“he’s a bit of a fixer-upper…”

olafBecause is there, really, a better parallel than to a Disney movie? For all you Frozen fans, and the like…aka: the real fans: parents! You’ll recognize the above lyrics right away.

This song is obviously about a work in progress, and that the only way to fix a fixer upper is to fix them up with love. I couldn’t sing it better myself. (But I have… although none of us wanted to fall into the category of that parent… I’ll admit I love a catchy toon:)

The message is powerful in this production. We are called to love. The judgements must stop. The words behind their backs must stop. The looks must stop. The laughter must stop. We have to love people and not worry about what it costs us to simply love them with all we have. It becomes easy to you love when you determine yourself to do it.

Make up your mind to love everyone. No matter what they look like, say, or do, love is always the best remedy. This world is dark and we are called to bring Light. The light in this world ignites from Love. You can’t change anything by mocking it, but the first step in change comes from a different thought. You can be the dloveifference in thoughts. Think about that… annnd yep. YOU just had a DIFFERENT THOUGHT about yourself.

From the timeless proverb out of an extremely wise snowman comes the following statement, “Some people are worth melting for…” We need to lay aside our internal “Prince Hans” and recognize what we want in life, and what we can sacrifice to help it come to pass. It can be done; in fact, it already has been done.fam

The greatest act of true love happened over 2000 years ago on a tree. A tree He created, on a hill He spoke into existence. The most beautiful Sacrifice gave it all for the sake of change. For you, for me…. He made the choice to love so we can forever be with our Creator. True love started there, and continues with you! So go ahead and “Let it go…” [because you KNOW I had to...]

xxmeg

 

Tounge Tied | The Power of Words

blogWhat power does a word have? Figuratively speaking, it’s just a little sentence in the realm of an entire lifetime of dialogue… Biblically broken down, it happens to be the opposite extreme, dealing with the power of life and death. Your tongue is a true depiction of your heart. What are you saying? Who are you speaking to? And what do you sound like?

This oral anomaly effects more than just the person it’s spit at. These words impact who you are and who you become. A hurled insult, an impressive slur, a back-handed compliment, a bit of sarcasm… these words impact a life, and not just the one that’s being attacked.

You have a voice in so many lives. Are you the voice of life or death? Do you celebrate and love and bring joy and peace; do you discourage and tear down and bring the juiciest gossip to the verbal potluck? Are you tongue tied by negativity or grace? Check the root of your perfectly potted discussion and find out what makes it so plush. If your glam is produced in cracked, dry soil, you’ll never produce the harvest you hope for. Re soil, repot, and water your seeds to eat the fruit of love, humility, kindness, joy, peace, hope, and e v e r y  t h I n g good that life can produce.blog2blog1

You have the capability to change this world, one word at a time. This might sound outlandishly impossible, but changing your world is the beginning of changing our world. You truly are a ripple effect… as a friend, a child, a coworker, a spouse, a parent, a . complete . stranger. There’s something that lasts about the words you speak: your reputation. It goes blog4before you, and stays well after you are gone. What do you want to be remembered by?

I am convinced that your relationships are determined by your words. Do you want a better marriage, a promotion, etc? Just follow the golden rule, and don’t be hater… that’s the secret weapon. Be the constant reminder of something sweet. You can represent truth and mercy, because you get to choose what you say. Fill your mind with the Word and hide it in your heart, and then when you open your mouth, that’s exactly what will come out.

xx meg

How Our Summer Is Going To Be NEW & EXCITING!

summer1Los Angeles, CAlif: This Mommy is ON. A. MISSION.

1. I’M SHOPPING DOUBLE. You heard me. I’m buying 2, 3, 4 of EVERYTHING. May I also recommend a secondary, fully-packed diaper bag complete with non-perishable snacks + extra everything (a wrapped gift in the car also never hurt).
Example: We have at least 4 open containers of sunscreen (1 for beach bag, diaper bag, car, and house).

Objection: Too expensive.

