InstaCart and Aldi? Run Away. FAST.

Oh, ya’ll. I am on FIRE.

It was just a typical Wednesday here, full of therapies, classes, writing, and keeping humans alive. I was so thankful to have my weekly groceries delivered this afternoon. I greeted the delivery gentleman and tipped him well (in cash). I put away my groceries and sat down to look at the receipt.

I have been trying out different grocery delivery options the last few months, looking for the best deals, best produce, and best service. Yesterday, I learned that Aldi delivered.

I’ve never been inside of an Aldi, and it doesn’t sound like the place I want to enter with 5 young children in tow. But, I’ve heard such great things about their organic selection – AND THEIR PRICES. And in true giddy fashion, I was astounded by what my total was going to be with a cart full of 50 items — About $145! OMG!

Just as all grocery deliveries go, the price is not set until the shopping is complete and you sign for the delivery. Right?

I signed for the delivery after asking for the total, and being told that the receipt was in the bag. Seeing as how my 2 cantaloupes and large yogurt weren’t available, I assumed my total would be even less than the expected $145.  And I was right — that receipt read $134.94.  BINGO! SWEET! OMG YES!

pP76lHCySDaBY2vHE1cPuw

 

Here’s where things get dicey. Aldi uses InstaCart… (as does Costco and several other large stores). I received an e-mail with my charged total of $164.80.

 

 

fullsizeoutput_176a

WTF.

Okay — Service fee $7.39, Delivery fee $3.99, Bag fee $0.56, Tip $5.00. —— and a subtotal for the food alone $147.86.  (What happened to the $134.94 that is printed on the physical receipt in my hand?)

I’m about to scream here.

One. I tipped in cash at the door. Who is providing this extra $5.00 tip?

Two. My first Instacart delivery fee was suppose to be $0.

Three. MY FREAKING RECEIPT FROM THE STORE is less than this subtotal by EXACTLY 10% —- like almost to the freaking penny, they overcharged me by 10%.

My happy little self called up InstaCart right quick and Kindly was passed to a manager who informed me that customers should never receive a paper receipt. (WHAT?) I was repeatedly told this over and over – that a paper receipt is confusing because the online prices are higher.

When I ever-so-kindly mentioned that I didn’t order for groceries to be shipped from online, that the entire point of grocery delivery is to have another human walk into the store and get the same MOTHER EFFING PRICES that I would get if I were to walk into the store, the manager told me that the online prices are higher, but said she would wave my already shouldn’t be there delivery fee. I laughed. I then asked her why the prices were more for the exact same in store items – that were purchased IN THE STORE.

She told me that Aldi increases online prices, but that they wouldn’t refund my money. She said, “Aldi will just tell you to call InstaCart.” My response? “Well, Hello! I’m so glad that I skipped that part and called you first.” She continued to tell me that she could not refund the difference.

Here’s what I learned from the call, and what you should know before ever using InstaCart:

There is a 10% increase to your in-store price, and you will never know because you should not see your paper receipt. This is NOT a fee that is given to the shopper or the driver (I asked). Those fees are added afterward.

You will be charged a tip, and it is your responsibility to go onto the app and remove that tip immediately after your order is delivered.

When you call and complain, you will not be refunded or credited because, as the manager stated, “It says in small print that the online prices may not reflect your local store prices.”  —– Which SHOULD mean that your total will be reflected at the checkout, as every other grocery delivery service does; however, it is basically a legal way for them to get away with taking an extra 10% of your total and pocketing it.

It’s hard to know if this is on InstaCart or Aldi because they each are passing blame to one another, but I know that I will not be utilizing the service again. Check your receipts guys… NEVER let someone drop off your bags without that white printed paper.

 

What Comes After a Crappy Year?

year

What comes after a crappy year?

It’s no doubt that this year was not my favorite. By the looks of social media, I’m not alone. 

Isn’t it funny how life’s pendulum swings that way? How everyone seems to have great years, mediocre years, or shitty years all in similar fashion?

