Motivated MomsMotivated Momsen-usMOM- Managing Overcommitment & Motivation<br /> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 9pt">Have you ever found a weekend where you were triple-booked without any bail out options?&nbsp;Do you find yourself trying to manage and balance professional commitments, family and friend gatherings, and necessary obligations, let alone embrace a MOMent for personal desires?&nbsp;As a mom it is easy to come upon a moment of realizing you are overcommitted when the individual planners of family members align, revealing a total eclipse- AKA crisis.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 9pt">Motivation can be defined in multiple ways but involves an internal or external stimulus that can drive a mom onward toward goals or desired outcomes.&nbsp;Mom&rsquo;s often juggle the motivation of multiple individuals within a familial context, plus the drive of other forces externally impacting the flow and calendar of each child and adult within the home.&nbsp;Bottom line: a balancing act of desires, goals, and boundaries.&nbsp;Ultimately a circus feat that boils down to protecting the structure of the family circle from total disarray.&nbsp;I like to think of it as <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/home.aspx#/en/home/shows/details/ka.aspx">Cirque Du Soleil </a>(click play)&nbsp;a bit, with some beauty in the wild changing frontiers of a set stage, taking form through human motion,&nbsp;weaving&nbsp;our way through the battles and&nbsp;fantastic moments.&nbsp;What does this mean?&nbsp;We are tested in the skill of saying &ldquo;yes&rdquo;, &ldquo;no&rdquo;, and &ldquo;to be determined/yet negotiable&rdquo;.&nbsp;Nevermind the wisdom it takes to discern what goes on the chopping block and what requires compromise or space to fruitiate.&nbsp;&nbsp;Always keep&nbsp;some humor in your pocket for some reassurance and relief....a great, and funny example, of saying &quot;no&quot;: &quot;Now about our brother Apollos:&nbsp; I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers.&nbsp; He was QUITE&nbsp;UNWILLING to go now, but he WILL go <em>when</em>&nbsp;HE <em>has the opportunity.</em>&quot; (I Corinthians 16:12, NIV, Paul's letter to the Corinthian people, emphasis added).&nbsp; On<a target="_blank" href="http://nancysblog.familytreecounseling.com/2010/03/quite-unwilling.html">The Waiting Room blog</a>,&nbsp;a woman spoke of learning&nbsp;this from her Beth Moore study, and being free to say &quot;no&quot;.&nbsp; What a journey of learning....</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 9pt">Mom&rsquo;s, when you find yourself triple-booked, what do <u>YOU</u> do?&nbsp;How do you decide?&nbsp;How do you prioritize?</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 9pt">See, being a mom, a wife, a friend, is so much more about service, gentle listening, and discernment/adept perception.&nbsp;Do we have, or make, the time to be still, to <u>enjoy</u> and really listen to our family and those we love?&nbsp;Sometimes, when we are overbooked, the best solution is listening; to our inner stress gauge, and physiological phenomena, to our inner desires and fires driving us onward, and to our inner circle of loved ones.&nbsp;Sometimes it is reaching outward; to resources and books of Wisdom, to access more information about what we are committed to by asking questions of clarification (ex: timeframes, activity involved, possibilities of flexibility in scheduling, etc.), and to others outside our inner circle that may be able to provide unbiased and unfettered insights.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 9pt">A topic at large as been the question of whether we have become an over-paced society.&nbsp;One does not have to look far to engage with topics of technology and our over-to-doing-it.&nbsp;Why do we think we have to &ldquo;accomplish&rdquo; so much; to check so many things off our list?&nbsp;Surely it is good to have goals, and strive to attain them, but could our agendas be set to unreasonable expectations?&nbsp;And are those goals (desired outcomes) appropriate to our current circumstances; should we do a bit of restructuring to our calendar and self-demands in order to restore the order to our homes?</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 9pt">To whose drum do we march?&nbsp;Is it the world&rsquo;s, a past goal in a different stage of life, that is maybe of value or possibly not worth pursuing, or even someone else&rsquo;s demands in our personal lives? &hellip;<span style="color: #800080">Enter stage right</span>, <span style="font-size: larger"><em>listening&hellip;listening&hellip;listening</em></span>; the music and language of insight, discernment, and understanding.&nbsp;I would rather be in step to the beat of my child&rsquo;s heart, than fail to fall out of line with the world&rsquo;s time.&nbsp;Sometimes we have to march to the beat of a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-rock_on_mt_adventure_card-4186.html">different drummer</a>&nbsp;(scroll to sand&nbsp;footprints card- MA-100)&nbsp;, whether someone else catches that rythymn, understands it, or feels the need to dance.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="color: #800080"><span style="font-size: 9pt">Enters stage left</span></span><span style="font-size: 9pt">, <span style="font-size: larger"><em>the word &ldquo;no&rdquo;</em></span> and with it, <span style="font-size: larger"><em>boundaries</em></span><em>.</em>&nbsp;A wise and very human man named Solomon, inspired, once stated in a Proverb, &ldquo;Like a city who is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.&rdquo; (Proverbs 25:28, NAS). I have heard it restated, &ldquo;A man without boundaries is like a city without walls&rdquo;; easily overrun, defenseless, vulnerable to dangerous advantage and disgraced was a city that had broken down walls.&nbsp;And with the word &ldquo;no&rdquo;, demanding self-control and perspective, regarding one thing, comes the reminder and reward that we say &ldquo;yes&rdquo; to another.&nbsp;We welcome energy, family, reassurance, clarification, a new season or stage in life, a fresh, or maybe revived, sense of empowerment that comes with wise decision-making. &hellip;And then <span style="color: #800080">enters Center stage</span>: <span style="font-size: larger"><em>REST</em></span>.&nbsp;Ensured that you will not miss all of life, and surely will otherwise miss your sanity, you find yourself RESTing in the moment.&nbsp;Enjoying and basking in the realization that in the MOMent you are growing in Life, with people you love, and through obstacles meant to take you to the next level of discernment, joy, and peace.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 9pt">REST mamas&hellip;and seize this MOMent, aware that with simple tools we can balance this tight rope act of <u>M</u>anaging <u>O</u>vercommitment and <u>M</u>otivation.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 9pt">Does anyone else have some great suggestions?&nbsp;I look forward to hearing your thoughts.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 9pt">Your fellow MOM,</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 9pt">RESTing in the MOMent,</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 9pt">heather&hellip;</span></div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-mom_managing_overcommitment_motivation-23-85.htmlMotivated MomsSat, 31 Jul 2010 13:17:00 GMTHeather NelsonAcceptance and the Reinvention of Self<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">From all the mom&rsquo;s I&rsquo;ve spoken with, I have seen repeatedly this sense of tension where they are torn in all different directions, trying to prioritize and balance things, not only for their families, but find in there somewhere a shred of familiarity of who they were and what they expected to be.&nbsp;Running like a hamster in a wheel, or a mouse in a tunnel, crying out &ldquo;Who Moved My Cheese&rdquo;.&nbsp;Well, adaptability is one of the major lessons we go through as moms.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Our experience of our life status as busy Moms can take us from elation to the sense of having been sucked into a black hole relentlessly tortured with unending tasks and a ceaseless list of requests we cannot escape.&nbsp;In these moments we reel and question, &ldquo;What ever happened to that dream I had&rdquo;, &ldquo;my core desires to journey to&hellip;&rdquo;, &ldquo;will I ever&hellip;&rdquo;, &ldquo;I always wanted to&hellip;&rdquo;, &ldquo;Hey, what about meeeeee?&rdquo;.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s funny how then all it takes is a moment of looking at a mother with her infant, her smile at seeing that little bundle for the wonder he is, his toothless grin lighting up his face at mom&rsquo;s lit up eyes and smile; she is totally taken in.&nbsp;Under the watchful eyes of other mom&rsquo;s, this gaze is reflected, their cheekbones seemingly rising, the corner of their mouths turn up, softened eyes; suddenly, the wind of stress relief passes through the room&hellip;.a reminder of what it is all about.&nbsp;It is a joy to serve and love these precious little ones.&nbsp;And a mom is ready to lay her whole life down again.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Why is it then we resist the &ldquo;tasks&rdquo; that surround this delightful dance?&nbsp;Is it because we are viewing them as tasks?&nbsp;We can find acceptance of the more &ldquo;beautiful&rdquo; things, but in a sprint-racing pace of life, it is easy to view the normal &ldquo;interruptions&rdquo; as an inconvenience.&nbsp;Add the moment of, &ldquo;Hey, what happened to &lsquo;My&rsquo; life?&rdquo;, and it&rsquo;s a concoction for mom to bury her head in the pillow and bellow. Inconvenience?&nbsp;It seems sometimes we are balancing too much on our plates, and we entered a realm that many just don&rsquo;t understand, unless you are a mom.&nbsp;I hate to be clich&eacute;, but it is just true.&nbsp;Add a measure of a loving support network or a lack of one to that mixture, and it can be a relief, or it can be toxic.&nbsp;We soon recognize we have mostly ourselves, moms, to look at in the mirror and come to quick terms with the state and phase of our lives and the acceptance of what is the reality of that life.&nbsp;I love the shift that &ldquo;<a target="_blank" href="http://www4.alibris-static.com/isbn/9780609609262.gif"><span style="color: #339966">The Art of Expecting</span></a>&rdquo; provides on &ldquo;bustling&rdquo;. &nbsp;It expands on our never-ending list of tasks, brings the shocking reality of &ldquo;They spill, you clean.&nbsp;That&rsquo;s the way it should be.&rdquo; <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" />&nbsp;And expounds on how the busy hum we create as bustling about, is stabilizing for our children.&nbsp;Like the cozy, cocooned feeling of being in a comfy bed and not wanting to rise for the day, and curling up when you realize you don&rsquo;t have to.&nbsp;Hearing mom vacuuming down the hall, your bedroom door shut so she didn&rsquo;t wake you.&nbsp;Dad in the bathroom blow-drying his hair The hum lulls a child to sleep in the safety of a loving home, knowing your parents seemingly have it all taken care of and you can rest.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">When we are the parent, though, and we are the ones tackling the list, the experience is a wee bit different at times. We are more than occasionally left baffled at how a child, in passing from one room to another, exploring their world, can leave behind a fury of disaster.&nbsp;Our job is just to aid these journeyers and delight in their findings. &nbsp;But in the nitty-gritty, it can be quite the physical non-stop pickup for the parents. &nbsp;As they get older, this seems to involve larger &ldquo;messes&rdquo;, unexpected indoor sport, and giant-sized volumes of things they need to pull out of the closet for their &ldquo;adventures&rdquo;.&nbsp;That cute little mushy vegetable mess they once made, confined to a infant-sized chair, becomes a large cup of milk spilling over the table, onto the chair, splashing the wall, all over the carpet (hello, big cleaning project), and it looks a bit more like the <a target="_blank" href="http://movieclips.com/AwiBx-cheaper-by-the-dozen-movie-frog-for-breakfast/"><span style="color: #ffcc00">scene with Beans and Mark on &ldquo;Cheaper By the Dozen&rdquo;.&nbsp;</span></a>Am I saying keep some humor in the scope of chaos?&nbsp; Absolutely!!!&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;<br /> I am not saying that there should be complete abandon of &ldquo;self&rdquo; and our goals, just a morphing of our perspective to provide the salve that soothes when we are starting to get raw on the edges.&nbsp;I am realizing more and more, it is not so much a resignation of self, rather, a release.&nbsp;It is adaptation and the reinvention of self.&nbsp;It is acceptance at it&rsquo;s turning point.&nbsp;If you were out in the ocean and had a surfboard, how much sense would it make to continue thrashing about in the waves, when you could rise up and surf?&nbsp;It&rsquo;s the time when endurance hits it&rsquo;s peak and turns from a fight to a flow.&nbsp;No one who has ridden a wave thinks to themselves, &ldquo;Hmmm, if only I could be out here without a board, being sucked under by the riptide&rdquo;.&nbsp;They look for the bigger and more challenging waves; they grow and expand in their expertise.&nbsp;Like the child growing, and us with them, there are often new hurdles ensuing closer and closer together, like birth pangs.&nbsp;Though it seems relentless at times, the rewards do present eventually, and by no means is a mom in error to care for herself in between the blasts of seeming chaos.&nbsp;There is a time that we settle into it and start to enjoy the process, even coming to a place of embracing the pains&hellip;not that they don&rsquo;t hurt, require seemingly unexpected amounts of resilience, and feel insurmountable at times; it&rsquo;s just we begin to accept it for what it is; trying us to our limits as we live out our calling as moms. Cushnir, in <span style="color: #0000ff"><u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.chroniclebooks.com/images/items/9780811/9780811867283/9780811867283_norm.jpg"><span style="color: #000080">Surfing Your Inner Sea</span></a></u></span> says, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not about pretending to be serene while ignoring what desperately needs your attention.&nbsp;Instead, the serenity we&rsquo;re after is one that can survive, and even thrive, smack in the middle&hellip;&rdquo; of complete upheaval. And some of the most difficult times are not from the challenges themselves, but from our resistance to reinvention and acceptance during that part of our journey.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">When mothering brings you to an internal fight, will you endure till it hits the flow?&nbsp;I cannot stress enough <a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKFAly6G5cA"><span style="color: #ff0000">the value of momentum and being in the flow</span></a> when in comes to survival, acceptance, and the reinvention of self.&nbsp;Each of us defines what that looks like in our lives as moms.&nbsp;We each find the ways to embrace the parts of our selves that will not and should not be extracted; they are wonderful things we can share with our children.&nbsp;And there is a time to <a target="_blank" href="http://rlv.zcache.com/surfer_girl_poster-p228442995283719952tdcp_400.jpg"><span style="color: #993366">set the board down and rest on the shoreline</span></a>, a time to care for fatigued muscles, and for taking a timeout to play in the sand.&nbsp;But at times, we either catch up with that wave that&rsquo;s flowing, or be sucked under.&nbsp;We either move with the wheel or take a mighty fall. And our days can become those of a successful and simple weaving in and out of all the bustling activities that build into the peace and stability of our children&rsquo;s lives.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Hoping your find your momentum in the flow,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-acceptance_and_the_reinvention_of_self-23-113.htmlMotivated MomsMon, 01 Nov 2010 21:16:00 GMTHeather NelsonMOMentum<p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><br /> </span><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">What motivates you?&nbsp;What drives you?&nbsp;What is it that keeps you moving forward, pressing toward a goal each day?&nbsp;Is it singular or multi-faceted?&nbsp;Okay, so we are moms, and the truth is, it is likely in the norm of our consistently multifarious capacity, that we have many goals we want to accomplish; things we are striving for, so many checks on our list that our heads are spinning. Do I hear an &ldquo;I second that!&rdquo;?!?</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">Something tells me I would see that knowing glance that is exchanged between moms; it&rsquo;s more like a code really.&nbsp;The nod, the eyebrows and eyes gazing off in identification and recollection of a similar situation they faced earlier today; in the grocery line, on the phone, en route to an important meeting&hellip;. </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">The multi-focused mom:&nbsp;As I tried to get this intro post off my laptop and into cyberspace, I found myself interrupted by the necessary duties of managing finances, children and their friends, and pressed by follow-up calls, a drop-in visit and a slow moving startup.&nbsp;Can I hear my affirmation, &ldquo;I hear that!!&rdquo;?