So. If you know either one of us at ALL, you know that we pretty much live in our Mama Said Tees. And we LOVE when we spot one of our friends or a total stranger in them. Usually I (CS) will make a comment you could expect to hear like... "Hey girl... LOVE that tee. Cutest one I've ever seen!" And it is always received with something like "Oh my gah I live in your tees! They are THE COMFIEST EVER!" And I am all like "OMG I know right!? Cozy. Comfy. AND they spread kindness!" You get the point. Anyhow, we thought it would be fun if every now and again we did a flat lay to showcase our tee with things pretty much every girl can find something close to in her own closet, and then those same items ON one of our bodies, to show you what we're up to & how easy it is to wear our tees in a zillion ways.So TODAY I give you the most dressed up I get in a work week, seeing as how I work from home! Here we have...Our Love One Another tee, in oatmealA really adorable necklace I got at a charity event for Fields of DreamsMy favorite clutch from MadewellMy fave jeans (sorry I really don't know where they're from...)I wore this very easy, simple, and in my opinion darling ensemble to counseling tonight, and I am proud to report that Danny, my 10 year old, is officially done with regular counseling as of this evening! If you don't know anything about our story and why we go to counseling, you can learn more here :) Anyhow, Danny took this photo of me & was very proud of his efforts! And I am pleased to show you how easy it is to make our tees look cute with (believe me) very little effort! We would LOVE to see how you style your MST tees, too! So never hesitate to help us with our KiNDstock :)email@example.comSo ummm yea. That's all I got for now. Until next time... Love One Another!xoxoCS
Sometimes it isn't easy being a mom who talks about kindness, designs with kind in mind & preaches about EVERYBODY being NORMAL. I can't raise my voice without someone calling me on the carpet or telling me to T.H.I.N.K! Or if I get mad at my husband over something silly, I get that head tilt, eyes up, "shame on you that was uncalled for and UN KIND!" look. BUT. Being a mom who is actively and passionately and constantly talking about kindness also has it's benefits.
I truly don't just talk about being kind, but I really TRY to BE KIND. I am only human of course, but there pretty much isn't anything that happens that I can't find a bright side to. There isn't any glass in our lives that isn't refillable. I grant myself permission to have crazy I'm a mom of 5 and my husband uses a new towel EVERY DAY day, but I never stop talking to my kids about love, kindness, and acceptance.
I want to tell you all why I think it is SO important and NOT a waste of time. Last night my oldest played in the Semi Finals for his CYO school basketball team. (GO CARDINALS!). Sigh. We did not win the game. BUT we learned. We played our hearts out. And every single parent was extremely proud of our boys, their hearts & valiant effort. We could have had that game. We didn't. But we gave it our all!
That being said, a player on the other team (I might add that this team was exceptionally talented & well coached) has one half arm. It is certainly something that everyone on our team probably noticed the first time we played them, but we didn't talk about it. I am certain that every one of us was thinking the same thing, though. That kid is GOOD. One and a half arms or ten arms. That kid can PLAY. Just as well as his teammates. He doesn't let what makes him different hold him back. And I think that he is plain AWESOME.
Anyhow, when we got home way past bedtime, I was tucking Ryan, my 5 year old, in by myself because daddy had to run out with our 2nd oldest to get materials for his Science Expo. I only mention this because I WISH he had been there. He usually is. I will never forget this conversation and I walked out of his room soon after crying happy tears.
So I finished tickling his back, singing "My Wish", tucked him in, kissed his forehead and turned to leave. He called me back and quietly said to me, "Mom. Did you see that boy on the blue team that God didn't give him both of his arms?" I took a deep breath and said, "Yes Ryan I sure did. He was a REALLY good player wasn't he?" Ryan replied, "Yea he was really good. I can't believe how good he was since he doesn't have both of his arms." I said "I can't believe it either! But it just goes to show you that God makes everybody the way he makes them for a reason! And maybe God made that boy special so he could show others that being different doesn't mean you can't do what everybody else can do!" To which Ryan replied, "Mommy. He is a bit different. But different is normal. And God loves us all the same."
You can imagine my pride and surprise. We talked about how curiosity is perfectly fine, and then I got out my phone and showed him pictures of Mary Cate Lynch. We talked about what makes her different and what to do if and when we see someone like her or someone like the boy in the game. It is so natural for kids to wonder and have questions about things! We don't want to dim their wonder! But as parents it's our job to teach them that we are ALL DIFFERENT!!!!!!!! If we see someone who looks different or acts differently or doesn't share our same interests or opinions, it's ok to wonder and or be upset. It's not ok to laugh or point or make fun of them. If my 5 year old can grasp this concept, anybody can. They are never too young to learn. And we can always take the time to make the time to have these conversations. Kindness always wins, bottom line. And as parents, it is our privilege and our duty to lead kindly.