Two years ago, on New Year’s Eve, we found out we were unexpectedly pregnant with baby #5. Two weeks later, we found out we were moving across the country to the mid-west for work. Three weeks later, we were flown here to house hunt, and another 3 weeks later, we were packed and moving. That was a hard year for my family. But, then 2018 came. While life settled down in many aspects, it also sucked ass in many others. Hell, I write about our traveling adventures on this blog, and guess what we didn’t get to do in 2018? TRAVEL like normal. We were landlocked here. There were health issues, more health issues, and health scares, and surgeries. But I digress…. I don’t need to vent it out here – you understand.

Waking up to a new year seems to always bring hope and excitement, but after a mediocre or flat out crappy year, it can bring anxiety by the boat loads. It can be hard to break free from the stress and actually enjoy the possibility of a better year ahead. But, remembering the path of a pendulum, the year ahead will be better.

Instead of sitting around waiting for things to go your way, it’s time to take action. Find a few hours to map out your hopes for 2019.  You can list them, vision board them, doodle them, or blog them. It’s all about putting them down so you can revisit them throughout the year. 

Yes, you can resolution your way into a healthier pantry and refrigerator, or learn a new language. You can save money, pay off debt, and get a massage. Just know that the idea about making 2019 great is to play an active role in fulfilling your goals, overcoming obstacles, and pursuing your own happiness. 

What’s on the cards for Our Lucky Seven in 2019? I’m so glad you asked….

2019 Plans:

Puppy Boarding School: Indie is being shipped out for a 2 week obedience school in January. She should be trained well enough to take camping, RV’ing, or even for a walk without pulling ,y arm out of the socket when it’s over.

A quick girls’ trip to the east coast. My toes need to touch the sand and breathe in the salty air. Veda has yet to see an ocean (HEART BREAKING) and Scarlett is basically a mermaid. We need a vacation without the boys.

A possible weekend trip this summer. 

A 2-3 week RV roadtrip with the whole family this fall. We’ll be heading through national parks out to Cali and back.  This will be a trial run to see if RV’ing works better than hotels for our family. At this point, we’ve become a 2 hotel room family…. Or a $2,000 flight anywhere. Perhaps an RV may work in our favor.

Christmas 2019 is still up in the air. We had a large gift-giving 2018 and would like to vacation this year, but it is still to be determined!

From Business to Pleasure: Turning Your Work Trip Into a Couple’s Getaway

co5.jpg

As you know, it has been a long year here with little travel.  My tiny blog about life and adventure hasn’t been full of much adventure lately… unless you count every day survival and keeping five children alive an adventure. (Which, I do – most days)

Let’s just say that John and I were in need of an escape.  However, our calendar was booked, the bank account was allotted to holiday spending, and time seemed to never slow down enough for us to plan anything. There’s always the issue of a long term babysitter, too. Can you relate?

Then a tiny opportunity fell into our laps and we ran with it: A WORK TRIP.

I know many couples who travel for work and leave it at that – work – a business trip. But in a world that doesn’t seem to slow down, pay enough, or allow time to reconnect, a business trip can be the opportune time to plan an adventure together. 

The dates were set, and the company provided airfare for John and myself.  Still having a nursling, we brought Veda right along with us, too. The destination: Colorado Springs, CO. My mom flew in from across the country to watch the oldest four kids, and we were ready. After speaking with the company, we learned we could extend the trip at the same hotel rate they were paying, rent a car, and utilize all the employee perks for an extra day. 

So we packed, we left, and (minus my anxiety of dying on a plane and leaving my kids) we were on our way! I spent a day writing, editing, and working after a workout and bubble bath in a gorgeous tub. I drank champagne and ate chocolate covered strawberries while doing so. I attended a cookie decorating class, window shopped, and ordered a few last minute Christmas gifts on-line. I got ridiculously fancy for the formal party night, and then slept in the next morning like a mom with only one child! The next day we ventured out on our own to celebrate our birthdays and 11 years of marriage — or you know, just to have a day of fun! We hiked, took pictures, ate, and drank. It was fantastic.

co

Although, it reminded me why we are a moving family. We move to explore. We move for work. But we move for the journey. This earth is fantastic. 