&nbsp;I know moms convinced that several people have their phones set to a timer to call at the same time multiple times a day, because it never fails, those calls come all at once and we&rsquo;re left to triage between the food cooking, children whining over who had the toy first, then intermittently climbing over or under your downward facing dog because they are convinced you morphed into that move just for them, 3 incoming calls, and a business to manage.&nbsp;Not to mention, can I have just a minute?&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;"><br /> </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">A MOMent for mom:&nbsp;Moms should have cheerleaders who tell them they&rsquo;re still doing a great job, their bodies aren&rsquo;t that impacted by the birth of several children (though we OBVIOUSLY know otherwise&hellip;need I mention the ways?)&nbsp;Again, the glance. </span><span style="font-size: 9pt;">J</span><span style="font-size: 9pt;">&nbsp;That cheer should include a truly all-expense paid vacation to an exotic location and a tossing of a bucketful of our favorite chocolates.&nbsp;Were it only that easy!</span></span><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;"><br /> </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">The Mom reality check:&nbsp;See, I have never found a skin-smoothing, bubbly bath product that could just &ldquo;take me away&rdquo;, nor have I ever spent my evening lazing in bed watching a sappy love story while consuming little round chocolate mounds that took all my cares away.&nbsp;The reality is, I&rsquo;m a super-non-stop mama who loves- who HAS- to seize moments&hellip;even if that means &ldquo;planned spontaneity&rdquo;, or, as I like to call it, &ldquo;leaving room for the spontaneous&rdquo;.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> </span></span><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">MOMents of truth:&nbsp;See, the truth is, I am deeply motivated.&nbsp;I have way more than 1,000 places I want to see before I die.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s finding the time (not to mention, dinero) to book the flight that keeps me from hitting Li River in Guangxi, China </span></span><span style="font-size: 9pt;"><a href="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2126/2451589321_6ca7fa63c6.jpg" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: Verdana;">http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2126/2451589321_6ca7fa63c6.jpg</span></a><span style="font-family: Verdana;">&nbsp;&nbsp; in a native organic bamboo SUP </span><a href="http://www.360cities.net/image/yulonghe-yangshuo-guilin#238.00,-1.50,90.0" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: Verdana;">http://www.360cities.net/image/yulonghe-yangshuo-guilin#238.00,-1.50,90.0</span></a><span style="font-family: Verdana;"> , </span><a href="http://www.1000beforeyoudie.com/Place.aspx?placeId=26" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: Verdana;">http://www.1000beforeyoudie.com/Place.aspx?placeId=26</span></a><span style="font-family: Verdana;"> or visiting Krabi, Thailand&rsquo;s </span><a href="http://www.travbuddy.com/Krabi-travel-guide-631687/photos/view/0" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: Verdana;">http://www.travbuddy.com/Krabi-travel-guide-631687/photos/view/0</span></a></span><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;"> Phang Nga Bay for a bit of sea kayaking and relaxation. </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">The way I see it, mamas, I have to love where I&rsquo;m at; appreciate and embrace and share as much good that I can, and just keep on growing and learning.&nbsp;I hope this can be a forum where we can all do that together. I&rsquo;m so amazed with the mom&rsquo;s and the women I know!&nbsp;So here we go- let&rsquo;s make this a resource pool and an encouragement and renewal stop along the way of your seriously Motivated Mom business.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">Some topics to come:&nbsp;Ways to travel on a budget or outnumbered (yes, by children), how to get in health shape while making your son or daughter smile, the balancing act of fashionable wear and functional gear, the art of seizing the moment, a healthier heart and mind, practical must-haves in the family fun cabinet, humor, the stroller that makes sense and actually works, camping with kids, running barefoot through the neighborhood&hellip;.so much more.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">Send us your ideas so we can hit on topics YOU really are itching to explore (a resource minute).&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">In the meantime, since I so want to hop on that SUP in The Li River, I think I&rsquo;m gonna get my practice on&hellip;.a bit nearer to home. </span></span><a href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/news-detail-water_body_yoga_paddling_for_the_soul-18.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 9pt;"><span style="font-family: Verdana;">http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/news-detail-water_body_yoga_paddling_for_the_soul-18.html</span></span></a><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">&nbsp;Something tells me if I attempt fancy footwork and end up doing a belly flop, I will look like a total tourist when I get there!&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">Until next time, I look forward to seeing you more at Clear Water Outdoor&hellip;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">Your fellow Motivated Mom keeping MOMentum,</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana;"><span style="font-size: 9pt;">Heather</span></span></p> <br />http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-momentum-23-75.htmlMotivated MomsMon, 28 Jun 2010 16:04:00 GMTHeather NelsonMoms Celebrating Small Successes<br /> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Goals reached, achieved, arrived at, should be celebrated no matter how big or small.&nbsp;Isn&rsquo;t there a saying that the greatest victories are ultimately won from a single <a target="_blank" href="http://joeorlandino.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/anita-garibaldi.jpg">battle</a>?&nbsp;.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">We&rsquo;ve heard the mentioning of long-term versus short-term goals....</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&ldquo;Life can be pulled by goals as surely as it can be pushed by drives&rdquo;- Victor Frankl</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Picture a large-scale, deep passion driving force propelling you forward.&nbsp;A long-term vision is not to be brushed aside, but to be stored in the heart for the journey, the process, and the opportune time.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">On a daily basis, however, it comes down to so many smaller details that can squelch the life out of a dream.&nbsp;As I heard one mom put it, &ldquo;Trying to remember who I am and what I like to do&rdquo;&hellip;.trying to maintain a shred, an ounce, of what was once a part of my daily life that I so thoroughly enjoyed.&nbsp;So I am saying that TODAY has to be a live and active embracing of our grass is the greenest.&nbsp;We have to love the journey that we are on, with all of the ones that we love, and take stock in that no one else will ever be ME on MY journey with the ones in MY life.&nbsp;There never has been and never will be another ME!!! Of which my point is, mamas, there never has been and never will be another YOU!&nbsp;Treasure it and the ones you love!&nbsp;We transform our own lives by appreciating what we have right around us; two voices in harmony, a moment where all technological stimuli is shut off or disconnected, a child&rsquo;s giggle, smile, or exuberant game of &ldquo;catch my superhero&rdquo;, the smallest goal achieved.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">See we have no guarantees of tomorrow, or even tonight.&nbsp;Finding ways to rejoice through today and love today seems crucial.&nbsp;Even on the simplest things.&nbsp;A spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Such a small accomplishment in the scope of life, but I am still riding the wave of celebration&hellip;having accomplished my summer&rsquo;s end goal of a yoga <a target="_blank" href="http://bepracticallyposh.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/paddle-board-segment5.jpg">headstand on a stand-up paddle board</a>.&nbsp;My gauge is I made it all about 3 seconds unassisted.&nbsp;I&rsquo;ll take it! &nbsp;I am not complaining about technically having hit my goal, be it 3 seconds or 33 of balancing!&nbsp;Now, celebrating that &ldquo;whoo-hoo&rdquo; MOM-ent, I am setting my stakes toward lengthier balancing, variations of the headstand, and so on.&nbsp;Not to mention, I have noticed in small ways that others most likely may not, some trimming of my sidelines in my paddling efforts!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">How often when we check off every last thing on our days&rsquo; list, do we say, &ldquo;Wow!&nbsp;Look!&nbsp;I did it!&rdquo;.&nbsp; Do not count in your mental mom checklist that is always nagging in the back of your mind:&nbsp;organize every toy bin to the &ldquo;t&rdquo;, alphabetize, activity and age-categorize your children&rsquo;s clothing, give regularly to the most fiscally-responsible non-profit orgs (not to mention the research to determine this), and go totally organic and natural where possible, making everything healthy and from scratch.&nbsp;Take a minute, breathe, and celebrate it&hellip;your MOMent of accomplishment.&nbsp;When we embrace the small things we can achieve, the bigger things are so much less overwhelming&hellip;.as they say, one bite at a time, &ldquo;baby steps&rdquo;.&nbsp;Let me now rest and enjoy, cherish hard work well done, take a respite in the pages of a <a target="_blank" href="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/418H8VAXXTL._SL500_AA300_.jpg">light read</a>.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">All these things being said, there is great value to that which drives you on and propels you forward; there is a place for large-scale, long-term goals.&nbsp;I am just taking a MOMent to say let&rsquo;s appreciate, embrace, and celebrate all the little victories and not let them be snuffed out in the day to day busyness.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">And this goes to positive reinforcement to our children and others around us.&nbsp;Celebrating their achievements and fellowshipping in their joys, encouraging an environment of appreciations, which, in turn, may become a place of peace and refuge in trials.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">A great example of this was with my youngest child, who was rewarded by one of his very most favorite teachers for a moment of obedience in a classroom setting.&nbsp;He had a small victory in good listening and at the end of class got to pick out a treat for his responsiveness.&nbsp;The teacher didn&rsquo;t beg him to do what was right, argue, manipulate, or threaten.&nbsp;The boundary line laid out, he had to choose, and in a passing moment, he made the right choice!&nbsp;At the end of class, he was taken aside and rewarded.&nbsp;Positive reinforcement!&nbsp;Celebration of a tiny battle won by my son!&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">May we grow in the grace and humility to celebrate joyously the smallest MOMents,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">To your MOMents of appreciation and for all you do MOM&rsquo;s!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Sending Mama MOMents of rest your way,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Your fellow Motivated Mom,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather&hellip;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-moms_celebrating_small_successes-23-89.htmlMotivated MomsMon, 16 Aug 2010 00:42:00 GMTHeather NelsonSummer's End Adventures<br /> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">As summer sizzles out and September saunters in, there is many a parent hard-pressed not to be wishing those late August days would linger a little longer.&nbsp;Fall should never be the end of family fun, merely a transitioning of hue.&nbsp;So while we hesitantly let go of longer days, may we focus on making the most of later moments.&nbsp;While seasons change and moments morph, more memories are to be made and more adventures are to be had.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Take the last warm weekends to swim a little longer, play in the sand and sink in your toes, and while the mosquitoes begin to taper off at night, make a few extra s&rsquo;mores and tell a few more stories late into the night.&nbsp;Make up a collaborative story with each family member contributing a piece to the development of the story line.&nbsp;For practice on ideas and to get the story juices flowing, check out <a target="_blank" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_KsB8pD0-BZI/TBvkapqTtqI/AAAAAAAADg8/UayiLiWu0i4/s320/rory%27s+story+cubes"><span style="color: #ff6600">Rory&rsquo;s Story Cubes</span></a>.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Pack up the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-kelty_gunnison_41-4229.html"><span style="color: #ff6600">tent</span></a> and get out for a late summer family hike and campout.&nbsp;This can be the highlight of the summer&rsquo;s heat as it begins to cool off and you hunker down for slower, shorter days.&nbsp;Spend some extra time with the neighbors having home-cooked barbeque, grilled veggie and fruit kabobs, and playing bacci, volley, or kick-ball, really, almost any kind of ball game goes well with a neighborly gathering.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://nycblog.citysearch.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/10/02/kickball_420.jpg"><span style="color: #ff6600">Kickball</span></a> keeps you young physically, and at heart, and keeps the kids happy, making moments to remember for all.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Pack a picnic for a nature trail walk, post-playground activities, or even your own backyard.&nbsp;Put in an extra-special snack you prepare together; like <a target="_blank" href="http://blissfullydomestic.com/wp-content/images/cache/farm1.static.flickr.com/111/304500433_c8f0b7bdc1_o.jpg"><span style="color: #ff6600">puppy chow</span></a>.&nbsp;The kids would most likely even partner in carrying the pack, eager for a little play and picnic time.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">As the seasons have their changes in this life&hellip;the necessity for fluidity is nearer to permanence than any of our seasons.&nbsp;I think of water rolling over rocks in a stream, a wild river, on a mountainside; the water shapes the surface it encounters and makes a new form of beauty.&nbsp;So it is with us as Moms and families.&nbsp;With each new season and change we encounter with our children and family, the more fluidity we maintain, the longer we roll with it, the increased capacity we have to create something of an even more beautiful hue.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">To embracing summer&rsquo;s end adventures with the ones you love&hellip;.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Your fellow motivated mom,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-summers_end_adventures-23-93.htmlMotivated MomsSat, 28 Aug 2010 04:02:00 GMTHeather NelsonFamily Facing's Life's Obstacles Side By Side<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Today, out in the country, I saw a white-haired couple hunched over, holding hands, coming down the stairs from the stoop of a local Bar-B-Que stop.&nbsp;They were not looking at each other, but walking steadily side-by-side.&nbsp;Their eyes and focus were on the stairs in front of them.&nbsp;They were aware of the potential fall they could take, and so braced themselves together as they ventured slowly forward.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">As this couple in their years learned, <a target="_blank" href="http://opencities.britishcouncil.org/blogs/judithryser/files/2010/04/4_elderly-couple-180x300.png"><span style="color: #ff0066">leaning on each other</span></a>, dependability, faithfulness, and trust is key in family relationships.&nbsp;As we build into the stability and framework of our homes, we find out, on encountering life&rsquo;s storms and trials, that &ldquo;two <i>are</i> stronger than one&rdquo;, and that &ldquo;a cord of three strands is <i>not</i> quickly broken&rdquo; (Ecclesiastes&nbsp;4:9, 12, emphasis added). When we are bound together in the home, aiming for the wisdom that solidifies the security of the family, when circumstances arise that threaten the structure, it will find the family walls well-reinforced&hellip;.Like the couple coming down the stairs, they know when the focus should be forward and they should be linked side-by-side, leaning into each other.&nbsp;Maybe later they smile and deliberate on how life has changed, fellowship on the difficulty of a simple set of stairs, that <a target="_blank" href="http://cache2.asset-cache.net/xc/88809428.jpg?v=1&amp;c=IWSAsset&amp;k=2&amp;d=A5C9C13351D9C3B7D6DACB7FF1C81BB57A0FF53F08CC5A89FA0AB945FA2BDC9D"><span style="color: #ff0066">as children they would jump down in one bound</span></a>.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">When we are woven together as a family, we realize the strength of the structure comes from it&rsquo;s interdependence and trustworthiness, encouraging each thread to add it&rsquo;s individual color and abilities to the tapestry.&nbsp;Family does not have to break or rend just because change comes.