Monday, May 5, 2014

A New Home

"The Daily Rhythms of Life" is moving to a new home!

Because the blog is an extension of my heart and passion to work with parents and individuals to build the groundwork for lives that thrive, the blog is now part of the 
Foundations Parent and Life Coaching website! All 2014 posts have moved 
to the new site and all future posts can be found there. 

So come for a visit and spread the word!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Rainbows of Promise

We had a string of strong April showers role through our neighborhood yesterday. The boys and I drove through one of these showers on our way to church. However in true April fashion, the sun was also shining so bright that I had a hard time seeing. And so began our rainbow hunt.

Each of us craned our necks looking for the rainbow we felt certain the rain and sun would create and our search was rewarded with a beautiful rainbow against the stormy sky.

Rainbows are the reflection of the colors in light. Most of the time I can't see the color in the light. However, when the light shines through the rain, a beautiful sight unfolds before my eyes.

Rainbows are also a reminder to me of promises. God put a beautiful rainbow in the sky for Noah as a promise of his love, goodness and faithfulness. They remind me to not focus on what I see, especially in the midst of a storm, but rather to focus on what I know to be true.

For most of us, some aspect of life does not look as we imagined or dreamed. Maybe its our history, something that happened in the past that fills us with grief or shame. Maybe its our present reality.

For me, life as it exists right now, is so far outside of what I imagined my life looking. I had the opportunity to share my story with someone this past weekend and in someways it felt like I was telling someone else's story. Being divorced and a single-mom was never a thought that crossed my mind. 

Honestly, this past month has been hard. The divorce was finalized and our family home was sold. While we have been separated for over 18 months, the reality and finality of everything has surfaced my grief over the death of a dream and my fear for the future. I have felt drained and empty. Both of these feelings are warning signs to me to take a step-back because something is not right. As I look back I realize my focus has been on the storm. All I am seeing is the loss, grief and fear instead of looking for the rainbows. The rainbows appear as I ask God to shine His light in the storm.

My rainbows...God's promises are eternal. They are true whether I see them or not. His love for me is never ending, never-giving up, unchangeable. He is my provider, my comforter, my defender. These are my light in the storm. They are what give me hope and joy, even in the midst of my storm.

As you read, consider...What are the storms that keep you from seeing the rainbows? My challenge to myself and to you this week is to stop and ask for the Light to shine through the storm and show you the rainbows. I would love to hear your story or thoughts. Feel free to e-mail me at
Hannah is a PCI Certified Parent Coach® and owner of Foundations Parent and Life Coaching. She is passionate about working with parents and individuals who want to build the foundation for a thriving life. If you are interested in working with her on any parenting or life challenges, you can contact her at

Monday, April 21, 2014

Powerful Words: "Let's Make a Plan for Sharing"

Words are powerful.

As a parent my words hold the power to form and shape the thoughts, self-esteem, and habits of my children. With my words I can build them up and equip them with the tools for establishing healthy rhythms in their own lives or I can tear them down.

Before I had children I taught both preschool and kindergarten. What I learned in the classroom was how I phrased something could be the difference between success or failure. Say it one way and I'd be barely hanging onto control. Say it another way and all 20 six year olds would quietly and orderly complete a project. Words are powerful. With my words I can communicate with my children in a way that is simple for them to understand and empowers them to eventually be able to communicate effectively without my help.

This is the beginning of an occasional series called "Powerful Words." The posts in this series will focus on phrases I have found to be successful ways of communicating with my children. I thought I'd start the series off with one of my favorites.

Let me set the scene for you and see if you can relate.

There are two children, let's call them Sam and Timmy. Sam and Timmy are playing cars. There is a bucket full of cars however the yellow car is the best because, well, its yellow! As you guessed, both boys want the yellow car and will not settle for one of the other 50 cars that are in the bucket. They have both grabed hold of the car with a death grip and are yelling at each other to let go. You can tell if you don't step in, fists will start flying. 

Hahaha...can you tell I'm a mom of boys?! Moms of girls, just insert the appropriate toy and you'll get the idea.

