<![CDATA[Foundations Parent and Life Coaching - Blog]]>Tue, 16 Jan 2018 21:11:39 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[​The Possibility of Impossible Dreams]]>Fri, 05 Feb 2016 05:19:04 GMThttp://foundationsplc.com/blog/the-possibility-of-impossible-dreamsI have a memory of a feeling. It’s the feeling of being stuck, drowning in mire of what is. Waking up in a life I thought I wanted and wondering why I felt death rather than joy. Forcing the feeling of happiness, but numbness obstructing my soul from feeling anything at all.
I look back at the snapshots of that life and it was beautiful from the outside, a happy couple, two beautiful and healthy boys, a comfortable home, and good family and friends. Life was full of good things but inside I felt lost in my own life.
And then that life was gone. The happy couple became individuals, the home was sold and yet, here I sit four years later on a rainy Saturday morning and the snapshot of my life profoundly different but joy dances in my heart and into the rhythms of my life.
Four and a half years ago, I woke-up to the truth that I can either let life happen to me or I can choose to live the life I’m created for, a life that is more then just surviving each day. God knew what He was doing when He made me. I am not an accident and nor are the gifts and talents He has given me. And neither are you.  
This fall, I was given the challenge of writing down my impossible dream. First thought, “No way!” There is a reason the dreams hold the labeled “impossible!” To give voice to these dreams would mean I wanted them. Burried deep within me kept them safe and secret. If no one knew, then I could not fail.
I avoided the task like I do with everything else I don’t want to do. I stayed busy. I cleaned the bathroom. I baked. I went for runs. I did homework duty with passion, drove taxi between football and soccer practices and when I could no longer run away from it, I sat down late one night and started writing.
The first sentence was hard. The second one easier and then it started to flow out of me. I didn’t stop to read what I’d written and if the absurdity of what I was dreaming threatened my writing, I pushed through and kept writing. I laughed out loud at some of the ideas that came out and cried tears for others that felt absolutely impossible. And then I walked away from it.
A few days later, I met with a life coach I was working with. She asked if she could read my dream to me. Nervousness immediately filled my heart nevertheless a very hesitant yes came out of my mouth. As Melissa read my dream, tears streamed down my face as I heard the beautiful reality that was living inside me. And really as she read, that’s what it became, not a dream but a reality. When I wrote down what seemed impossible, when I gave voice to the dreams inside, I made the first step in knowing the next place to move in creating life from the core of who I am and not from the perfect picture I spent years hiding behind.
To dream is to dare to live life to the fullest. To give voice to the dreams is the first step in the possibility of impossible dreams.
Its been a few months since I first wrote my impossible dream. I am starting to see pieces of this new reality show up in my life and guess what…its absolutely beautiful.
<![CDATA[4 Ways to Shine as a Parent this Summer]]>Tue, 02 Jun 2015 04:56:04 GMThttp://foundationsplc.com/blog/4-ways-to-shine-as-a-parent-this-summer Saturday was the unofficial start to summer for us. We dug through the sweatshirts and jeans to find our swimsuits, rummaged around the bathroom cupboards for the sunscreen, and discovered that all of our beach towels were left for other people to enjoy at the local splash pads last summer. After old bathroom towels were found and goggles were secured our heads, we took our first swim in our community swimming pool. 

The sun, water, and squeals of delight made the longing for summer days shine bright. With just two weeks of school left, we are counting down the days until lazy mornings uninterrupted by alarms and the rush to get out the door become the norm.

As parents, summer can be a two-sided coin. We remember the lazy morning that is so perfect until a fight breaks out over a meaningless toy that for some reason has become the coveted prize that morning. The memory of the fun night telling stories around the campfire out ways the cranky children who complained the entire two-mile bike ride. 
The whining, button pushing is the side of summer that makes me feel like a thunderhead brewing on a beautiful summer day. But some simple parenting tools can turn a summer of thunderstorms into a summer of sunshine.

Here are 5 simple tools for shining this summer.

