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Do You Need A Lifestyle Audit?

Have you Audited Your Life Lately_

I am sure most everyone has heard how you will repeat the same bad habits or cycle until you do something to change it. How do you change those habits or the cycle of life you are in? You need to evaluate and audit your lifestyle!

What is working in your life?

  • Do you love your job and it brings you happiness?
  • Do you love being a mom and taking care of your kids?
  • Do you love the hobby you participate in?
  • Do you love taking a walk everyday?
  • Do you love to take the time to read?

What isn’t working in your life?

  • Do you love your job but not your hours?
  • Do you love being a parent but need other adult interaction?
  • Do you dread going to play basketball with your league?
  • Do you look for excuses to get out of something you used to enjoy?
  • Do you avoid doing things because you know you won’t enjoy them?

These are all questions to ask yourself when you are doing a lifestyle audit!

For myself, I am a creative person so I am having the same routine everyday feels like it kills my creative brain cells. I do not thrive in that situation and end up never finding the time to be creative because I lose that drive from focusing on my routine. Its a fine line to be a creative work at home mom and have the same daily routine with kids. Evie loves having a routine where she is fed, takes her naps, baths and bedtime at the same time everyday. With holidays and summer parties, there are days where her schedule is messed with and boy do we pay for it with a baby that refuses to sleep.  With Danyella being homeschooled, she has to have a routine or she will try to get out of doing her schoolwork (common occurence with a sassy tween). So what’s a creative mom to do when her kids need a routine? Find little ways to break up my routine so I don’t get into that blah feeling and avoid my creative side like changing up how I do my day each day. Plus, I tend to end up staying awake way to late after the girls are asleep to accomplish some of those mundane chores on my list that I avoided earlier in the day.

Now it is your turn! Print out the Lifestyle Audit PDF that I created for you to take a look at what is good and bad in your life. This will help determine what you need to change and what can stay the same to make your life the best it can be for today.

Lifestyle Audit

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Thankful For Our Armed Forced and How We Support Them Throughout the Year

Thankful For Our Armed Forces

This is not my typical Mom Monday post but more of a combination Mom Monday and Thankful Thursday combination post. Why am I doing this type of post today? It is Memorial Day which means we honor our veteran soldier and every soldier is the son or daughter of a Mom.

In our family, we are thankful for all that the soldiers have done to protect our rights and freedom that we enjoy everyday. I have many friends that went into the service after high school or after 9/11. I am grateful for the time and service they have committed to every single person in this country. 8cad8f35e8c3b88dbced403f30505fc4

As a way of giving back to the soldiers and to teach my children to support others, we joined Soldier’s Angels. Soldier’s Angels is an organization that supports our troops, veterans and their families. A few years ago, I was looking at ways to teach Danyella the importance of volunteering plus incorporate other skills, like letter writing, into her homeschooling. After doing a lot of Googling and research for organizations that write letters to soldier, I found Soldier’s Angels. This was exactly what I was looking for plus more.

Soldier’s Angels not only supports our troops through letter writing but many other ways. The way Soldier’s Angels works is there are different teams set up that a person can join. The different teams help different aspects of our soldiers and their families such as the Deployed Angel Team, the Letter Writing Team, Angel Bakers, Chaplain Support Team, Ladies of Liberty Team (exclusively for female deployed soldiers), Operation Top Knot (virtual baby showers for soldier families), Adopt A Family (holiday support), Sewing and Craft Support Team, Cards Plus Team (holiday and birthday cards), Living Legends (for families of fallen soldiers), and the Special Operations Team (for special forces soldiers). Plus there are programs for veterans and Wounded Soldiers. There really is so many ways to support our troops through this organization.

Along with volunteer opportunities through the teams, there are local ways to help plus donations of money are accepted. In addition, there are many different drives throughout the year, like a blanket drive for soldiers and vets in the hospital. There is even a special beer that when sold 100% off the profit is donated back to Soldier’s Angels for our soldiers. The beer is called Homefront IPA and you can click here to find out more.

To our SoldiersPast, Present and FutureThank You and God Bless You

One of the teams we have joined is the Deployed Angel Team which sends letters and gift packages to our deployed soldiers. We have adopted different soldiers from different services through the years. Sometimes we get letters back from our soldiers and sometimes we don’t because of how busy or the location the soldier is in. We love coming up with different themed packages every month to send our soldier.