So in this moment as a mom I have a couple of options in how I can communicate with my children. Let's take a look at these options and think through what's going on when I react that way.

Option #1: Jump in and take the toy away. Tell the boys that if they can't share, nobody is going to get the toy. 

So this can sound like a good and quick option to solving the sharing problem. The fighting stops and the toy that created the tension has been removed. However, if I am always removing the toy, I'm only stopping the problem. As a mom, I believe one of my primary roles is to teach and model healthy ways of interacting with the world and let's face it, sharing and problem-solving are important skills to have as we grow. Removing the toy does not teach either of these skills.

Option #2: Direct the sharing. Tell who will have the toy first and for how long.

With this option, we begin to teach a pattern of sharing but the sharing is dependent upon an adult telling them how to share. The child is not learning how to think through the problem and come up with a solution on there own. Instead they are learning to be dependent upon others for solutions. As a parent, it is important to me that my children learn how to be independent thinkers and know how to articulate the problem and the solution.

Option #3: "Make a plan for sharing."

In our house, when two people want the same thing, we say, "Let's make a plan for sharing." To make a plan for sharing, each person involved comes up with an idea on a fair way to share the object of desire. When we first started doing this, I almost always acted as mediator. I would give each person the opportunity to share their idea. I would then ask questions to help them think through whether this was a reasonable option. We quickly learned that each person having a toy for 5-7 minutes was a better option than 1-2 minutes or 600,000 minutes! As the mediator I put the power of coming up with the solution in the hands of my boys. Questions such as, "what do you think a good plan is?" or "how would you feel if your brother did not share?" help guide the problem-solving. As the mediator I encourage good suggestions and sometimes I let the bad suggestions play out because kids learn best from experience. I can then reference that experience and say, "remember what happened last time you guys decided each person got it for 300 minutes?" And since setting a timer is a common solution, each boy learned to work a timer that lives in their playroom or to come and ask me to set a timer on my phone.

Now, I wish I could tell you that we never have arguments over toys any more. We still do. But as I am consistent in teaching my kids the skills to "make a plan for sharing," they are coming to me less and less for help and more and more I hear, "let's make a plan." Sometimes they will come to me frustrated and I will ask, "Have you asked to make a plan to share?" Rather than me solving the problem, I am handing them a tool that will help them solve the problem themselves. I am building in them the foundation for being capable and effective problem-solvers later in life.
Hannah is a PCI Certified Parent Coach® and owner of Foundations Parent and Life Coaching. She is passionate about working with parents and individuals who want to build the foundation for a thriving life. If you are interested in working with her on any parenting or life challenges, you can contact her at

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Banana Bread

I love to bake and I love a challenge. Since having kids, I've given myself the challenge of baking treats that make us say "yum" and are filled with wholesome ingredients. This afternoon I made these loaves of banana bread and I thought I would share the recipe with you. It's the Banana Bread recipe my mom made growing up with a few tweaks of my own
Because baking and cooking are healthy and happy parts of my daily rhythms, I will be sharing more recipes. One thing you will notice in most of my baked goods is I rarely cook with eggs. I often replace eggs in my quick breads and cookie recipes with a flax egg. To make a flax egg, mix 1 Tablespoon of ground flax with 3 Tablespoons of water. Let it sit in a bowl for about 10 minutes to allow the flax to absorb the water and then add the mixture to your recipe just like you would an egg.

Now the questions I often am asked, why do I use flax eggs instead of chicken eggs. There are a few reasons why. Research shows that flax seed is filled with cancer fighting, immune boasting compounds and that these compounds are released by grinding the seeds up. Ground flax is filled with Omega-3, fiber, and antioxidants. Not only that, but the flax egg gives the baked goods a yummy nutty taste that I just love. Buying pre-ground flax can really increase the price so I head to the bulk section of my favorite grocery store and buy it in seed form. I then clean out my coffee grinder and grind it up. I store it in a glass jar in the refrigerator as ground flax seed can go rancid when stored on the shelf. So if you've never tried using flax eggs before, this recipe is a great place to start.