Want to have some Valentine's Day fun with your kiddos this year? Well we've (taste) tested the perfect activity for you!All you need are teddy grahams, frosting, conversation hearts, a clear plastic bag, hole punch, ribbon and our Be My Kind Valentine printable!Have your little ones put frosting on the teddy grahams and stick a conversation heart on the belly!Let them dry so the hearts stick to the bellies!Make your loving teddy graham army to deliver messages to someone you love!Grab your Valentine PDFs and cut/hole punch them!Have your little one sign his/her name!Put the bears in a bag and tie with ribbon! Give to your beary special valentine! Made with LOVE and a fun family activity!Have fun, but beware of frosting monsters...xo C&C
The end of the year is a time to reflect and we have some pretty wonderful things to reflect on! To say we are thankful for each and every one of you is the understatement of 2016! We could not do any of this without YOU! Yes, YOU! With every story shared, picture taken, act of kindness completed, conversation sparked from your t-shirt, comment typed, etc... we are beyond grateful. And no, we are not just saying this because that's what companies SHOULD say around the end of the year. We screenshot so many comments, stories, emails, etc... to each other and BURST with excitement. We recognize your names from orders & social media and we feel like we know you. That is the wonderful (and sometimes creepy) thing about technology. Wherever you are, whomever you are with, you are not alone. We have learned so much from you and hope in return we have given something back to you! You are a part of our Mama Said Tees family and we are pretty darn proud of it! We believe this is more than a super cool kindness empire of fun stuff, but this is a way of life. We believe these messages truly will change the world, and you are all making that happen! So thank you from the bottom of our overflowing hearts. We wish we could knock on your door to deliver hugs & homemade cookies (that would likely contain dog hair & kid spit)! Remember that YOU have made a difference this year. You have made a difference in our lives. We are wishing you the happiest holidays and cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store for everyone!xoxo Colleen & Colleen
Planning to be present. Sounds like an oxymoron huh? Maybe it is, but for a planner like me, it's the perfect plan to avoid guilt & stress.What does "Be present" mean to you? Does it mean to drop everything and play a game with your kids? Get off your Facebook and finish your work? Take a deep breath and say "om"? We created our hoodie as a reminder to check in and even as co-creater I feel a sense of guilt every time I think about it. How can I be present in all facets of my life at the same time? Well I've realized that it's impossible and to squash this guilt I've come up with a plan; a plan to be present.Think of your life as a pie chart, or better yet a giant pizza cut into pieces! (Garlic, tomato, mushroom & spinach please ... mmmm) Okay anyways, each slice is a different area of your life! Mine would include my kids, husband, dog, family, friends, mama said tees, dance, hobbies, coffee drinking, texting with CS, sleeping, etc... Some slices bigger than others (like the sleeping slice would be sadly small and tired looking and the texting with CS slice would be HUGE with extra toppings & cheese), but when put all together they make up my life. Think about your pizza slices! What are all the things that make up YOU? (If you're really digging this idea try to draw them out!) So how can you be present in all aspects of your life without spreading yourself so thin that you can't enjoy any of it? Well, here is my solution (don't worry I'm trying it with you all so we're in this together)...plan out your presence.When you are focusing on one slice of your life, do it well. When you are working, work hard without distractions. When you are missing your friend, find time to pick up the phone and call them to catch up! When you are spending time with your significant other, schedule a sitter so you can have alone time. When you are focusing on your kids, put your phone away and make memories. When you are living in the moment, take a deep breath and just be. And when you are drinking coffee ... okay let's be honest, we could all drink coffee while walking on a tight rope holding a baby panda. Anyways, you get the point. Plan when you CAN be present and make the most of it. I know, it can't always happen because, well it just can't. Most nights catching up on the day with my husband includes simultaneously making dinner for my kids, telling said kids not to push each other, yelling at my dog to stop barking and answering an important email from my phone. This is what we like to call mother-tasking and this is life. Our slices of pizza all get chewed up and end up mushed together into our stomachs and...okay enough with the pizza analogy.So I guess my long-winded point is that planning to be present might just diminish that sense of guilt you have when you hear the words "be present". You know what time you are dedicating to which areas of your life and when you can do it the best! And ahhhhhhh those moments will feel good! And if you're not a planner, then I'm sorry you read any of this, but if you are a planner I hope this helps a little. Instead of doing it all at once while spread so thin you don't remember what you are talking about, plan and do each thing REALLY FREAKING WELL! You may dedicate less time to each thing, but the quality trumps the quantity! Hmmm maybe all along when my husband says he can't multi-task it isn't an excuse for being inferior to me and not getting stuff done. Maybe he just already has it figured out .... HAHAHAHAHA yeahhhh right.Okay team. Hands in on 3... 1, 2, 3 ... PLAN TO BE PRESENT and DO IT REALLY WELL! There's no better time to try than now with the holidays upon us! And if all else fails just wear your PRESENT hoodie with a big bow on your head because YOU are AWESOME and the BEST PRESENT EVER!Happy planning & living in the moment!xo