The other main group we belong to is the Letter Writing Team which has been a great thing for Danyella to work on her letter writing skills and handwriting while support our troops. This is fun because we will have the system randomly choose our soldier so we have gotten all the different services and recently received our first female. We always include our address and my email so if the soldier chooses, they can write us back. We have received cards, letters and emails from different soldiers which always gets us excited. Something crafty and unique is that we take pages from adult coloring books to make into envelopes with washi tape so they can use the picture to brighten their day.

We have been part of the Operation Top Knots team which is really fun when I make things for other people’s babies. Danyella loves to shop for little gifts for the siblings. Plus the Cards Plus team is a fun way to send cards to others and sometimes we will get cardstock and make the cards.

We would love to join all of the teams but there isn’t enough time or money in our budget to do them all. We support as much as we can and have taken breaks from supporting when life has been a roller coaster for us. Then we let our team leader know that we are ready to rejoin and we are good to go.

If you are looking to support our troops in little or big ways this is a great organization to help with that. If you are looking for support for a soldier or soldier’s family you know they always accept soldiers with open arms. For $1 a month which helps keep the organization running, you can help our soldiers while they keep us free and safe. I hope that you consider helping our troops today. Our troops spend their time and put their lives on the line for our comforts and freedom so cherish those soldiers and what you have in your life. f88ed0df7d85767390146686dfdc6764

Click the photo or any of the links to go to the Soldier’s Angels website and find out more for yourself or a soldier you care about.

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100 Act Of Kindness Days

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Danyella has been dealing with bullying and mean girls the past year so as her mother, I have been working on her self-care routine through her school work. She doesn’t realize that when I have her write a positive sentance everyday… its self care. She doesn’t realize that when I have her take 15 minutes before bed to write down her feelings…. its self care. There are many way I have incorporated self care into her homeschooling routine but self care isn’t just about what we do for ourselves.

Self care is doing things for other because it is good for our soul. It doesn’t mean you need to go all Oprah and giveaway cars, electronics or other awesome gifts (unless you can afford it). You have heard the stories of the people who start the giving lines at Starbucks where the car in front of them purchases their order for them and then it keeps on going. Or the person that surprises a child with a new bike that their parents can’t afford to buy them.

These little acts of kindness make us feel good about helping others and to see the smile on someone else’s face makes those acts completely worth it. Yes, we do need to make sure we are happy and secure in ourselves but doing things for others when they don’t know it’s coming or asking for it adds to the happiness we feel in our lives.

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It is small things like:

Giving a friend a hug when they are down

Holding a door open for a mom with kids in each arm and on each leg

Writing a letter to a soldier serving our country

Leaving a cold bottle of water for the mailman in the summer

Making a meal for someone who is ill

Donating food to a food bank

The possibilities are endless….

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Danyella and I are starting our 100 Act of Kindness Days challenge today. Each day we will find something nice to do for someone else. We will record what we did and how it helped someone else. I want to teach Danyella that among all the mean people in the world, be one of the nice people. Who wants to join us in this challenge?

Here is the pdf printable of chart we will use to keep track of our days: 100 Act of kindness Days PDF

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ABC Your Positive Life with this Gratitude Starter List

SpringInspiration

If you are anything like me, you can fall into a funk with keep a positive life all of the time. Things happen that can cause stress in your life which can lead to negative thoughts. It can be easy for your mind to get distracted by negative thoughts and forget everything we should be grateful for.

The other funk I fall into is being grateful for the same things over and over. Yes, I am thankful for my house, my children, my husband, my family etc… you get where I am going with this. Now, it is time to find the details of those general things that I am grateful for not just my kids, etc.

One way that helps me sort through these funks is to use my ABC list. This allows my brain to open up and think outside of the box for the things that I am grateful for in my life. Some of the letters make me get very creative which helps in exercising my brain as well.

Such as… A: I am grateful for apples and that my baby girl is big enough to start eating applesauce now.

You can start off with one letter a day or a few at a time. You can go in order or skip around. In the end all that matters is that you are working on your positive life and gratitude towards what is in your life.