It’s hard to envision a business trip being pleasurable, but I assure you it can be.  Before flying out make sure to:

  1. Lock in your hotel rate at the same price your company is paying. Extending the trip early or late by 1-2 days will be on your dime, but at a significantly lower rate than other guests are paying. As you check-in and check-out, remind the front desk what portion to put on your personal card.
  2. Rent a car. Again, this probably won’t be covered, but it will make your adventure more fun. Having access to a vehicle means that you can explore on your terms.
  3. Make reservations for meals together.  Throughout the day or two of mandatory work obligations, it can be hard to spend time together. Don’t stress about those missed moments, instead ensure that the meals you will have together are delicious, romantic (if desired), and worth every penny! Don’t get caught in a 1-2 hour wait time.
  4. Plan something for your spouse. Sometimes companies provide activities and speakers for the employees’ partners to attend, but typically your spouse will be on her own. If you have a child with you, it can be a low key day at the hotel pool, or a fun adventure outside of the resort. If your spouse will be solo, she can have a day of pampering, or simply work from the room.
  5. Know what you want to do together. Spending an extra day at a resort seems perfect in your head, but you should take advantage of everything around you. Research before your trip to know what you can do with a day’s worth of time during the season you will be visiting. A quick day on the slopes, a winery tour, a sports game, or a round of golf, there will be something intriguing!
  6. Grab a souvenir. Always bring home something small to remember your quick trip together. We typically purchase an ornament for the Christmas tree!

Things to see and do in one extra day at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado:

A short drive to Garden of the Gods Park! You can drive through and park at the top to hike the shorter trails, or you can park at the bottom and hike an hour up into the park. Either way, you won’t be disappointed. The sites are breathtaking. 

co1

After grabbing a late lunch at a local cafe, park your car and grab the shuttle up to Seven Falls. The walk up to the waterfalls is beautiful, and the 300+ stairs you’ll climb to the top will count as your exercise for the trip. After you’ve experienced the falls, stop into the restaurant 1858 at the top of the trail for a hot cocoa or glass of wine. Enjoy a quick bowl of chili or appetizer of French fries, too!  

co3

After hiking back and shuttling to your car, head to the old school house turned brewery for a cold beer and game of shuffle board! It is the cutest and most fun place! You can do dinner there, or head back to change and get glam for one last fancy meal! 

You can either venture out for dinner or head to the Golden Bee for a delicious dinner!

Yes, there are so many other things to do and see there, but for a single day, this will make you soul happy! 

co4

It’s Okay to Buy Christmas Gifts

 

I feel like, somewhere along the way, people started seeing me as the mother who had it all together. I have been pulled aside, messaged, and flat out called out in front of a crowd for this blatant lie. 

I, in fact, have nothing together more than anyone else. Actually, I gave up having it all together after Veda was born. That baby #5 really rocked me. But, that’s when (more than ever before) people would confront me wanting to know how I could do it all — It’s as if my letting go and giving in to this stage of life really allowed me to relax and become a confident hot mess.

We are always late (or really early); my kids never have on matching socks – or any socks. I swear the crumbs in the van reappear within 38 seconds of me trying to vacuum the freaking thing out.  

All of that to say this: If you do believe that I am doing a good job over here, then know this:

You are allowed to not take your family on a magical trip for Christmas. 

You are allowed to buy them everything on their wishlist (and more). 

You are allowed to stick to the want, need, wear, and read rule.

You are allowed to jet set across the world for Christmas.

You are allowed to spend Christmas on the beach, in the snow, or sleeping under the stars.

You are allowed to make this YOUR family’s Christmas – not someone else’s.

