baby girl, parenting, Uncategorized

1st Day of 1st Grade: Hope

The time has come. Time to say goodbye to Cot Time, Play time and Snack time. Time to step from “baby” into childhood. If you haven’t guessed- its 1st GRADE time!

Look at that little hand 🙂 

Wow! Exciting happy, slightly emotional (and that just us parents )

I wanted to write a post about the first day of 1st grade for my little one.  I want to grasp what this milestone meant for  my baby girl  daughter ( can I still say baby girl?) and our family.

So while I was preparing,  packing school suppliesimg_9455 and gearing up for the 1st day of 1st Grade- I was continually thinking what does this mean for her and us? What do I want for her this year?





Then I saw the word


and it resonated within me and I knew:


  • Hope that her year is Amazing
  • Hope that she walks in the confidence of who she is
  • Hope that she never doubts her abilities
  • Hope she finds herself surrounded by True Friends
  • Hope that her world will be filled with  Love, Grace, Peace & Joy
  • Hope she feels safe and empowered
  • Hope she has the voice to speak her truth- Always
  • Hope her ear is turned towards the Lord’s voice
  • Hope she always dance like no one is watching

I cannot lie- The truth is, it can be uncomfortable sending your baby into the world- no matter the age or season or milestone. It may be the 1st day of Preschool, Kindergarten, High School, College or the 1st day at their 1st professional job. When we look at them – we still see that baby, that toddler just learning to navigate their world.

As parents we HOPE

Hope that they are living their best lives without compromise. So this year I join with you on this 1st day of 1st grade- as she enters into the a different environment-

I HOPE with you that your ‘babies’- no matter if they are 4, 5, 6 , 18 or in their 20s or more-that they excel in life, that they walk in their purpose , that they learn to 

Hope and Dream on their own.


                      Happy School Days Everyone!










Wife/Mother/Nurse/”Champion ” for all pregnant women

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family, parenting, Uncategorized

I don’t want to grow up, because if I did…I wouldn’t be a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid

"I don't want to grow up because if I did, I wouldn't be a Toys 'R' Us Kid

I saw this picture recently on social media and surprisingly it made me reflect….


Not just on the closing of an Iconic store –that during my childhood made my spirit leap with joy.

My favorite area was the Barbie aisle the colors would illuminate the row pink and

I was in Barbie Heaven!

I could do and be anything!

…and I didn't just reflect on how I when I was pregnant, I walked the aisle picking out a stroller , car seat and high chair etc- thinking one day – my baby would come here with me

…and I didn't just reflect on the memory of when I introduced my child to Toys 'R' US  for the first time and saw her eyes   img_1566   light up at the unlimited possibilities of 


I did truly reflect on the  fact that it is a reminder that life will always be a series of goodbyes. That nothing last forever. That change is constant and we are constantly evolving to another level and we should STOP and enjoy the moment we are in. As the saying goes, sometimes you never know what you have until its gone.

My daughter recently was promoted from Kindergarten and said Goodbye to her teacher and friends and she cried.

She says she will miss her teacher , friends, doing work, playing on the playground and the "Kindergarten life"–her words not mine :)   We reminded her, this does not mean the end of school, you will go back in August; and all was right with her world 🙂

…and I realized this just the beginning of always saying goodbye

Goodbye to moments, and things that were constant in our lives

Goodbye to seasons in our lives-we thought would last forerver,

Goodbye to our jobs and careers- because situations and people change

Goodbye to friends who we have lost touch with -due to circumstances or life

Goodbye to family – because, unfortunately  those we love cannot live here on Earth forever

 Goodbye to things we know and thought would be forever.

Is it sad?

Yes! We are human and it hurts

But is it necessary?

Its necessary to let go and 'Trust the Process' because without change there will be no growth. We also have to learn to cherish each moment without rushing to the nextbecause just like a snap of your fingers- it can disappear.

True,we can cherish the memories forever. However, it is important to  savor ,embrace , fully be in the moment of where you are in life at that moment.

If that's you taking your child to Kindergarten for the 1st time- enjoy that sweet innocent time-its hard , its challenging, but make that time AMAZING.

We celebrated my daughter's  1st day of Kindergarten with lunch and invited the grandparents. I took pictures. She may not remember this in few years, but I will always remember her face as we exclaimed how proud we were of her and going to school for the first time. I'll remember this season as the time I embraced the 'Art of Letting Go'

As emotional as her last day of Kindergarten was for my daughter and I'll admit-me and her  dad-  We embraced the moment- took a ton of pictures and took her to dinner to celebrate all that she had learned and acknowledged her transition.

You may be facing a career change or starting a new position- embrace it. Try not to yearn for the days gone by – enjoy the moment you are in- learn what the situation is teaching  you and wrap yourself around that experience.