Banana Bread

1 1/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup of Butter
4 Flax Eggs (I make all four flax eggs in one bowl. That's 4 T ground flax seed mixed with 12 T water. You can also use 4 eggs)
5 Ripe Bananas
1/4 Cup Applesauce
4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x5 two loaf pans.
2. Cream butter, sugar, and flax egg together. Once fluffy, add ripe bananas and applesauce. Mix until bananas are all mashed up.
3. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until ingredients are combined. Sometimes we add chocolate chips or blueberries at this point.
4. Divide equally between the two loaf pans. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the center can be poked with a knife and come out clean.
5. Enjoy! Our favorite is fresh from the oven with butter on top!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Gift of a Rocky Beach

Relationships are important to me. I firmly believe that being known and being connected with the people around us is what gives us meaning and strength. I believe we are created for relationship. As a way to build relationship with others in the virtual world, I am participating this week in "The Ultimate Blog Party." Its a great way to introduce "The Daily Rhythms of Life" blog and "Foundations Parent and Life Coaching" to a new group of people. So if this is your first visit to my little corner of the internet, welcome!

As many of you know, I am in the process of building my own parent and life coaching practice. If you want to find out more about how I became a parent coach, you can read about it hear. If you are like me, I had no idea what parent coaching was 2 years ago before I started my certification program. To help you get an understanding of one of the key elements of parent coaching, I want to tell you a story.

Last year for Spring Break, my two boys and I went to visit some dear friends who live east of Seattle on Whidbey island in the Puget Sound. For those of you not from the Pacific Northwest spring break here usually means rain. However, during our visit the sun was shining, the sky was blue and we are soaking it up. Now being on an island and having the sun shinning meant we had to go to the beach!

As we drove to the beach visions of sand and waves danced in my head. But when we arrived, there was no sand to be found. The beach was covered in rocks. When I looked out across the rocks I felt sad. I was disappointed because what I had imagined, what I wanted, was not what I had in front of me. 

But when I looked down I discovered something. The rocks were beautiful. There were green, pink, and orange rocks. Some rocks were stripped while others were speckled. My friend and I sat there with our children for over an hour delighting in the uniqueness and beauty of each rock.

I learned something that day. I learned to stop and look for the treasures. I could have chosen to only see the disappointment of the rocky beach or a day that did not go as I had imagined. But in stopping and examining the details, we found great beauty and treasure. I have a jar of rocks from this day sitting next to my bed as a reminder to stop and see the gift in every circumstance.

When I work with clients as coach, one of the first stage of our work together is to discover the gifts of life as it exists right now. I love this stage because so often we miss the gifts in our own lives. Busyness keeps us from taking the time to appreciate them. Or maybe life doesn't look how we dreamed it would and we focus on the loss of this dream rather than the gifts that are in our lives right now. Whatever it is that keeps us from seeing our gifts, it is keeping us from delighting and living in what is already there. And do you know what, these gifts are what make you the best parent for your child! I was not meant to be your child's parent nor was the author of the three steps to whatever it is you think your child should magically be doing. As I work with parents, we use the strengths we discover as a foundation for the action steps we will design together later. Did you hear the word "foundation" there? Its the reason my practice is called "Foundations Parent and Life Coaching." It is my desire and passion to work with parents to build the foundation for thriving.

So my friends, old and new, take a moment to stop and look for a treasure in your life as it exists right now. I would love to hear your what it is that you are discovering! You can leave a comment below or e-mail me at

What treasure do I see today? Tonight I was tackled by a seven year old who came flying at me as he jumped from his bed to his brother's...where I was happily sitting already to calmly and quietly read our Bible together. And as he smothered me and laughed in pure hysterics and we wrestled my heart overflowed in the delight of loving my boys just how they needed...through tackles and tickles!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

3 Things I Want My Kids to Hear Everyday

I've been thinking...dangerous...I know! But seriously, I've been thinking about what my kids will take away from each day. I firmly believe that what we focus on grows in our lives. Each day is a gift and at the end of the day, its done. I will not get another March 29, 2014 again. So, at the end of today, what do I want my kids to remember?

