Sunday, November 17, 2013


It is the season of thanksgiving. In the past week, I have been reminded repeatedly of the beauty of a thankful heart. Practicing gratitude is a moment by moment choice. Negativity and the "have nots" assault us constantly and in these moments, I have a choice to make. I can choose to focus on what is bring life and joy or I can focus on what is not.

My heart's desire is to live my life wholeheartedly. My desire is to live present and joyful in all the moments I have been given. This is so much easier said than done! What I notice in my own life is my ability to engage in life becomes a whole lot easier when I practice gratitude in the midst of all things.

I find that as a parent, it can be easy for me to focus on what is not going well in my day or what current behavior in my children I am struggling with. What I have also learned is focusing on these things drains me and my ability to parent well. When I shift my focus to a practice of gratitude, my ability to engage wholeheartedly with my children increases.

Today, in the midst of the craziness of life, the referring of the fights, and the constant need to feed my growing boys, I am thankful for my two boys who make me laugh everyday. I am thankful for walks around the block in the dark with headlamps. I am thankful for a meal shared with my sisters who love me and my boys so deeply and for some crazy good ice cream to finish it off!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Video: A New Perspective for Moms

I came across this video today and it made me pause for a moment and reflect on myself as a mom. In the video, a handful of moms honestly share their own insecurities in their role as mom. A few days later, they are shown footage of their children telling what they love most about their mom. After watching her child share what she loves about her mom, one mom comments that she so easily focus' on the negative but her child tells a very different story.

I invite you to take a moment and watch. The video brought a tear to my eye as I share many of the same insecurities. It was a reminder to me to be gentle with myself and to be mindful of what is most important to me, my relationship with my children.

A New Perspective For Moms from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Brush strokes in a Masterpiece

Classic Masterpiece Paintings Made of Shredded Magazines - My Modern Metropolis by candidlove on Pictify

It is so easy to focus on the larger picture, to constantly be planning the future rather than living fully in today. I do not know the future and, for all the plans I attempt to make, many things are out of my control. 

How often do we offer the advise to ourselves and our friends to see "the big picture?" But today I am reminded that the big picture is made up of tiny brush strokes and intentional choices of color that create the masterpiece. 

As a Parent Coach, one of the principles I understand to be true of life is "the little things mean more than we will ever know." It is the paradox of knowing there is the big, beautiful picture but living fully in the beauty, mess, and chaos of our current stroke of the masterpiece.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Do you wonder...

Do you wonder... What in the world is Parent Coaching? 

Before last fall, I had never heard of the term, "Parent Coaching." In the next few weeks, I thought it might be helpful to go into more detail about parent coaching. Today, I thought I'd start with "what." As I said last week, Parent Coaching is not therapy, mentorship, or consulting. I think sometimes people hear the word "parent coach" and they think about the "Super Nanny" coming to their home, watching how they interact with their kids, and telling them everything they are doing wrong as a parent and what they need to do to fix it. This is NOT parent coaching. When we approach a family from the view of what is wrong and then look for quick answers to those perceived problems, we miss out on the heart of the family and each individual that makes up the family. Rather than experiencing lasting change, the fixes are often temporary.

Parent Coaching is a unique relationship between a coach and parent with the purpose of supporting the parent and family to be their best selves. This is done through a shifting of the mind to what is working within the family rather then what is not. The conversations progress through four stages. The coach guides the parent through these stages with questions, thoughts, and exercises that tap into the parent's inner wisdom. The conversations begin with discovering the strengths and gifts of the parents, children, and family. Recognizing that there are dreams of a preferred future within the family, the next stage focuses on drawing out those dreams. Then, based on the strengths of the family, the parent and coach work together to design action steps to making the dream a reality. The conversations end in destiny as the evidence of the dream becoming reality is identified and celebrated. 

One of the things I appreciate most about my work as a parent coach is the "ah-ha" moments that come through our work together. Each person has been given unique gifts and talents that equip them for the good and the hard stuff of life. It is so easy to loose sight of these gifts. The conversations I am privileged to have tap into these gifts. As we see these gifts in ourselves and how they are just right for whatever we face, we can't help but say "ah-ha!"

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Parent Coaching

About a year ago, my life took an interesting twist. Life does that sometimes. Through the twist and turns of this last year, I returned to school to pursue a graduate certificate in Parent Coaching from Parent Coach International, or PCI. Now, you might be wondering what Parent Coaching is. First, let me begin by telling you what parent coaching is not. Parent coaching is not therapy. It is not mentorship or even consulting. Rather Parent Coaching is a unique relationship between a coach and a parent with the purpose of supporting the parent to be their best selves.

My desire, and I believe the desire of most parents, is to give our children the best but often feel at a loss in how to do this. We are entrusted with a precious gift the moment our children our conceived. Don't you wish that each one came with their own instruction manual? Last fall I began researching field's of study that would equip me to equip parents. That's when I came across Parent Coaching and the PCI. 

The PCI, founded by Gloria DeGataneo, is year long graduate-level parent coach training program. The unique coaching model prepares coaches to partner with parents and support them to be their best selves. It recognizes that each of us is created with amazing gifts and talents that make us the best parents for our kids. So often, these gifts and strengths get lost in the busyness and stress of parenting in today’s world. What I have come to appreciate about the coaching model is its approach to life. Rather than seeing the world in deficit mode, where all we can see is the struggles and problems, the coaching model appreciates what is currently working and uses these strengths to design actions steps towards the preferred future. This shift in approaching life has effected me not only as a parent but also as a person. 

I will graduate in March 2014 with my certificate as a PCI Parent Coach. My plan is to begin my own coaching practice. I hope to share the journey with you on this blog. The name of the blog is  "The Daily Rhythms of Life." The phrase "daily rhythms" has always resonated with me. In the past, I have shared stories from my life as well as recipes and other fun things on the blog. I hope to continue that as well as add some post that invite each of us to be our best selves in "the daily rhythms of life."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cranberry Orange Bagels

I love bagels but always feel so guilty for eating them.  I read somewhere that you consume the same number of carbs as 4 slices bread in one bagel.  A friend of mine shared her simple recipe and I've enjoyed learning to make my own since.  By making my own, I can make a smaller, yummier bagel than what I can get at the store.  I can control what goes into them and enjoy them without as much guilt.  They really are pretty easy to make...even if you have a hard time with making normal yeast breads!  Enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Bagels

1 1/8 c warm water (79-80 degrees)
2 1/2 t active dry yeast
1 T sugar
1 T brown sugar
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/4 c rolled oats
2 c bread flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 t grated orange zest
1 cup dried cranberries

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
2. Combine sugars, salt, cinnamon, rolled oats, flour, orange zest, and dried cranberries in KitchenAid Mixer.  Use dough hook to mix.  Once yeast has dissolved, slowly add while mixing.  Allow the dough hook to kneed the dough for 6 minutes.
3.  Place dough in a greased, glass bowl.  Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.
4.  Roll dough into about 10 balls.  Push thumb through center to form bagel.  Place on greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise for about 10 more minutes.
5.  In a large sauce pan, bring 2-Qt water to a boil.  Add 2 T sugar.  Add 4-5 bagels a time.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes, flip about halfway through.  Remove and place back on cookie sheet.
6.  Bake bagels at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Finishing second rise. 

Boiling the Bagels