I have focused a lot on why you should consider experiences over all.the.junk. I have written about our own experiences. It is true, my kids did not miss a damn plastic package while we adventured last year – and it was glorious, BUT – BUT – BUT – this year? 

This year, I am buying all.the.gifts.

Why? I’m not exactly sure.  We aren’t doing a big trip – possibly postponing my cross-country winter drive until spring, even. It will be our first Christmas morning in this beautiful house, maybe that’s playing into it?  Maybe it’s just that my oldest will be TEN next year, and there aren’t many ‘Santa Years’ left? Or, maybe, I’m just in the mood to have a big Christmas!

Buying a bunch of presents doesn’t ruin my kids. It doesn’t make me a bad mom. It doesn’t make our family any more ridiculous than we already were. We just live in a society that judges everything.

Guess what? It doesn’t matter my exact reasons – just like it doesn’t matter what you decide. The kicker, though, is that you just need to be happy with whatever you decide! Go big, go little, go outside, travel, bake, sleep… just make sure that you (and your family) are happy this Christmas!

 

32 Fun Christmas Books for Kids

fall.jpg

Sticking with more experience gifts for the holidays, I have read about children opening a new Christmas-themed book every day of December. The idea has been tossed around for a few years, and I have purchased a few books here and there, thinking I would complete the book gifting idea. Somehow, though, I always started collecting the books too late in the season, and I would give up before the second week.

This year, I am determined to be ahead of the Christmas avalanche. I know that fall is just beginning, and I haven’t even planned my Thanksgiving menu, but I’m going to start ordering or searching for great winter/Christmas/family books to add to our home library. 

If you want to jump on the bandwagon, I’ve listed out 30 of our favorite, or soon-to-be-our-favorite books. You can wrap them and set them under the tree. You can set them out on the Thanksgiving Day table to start after dessert. You can stack them next to your child’s bed and let him choose the order he wants to hear them. The options are limitless in how you gift the books, but the memories will be made none-the-less.  

Snuggle up. Grab some hot cocoa. Light the fire. Open a good book. (affiliate links included)

31 Fun Christmas Books for Kids

How to Catch Santa

The Littlest Elf

The Night Before Christmas

The Christmas Wish

Bear Stays Up for Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Little Blue Truck Christmas

The Polar Express

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Christmas Sweater

The Snowmen at Christmas

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree

The Jolly Christmas Postman

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree

A Wish to be a Christmas Tree

The Spirit of Christmas

River Rose and the Magical Christmas

Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

The Tale of Three Trees

Christmas Day in the Morning

Merry Christmas Curious George

Home for Christmas

Charlie and the Christmas Kitty

The Christmas Fox

A Pirate’s 12 Days of Christmas

The Nutcracker

Legend of the Candy Cane

The Sparkle Box

The Story of Holly and Ivy

Apple Tree Christmas

Socks for Santa

Any of your favorites not make my list? What should we add?

I am definitely not opposed to reading two books a day!

The Time I Decided to Donate Half of Our Toys

IMG_3780

I may be drinking wine.

I’ll let you decide.

I am DONE with a basement full of SHIT that is worth $234,957,478,470 – but yet can never be played with because:

a. “Mama, I can’t find all the pieces.”

b. “This part is broken.”

c. “I don’t know what to do” – because there’s too many things to choose from, duh.

d. “This is for babies.”

e. “I can’t find the charger.” One year later, “I still can’t find the charger.”

f. “I don’t like that anymore.”

g. “It’s not fair that we only have one, and Lyle is playing with it! I want one!”

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU*K. No. I am so freaking done.

As you know from following my amazingly non-consistent blog here, I have switched over to ‘experience’ gifts, and we had a KILLER time last year at Christmas in Colorado. But, that means that I didn’t purge ALL.THE.SHIT. before our trip.

