3.20.2013

Yes. I am one of THOSE Moms.

The Internet is fired up this week buzzing about the ways people do (or don't) celebrate holidays.
Both sides are pretty passionate about their opionions.
I have to admit, at first, I was too.

YES, I am one of *those* moms who LOVE celebrating all holidays with my kids.
YES, I am one of those moms who does little things to make simple holidays a little more fun for my kids. 
Yes, on Valentine's Day I make food shaped as hearts & I make my own Valentine's rather than the store bought ones 
(For me, I love graphic design, so it's EASIER and CHEAPER for me to make one in photoshop & print at home than to drag 3 kids to the store to buy them)
Yes, the Leprechaun does visit our house, leave gold coins and dyes the milk & water green. 
Yes, I do make bunny prints out of flour on our front walkway on Easter morning. I tie dye my Easter Eggs with silk ties because it's cool. We do the grocery store kit also.
Yes, we do Elf on the Shelf during Christmas, but is modified. Our Elf just changes places, he does not "spy on our kids & report to Santa"
Our kids only get a few small gifts for Christmas. 

Birthday Parties? You know I'm obsessed. 
I start planning their parties months & months ahead of time.
But, I have been doing that since before the blogging/Pinterest era. I just LOVE parties. 
I don't give my kids birthday presents, their party is their present.
That is what we do for *our* family.
If in a few years, when my kids don't parties anymore, I will probably cry (ha!) but for now, I will have fun planning them.

Fact is: I LOVE HOLIDAYS. And Parties. 
Always have, always will.

Some (many) people may think doing things like Leprechaun Traps & Bunny tracks are ridiculous.
And you know what? It IS ridiculous. But, it's also fun.
Seeing the joy on my kids faces & hearing their giggles makes the 10 minutes I spend doing these ridiculous things worth it. 
They love it and I love it. 
I don't understand why people are bashing others who do fun things like this.
If you (collective you) don't like doing these things.....Don't do them!!!!
Do what is best for YOUR family.
 Do what traditions you want to do for your family & I will do what I want for my family.
We have several friends who don't do Santa or the Easter Bunny.
And you know what? That is okay!!! Every family is different. 
No reason to judge/mock/look down on others who do things differently.

I guess I don't view it as overboard, just doing little things to make the holidays a little more memorable.
They are only young once, I find joy in doing little things to make memories. 
In just a few short years, they won't believe in all this any more. 
I'm just trying to make it a little more magical while I can. 
I post some of my ideas on here so that maybe I can inspire another mom to do the same (if she is so inclined!) Most of the things I do are easy, quick & don't cost much.

I do fun stuff for lots of these holidays because I WANT TO.
Because I like it and it's fun and my kids love it and it's just a way I enjoy making the every day stuff fun for my kids. 
We make holiday themed crafts and food and I put stuff out for when they wake up in the morning because they like it and I like it. 
And, it is fun to be able to use my creativity every once in a while :)

I am a math teacher. 
Teaching math, I rarely get to use the "right side" of my brain, the creative side.
I LOVE being creative and use my creativity to do fun things for my kids whether it is holidays or their birthday parties.
To me being creative and planning things is not stressful, in fact, it it the opposite.
Doing these things is actually a STRESS RELEASE for me. 
It is therapeutic for me.
If throwing parties stresses you out, don't throw them! 
We have plenty of friends who don't throw parties for their kids and that is okay! 
Again, I will say it: Do what's best for YOUR family.

 So to the Mom's like me who love celebrating all holidays & birthdays AND to the Mom's who don't:
To each her own.
Motherhood is hard enough.
We are all just doing our best & should support each other. 
We don't need to be bashing each other for what we do or don't do. 
Do you love your kids, keep them safe & spend time with them? 
If you answered yes, then I think you are a GREAT Mom. 
The End.