&nbsp;It can transform and move and transition to something new, deeper, richer, and ultimately lighter and more at peace.&nbsp;Like a down comforter, soothing and cool in the summer, and warm and surrounding in the winter.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">You could be fighting financial battles with family unity, tragedies and unexpected sorrows, betrayals and unforeseen setbacks.&nbsp;Reeling from the initial impact, it is so important to not let anything destroy the foundation you function from.&nbsp;And if the foundation is weak, rebuilding it and reinforcing with that which cannot be torn down.&nbsp;It could be new joys, rewards for long endurance, surprising leaps of profit and progress.&nbsp;Sometimes in a family it is more like climbing through a <a target="_blank" href="http://patagonia.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341d07fd53ef0120a6426ec6970c-320wi"><span style="color: #ff3300">Speleo-maze</span></a>.&nbsp;If you have never tried this, it is amazing&hellip;literally, a- MAZE- ing.&nbsp;If you are very claustrophobic, it may not be your best option, and if you dare to try it, make sure someone is by the release door to let you to the outside!&nbsp;But, even if you are not claustrophobic, it is a bit like being stuck in a dress or shirt you got over your shoulders, but suddenly can&rsquo;t get back off.&nbsp;As a mom, you have probably seen your child start to panic when they get stuck in something they&rsquo;ve outgrown and they just wanted to try <i>one more time</i> because it&rsquo;s their <i>favorite</i> shirt!&nbsp;Well, in the speleo-maze, it can get complicated and you can get stuck, if you refuse to think outside the box and try a different approach, even when you feel tied up in knots. You realize that sometimes you can&rsquo;t keep crawling face forward and belly down (army type crawl) because your body won&rsquo;t bend through the opening once you get to your waist and legs, so suddenly, you have to flip yourself over, holding onto the ceiling you are now facing, let your torso and back end down, scooch up a bit, flip over onto your belly again and pull yourself forward to let your knees and the rest of you body&nbsp;to your feet through the opening to a new tunnel, to belly crawl again, which may turn into a series of similar drops back to back.&nbsp;To think that some do this regularly underground with minimal lighting&hellip;.and then the challenge to get back up if it does not end with a wide open cave, or even if it does&hellip;.one has to get to the surface somehow&hellip;is mindblowing. Can you breathe?&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" />&nbsp;&nbsp;My point is, sometimes we have to work our way through that cave tunnel like an earthworm through the warm soil, aerating the soul for productiveness.&nbsp;All things can grow with endurance, like the muscle that is worked to tone and strength, like the butterfly that struggles to emerge from it&rsquo;s cocoon, like a mom making a home and raising a child, growing and learning and being shaped, moved, and conformed to circumstances of all sorts new and unexpected.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">But like those spelunkers that delve into a dark cave, crawling backwards at times, it often leads to wonders unveiled by those that dared to venture into the deep.&nbsp;What they found as a result of their undertaking; some of the most <a target="_blank" href="http://i1.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/590/draft_lens2314572module13642081photo_1232948225caving-page-china-reed-flute-cave-full.jpg"><span style="color: #ff0033">awesome and unexpected creations</span></a> and geological wonders in cavernous places?!&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Nowadays our world seems so small with &ldquo;advances&rdquo; in travel and melding of cultures, until we come upon the knowledge of lakes that seem bottomless because we have not the technology, or possibly the individual with the drive, to dive deeper.&nbsp;What if man could go deep enough, and have the nourishment, oxygen, equipment and pressure supply necessitated, to find the tunnel of water deep within the earth&rsquo;s cavernous places turn to return to the surface in another part of the world, or in the middle of the ocean?&nbsp;Would it be like&nbsp;<u>The Magician's Nephew</u>&nbsp; in <u>The Chronicles of Narnia</u>&nbsp; by C.S. Lewis, surfacing from a waterpool in a whole new world?&nbsp;It&rsquo;s fun to imagine and think, to contemplate the thoughts, victories, new things &ldquo;discovered&rdquo; and &ldquo;uncovered&rdquo;, yet sobering to identify risks and possibilities we may have no ability to prepare for or have the human skill to supersede.&nbsp;There are times, no doubt, we are in complete submission to nature&rsquo;s forces.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">So, too, it is with life&rsquo;s circumstances.&nbsp;We cannot prevent every wind in the road as we travel.&nbsp;We can aim to be prepared for road construction, bridge failures, and so on, but we may not know about unadvised fallouts and could just be the first to happen upon a particular damaged tunnel in a path many have travelled before us.&nbsp;The consequences can be tragic, or nominal.&nbsp;The possibilities too, though, are endless.&nbsp;So on we go with discovery and adventure, tempered with wisdom and preparedness, and supported by the spiritual, social, and familial systems we love.&nbsp;This is where the spelunker hits the cave, fresh and with treasures to be seen, shared and revealed.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">So as you set out to exploration, adventure, the predictable, and unexpected, side-by-side with the ones you love, remember to face the obstacles together, back to back, or arm-in-arm with love, communication, tethered together, supporting each other, and when you encounter joy, to celebrate it together.&nbsp;Face to face, leaning in shoulder-to-shoulder, treasuring the journey and embracing the ride we only can walk in our own shoes on this earth at this time!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">To many new spelunking adventures in the cave of life!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">heather</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-family_facings_lifes_obstacles_side_by_side-23-94.htmlMotivated MomsSun, 29 Aug 2010 01:00:00 GMTHeather NelsonBack to School<br /> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">It is that time and most everyone has bought school supplies or has been getting the last of school year gear. It is a season of change; new intellectual beginnings, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-patagonia_ls_live_simply_whale_tshirt_girls-1066.html">fresh clothing</a>, and familial transitions.&nbsp;Families and our children, from tots to teens to twenties, undergo transformations that cause parents to step back and take a mental memory book photograph.&nbsp;We realize we may never get these Moments back, and so we do a freeze frame and capture that look, that feeling, those thoughts.&nbsp;A second that can be filled with appreciation, acknowledgment of the rite of passage, and awareness that our kids are just growing up way faster than we ever could have imagined or expected they would.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">So, we do what any parent would do&hellip;we help them gather the gear and practical things they need for this new season, we take pictures, we spend a little extra time.&nbsp;And as we send them off with a note or trinket in their lunches, or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-patagonia_refugio_pack_28l-4510.html">backpacks</a>, or suitcases, we hope&nbsp;they know just how much we love them and hope to still share their day with them.&nbsp;We wait expectantly to hear all about all their new adventures.&nbsp;I don&rsquo;t think this ever gets old for a parent.&nbsp;It is always exciting to hear about a new thing our tot or twenty-something learned.&nbsp;To observe their growth and increasing autonomy.&nbsp;To know that as we cheer and encourage them from afar, they gain solidity and confidence in their own abilities and design to grow.&nbsp;It is freeing to young and old to have space to reach and learn...and to have the structure and support of your very own motivational speaker on the home front lines, but waiting quietly in the background trusting and releasing them to test their own wings.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Once family is out the door of the four walls of what we affectionately term &ldquo;home&rdquo;, life also does not stop&hellip;It is easy to spend the time away on seasonal reorganization projects (which I will touch on in another blog), decluttering the home, running headlong toward the deadline finish line (for all of those working parents out there), and generally cleaning and preparing for the return of our loved ones (eg: arranging after school sports gear, meal planning, syncing several different family calendars, etc.).&nbsp;This can turn into a period with an amazing amount of familial, spatial, and modular changes.&nbsp;The activities change from hour to hour, day to day, month to month, and person to person.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">There is something about this season of preparation and commencement of the new that is so refreshing, though, even when there is change that involves a lot of sentiment and emotion.&nbsp;Some parents feel excited and renewed, and as if they can conquer the world as taskmasters of their own frontier at home&hellip;meaning, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mentalfloss.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/MessyRoom2.jpg">no one is throwing toys around the place as they clean</a> other parts of the home.&nbsp;Some feel free to pursue things they were prior unable to.&nbsp;Others feel torn between excitement for their college child&rsquo;s great accomplishment of starting toward advanced education and a committed career of their own, and missing them being closer to home.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">One thing that remains the same; is it is a Moment to spend time, to listen, to engage in the change with the ones we love.&nbsp;To help them acquire the things they need to send them off confidently, and remind them that their safe ties at home are always there if they feel sick during the school day, or a listening ear is a phone call away from the college dorm, or a little tie-dye &ldquo;admirer&rdquo; note&hellip;Sharpie- branded with &ldquo;Rockstar&rdquo; in a teen&rsquo;s backpack will remind them in a cool way that they are the rockstars of your world&hellip;no matter what pressures they face at the hallway lockers&hellip;.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">As a Mom, I have heard it a thousand times; once a Mom, always a mom.&nbsp;The older I get, the more I see it is true.&nbsp;It does not change.&nbsp;Once you are a parent who loves your child, it doesn&rsquo;t matter how old they grow, we still love them and want to bless them with signs of our support and joy in who they are and all they are learning, whether baby steps, fitting puzzles, writing words, coloring storybooks, reading novels, writing essays, finishing a doctoral paper, or watching them teach their own child to read and write.&nbsp;It is a rich blessing to walk this season of change, and this stage of new beginnings&hellip;.As the <a target="_blank" href="http://americanepali.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/fall-leaves1.jpg">leaves intend to turn</a> ahead, may it bring brighter and warmer things&hellip;.turning to a newly-breath-taking adventure of life, learning, and splashes of color that leave imprints of growth and deeper joy&hellip;.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">To you and yours&hellip;.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">In joy,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">From another Motivated Mom,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-back_to_school-23-91.htmlMotivated MomsSat, 21 Aug 2010 00:59:00 GMTHeather NelsonSeasons of Cleansing<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Cleansing&hellip;.washing away dirt, purifying the cluttered, jettisoning the unnecessary, burdensome, excess, making room for renewal, reinvention, and recreation, restoring to original condition or revealing something that has been covered over, tarnished, hidden or stifled.&nbsp;All things have their seasons.&nbsp;&ldquo;There is a time for everything, a season for every activity&hellip;.a time to plant, and a time to uproot&hellip;a time to tear down, and a time to build&hellip; a time to keep, and a time to throw away&rdquo; (Ecclesiates 3: 1, 3, 6).&nbsp;A time to establish and embrace orderliness in the midst of chaos, upheaval, and change, considering Cleansing to be a friend, and Fear an aliby for Stuff&rsquo;s acts of suffocation.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Breathe deep the winds of change and toss Caution&rsquo;s hesitancy to the skies.&nbsp;Not for foolishness and impulsivity, but for self-preservation and to clear the path for Freedom&rsquo;s voice to break through.&nbsp;Making room for living life <i>in</i> the room.&nbsp;It is amazing how cleansing supplies what is needed for certain seasons.&nbsp;To think of cleansing, associated with separation and ridding of toxicity, simultaneously, as supplementing, layering, and adding in extra dimensions of health.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">So, that&rsquo;s it. The kids are off to school, possibly the hubby is off to work, and you have a Moment at home.&nbsp;After a deep inhale and exhale, it kicks in&hellip;.<a target="_blank" href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/cluttermonster.jpg">reorganization madness</a>.&nbsp;A mom can be so quickly driven to seize the opportune time and go into cleaning frenzies.&nbsp;As truly as the &ldquo;nesting&rdquo; phase kicks in before the arrival of a little one, it&rsquo;s like some intrinsic reflex that causes a mom to start gutting the closets of overindulgence and engorgement once the family sets foot out the door.&nbsp;Like spring cleaning, but fall freedom and freshening.&nbsp;Late-summer&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://api.ning.com/files/-U6JSUNY0N0yDMBd21nU0QtVof8sFkB6QgXv3cq4KNlCPopY1AjbuEN1iMMj2mylE7nqHOO*wUK*Oa7oCTbEYACC9Vt19NA1/CopyofMPj043879900001.jpg">specialization&nbsp;in the essentials</a>.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Again, in a culture of excess, often we have little recognition of essentials.&nbsp;But without scale comparisons, I am just going to say, it is more important in progress with <a target="_blank" href="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2643/4109542661_cbd0c12705_o.jpg">detaching</a> from the inundation of Stuff, in the immediacy, to identify unnecessary multiples, to realize what causes you to hold on to the things of the past, and to see what fears may be attached to the idea of letting go of clothing, toys, trinkets, gifts.&nbsp;Sometimes when we shed ourselves, our closets, cupboards, and storage places of clutter, we realize that deep emotions and experiences, memories of rites of passage for loved ones, and personal hopes and dreams are attached to these items.&nbsp;However, sometimes failure to let things go, in and of itself, brings a stifling to living out life to the fullest in the now.&nbsp;We can live holding on to the past, or building incessant kinetic energy for the future, rather than seizing NOW and living the MOMent with the ones we love.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">It&rsquo;s easy to wait&hellip;to wait for a better time, for a more refined organizational wall system, or for the setup you need to garage sale, ebay, or craigslist those items.&nbsp;It seems getting started is the best thing.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://image3.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID31179/images/woman_marking_boxes.jpg">Make boxes of things</a> (easily obtained as excess and recyclables from local retail stores, families, and businesses), label them, and stack them.&nbsp;The biggest part is getting started.&nbsp;Then involve the family.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.overgaard.dk/grafik/oliver_caroline_oprydning.jpg">Give the kids a box and ask them to sort through their belongings</a>&hellip;.what can go, what are favorites, what they would like to give away or share.&nbsp;Surprising how much they are able to identify what is not needed, who might like that toy more, and what they value.&nbsp;They often show you what is broken and can be fixed or not. You can help them learn about quality, priority, responsibility and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.simpleeffects.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/giving(4).jpg">good stewardship</a>, and making good choices&hellip;. It can become some cool family times where you learn about each other and share, listening to what they are thinking and why.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">For ourselves, moms, it is our time to cleanse.&nbsp;Ask yourselves those tough questions (if your one of those who likes to hold on to things)&hellip;do I need these papers, magazines, etc.&nbsp;Can I make a collage or dream book out of them with my family and have everyone share what it means to each other?&nbsp;Are you keeping those clothes because they remind you of another time in life or of a time that you were hoping for?&nbsp;Does it make sense to keep them anymore?&nbsp;Do they fit?&nbsp;I mean, really, do they fit?