Somehow another year has passed before my eyes. Veda is a toddler. Ollie actually grew hair. We’ve *almost* adapted to life in the midwest. But, I still haven’t purged the basement.

(pours wine)

Guess what I’m doing right now?

dun. dun. dun.

Did you see the picture up there? That is what is happening. No. That is not what the basement looked like an hour ago. Everything was in its place…. until I somehow needed to accomplish something. I swear you could see vacuum lines earlier today, but what fun would that picture be? Exactly. I’m here to show you REAL LIFE. So let’s get to work. But, alas, Rome was not built in a day, my friends. After tearing EVERYTHING apart, I laughed at myself and retreated upstairs. I may have overwhelmed myself on day 1.

Time Out: I do have a plan, here. I’m not just drinking and throwing shit out. (Although, that may get it done faster.)

Our ‘Experience Gift’ this year for Christmas is redoing our basement into a ‘big kid’ area from a little kid play room. Yes, this requires buying a ton of age-appropriate crap. We’ll be investing in a sectional couch, smart TV, Xbox, air hockey table, basketball arcade game, and an art/drafting table/craft area for Scarlett. Our family will *hopefully* chip in and fulfill the kids’ wishlists so that John and I can cross off the big items. But a basement overhaul cannot be completed unless the current state of the bottom floor changes.

What have I accomplished thus far? I’ve created a bonfire-worthy pile of kid crap to sort.

We’ll be donating a lot to local charities (The Ronald McDonald House, shelters, and churches), gifting some to neighbors and friends, and saving anything and everything that will continue to be loved by our little ones. Yes, we will still have a lot of stuff, but, with my new layout, I’m hoping to keep things better organized.

The best part of everything is that none of the kids are fighting me. They are actively wanting this change.

So cheers to moving forward in this parenting journey. Instead of having a play room centered around a play kitchen, we will soon have a game room with a corner play kitchen. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t crazy happy about giving my big kids a place where they feel big-a place that their friends will love, too.

 

When a Friend Goes Quiet.

car

Sometimes a friend goes quiet. Sometimes you wonder why. Sometimes you write it off and let them be… because, who are you to reach out? Maybe they just want to be alone.

Reach out. Always reach out.

In this society of loneliness, mixed in with the demands of adulthood (and parenthood), it can be easy for a friend to withdraw from life for awhile. But, in these moments is when friendship is needed the most.

My Quiet

When skies turned gray and smiles frowned,

I felt as though we’d been drowned.

Seasons changed, but all stayed sick. 

We came to learn it was a tick…

Or was it really, after all?

That pushed us down and made us fall? 

Unexplained aches, pains, and tears.

My worries turned into true fears.

Doctors said, “We’re not sure, more tests.”

Then we learned: An Autoimmune Mess.

Now we start the road to heal

And hope that someday soon we feel – 

Sunshine in our souls again…

We’ve lost count of how long it’s been.

 

Hello, Dear Friends, Hello.

I am sorry for the long pause in my words here. It has been a long season of life here, and although, I would love to analyze every detail with you, I am exhausted by the thought. Perhaps, someday I will. And, perhaps, I will not. Either is okay.

I can say this, I am beyond thankful for our lifestyle and our strong immune systems. I am grateful for our choices, as this mess could have been – or would be – extremely worse than it currently is. Doctors are amazed at our overall health, and now that we have figured out underlying autoimmune issues, we should hopefully begin to feel normal again soon. With the help of a healing center here, we are all on tinctures and herbs that are (fingers crossed) killing off co-infections. Everyone is sleeping a lot; sugar, dairy, and anything processed is a no-go. But we have smiles that last longer than a few hours, finally.

As a mom, I have been a blubbery mess. I’ve watched my husband suffer from Lymes Disease this summer, and we learned that it is most likely the root of my son’s lifelong issues we’ve always been puzzled by. After many – many tests, we have unlocked autoimmune answers that connect all of us. It was finally time for me to stop ignoring my own underlying issues, too.