If this is you , with your 1st baby or 10th-embrace this time- you will never be pregnant with this child again. Take a moment to just savor that you are creating a "WHOLE HUMAN BEING"!   Find the joy in the season you are in.

Goodbyes are a part of life , a part of our daily existence.

Take the moment you are in a make the Goodbyes count . Each moment in time is meant for you to learn from, experience, love , embrace, acknowledge; and then say goodbye too.

Just like Geoffrey

I don't want to grow up because if I did I wouldn't be a Toys R Us Kid


all the children have grown up-there's no more Toys 'R' Us Kids


So be like 'Geoffrey' with  his little suitcase leaving behind a global brand, a life,  passion, our history…

Embrace the change , Embrace the moment, Find the joy and say Goodbye!

I want to hear from you- tell me about your recent goodbyes- What have you learned? What are you embracing? Comment below…





Wife/Mother/Nurse/"Champion " for all pregnant women

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family, grandparents, pregnancy, pregnancy announcement, Uncategorized

Pregnancy Love: #5 : Telling the Grandparents


Focusing on #Pregnancy Love, I want to take a moment to celebrate 

the sweet moment

you tell your

Parents they will be




This pregnancy is a special moment for you and your parents. It is a moment for them to see you as parents and experience the joys seeing you experience the joy they had when they raised you. img_7123

Its a moment for them to look at you through new eyes . Possibly the moment where they truly realize you are now the “Parent” and not only their child. This is when they have the opportunity and honor to be proud of you being a mother /father and not only their child.

                                                                                                                                             (picture source:
                                                                              (picture source:

This is also the time were they can relax with the child raising and focus on the Loving and the Spoiling. “Grandma/Grandpa is my name and Spoiling is my Game ” .


Make the moment you tell your parents you are pregnant special. Do not be surprise if they have guessed it already 🙂 (Parents have an uncanny ability to do that).

Today during #Pregnancy Love Month:

Celebrate the moment you tell your parents you are having a baby !

Please share how you told your parents you were pregnant and their reactions.

Comment below


Grandparents love- Love on Another Levelpexels-photo-302045.jpeg


family, parenting, pregnancy

February : Pregnancy Love Month

February : The Love Month

Pregnancy is beautiful, amazing, miraculous. What better time to celebate the Miracle of life than during the Month of Love: February!

The Month of February is a fun time to celebrate everything there is to Love about Pregnancy. Often we hear about the Pregnancy Woes, complications, pains, aches and discomforts. ( All of which are true.)



                      Sometimes you just need to nap, and that is 100% okay.

However, while the pregnancy journey is not always smooth and easy- it is definitely worth it!

Therefore, during this Month of Love, I want to Focus on the Lovely aspects of Pregnancy. I’ll attempt to write a post a day that focuses on one aspect of Joyfully being pregnant, in hopes to inspire , encourage, give hope and encourage all the #momtobe and #momtobeagain to enjoy this season of pregnancy.

Welcome Everyone to the Month of #Pregnancy Love

By: Mary Echols, Wife/Mother /Registered Nurse

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Pregnancy Love    (
amazing mom contributor, family, parenting, summer camp, Uncategorized

Before and After Kids—Camp Experience

I admit, before I had kids, my thoughts about parenting and raising kids was set in stone. It is always easier to think your way would be better than others.  Then reality hits and you actually have kids and things are not how you imagined it would be.

Recently, my two oldest sons spent a week at summer camp. I highly encouraged, ok ok, made them go… since they had no inclination to go themselves.  Eric and I talked about the wonderful experience and how much fun they would have and the friends they would make while at camp.  Eric and I both had the opportunity to go to summer camp when we were younger and talked about what we did and how we would go back if we could.  Of course, they still dragged their feet and feigned sickness as the day came closer.  And when the time came to drop them off, I was sad because the drop off was so “sudden.”  No chance to walk around the camp, to see their cabins where they would be sleeping, the cafeteria, where they would be eating or the beach where they would be swimming.  I didn’t have the opportunity to give them a hug.  Eric hurriedly ushered me awaits saying  “I didn’t want the camp staff thinking I was “that mom.”

While they were gone, I thought about them; were they having fun? What did they eat? Did they sleep ok?  I would get teary eyed when reading the email Eric sent them.  It also made me think about what I used to think before I had kids.  I have to admit; pre kids- I may have been judgmental towards parents; thinking how could they send their kids off to summer camp. How could they send their kids away?  Didn’t they want to spend time with their kids?  I wondered if their children were affected by spending all this time away from their parents. Were they traumatized knowing their parents didn’t want to spend the Summer with them.  Obviously, my times away at camp were forgotten during my judgement. 😉

When we picked up the boys, they talked about how much fun they had. They were able to go swimming, canoeing, played games and they even said how much they liked singing camp songs!  My boys said the food was good and was impressed by showers where pull down ropes made the water come out.  They both spoke about the friends they made. 