1. Never underestimate the power of communication. 
We communicate all day long, through words, tone, body language, and even in the decision to speak or stay silent. For effective and powerful communication without yelling and arguing, keep these thoughts in mind:

Positive is powerful. 
  • Focus on what your kids are doing rather than what they are not doing. Catch them in the good and let them know. What you focus on grows in you and in your kids.
  • Replace “don’t do that” or “stop that” with what you want them to do. If they are using your couches as an indoor trampoline: “Couches are for sitting.” This simple shift in words is one of parenting's best keep secrets. Seems simple yet the result is powerful. Keep in mind that communicating this way takes a little bit of training on our part as parents, but it works! (Let me know if you need a little help and we can schedule a conversation to get you the tools you need to put this into practice and start seeing the results in your own home!)
Connection brings peace.
  • Summer schedules can be different from day to day with vacations, summer camps, and random play dates. Find a time each day to check-in and talk about upcoming schedules and events. Everyone does better when they know what’s going on.  
  • Daily check-ins are also a great time to address any “problems.” Include everyone on coming up for solutions and eliminate your role as the police. 

2. Embrace Boredom. 
Boredom can feel like a curse but it’s actually a blessing. You can read more about the gift boredom is to our children here.

At the beginning of the summer, we create a Summer Bucket List as a family. Over a bowl of ice cream, we brainstorm fun activities to do this summer. One list has things to do at home and the other is our adventure list. One idea my boys are excited to add to the list this year…our very own egg drop contest. They already have plans to raid our recycling to make a container that will protect an egg from a second story drop. I’ll let you know what happens!

3. Say “yes” to the Adventure
I find my default answer is often no. 
    “No, its too messy.” 
    “No, we don’t have time.” 
    “No, I’ve got to make dinner, pay bills, fold laundry…” 

It is easy for me to say “no.” Especially when the idea is messy, involved, or seems doomed to fail. But I’ve been challenged lately to say yes. Yes to an extra chapter in our book at nighttime, yes to after dinner dance party, yes to painting the Amazon boxes into space ships, yes to spontaneous beach trips. I haven’t regretted it yet. The adventures and the memories are outweighing the extra mess, a few minutes less sleep, or the bathroom that isn't spotlessly clean. I plan to continue saying yes this summer and challenge you to try it too.

4. Take Care of You
Maybe this should have been first of the list but its last because it will be the last thing you read and hopefully it sticks with you. 

If we want to shine as parents this summer, if we want to be present, and enjoy life, we must take care of ourselves! We cannot give to our children when we are empty. When I’ve put myself on the back burner, my fuse is short. I snap at my children over the littlest things, my patience level is at zero and I am plain just not fun to be around.

Want to know my secret recipe for self-care? It’s daily doses of quiet, movement, and whole, good food. The quiet feeds my soul with prayer and reading the Bible. Movement and good food fuel my body and give me the energy, as well as mental well-being to engage wholeheartedly in life. Some days these ingredients come in small doses, other days I get large quantities but in the end I know these three things fill me up so I can pour out into my boys. What's your recipe for taking care of yourself?
Hannah is mama to two school age boys, an early childhood educator and a PCI Certified Parent Coach®. She loves chocolate and peanut butter, playing in the dirt, and helping people live life to the fullest. Tired to staying up late worrying about whether your kids will make it to their next birthday? Hannah would love to talk with you and get you the tools, knowledge and support you need to thrive.  
<![CDATA[Parenting Pause...SMILE]]>Tue, 14 Apr 2015 23:53:51 GMThttp://foundationsplc.com/blog/parenting-pausesmile Parenting Pause are short notes for parents.
They refocus our minds and encourage our hearts to keep showing up in the lives of our kids. 


Especially when the kids are whining, laundry is multiplying 
or everyone refuses to eat the meal you slaved over.


Smiling is contagious. 
It starts in you and it grows to the people around you.

Smiling reduces stress, puts you in a better mood, and just makes life happier.

Its the first and one of the easiest ways to make a positive change in you and in the lives of your family.