&nbsp;Is it misshapen, do you have to work to make the shirt work, do you need to lose 20 pounds to wear it again, is it outdated?&nbsp;Are you really going to wear it to the random costume party? I am finding more and more it is better for me to find <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-patagonia_astrid_tank_womens-3998.html">1 refined nice shirt</a> and get rid of 10 others!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">These are just meant to be food for thought.&nbsp;I went through some reorganization and jettisoning of excess recently.&nbsp;I have my box piles.&nbsp;I was surprised at how much I pulled out&hellip;and even yet, I know I could have round 2, 3, 4.&nbsp;I am tackling everything in layers, and in areas of the house, refining our household possessions.&nbsp;I may e-bay, garage sale, craigslist, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.getorganizedwizard.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/OrganizingMission34Donate50Things.jpg">will donate</a> and share with a friend for sure.&nbsp;So long as it is out, I have tackled step one!&nbsp;Join me mamas&hellip;tell me your tips&hellip;.I am ready to hear.&nbsp;Mom&rsquo;s have so many great ideas, tricks, and tools.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">To the invigoration and renewal that comes with cleansing!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Your fellow Motivated Mom,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Jettisoning the unnecessary,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-seasons_of_cleansing-23-92.htmlMotivated MomsMon, 23 Aug 2010 22:56:00 GMTHeather NelsonMom's Juggling and Reflexes<br /> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">A mom&rsquo;s ability to juggle does not always look like the <a target="_blank" href="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3622/3354951609_a4de5c25d4.jpg"><span style="color: #ff3300">skilled juggler</span></a> at the local Renaissance Faire.&nbsp;But juggle, she does.&nbsp;She is a master of juggling, and if she refuses to be, or has many bumps in the head attempting, she will soon enough gain the skill.&nbsp;Why?&nbsp;Survival.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">After months and years of training, if the local doctor&rsquo;s office might try to tap her knee with that thingy designed just for knee-tapping (the word flees my juggled-out-for-the-night mind), and find himself in a precarious position due to a well accentuated ability to move the leg in response to a reflex stimuli.&nbsp;That&rsquo;s why they don&rsquo;t check your reflexes as much after you have kids; they pretty much know you have them, and are practicing self-preservation.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I recently found myself balancing a stack of papers, miscellaneous lego pieces, my cell phone, and a track-designed Lego car creation.&nbsp;Nearby were multiple families watching their children race Lego cars they had made unique to their liking.&nbsp;I was entrusted with one of these by my child.&nbsp;In a tired motion I let the car get away from me&hellip;rolling efficiently to the end of my now paper chute.&nbsp;UH-oh.&nbsp;Well, no worries, springing into motion, as it launched off my pile of trappings, I flung my first juggling arm out (left), OH, tossing it into the air off my hand, I swooped around from the right with my second juggling hand&hellip;IN comes mom two, taking a shot, she throws in a quick juggle bouncing it back my way, and as I make my last move with one last pop into the air, good as our reflexes were&hellip;hilariously impressive&hellip;.the lego car came crashing to the floor and exploded into pieces.&nbsp;Mind you, this new found juggling partner and I were left to laughter at our attempt to &ldquo;SAVE the LEEEGooooo car!&rdquo;.&nbsp;In the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lLgRCpXcfs"><span style="color: #ff3300">old carpet commercial</span></a> fashion, but a little more entertaining.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">All things rebuilt, I was left to giggle, and wonder at the small feat we almost randomly accomplished, musing at the SUP balance payoff, and thinking that upcoming, I should finally break out a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-gibbon_slack_lines_slackline_set_15m-605.html"><span style="color: #ff3300">slackline</span></a> and get a little more balance/reflex training.&nbsp;I&rsquo;m sure the kids would love to toss some water balloons at me.&nbsp;And doubly sure they would love to try the slackline assisted!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">To mom&rsquo;s and their wonderful reflexes in all the things they juggle in life!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Learning the balance with you!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather&hellip;<a href="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3622/3354951609_a4de5c25d4.jpg"></a></div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-moms_juggling_and_reflexes-23-96.htmlMotivated MomsSat, 04 Sep 2010 22:59:00 GMTHeather NelsonMom's Making Use of the Local Farmer's Market<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">A fantastically colorful and ripe time of year, the fall exudes rich tones and the last of locally-grown outdoor flavors before the frozen time of year falls outside your doors in the color of white.&nbsp;These are the moments we can catch the last days of the local <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dcfm.org/">Farmer&rsquo;s Markets</a> and local Community Supported Agricultural programs.&nbsp;This means getting outside with the family, looking over fresh, locally grown produce, meeting kind growers and town artisans, and taking advantage of small opportunities to make your life just a wee bit more healthy.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">While there are larger markets that do go year round, many go for two to three seasons of the year.&nbsp;It depends on the town/city, facilities and space available, weather, and produce.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s an easy search online, at the local Chamber of Commerce sites, community calendars, and local newspapers to find what might be available in your area.&nbsp;Often farmer&rsquo;s markets and CSA programs can be combined with other <a target="_blank" href="http://www.vintagehobbyfarm.com/Home_Page.html">educational and fall fun, outdoors activities</a> when it comes to the season known for harvest.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">It becomes a great educational opportunity with the little ones too.&nbsp;Naming colors, vegetables, fruits, describing flavors, and learning from local farmers what needs to be done to make this amazing produce.&nbsp;Often the local farmers are more than willing to schedule a special field trip for children to learn more about the growing process and the hard work, and sometimes relatively easy to replicate process, of growing produce.&nbsp;This is a great time to answer the questions like, &ldquo;Mom, why is a snow pea called a snow pea?&nbsp;Does it grow in the snow? Is it made from snow?&nbsp;Does it only grow in the winter?&rdquo;.&nbsp;Mom&rsquo;s can you answer those questions?&nbsp;It&rsquo;s an opportunity to engage our children and ourselves in shared learning, asking the expert, regular growers!&nbsp;And we can even bring along a book on veggies, fruits, the harvest season, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.localharvest.org/csa/">community supported agriculture</a>, to deepen their experience of the local produce, and learn about it more online at home. With some ownership, maybe they will even want to grow some of their own come springtime!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">So don&rsquo;t forget to pull out those community activity calendars in the last days of fall, and to snag an outdoors, healthy family moment, before the time when our rains start to freeze and our children are wondering if this is what was meant by &ldquo;snow peas&rdquo;&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">To a small Moment of Educational and Healthy, Local Living,<br /> <br /> Your fellow Motivated Mom,<br /> <br /> Heather</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-moms_making_use_of_the_local_farmers_market-23-101.htmlMotivated MomsSat, 02 Oct 2010 23:02:00 GMTHeather NelsonA Mom's Musings About Change<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">What is it that strikes a melodic note in your hearts, moms?&nbsp;Sometimes I like to muse at the things we are taken with; lightening the load of life&rsquo;s sometimes heavy resoundings.&nbsp;Other times I look around and find myself taken with the simplest things.&nbsp;The coo of a&nbsp;baby gazing into it's mother's eyes&nbsp;as she lights up at the sight of her son.&nbsp;The way a room full of women and mothers can get a giggle at the &ldquo;toot&rdquo; of a baby, and <a target="_blank" href="http://cdn0.mattters.com/photos/photos/1074438/padma-lakshmi-300.jpg"><strong><span style="color: #ff00ff">somehow it&rsquo;s cute</span></strong></a>.&nbsp;Surely the entertainment value changes with age. The beating of a drum, the trumpeting band, and the way a teenager can be all-consumed with Homecoming, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.fillmoregazette.com/files/imagecache/970wide/files/powderpuff-04-02-09-7.jpg"><strong><span style="color: #663399">powder puff football</span></strong></a>, tug o&rsquo;war, and volleyball.&nbsp;I miss volleyball.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s funny how everything changes in life and yet so much remains the same.&nbsp;Traditions, sports, human relationship, rites of passage, things so important at different seasons and then we find that we have to question ourselves a little deeper; what is our adaptability to change?</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">See, they say to forget what lies behind and reach towards what lies ahead. Yet, we are to consider the past, and our days.&nbsp;We are to identify our progress.&nbsp;We are to set goals.&nbsp;I am just motivated to live in the now, today!&nbsp;To be a good mom, to be a better mom, to be the kind of friend anyone would want, and the gentlest kind of enemy no one would want and the clear-minded would desire; the kind whose love sears to the core of your heart.&nbsp;Someone who strives for justice, love, mercy, and compassion, but fights relentlessly for good.&nbsp;Who remembers her framework; that she is but <a target="_blank" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ZYQynbMaI7M/TJqQqBwwgNI/AAAAAAAAASc/z3O7a0bUKn8/s1600/free-pictures-fall-autumn-colors-leaves-Mexicanwave.jpg"><strong><span style="color: #ff6600">a season passing by</span></strong></a>, but one who has the power to live and expand in life-giving ways for others.&nbsp;How do we shed the lesser things of this life?&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">It&rsquo;s funny how it comes back to simplicity, to embracing the small things of the moment.&nbsp;If it means painting your face green and shouting for the Homecoming football team, we do it.&nbsp;If it means we come to terms with the fact that we give up some of what we love the most, to live life to the richest for those we love, in a morphing of expectations for ourselves, we do it.&nbsp;If it means we become a little more adaptable, then we must&hellip;.even if it is like the spelunker in the <a target="_blank" href="http://patagonia.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341d07fd53ef0120a6426ec6970c-320wi"><strong><span style="color: #009900">speleo-maze</span></strong></a> I wrote of before. Ah, the joy of seasons; so quickly turning and so easily passed by, but meant to be fully taken in at the time.&nbsp;If we cannot delve deeply into the season we are in, when we look back, we will wonder, &ldquo;what ever happened to that season anyway?&nbsp;I completely missed it.&nbsp;I don&rsquo;t remember a thing about it&rdquo;.&nbsp;Now, it is possible we may not remember it anyway, lol (post-children brain), however, I do hope to at least &ldquo;not remember&rdquo; it with the integrity that I was still fully <u><em>IN</em><strong><em> </em></strong><em>IT</em></u>!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I was so excited to write about my recent runnings on a nature trail with my kids, and my discoveries about which <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-vibram_fivefingers_kso_trek_womens-4442.html"><strong><span style="color: #800080">Five Fingers</span></strong></a> might work the best, however, I found myself so taken with the teenage adventures of my family members, that I had to put it on hold till another blog.&nbsp;The years of being a teen seem to impact our lives so strongly.&nbsp;What a season to treasure in the lives of our children, our nieces and nephews, our children&rsquo;s children, and ourselves.&nbsp;It is a time to be remembered, learned from, built upon.&nbsp;Life is not stagnant.&nbsp;Seasons change.&nbsp;As we age, we wonder, is this the kind of life I was hoping for? &nbsp;Is it worth the journey?&nbsp;I say definitely!&nbsp;I look at this dad, aged from teenage and childhood years, maybe tired from a long days&rsquo; work, but <strong><em>at the urging of his grandchildren</em></strong>, stretched his muscles a bit longer, jumped on the bike more than a bit too small for him, and made a memory.<br /> <img alt="" width="353" height="387" src="/userfiles/image/Heather/image/IMG00496%20(2).jpg" />&nbsp;<br /> .....A memory a parent, or grandparent may not remember (post-children brain, again) for as long as they like, but one a child will likely remember for a long time to come!&nbsp;<br /> <br /> So as we mothers muse upon these rites of passage in the lives of our youngsters, our children, family, mentees, may we muse upon them knowing the deep blessing and significance of our taking a moment to live beyond ourselves.&nbsp; Change is inevitable; I hope to embrace it with a delightful musing that bears no shadow of regret or reasonings of that which&nbsp;I should've done for fun or&nbsp;true&nbsp;embracing of the time I had in each season of life.<br /> <br /> Blessed to be like this Grandpa, and ready&nbsp;jump on the bike&nbsp;a wee bit too small for me, <br /> <br /> Your Fellow Motivated Mom,<br /> <br /> Heather...</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-a_moms_musings_about_change-23-105.htmlMotivated MomsSun, 10 Oct 2010 01:04:00 GMTHeather NelsonFall Fun With The Family<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I still can&rsquo;t believe how quickly summer has turned and we are breaking the layers out of the closet and armoires.&nbsp;Refusing to let go of the spirit of summer, and seeking to make the most of the days before blizzarding, I am left thinking of all the ways I can embrace the season of change.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I had the blessing of heading through some of the landscape of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.uptake.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/wisconsin-fall-leaves.jpg"><span style="color: #66cc00">Kettle Moraine</span></a> today.&nbsp;The foliage changed so quickly and open fields with scattered trees turned into tall pines and dense trails.&nbsp;While I realized I may need to revisit with another family and a GPS or compass in hand, it was hard not to break out and hit some trails right away.&nbsp;It is going onto my fall fun to-do!&nbsp;Thinking of how it may not always be easy to arrange a deeper trail venture, I reminded myself there are smaller, more manageable parts of the lake path in Lake Geneva, should one need a simpler and more populated option.&nbsp; I should say at approximately 22 miles, the <em>full</em> trail is not wimpy, so do not be misled.&nbsp; In the need to be attentive to the path, time, snacks, and energy required, you can plan for your small or bigger excursion at www.mapmywalk.com.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I also think of the traditional lusciously colored, harvest-red <a target="_blank" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_VfCpDBCAioQ/SQc4TCdPmuI/AAAAAAAAGJg/7w5-1RCehn8/s400/NL11196-AppleDay-015_jpg_gallery.jpg"><span style="color: #ff0000">apple bobbing</span></a> in the shallow wooden barrel as the days cool off.&nbsp;I imagine the cool night laying blankets on a tarp, as the mosquitos&rsquo; season takes a dive, watching the night sky and constellations roll by as we spin in our glorious, and shockingly humble orbit, awed by the simplicity and weightiness of gravity!&nbsp;What an amazing time of year we&nbsp;have, and it is surely no reason to lock ourselves indoors and throw away the key.&nbsp;These are the quiet times, when taken, that we can truly engage with family and friends.&nbsp; Some of my favorite memories growing up are nights like these.&nbsp;I&rsquo;m ready to run outside now!&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Another simple, contained, yet eluding, outdoor fun is&nbsp;found within&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.meadowviewmaze.com/pictures24.html"><span style="color: #ffcc00">corn mazes</span></a>.&nbsp;I remember adventuring my way through some in my teenage years.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s just as fun as an adult and the kids love it.&nbsp;If the bugs come a bitin&rsquo; I&rsquo;ve found a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-beat_it!_beat_it!all_nat_bug_repellnt-4366.html"><span style="color: #008080">jungle strength solution</span></a> to help ward off those blood-devouring enemies.