there is an AMAZING program and set of goals in multiple categories to bring you closer to Heavenly Father and to develop your talents. I can’t wait to become more like Him this year by developing and focusing on:: faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity, and virtue.

Check it out here! You can click on each value and complete whichever ones you like. It is such an empowering and uplifting program I completed as a youth and am stoked to do it again.

 4. Go on date with my husband 1x/month.

This is something I VOWED I would do when residency began because I have heard and have seen firsthand how hard residency and the medical school journey is on marriages and families. And, let’s be honest, Braden and I are cheapskates and have only paid for a babysitter 2 times {1 time this month btw–woot, woot} in our 8.5 years of marriage. Seriously. We always have swapped with friends to save money which has been awesome, though a little trickier to schedule. HOWEVER, I have decided that we are in a phase where we aren’t living on loans anymore and the Mr. at least makes an income. We’ve decided it is WORTH IT to have one hot date a month and get a babysitter. The thought is totally freeing to me to just get a babysitter and do it….especially because I have adorable youth I see twice a week who would love to. So, here’s to going on a date AT LEAST one night a month and making time for each other!

5. Be a more SPONTANEOUS and PRESENT mom.

I know, totally not measurable. Again, I’ll have posts and challenges on these topics to come that make these measurable. I just have found that sometimes I get caught up in the lists and to-dos of being a busy mom and I want to disconnect more from my things to do/clean/phone and make fun memories with my kiddos AND make more quality 1:1 time with each of them on a regular basis. I love this time when my kids WANT to spend time with me and want to maximize that time before they don’t want to anymore in their teenage years…although secretively I’m hoping they still will then too like I did. 🙂

6. Start a Public Blog

Can we say–check?? We’re still in January barely, but I’ve launched and am going for it! I am still figuring this all out and it is surprisingly overwhelming even though I have blogged privately for over 8 years, but I am super excited about it. Send me all the pointers because I do NOT know what I am doing really. 🙂 The switch from my usual private blogger to wordpress has been an adjustment.

7. Get dressed for the day r-e-g-u-l-a-r-l-y

Confession:: I am now one of those moms that doesn’t get ready for the day usually, at least lately. I TOTALLY get it now. I never wanted to be one of THOSE moms, but pregnancy #4 combined with residency has done it. Whew!! That being said, I want to change that and get ready for the day more often than not….maybe give myself 1-2 lazy/cleaning days a week. Much room to grow in THIS area lately THAT is for sure. 🙂 Not the most meaningful goal, but what can I say? I feel better when I’m dressed and ready for the day and oftentimes get more accomplished. So, here’s to getting ready and owning the day MORE often. 🙂

There ya have it! Those are my current New Year’s goals. What are some of yours? I love storing ideas for later and biting off more than I can chew and adding some when I need a boost.

Here’s to a New Year and striving to be a little bit better!

NOW is the BEST TIME to start BECOMING the person you WANT to be.” President Uchtdorf

{one of my all time favorite quotes ever}

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11 Tips for Raising Your Spirited Child

WELL, let me tell you a story.

As I mentioned in a previous post, this year has been by far the most challenging year of my mommyhood thus far.
My spirited, amazing Sassy has helped me to pray harder, read more parenting books+google searches+articles, and seek advice from family and friends that I’ve needed and confided in. Why? Well…..I guess so far in my years of being a mom I felt I could handle things myself. I actually can run on little to no sleep pretty well, busy toddlers I can handle, 2 kids wasn’t that huge of an adjustment for me….. UN-TIL B’s tantrums, zestfulness, and at times straight up defiance kicked into FULL gear. {don’t worry it’s JUST with me-thank heavens}
Sure enough, I CAN’T do it alone and am learning to rely on the Lord more and more.
My patience is tried DAILY for probably the past 365 days. literally. O-k…maybe 362…I could have been exaggerating. I will never forget certain tantrums or days I’ve had. Actually that’s a lie…there have been so many they really blur together, but there are those stand-out memories that’ll be here a while.
In fact, I’ll text Brade and I’ll say something like this various mornings
when he is at school::
M:: “We had a top 10 tantrum this morning.”
B:: Really? No… not a top 10? [as in, that is too amazing of a tantrum for him to really think she had a top 10 and HE knows what that means]
M:: Yup, definitely top 10- maybe even top 5!
O-K, so what’s the point of all this?
Let me tell you about what I’ve learned in hopes that some other tired, confused mom can draw strength from a few pointers that help me through my rough days.
Here are 11 things I recommend to the momma of a spirited child 🙂
[in no particular order, here we go]


I am dead serious.
When I go outside I feel like everyone is happier. {not all the time, but most of the time…especially right now–bea-u-ti-ful} I feel like Vitamin D makes me a better mom and I come back with more energy than I had before.

Poor J barely survived our snuggly selfies. Dont’ be deceived, he loves me. 😉 

2. Don’t compare your child with others.

This goes without saying, but it’s hard sometimes. But, DON’T do it, it is UNFAIR and UNHEALTHY. Not to mention we generally compare our kid’s weaknesses with another kid’s strength. Um, I don’t want to be compared that way, do you?

3. REMEMBER, you’re a good mom. 

Several times I’ve felt like I’m not a good mom because my daughter won’t listen to me and I can’t get her to. But, then I remember, ya know what? I AM a good mom!  Sure, sometimes Sass straight up defies me over and over again. Then, I follow through with my consequences and feel like the bad guy. Results from following through consequences:: she continues to do the opposite of what I say so it feels pointless…BUT, regardless of this phase or whatever we’re going through she KNOWS that I love her…
I think that’s what matters. [along with trying my darnedest…which I am!]
One of THE most comforting quotes I heard during conference was [and believe me, I had a parenting page I was eagerly awaiting to jot notes down on-story of my life right now]:::
Ah, yes! Doesn’t that make you feel better?
This made me feel SO much better and reminded me that I am doing something right.
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