Here are my thoughts on what I want my kids to hear each day:

"I love you!"Simple yet life changing. I want my children to be confident in the knowledge that I love them no matter what they do or don't do, say or don't say. I recently heard someone say that when they were discipling their children they would say, "If you were trapped in a burning car, I would rescue you. I love you that much. Right now, I do not like the choices you are making and for that reason (fill in consequence)." My love for my children is not conditional on them making good decisions. I know that, but do they?

"Let's play!" It can be so easy for me to get wrapped up in the laundry, making breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, house cleaning, grocery shopping and the list goes on and on. However, I have been challenged lately by how much these activities can over take my life. When a pile of housework  stands before me, I am learning to ask myself, "How important is this?" Sometimes the housework is important...if I don't start the load of laundry now, nobody will have clean underwear for tomorrow! Most of the time it can wait an hour while I sit down and play Legos with my boys. And you know what, the laundry is still getting done. The dishes might sit in the sink longer but in the end, they still get done! And my relationship with my boys is that much stronger...Oh the conversations we have over Legos...priceless!

"We are a team." Being a family means being part of a team. As a team we encourage each other. We build each other up. We work together to get things done. In the past few months I've noticed that the boys and I have not been operating as a team when it comes to work around the house. They've been playing and I've been working. Through some conversations together, we've come up with a plan. Our plan is in order to have fun, we need to work together to get the other stuff done. We have come up with some age appropriate jobs for each boy to do that contribute to housework. One of Zane's jobs is to set the table. When he finishes, I thank him for his hard work. I then say, "Hey, doesn't it feel good to be part of the team!" I've notice him stop, think about it and then smile. Because it really does feel good to be part of the team.

My challenge to you: 
  • What are your kids hearing everyday?
  • What do you want your kids to hear everyday?

Hannah is a PCI Certified Parent Coach® and owner of Foundations Parent and Life Coaching. She is passionate about working with parents and individuals who want to build the foundation for a thriving life.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Guest Posting on "Made to Mother"

Yesterday, I had the privilege of sharing my story on the blog Made to Mother. My dear friend Wynter has a passion for moms and their stories. Becoming a mother herself made her realize how much she is influenced by the way she was mothered and the other mothers around her. She wondered about others experience and has been collecting woman's stories of motherhood on the blog.

I invite you to read my own story and while you are there, take a moment to read some of the other woman's stories. I guarantee they will touch your heart and make you think more about the powerful role of mom. Each week Wynter posts a new woman's story and each week I am once again reminded that who we are deep down inside is much more important than the unique journey each mother takes.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Poopy Bathtubs

My son pooped in the bathtub today!

I walked into the bathroom to check on him during his bath thinking that I would help him wash up and finish up the bath. My first clue that things were amiss was the wet toilet paper mass stretching from the bathtub to the toilet. At the sight, my toes curled, my heart started racing and the urge to scream, "WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE!!!!!!" rose quickly to the surface.

An "Oh Quinn, what happened?" passed my lips and he looked up at me with eyes that pleaded to see him and not the mess around him. It caused me to stop and step back for a moment from the situation. As much as I wanted to yell and scream at the disgusting mess I now had the privilege of cleaning up, if I looked closely I saw a boy who knew he had made a mistake. I could yell about the poop and toilet paper and feed the shame and guilt he already or I could focus on him and build our relationship.

We spent the next 20 minutes straining toilet paper and other foreign objects out of the bathtub. As we worked together we talked about how no matter the mistake, he could always come to me without fear of my anger. Sometimes there will be a consequence for his decision that he may not like. But my relationship with him and with his brother Zane is more important than the message my yelling and screaming may communicate.  

Building relationship rather than reacting to the moment is a work in progress for me. As some of you may remember, I confessed to slamming the brakes and yelling at my kids a few weeks ago. My son is 4 years old right now but in a blink of an eye he will be 14 and the mistakes he encounters will be much bigger than pooping in the bathtub.