I created the sheets in yellow and purple to brighten your day while you write, the first link is the pdf to download, the second is a jpg:

Yellow ABC’s of Gratitude

ABC's of Gratitude

Purple ABC’s of Gratitude

ABC's of Gratitude (1)

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How to Create Your Dream Bucket List

How to Start a bucket list

A bucket list is something that people have been doing for years, decades even centuries. People have written books about bucket lists and movies have been made about them even one move having the title The Bucket List. (Great movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) You might even have a mental bucket list but have yet to put those things on paper.

I think I started my first bucket list when I was 5 or 6. Any girl at that age, the top of their bucket list is Disney World or Disney Land (depending on what coast you live on). Which I accomplished when I was 22. Now, I want to take my girls to Disney to experience the wonders they offer as kids. I have always had travel locations that I want to tour on my bucket list(s). I want to tour Italy which could take a lifetime with all of the history, architecture and art that I want to enjoy. Ireland, Germany, France, England and the rest of Europe are on my list. Plus, Hawaii, the different countries in the Caribbean, Bali and other exotic locations. In more recent years, I have added a cross-country road trip to the list so that I can show the girls different landmarks in the country we live in.

Beyond travel, I have things that I want on my bucket list. Like purchasing a house is on my list. I would love to stop renting and paying someone else for the house we live in and call home. Finishing my degree is an important one on my list. Hopefully, this will happen sooner than later. I want to eventually have my tattoo on my leg finished.

Some things I have marked off my bucket list: becoming a Philadelphia Horticultural Society member, seeing Pitbull and U2 in concert, going to Las Vegas, having a girls trip with my friends, learn how to crochet (turned into a business!), learn how to screen print on clothes (so much fun!)

A bucket list gives you something to look forward to in life… goals for your future.  Your bucket list just needs to start with one thing that you want to accomplish in your life.

Here are some ideas:

Camping

Traveling to different areas

Concerts to See

Events you want to attend

Eat at a favorite restaurant

Attend an art class

Learn a new Hobby

Remodel a Room in your House

Start a new Self Care routine

Learn how to Bake/Cook

and the list is endless!

This Bucket List list can help you kick start your bucket list with different areas to think about adding to your list. This is the PDF printable version: My Bucket List

My Bucket List

 

 

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Finding Your Life Mantra

Finding Your Life Mantra

When I first heard the term “Life Mantra”, honestly I thought it sounded kinda weird and crazy. I mean why did I need a life mantra to remind myself that I am a wonderful person or that my life is amazing?

It took me many years to realize that I needed the life mantra because I would mentally beat myself up. Everytime something went wrong in my life, a relationship or friendship would end, I fell behind on bills…. anything that was wrong, I would tell myself hateful things. I would tell myself how stupid I am, how ugly I am, that my life sucked or that I was just not loveable.

When I wasn’t in the throes of my anxiety or depression, I could see how my life wasn’t as horrible as my mind was making it. In the midst of those throws, it was like a tape recorder on repeat where all the bad things were just ongoing in my mind. How could I feel like a wonderful person when the one person that should love…. me …. couldn’t say one nice thing to myself??

That is when I started working on my self-care and reading everything I could on helping get myself out of this repeat mode of bad thoughts. I can’t even tell how many self-help books I have read over the past 10 years but the one recurring theme was to change your bad thoughts into good thoughts. In addition to changing your thoughts, you should implement positive affirmations into your daily self care routine.

I like to take the positive affirmations one step further and created a life mantra. My life mantra is something that I like to repeat to myself when I start those bad thoughts. When life gets stressful and my instinct is to beat myself up, I repeat “I am loving and loveable” to myself over and over and over until I snap out. Some days, life gets overwhelming and I will not only repeat my mantra to myself but I will write my mantra down so that I see what I want to feel.

I know that some people use “I am Enough” or “My Life is Wonderful” as their life mantra. Your Life Mantra should feel unique to you. Think about how you wan to feel about yourself or your life…

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Do you want to feel more love? Do you want to feel like you are enough? Do you want to feel your life is going in a certain direction? Do you want to feel successful in your life?

I am Loving and Loveable

Once you come up with your life mantra, it will take some time and practice but start by saying your life mantra to yourself when you wake up and before you go to bed. Doing this in the mirror is more effective, especially in the beginning, to get your mind used to repeating this to yourself. When you begin to think those bad thoughts, turn your thoughts to your life mantra to turn yourself around to the positive side.