Motherhood is hard. I am giving my all, 200% of the time. But, this has knocked me on my ass, and I have significantly readjusted our lives. I am grateful that we had already slowed down, but now we are focused on happiness and health within each day.

I did, however, go quiet. I stopped texting. I stopped posting. I stopped doing anything more than working and going to doctors or keeping kids alive each day. I am so blessed to have an amazing cross-country friend who is living this same life out, and together we have laughed and cried. But, I have come to realize that our world today is severely lacking in real life connections.

This can be blamed on moving and living away from so many loved ones, of course. But, in all honesty, it is the state of our society.

It is easier to forget about a friend than it is to reach out to one.

We are all guilty. We all get caught up in our own lives. But, taking a few extra moments to harvest our true friendships may save our society, and model for our children what is truly important in life.

This experience has opened my eyes to many things. One being that I will protect ‘My Bubble” – my family – above all. Another being: it is time to purge… detox, if you will. Toxic elements of life can be let go of. Social media can be ignored. But, true friendships should be strengthened.

Pick up the phone and reconnect with someone. Sit down and share lunch. Bring a neighbor a bottle of wine. Let’s dig deeper than surface level. Let’s get to know one another.

 

 

The Year Without Travel

I never thought I would see a calendar be flipped, month after month, without a significant chunk of time blocked off for a trip.

Those of you who know me, know my love of road-tripping with my kids.  I have rarely let more than a few months pass by without a crazy trip on the books. But here I sit, the calendar crossed out through more than eight months of the year, and I just don’t know where the days have gone.

While I am planning an epic cross-country trip for the kids and I this winter, it does not happen until 2019. It will be a large portion of our family’s Christmas gifts this year. And yes, I have started planning minor details of the trip, I haven’t started really getting after it, and that’s ok.

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated here, and while I can give you 10,000 excuses of raising five humans, working, and all.the.things. The truth is that most of this year was needed to put myself back together. I know that I technically was not injured, but I feel as though I was in a fog of survival. There was no way I was capable of keeping five young humans alive in a car for weeks on end.

And survive I did.

I almost didn’t share this little post with you. I figured it was minute and worthless.

I was wrong.

There is no shame in my inability to conquer the world.

There is no shame in NOT traveling.

You know what I did do this year?

I rebalanced my life. I made it through postpartum baby blues. I celebrated small milestones. I snuggled my last baby every possible moment.

I DID NOT RUSH.

I DID NOT OVER PLAN.

I regained my happiness.

I’m telling you this so that you know it is okay to take a break and get your shit (back) together.

I’m still hoping to sneak in a getaway before the new year, but I don’t feel the pressure to make it happen. And that is a good feeling.

me

 

 

 

 

When Here Became Home.

We have parted with multiple houses, cities, and states over the last decade. Some places have been harder to leave than others – with many being shorter stops along the map of our lives. We left our hearts in Virginia just over a year ago. I knew that I would move on but couldn’t see passed my love of everything there; not to mention, the amazing road trip situation I had going on throughout the entire coastline.

One year later, I am here to put the words into the world. These words that I knew would come but just couldn’t imagine writing through the first 8-10 months in Omaha.

“We are home.”

Home is wherever we are together, of course. This much you all know about our traveling family.

In the past month, I have made more friends, joined an amazing yoga studio (hello newest friends!), and found peace with our schedule here. We found an incredible therapist for my oldest son’s apraxia speech disorder; my oldest daughter’s swim and girl scout friends have become her ‘total bffs’ (her words, not mine). I am watching my kids blossom here. They are becoming fiercely independent and proving that our attachment parenting paid off. We can trust them with a walkie talkie and bikes throughout the neighborhood, full day trips with friends, and with more responsibilities at home.

Needless to say, the kids are loving life in the Midwest. Are they over the cold? Yes. Are they happy? Hell yes.

I knew my mindset was shifting as I started planning this year’s house projects. It went from being, “best bang for the buck” to “I can’t wait to make this everything I dream.”

