5 Amazing Things About Adopt US Kids

During the holidays it’s so easy to get caught up in the, shall we say, more materialistic side of things. Rushing around looking for the perfect gifts, getting annoyed by traffic and lines and getting very stressed out trying to create the perfect everything. I invite you to take a moment to step back and think about those who may not be so fortunate. My mind goes to the children in the US who are patiently waiting to find their forever family.
Adopt US Kids has recently released brand new PSA’s to encourage the adoption of children from foster care with an emphasis on the importance of keeping siblings together. If you’re not familiar with Adopt US Kids, let me introduce you via 5 Facts About Adopt US Kids:

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1. Since the launch of the campaign in 2004, more than 22,000 children who were once photo-listed on the AdoptUSKids website are now with their adoptive families.

2. Over 35,000 families have registered to adopt through AdoptUSKids.

3. There are currently 402,000 children in the foster care system in the United States.

4. Nearly 102,000 children (under 18 years of age) are waiting for adoption.

5. Approximately 23% of children and youth actively photolisted on the AdoptUSKids website and waiting for placement in adoptive homes were registered with one or more siblings.
With these sobering statistics in mind, I invite you to view the PSA’s and if you know of anyone looking to adopt, please let them know about www.AdoptUSKids.org and to visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter.

5 Things Every Chronically Ill Person Needs to Understand About Holidays

We can all agree it is no fun being sick. When it comes to enjoying the holidays it is a hard task to do when you a constantly sick. Here a 5 suggestions to make your holidays healthier.


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1. You are in charge of holidays not traditions. If you need to reinvent traditions do it. Our Thanksgiving turkey is now cooked in a turkey fryer outside and not in my oven. Christmas Eve we eat soup for dinner from the crockpot and Christmas Day we make homemade pizzas with toppings galore. Traditions can be changed. A family can value time over taste buds.

2. Every holiday is not what it once was. You have changed and therefor so has the day you are celebrating, the guilt over this realization will be crippling. Don’t let it. The new goal of each holiday is to enjoy it to it’s fullest while spending the least amount of time in bed recovering.

3. Eating out is ok. We eat out on Easter. It was an adjustment. It is just easier for us this way. If people want to join us, they can. I am not obligated to bring something or help clean up afterwards. My one goal is to get everyone out the door and get home in one piece, including myself.

4. You will find your holiday. I was surprised that “our” holiday has become Halloween. Being a fairly conservative Christian this did surprise me but it is my favorite. We plan over the course of many days what we will dress up as. (Usually the whole family goes as one theme). The older kids walk the streets collecting candy from house to house as the younger one stays back and we warm Apple Cider and fresh sugar cookies. My family joins in when they can but overall I know I could handle something like this flying solo if I had to. We take lots of pictures and imagine and play pretend. It is on this day I like to pretend I am not sick and sometimes I end up pulling it off.

5. Make new traditions and find the beauty of simple. Memories are created using all of the senses. One of my kid’s very favorite traditions is laying underneath the tree, looking up at the Christmas lights, and being read 3 Christmas stories they have been read since they were young. This is a simple, no cost, no frill, and low energy activity that is a complete joy for us all. It all started with me not feeling well and laying on the floor and finding a new Christmas tree perspective. Lights are beautiful, the tree smells lovely, and the voice of a story we have heard a dozen times before is healthy for soul.

Family may or may not understand you decisions but as a household you can all discover what is relevant and what is not this holiday.

5 Amazing Reasons to Renew your Vows

My husband and I recently renewed our vows in Wildwood, Nj. I have to say it was the most amazing day that I can remember the two of us have experienced. I love my husband dearly. We have truly been through sickness and health. Those words mean so much more now since the day we originally spoke them at age 21 and 20.

5 Reasons to Renew Your Wedding Vow

I was worried that spending the money on this day would be something of waste. We do have bills. We have kids. Should we spend the money on them? I thought if we ever had a vow renewal it would be financially irresponsible. I was completely wrong. This day was an investment into our family. Our kids heard us say words to each other that I loved letting them overhear.

I was truly the best day of my life. This was for many reasons. My wedding was not what I dreamed it would be. It was a beautiful day but crazy details made things not quite fit into what I dreamed. My wedding dress didn’t fit right. I was completely nervous the whole day. My husband saw me by accident in my dress before I walked down the isle. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and was released the day before.

