Perfection v. Presence

By Shannon Gallatin /

I’ve decided that perfection is overrated. It has to be. I don’t have time for it, nor do I want to chase an elusive and unattainable goal. As a wife, Mama, blogger (My Life in the Blink) and full-time teacher, my plate is more than full. I know that this is the case for most people these days, whether you are a parent or not. Now more than ever, it is so easy to find ourselves trying to do it all, to be it all. Between smartphones, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and many other social media platforms, there is always someone who seems to be doing more and doing it better or faster.

As a parent, I have quickly learned that there is no sense in comparing. Every parent is different, as is every child. For these reasons and much more, I am the last to judge. We do our best and trust and pray that our best is enough. However, with one tap or swipe, we are granted a glimpse into the lives of family, friends and even strangers. We focus on what we want rather than what we already have. What is to come rather than what is happening.

We live in a life of highlight reels and perfectly crafted stories. It is easy to feel that we are not enough.

I am just as guilty as the next person, sometimes more so. I am constantly feeling the need to capture every memory, record every moment. But lately I have been reflecting on the words of Tony Reinke who says that social media is “your present moment in exchange for an endless series of someone else’s past moments.”

Am I truly in the moment, or am I focused on sharing the moment that I’m not actually fully appreciating as it happens?

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media (probably a bit too much at times) and it has its place. That being said, as a parent, I want my daughter to remember me as being PRESENT, giving her my full attention when we are together. She won’t remember every mistake that I make, but she will remember whether or not I look into her sweet brown eyes as she tells me a story or whether I am scrolling through my phone trying to multitask.

I want her to learn how to spend quality time with people, how to interact, how to be kind, how to laugh and how to love well.

These things will not be taught through an app or a device, they will be taught face to face, eye to eye. Let’s be a generation of parents that are present. Let’s get back to the basics: living, laughing and loving well. This is enough. As parents, WE are enough, right where we are!

Moving… For the 8th Time

By Bree Hester /

You could say that we are pros at moving. My husband is in the military and moving is just a way of life for us. We have three children– 13, 11 and 9. We have lived in 6 different states and 2 different countries. We are excellent unpackers. This summer we moved from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Stuttgart, Germany. Without question, the furthest move we’ve ever made. In some ways, it was the easiest of all the moves. There is very little choice about a lot of things, and that makes it very easy to just sit back and enjoy the ride. In other ways, it has been the most challenging. Read More “Moving… For the 8th Time”

Traveling with Toddlers– The Good. The Bad. The Crazy.

By Jenn Bartell /

I’m Jenn, a wedding and family lifestyle photographer, a mother of two crazy boys – Calvin and Archie – and a certified toddler traveler (sort of). Calvin has already traveled to amazing places in his short lifetime– Hawaii, Maine, Cabo, Montana, Colorado, Sedona on two separate road trips, Santa Cruz, Disneyland and the list goes on. He took to traveling right away, I’m assuming because we started him at such a young age.

Read More “Traveling with Toddlers– The Good. The Bad. The Crazy.”

The Highs and Lows of Being a Boss Mom

By Emily Duffelmeyer /

I have found running a small business and raising kids to be juuuusssttt barely possible. That’s the rather bleak truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Here’s the good news, mom entrepreneurs: You can have it all (work life and mom life). But the small print is that you cannot have things just the way you want. Think of it this way: You are in a car and the car is going to your destination, but you don’t get to choose the speed (or the pitstops) of the roadtrip.

Read More “The Highs and Lows of Being a Boss Mom”

Cookin’ with Kids.

By Cathy Blumel /

Growing up in South Louisiana, I was always surrounded by food and family. I can remember spending countless hours in the kitchen helping my mom, dad and grandparents. Watching everything they did, and helping in any way that I could: measuring, pouring, mixing. Whatever it was, I just wanted to be part of it.

Read More “Cookin’ with Kids.”