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">For a meditative, mind and perspective-transforming freebie,&nbsp;avoid putting on those socks and shoes on a cool morning and substitute romping around barefoot in the backyard dew.&nbsp;Lying down in the grass, and on eye level, take a moment to see the world differently at the start of the day; fresh, alive, <a target="_blank" href="http://healingfeast.com/images/WheatGrass2.jpg"><span style="color: #0000ff">bounding over in newness</span></a>, and committing to making it the best I, mom, can on earth for one day. &nbsp;I am just starting with today, and reaching for it today.&nbsp; Dew it with the kids or on your own before they climb out of bed.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Mom&rsquo;s, you are the world to your children.&nbsp;Families are a foundation of our society.&nbsp;Let&rsquo;s make it a better one simply by embracing the experience of the world we live in, the wonderful children and people we&rsquo;ve been so blessed to have in our lives, and the amazing surroundings we live in.&nbsp;Not only are we always reaching, let&rsquo;s encourage our children to keep reaching.&nbsp;There is so much outside the four walls of our homes, houses, fences, and&nbsp;boundary lines to be enjoyed&hellip;.fresh air to&nbsp;breathe, the smell of the cool, the feel of the harvest season.&nbsp;Soon the leaves will escape us gasping at their fall.&nbsp;Seize those turning MOMents.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Loving the journey, embracing the smallest MOMent, richly blessed,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Your fellow mama,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather&hellip;.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-fall_fun_with_the_family-23-97.htmlMotivated MomsSat, 11 Sep 2010 23:53:00 GMTHeather NelsonWho Am I- A Mom In Bloom<br /> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Who am I?&nbsp;I am motivation.&nbsp;I am drive.&nbsp;I am fear, and I am life.&nbsp;I am hope and I am dreaming.&nbsp;I am desperate and I am unseeming.&nbsp;I am peace and I am rest.&nbsp;I am the worst and I am the best.&nbsp;I am joy and I am sorrow.&nbsp;I am yesterday, I am tomorrow.&nbsp;I am today and I don&rsquo;t know.&nbsp;I have to stay, I need to go.&nbsp;My heart is torn, my spirit rent.&nbsp;I won&rsquo;t give up, though I am spent.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I am passion, and I am drive.&nbsp;Daily facing death, I am alive.&nbsp;I won&rsquo;t give up, I won&rsquo;t give in, I will see this through till my journey&rsquo;s end.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I am a wife, a mom, a friend.&nbsp;I&rsquo;m reaching to what&rsquo;s around the bend.&nbsp;I am a season.&nbsp;I am a time.&nbsp;This life I live is no longer mine.&nbsp;I have to rest, I must refuel.&nbsp;I have to run and go to school.&nbsp;My child&rsquo;s calling, my hair&rsquo;s a mess, my mom- she loves me- nonetheless.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I am family.&nbsp;I am will.&nbsp;I have so much to accomplish still.&nbsp;So off I go to pass the test.&nbsp;Forget the past, reach for the best.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-patagonia_wave_though_tree_tshirt_womens-4469.html">I am a tree, the wind, the waves</a>, the surf that crashes, warm summers&rsquo; days.&nbsp;I am the sun, I am the moon, the bird that&rsquo;s singing, I am in bloom.&nbsp;I am the earth, I am the sky, I am the stars&hellip;I cannot lie&hellip;I AM <i>ME</i>.&nbsp;I am creation and I am breath, ever renewed till I face death.&nbsp;But for now I have a <i>LIFE</i> to <i>live</i>, so I will shout it from the mountaintops, and give <i><u>all</u> </i>that <i><u>I</u></i> can give!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I am so thankful to be me on this journey.&nbsp;I am so glad you are you, Mom&rsquo;s!&nbsp;Each of you are so amazing and <i><u>uniquely</u></i> YOU.&nbsp;A mom detailed to me this week a discovery she was enlightened to of the <a target="_blank" href="http://hypertextbook.com/facts/1998/StevenChen.shtml">mind-bending length of the human genome and our individual strands of DNA </a>when stretched out would reach to the moon and back&hellip;.information we may not always think about when the PbJ is smeared in our hair and the play room is trashed <i>Again</i>! But I am convinced, down to your very structure and being, you are fabulously, fantastically, fantabulously You!&nbsp;<i>NO ONE</i> could replace <i>You!&nbsp;</i>I celebrate me.&nbsp;I celebrate you!&nbsp;Unashamed.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Motivated to be a mom,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Reaching once again,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">heather</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&ldquo;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-rock_on_water_poster-4178.html">Peace is <i>always</i> beautiful</a>.&rdquo;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; -Walt Whitman</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-who_am_i_a_mom_in_bloom-23-100.htmlMotivated MomsFri, 24 Sep 2010 09:18:00 GMTHeather NelsonMom's Free Family Fitness MOMent<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Allow me to laugh at myself for a minute and indulge in sharing a story with you.&nbsp;I spontaneously embraced a fitness moment today with my youngest child while we were waiting out the duration of a family member&rsquo;s appointment.&nbsp;First, I was texting, lol, about what to bring to an upcoming birthday party and intermittently addressing email pertaining to work.&nbsp;In the midst, I was able to obtain a ball for my energetic youngest to kick around.&nbsp;I knew the fun outlet would be appreciated.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Before five minutes passed, I was caught up in a full-on soccer (guised in the ordinary rubbery shell of the</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">approximately $2.99 ball from your local superstore) domination battle of fun!&nbsp;We were running speedily up and down the carpeted ball court seizing the moment we had!&nbsp;I found myself laughing from the belly, carefree, with my child tickled to bursting and grinning from ear to ear.&nbsp;Running around like a silly girl, I occasionally saw the clock and noticed the time slipping by&hellip;.aaannd&hellip;I was beginning to break a sweat! It came upon me suddenly: I realized just how good this MOMent was; my child was happy, we were both getting a physically, mentally, and relationally good outlet, and we were just flat out having fun.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">I thought of how simple it was: playing, embracing an opportunity in a segment of a span of time, and sweating.&nbsp;Utilizing just an iota of our design, we found a run riot, have-at-it, morning moment that resonated into the moonlit hours.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Like the stone that suddenly plunked into the waters (picking up the ball to play); the initial impact seems so much more significant, the water rolling heavy and round, but as it <a target="_blank" href="https://wiki.ucfilespace.uc.edu/groups/seancunningham_09a_32artn522001/wiki/4fa0b/images/79c29.jpg">ripples outward</a>, it still affects things around. The first plunk we are hit with the realization of the impact of the stone to water, like the impact of what can be gained from a moment.&nbsp;We could just ignore the ripples; all the implications and realizations from the moment.&nbsp;We could just focus on the drop and ignore all else, or we could choose to watch the flow and the billowing out of the waters, so easily and amazing impacted by a single stone&rsquo;s throw. &nbsp;MOMents can create memories we try to relive and recreate again and again, they can be forgotten out of frailty, or they can serve as a segway to new seasons, smoother skipping stones because of observation and a more skilled approach, or a series of other stone shots made purely for the delight of the resonating ripple and all it&rsquo;s affects.&nbsp;I hope that for us, this is a reminder that segways into remembering to seize those moments of spontaneity.&nbsp;That we see the simplicity and deep value of embracing a moment, just a moment, fresh new moments, again and again and again&hellip;..</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">I think of this Moment with my son as free family fitness because it cost me nothing; okay, I got sweaty unplanned and had to take a shower when I got home, but the benefit of my sweetheart&rsquo;s smile, that stayed though the sun went down, the physical fitness affect it provided to me, and the flat out fun release far outweighed any salty inconvenience!&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">I thought how blessed we are to have bodies built to cool themselves, a drinking fountain to walk over to for rehydration, and health and happiness to run around.&nbsp;To have a minute to laugh at myself, when trying to outrun my youngest child and kicking a ball back and forth, I just happened to have a ball bounce off the wall, knock me upside the head, and in a fancy attempt to kick it again, have it ricochet off, hit my purse and almost knock over my morning coffee.&nbsp;Needless to say, we cracked up at how silly mom was, and both crumbled to the floor in laughter.&nbsp;How many times a day are we supposed to laugh for our health?</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">These MOMents of all out funnies, family, and fitness motivated me to think further of how to bless my children and others by taking the spontaneous MOMent by the horns and saying &ldquo;I meet you&rdquo; while waving fervently the bright red flag to the bull bracing itself for a bold run!&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">I thought of how, since Elementary school, I&rsquo;ve been hearing the fitness speeches of how exercising for only 20 minutes a day 5 times a week, or 30 minutes 3 times a week, can make a significant difference in our physical health.&nbsp;If we seized more of these small MOMents with our children, combined with the large amounts of weight lifting; 40 pounds, 20 reps, 7 days a week, for hugs, or to satiate the &ldquo;carry meeee, mom!&rdquo; desires of our children, not to mention all the bags we schlep of child and family gear, groceries, laundry, and the overabundance of toys and books, we would have no problem keeping our bodies closer to that healthier shape we long for.&nbsp;At least our mind, heart, and relational shape with our family would be even more enhanced and toned!&nbsp;More than anything, I make that my goal!&nbsp;For my family to be &ldquo;cut&rdquo; and &ldquo;ripped&rdquo;, so-to-speak!&nbsp;What greater outcome than to be closer together, embracing the MOMents we have.&nbsp;Life is so overtaken by lesser things, and what is better than the reward of living for that which is truly of value&hellip;embracing, shaping, and blessing the heart of a child.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">So, Mamas, let&rsquo;s put some gear in the trunk of our cars (if it&rsquo;s not already there).&nbsp;&nbsp; Aside from the safety standards, let&rsquo;s add in the sourproof snacks (<a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-categories-gear-food-234.html ">healthy snack bars </a>or cereals), extra water when we leave home, and some super fun family fitness gear.&nbsp;You can go small and slim with hacky sacks, kites, and Frisbees, or semi-space-sensitive with soccer balls, footballs, nerf balls, baseball bats, balls, and gloves, up to bikes you can throw on a rack.&nbsp;Be creative and think of your family as you pack your entertainment essentials.&nbsp;Have a pack of wipes or a washcloth and wet bag (more eco-friendly) to hold your clean-up gear, and some back-up easy thin-fold clothes.&nbsp;Be ready for the beach or a quick run with shoes, swim gear, etc.&nbsp;In the summer, I don&rsquo;t leave home without it.&nbsp;You could be ready for anything mamas, including that great nature trail that you pass by and say, &ldquo;oh, we&rsquo;ll have to come back and hike that someday&rdquo;.&nbsp;Do it today.&nbsp;Take the gear and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.gameskidsplay.net/games/ball_games/index.htm">be ready</a>.&nbsp;It actually takes little space.&nbsp;Just choose what&rsquo;s right for your family, based on where you live, landscape surroundings, practicality, and the ages of your children.&nbsp;What a great opportunity we have to play today.&nbsp;Hoping you get a great MOMent to seize a salty exercise session of spontaneity and smiles with your loved ones!&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Until next time&hellip;.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Your fellow Motivated Mom,</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Seizing the smiles,</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Heather&hellip;</span></div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-moms_free_family_fitness_moment-23-84.htmlMotivated MomsMon, 26 Jul 2010 14:56:00 GMTHeather NelsonStrenth for Mom in Child Sickness<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Just turning that last corner to go to bed, I was about to get up, put the cell phone on the charger, and place books away, somewhat relieved after a long day that my prior obligations for the night fell to the wayside.&nbsp;I was ready for rest.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">The children fast asleep, I&rsquo;m heading to bed when I hear a faint, &ldquo;urp&rdquo;&hellip;uh oh&hellip;checking my child, certain of the recognized sound, but finding stillness, I come closer to smell &ldquo;the breath&rdquo;.&nbsp;Using my cell phone as a flashlight, so as not to create a disturbance if all is well, I lean in to take a whiff of the next exhale&hellip;.yep, I knew it&hellip;that smell stands out anywhere.&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/omg_smile.gif" />&nbsp;And sure enough, the eyes somewhat open up, followed by a few swallowing facial motions, suddenly eyes wide, and I am decidedly sure of what&rsquo;s next.&nbsp;Within seconds, I&rsquo;ve grabbed a nearby towel and am helping my youngest turn to the side and aim for the target&hellip;for comfort, safety, and containment.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Needless to say, after the evening&rsquo;s meal content had exited the body it originated from, a quick bathing, washing of the bedding (I&rsquo;ve been thinking I needed to throw those sheets in the wash anyways) and a return to a cozy-clean dreaming space, I found my child was very quickly drifted off to sleep with a smile taking over that sweet little tired face.<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/angel_smile.gif" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Amazing resilience and humor for a little one to nod back off with a smile after that ordeal!&nbsp;How amazing also that we mom&rsquo;s can be exhausted and ready to fall asleep ourselves, but in the Moment of a child&rsquo;s need, suddenly that energy comes flushing back.&nbsp;Where from, I cannot say&hellip;it seems built into a mother&rsquo;s core.&nbsp;And this, I am certain, is what made Vitamin C such a hit; motherhood!<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/teeth_smile.gif" />&nbsp;Well, since my supply is depleted, and I&rsquo;m too tired, I&rsquo;m just going to bed.&nbsp;But, for tomorrow, with work less than 6 hours away, I&rsquo;m seriously considering these <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-honey_stinger_organic_energy_chews-1240.html">Mom&rsquo;s-variation-of-fruit snacks&nbsp;for my daytime energy boost</a>!&nbsp;With 100% Vitamin C!&nbsp;We all know with a new day of parenting, that boost won&rsquo;t be regretted!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Another day in the life of&hellip;.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">A motivated mom&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">heather</div> <br /> <br />http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-strenth_for_mom_in_child_sickness-23-86.htmlMotivated MomsFri, 06 Aug 2010 01:12:00 GMTHeather NelsonTrot that Turkey off at Clear Water Outdoor's Turkey Trot<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">It&rsquo;s that Turkey time of year.&nbsp;Time when people pack on a few extra pounds.&nbsp;Unless&hellip;. Unless&hellip;.you Trot it out and get turkified with <span style="color: #ff6600"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/news-detail-6th_annual_turkey_trot_5k,_10k,_junior_gobbler_1_mile-37.html">Clear Water Outdoor&rsquo;s Turkey Trot</a></span>!!!&nbsp;You can even spend some time chasing down a non-caloric Turkey for a few discounts to save on some gear for your kids or the family.&nbsp;Take a look at that <span style="color: #ff6600"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhT38XZ3eOM&amp;feature=player_embedded">Turkey that is tempting you to the challenge</a></span>.&nbsp;And, it&rsquo;s totally vegan and gluten sensitive!! <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/thumbs_up.gif" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">This coming weekend is a great chance to get outdoors with the family.&nbsp;There will be 5k and 10k runs, broken into age categories, a Jr. Gobbler 1mile, and word has it, maaaybe even a Fun Trot with Clear Water Outdoor&rsquo;s very own <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/cwo-staffmembers.aspx">Dave Schuster</a>.