I am challenged right now by the thought that...
how I respond right now is building the foundation for our future relationship.


Hannah is a PCI Certified Parent Coach® and owner of Foundations Parent and Life Coaching. She is passionate about working with parents and individuals who want to build the foundation for a thriving life.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Rhythm of Thankfulness...Smiling Through the Tears

I'm going to be honest. The past 18 months of my life have been hard. Hard down to the deepest parts of my soul. My heart has grieved as my dream of life and family has been shifted and refined. There have been days that waking up and moving through the simple rhythms of the day have taken all my energy and focus.

Soon after the boys and I moved in my parents I was struck with the truth that even when life doesn't look like what I want it to, there are gifts in that place that must be recognized. Thankfulness is an act of recognition. By recognizing the gifts my heart overflows with hope and joy. Thankfulness has become a key daily rhythm for me and for my boys. It focus' me on what is working in my life and in my parenting.

Every other weekend my boys enjoy time with their dad. Honestly, its been difficult to fall into this new rhythm. Often I want to dwell on the negative...the moments I am missing every other weekend or the stress of arranging our life around this every other weekend schedule. When I do, my heart is heavy and the tears are always near the surface. It is my choice to recognize the gift or not... The gift of time to run without pressure of returning by a certain time, the gift of quiet moments in the morning to sleep, read and journal, and the joy and sweetness of the boy's sloppy kisses and wrestling loudness when they returned Sunday evening. I'm not saying that tears don't rise to the surfaces still but in my recognition of the gift I am able to smile through the tears.

Thoughts for this week...

  • What are the gifts of each day?
  • How will I recognize the gift each day?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

"Trust yourself..."

" know more than you think."

The thought of trusting myself challenges me. So often I look to what society says or what my friend thinks I should do rather than trusting myself. The internet and blogs are teeming with suggestions. When I go there, I am bombarded with "The 3 Words that Will Stop Tantrums" or "Follow these 5 Steps and Your Child Will Be Doing All Their Chores with a Smile." Often I leave these postings feeling like a failure as a parent and at a loss because those three words did nothing to change my preschooler's tantrums and we are still battling over chores.

"Trust yourself, you know more than you think" reminds me that often the wisdom I need lies within. I was created to be my children's parents and when I take a moment to be quiet, my knowledge of what my children need rises to the surface. Knowing myself and knowing my children takes time and being intentional. It takes taking care of myself so that I can take care of those around me. For me, it slipping away in the quiet of the morning to run and clear my mind. It is ending the day writing in my journal. As I write, all of the thoughts, fears, and worries find their way onto the page where I can examine them more rationally and find the wisdom within. What do you do to quiet yourself so you can reach within to the wisdom that lies deep inside you?

Questions I am asking myself...
"What do I know to be true?" 

"What does that truth look like for me and for my family?" 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Brake Slamming, Mama Yelling Moments...

The other day I had one of those out of body moments. It was as if I had stepped outside of myself and as I listened to the words come out of my mouth and saw my reaction to the actions of my children, it broke my heart. Have you had one of those moments before?

Here is the scene. We are late. I have repeatedly asked encouraged my youngest to get a move on and he's moving his own pace. It started with wanting one thing for breakfast and then changing his mind. It moved on to being sad and refusing to eat because he was told he needed to eat what he asked for first. The morning progressed with the more exciting adventure of jumping naked on the bed rather than putting his clothes on. We had just finished a 10 minute battle of putting socks and shoes on... Really! Socks and shoes should take 2 minutes tops...and finally made it to the car. However finding the right toy is a lot more interesting than putting the seatbelt on and now we are late and my patience is gone! In my frustration I started driving before he was buckled in and when he yelled, "Mama, I'm not strapped in" I stomped on the brakes and yelled, "I know! I've asked you to buckle up and YOUR NOT LISTENING!!" The car went quiet and the look in both my boys eyes broke my heart. 