So when you feel like you have nothing left, when you just might loose it…

Share this Parenting Pause with your friends!
<![CDATA[Intentional Parenting]]>Mon, 23 Feb 2015 05:06:41 GMThttp://foundationsplc.com/blog/intentional-parentingWe are not perfect but for some reason we hold the standard of perfection as something we can reach. The image of perfectly behaved children, with perfect hair, clothes, grades, sports and school attendance dangles before us. Think race dog chasing the mechanical hare around the track, always out in front but just out of reach. No matter how hard we try, it is never attainable. The image of perfection eating away at our soul as we wake each morning feel lost and tired. Perfection lost the moment we face our children who don’t fit “the mold” and find words flowing from our mouths we wish to take back.

So if perfection isn’t the answer, what is?

Perfection condemns me for I will never measure up.

Intentional invites me to be me, the best me I can be.
Being intentional invites me to show up in my life and in my parenting, to live and parent with purpose and to deliberately care for myself and my family in the choices I make, thoughts I think, and actions I take.

Living intentionally doesn’t just happen. It takes tools. It takes support. It takes deliberately and purposefully taking action to make it happen. 

This is my heart. To give parents the tools and support needed to live and parent intentionally. Each month I invite people just like you who want to grow and strengthen their parenting skills to join a small group of like minded parents on a journey to make simple, yet profound shifts to our parenting that create the space and ability to parent intentionally. 

If this is you, send me an email Hannah@foundationsplc.com and let’s find out if this is a good fit for you.
<![CDATA[Guest Post: How to Pick a Great Preschool]]>Mon, 16 Feb 2015 21:26:33 GMThttp://foundationsplc.com/blog/guest-post-how-to-pick-a-great-preschool
Picking your child's first school can be overwhelming. We want the very best for our children and with so many options out there, all with different learning approaches and fancy language, it can make the decision confusing and complicated. But, it doesn't have to be. In the following article, my friend and fellow Parent Coach, Julia Cadieux, shares five simple but important ideas to be aware of when looking for a preschool. 

It’s that time of year, time to pick a preschool! I remember feeling pretty overwhelmed the first time I did it. I must have visited five different schools, but I never really knew what I was supposed to be looking for.

I learned the hard way that when it comes to preschools, looks can be deceiving. The first preschool my daughter attended had a charming appearance. It was like stepping into a page from The Land of Nod catalogue. I fell in love with its decor and forgot to pay attention to the really important pieces of how the classroom functioned and what my child would be doing all day. We knew after the first few months that it wasn’t a good fit for her. When I did my second round of looking the following year, I had my priorities straight.

All preschools you consider should be licensed and have qualified, caring teachers. Beyond these two basics, what should you look for?

Here are my Top 5 Priorities in a Preschool:

1. Play At The Center of the Day 

Most grown-ups look at playing as simply an activity for amusement or recreation, because that is how we tend to use it in our own lives. For children, there is far more to play than meets the eye. Playing, the kind of free, unstructured play that most children excel at, is essential to healthy development in all areas of a child’s functioning. To parents who want a preschool environment with strong academics and instruction, I say there is no better teacher for your child at this young age than play.

University of Cambridge researcher, David Whitebread, reviewed the relevant research evidence on the benefits of play-based pre-schools and found, “Pretend play supports children’s early development of symbolic representational skills, including those of literacy, more powerfully than direct instruction.”

Free-play does not mean a free-for-all. A skillful teacher will know how to guide children’s play to amplify it’s benefits. They will also know when to intervene in order to help children negotiate parameters of their play with other children.

Talk to the teachers about how they prioritize and manage play throughout the school day.

2. Outdoors Everyday

Research is mounting to show the many positive side-effects of spending time outdoors. Direct experience with a natural environment improves student learning and behavior, and promotes emotional well-being. Interestingly, researchers at the University of Illinois found that symptoms of ADD were significantly reduced in children when they engage with nature. Children need to move in all directions to strengthen and develop the vestibular system. Climbing trees or playground structures, doing cartwheels, rolling down hills, etc. are necessary activities for kids.

Talk to the teachers to find out how much time kids spend outside and in what conditions. Bonus points if they engage the children in nature studies within the classroom.