92 comments:

  1. I hate that you even had to post this!! You're right, everyone needs to do what is best for their own family.

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  2. I LOVE this post!! I feel the same way as you. You only have your kids little and at home for such a short time celebrate everything you want. I dislike when moms put one another down instead of lifting one another up.
    I love seeing how you celebrate holidays and birthdays...go ahead and celebrate away. :)

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  3. I think this a fabulous post! I couldn't have said it better. Being a mom is THE hardest job in the world. Different things work for different families, but that's okay. Heather

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  4. I'm so glad you made this post. I had been thinking about doing one also. I've noticed in blog world this last week or so the idea of making special holiday traditions with your kids and in my case grandkids, is somehow offensive to families who choose not to or causing them to do celebrate when they'd rather just not. I agree with you. If you don't want to do it then don't. I loved finding special ways to celebrate when my children were young and take it from someone who knows, those years go way too fast. It's a good thing I have grandkids now (plus a little extra time to come up with fun ideas). I've found some awesome new ones from blogs like yours. Thank you very much.

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  5. Amen! We're all in this mom thing together. Let's support each other and decisions we make for our own families instead of putting each other down. Being a mom is a hard job, but somebody's gotta do it! :)

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  6. Thank you for saying what so many of us want to say!

    You really hit the nail on the head. I do what I want to do with my family, and I'm tired of others criticizing and critiquing my choices.

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  7. One of my favorite things about my parents is that they always made everything fun. Even trips to the grocery store were made fun by their attitudes and creativity (we'd play games as a way to collect the groceries). I think what you do is FANTASTIC! Your kids will remember you being one of those moms for the rest of their lives. Keep it up mama!

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  8. I absolutely agree with this post! I have been very disheartened by some of the posts that I have read recently. If your family enjoys doing a little something extra for a holiday or event, then do it! If not, then don't! It's really a simple concept. The need to bash other families for what they do is unnecessary. I've never felt it neccessary to bash someone for what they do or don't do to celebrate a holiday. (It sounds ridiculous as I'm typing it.) It almost makes me wonder if there isn't something else that is bothering these bashers, but I'm not going go there because I'm not that rude. Live and let live is what I say!:)

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  9. I can't imagine what people have been saying to you to make you feel like you have to justify your family traditions like this! You're absolutely right, though. Everyone should do what's best for themselves and their family. I just don't get why people have to criticize others for doing things differently! It seems so silly! I may not be a mom yet, but I can tell you this much: I want to be a mom just like you! You take so many pictures and make so many wonderful memories for your kids and that's what's important. When I look back on all of my birthdays, I don't remember what I got as gifts when I turned 8. I remember the party I had at home or at Chuck-E-Cheese (I was a big fan). Kate, Claire, and Luke are so blessed to have you and Kevin as parents. They have so many (well documented) memories they'll be able to look back on someday and share with other people. You guys are setting such great examples for them (and for me). I wish my parents had taken more pictures and done little things on "silly" holidays to make them more special, even though I cherish the memories I do have of my childhood. Your Larsons won't have to wish that. I'm glad you're not letting anyone get you down! What you do is great and if people don't agree with it, why on earth are they reading your blog anyway?!

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    1. No one said anything about to me, it was just an article going around facebook that was about over celebrating holidays, etc.

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  10. Well said, even though I haven't seen any of this talk of to celebrate or not to celebrate. We also love celebrating holidays with colored & fun shaped foods, themed clothes, and lots of decorations. My kids love turning anything into a party and we do it because we enjoy it. I hate that so many people bicker over what others do, just because its not what they do. I wish people would just mind their own business sometimes and not worry about what others do.

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  11. Mel, I love you. Lovey love you. SO FREAKING AWESOME.

    Also, please please please PLEASE make this into one of your super duper amazing prints because truer words have never been spoken!!!

    " Do you love your kids, keep them safe & spend time with them?
    If you answered yes, then I think you are a GREAT Mom.
    The End."


    Also? It is SO FREAKING PRIVILEGED that anyone spends time criticizing others for spending time and attention on our kids but not doing it the right way. People need some reality checks about what real problems are.

    No money, no food, no shelter, no health care.

    Or bad parenting?
    Abuse, neglect, starvation, emotionally destroying your kids.