&nbsp;Kiddos can do some coloring activities, play at the playground funded by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.friendsofbfbsp.org/TurkeyTrot.html">Friends of Big Foot Beach State Park</a>, and cheer on their family members out bustin&rsquo; their butts running down some personal victory and fall fun.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">A raffle will be held for some techy-technical gear and some serious goodies, sponsored by companies like Patagonia, Suunto, and Montrail.&nbsp;For a more detailed list, check out the Turkey Trot link above.&nbsp;This mama will be there capturing the MOMents of many others getting trottified, so come on down and cheer on another mom, dad, or junior Gobbler.&nbsp; To get started, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.active.com/running/lake-geneva-wi/clear-water-outdoors-6th-annual-turkey-trot-5k-10k-and-jr-gobbler-1-mile-2010">register here</a>.&nbsp; Hope to see you there!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Trotting along&hellip;.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Your fellow Motivated Mama,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-trot_that_turkey_off_at_clear_water_outdoors_turkey_trot-23-118.htmlMotivated MomsThu, 18 Nov 2010 14:14:00 GMTHeather NelsonFall Family Fitness<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Do you ever feel like life as a mom requires you to be a blurbologist, an ever-repetitive one-minute wonder woman, a non-stop ninja that sometimes just can&rsquo;t kick high enough?&nbsp;In the midst of trying to rise early and stay up late, do you try to snag a small moment here and there that actually is just purely for mom&rsquo;s renewal?&nbsp;How do you care for you?&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">It is true that, realistically speaking, our mom minutes are sometimes bite-size, but if we don&rsquo;t take some time for ourselves, the daily routine can become quite bedraggled.&nbsp;And truly, the heavier things weigh in on the life scale, the greater of import it seems to protect and implement rich doses of renewal.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">For me, as the warm days are dwindling further, I am soaking in all I can of getting outside with the fewest layers weather allows. &nbsp;As a means of time for me, and as a method to make myself a bit healthier, I have been implementing a routine of yoga and running, and adding in small dance sessions at home with the kids.&nbsp;Initially, this presented more challenges.&nbsp;I had a child who wanted to jump on my back and aid me with extra weight to press in Plank and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.yogajournal.com/media/originals/HP_209_Chaturanga_248.jpg">Chatarunga</a>, and wanted to army-crawl and hop around under my <a target="_blank" href="http://kecampbe1.stu.cofc.edu/downwarddog..jpg">Downward Facing Dog</a>.&nbsp;Obviously, not working!&nbsp;Though I tried to keep a sense of humor and be playful, bottom line this would not help me acquire my fitness goals very easily, and definitely broke the yogic &ldquo;ahhhh&rdquo; concentration! <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;I am pretty convinced that in order to maintain ourselves as moms, we truly have to be perpetually creative in how we approach things, and it thoroughly requires the stretch of not giving up and not giving in (for too long).&nbsp;The way works and looks different for each of us, considering our number of children, parenting with a partner or going it solo, and our fellow-parent/friend network.&nbsp;It can depend on whether we have a relative to care for our children, or whether we are at home with our children full-time.&nbsp;Some even have nannies!!!&nbsp;Even those moms, though, believe it or not, can require some &ldquo;mom-time&rdquo;; we all do! The same goes for each of us as to what works for us physically, and what fits with our family.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">For me, I was not going to give up, thus what brought on the creative challenge-hopping process. I was considering biking.&nbsp;First, I would have to invest in a bike (lol)- I cannot believe I don&rsquo;t have one.&nbsp;It would need gears, I would likely at some point need the pull-behind cart or kiddo-seat, as I realized I would not be able to do this with all of my children biking all the time.&nbsp;Then I realized I would probably fall over on my bike for lack of speed, equaling no workout/outlet for mom.&nbsp;Then I thought, well, seems reasonable; I&rsquo;ll run, the kids can bike! Well, my youngest kept wanting to stop and drink water from the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-camelbak_magic_72_oz_womens-4093.html">Camelbak</a>, merely for the entertainment factor of the tube/bendy-straw-like contraption.&nbsp;Then it proceeded to &ldquo;Moooommmm, caaaarrry meee!&rdquo;.&nbsp;Well, let&rsquo;s just say mom can&rsquo;t run very successfully, very far carrying a 40-something pound child, let alone pulling along the now abandoned bike and helmet!&nbsp;Forget it.&nbsp;We changed to water bottles for each, Camelbak for mom.&nbsp;Still stopping.&nbsp;&nbsp; I decided to modify again.&nbsp;Now to the oldest still on bike, and the younger rider in a double-jogging stroller, which I thought I had finally been able to abandon.&nbsp;Not yet.&nbsp;However, success it is!!!&nbsp;And a routine has started.&nbsp;And it includes yoga at home, indoors, but preferably outdoors in the grass when possible.&nbsp;Indoors, my eldest can jump in on a session with me, and I can set the little one up with loads of puzzle projects, and voila, 50 minutes of yoga!&nbsp;Sometimes I definitely rise early for the yoga.&nbsp;But, believe it or not, I just accomplished a 56 second <a target="_blank" href="http://media.onsugar.com/files/2010/06/23/5/192/1922729/eae26037e2c87931_headstand-play.jpg">yoga headstand with variations</a>, unassisted at home yesterday!&nbsp;Yeaaaah!!!&nbsp;This started off as small bites.&nbsp;When I can, I hit the trail on my own outside.&nbsp;Even if I can do this one time a week for an hour, it is amazing how much one can breathe outside, well, so long as you are not majorly allergy-ridden at the moment!&nbsp;&nbsp;And I got&nbsp;a small taste of my MOMent on my own several days ago at <br /> <a target="_blank" href="http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/bigfoot/#trails">Big Foot Beach State Park</a>.<br /> <img width="800" height="1067" alt="" src="/userfiles/image/Heather/image/IMG01934.jpg" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">And, let me tell you, moms, when you see your child like this on the trails outdoors, with the sun shining &ldquo;just so&rdquo; on them, and you have that MOMent to breathe it in, IT IS GOOOOOD&hellip; <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/teeth_smile.gif" />&nbsp; <br /> <img alt="" width="528" height="400" src="/userfiles/image/Heather/image/IMG01857.jpg" /><br /> And when they come home smiling and saying &ldquo;this was the best day eeever&rdquo;, let me tell you (if you haven&rsquo;t heard it), it is even better!&nbsp;We all need the outlet.&nbsp;And the children love to use that energy and explore the nature all around them.&nbsp;We still have an amazing world outdoors to engage with, so shut off that laptop, and let&rsquo;s jump OUTSIDE with our kiddos.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Extra Credit:&nbsp;if you have extra space in a stroller you are pushing, or an unused stroller, and know a mom outnumbered with children, offer for her to come for a run or nature walk, and push some of her children in your stroller!!!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Have a great day outdoors!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">One Motivated Mama,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-fall_family_fitness-23-108.htmlMotivated MomsSun, 17 Oct 2010 09:11:00 GMTHeather NelsonMom Is Out Dancing In The Rain<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Have you ever spent time dancing in the rain?&nbsp;It was raining out last night and I took a moment to stop and take it in.&nbsp;It has been awhile since I danced in the rain, and I began thinking afterward about all that we receive from being &ldquo;in&rdquo; the rain.&nbsp;Day by day, it is easy to get into the fury of a whirlwind of tasks and to-do&rsquo;s and where-I-should-be&rsquo;s, but more and more I am embracing times of dedicated stillness, gleaned at the perfect consummate hue of turning. Recently observing a silent friend, I can&rsquo;t help but find a calm that reminds me to stop and take it in.&nbsp;I reflect.&nbsp;In the rain....</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Resonating... Last night, in a time of year where the rains are cool, I still found it so inviting, even in the surrounding darkness, to stand, face to the sky, and let it fall on me.&nbsp;An 11 hour day of hard work left me ripe to rise captivated, motionless, to experience life pouring over me in stillness and the dancing of droplets off my skin.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I think back.&nbsp;As a child, I played in the fog, rain, and mists.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> As I grew, when the rains poured and came in waves, sheets, and torrents, wet, muddy grass was not a deterrent; we jumped into the lower pockets of earth in our backyard with our neighborhood friends and splashed around.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> In my college years, when I lived in a land well-known for it&rsquo;s rain, I would spontaneously fall into it&rsquo;s singing lure and beckoning, disregarding any need to keep any article of clothing or personal belonging dry, delightfully neglecting the norm, and I&rsquo;d spend hours walking in the rain, letting it pour over me, lost in a stream of time.&nbsp;I have danced in the concrete jungle, hopping through puddles with a sister who was my friend, to the laughter of others around, to which we were mostly oblivious and more engaged in our own whirl and reel in season.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> I can easily mark the rains to some of the happiest moments in my life.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Engaging with throwing off the norms and confines of the day and routine, and falling into the span of time, where water splashing down seems to absorb our being and nourish our souls as we fall into it. Whether rains soothe in sorrow, fall like tears of healing from the heavens in pain, <br /> <br /> comfort in uncertainty, add to the joy and celebration of life with our family and friends, encourage us to engage in stealing away in stillness with someone you love, <br /> <br /> or just remind us to throw off hindrances and live a playful life, I am certain the rain is capable of doing so much more than just nourishing the earth. There are incalculable life lessons in nourishing the soul. The gift of rain.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Ahhhh&hellip;.The fall rains&hellip;a reason to hide away?&nbsp;I am thinking not for this mom&rsquo;s season.&nbsp;Since it is getting chillier, I may use a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-patagonia_torrentshell_jacket_womens-3459.htm"><span style="color: #ff6600">colorful shell</span></a> from time to time to keep my skins dry, but expect to see me with my hood flipped back and my head to the sky this harvest.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> I am engaging with my rain&hellip;.and my kids.&nbsp;So, mom&rsquo;s, let&rsquo;s not hide away yet.&nbsp;This is a great reason for a bad hair day!&nbsp;And a great excuse to get outside a little bit longer.&nbsp;Maybe we can&rsquo;t always get soaked through and follow-up with hot cocoa and a bubbly bath, maybe we have to be careful about our health and &ldquo;catching a chill&rdquo;, but I&rsquo;m thinking, for me, I have to catch some moments dancing in the rain with my kiddos this fall, even if we wear a shell and all...</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Hoping you can take a moment to fall into the rain&hellip;&hellip;.heather</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-mom_is_out_dancing_in_the_rain-23-111.htmlMotivated MomsSun, 24 Oct 2010 08:47:00 GMTHeather NelsonFueling Directed Passion <div>&nbsp;</div> <div align="center" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">&ldquo;<u>Is it the wind</u> that moves the trees?&rdquo; </span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">From &ldquo;<a href="http://s0.ilike.com/play#David+Crowder+Band:Obsession:241423:s4289480.10610971.2600511.0.2.26%2Cstd_93cfdb0b3ba54c15b3ba7d12f850f6ba" target="_blank">Obsession</a>&rdquo; &ndash; David Crowder Band</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">What is it that fires you, fuels you, moves you?</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">On a tired morning, to stir those embers to a raging flame, it takes more than a cup, or pot, of coffee, more than a venti with an extra double shot on the side.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s funny, but it&rsquo;s true.&nbsp;Ginseng tea cannot woo the heart to passion.&nbsp;Sure we can power up on body-motivating, even mood-altering foods and beverages, fuel that machine, but body is more than the organs.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">So here we are, stirring our hunger.&nbsp;I can hear it cry out from my gut.&nbsp;Have you ever heard that reference?&nbsp;Stirring the soul&hellip;as if your heart is in your liver.&nbsp;Beautiful imagery, but the sensation of longing is real.&nbsp;It gets lost in the mundane, till we see it burst over the hills in fiery fuschia and baby pink.&nbsp;Like when the gentle touch on the keys of a piano&hellip;&ldquo;ting&rdquo;&hellip;falls to a raindrop&hellip;&rdquo;tung&rdquo;&hellip;and you can feel and envision the waterdrop beading heavy and falling to sound.&nbsp;Have you ever seen an image of this?&nbsp;How rain produces sound?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lightspace.com/academic/pages/research1/pages/asong1.htm" target="_blank">How the invisible sound can be made into color and music?</a>&nbsp;The waves harmonic rolling continually throughout and around our lives&hellip;a rich blessing we take for granted.&nbsp;Life really is a miracle; to have movement, color spans and motion we can&rsquo;t even see, wind we can feel, breath.&nbsp;Now take it to the family, friends, even those we do not know&hellip;it is a gift.&nbsp;What will I do with my gift today?</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">I&rsquo;m going to hit a <a href="http://www.lakegenevawi.com/Activities/Default.aspx?sc1=213&amp;sc2=12 " target="_blank">nature trail</a></span>&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 10pt;">with my boys, take a walk along the beach, find a smooth stone and put it in my pocket&hellip;to remember the gift.&nbsp;Sometimes all it takes is an hour to modify your whole day and change the life of a child.&nbsp;I don&rsquo;t remember everything from when I was a child, but I still have this visual imprint of playing softball with my dad; the trees we used for 1<sup>st</sup>, 2<sup>nd</sup>, 3<sup>rd, </sup>and home plate.&nbsp;The tire swing he put in the tree.&nbsp;The time.&nbsp;I remember the seed pod fallen from the tree; my parents let me pick up and plant out front in our yard&hellip;.this amazing thing happened; a tender shoot, it grew, fragile and waving in the wind.<br /> </span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Preserved by my parents, we moved that tree to a space where it could spread it&rsquo;s roots deeper.&nbsp;It is still my favorite tree.&nbsp;All it took was a moment; the time my Mom gave me to pick up that pod from the ground.&nbsp;Maybe she had a thousand errands to run, maybe her mind was busy with everything she had to do, but she let me have that moment for the heart of a child.&nbsp;Maybe my dad had work to do, but he played softball and hung an old tire and rope swing for my sister and for me.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Today, I take pictures of that <a href="http://ucscplant.ucsc.edu/ucscplant/Grounds/images/bw_oak_tree.gif" target="_blank">tree</a>&nbsp;and show it to my children&hellip;a moment. 33 years later, may I still be motivated to harness that directed passion seized from a moment.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Go moms (and dads!) and take that moment that may engage generations to come because YOU were there, you stopped, you waited, and you cared.&nbsp;Breathe it in deep!&nbsp;Blessed are we to be a part of&nbsp;MOMents.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Your fellow Motivated Mom,</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">heather&hellip;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-fueling_directed_passion_-23-79.htmlMotivated MomsThu, 08 Jul 2010 01:37:00 GMTHeather NelsonMom's Time: Renovating the Body and Mind<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">On the note of post-children body syndrome, some of us mom&rsquo;s hesitate to get out in the sunshine and onto the water due to the excess baggage we may be carrying around the midline, yet, we long to take in the fresh air and re-sun our skin.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s been approximately 8 years since I&rsquo;ve been able to obtain sun-kissed skin from head to toe, and as to the overall renovation of my body, I find more and more priorities piled on my plate, snuffing out any chance of bringing my body back from its downward spiral of deprivation.&nbsp;I have decided I have to find a way to sneak in this small sensory snack with some payback!