Yes, this takes work, time and patience but it is so worth it because self-care is important to everyone at every age. Start slow and begin to build your life mantra into your everyday thinking. When you see yourself, spiraling down, say your mantra and bring yourself up again. I believe in you and now it is time to believe in yourself!

 

 

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5 Affirmations to Attract Money Into Your Life

NOT TO ACQUIRE.

I am a firm believer in the law of attraction and your thoughts attract what you do or don’t want into your life. That being said, your thought process attracts your income and abundance in your life. When you think about what you want to achieve in a positive way then positive things will happen.

Think about it… when you feel like you are drowning in debt and can’t keep up with your bills, all of your thoughts are on your debt and how you can’t pay your bills. If you think about how you make more than enough money to pay your bills or how you are able to pay your debt off with ease, you are putting a positive spin on a negative thing in your life.

Say you want to be a stay at home mom with your kids but you don’t think your family could afford. Think of a positive affirmation to say and write to yourself everyday about the situation. When your mind is thinking about this situation from a positive aspect, you open your mind and life up to other opportunities. Maybe a work at home position opens up for you. Maybe you find a way to budget and cut expenses to stay at home with the kids. The possibilities are endless when you think positively about it.

One way that I attract the things I want in my life is through affirmations. Every morning, I find or create an affirmation that aids in accomplishing my current goal(s). I will say this affirmation to myself throughout the day. When I have a negative thought come through, I need to consciously stop myself and think about my affirmation to turn myself around. Now, that part has been an ongoing work in progress because it is easy to let the negative thoughts swirl in your head before you realize you need to turn that thought process around.

Being a Work At Home Mom, I can feel the frustrations and financial burden of my household when I don’t bring in more income then we need to cover some of our bills. Suffering from depression and anxiety, I can let myself get pulled down by these feelings very easily. Affirmations have been a great way to release the negative and find the positive especially in this situation.

My current goal: pay off my medical bills from my pregnancy and birth. Since I had a high risk pregnancy and lost my insurance for a portion of that pregnancy, finally got insurance with a huge deductible ($7500) and gave birth on January 1st (new deductible kicked in), my medical bills are about $20k with some bills still trickling in 4 months later. This has been a huge hit on my credit report because I was on bed rest and couldn’t just pay the bills out of pocket and we want to buy a house next year. So it is time to clean up my credit and pay off these bills.

Here are my top 5 Affirmations that I use to help my mindset attract more money:

  1. Money Flows To Me From Multiple Sources Money Flows To Me From Multiple Sources

  2. I Feel Excited To Pay My Bills OffI Feel Excited To Pay My Bills Off

  3. I Now Attract An Abundance Of Money Into My LifeI Now Attract An Abundance Of Money

  4. Money Comes To Me Easily and EffortlesslyMoney Comes To Me Easily and Effortlessly

  5. I Am A Money MagnetI Am A Money Magnet

Since starting this journey, I have made a game plan of how I am paying off those bills (this is big for me because just looking at the bills made me want to run the other way), how I can cut down some of our excess spending to pay towards the debt and have seen more sales come in from business orders and yard sale sites. When I was dwelling on the negativity of the debt, I wasn’t getting anything accomplished but when I turned my thoughts into how I am paying off my debt, the good has flowed into my life.

 

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Hobby Your Way To Happiness

Hobby Your Way to Happiness

Hobbies are a great way to lose oneself in something that they enjoy while relaxing their stresses and mind.

Starting in high school, people and jobs would ask me if I had any hobbies but I had no idea if I had any hobbies or really what a hobby was. My idea of a hobby was collecting things like baseball cards (which as a kid I had binders full of baseball cards) or making model cars. As a kid, hobbies seemed like something boys did not girls.

hobby

Little did I know, I had a hobby since I could read…. reading books. As soon as I could walk to the library, I spent so many hours reading books at the library and then taking books home and reading until the wee hours of the morning. My mom loves to tell the story that I loved to read so much that while walking down the street, I was reading and walked into a pole….

stress management concept circle on blackboard

Yes I found my hobby but I didn’t know it. In my 20s, my hobby evolved to crocheting which has turned into my handmade business. In the past few years, my hobby is gardening because I love to see what I can grow and my family can eat. I still love to read but I don’t have the time to always read so I listen to a lot of audio books. My stress release that I found in crocheting was lost for a while because the business aspect replaced the fun aspect. Now that I have Evie to crochet fun things for, crocheting has become fun again.

