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September 2014

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« Spring Break 2014 (Part I) | Main | He's a Comforter »

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Lisa

I think you are an amazing parent. Good parents do things that are hard sometimes. I enjoy reading your struggles only because it is nice to know that not everyone is perfect and also because I have a 2 year old and I think you have great ideas of parenting. Thanks for keeping it real and for sharing your life with us!!

Kelly

Thank you for being so open and candid with your life. Sometimes it is difficult to read all of the rainbows and butterflies family posts when you have just finished yelling at your kid for something, or making a bad parenting choice, or even a good one that still hurt you to do.
I love your Spring Break trip "tradition" and just know that the kids will have so many fabulous memories of these trips when they grow up.

Stefanie

I really appreciate your amazing photographs and the way you share what happened.
You have a wonderful story telling gift and I can smile knowing that I have normal kids just like yours.
Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

Elizabeth

Thank you for sharing this! Love getting to see a glimpse of how your family works together (good or bad)...y'all have a great thing going! It's nice to see a family enjoy the smaller things of life and enjoying that time together! Look forward to your next post!

Allison

Thank you for being so honest and real. It took a lot of courage to follow through with throwing away that book - and I admire you for that. Sometimes it's all you can do to get your kids to understand they are acting like dorks. I would have done, and have done, the same thing. YOU ROCK!

Carrie

Hey sister - you are doing a great job. Don't dwell on the moments that feel kind of icky - they are normal - but they don't define you. Your kids WILL thank you for sticking to your guns and for figuring out their currency of the moment and using it to help refine their behavior.

Just ask my daughter about the 2 times she had the privilege of hand cleaning (with a very small toothbrush) our large, gross smelling garbage can while her friends were off having fun at long lunch. She knew we meant business when we put boundaries and behavior expectations in place. We gave both our kids a wide boundary in which "to have fun" but go past the boundaries and it wasn't pretty. As a 23 yr old, and our son as a 21 yo thank us now.

And, we have had tons of fun along the way with crazy vacation ideas I dreamed up and so it wasn't like they never had fun. They just needed to know that in a family, certain things are ok and others are not and we didn't waver. To the first person who comments negatively about your situation, a pox on them!!! Delete that comment and don't look back.

Sally

I have never commented before but your last bit really resonates with me. I started reading your blog a year ago around that spring break trip, and I thought it looked like such a fun family time, creating meaningful memories. I really appreciate your honesty and all of us moms know how parenting really is- it's not all sunshine and rainbows and there are a lot of hard decisions and difficult times. Thank you for portraying that. I think that there's a lot of ways to parent "correctly" and a few ways to do it "incorrectly". So, keep on keepin on!

Cristy

Your blog is my favorite. And thanks for making me feel better about the look of horror on my son's face when I opened the trash can and dropped is Nintendo DS in. ;)

Addie

I think you guys are doing great with these kids! Your stories are total reminders of me growing up with a brother and sister, blended family and my brother & I being the same age! I only have one kid, but we all deal with these same struggles and learning life lessons. Challenging for the kids and the parents! And a good reminder that when you plan a trip or special occasion, they don't always go as you envision in your mind beforehand!

Kim

love your family.love your trips. love your honesty.
thank you for sharing it all with us.

Rachelle S

I think the whole blog post was awesome, and if more parents would "throw the book away" this world would be a better place. I just read a study showing that permissive parenting is actually more harmful to kids than absent parents; that's huge to me! Hugs to you all!

Sarah

I never post, but I want to assuage your vulnerability. You are present and loving and there's not much better than that. I firmly believe that different kids need different things, and only you, as the parent, have any real insight into that. So good for you! Keep on . . . you're doing great!

P.S. I, along with a partner, write a blog for parents of preteens and teens (and young adults). I'd LOVE to do an interview with you. Check us out at nestandlaunch.com.

Rachel

Hi Karen, I'm a 24 year old with no kids, but I just wanted to let you know that I find myself thinking, "wow, I hope I remember this when I'm a parent" quite often when I'm reading your blog. It seems to me that even when you make decisions that hurt your heart and you may later resent, your kids love you like crazy and, from what I can tell, they're going to grow up to be amazing, loving, generous people that will be an asset to the world. God bless you and everyone else in your family!