&nbsp;It can be me, and only me, finding the creative way to take care of this vessel meant to be fueled for my family, those intimate and close to me, or those merely acquainted with me.&nbsp;It is that fine line of nurturing our whole self in the ebb and flow of life.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><br /> <span style="font-size: 10pt">In the name of healthy life balance, I decided to take on the goal of making some time for me, and in turn, for everybody.&nbsp;I set my date and time, and left for my chosen form of body-mind rebuilding; stand-up paddling. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt">True to form, having maintained my multi-tasking mom frenzy, I arrived to my renovation destination with only 20 minutes left to spare.&nbsp;I was realizing I may have to can the idea of operation recoup mom&rsquo;s body.&nbsp;In an amazing act of grace, a co-worker offered a schedule swap; starting 40 minutes early for me, switched over his splash-proof sundial (aka&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-st_moritz_atlas-1387.html">waterproof watch</a>)&nbsp;for my Celtic wrist d&eacute;cor and set me off to stand-up paddle away.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Part of the dilemma we face heading to the water is what to wear; there was no way I was going to go trapsing through town bikini-clad.&nbsp;Knee-length <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-helly_hansen_bat_yam_trunk_womens-4344.html">surf shorts </a>and a tank over my bikini served my belly better.&nbsp;But then the dilemma of where to put my outer clothes layer: needless to say, this was a balance experiment changing my coverings on an SUP on the water; think core strengthening.&nbsp;I ultimately tied my tank to the top of my paddle, as tucking it into the waistline of my surf shorts was not working. In the future, I may secure the tank with a drip ring to keep it from slowly sliding down the paddle shaft.&nbsp;Laugh with me here: then I thought, hmmm, wear a red tank, and ultimately, you will have a safety flag on the top of your paddle, further ensuring a safe return to those eagerly waiting children we have at home!&nbsp;Leave it to a mom to make a tank top multi-functional!&nbsp;My surf shorts were large enough to roll up and down and were a quick dry material, wearing <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/brand-vibram_fivefingers-2.html">Five Fingers</a> were perfect for the hike to the water, and just right on the board for grip, especially when attempting some balance-required yoga moves on the SUP.&nbsp;My goal is a yoga headstand by the end of the summer; though currently I can only&nbsp;flow from Downward Facing Dog with variation of the leg lift to Upward Facing Dog, into low lunge and Warrior 2.&nbsp;Confession: I have accomplished this smoothly on my right side, but on my left, I kept flopping into the water on Warrior 2.&nbsp;No pride; I got up and tried again, and again, and again- my falls were improving in grace.&nbsp;Eventually I was able to hold it 3 seconds on my trying left side before I moved into a more confident pose; back to the old flow of Downward to Upward Facing Dog.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s a process, but it's refreshing.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">One would think that after being non-stop lifting kids and gear so much over the years our bodies would be naturally buff, but that often begins at the biceps and ends at the buttocks.&nbsp;WHY?!?&nbsp;Maybe it is to help us appreciate children and life more than love of self, and in turn, we return to care of self to serve those we love.&nbsp;Well, &ldquo;no pain, no gain&rdquo;, because today, every muscle is feeling challenged to re-strengthen itself:&nbsp;hamstrings, quads, pecks, biceps, and forearms.&nbsp;A choppy time on the waves makes for a great restructuring of the mind, body, and heart.&nbsp;Physically taxed, I was mentally renewed with an &ldquo;I can do&rdquo; attitude.&nbsp;Like, I am WO-MAN, hear me roar&hellip;(or at least meow).&nbsp;I will do it again.&nbsp;Come join me mama!&nbsp;My theory on Stand-Up Paddling: it&rsquo;s like those fresh, white pants in baseball; you go out to the diamond, pick up some dirt or sand, and spread it all over your knees and thighs, so you fear not to give all or slide.&nbsp;When each new game starts, you say, &ldquo;Play ball!!!&rdquo;.&nbsp;With that mentality on the lake, you get wet right away, jump in, fall in, whatever, and release those inhibitions.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s like the no-bones-about-it loss of modesty post-birth; it can be freeing and remove the obstacles of pride, and seems almost necessary to get to business at the time.&nbsp;Get out, love the water, love your body, love your mind and heart, and in turn, love your family and all those around you!&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">I&rsquo;m glad to be on this journey with you mamas&hellip;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKVDXGuvywQ&amp;feature=related">SUP&nbsp;ladies come in all sizes</a>, so&nbsp;come paddle with me!</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Seizing the MOMent,</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">heather&hellip;<br /> <br /> ...if you want some basic <a target="_blank" href="http://vimeo.com/5396107">SUP instructional overview</a>, check this out....<br /> </span></div> <div> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-moms_time_renovating_the_body_and_mind-23-80.htmlMotivated MomsSun, 11 Jul 2010 03:59:00 GMTHeather NelsonLow-Cost Birthday Party Ideas<br /> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><i><span style="font-size: 9pt">Summer seems to be the season of celebrations.&nbsp;Suddenly three parties are scheduled simultaneously, and you are left forlorn as to how to make it to all three at the same time, let alone plan Junior&rsquo;s party he is so eagerly awaiting!&nbsp;It&rsquo;s time for IncrediMom to step to the plate and swing.&nbsp;Well, no worries, I have no intention of solving all of your problems by the end of this small entry, but rather, hope to offer a little fuel to the fire being flooded by the 20 swimming parties you attended this week.&nbsp;Yes, we moms get another version of being &ldquo;water-logged&rdquo;.&nbsp;Mind you, children&rsquo;s parties are so much fun!</span></i></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><i><span style="font-size: 9pt"><img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/lightbulb.gif" />&nbsp;Themes :&nbsp;<br /> Many opt for a theme-based birthday gig.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s puts a bit of order to the planning.&nbsp;However, when the pirate plates are sold out, the treasure cannot be acquired at any of the 5 stores you went to, and the princess tiaras are purple instead of pink, this can turn into a nightmare.&nbsp;Suddenly you&rsquo;ve spent hours in the car, when you could&rsquo;ve been playing with your kids, and you&rsquo;re more concerned about the perfect party, than the child you are celebrating.&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/cry_smile.gif" />&nbsp;Before you commit to a theme, and before you think it is necessary to have every piece of that puzzle, commit to creativity and flexibility.&nbsp; <br /> <span style="font-size: 9pt"><em>Invite your children&rsquo;s input and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.readysetmom.com/readysetmom/2008/09/low-cost-birthd.html ">ask other adults for ideas</a></em></span></span></i><i><span style="font-size: 9pt">.&nbsp; For instance, markers are easily (and cost-efficiently) obtained at a variety of locations, even a gas station if necessary!&nbsp;Along with glue, paper (even rolls), foam sheets, tape, fabric, and plastic gems.&nbsp;Cutting red strips of material turns into piratey, &ldquo;Ahoy, Matey&rdquo; bandanas.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.kidscraftsplus.com/product/E170/Paper_Crowns_in_Asst_Colors.html">A paper or foam cutout of a crown </a>that a child can color or glue gems on, turns into a keepsake that takes TIME to make, provides a fun activity at a party, and becomes something the child can take home and reuse.</span></i> <i><span style="font-size: 9pt">This is a hit with other moms too, because it gives them ideas for the future, becomes one less item they are asked to buy, and they know their child participated in a creative process of expression. Don&rsquo;t be afraid to add in a noisy fun princess or pirate parade.&nbsp;Remember things like paper-plate or cup moroccas, utilizing a renewable resource like beans, peas, and lentils.&nbsp;Don&rsquo;t be afraid to bring out a couple of small pots and wooden spoons, or plastic bowls and kids spoons.&nbsp;Another project they can be a part of, and the energy can be expressed and guided! Wear a chef hat and lead the parade.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s always good for the parent to have fun too! The kids will follow that energy.&nbsp;<br /> <span style="color: #ff0000">A word of </span><span style="color: #ff0000">caution <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/thumbs_up.gif" /></span>:&nbsp;make sure the projects are age-appropriate to the kids you are working with.&nbsp;For instance, you don&rsquo;t want a pot and pan fight to break out, or a little one to stick a bean up his nose! Older groups can make journals, for example.&nbsp;Have natural items to add onto the cover: pressed/dried leaves, flowers, old magazines (think recycling) for cool cutouts, etc.&nbsp;<br /> Don&rsquo;t be afraid to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.birthdaypartyideas.com/">explore others&rsquo; ideas</a> and come up with your own. But try to remain in the mentality of how to make it cheaply or have the children participate in making a keepsake themselves.&nbsp;Instead of party bags, you make things to take home.&nbsp;They take a piece of the party with them. </span></i></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><i><span style="font-size: 9pt"><img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/lightbulb.gif" />&nbsp;Food:&nbsp;<br /> Again, this could be a costly part.&nbsp;Cakes for $20 to $30, sandwiches, chips, pop, etc., etc. etc. are quick options parents sometimes choose.&nbsp;Try to think again of make it yourself, do-it-yourself, and involve the kids!!! Take a parade to the house to wash hands- extra bubbly soap makes it fun and there will be giggles.&nbsp;If you are in an apartment without grassy space, do the messy projects/games in the kitchen, so long as there are no items out in the open to get injured on. Ideally, you could make brownies, cupcakes, or cookies, with the kids helping scoop the mix into the tins, and once you they are cooked, they can decorate their own treat.&nbsp;Have some healthy watermelon slices or regular melon slices to refresh in the hot weather. Get them each <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-light_my_fire_spork-4072.html">their very own surprise spork</a> that they can take home at the end of the party. <br /> </span></i><span style="color: #ff0000"><i><span style="font-size: 9pt">A word of caution <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/thumbs_up.gif" /></span></i></span><i><span style="font-size: 9pt">:&nbsp;Ask parents about allergies, let them know what you may be making/serving, and ask the kids to come in clothes that can get messy.&nbsp;This makes for a lot of fun.&nbsp;You might also considering teaming up with another parent in planning your parties together and then make each party happen together. </span></i></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><i><span style="font-size: 9pt"><img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/lightbulb.gif" />&nbsp;Other activities/games: <br /> This means it&rsquo;s time to rummage through your kid&rsquo;s closets, the garage, and the trunk of your car! Dig out the old game of Twister&hellip;sure to be a rib-tickling, fun game.&nbsp;Get out Frisbees, hacky-sacks for balancing games and a bean bag toss.&nbsp;Potato sacks for sack racing (sometimes you can get these for free from a lawn and garden, fruit and vegetable store. Don&rsquo;t forget cardboard box races, watermelon seed shooting contests, and water balloon tosses. A super fun, skill and balancing activity that could double as a birthday gift and be used by the family over time is investing in a&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-gibbon_slack_lines_slackline_set_15m-605.html">Gibbon Slackline</a>. Teenagers love this one and you could set it up for other family events. <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/shades_smile.gif" /></span></i></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="color: #ff0000"><i><span style="font-size: 9pt">Note of caution <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/thumbs_up.gif" /></span></i></span><i><span style="font-size: 9pt">:&nbsp;have another parent or responsible teenager helping for sure on this one!</span></i></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><i><span style="font-size: 9pt">Well, I hope this offered some excitement to your summer party planning&hellip;As for me, I&rsquo;m off; I have multiple parties to put in my planner before they are overtaken by a blur of other activities.&nbsp;And I know that, more than anything in my planner, I want to seize the opportunities to make a child smile and fill the backyard with fun and laughter.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s not the cost that counts, it&rsquo;s counting the child before counting the cost, and consistent as time, it does not cost much to count the child first. Have fun with your little ones and seize the smiles! <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/teeth_smile.gif" /><br /> <br /> celebrating MOMents,<br /> <br /> heather...</span></i></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-lowcost_birthday_party_ideas-23-81.htmlMotivated MomsSat, 17 Jul 2010 12:25:00 GMTHeather NelsonMoms- Necessary Humor About Body Changes<br /> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">So I went to jump on this trampoline today&hellip;need I say more?&nbsp;As moms, there is something like this secret language; we need not complete a sentence and the other can finish it.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">What a great brief encounter with another mama this morning that just made me chuckle.&nbsp;We were separately arriving at a local coffee shop stop, each of us taking a bathroom break, and on first meeting, were joking about our lack of comprehension in our rise n&rsquo; shine conversation relating and due to years of sleep deprivation. Without missing a beat, she quickly asked, &ldquo;How old are yours?&rdquo;.&nbsp;A big smile came across my face as we spent the next minute gabbing with grins about how funny it was that we knew &ldquo;the code&rdquo; before we even shared that we both had busy children, and therefore were both still waking up for another full day of adventure.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">So when I say to you I went to jump on this trampoline today, I know majority of you know <u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrxOC5_pe0E">exactly</a></u> what I am talking about, or at least you know someone who does.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I laugh because I hit the water to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-surftech_11_laird_sup-3753.html">SUP</a> briefly with a friend and gave prerequisites&hellip;.&rdquo;okay, I&rsquo;m gonna take off my <a target="_blank" href="http://prettytough.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/gilmore_asp_09.jpg">rash guard</a> (blue top on surfer, Bethany Hamilton) and just wear my swimsuit, but you cannot laugh at my post-children belly&rdquo;&hellip;.to which most respond graciously, and my friend did.&nbsp;For most of us mamas I think it is more about asking for grace&hellip;Saying, in a sense, &ldquo;I know what the world demands, but please be gracious with me because I am more than my skin, and I&rsquo;ve carried the lives of children within this vessel&rdquo;.&nbsp;And, in my circumstance, &ldquo;I just want to relax, SUP, and get some sun in too!&rdquo;.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">But all of us moms appreciate anyone who can empathize with our journey, laugh about it with us, and see us for more than our skin.&nbsp;It is good to be a vessel!&nbsp;You are awesome mamas!&nbsp;You are <i><u>SO</u></i> much more than your skin.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Your fellow Motivated Mom,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Embracing the journey and &ldquo;the code&rdquo; we share,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">heather&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-moms_necessary_humor_about_body_changes-23-88.htmlMotivated MomsFri, 13 Aug 2010 18:05:00 GMTHeather NelsonWarding Off Winter Weight<!--2478972c6b7043b7b483d9296a8ba2c9--> <br /> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">I have determined that I am not going to add a Fall 5 to my winter weight and my summer somethings.&nbsp;In an effort to maintain and increase my physical abilities and health throughout the end of 2010, I decided to spontaneously go for a sunset run.&nbsp;Consider it a kickoff to a season of harvest.&nbsp;Simple efforts applied regular truly can bring a ripe, sweet reward.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">I have always been one to set my sights high, but still have a tendency to temper my ideals with reason and practicality.