    You go, girl.

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    1. Thanks Laura. Maybe I will make a print out of it :)

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  12. Amen! I wish I had more time as a full-time teacher to do those little things for my kids. Now that they are "older" at ages 13 and 10, I am doing more of it 'cause they require less help from me at the end of the day. You keep doing what you do because you are you and you rock at it!

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  13. I find planning fun and the little things are like mindless projects for me let let me create. I'm with ya! Great post.

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  14. I'm so sorry that you have been getting flak for your fun holiday postings! You are making your kids childhoods AWESOME!

    I also LOVE parties and start planning their next ones almost as soon as their current birthday party ends! :)

    I love what you are doing and I can't wait for my girls to get a little older so they can really join in all the holiday fun!

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    1. Hi Keri, I haven't gotten flack (personally) it was just a overall generalization on holiday/party obsessed moms :)

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  15. Ugh. It takes so much energy to be ugly. We don't do all the "pretend" stuff (not even Santa... I'm THAT mom) but no way am I going to judge someone else for their choices. Sheesh. I love all your parties and silliness. :) Keep it up!

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    1. How dare you not do Santa!!!! What kind of mom are you? :)
      You know I'm joking. Love ya (and your awesome parties!!)

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  16. I found your blog from Kelly's Korner a few months ago and I've been stopping by occasionally b/c I think you are so crafty and fun! You have an adorable family too! I am also a teacher and a mom of two girls (we've gone back and forth about number 3 for a while). I too LOVE making the holidays extra special for my girls. That pesky little leprechaun has been visiting our house and my classroom for years and it's SO much fun! I have friends that probably think I go overboard but that's okay. We all just need to do what's works for our family. :O) Great post!

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  17. Amen, amen, amen!!!! A thousand times over! I have 3 little ones under 4 and often come to your blog for inspiration on fun things to do for the holidays. I was also raised by a kindergarten teacher, so I have wonderful memories of fun holiday crafts and activities from my own childhood. I was saddened by the recent posts on HuffPost and Facebook of once again, moms bashing other moms for their choices. Thank you so much for this post!!!


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  18. I used to feel snarky about crafty moms and Pinterest. I did some soul searching and realized that it was because I felt insecure. I quit focusing on what I couldn't do and started celebrating and feeling confident in what I could.

    We all have different gifts, talents and strengths.

    Good post.

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    1. Wow, Sunni. Thanks for your honest comment. I totally appreciate it. And, yes....we all have different talents!!!!

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  19. My daughter is a teenager now so she isn't interested in the cutesy part of holidays. This year we are going to be in New York for Spring Break on Easter. I said how am I going to do an Easter basket and she said oh don't worry about it I don't want one. WHAT?!?! Go ahead and do all the special things you want..they grow up fast enough! At least she is still big on our Christmas traditions!

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    1. Thank you for sharing, I know these years will be over soon. Glad your daughter still like the Christmas traditions!
      My mom still give my sisters & I (and our spouses) Easter Baskets & Stockings at Christmas :)

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  20. Thank you! I I am proud to be that mom too.

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  21. Amen!! You said it perfectly
    I love your style and to each their own.

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  22. I couldn't agree with you more. If someone doesn't throw parties, that's their deal. They shouldn't put it on you as guilt or drama.
    Nikki
    rushedmommy.com

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  23. Amen Amen Amen! Well said sister!!!!! My kids are 16 and 19 and just Sunday (St. Patty's Day) I left a car cleaning kit with candy for my 19 year old and a Lily Tumbler and candy for my 16 year old. I still have their rooms covered in balloons when they wake up on their birthday and we still leave milk and cookies for Santa - to each her own! We love celebrating the little things!!!!!!

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  24. Well said! I love that you celebrate fun ways with your family. Your posts about holidays and birthday parties are always my favorite. I agree...you kids are only young once. It's so much fun to see their eyes light up and feel that magic!

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  25. So well said! I love celebrating the little things with my girls and seeing them light up.

