The best children’s books about grandparents

September 10 was Grandparents Day—a holiday that should come more than once a year, I say, especially because of how phenomenal my kids’ grandparents are. Although Grandparents Day has passed, we continue to love reading these children’s books about grandparents—and I have a feeling your kids’ grandma and grandpa would love them, too!

The 15 best children's books about grandparents will make your kids smile—and are a great gift idea for Grandma or Grandpa. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy, I earn a very small portion of your purchase—which helps me earn a living (and support my family)! Read more

“Thank you for remembering me”—cherish your loved ones

A while back, I’d had a hard day: Kiwi had hardly slept, and I was tired. So tired. It was nice outside but I’d been at my computer all day, so I strapped her in the carrier, leashed up Finn and went for a walk. I decided to call my grandma.

She answered with a wary, “Hello?”

“Hi Grandma, it’s Sweet Dolly,” I said, using the nickname she gave me when I was little. She must not have my number programmed into her cell.

My grandmother immediately recounted her day—how she was watching boring TV, that she had walked along the beach in the Gulf like always and didn’t even need a heavy jacket, that the big log in the fire helped heat her house, that tomorrow was bread ministry, that she was dubbed the Potato Lady because she always served the spuds at the church soup kitchen. The details from her quiet life spilled out as if they’d been just waiting for someone to call and listen.

Then—almost out of nowhere—she said, “Thank you for remembering me!” She was nearly in tears.

Her outsized gratitude nearly broke my heart. And her gratitude was an important reminder to cherish your loved ones.

The other day I was reminded to cherish your loved ones when I called my grandma. I'm so grateful for her. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: Mom Resume

This guest post by Laura Starner, who shares her uplifting and triumphant story of surviving cancer at Laura’s Journey of Hope, is part of a series called Happy Mother’s Day to Me. In it, mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Chances are, if you’re a mother, you have an impressive—and long—resume, too. Check out all the posts in the series!


Mom Resume Mother's Day

As moms, we usually don’t take time to celebrate ourselves because we don’t really feel like we’ve accomplished anything.  So today I celebrate my accomplishments as a mom and Mimi (Grandma).  I want to encourage others by writing about my resume as a mom/Mimi.

My daughters are 28 and 24 years old. I have three grandchildren ages five and under and a new addition on the way.

Here is my Mom/Mimi Resume. Read more

For the love of grandparents

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild.” -Welsh proverb

To see my girls adored by their grandparents is to witness something pure and beautiful.

The four of them—Eric’s parents, Grandma and Grandpa Gregory, and mine, Nana and Grandpa Shempy—light up when they are with Peeper and Kiwi. Peeper’s shenanigans especially inspire laughter and the kind of fun unique to little ones.

Two grandmasGrandpa Oregon zooTwo Grandpas with granddaughters Read more

Happy Mother’s Day!

Last year was my first Mother’s Day, but in the last year I’ve come to appreciate what the holiday means even more.

Living what it is to be a mother—the millions of choices and actions and books read and songs sung and car seats buckled and tempers checked and lunches fixed and owies kissed every single day—underscores everything the mothers in my own life have done (and continue to do).

mother and daughter moustachesMy own mom believed in me fiercely. She encouraged me to turn every interest or passion into a business, certain that someone would want to buy tiny animals sculpted out of wire or t-shirts covered in my angsty teenage poetry.

Graduation with in-lawsMy mother-in-law has always been unequivocally welcoming and accepting. Her hugs, confidences and phone calls made me feel as if it were a given that I am one of the family. I will never, ever, ever forget or take for granted the way she embraced me as one of her own.

Argentine host mom meets babyMy mama argentina, my host mother when I studied abroad in college, welcomed me as a stranger into her home. Ana and I chatted every night as she made dinner or as I sipped a submarino—a hot chocolate—at the breakfast bar. I left, four months later, as part of the familia and continue to love that collection of characters from afar—even as they expand their families.

great grandma grandpa and grandma with babygrandma Bessie sunflowerfour generations women grandmasAnd my grandmothers, of course, whose mothering I feel through the generations. These strong, beautiful women raised families amid less than ideal circumstances without complaint. My Grandma Hawkins, for example, loves to tell me about the moment when she discovered she was pregnant with twins—my mom and Uncle Steve.

She already had one baby at home and not a whole lot of income or support, but when she got back from the doctor, she stood in the middle of the kitchen and hugged her just-starting-to-expand belly. Then she threw her arms out and spun around. She couldn’t contain her happiness and couldn’t believe her luck that she was carrying twins—twins!—a secret wish she’d always carried.

These are the kinds of moments that make up motherhood. Yes, parenting is also colored with frustrations and peanut butter stains and pooplosions and sleepless nights, but it’s the joy and reward and unending gratitude that stick with us.

day-old newborn with mom hospitalThat gratitude stretches in both directions, toward both generations. I cannot express how thankful I am to my daughter and this growing life inside me for choosing us as their family. I am also thankful to the long line of women who wiped noses and corrected homework and spun in kitchens so that I could be here.

So I’m sending love to all the mamas in my life—the ones who helped raise me, the ones who brought up my loved ones, the ones who I’ve known since they were kids, the ones who struggled so hard to become pregnant, the ones who are celebrating their first holiday as moms. You all deserve to be celebrated every day, but these 24 hours are dedicated to you.

Happy Mother’s Day.