“The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest.”
-Thomas S. Monson
“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Mother Teresa I had so many things on my to-do list this past week, so many things I wanted to get done. They all fell by the wayside when I learned the heartbreaking news of the passing of a friend’s 13-year-old daughter, Lilli. Suddenly everything on that to-do list seemed unimportant, silly even. The news of her death struck me hard. In fact, it rocked my whole community. She was someone who made a difference just by being herself. Lilli was the rare teenager whose inner light shone so brightly that your own light was strengthened just by being around her. She had a maturity that some adults can’t hold a candle to–an innate ability to lift others and to see their good. I credit her parents with raising her so well, of course. But she was also just good to the core, happy and wise beyond her years. Every time I turned the corner in church, there she was. Waiting with a melt your heart smile that seemed like it was meant just for me–or whoever else she happened to come across. The […]
“And this be our motto- ‘In God is our trust!’” The congregation of my church belted out those words in the third verse of the Star Spangled Banner over the weekend. The verse permeated through me as tears streamed down my face. It’s not often we sing past the first verse of our national anthem. But the words in those forgotten verses, of a song dedicated entirely to our American flag, are so impactful. My husband hung an American flag in our yard recently. As he was adjusting it, an elderly neighbor from down the street walked by. “Thank you for flying that!” he said. That flag meant something to him. And as Independence Day approaches, I can’t help but think of the men and women who fought, and still fight, to give it meaning.
I know I’m not alone in my feelings of hating being in the car, especially when it involves small children for more than an hour or two. Road trips with kids can be torture. You may as well strap me into a dental chair for those several hours because that’s how painful it is to me. I’ve come to realize, though, that as painful as traveling with children can be, there are definitely ways to make it less so. Planning ahead is the key on road trips with kids. We’ve got some of our favorite tips below.
It was 1997. Oh how twenty years flies! I was sitting in my sophomore honors English class at Hillcrest High School. We had just been instructed by Ms. Sandy Clark to write a letter to ourselves to be opened ten years later. We were told to write about our dreams and ambitions and about our family, friends and how we currently viewed life. “Dear Andrea…” the letter to myself began. “You will probably be almost the exact same person when you open this letter, because after all how much can one person change?” Oh, dear. You poor, naive past version of me, I thought. You had so much to learn. I recently came across that letter for the first time since I wrote it. It was buried in a box of belongings my mom had stored away for me. She rid her house of that boxed clutter last time I visited and it was memory lane going through all those forgotten treasures. I’m not sure I ever read the letter in 2007. But… hello 2017! What a find! That first sentence to myself had me cringing and laughing, albeit uncomfortably.
If we had a dollar for every time someone asked us what the best places are to visit in Washington, D.C., we’d be rich women. It’s either that, or if friends have visited our nation’s capital before, they will often ask what else they can see besides all the “usual stuff.” If you’re not a Washington, D.C. first timer, you’re probably familiar with all the “must see” sites. There is no shortage of Smithsonian museums, monuments and famous landmarks to see. But if you have plans to go to D.C. again, and are looking for more unique things to see and do, we have some of our favorite best kept secrets in D.C. to share with you. In fact, we’d add these locations to our “must see in D.C.” list any day of the week!
Looking for some good patriotic reads for your kids? Well, it just so happens to be Children’s Book Week and we’ve got our favorite lineup of patriotic children’s books ready to share with you. Most of these books are tried and true in our own home collections. A few others come highly recommended and we will be adding them to our own stash ASAP. Check them out and feel free to add to our list! We’d love to hear your suggestions too!
I could tell you about the time I hit a parked car in college while an old boyfriend watched nearby, or how when I was a reporter I filmed the wrong house for a story about a drug bust while the “right” house watched me from across the street. Those moments are embarrassing. But this story is a much better one; it got picked up by the news.
Have you heard of the White House Easter Egg Roll? It’s basically a giant Easter themed festival/party that takes place on the South Lawn of the White House every Monday after Easter. This year’s Egg Roll is on April 17th. The tradition dates all the way back to the Rutherford B. Hayes Administration in 1878. I’m telling you, it is AWESOME! A party on the South Lawn of the White House? Trust me, you want to go. And you can go! Yep, you. On one condition . . . you either have to know a White House staffer who can get you tickets OR you can enter a ticket lottery. Tickets are totally free. But you only have until tomorrow to enter to get them! If you happen to get tickets through the lottery and you live in Washington, D.C., lucky you! If you win tickets and you don’t live near Washington, D.C., trust me, it’ll be worth every penny to go. How often do you get to celebrate Easter on the South Lawn of the White House? We’re talking egg relays, games, concerts (the last year I volunteered, Justin Bieber was there. I didn’t even know who he was and […]
Teach your Children to Serve and Spread Some Love this Valentine’s Day By Brittany It’s no secret that we live in a world where we are encouraged to think of ourselves as often as possible. There are entire books devoted to the subject, appropriately titled things like The Me Generation and The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement. My kids are particularly fond of The Minosaur, a children’s book that paints a fairly accurate picture of the “mine, mine, mine” attitude of today’s children. There’s article after article that claim putting your own happiness first is the only way to live and that being selfish isn’t rude, but that it’s necessary. I disagree. In fact, I am on a mission to curb that type of attitude in my own children. I want to teach them that doing kind things for other people without being asked first, leads to happiness. Ultimately, that life isn’t about just them and that people need our help. It’s this type of thinking that I believe will fill our world with more love and less of that snarky hate we’ve been seeing in abundance lately. So, what’s the best way we can implement a service-oriented attitude in our children? Here are four […]
By: Andrea I don’t recall how many wedding presents my husband and I gave this past year. A half dozen, maybe more? But I can easily count how many thank you cards we got in return: two. Just two. Look, I know. I’m not perfect. I’m not even always the nicest person. And I am quite certain I overlook other niceties my mother tried to teach me growing up. But thank you cards are one of those civilities that she must have drilled hard into us. Because if I don’t write them, my guilty conscience eats at me until I do. Eats at me good.