Summary: A podcast for moms who want to grow and strengthen authentic relationships in their lives. We give you simple ideas on how to connect to your kids, spouse, friends, strangers, yourself and every other connection in your life. From creating meaningful family traditions, to talking to strangers, to re-igniting your relationship with your spouse - we are here to help you really connect. Also, since food is a huge part of connection, each guest will share a secret family recipe that you can try at your next get together or family gathering. It's all about connection.
When traveling to Australia, I had a chance meeting with a Holocaust survivor that deeply changed me. In this episode I tell you his story he told me of being able to escape the horrors of the concentration camps with the help of strangers while most of his extended family were killed.
My relationship with God has been hard and confusing at times. I trust Him conceptually, but I have a hard time identifying with Him past that. On the other hand, I feel like I know, love and trust Jesus much more. I want you to know that you aren’t alone if you have felt similarly. I’m not quite sure why I have had such a hard time with understanding God as a person or a parent. I think that a lot of it stems from how I was raised. I was raised to be incredibly independent and to not rely on others for anything. So it’s hard for me to know how to even rely on God as a parent. I’m fiercely independent. I talk about how I have found to trust Jesus and how he fulfills the promise He gave to Jacob in Genesis 28:15 “I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” I believe that Jesus is just like that. He stays in the mess of our lives with us until He fulfills His promises He has made. Jacob then says in Genesis 28:16 “Surely the Lord is in this place & I knew it not.” There are so many times in my life that I fee like I am alone and then realize looking back, that the Savior was there with me the whole time - in the place I was in of loneliness, hopelessness, despair, shame, etc. He is always there - I just have to look to see Him.
Looking back at the years and weeks prior to the whole world basically shutting down due to the COVID 19 virus, I realized and have come to have tremendous gratitude for the big and little things that prepared me for this seemingly unpreparable situation. Here are just a few... 1. Powdered milk supply - because I am in the "high risk" category for getting the COVID 19 virus, I am extra grateful for the supply of powder milk we have right now because we shouldn't be going to the store at all. 2. I discovered Costco online a few weeks prior to everything going crazy and have used it several times during this pandemic so I don't have to leave my house. 3. I have recently been studying about how to call upon the power of God in my own life and how to do it more and it has made all the difference. 4. I took my son out of school a few days before they shut them down which could have been huge in protecting our family. 5. I had several spiritual experiences where I was told certain things that I had no idea would help me during this time. It wasn't physical instructions about getting ready, it was more of the spiritual things I would need to know to calm my heart. 6. Reading ancestor stories has helped so much in understanding that doing hard things is literally in my DNA. I have shared these stories with my kids for years too and we talk about them often and they give us courage. 7. Since we have owned a home, we have always kept several months of storage on hand like diapers, wipes, TP, etc. so when we couldn't find it, it wasn't a big deal. 8. We put in a fence last year which has given my kids the freedom to roam around in the yard and get lots of sun even during this time. 9. We had bad grass last year so we tore out a bunch of sod and the kids have been so entertained just digging in the dirt. 10. We have a decent supply of flax which is great to have on hand right now since eggs have been harder to find. They made awesome substitutes for eggs in baking. 11. Last year when there was a small earthquake, we purchased earthquake insurance so when this larger one hit us this year, it wasn't a huge deal because I knew we were prepared. 12. We have been meaning to donate a lot of toys and kids activities and haven't ever gotten around to it and it has helped so much on helping our kids through this time. 13. Last year I stocked up on school supplies during the sale so all that glue, paper, markers, and crayons are coming in really handy right now. 14. We had an old laptop we didn't even know would work and it has worked like it's new for my son to do his school work. 15. The past few months we have gotten more into puzzles and purchased a whole bunch so now we have some fun family entertainment. The point is that we all have things we can look at and be grateful for and the more we do that during this time, the better we will be able to cope.