Without my hobbies, I wouldn’t have been able to make it through some of the most stressful situations in my life. My hobbies are what brought me happiness and released the stress that my mind and body were feeling at the time.

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Reasons to have a hobby: 

  1. Helps to relieve the stress your mind and body feels on a daily basis
  2. Helps to encourage you to challenge your mind with different tasks
  3. Helps you take a break from your daily tasks
  4. Helps you to explore new hobbies and evolve as a person
  5. Helps with anxiety and depression

Helps to relieve the stress your mind and body feels on a daily basis: 

The body and mind need time to destress everyday. Without this destressing time, the body fills with negative feelings and thoughts which is not healthy. A hobby naturally boosts your positivity about yourself and life which releases the stress brought on by the negative.

Helps to encourage you to challenge your mind with different tasks:

A hobby challenges a person to find new ways to accomplish their hobby. For example, a knitter will finish one project and will search for a new, more difficult pattern to accomplish next. The brain wants to be challenged and learn new things which a hobby aids in accomplishing.

Helps you take a break from your daily tasks:

Everyone needs a break from their daily routine or life becomes mundane and dull. When life becomes dull, a person becomes bored and can become depressed. Even a 5 minute break enjoying your hobby can aid in changing things up and keep your day fresh.

Helps you to explore new hobbies and evolve as a person:

Over the years, your hobbies can stay the same or they can evolve into a new hobby. Someone that loves to paint, may learn a new painting technique or a new type of art. Learning new hobbies or techniques helps a person evolve mentally and physically (depending on the type of hobby).

Helps with anxiety and depression:

As someone who has suffered from both anxiety and depression since I was a teen, having a hobby that I enjoyed has helped relieve both of these. Keeping yourself busy with a hobby helps to calm your nerves and anxiety by having your mind distracted with the current task you are enjoying. When you are involved mentally and physically, there leaves little room for your depression to creep in at that moment. Over time, your mind will learn to release the anxiety and depression while you are involved with your hobby.

There are so many different hobbies that people can have that have so many healthy and happiness benefits. You can practice yoga or meditation. You can work out at a gym or walk around your neighborhood. You can read books or draw/paint pictures. You can build model cars or rebuild classic cars. You can crochet, knit or sew special things for people in your life. The possibilities are endless and here is a list of 40 hobbies you can try today! Here is a PDF printable of the list: 50 Hobbies To Try

50 Hobbies To Try

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Write It Out: Put Your Feelings on Paper

Write it Out_Put your feelings on paper.png

Have you ever gotten to a point in your life that you have kept so much bottled up inside that you feel like a volcano ready to explode? Maybe the person you need to talk to is not around to express your feelings? Do you feel like you have no one to talk to about what is going on in your life? There are more than one reason a person holds in their feelings instead of expressing them but writing them out is a way of getting those feelings out.

Lately, I have had a lot going on in my personal life that only a few people know about. This situation has been playing over and over in my mind until I get to the point of wanting to scream my head off. Thankfully, I have had a few close friends and family to listen to me talk about this situation… over and over. I have tried to talk to the person that is involved with the situation but that is like talking to a brick wall.

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My solution to getting my feelings out without annoying the hell out of my friends and family or getting frustrated for talking to a wall… write it out! I have been journal writing since high school because a counselor suggested it as a way to express my feelings without having to talk about them. I won’t lie, I can go long periods without writing in my journal because things are either going so well that I don’t feel the need to write OR things are so bad that I am to numb to write.

When I write my out my feelings, I feel a sense of relief afterwards. Sometimes this relief is short-lived… a few hours or it can last a few days or weeks. No matter how long this relief lasts for the fact that I am able to express my feelings is the healthy aspect of living a positive life. Yes, we all have negativity in our lives whether we want it our not but it is how we handle this negativity that makes the difference in living a positive life. Journal writing helps turn those negative feelings we are dealing with into a positive way of expression.