3. Classroom Community 

For many kids, preschool is the first place outside the home where they learn how to be a member in a community. While the teacher should get to know each child as an individual, you also want your child to feel like they belong to this special group. Socialization, relationship-building, and conflict resolution are at the forefront of creating a safe and positive classroom. The classroom should emphasize manners and respect for all, as well as personal responsibility. When it comes to discipline, emphasis should be placed on teaching rather than punishment. Children should participate in tidying up and having small jobs as helpers in the classroom.

Talk to the teachers about the ways in which they foster a sense of community for the kids and the parents. Understand their policies around discipline to make sure they mesh with your values. Ask about ways you can contribute and cooperate with the school over the course of the year.

4. Environment 

What do you see when you walk in? How does the space make you feel? Things should be organized, clean, and safe. There should be plenty of toys that encourage imaginative play such as dress-up clothes and building blocks. There should be art supplies and children’s artwork on the walls. The room(s) should be big enough for kids to move around comfortably. There should be outdoor space for play and preferably a quiet indoor space where kids can rest and relax. There should be a sense of order (even in the midst of children playing and creating) and routine so children feel secure in the predictability of the day.

Have a good look around all areas of the preschool including classroom, kitchen, and bathrooms.
Talk to the teachers about safety, cleanliness procedures, and daily routines.

5. Teacher Rapport 

Having good communication with your child’s teacher is key for a successful school year. Make sure you feel comfortable talking with the teacher and get a good sense of how communication between school and home takes place. This relationship becomes especially important if your child has any learning or behavior difficulties. Teachers should always be open and responsive to the parent’s understanding of their child.

Talk to the teacher about their background and experience. Observe the teacher as they work in the classroom and interact with students and other adults. Pay attention to the body language, as well as the words.
Look for a teacher who emphasizes student strengths and participation over deficits and performance.
Juila lives in Albany, NY with her husband, two small children, and our dog. Together, they make family life adventurous! As a Certified PCI Parent Coach®, she feel passionately about helping other parents fulfill their dreams for a thriving, loving, and fun family. She feels strongly that play, nature and creativity are necessities of life. With that in mind, she can often be found outdoors exploring the woods with her kids and dog in tow. You can follow her adventures and find inspiration to begin your own here: https://www.facebook.com/thesupportedparent

<![CDATA[Into the Woods with Kids]]>Tue, 06 Jan 2015 04:57:07 GMThttp://foundationsplc.com/blog/passing-on-the-love-of-the-outdoors
When I was 11 years old, my grandparents moved from Southern California to Bend, Oregon. For those of you not familiar with Oregon geography, Bend is located in the central part of the state. Its high dessert climate at the base of Mount Bachelor makes it outdoor-lovers paradise. After their move, my family would make the three and a half hour trek from Portland every four to six weeks. Our weekends and vacations were filled with hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, and biking beginning a love affair with the outdoors that is still going strong in each of us.

Now that I am a parent, I realize the work and dedication it took to pass this love onto us. I look back on the memories with great fondness but I know there was grumbling, complaining, and moodiness on occasion. As a parent now, I can see the simple yet great ways my dad and mom made it fun.

Being outside, enjoying the beauty of creation is one of my happy places. I want it to be that for my boys as well. I am learning that it takes planning, patience, and persistence to take kids into to outdoors. Here are some of the strategies I learned from my parents and am using with my own boys.

Make It Fun

This starts with trail/activity choice. I’ve found that a stream to play in or a hill to sled down goes a long ways in motivating my kids to get outside. Last Friday, we went snowshoeing. Most five and seven-year-olds will not appreciate a five or even a three-mile snowshoe loop. But, strap sleds to your pack, choose a trail with a great sledding hill a mile in, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Also, when the going gets tough and the complaining starts, come prepared with a game to play. Our favorite is “I’m Going on a Lion’s Hunt.” We take turns telling what we will bring on a lion’s hunt. The kids love it, it distracts them and pretty soon we’ve arrived at our destination!