The oldest had the chance to go canoeing and then spend the night in the woods in tents. He talked about how gross the boy’s outhouse was so they all used the girl’s outhouse.

The conversations and shared experiences did not end there. The boys sang the camp songs to their siblings and talked about their counselors and recited all their names.

The best part; they admitted they want to go back next year.

(Yes! right decision made by Eric and myself!)

As they talked, I thought about how wrong I was thinking parents were selfish for sending their kids to summer camp. With kids of my own, and having to work during their summer vacation, I realize summer camp is not only a time for kids to have fun, make new friends and enjoy new experiences.  Summer camp is an opportunity for parents to work. Not every parent has the luxury being able to take their summer off to spend with their kids.  Parents have to find alternatives to school, and childcare has to be made so parents can work and pay the bills.  Summer camp gives parents a sense of peace of mind knowing their kids are safe and having fun.

My eyes have opened now and I offer a heartfelt apology to all those parents I judged before I actually had to walk in your shoes. Summer camp is a great chance for kids to have fun and experience summer like a kid. 

If you get the chance to send your kids to camp, please do.

Your kids will thank you for the memories.


By : Kristine Walton

Wife/Mother of 5/Registered Nurse

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family, pregnancy, Uncategorized

A Long Awaited Escape

As a mother, my time is divided between my husband, my children, my job and what’s left over is trying to maintain a chaotic household. Some days I pat myself on the back because I helped my kids with their homework, cooked dinner and even managed to do a load or two of laundry. Other days, I thank God I didn’t lose a child, that I managed to feed them and yeah, OK…however, the homework. We can’t win them all.

So when Eric was invited to attend the Knights of Columbus convention on Mackinac Island, I of course said “YES!” Oh, I guess Eric should have been the one to answer but I figured I would help him. We had the option of bringing our kids, but I jumped at the chance of having a couple getaway minus the children. We had not both, at the same time, been overnight without them since our youngest was born…5 years ago!  My husband does have his annual ‘mancation’ and he always encouraged me to do the same with my friends.  He’s always supported me, especially when it came to finding time for me. I’ve always felt guilty spending time away and couldn’t even bring myself to having an overnight trip.

This time around though, I felt ready. I felt no guilt in wanting to spend time away from my kids.  I felt excited to spend time with my husband.  My parents said they would watch the kids, did I sense hesitancy? Oh well.  I jumped at the chance to go to Mackinac Island. My kids would survive 2 days.  Now the question is, would my parents?! But it’s not about them.

We dropped the kids off and Eric and I made our way to the big island! No bickering siblings. No “Are we almost there?” No frequent rest room stops. This trip was looking fabulous already. Eric and I had dinner at the Grand Hotel.  We actually had a grown up meal. We had an actual conversation.  We enjoyed our meal.  Can I tell you how nice it was to really savor your food?

When Eric went to his workshops during the day, I was able to sleep in as long as I wanted. I would have coffee on the porch overlooking the water, while reading my book.


I would walk around the island taking in all the sights and sounds. I didn’t have to constantly count 1,2,3,4,5. Ok they’re all here.  I didn’t have to say, “no fighting, be quiet, no running, stay with us.”

I took pleasure in the beautiful views Mackinac Island had to offer. I smiled when I saw other parents trying to manage their kids. I leisurely window shopped while eating ice cream. 



I enjoyed being me. Not a mother of 5.  Not a nurse.  Eric and I found ourselves as a couple again.  We found out why we fell in love in the first place.

Me and My Love

I encourage other moms to get away. Get away with your partner.  Renew your love for each other.  Find yourself again.  That young girl who laughed, who enjoyed life, who laughed uncontrollably.  You need to be you without your kids if only for a night.  You come back to motherhood feeling refreshed, alive and rejuvenated.   It is needed so our kids can see us, can see their parents in love.  It is needed to make our family more whole and complete.   When you feel ready, go find yourself again.  You won’t regret it.

Kristine Walton ,RN, BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/Registered Nurse

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“Bad Moms” Unite

I just watched the movie, “Bad Moms” and found myself totally nodding my head, laughing and telling myself, “I know! That is so right.” And I know many other moms could relate, to one of the characters, if not more than one.   I’m even more positive you could see your mom friends in the characters. Who doesn’t have a mom friend with multiple kids who always looks tired and never goes out? Or the single looking for love  mom? Or the seemingly perfect mom who appears to have everything together?


But that’s the whole point right? Being a mom is not perfect. We can try, but everything we try so hard to do is never enough. Either we do everything for our kids; make them breakfast, do their homework, take them to all their extracurricular activities, make them the perfect nutritious organic lunch and they become entitled kids who expect the world to give them what they want instead of working for it.  Or we are the disengaged parents; missing their games, not caring about their school or social lives and they become disengaged kids who apparently don’t care about anything.  We need to give ourselves a break.