My Response: No way – this will SAVE you money! Imagine buying sunscreen at the Zoo gift shop (hello 1/4 oz. bottle for $12). When you’re desperate, you certainly can’t be a brand snob (like I am- Mary Kay sunscreens are the BEST). And seriously, if you can’t get through 4 bottles before they expire, you and your LO’s need to get out more. Or use more sunscreen. Just saying.

summer3

2. CALL ME CHRISTA-COLUMBA MOMMY. Discover new places! Your city’s Red Tricycle is the best place to start. What’s happening near you, that you’re missing out on?

Our recent discoveries:
- Splash Parks (L.A has dozens)
- Mommy nail places + spas
- Pamper & Play (in L.A.)

Objection: “I can barely go to the grocery store with my kids, it’s just all so hard.”

My Response: Seriously, you guys? I am SO TIRED of hearing moms who have been tricked into thinking they can’t do things that they CAN. C’mon, be adventurous! What happened to that 22-year-old whose motto was, “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me!” — Time for her to make a permanent come-back.

Photo Jun 22, 7 58 49 PM

3. SING WITH ME: Summer lovin’ had me a blast… MORE DATE NIGHTS!!

His benefit: He’s reminded of how good you look dolled up as his arm candy.
Her benefit: Sanity. Returning. Slowly…

Objection: If babysitting costs are an issue, trade babysitting with your bff’s. If you’re really desperate… I know a couple who checks their kids into the church nursery/ Sunday School and once a month goes to Starbucks next door (no joke). Whatever it takes, your kids benefit when their parents are getting enough mommy-daddy-time.

For our super-observant readers: Yes, most of my blog articles say something about breaking free from kids. I swear this is not a secret cry for help. I just enjoy my breaks!

summer4

4. MAKE A GOAL POSTER. Make your goal your Summer Theme and display it where you’ll see it all the time (“This Summer, Jack is Signing on 35 New Clients!”). Pick your goals as a couple/ as a family, narrow your focus, and be proactive. Be your spouse and children’s strongest believer and biggest encourager!

 

Summer2

Beyond Super Cute Cocktail Dresses: 3 Mommy Lessons of the 1950s

1950s blog3 Moms of the 1950s. Remembered for their car seat safety? Doubtful. Responsible for the mompreneur movement? Not so much…  What Google would like you to believe is that this decade was full of nothing but limitations for moms- and women who were expected to become wives and moms.

Ok so I won’t jump in my time machine quite yet.

But… There are some life lessons to be learned from these women of 60 years ago!

1.  Challenges in Parenthood… Inevitable!*

 *Unless you were blessed with perfect children like we were… LOL!!!

1950s blog4They knew it back then, but did we not get the message? Or were we not listening? Do we think having the Internet is going to magically transform parenthood into a cakewalk?  Of course, we can now share tips instantly (thank you, Pinterest) to make our lives easy-ER. I can’t even count how many doctor trips WebMD has saved us. But if we can get it out of our head that parenting is meant to be “the easiest thing in the world”… then I think we’ll all approach this more realistically and not be surprised when the rubber hits the road.

2.  Life Does Not Need to Be SOO Complicated

1950s blog2Life used to be- figuratively and literally- more black & white. You’ve heard of the famous Mary Kay Ash slogan “K.I.S.S.”? Keep It Simple Sweetie (Mary Kay was known for saying this, although I couldn’t find its exact origin). When you are juggling your ping pong balls (wife hat, mommy hat… serious disciplinarian mom, fun mom…) remember to keep things as simple as possible. When in doubt, go with your maternal instincts. God built those inside you for a reason!

3. Pre-dating the ‘50s… Depressed Moms Got Time Away!

momvacationOk yes I’m referring to psychiatric centers. HAHAHA!!! Ok fiiiine that may be a liiiitttttle extreme for the majority of us and I’m not proposing we bring these back (although admit it, there are some days you’d jump at the chance), but my question is this: when’s the last time you escaped for a day sans-kiddies? Or took yourself out to coffee without someone begging for a cake pop? If you hesitated, then it’s time girl. Go forth and enjoy!

ex besties

jessWhat do you do when your bestie suddenly becomes your enemy? Broken friendships are almost thee worst to get over. Typically, women love to pour all that we are into a friendship, and then if it falls apart, a piece of us is in shambles. Most of us have experienced the loss of a bff. No one expects it, but if happens, I believe there is a lesson just waiting to be taught to each of us.     [mah main girl, Jess!->]