Be Realistic

Getting outside with kids is not about the mileage. Set realistic goals that they can attain. This motivates them to want to keep getting out there. This can be a hard one for me. I’m a runner. It’s not uncommon for me to run eight miles in a day. A two-mile hike seems like nothing but it’s a big deal for my kids! I’ve had to shift my mindset away from how far or how fast we will go and slowdown.

When we were out snowshoeing, my five-year-old could not stay on the trail. He would wander off through the deep snow, getting stuck in tree wells and traipsing up the side of the mountain. At first it was cute, but then I found myself getting annoyed because his rabbit trails had slowed us to a tortoise pace. As I felt the frustration start to rise, I stopped, asked myself what my agenda was and realized that I was achieving it. He was in love with the outdoors.

It’s Okay to Bribe

In most areas of our life, there are no bribes. We don’t have sticker charts or reward programs in our home. I have my reasons for it but I’m okay with bringing a bribe to the trail. In fact, one of my favorite memories growing up was the licorice my dad would pack to bribe us up the mountain. The licorice was a special treat, one of the few times we got it and to this day, I have a special love for soft licorice ropes. When we head out, I often pack is little surprise. I’ll give my kids a goal of making it up so many switchbacks or getting to a certain tree and when we make it, I give them a small candy or piece of licorice. These little bribes are great motivators when they’re about to give up and I hope they will remember them with the same fondness I do.

Be Prepared

Have water, snacks, 1st Aid Kit, extra clothes, extra water, extra snacks. This isn’t the time for minimalist packing. Hungry, cold, bleeding kids are not happy kids. And don’t forget to pack for yourself. This is one I’m working on. We got half way up the trail last Friday before I realized I’d forgotten my coat. I was focused on making sure I had everything for the kids that I forgot about myself! So I’m writing this one for myself! Pack at home and double check at the trailhead!

Do you have any fun or practical tips you use to pass on the love of the outdoors to your kids? If you do, please share in the comments below. If you haven’t braved the outdoors with your kids yet, hopefully some of these tips will encourage you to do so this year!

Here is to a year of play, making memories, and passing on a love of the outdoors!
Hannah is mama to two school age boys, an early childhood educator and a PCI Certified Parent Coach®. She loves people and would love to talk to you about any parenting challenge that keeps you up at night or makes you pull your hair out. Click here to set-up your FREE phone consultation or call 503-805-9021.
<![CDATA[Favorite Posts of 2014]]>Wed, 31 Dec 2014 04:16:50 GMThttp://foundationsplc.com/blog/favorite-posts-of-2014
The heart behind "The Daily Rhythm's" Blog and Foundations Parent Coaching is to encourage and support parents to be their very best, to gain the knowledge and support to thrive, not just as a parent but in life. 

As we welcome in the new year, I thought I'd take a minute to share five of my favorite posts from 2014. It was hard to pick just five! Enjoy!

1. The Story of How I Became a Parent Coach

I always love the back-story. I enjoy knowing people's journeys. It helps me get to know them and understand more about the road they have taken to get to where they are. This post is a little of my own back-story. It’s the story of a life that is so much different than I imagined but one where I am learning to live wholehearted and present in each moment.

2. Brake Slamming…Mama Yelling Moments

Have you ever had those moments when you are watching yourself from above and are desperately attempting to stop your “in-the-moment self” from doing and saying things that will break your child’s heart. Here’s the story of one of my moments and what I learned from it.

3. Why I’m Saying No More Sticker Charts

Motivating our kids to do what we want them to do is the story of most parents lives. We try bribing, we try punishing, we try yelling, we try pleading, we offer rewards. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. I’ve thrown out the sticker charts and here is how I am working towards motivating my children in a different way.

4. Throwing Out the “To-Dos”

This is a post I often come back to. It’s a reminder to live present in each moment rather than living for the lists I’m checking off or the projects I’m working on. I read this post and I smile at the memory and continue to make more. So if you find yourself overwhelmed by the “to-dos” on your list, read this post.