Scissors + a Little Guy

Many moms are also working moms and I’m going to take a leap in faith and also assume we also maintain our household. We have to find time between our kids’ school and activities and our job to go grocery shopping, clean our house, laundry and meal preparation. Then our partner wants time to have “relations?!


Being a nurse working 12 hours a day or sometimes even doing midnight shifts; I’ve never been a perfect mom and frankly, I’ve never had the energy to try to appear perfect. I think the hardest time for me as a mom was when I was pregnant with the last baby. I had 2 in school and 2 at home.  My husband and I were always able to be at home and avoid the need for daycare.  But Eric was done with school and started teaching. We were now both working full time and needing day care.  Being a nurse, though hard, can allow flexibility in your schedule.  I started working every weekend during the day and Monday doing the midnight shift.  So now I’m up all day Monday with 2 boys, working from 7pm to 7am and rushing home Tuesday to have to be up all day.  I found myself being a bad mom.  I would leave bowls of snacks on the table and by the couch so I could catch 30 minutes of shut eye on the couch.  I let PBS be my babysitter.  I let the boys co-sleep on the couch with me during their nap time.  I let my older boys eat school lunch every day. I did not have the healthiest diet during this pregnancy. 

The older brothers “playing” with their younger brother

I know my 2 boys were up to no good when I would open my eyes to see the youngest staring at me and frantically whisper, “hurry! She’s awake!” Or I would find a trail of candy wrappers that were not there before I dozed off for a few winks.  But at that time, I was being the best mom I could be.  I don’t know or don’t care if other moms talked about me when I picked my other boys up from school, looking disheveled and beyond the world tired. I was waiting to tell someone I haven’t slept for 32 hours! They might have been too scared to approach me or maybe didn’t want their kids around me? Who knew? But I could totally relate to the mom with 4 kids in the movie, Kiki.  So knowing, we’ve all been bad moms at some point in our parenting career, I have a few tips to help you become badder moms.  Or is it more bad?



Take a nap! I cherish my days off with all the kids in school and I can sleep! At first I felt guilty because I could be doing so many other things around the house. But the first time I napped and really slept, where you wake up and you’re confused at first and don’t know where you’re at.   I was like, wow! This is really nice. And I can stay like this for a few more moments without anyone demanding my attention, or having to make something, fix something, wash something or whatever something.

Say “no” to your kids. I know you’ve read this in more parenting blogs, magazines then you       care to read again. But saying no to them is more than making them more resilient, getting them ready for the real world but it saves your sanity. You start saying no when they’re young so it doesn’t hit them hard when they’re in elementary school and they’re shocked and start having seizures. My kids start off asking me, “I know you’re going to say no…” And when I say yes, I’m the best mom ever! Saying no also will save you a ton of money. How many times while going shopping (your) you’re kids ask for things and you end up spending more money than you planned. I bet saying no to all these extras will save you hundreds of dollars a month depending on how many kids you have.

3. You don’t always have to share your food. I always used to share my food when my kids asked, “Can I have some?” I felt like I was feeding baby birds when my kids would stand around me with their open waiting mouths ready for their next tasty morsel. Because that’s what a mom does, but I would look down and there was nothing left for me. Then I would get mad. C’mon. I know I’m not the only mom who got mad when that food you’ve been waiting for, is devoured by your greedy offspring. Guess what? It’s ok to be greedy sometimes too. I’ve learned to say, “this is mine.” When my guilt is overwhelming, I hide my treat and wait longingly for my kids’ bedtime. Then I retrieve my guilty pleasure and enjoy.

4. Don’t sign your kids up for every activity that comes their way. Not going to the story telling at the library will not destroy them.   Now my oldest has discovered his passion for basketball and he’s pretty good. So I allowed him to play in an extra league during school. When you’re child finds his/her passion then allow that passion to flourish. Plus, there’s scholarships for college in about any hobby. Forward thinking: I have 5 to put through college. Otherwise, while they are young, let them be kids. Let them be bored. Let them entertain themselves. Let them find their imagination. Let them go outside.


5. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes. Allow yourself your own time because you are more than just a mom. On the other hand, Don’t make other moms feel bad; we don’t know their story.

#3 dressed in a skirt by his older brothers



Remember, moms are not perfect. It’s ok to have “bad mom” moments. It’s those moments that make us human, and those moments that are cherished the most. I cannot remember the perfect lunch I made for my kids. Not because I’ve never made a perfect lunch, but because lunches don’t matter. I do remember my boys drawing on themselves, cutting their hair, and dressing their baby brother in a skirt. I hope more moms will cherish their bad mom moments too.







Kristine Walton, RN, BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @



Do you have any Bad Mom moments?

Comment Below…