Maybe my baby #5 funk is gone. Maybe it’s just that the kids are all healthy and adapting. Maybe it’s that I can look out my window and see a spectacular sunset every night. Maybe it’s the yoga.

Whatever it is, I am finally happy here.

My words of advice for today:

Let time pass. Let life play out. What you feel today is valid today, but what feelings 100 tomorrows may bring you won’t be known unless you let tomorrow become today – mentally, physically, and spiritually.

5 Reasons Yoga and Motherhood Mix

If you are my real life friend, you are probably sick of me talking about my yoga obsession right now, but I’m not done yet – now I’m on a mission to spread the yoga love.

I have a ton of kids. Not a physical ton, although, they may eat an actual ton of food throughout a year. These small humans are all-consuming. If you are a mom, you get this. You don’t have to have an entire gaggle of tiny beings in your personal space, even one is enough to lose yourself.

I have trained for and ran marathons during my motherhood journey. I have worked out regularly at gyms and at home. I have taught workout classes for other moms – hell, I even had my own mommy bootcamp business for several years.

I drink wine. I read books. I plan awesome trips. I thought I was filling my cup, and I was, but I was trying too hard.

Here’s the thing though, my mind is always going. While working out does save my sanity, I am still running through the lists of motherhood as I get sweaty. Not every time, but a lot of the time.

Instead of intentionally filling your cup, you can lead a life that constantly keeps you happy. This means your cup is actually never empty. Choose happiness. Choose a life that you want to be present in.

Insert yoga here.

I have done yoga here and there over the years, but never consistently. I actually laughed at Yogis who said the practice was part of their lifestyle. I take it all back. I have basically moved into my yoga studio. I have attended classes 20 out of the last 24 days – most of the times were at the absurd 5:30am hour.

Why would I willingly roll out of bed at such a ridiculous hour? Simple, I get to be alone.

Everyone is asleep, and John can handle any little ones who wake up. Everyone is take care of for the time I am gone. I get sweaty, centered, and focused – oh, and happy – and then return home to a house that is still *mostly asleep (*minus John walking out of the door for work, and at least one child awake and hungry). I make tea, change the laundry over, open my computer to work, and take a quick shower before sitting down to write. My mind is clear; my patience is renewed.

This is what I want other mothers to know about yoga:

It Makes You a Better Mom

Patience, breathing, and peace are all contagious. Learning to fill your entire lungs and release that breath can reach each point of the body and mind. It is amazing what taking the time to breathe can do for you and your children.

It Grounds You to the Earth

Completing moon salutations and series of flows that connect you to the seasons and life springing around you can open your senses to the earth. You don’t have to be good. It will be your own journey, each day different than the one before, but your practice will bring you closer to the world we live on.

It Keeps You Present

My studio harps on the mantra “Wherever you are, be all there.” I have found myself skipping social media and leaving my phone in another room. I have spent the weekends not opening the computer unless work must be completed. The TV has been off, and we have chosen music and hands-on activities instead.

It Makes You Less Judgmental

Everyone can do yoga. Sharing the energy inside that room reminds you that everyone is on their own journey – just as each parent is on her (or his) own path of parenthood. Finding contentment within your yoga practice – and within your life allows you to be happy for others instead of jealous or spiteful. We need more of this in our society.

It Helps Your Health

Including yoga in your exercise routine alongside of other activities or done daily provides the body with more benefits that I can list here. Learning to listen to your body will easily transition you into a healthier lifestyle all around.

If you can find a yoga studio that offers kid classes, grab your tribe and head over to try it out. My 4, 6, and 8 year olds attend classe and absolutely love it. It’s also fun to watch them utilize the mantras and breath into their daily habits. Even John goes after work.

We are all in love with yoga… and I believe, possibly, that you could fall in love with it too.

What’s there to lose?

(And, in case you were wondering, Goddess Pose is my absolute favorite.)