5. Joy

Do you long for joy? I do. I long for it to fill my life and overflow onto the people around me. I use to think that joy was found in what I had or didn’t have but I’m finding that joy comes more when I let go and walk with open, trusting hands.

I hope you enjoy these posts and that they offer you some encouragement. I believe each of us has the ability to live and to parent wholeheartedly no matter the circumstance of our lives. It is my joy to partner with parents to support and guide them on their journey. Contact me today to find out how we can work together. 503-805-9021 or Hannah@foundationsplc.com
Hannah is mama to two school age boys, an early childhood educator and a PCI Certified Parent Coach®. She loves people and would love to talk to you about any parenting challenge that keeps you up at night or makes you pull your hair out. Click here to set-up your FREE phone consultation or call 503-805-9021.
<![CDATA[4 Parenting Tips for the Holidays]]>Tue, 16 Dec 2014 01:38:44 GMThttp://foundationsplc.com/blog/4-parenting-tips-for-the-holidays
I don’t know about you but life has been non-stop this past month! It’s been full of fun and laughter, holiday celebrations and spending time with friends with lots more to come.

As fun as all the holiday celebrations are, they often mean late nights, less “down-time” and more situations where my expectations for “well-behaved” children are high. All of this can lead to frazzled parents and crazy kids.

So how can we parent well during the holidays?

First, let’s start with a confession; the following tips are just as much for me as anybody. After witnessing my own meltdown as we frantically raced from one thing to another, I realized I needed to stop, before someone get seriously hurt, and re-set myself and my family. And that’s what good parents do. Good parents are not perfect parents but rather parents who recognize when they are getting off track and work to get it back on track.

So if you’re feeling the holiday crazies, here are some tips for getting back on track.

It’s okay to say no.
No isn’t always a bad word. There are lots of opportunities right now. Probably most of them are good opportunities but recognize when saying no is best for your family. To help me evaluate, here’s a question I often ask myself, “How is this benefitting my family?”

Communicate with your family.
You know what’s on the calendar but does your family? This includes spouses, your kids, grandparents, and all players involved! Typical family schedules seem to go out the window this time of year and you can help your everyone, but especially your kid, by letting them know what the changes are.

Don’t forget the downtime.
Downtime is important for us and for our kids. When we are going non-stop, we delete ourselves. Take time to fill your tank and make sure everyone else is getting a chance to fill his or her tank too.

Watch the Sugar Intake.
Sugar is everywhere this time of year. From cookie decorating to hot chocolate parties, it’s hard to get away from it. Sugar can affect our kid’s behavior in negative ways and probably our own! So make decisions as a family about what the treats and remember…everything in moderation.

Want to chat more? I’d love to arrange a time to talk with you about how Parent Coaching can give you the tools to get yourself back on track and be your best self for you and for your family!E-mail me or follow this link to fill out a form to schedule a time to chat.

Hannah is mama to two school age boys, an early childhood educator and a PCI Certified Parent Coach®. She loves people and would love to talk to you about any parenting challenge that keeps you up at night or makes you pull your hair out. Click here to set-up your FREE phone consultation or call 503-805-9021.
<![CDATA[Saving Christmas!]]>Tue, 09 Dec 2014 01:06:53 GMThttp://foundationsplc.com/blog/saving-christmas
Christmas is getting hijacked. The season of giving has become the season of getting.

And parents are trying hard to get back to the heart of Christmas.

I’ve heard numerous stories this past week of parents cancelling Christmas. The reason, they say, is to help their children understand that Christmas is not about getting.  One mother claimed that the threat and now follow through of canceling Christmas came because her children were behaving so poorly and that canceling Christmas has helped them experience the consequences of their behavior and focus on the giving rather than the getting.

I’m struggling with the idea of canceling Christmas and here’s why. While Christmas is a season of giving, it is also a season of getting. Hear me out on this. Now, I agree that it is easy to focus all of our attention on the getting of “stuff.” But how we receive is equally important to how we give. 

We can receive something two ways. The first is with a heart of entitlement. We receive something with the attitude that says, “we deserve this and more.” I think this is the heart that many parents are trying to guide their children away from.