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  26. I agree. I saw the post this week circulating on facebook that you're referring to. I immediately felt the same way as you! We celebrate even the tiny things because everyday is a gift from God! Why not celebrate knowing that?!?

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  27. I tried posting from my phone and got so annoyed. Anyway, could not agree more with this post. I agree - our children are only little for so long and if we can make them laugh and giggle with silly stuff or things we make or buy on the cheap than what harm is that? I read the post you were talking about it and I say to each his/her own! We'll create the memories we want for our children and to me those memories include the silly and fun craft ideas we come up with.

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  28. Mel I don't think you have to explain yourself. The post that caused all of this hype is more directed towards moms like me who work in a corporate job and would LOVE to do all of those things...but don't have time. I think it is more about giving me a little pat on the back that if I don't do all those things I'm still a good mom.
    I read your blog because I would dearly love to do all the crafty fun things you do with your kids, but I don't get home until 6pm and there just isn't time.
    Please know that we all read because we like what you do. Don't ever feel like you need to defend yourself.

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  29. You are sooo right! I love reading your posts and I try to do some small things with my kids on holidays to make it magical, but feel no less of a mom on the holidays when I just can't pull it off, or just decide I don't want to anymore. I think you do a great job with your kids and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

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  30. That's right! To each her own!
    The more fun for the kids, the better!

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  31. Great post Mel! You know I love YOU and your fabulous parties, excitement, and joy for life! While I am one of your "several friends" that don't do Santa or the Easter bunny I've always loved the way you incorporate Santa, the Bunny, etc. while making the holiday about Jesus. Your kids DEFINITELY know what Christmas and Easter are all about! Most importantly, you don't mother to please others, you mother (in your wonderful/unique way) to please Jesus. And you do! Love you, Kelly

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    1. Thank you, Kelly! I appreciate your sweet comment. Love you! xoxo.

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  32. Great post! I also loved and laughed at that other post I think you are talking about because I get where she is coming from too with all the things they celebrate at school and all the extra emphasis on holidays. Having two children in school now and having to send eggs for egg hunts, and 100 days of school stuff, make Dr. Suess hats, etc has started to wear me out a little:). I WISH I could do those things to the fullest, and in fact I want to, but in this season I just can't anymore. This year and last year, we probably won't even dye Easter eggs. Sad, I know. I'm with you though, each mom decides what is right for her family and has to be ok with how God has made her. If you are not crafty or don't like giving favors at birthday parties, then don't! I happen to love birthday parties and all that goes into them and like you, planning and creating them is a stress reliever and gives me so much satisfaction. I have had to give up some of my loves with this 4th child, but when I have the energy and the desire, I go all out because I love it...not because I feel like I must:). I think we all just need to encourage one another on in our gifts and desires and realize that we are all different and no family is the same. I love seeing all the fun stuff you do for holidays. I do wonder how you have the energy though:)!

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    1. Hi, Just wanted to say your comment really touched me, I completely agree. I'm in my 20s and I'm not a mum but I share these feelings and thoughts...I look forward to spending time crafting,baking and being creative and sharing my passions with my future children but I do somewhat worry that I will get overwhelmed (knowing myself and my energy levels)...so I just wanted to say, although I don't know you, I think you're doing a great job and from the words you've written here I get the impression your children are so lucky to have such a balanced, and insightful mother! Be kind to yourself and enjoy the moments -- I, like you, love reading Mel's posts and am in awe of her energy and spirit :)!
      - Kate

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  33. My oldest is 7, and I worry as each holiday passes, that a little magic will fade and he will start to figure things out (ie Santa etc.) So by golly, I will make every passing day as magical as it can be for my kids. Ten minutes of planning is totally worth the squeals of delight I hear from them!