This week has been such a whirl wind for most of us and a pretty scary time. Adjusting to social distancing as a new normal for now has felt like something out of a movie and yet it's actually happening. Today, I wanted to have a dear friend of mine, Jamie Johnson to come on the show to share with you her tips on how to have meaning in life despite all the craziness that is happening in the world right now. Here are her tips Make time for the Lord every day with scripture study and prayer and if possible, have your children do it at the same time you are.Go to the Lord and ask what you need to be doing with your family and kids at this time so He can help you make a map.Focus on connection over content as your kids are home. Reach out - obviously this can be a bit tricky, but there are so many creative ways people are showing up and sharing goodness and light in the ways they know how (and right now, it may just be a prayer for others and that is what so many people need)Reflect - a great way to do this is through journaling (Jamie has free journal prompts to help you at this time at her website www.jamiegjohnson.com)
Pull out the green dye and dye things green. Morning of St. Patrick’s Day, we would wake up to green milk which was really fun to put on the morning cereal. You can also make:Green pancakesGreen rice krispie treats and color the marshmallows greenGreen jelloDecorate sugar cookies or cupcakes with green frostingPretzels dipped in white chocolate dyed greenHave a tricky leprechaun come the night before - it’s like elf on the shelf, but just one dayTurned toilet water greenDraw green footprints on your kids arms or faces while they sleep - the leprechaun left footsteps of little green paint on my kids’ arms. I’m not sure how how the leprechaun got our faces when I was a kid! We must have been deeper sleepers.Tiny footprints in flourLeave gold chocolate coinsMy 1st grade teacher was from England and on St. Patrick’s Day our room got all messed up from a leprechaun, but we came back in the classroom before it could escape and it had turned itself into a potato. That was so fun for us - we watched the potato closely to make sure it wouldn’t turn back into a leprechaun and escape.Eat Irish food and have people overMy mom always made the Irish dinner, but when we lived in Wisconsin for a few years, we continued the tradition and made the dinner and invited people over. Most people have never had corned beef so this is fun for them to try. I think most people like it! It’s actually really easy to make - you basically just put it in the crockpot and let it cook for a few hours.Colcannon - mashed potatoes with leeks or green onionsIrish soda breadCorned beef and cabbageRainbow jello - different layers. Not traditional, but fun to do. It takes a few hours to make because you have to let every layer set. Definitely a labor of love, but really fun for the kids.Introduce your family to Irish cultureListen to Irish music - the Irish have a variety of instruments that they use You can always start with celtic women - we saw them in concert and they’re fantastic!Watch an irish dance performance - they often have free performances by local Irish dance students at libraries - in Wisconsin they even taught the kids how to do some of the dance.Watch an Irish movie - Leap Day is a fun one that takes place in Ireland. I just started watching Luck of the Irish with my kids which is on Disney plus.
Lizzy talks about what jail was like after she was caught in her opioid addiction. She also shares the lessons she's learned through it all.
I believe that addiction is such an important topic to discuss and be open about because it is so prevalent in our society and so many people aren't talking about it. The more we hide, the more power we give addictions. Lizzy is so brave and bold in the way she shares and in the hope she gives. I hope that by listening to her story, you will not only become more educated about the addiction, but that you can better understand what someone who is addicted is going through and how innocently many addictions can start. Lizzy is truly an inspiration and definitely worth the listen.
This week I talk about the amazing and creative way my husband proposed and why it meant so much to me.
Today I wanted to share something a bit more personal so you could get to know me on a more personal level. I don't believe that any of us have perfect lives, but I do believe we all have perfect moments, and today I am sharing some of those perfect relationship moments with you. I hope you enjoy it!
Sometimes it can be hard as moms to feel confident, but it is such an important skill as we are the ones making so many daily decisions and so many people will ask us for things, give us unsolicited advice, and tell us we aren't enough. It is so important for us to truly dig deep and have the confidence we need to navigate it all. Here are a few things that can help... Implement a voice filter. There are so many voices in the world and that others will tell you and and you need to quiet them and choose what to listen to carefully and thoughtfully.Under promise, over deliver. "No, thank you" is a full sentence and you are free to use it when necessary. There is no need to feel badly for protecting your time, and resources. You need to decide that carefully for what is best for you.Stop "shoulding" all over others - especially yourself. Understand what you need to do, like to do, want to do, and must do.Do a personal deep dive with your Creator. Understand that connection and build your confidence with him together. Create a "we" victory and relationship with Him.Own your story. Your story is yours and it is beautiful. You were sent here to be YOU! You weren't sent here to be someone else, but just yourself and that is more than enough. If doing all of these at once feels overwhelming, pick one and try practice just that one this week and see what improvements you can make. Once you feel you have a good handle on that one, maybe try incorporating another and see what happens - you deserve to feel confident!