It was easy to justify my frustration, yelling, and brake slamming. I had been patiently trying to motivate my youngest all morning with little success. And during the very quiet ride to school I attempted to justify my actions. I want my child to be successful at getting himself ready in the morning and respectful of other people's needs and time. But that voice deep inside quietly reminded me that brake slamming and yelling are not great tools for helping him get there.

Author Emmerson Eggerich teaches that relationships are built on a cycle of love and respect. His popular book "Love and Respect" teaches that in the marriage relationship, the woman wants to be loved and the husband respected and when love or respect is not communicated it throws us into a crazy cycle. His new book "Love and Respect in the Family" shows a similar cycle between parents and children. Children want to be loved and parents want to be respected. So much of parenting is communication. Yesterday I listened to a teaching by Emmerson Eggerich on his new book. I took away many great thoughts and truths about communicating with my children but one of the biggest "ah-ha" moments I had was when my children are acting disrespectfully, is there probably something I am doing or saying that they may interpret as unloving. The key word in that sentence being interpret. I love my children deeply and most of my choices and reactions are based out of this love for them. However, they don't always know that because of what I do or say.

Let's go back to my brake slamming-yelling mommy moment. My youngest was feeling unloved from the moment he woke-up. His deepest joy in life is play and I was waking him up too late in the morning to give him time to play. Later that day, I went to each of my boys and apologized. It is humbling as a parent to admit you are wrong but so powerful in building healthy relationships with our children. Together we decided to try using the music setting on an alarm clock to begin waking both boys up earlier in the morning. This extra time to play has been the ticket to a happier morning in our house. The sock and shoe battles still happen but not every morning. And he still changes his mind about what he wants to eat sometimes, but by understanding his need to play I have been able to communicate love to him and in return he has been showing respect by getting himself ready with time to play!

Questions I find myself asking lately... 
"How are my actions commenting love and are they being received the way I intend them to be?"

If my answer is no, then "what can I do to better communicate my deep and unconditional love for my kids?"

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Story of How I Became a Parent Coach

In the fall of 2012, my life turned upside down. When my marriage of over 10 years suddenly and dramatically fell apart, I found myself waking up to the reality that I was drowning myself in the busyness of life. It had been my desire to live with purpose and intention for many years but I had allowed small and seemly harmless things to take up residence in my life. The constant checking of Facebook, the obsessive following of blogs, and the pursuit of a "perfect" body had robbed me of living each day present and purposeful for that day. I was awaken to the fact that fear was driving my choices and beliefs. I have known from a young age that I was created for relationship with God and that I was loved by Jesus. But there is a difference between knowing and living. There is no fear when I choose to live by faith. In this season, I learned what it meant to live free from fear and fully present in the gifts of today. I learned to put my phone down and to step away from the computer. I learned to stop being busy and start playing with my kids. I learned to let go of how far or fast I'd run and enjoy the act of moving and being. I learned to laugh and to find joy even in the midst of a painful season. 

During this season, I found myself with two young boys that I needed to support and a desire to work with people so that they could too experience life fully present and purposeful. As I researched different options, I stumbled across the Parent Coaching Institute. I had never heard of parent coaching before but as I researched it more, my heart knew this was what I wanted to do. Parent Coaching is a newer field. Coaches partner with parents in a unique relationship that shifts the focus onto what are the gifts and strengths of the family and uses those strengths as the foundation for designing action steps that will move that family towards their preferred future.

I will graduate in March as Certified PCI Parent Coach®. I have started my own coaching practice called Foundations Parent and Life Coaching. My heart is to work with parents and individuals who want to build a solid foundation for a life that thrives. Parenting and living takes being purposeful otherwise busyness and distractions will crowd out the things that are truly important. Sometimes we come to a season of life where we need to be purposeful in establishing healthy rhythms for ourselves and our families. That is when working with a coach can be beneficial. The coaching relationship is all about partnership. We partner together to establish the rhythms that will help you and your family be your best selves. What I know to be true is that when I am working towards being my best self, I give a gift to my children that will impact their future in the best way possible. If you have questions, thoughts or would like more information about parent coaching, e-mail me of give me a call. (503-805-9021)