Kelli

I'd be so freaked out if my child took off. I think the book in the trash was a good choice though. Although I love books, and I would feel so bad about having to that, I think we as parents need to use the right currency for kid we are dealing with. Right now, we have an iPhone issue, there's no reason a person needs their iPhone in bed, so 5 nights a week, we take it away.
I love your honesty!

Lorrie

how do you play spoons? no one is mom of the year. thank you for being honest. I would have done the same thing, running away is not good. its dangerous and Cole needed to know that was it...no more.

Rebya

Wow! I so enjoy your blog. My children are 49 and 43..we had lots of fun camping in a tent in Europe, when my hubby was stationed in Berlin.
I think your family is awesome. You come up with lots of neat things to do on a trip.
I think it sad the way so many families let their children get by with so many bad things.

Angie

Are you kidding me? Thank you millions for being real! I applaud you! If the only currency is a book- bye-bye book, hopefully lesson learned!

Courtney

Thank you for sharing it all, your struggles and triumphs! It is tough! I am betting that we are all right there with you!

Erica D.

If it's not hard, you're not doing it right (in my opinion). Lessons have to be learned and it's best they learn them with the people who love them most. Sometimes the lessons are ours to learn as parents.

Amber

I think as parents we've all had to make decisions that are super hard that we've gone back and second guessed and then felt guilty about but the thing is, you had an opportunity to teach your sweet son that there are consequences and you took it! Running off is scary and there is a difference between taking a walk in your neighborhood and tearing off into the woods in an unknown city. They have no idea what that does to us as mothers! You let him know that it was a big freaking deal and then you let him know that you love him very much. I think you are awesome. And Cole does too, I'm sure of it!

christinew

Your flaws make you so relate-able.
I always appreciate your honesty. It is quite beautiful.

janel

You truly make the ordinary...extraordinary.Your family is a beacon of reality...showing that love truly is the glue of life.

Shawn Girl

This is my first time commenting and I have been "stalking" your blog for several years...
The fact that you are not "perfect" is what makes you "perfect"...
We all do the best we can do, some better than others of course, but that is what makes the world go around...
Thanks for keeping it real!!

Julie Pilch

I truly thank you for being so open, there are many days that your blog just brings me so much comfort after a particularly trying days with my girls. Life's not perfect and I'm sure it would be very boring if it was! Loving all your photos as always and thank you for taking us along with you :)

Kirsten J

Love you and your family, Karen. And here's one for you: we flew to Miami with another family to go on a cruise together. And their 16yo son was a hot head and got mad at his mama and stomped out of the hotel room at 11 at night, in his boxers. She thought he would cool off and come right back, but about 15 minutes later she started to worry. We had to get on a cruise ship the next day, and where was Zach!??! She and her husband searched the hotel, searched the beach, asked the front desk for help, and they searched and searched. His little sister was crying in the hotel room. The gal at the front desk had seen it all a million times, but she was just getting ready to call the police, when she had a thought and sent the bell boy to look in the linen closet. And phew! There he was. It was well after midnight by then and we laughed the next day, but holy smokes! Sometimes the crummy things that happen are worthy of a laugh as well as a lesson. That's the roller coaster ride of parenthood.

Niki

Trying to type this through tears as I struggle with the same feelings you do. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this.

Heather T.

Parenting is so hard. We all do the best we can and just have to leave the rest at the feet of God. <3

I love reading about your vacations. Thanks for trusting us by sharing so many details!

krys72599

A) It makes me nuts that OTHERS can make you vulnerable about your parenting skills. All anyone has to do is look at the love that shines out of your photos - each and every one of them - to see that your *family* loves each other, loves *you* and that you're a good parent.
B) Throwing out an HP book? Truthfully? I got a little sick when I read that. But then I read your comment about finding/using the currency that works with Cole and you know what? If *every* parent found that currency and used it appropriately, there would be a lot more awesome kids out there. Sure, all kids are awesome in their own way, but some of them are a bit less well-behaved than others, and if they knew that there were consequences to their behavior, consequences that really, truly mattered to said kid, well, there would be a lot less to comment on!
C) Thanks for sharing it all with us, the good, the bad and what you might think is ugly, but I just think is real life.