Give flowers to people in a nursing home (fake or real and notes). So many elderly people are lonely and LOVE seeing little kids at any time of year, but especially during holidays this can be the perfect thing to cheer them up. I plan on dressing in our Sunday best and buying several bouquets of roses to hand out to the residents at a retirement home during their meal time. I know it’s going to mean so much to many of them.Valentines Day kits to refugees. Many refugees coming to America don’t know about American holidays and it can feel very isolating - especially for kids to go to a public school. There are refugee organizations that will take Valentine’s Day kits (no candy) and hand them out to kids so that they can celebrate Valentine’s Day along with their classmates. You can check out the Utah location @serverefugees. They are only taking donations this year on Feb.3 & 5.Personalize sugar cookies with peoples name on them and give them to special people in your life. Sugar cookies are nice, but it means that much more when someone goes out of their way to put a little extra thought and write your name on something. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s the thought that is important.Make Ronald McDonald house mom kits. There are many moms who are far away and who are spending this time of year worried and stressed out about their child who is sick or terminally ill in a hospital. I saw this great idea @whitneystotesadorbs where she made kits that included a few little hard candies, a target gift card and little charm in a cute makeup bag. I’m sure the recipients would be so touched to receive it.Love Restaurant family mystery dinner. My kids loved doing this last year so it’s something we are going to continue. Basically, you create a nice “restaurant” in your living room and you’re the server. When it’s time to eat, you give them each a menu that has words on it - but not the actual food name. They write down what they would like and for every word they write, there is a corresponding food or drink associated with it. So one menu item may be “Lucky to Have You” which is really pizza. Another menu item might say “Together” which is really hot fudge. They also get to pick a color for every course (red, pink or white) corresponds with a different utensil. It’s so fun to see how into it all of the kids get. You can grab the menus, food list, and instructions for FREE here https://mailchi.mp/5bc23a357e4d/valentinepackKeep your valentines day hearts you write for your kids on their door and string them and use as garland. I know many people do this, but how fun if you kept them from year to year to reminisce and double them as decor.Write love notes to kids and spouse. I love doing this and if you don’t do it, it’s the perfect time of year to start. It’s important to not only write love notes to your kids and spouse for them to read later or in case of something happening to you, but to read them now. Don’t you love getting love notes from others? Me too!Call or leave little gifts to your extended family to let them know you’re thinking about them. You may think that this one is really simple, but when was the last time you did it? Every year on Valentine’s Day I get a phone call (usually a voice mail) telling me how much he loves me and is thinking of me. He has a wife and is focused on her as well, but has made sure that we know how much he loves us.Play the “I love you because…” game with your kids the week of Valentine’s Day. This is a game that I made up for my kids to do this year and I can’t wait. In this game, you write down someone’s name in your family that you love and why and roll up the paper and hide it. Explain the game to your kids and that whoever finds the rolled up paper gets to read what was written, write down someone else’s name in the family they love, and hide it. There is little to no work for you, but your kids will be so excited to find the special paper and write ...