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  34. Hi Mel, I enjoy reading your posts, love your holiday and party and baking posts (Also your photos are awesome, your family is very sweet and I like how you are joyful in your writing but also keep it real with how you write about your days) ... dreaming of a time when I can throw parties like yours!
    I totally get where you're coming from and say - keep on spreading the joy! I can see the point of the article that you graciously did not refer to (I really like how you didn't go into that) - and I really hope when I become a mother I have the energy and wherewith-all to be creative and crafty like I am now - you inspire me, I love how you include your girls in baking and crafting! I am not as high energy as you are, and can get easily overwhelmed so I am a bit worried about how I'll fare in the future as the creative mum who loves it (also a night owl!), but I am vowing to be kind to myself and I'm sure it will be ok. I can see how School crafts/activities can be overwhelming and a lot of homework for mothers (especially for mothers who don't have craft-loving kids!)! Keep enjoying what you're doing & having a laugh!
    - Kate
    P.S. I whipped mini Lemon Meringue Pies for Pi-day - yes totally ridiculous but love it! And I used store-bought tart cases because it was a weeknight-after a long day at work but still wanted to spread the "Pi-love" ha!

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  35. Great post! I read the post that you're talking about, and while I could see where she was coming from my mom was one who made everything fun...even if we didn't have Leprachaun visits or Bunny prints, it was made fun for us because she cared & loved us & spent quality time with us & we LOVED our mom.

    I totally agree, that as moms we're all in this together so why do we bash each other instead of just lifting each other up & recognizing that we can all do things differently but still do them right?!?

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  36. I am so thankful you share your creativity on your blog! I am not a creative person by nature. God has gifted me in other areas, but I am so thankful for the internet so I can find fun things to do on holidays and other times that I would have never thought up on my own. I have used so many of your cool ideas with my kids. So press on, keep sharing your ideas, keep crafting, keep being creative to help this un-creative mom out. lol :)

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  37. Well said Mel. I applaud you for speaking up for ALL. The truth is we ALL have our own way of doing things, making memories and living our lives as a family. I have found special ways to love my family in ways that are right for us...and that's really all that matters. Thank you again for all you do! I appreciate how you love God, your family and your community well!
    Love,
    Dana

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  38. I read the article that I think you're responding to as well. Growing up, my family did not do anything for holidays other than Christmas, Thanksgiving and an occasional something special for our bday. I LOVE that you make every holiday special for your kids. I've been reading your blog for a couple years now and you've been inspiring me all along to do fun things to make life special for my family...and it's been great! Thanks to your inspiration, I've had a great time creating birthday parties for my son that are fun and make him feel loved and special. I loved your Elf on a Shelf activities so much I bought one for us to use this coming Christmas and am SO excited about it! I even ordered my son's birth announcements from you because I loved your designs and the extra mile you go to make your announcements look beautiful and personalized. Keep doing what you're doing! You're doing a fabulous job making LOTS of fun memories with your kids that they will never forget! Thanks for sharing all your great ideas so others can recreate the same fun and magic during the holidays!

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  39. What is life without parties and celebrations?? No fun, that's what! When we take time to slow down and have a little fun on the {smaller} holidays, that's what makes the best memories! :) I'm excited to eventually have kids of my own and make our own traditions. To each their own!

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  40. Love this. A friend of mine sent me the article and in a "joking" manner said it was directed at me. Completely agree....I do parties and fun things for my kids because I like doing it. I am not judging anyone else for them doing things in their own way. Just because my kid brought a hand made valentine to daycare doesn't mean I expect one back. Isn't that the lesson we are teaching? Teaching kids that they are all different with different talents? That they don't have to do what others are doing? You are totally right that being a mom is hard enough....we don't need competition! Great post and well said!

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  41. I love this response. Mom's feel pressure from so many different sources in life that perhaps blaming this "holiday" pressure on others is a default response rather than a situation where we personally need to let go of the things in our own lives that are not important for our family. I have struggled with this. I've struggled to not give into the pressure that I put on doing these fun "extras" because I want to {it would be even harder if I didn't want to do them}. If things are not manageable for a particular season in my families life it is my responsibility to let that go. If we are not in a creative mode or holiday "extras" are not an expense that we can make sacrifices for...whatever the case...I just need to let that go and be okay with it. I'm with you! To each his own!