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Journal writing can aid in keeping you connected with your mind and body aka mindfulness. It can keep your mind focused on goals that need or want to be accomplished. Taking the time to write in a journal teaches self-discipline to do a task when you feel a trigger coming that needs to be expressed. Journal writing has healing benefits for people with depression, anxiety and sleep disorders because it helps to calm the mind. This is just some of the benefits of journal writing!

 

I used to and still do love writing with a pen and paper. Just the feeling of releasing my feelings while the ink glides across the paper. Seeing those words come to life is just a magical feeling. Unfortunately, my hands do not want to cooperate with writing with a pen and paper. After a few minutes of writing, my hands end up in a lot of pain so I have started making my journal writing digital. I use google drive to make my documents because it is free and I can use it among all my devices. Like last night, I needed to write my feelings out so I was able to grab my phone, open the app and type away until I felt better.

So, whether you need a pen and paper or a computer/tablet/phone to write your feelings, it doesn’t matter as long as you write your feelings out. Good feelings, bad feelings… all feelings matter and feel great when you write them down. I encourage you to start writing today!

Writing your feelings out in a journal keeps your POSITIVE life on track. Take a few minutes to write down the good, the bad or the ugly and release it to the universe.

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3 Things Being a Crazy Sport Fan Mom Taught My Kids

3 Things being a crazy sports mom taught my kids

I absolutely need to start this post off with FLY EAGLES FLY ON THE ROAD TO VICTORY, E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!

Yes, I am one of those crazy, die-hard fans for my Philadelphia sports teams. Since I was a little girl my parents had me rooting for sports games and car races. Being one of these loyal to the end fans has shaped how I have raised my children whether they noticed it or not.

1. Having Passion in Your Life: Having a passion for something in your life whether it’s the love of a sports team, movies, music, art or something else, teaches a person to have an almost out of control love of something in their life. Having that love for something in their life shapes a person to become who they are and stay true to that person.

People that know me, know that I have a passion for my Philadelphia sports teams which has taught my children to have passion for the things they love. Danyella has an huge passion for dance which she lives, eats and breathes dance everyday. This passion, even of her bad days, helps to keep her focused on her goals for what she wants to do in her life which is dance.

passion

2. Being a Loyal Person: Loving a sports team teaches a person to be loyal to something in their life. This loyalty doesn’t just last for a season but for a lifetime. Take my Eagles, year after year everyone bashed the team for never winning a Super Bowl. Well this year, my Eagles proved everyone wrong but I continued to bleed green after every win and loss over the years.

Being loyal to a team or other people is an important trait to teach a child. Danyella has learned to be loyal to her friends through the good and bad times. Yes, as tweens girls will fight and have disagreements but the loyalty to their friendship will persevere because that is what is important to them. With Danyella’s dance team, they stay loyal to each other week after week, competition after competition. They build each other up and stay loyal to their team and their goal of improving their dancing week after week.

loyal

3. Believing in the Good in the Universe: Whether you believe in a higher being or not, everyone should believe in the good that the Universe delivers to the world. The sports players that work hard week after week, year after year, waiting for the elusive win continue to believe in the good being delivered to them. This continued belief is what pushes them a little hard and what keeps them working towards their goals.

For Danyella, teaching her to believe in the good of the universe came out recently when she had an audition for the exclusive Showstoppers dance troupe at her studio. In the troupe, there is jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical and tap that the dancers can audition to make. Last year she auditioned and did not make it. This year, she was trying again and was believing in the good of the universe that she would make just one of the teams.  Not only did she make jazz but she made tap as well! She was shocked and looked at the email over and over again. It was her belief in the good of the Universe that gave her the confidence to have a great audition to make both teams!

universe

Now I will say this, Danyella does not have the same passion for professional sports teams that I did have at her age but she does have a passion for music and dance. This passion all stemmed from things that I have taught her from my love of sports. She knows that Sundays is football or racing but she loves the commercials during the Super Bowl. Danyella also know don’t get in Mama’s way when she is cheering on her teams! And yes, I am trying to make Baby Evie into an Eagles fan before her Daddy can make her into a Cowgirls fan!

Though many women don’t love sports and may not agree with my take on this post, having an undying love and passion for professional sports teams has many healthy benefits for our children. Teaching our children to have passion, loyalty and a belief of the good in the world are all positive traits that will shape them into well-rounded adults that have fun in their lives.