Stephanie

Your hesitation to hit 'publish' is one of the reasons I love your blog the most. I love real. I can relate to that - these are the moments we can ALL relate to. Anyone that tries to claim different is only hurting themselves. Life is hard, parenting is harder and yet those are the things that make living so beautiful. You are a beautiful person - inside & out :)

Sandy

Thank you for being honest. I have a four year old that I had to pick up from school yesterday for choking a classmate. Blogs, pinterest, and social media overall can make us all feel as if we aren't measuring up, and I appreciate that you let us know that we are all normal.

Jess Z.

I enjoy reading about your parenting decisions because it gives me new ideas about mine, and what I could do differently. It's nice to have different perspectives.

Laura M

I absolutely love reading your blog. One of the reasons is your honesty about parenting. I'm a single mom and I frequently have no idea what I'm doing and hope that my best is good enough. It's so amazing to see that I'm not the only one and that other parents have struggles. Life is not just the 'picture perfect' some people try and show as their real life.

stacy

i just love you, karen!

DanaL

I do so love you Karen! And I believe you are making good parenting decisions. And you are setting a good example for your kids and for your readers as well. And. And. And...oh you know, your just so mediocre :))) xxooxx

Michelle

Oh my friend, you are a great mom. I truly can relate to all you said. Your kids will thank you someday. Maybe not in the near future. But believe me, when they are out on their own, it will all click. All the lessons you were trying to teach them. Man, let me say, it is a great feeling when it does. My oldest will be 26 in June. We have had many discussions lately about life, her childhood, etc. She has apologized a number of times for her being a turd growing up, saying she totally understands now what I was trying to teach her and why the rules were what they were. Don't feel bad for throwing the book out. It is something I have done myself. You sometimes have to find that one thing, basically hit 'em where it hurts (not physically). Teenagers are hard too. It is really a daily conscious effort to get up each morning and try not to make the same mistakes, and repeat cycles. Sometimes we are successful. Other times not. We are all human and not perfect.

Can I just say too, that society is so different now than when my oldest was younger?!! I don't like it either. My just turned 16 yr old was giving me grief in the library on Sunday. Well, I chewed her butt as we were walking out and the librarian didn't like it. Seriously, it was none of her business. Unacceptable behavior is unacceptable behavior and doesn't matter where we are, but it is not tolerated. The librarian had other ideas and decided to put her 2 cents worth in. I was not happy with that librarian. When did society get so tolerant of teens being disrespectful??

Cathy

Just needed to read that this morning. Parenting is hard and I just love your honesty.

Julie in Aust.

Havent commentated for a while Karen...but I do catch up every so often (blame a new tablet...means I dont turn on the desktop so often now.)
If you, the internet and even FB, were around when I was parenting my kids back in the 90's...things would have turned out a little different.
You are an incredibly inspirational person Karen, thank you for your honest, real life blogging.
It might be a bit late to make a difference with my kiddos, but I am very sure you are making a difference to countless other families...keep up the honesty Karen...its working!
Having a cry at the back of the truck...I did it in the shower! Running after a silly teen...yep...done that...even lost my cool once or twice. Well...sometimes daily! There were 3 of them all being little ****'s at the same time!
You are appreciated Karen...so are your kids and hubby too.

Kristen

I love you so much. That is all <3

Melissa

You are perfectly imperfect. Thank you for showing your flaws and realness.

Kristi

I love that you share it all. Motherhood is a daily challenge. A wonderful challenge, but still a challenge.

Gayle

With all the perfection you see on blogs, it is refreshing to see your honest photos and read your honest story. Please don't stop hitting publish.

Ada

So great. All of it. And the flaws connect the dots between us. I have no time for anyone who promotes themselves flawless. I've got all the time in the world to share & learn from & encourage the flawed.
I'm thankful you share.

Flawed & forgiven-
Ada

Carrie

Taking the book was genius (in my opinion!). Sometimes taking whatever is significant to them at that moment gets the point across more than words. I'm sure Cole knows how much you appreciate him reading, so he realized that was an important moment. Hopefully next time he wants to run, that moment will come to mind and he'll have a new tactic.

And I SO appreciate the reality of the story, in this post and always. Your blog is real and that's what's great about it. Life isn't all happy pictures - those hard moments help us remain balanced and in touch with reality. Thank you for having the courage to share :)

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