It could be a man, a bad habit, a change in behavior… regardless of the reason, it still hurts both women just as much. Whether she is to blame, or it’s all on you, you truly can be scarred for a lifetime – IF you aren’t careful. All relationships should have requirements; each person in your life should understand why they are there, and exactly who they are to you. Therefore, I hope the following standards help eliminate the possibility of friendship disaster, and keep your girlfriends on speed dial for both outfit consultation and pitty party (of 2), alike.

linds1. do you | Love above all else. Judgment should be laid aside, and both of you should decide that you will choose to believe the best about the other.

[my fran fahevah, Linds!]

2. true dat | No matter what, y’all decide the truth is the most important part of your friendship. Transparency will transform you both, AND make you better.

3. ride or die | Commitment is essential. This may be the most difficult to determine, but possibly the most rewarding piece of all your efforts, because you go through it all together!

4. goody.goody | Right choices make all the difference. Decide to succeed and live life to the fullest, always doing good.

5. sealed! | Keeping secrets and killing gossip = friendship. Be loyal and kind in every situation.

If you have never experienced the love, truth, commitment, righteousness, kindness, and loyalty a friendship can offer… you’ve never experienced the very reason we were called into community with one another. I urge you to find the girl that not only shares your affinity for Madden and Anthro, but shares your heart in living a life that’s worth blushing over, no matter the effort it takes.

lemo“There are people who have money and people who are rich.”
- Coco Chanel

That babe has it right! Allow whatever fragrance you wear to be more than just a scent lingering in your nasal… allow it to be the aroma of your lifestyle, and rep your bff well!

[my very best! in life & my last, but not least, ride or die in life... pictured above, my husby, LM!]

xx meg

The “Growing Pains” of Pregnancy

There’s nothing quite like the moment you hear, “WOW!! You must be ready to pop any day now!!!” from a complete stranger….. and you’re seven months along. At that point, it seems you might want to pop some thing, or some one, else!pregnancy

Be confident with your bump… After all, you are growing a tiny person in there- such a beautiful miracle!

“Being comfortable in your skin” takes on a whole new meaning in pregnancy. I say things to my husband like… “Oh my goodness! My belly is getting so big!” And he replies with, “yeah! You’re pregnant!” But it’s so different when your body is the one morphing into a giant. The best way I could explain it to my husby is by comparing myself to a Transformer… And I know he’d be too swept up in wishing he were one to really understand the metaphor. SO… We, subdivisions, need to support one another… because that’s what neighborhoods do. ;)

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a goody… He’s THEE most supportive, understanding, encouraging and loving man I could ask for. So why is it then when I feel the size of a house- the weight of HIS words aren’t good enough? Because it’s a constant game of comparison with other women and their bodies. Unfortunately, we find a lot of our self worth in our size. #barbietruama

But who you are has nothing to do with your pant size. Who you are is your heart. What are you sewing into it? How are you working out your heart? Did you know your heart is a muscle?!!! Whether physical activity is a part of your weekly routine or not, we can all agree that it should be. Your heart WILL change your mind. preg2

Work that muscle. Exercise it by reading materials you are passionate about. Pieces that motivate you, make you stronger, give you confidence and hope. I’ll drop you off with a bit before I bow out. Allow wisdom to come into your life, soak into your heart, and knowledge will be a sweet aroma in your soul, discretion will keep you, and deliver you from going down the wrong path, and from associating with the wrong people.

xx

Spring Cleaning: Forgiveness Edition

IMG_0152Forgive and forget? That phrase is a huge pill to swallow. How is this possible to erase the memory that left the biggest scar on your heart? It’s not an overnight cleanse, but it’s an emotional and spiritual… and even in some cases, a physical cleanse that is necessary for your health. Let me help you say good bye to the ugly, and hello to the beautiful… Bring a little peace in your life!

It’s been years ago… she hurt you really bad. Your friendship can not be mended.

He broke your heart… left you for another woman. He took the very understanding of love from you.