Our vow renewal was just us. It was planned in 3 days. There was no stress. We said our own vows and we both cried. It wasn’t in front of a million people. There was no pressure. I never had a professional wedding photographer at our wedding. The disk copies of what was taken at the original day were lost. Hard copies that were in albums were damaged. At the renewal we had many pictures taken by an amazing photographer. A wonderful friend made us cupcakes. Another friend joined us to officiate the wedding. The person that introduced John and I came. My mom joined us while chasing our daughter around. All of these people will be forever friends. I would drop everything to help them. I hope they all know that. John and I would move mountains if they ever asked. Just 5 people that are now part of our story.

We choose the morey piers location because the day could be followed by epic pictures on the rides and a ton of family fun. Their event team Memoreys was amazing. All that was missing was a bouquet and they took care of that too.

Wedding vows are meant to be endless. They are meant to be said once and meant forever. In today’s world it just doesn’t seem to happen like that it seems. Divorce is at a high and couples are falling apart around us all while we are fighting for bills to get paid, bedtimes to be adhered to, and child rearing rules to be upheld. Sometimes you forget the promises that you once said. It isn’t that you “really” forget them, it just is your life is different and those words said some time ago take on different meanings. Fights happen, sickness happens, stress happens.

We renewed our vows at my husband and I’s 12 year mark. It was not a traditionally epic year to renew but we weren’t doing it because of those reasons. We didn’t have guests except those that could make it on a moments notice and that was ok. We were saying the words for each other and for our kids to overhear. Those promises are so special. When you renew “I take you in……” turns into “I STILL take you in…..!” It is monumental these days.

The day was beautiful. It may have been even more beautiful than my actual wedding. I cried this time saying my vows. The first time I didn’t. I ugly cried happy tears. It hasn’t been a dozen years of bliss. It has been a journey. That is exactly the point. We are not the same people we once were. I am forever different. We have grown up together. Our renewal was a beautiful day!

Here are 5 Amazing Reasons to renew your vows:

1. Your marriage has survived a traumatic situation, like sickness, and the vows mean different things to you now.

2. You want to celebrate you and your husband/wife. We celebrate each other in many different ways. Date nights and surprise kisses. It is ok if you want to celebrate where you have come and where you are going. Every year is worth celebrating.

3. You want your kids to hear the promises you once made or even include then in the ceremony. We had our kids play a part in the ceremony.

4. You have watched and are experiencing something hard in the workplace or with extended family and need assurance of family that you hold close.

5. Your family could not make your wedding because they did not live in the same country, you had dramatic family turmoil or you eloped.

Vow renewal family

Renewals don’t need to be elaborate. You aren’t obligated to anything like invites, meals, or party planning. The event can be intimate and beautiful. Ours sure was.

I use to think vow renewals were ridiculous. In fact as we walked around getting pictures taken we had many say “congratulations”! It was awkward at first but then I learned to say thank you. Marriage is hard. I feel like making it to 12 years is more of an accomplishment than getting engaged or our original wedding. If you are reading this and are considering renewing your vows for your anniversary, Congratulations from my family to yours.

Vow renewal couple

National Brush Day is Coming

National Brush Day is observed on November 1st, the day after Halloween. The one day that it is ok for people to dress up as superheroes and take candy from strangers. All that candy has to go somewhere and it usually ends up in our kids belly……or in their teeth.

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Sometimes we need to reinforce the importance of children’s oral health and to promote good tooth-brushing habits recommended by dental experts.

5 facts about Brushing

-More than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental related illness, resulting in parents losing 25 million work hours annually.

-Cavities and oral infections can cause severe pain and can increase a child’s risk for dental issues and poor health throughout their lives. I never knew how bad teeth could effect the immune system.

-While parenting can be tricky at times, getting kids to brush for two minutes, twice a day can be easier than most other things parents will try to teach their children.

Manners Lesson: http://youtu.be/QmOuAKCSOwQ

Cooking Lesson: http://youtu.be/SxNkXbDq58k

-You can Make brushing fun with the free Toothsavers App. You can learn more about it here.