To understand better the context of this episode, it may be helpful to understand my whole story. You can listen to part 1 here -http://realconnectionspodcast.com/dads-sudden-death-encore-episode-part-1-episode-58/ and part 2 here - http://realconnectionspodcast.com/dads-sudden-death-encore-episode-part-2-episode-59/ Here's the short of it. My dad was killed in a plane crash when I was 9 years old. He was with 7 other men who all lost their lives that day. Last week we celebrated his 24th angel anniversary and this week I've been reflecting on the things I've learned. My dad's death really shaped so much of who I am and what I think is important in life and I wanted to share some of those things with you. Life is about all of the little things.Writing Letters to my kids is important.Keeping a journal is important.Tell people you love that you love them early and often.Being mad at God sometimes is ok. He can handle it.Beauty can come from ash.Its' important to tell kids the truthGrief is a part of my story, but it doesn't define me.Relationships, experiences, and memories with loved ones are the most important things in life.Faith is a choice.Going to therapy doesn't mean you're weak.Allow yourself to feel all emotions.This life is temporary.Being a listening and validating ear can heal so much.It's ok to be happy again.Living in gratitude is much better than living in fear.I deserved to marry someone like my dad.Some people live a whole lifetime in 36 years.You'll never regret being prepared.Many angels appear in human form.Grief can show up years later and look totally different.Exercise is a great form of secondary therapy.We all handle life differently, and that's ok.Angels are for real. Also, I'd love to meet you in person and we totally can!!! I'm speaking at the Seek Retreat that will be happening on March 28, 2020 in Farmington, UT and I'd LOVE to see you there! You can use my coupon code "CAMI" until January 31 to get $8 off your ticket. If you're coming, let me know so we can meet up :)
I don’t know about you, but I always have big and grand goals and by the second week of January I’ve already forgotten about my goals and am right back in the same habits I’ve always had. This year I said “no more” and have started implementing strategies that are helping me to really go after the goals that I have to make 2020 the best year ever! So I found this incredibly powerful exercise by Dan Sullivan which has helped me to figure out how to actually stick to the big goals I have. He said that the first question you need to ask is “What do I not want in my life?’ It’s interesting that this question is something that most people can answer with ease. They can tell you who they don’t want to work for, what car they don’t want to still be driving, how they don’t want their body to be, etc. Now the next question is a bit harder but definitely well worth the effort. The question is “Imagine it’s one year from today and when looking back over the past year, you realize that it was the best year of your life. What does that look like for you?” Is it hard to answer? It is much more difficult for most people to articulate what they DO want as opposed to what they DON’T want. A few things to keep in mind as you do this is to put yourself in the moment that 2020 is over and you totally had the best year ever. What are the emotions you’d feel? What are the specific things you did?How do you act on the day to day?What did your relationships look like?What were your finances like?What did your marriage look like?How was your relationship with your kids? Feel how this feels and don’t let your current situation sabotage what you want 2020 to look like. Also, don’t overthink it or write down what you think others expect of you or what would look pretty on paper. This is just for your eyes and you can write whatever comes from your heart. After you do the exercise, then it gets that much easier to break down these things into their own separate goals and habits that you can begin to change. Once you extract the goals out of your paragraph you wrote, you can start to break it down into actionable steps that you can plug into your calendar - even right now. I hope this was helpful! I want to cheer you on and help you however I can! As always, feel free to reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org
So many of us struggle to find out purpose and I am so excited to have Kristin Brown on to share a few ways that can jump start you in that process. Uncover your gifts - Some suggestions to do this are to write down what you enjoyed doing as a child. You can also asked those close to you like your spouse, sibling, or parent what gifts and talents they see in you. You could also try asking close friends or relatives what talents you have that they would actually pay for. Be open to others suggestions and own your gifts and talents as part of your purpose.Decide what you want. Lots of times we can become paralyzed and not do anything because we think there is something we are meant for and want to find it. That may be true, but the best way to discover what that is, is to start looking and to begin moving in a direction. Write down and ponder what your ideal life would look like if it could be anything.Write your purpose statement. Write down the things that really matter to you in your life. When everything is stripped down to the bare bones, what do you want your purpose to be. What things do you want to cultivate in areas of spirituality and relationships, contributing to others and the world. Those things together become your mission statement. For more guided help, you can download Kristin's FREE guide to help you do this at www.theprogressproject.comSet a goal that aligns with your purpose. Sometimes we can get distracted and caught up in things that don't really matter to us in the long run. When you set a goal, see if it is in line with what your purpose statement is in order to figure out if that is where your time is the best spent. If you'd like even more help, Kristin and Laura have designed a workbook to guide you and hold your hand throughout the whole process. Full disclosure, I am an affiliate of "The Progress Project" and will get a small kick back if you purchase. http://www.jointheprogressproject.com/purpose?aff=8 Kristin Brown @jointheprogressproject
I am so excited to share with you an interview I did with Catrina Gandara from the Create Joy podcast. I am so honored that I was able to be on her show. She's so similar in her mission and her passion as far as life and podcasting go, so we are amazing friends now and I couldn't be happier about it. In this interview, I share how vulnerability has changed me in my life and why I do it, as well as tips and tricks on how I do it. I feel so strongly about vulnerability and living an authentic life and I shared my best thoughts, tips and tricks. I hope you pick an area of your life where you could live more vulnerably and chase it. I promise it will change your life. Want more from Create Joy podcast - Head on over to www.createjoypodcast.com or @createjoypodcast