You were abandoned… given up to live a life of freedom. Your parents will never know the gift of you.

There is no methodology to bitterness and brokenness… it simply just is. It’s a sore, a relentless pain that takes your breath away, makes you sick to your stomach, and makes you cringe at the thought of seeing this person/these people. Unforgiveness is bondage… invisible handcuffs and ankle chains that bind you to possibly the worst memory you have ever known. As soon as your mind wanders there… you can’t come back without thoughts of anger, grief, and hatred.

How can you ever forgive the one who touched you or maybe your child?

The one who told you, you would never be anything, you weren’t worth anything, and there was really no reason for you to live?

The one who makes you feel like an invalid in their very presence, as if you really aren’t a person at all.

HOW DO YOU?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can’t do this alone. There is One who can erase your pain, erase your sorrow, and literally turn your misery into a life-changing memory.

Each of the above examples have personally scarred my life. There are ways to allow the only One, Jesus Christ, to take them away. After prayer and a true sense of turning away from the issue, the pain, and after owning up to ANY and ALL responsibility you may have or may NOT have in the situation, there is a step more that you can take. Give them something tangible that means something to you. (I know, right?! Super tough!!) Something that only you would give to someone special to you. Make them special. Because Jesus made each one of us special. There is a reason you are reading this now and have dealt with what you have. Let your biggest defeat in life, actually become THEE biggest defeat over your life. Conquer with love.

A salute on this Memorial Day… to all those who fought for your freedom; don’t live in bondage any longer. There is peace.

xx meg

 

 

Spring Cleaning | *How To Mend InLaw Issues*

There’s always that one person in your family… You know the one. The unashamedly, professing modern Einstein, the one that’s so fetch they only have about a second to spare even for their own time zone, the microcosm of Jerry Springer’s prime, the self-appointed hierarchy, etc.blog2
With that being said… I have a category too, and although I strive to be the loving servant… I’m sure my fam has a very different description for me. People mean well …most of the time… and even if we believe they must have some genetic mutation or a general case of our current #selfie society, the fact is… Their perception of them is what they want to expose.
It is my goal in life to study people. People that I love, and especially people I don’t care to love, but that I should.
Let’s chat in laws: It might be that mother in law of yours. She has advice at every whim of your baby, every move you make and how it SHOULD be made, she’s always there with her Superman cape in toe, etc. and although you’d like to remind her of a few things, ie: Superman is a fictional character, so hang up the cape, already!!… You just can’t. It comes out wrong or you bottle it in… Or you cram it all down your husby’s throat.
Or maybe it’s your sister in law that always has her hair in every place, smells like a cloud sent from Heaven, and walks in a dust of glitter; while she leaves the worst unscented aroma ever, not lifting a finger because her mani might chip. Or the drama, drama, DRAMA king in your fam, who always has to one up your story with his UNbelievable one (for good reason), or possibly the BOSS, that waltzes around with every “answer”, but never a real solution…
It’s like these people just lurk around you. And you’re stuck with them. There’s better news.
In life, families sweep things under the rug. They stash their dirty little secrets in the drawer, and they have an entire wardrobe of unmentionables flousing around in secrecy. But, unfortunately, you always see their “secret stash” and the risky little pieces in their armoire.blog
I suggest we Spring clean; mend the unravelling issues, and hang the clothes out to dry! Don’t hear me wrong… It’s not a chore list for today. This will take time, patience, and love… Determine to solely focus on the good qualities they obtain. Pray for opportunities to highlight their strengths. Serve them with joy. Allow your perspective to change so love can take over, and it TRUUUULY can cover a multitude of sin. Hal.le.lu.jah!!

*I’d love to hear some of your in law stories… This is a super quick version of an entire novel, so please comment below or email me at mrs.ljcrawford@gmail.com to discuss the issues of life. There is hope and peace waiting!!*

Mom Against Mom

Her: The mom in the store that has two kids orangoutang-ing off the cart, one (at the very least) is throwing the ultimate tantrum, while the other is constantly tapping his mom over and over, going ape-cray for her attention. While mother is wild for shopping, and shopping alone. Your response: Dear Lord, lady! Control them… You have TWO. How hard can that be?! I know what would take care of that awful behavior! I’ll never…..

