Wednesday, May 27, 2015

You Know You're an Aunt When...

reading to nephews, boys, toddler, aunt
© Tammy Sanders

I was thinking about how my life has changed since I became an aunt.

Here's my "You Know You're an Aunt When" list!

1. You know you're an aunt when your Youtube channel is filled with recommendations for Batman, Cars, monster trucks, and Sidewalk Cops episodes.

2. You know you're an aunt when you think about your nieces or nephews when they are not there.

3. You know you're an aunt when you sacrifice that afternoon nap to play with the boys.

4. You know you're an aunt when you look at your nieces or nephews and feel like your heart might burst!

5. You know you're an aunt when you find yourself planning activities and trips based on what kids like.

6. You know you're an aunt when you start spontaneously singing and dancing in the car just to make your niece or nephew laugh.

7. You know you're an aunt when you are constantly laughing at the silly things your niece or nephew says!

8. You know you're an aunt when you love to see your nieces and nephews come for a visit, but you are also glad you get to send them home.

9. You know you're an aunt when you tell your mom, "So this is what I was like as a child! I don't see how you put up with me talking so much!"

10. You know you're an aunt when you are ecstatic when they hit milestones like walking and talking.

11. You know you're an aunt when you love your nephews, but are so frustrated with them for the way they act sometimes! And then you laugh because you realize you were that way, too!

12. You know you're an aunt when you are thankful for your nephews asking "Why?" for the thousandth time because it means their minds are soaking up knowledge, and it's another opportunity to help them grow into strong men who won't be afraid to ask questions.

13. You know you're an aunt when you look at your nephews and realize how incredibly blessed you are to have two amazing little boys who are counting on you!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Staying Focused through Physical Pain

Arrow Sign on the Road © sardinelly via

I am having to stay focused on my goals right now. I can't think about how things were several years ago. I remind myself over and over of the phrase, "You can't go forward looking back."

To stay focused and joyful while dealing with pain, I set small goals. I do a few exercises. I read a few chapters in a book.

Another way I stay focused is by relaxing. Your muscles tense up when in pain. I have to be intentional when relaxing. I take deep breaths and focus on something else besides pain. Sometimes I sing. Sometimes I think about going on an adventure with my mom.

I rehearse the positive things I've done during the day. The biggest thing for me is to just keep moving forward. Even if I can't quite sit up a whole day, I do something. Most of us get bogged down by the fact that we are not where we want to be so we end up in a rut without realizing it.

My encouragement to myself and to you today is this: Do something different today. If you usually walk for a mile, go for a mile and a half today. You can do it! And you will be so proud of yourself for pressing forward in spite of those negative thoughts that try to creep in. You are stronger than you think!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Communication for Dummies

To do list © Kimberly Vohsen via

There are many books with for dummies in the title. These books are intended to help you understand a complicated subject. Here are five tips for being a better communicator.

1. Don’t overshare

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen phone numbers posted on people’s social media accounts. Why would you want the whole world to have your number? I really am puzzled by some things that are posted on the Internet.

Many people tell where they are going and when. Some feel the need to post about every event that goes on in their lives within the hour. Who cares?

2. Be respectful

Like I said in an older post, people thrive on drama. It’s no different on social media. The same kids that post questionable things often grown up to be people with no common sense. I do not understand why people continuously comment about petty situations. Things will get out of hand. Sometimes you just have to let things go and agree to disagree. Don't ramble on and on about your perspective when it is obvious that the other person in the conversation is not open to change.

3. If you put information out there be prepared for criticism

If you post about how your marriage is falling apart in a public forum, do not whine when people don’t see things the way you see them. If you don’t want other people’s opinions, I have a simple solution. Don’t post it!

4. Listen

Instead of continuing on arguing so you can have the last word, quit while you're ahead. Shut up before you say something that you regret. I've done this and it is one of the worst feelings ever. Good communication is more about listening than talking. When you are quiet and let the other person talk, you may learn something new. Imagine that!

5. Be willing to compromise

One of the hallmarks of a good communicator is the art of compromise. It takes a person with a strong sense of self to say, "Okay, we can do it your way. Since you let me do what I wanted to do last weekend, I will go with you to the art show on Saturday."

Another good compromise is to take the good things from your suggestion at work and combine them with other team members suggestion for an even better outcome.