The second is to receive with a heart of thankfulness. When receiving with thankfulness, we recognize the giver and their heart for us, we appreciate not only the gift, but the time they took to recognize something that would give us delight and the action of giving it.

My heart for myself and for my family is that we would graciously give and receive this Christmas and that our focus would be on relationships and people and not just on “the stuff.”

So, how do we save the spirit of Christmas without canceling it?

For our family, I think a lot of it has to do with what we focus on. The more we focus on something, the bigger it becomes. As the parent, I set the course for my family. If I choose to focus us on how bad my children’s behavior is; their bad behavior is going to grow. And if I focus on giving my children every present on their list, that becomes the focus of our family.

It works the same for the positive stuff. If we focus on giving as a family, that grows. If we focus on the fun family activities we get to do this season; that grows in importance. If our focus is on recognizing and appreciating the people and the gifts we do receive, that grows as well.

So before you threaten to cancel Christmas in your home, take a moment to pause and consider where your focus is. How you can shift your focus and your family’s to gratitude in both giving and getting?
Hannah is mama to two school age boys, an early childhood educator and a PCI Certified Parent Coach®. She loves people and would love to talk to you about any parenting challenge that keeps you up at night or makes you pull your hair out. Click here to set-up your FREE phone consultation or call 503-805-9021.
<![CDATA[The Christmas Bucket List]]>Tue, 02 Dec 2014 06:08:15 GMThttp://foundationsplc.com/blog/the-christmas-bucket-list
Happy first day of December! Can you believe the countdown to Christmas is ticking away!

Is your heart racing at the thought of all the presents to buy, cookies to bake, packages to ship, programs to watch?

Before we race through this month, let’s stop. Take a deep breath. And think about the weeks ahead of us.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in giving our families and friends the “perfect” Christmas that we miss out on the best gift we can give them, our present and engaged self.

Not the self that is shopping for Christmas presents online while baking cookies and reading Christmas stories. Nor the one who is out searching for the perfect Christmas gift instead of enjoying your child’s one line in the Christmas program.

There are so many things wanting our attention this time of year. Many of them are good things, but some of them are empty promises that we think will make us happy but really leaves us feeling empty and missing out on true happiness.

So before I rush into this season, I am going to pause. In this moment I am choosing to be intentional about what is important for me and for my family this season and to focus not of the gifts I will buy or the cookies I will make but rather how we will show-up together this Christmas.

To help me keep my focus all season long, I’m making a Christmas Bucket List. It was so much fun making it! Will you join me in making your own list?

Hannah’s Christmas Bucket List
  1. Countdown Christmas – We have an advent calendar and in each pocket is a strip of paper with a story to read from “The Jesus Storybook Bible.” We started at the beginning and will read through the Old Testament to Jesus’ birth in the next month. I love it because each day our hearts are reminded of the most amazing gift, Jesus.
  2. Christmas Light Snuggles – There is something peaceful and magical about snuggling together on the couch and enjoying the lights of the tree.  
  3. Cookie Baking Party – Instead of rushing through, I want us all to be involved from start to finish and to not worry about the absolute mess my kitchen will become.
  4. Sharing Cookies with our neighbors and friends - Better to share the cookie wealth with others!
  5. Christmas Music Dance Parties! – I don’t think I need to say anything else and notice this is plural…there will be multiple dance parties.
  6. Cross-Country Skiing – I started skiing with my family when I was young and have the best memories from it. I hope to do the same with my boys.
  7. Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows…often…just because it’s Christmas
  8. Neighborhood Christmas Light Tour - At least once a week because there are so many fun lights to see in the neighborhoods around us.
  9. Giving Gifts as a Family – Thinking about and buying, or even better, making gifts together rather than me doing it all.
  10. Calling my Grandma in Phoenix – We don’t do it enough and I know it would make us all happy.
Hannah is mama to two school age boys, an early childhood educator and a PCI Certified Parent Coach®. She loves people and would love to talk to you about any parenting challenge that keeps you up at night or makes you pull your hair out. Click here to set-up your FREE phone consultation or call 503-805-9021.