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We seem to always have the more appropriate response to discipline, to a better cooking lifestyle, healthier physique, to a more effective education, a well-balanced spiritual and emotional developmental plan… and so on.

And then…

The plight of the third born. You welcome your third blessing that seems to be a little more “active” than the others. It’s as if one day, someone slaps on a perspective lens, and you see her point of view. You see her in you. You get it.

It doesn’t mean you still don’t believe most of what you do is the right way of doing it, because I’d hope we all do; it’s a part of caring for our children the best way we possibly can, but it means… You finally let “her” off the hook. [My superheroin->]blog3

My personal definition of who we are.
mom: one that possesses superheroin powers, class, sass, and the ability to love tiny monsters.
With that being stated, it’s obvious to see that we are all in the same situation, taming a little beast, and doing the best we can, while masking our own internal monster.

Let’s learn to love one another a little better. Recognizing it isn’t mom against mom, but a sort of union where we can work together for the common good of our next generation. So the next time you see me, my three under four, and oh, so preg bump… Instead of passing me bye, let’s send a caring smile of “I so get it”, or a precious look of approval, or simply a warm word of “Keep going, mama! We can do this.” And offer a gentle exit. We all need to be let off the hook every now and again.

I’m for you. You can do this. There’s no better mom for your child than you. We all feel crazy sometimes. We all get overwhelmed. We all have the holy terror moments. Let’s learn to love one another, and meet each other where we are. Happy belated Mother’s Day to the younique job that only YOU can do!

the reason I am a momma![<- The reason I am a momma <3!!]

xx meg

What my husband has taught me: enjoy your kids and THEN clean up.

IMG_9985[1]Maybe dads have it right.

Have you seen the Kitchenaid slogan “Cook Like You Don’t Have To Clean”? This IS how men cook: They’re not afraid to use every spoon, bowl, and pan you own in preparation for one meal. It’s also how men live in their house. And… It’s how they play with their children.

If you watched me play with my 1 and 2-year-old sons, you’d see me sneaking toys back to their boxes as soon as (I hoped) they were done playing with them. My husband, however, isn’t afraid to let them empty every toy vessel in their room. Then he’ll chase them into their high chairs and go back and tidy while they’re stuffing their faces full of… well, daddy dietary choices and their perception of appropriate baby feeding times will be saved for another blog.

Since we became parents almost 2 ½ years ago, I have watched my husband in action.

Messy RoomAnd this is what I’ve learned:

1. IT IS OKAY- IF NOT PREFERENTIAL- TO MAKE A MESS! You’ve seen the Pinterest now-cliché “Please excuse the mess, the children are busy making memories”? I used to wince when the kids splashed water on my top while I gave them a bath… Now, I’m grateful if there is less than an inch of water flooding the bathroom floor.

The change came when I realized we weren’t going to raise an Olympic swimmer if Mommy modeled disgust at a few droplets of water.

2. A BROKEN ITEM CAN TEACH MORE LESSONS.

The Mom Scenario:

Mom sees potential hazard and moves it. End of story.

The Dad Scenario:

Dad never dreamed his 2-year-old would throw the snowglobe on the ground that was just handed to him. But in the 15 minutes that follow the breakage, 2-year-old will learn: cleaning, responsibility, and how to say, “I’m Sorry.” Dad and son will also dissect the inside of the globe (science lesson!), and if  he cut his finger–medical lesson! Dad will probably whisper, “Son, you are far more important than any material object” (lesson in FATHERLY LOVE!).

3. CLEAN-UP IS QUICKER SANS-KIDLETTES.

Daddy Vacuming

 

If possible, clean around your baby’s sleep schedule. But in case they’re awake, it’s time to get out the pillows, blankets, and a chair for some serious FORT TIME.

I believe GOOOD parenting is not determined by whether you compiled the most perfect baby shower registry, whether you were a breastfeeding mom, or know all the lyrics to “Rock a Bye Baby.” Good parents spend their time LOVING their kids and their spouse.

And GREAT parents… Are ready to get their hands messy.