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  42. So agreed. I was thinking this EXACTLY this week. I keep seeing people bashing those of us who craft and Pinterest. Because they can't be bothered/ they think it's a waste of time/ they'd rather be doing x/ etc. etc. I've never thought the other way around... "You're NOT on Pinterest?? How horrible!"

    Just let me be happy with my crafts! :)

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  43. I originally read the blog you are referencing this post off of. And I was very annoyed. I didn't comment to the blog owner but I left the blog thinking "how dare she judge me". I have several in real life friends who are up in arms with my husband and I for doing the Easter Bunny & Santa. Just so ridiculous how people get, over things that should not matter. Do what's best for your family and let me worry about mine. So thank you for this post.. Big round of applause here in Texas. :) Couldn't agree more with ya.

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  44. I love reading your blog because I also love to be crafty! Not a mom, but I still love to do things for my niece... you aren't just throwing parts and celebrating holidays, you are creating amazing family memories. You are creating an atmosphere for your kids to grow up in a happy home with plenty of artsy self-expression. I think your blog also encourages others moms and non-moms alike, to do what makes them happy. Your enthusiasm is contagious : )

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  45. Love it friend...absolutely love it!! Well said. Keep it up, your blog gives me tons of ideas and motivations and I think you are one amazing mama!!

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  46. You inspire me: as a mom and a blogger. I love reading about your adorable family and all the cute stuff you do. Your blog is my very favorite. I tried to talk my daughter into a pancake party like you just had bc it was so darn cute but she chose Barbie. And currently my husband is making fun of me for all of the Starbucks glass bottles I am saving for milk and paper straws from Target! Keep doing what you're doing. :) we will keep reading and being inspired. Thank you for being you and encouraging us to be us!

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    1. So I just saw the post that was going around - I follow KellyKorner's blog as well and she had linked it. I found it very offensive. I understood what she was saying - I think. But the harshness of it was out of line in my opinion. I'm sorry it hurt your feelings. We love what you do Mel. And our kids are worth it!!!! You encourage me.

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  47. Thank you for this post. I am 100% right there with you, sister. I think it is silly that we have to justify wanting to go all out. Our kids are only little once.

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  48. Such a great post! I think the biggest thing people need to do is STOP comparing. I get that there are some people who do some of this stuff just "for show", but I absolutely love doing some of it, and like you said - did so before blogging and Pinterest ever were a thing. And yes, I do share about them on my blog because I like to remember it and it's fun to share. I love getting ideas from others so try to do the same. But I love your creativity and am so glad you always share!

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  49. I agree. There is no harm in making childhood a little more magical! Carry on girl!

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  50. You have created memories that your children will carry with them for a lifetime. You should never apologize for that. My youngest is now 18 and I am sad that we aren't really doing that anymore. Prom is coming up though. He is going to be running away before I do too much. I enjoyed all those things, if someone doesn't that is their choice. I am visiting from DYWW blog hop. I am a new follower. I look forward to seeing all the things you are doing for your children.

    http://agutandabutt.blogspot.com/

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  51. Hey Mel! Who doesn't like doing fun things with their kids? Our kids are 23, 21 and 17 and every chance we get...we do.something.fun! Lol! I agree...who's to say what you do with your kids is wrong. My motto..."whatever floats your boat baby"! ;-) Thanks so much for dropping by and linking up! Have a wonderful weekend!;-)

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  52. I don't even have kids yet, but I read so many mommy blogs and have heard similar messages from others - I absolutely LOVE this. Thanks for sharing.

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  53. Yes, yes, yes!

    This:
    "To each her own.
    Motherhood is hard enough.
    We are all just doing our best & should support each other.
    We don't need to be bashing each other for what we do or don't do.
    Do you love your kids, keep them safe & spend time with them?
    If you answered yes, then I think you are a GREAT Mom.
    The End."

    This is the heart of the matter. It's so unfortunate that moms feel inferior based on what they choose to do or not do with their kids. Although there are certainly a few exceptions, I think we're all doing the best we can.

    (And also, I was a high school science teacher for 10 years. We have more in common than our holiday celebrations. Nice to meet you!)

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