&nbsp;So, in the name of reason, I did not try to be back to my pre-children physique in 5 runs, rather, just to make some small improvement in the notch of my belt.&nbsp;Since I threw on my jeans and found a good number of them snug, I am blatantly aware that my summer snacking paid off!&nbsp;<img src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" alt="" />&nbsp;And not necessarily to the end I was reaching for!&nbsp;<img src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/omg_smile.gif" alt="" />&nbsp;Lol&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">As moms we face time constraints and have to balance the homework with the housework and everything in between. So, to find the workout that works takes a bit of finagling. I decided to throw on my <a href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/brand-vibram_fivefingers-2.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: rgb(128, 0, 128);">Five Fingers</span></a>, bust out the kid&rsquo;s bikes, and make do with an exercise mixer.&nbsp;The kids were excited to have the opportunity to burn a bit of extra juice before settling down for the evening, and mom was glad to be getting her butt in gear, before the jeans get any tighter. &nbsp;Sometimes it&rsquo;s about seizing the MOMent when the motivation occurs, and our energy levels allow.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">But, you ask, how do you carry the house keys, cell phone, some water?&nbsp;(Or at least that was my question.)&nbsp;I wanted to make sure I could be smart and safe on a run/ride with my kids, and make sure there was some refreshment in tow that left me hands-free, should my kids need some assistance along the way (which they did).&nbsp;So, perfect for the MOMent was the <a href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-camelbak_magic_72_oz_womens-4093.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: rgb(128, 0, 128);">Camelbak</span></a>.&nbsp;It was ideal for our short run and bike ride.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">All in all, the event was a success, despite a MOMent of my youngest wanting me to take upon some child-carrying/bike-pulling time midway through the run.&nbsp;Needless to say, with some creativity, the wee one was back on the bike and we were belly-laughing our way to racing back home.&nbsp;Finding my legs with the runner&rsquo;s &ldquo;twitch&rdquo;, indicating some success I think, I was pleased with our last-minute motivational MOMent seized, and intend to snag some more of these in this harvest season.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Here&rsquo;s to bringing in your own harvest, Motivated Mamas!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Snagging the seasoned fruits and hoping you keep reaching for yours,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Heather&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-warding_off_winter_weight-23-98.htmlMotivated MomsSun, 19 Sep 2010 00:20:00 GMTHeather NelsonChildren's Summer Safety<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt"><br /> As the days sizzle on, one of the topics on our daily platter is summer safety.&nbsp;Some of the typical things to think about in the health of our children and ourselves is hydration, water safety, shelter, and skin protection.&nbsp;While the topic of safety is way too broad to touch on briefly, a basic search online leads to quick thoughtful tips on a variety of sites.&nbsp;Moms, this is not the time to torment yourselves with all of the scenarios of &ldquo;what could go wrong&rdquo;, but it is a great activity that could provide a parent some quick reminders and key points to pay attention to when we are in the midst of summer fun and the scheduling whirlwind that comes with it.&nbsp;A short planning session and MOMents of thoughtfulness can make a huge impact on our daily activities with our children, and help keep those memorable moments coming.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/lightbulb.gif" /><br /> </span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">In searching on child summer safety, topics ranged in anything from proper <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-categories-kayak-pfds-200.html">Personal Flotation Devices</a> during water play, to safe locations to play hide n&rsquo; seek, biking gear, camping equipment and usage, types of water bottles and dehydration issues, wild weather, summer school, camp, and family vacation safety.&nbsp;More topics included chiggers, bees, and mosquito bites, poison oak, skin care, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/publications/NC82.pdf">protection for kids in the community,</a></span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/publications/NC82.pdf"><span style="font-size: 10pt">at home, </span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/publications/NC82.pdf">and online</a>, to firework, car/travel, and summertime food safety.&nbsp;Among the leading causes of irreversible consequences are accidents.&nbsp;So let&rsquo;s prepare the most we can for those little ones we love.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Great reference points are your child&rsquo;s pediatrician and the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/summertips.cfm">American Association of Pediatrics</a></span><span style="font-size: 10pt">, the American Red Cross, your local Police Department, to online child safety forums and other parents.&nbsp;Utilize your local Health Departments, Water Safety Patrol, and present lifeguards to be aware of any current or recent water safety issues.&nbsp;Here&rsquo;s an example of a general thought- provoking <a target="_blank" href="http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/welcome/summer.html">safety tip list</a> that can be found in a short Google session.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">A resounding theme was to keep hydrated utilizing a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-camelbak_kids_bottle_stainless-2650.html">stainless steel water bottle</a>, which you can even get in a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-kleen_kanteen_kids_sippy_classic-3388.html">sippy cup style </a>now.&nbsp; </span><span style="font-size: 10pt">Hydration is crucial in all contexts; including those summer sports programs, the beach, birthday parties, and the outdoor activities in hot weather so commonly associated with summertime fun.&nbsp;For a little more information on how to deal with the <a target="_blank" href="http://healthychild.org/blog/comments/heat_stroke_is_no_joke_keep_hydrated_this_summer/">heat and hydration</a> look here.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">A rotten burn could turn down the fun thermometer and leave long-term damage, so choosing the coverage that is right for your family and it&rsquo;s activities is very important. Defenders against a&nbsp;variety of bad burns include sun shelters, sunglasses, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-ws_badger_company_spf_sunblock-100.html">sunscreen</a>,&nbsp;and sun hats with UPF, also paying attention to the times of sun exposure and heat index.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">The list could be endless as to making sure your kids have the right helmets, street-conscienciousness, food products, eye protection, first aid kits, bite sticks, allergy response systems, car seat safety, and on and on we could go.&nbsp;I am not a doctor, merely a mom, encouraging other moms and parents to take that reminder MOMent and do a little safety inventory.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Humanity aside, your child&rsquo;s best protection is your attention.&nbsp;Whether you are in the water or backyard, on the playground or a family hike, at a sporting event or a birthday party, enjoy those munchkins, tweens, toddlers, and wonderful future moms and dads in-the-making.&nbsp;May this be the best, safest summer you&rsquo;ve had! <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/shades_smile.gif" /></span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Your fellow Motivated Mom,</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Keeping MOMentum,</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">Heather&hellip;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt">A couple of other lists&hellip;&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/thumbs_up.gif" /></span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.safekids.org/parents/">Safe Kids USA</a>&nbsp;has a lot of testimonials on injuries, life-altering situations where safety protected their child..</span><span style="font-size: 10pt">.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/user/safekidsusa">Youtube also has a lot of Safe Kids USA testimonial videos</a>, various hospital safety videos for informational purposes, etc.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.sheknows.com/articles/808205.htm">sheknows</a>.com</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=a69ff6c5fd47b110VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD">Red Cross</a></span><br /> <span style="font-size: 10pt">minus the commercial at the start, some <a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj21chWT5G0&amp;feature=related">general water safety guidelines</a></span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt"><a target="_blank" href="http://life.familyeducation.com/summer/safety/33585.html">family education summer safety</a>&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 10pt">&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-size: 10pt"><a target="_blank" href="http://safety.lovetoknow.com/Children's_Summer_Safety_Tips">love to know</a> about Children&rsquo;s summer safety</span></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-childrens_summer_safety-23-83.htmlMotivated MomsThu, 22 Jul 2010 14:26:00 GMTHeather NelsonAlive in the MOMent- Embracing TODAY<br /> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Mustering up the energy for another day, I am well aware that this toil may be for years and years to come.&nbsp;Due to the uncertainty of life, I choose to rejoice<em> TODAY</em>; to seize it&rsquo;s moments at their juicy ripeness and embrace all the opportunities that come my way.&nbsp;Plunging into the reality that I am merely making human choices of which wave of opportunity to ride.~</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">The &ldquo;hei&rdquo; is a symbol representing living life to the fullest in the moment.&nbsp;Delving deeply into whatever the current experience is.&nbsp;Sorrow...joy...fill in the blank....</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><br /> &ldquo;&hellip;we must be fully alive in the present moment&hellip;.&rdquo;-Edward Hoffman* <br /> &ldquo;Our world consists of nothing except the day and hour that we stand in now.&nbsp;Tomorrow is a completely different world.&rdquo;&nbsp;-Hasidic Master Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav *</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">So if what we have in this earthly skin is this moment we live in, as each moment and split-second ahead can be seemingly unpredictable, should we not embrace it to the fullest and make the most we can of the moment of a phase of a season of today?&nbsp;Can we turn it to appreciation of the gift to meet the needs of others; our children, family, friends, acquaintences, &ldquo;strangers&rdquo;, and imagine it&hellip;.even of ourselves.&nbsp;It is a blessing to bless.&nbsp;A joy to give and learn.&nbsp;Let&rsquo;s give ourselves happy, just for today; taking time to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/news-detail-water_body_yoga_paddling_for_the_soul-18.html">breathe</a>, run hard, dance and sing while we complete some of our least-loved activities, reading a long-time <a target="_blank" href="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61QV9DVHVFL.jpg">great book</a>&nbsp;with our children, and fall in bed delightfully exhausted, resting in the knowledge that we lived life to the fullest TODAY, with integrity.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Keep reaching moms!&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Your fellow Motivated Mom,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">p.s.&nbsp;do not be discouraged if you falter and fall below your standards in a MOMent.&nbsp;Acknowledge it for what it is, raise yourself up, and keep moving forward&hellip;I have observed and lived again and again how mom&rsquo;s are their own worst critic.&nbsp;Isn&rsquo;t the process and understanding of our humanity part of a MOMent to embrace.&nbsp;The actual &ldquo;<a target="_blank" href="http://typophile.com/files/Hei_5141.jpg">Hei</a>&rdquo; has part of the letter suspended in mid air, with an empty gap symbolizing humility and representing an openness to receive.&nbsp;Motherhood is filled with so many humbling and amazing moments; be ALIVE in the realization and move forward mamas, embracing TODAY and each otherwise often preconceived seemingly miniscule event whose minutiae could affect the most incalculable effects on our world&hellip;<br /> <br /> *<a target="_blank" href="http://www.chroniclebooks.com/images/items/0811818/0811818837/0811818837_large.jpg">The Hebrew Alphabet</a></div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-alive_in_the_moment_embracing_today-23-87.htmlMotivated MomsSat, 07 Aug 2010 13:38:00 GMTHeather NelsonPrego In Prana<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">As those baby-bearing Bellies blossom into full bloom little kickers, comfort, practicality, and some fashion, for crying-out-loud, is a beautiful thing to us mamas.&nbsp;For me, the key thing in my pregnancy purchases, were pieces that I could wear through all the stages.&nbsp;When it was all said and done, I didn&rsquo;t want an article of clothing I despised in my closet, but a reminder of the beautiful gift that came with each of my children, and a basic fashion piece I still liked.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">To date, years later, when I look in my closet, I have some cute empire waist tops that, mind you, I wore my whole pregnancy, and I still get complimented on them. One of my faves includes a super-practical drawstring-waist piece that gives as much grace as I want on that not-so-great belly day, and the wanted trimming on a better, &ldquo;I feel fit&rdquo; day.&nbsp;Most moms seem to have those days, truth be told.&nbsp;And once you&rsquo;ve had a couple of children, that battle rages even harder; seemingly vascillating between how many slices of cheese you ate (hello, Wisconsin), or how big that slice of pizza was (hello, Chicago), even down to, &ldquo;Really?!? Was that toooo much salad?&rdquo;. <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/omg_smile.gif" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">So I have found that great transformational top! I&rsquo;m bringing it to you, hoping it will allow you to have some good, great, better, and best days.&nbsp;You can tighten, loosen, dress it up, dress it down, layer it with tank tops.&nbsp;And, another belly-lovin&rsquo; point is it&rsquo;s super-touchable softness.&nbsp;The everyday, non-pregnancy top, that morphs through all the stages of pregnancy!&nbsp;And what could fit the epic moment of arrival better than for this now-donned-a-<a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-prana_iza_jacket_womens-4909.html"><span style="color: #ff00ff">pregnancy-piece </span></a>to bear a name like Prana, meaning &ldquo;Breathe&rdquo;!!! <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Breathe mama, Breathe&hellip;.welcoming the life of your precious little ones&hellip;.breath gave us life, breathe in the life-growth of your little one, and welcome the breath of new life as you &ldquo;breathe&rdquo;...&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" /><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">To Walking the Rite of Pranamama,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather&hellip;&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-prego_in_prana-23-117.htmlMotivated MomsSun, 14 Nov 2010 21:23:00 GMTHeather NelsonCreatively Approaching the Crispy Cold Days with Children<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">With each new blast of cold as a cruel reminder of more bitter days ensuing, I am still exploring this concept of acceptance and what I want my days to look like with my children.&nbsp;Shall we hide away in fear of the weather, or will we venture forth with more layers and a willingness to run around and play some kickball in the frosty, crunchy-cold grass?</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">With an extra layer of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-smartwool_fall_sprigs_womens-4435.html"><span style="color: #cc3333">thick wool socks</span></a> underneath our warm boots, we shouldn&rsquo;t have to be tapping our toes to keep them warm and reminding the blood to flow.&nbsp;When it&rsquo;s extra chilly inside, we can break out a hot water bottle, bury it in some blankets we are cozied in, and drink up some minty, white hot cocoa, enjoying another incentive to get outside; the appreciation of the return to the comforts we have and take for granted. Though my toes are cold right now (literally), just the thought of it warms me up a bit. <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/shades_smile.gif" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I think of stopping and recognizing the sensation of cold, feeling it as I breathe it in, and appreciating the Rudolph noses and the ruddy cheeks, like those of the Scotsman that taught me how to chop wood from logs that were drifted ashore by the ocean&rsquo;s tides and the moon&rsquo;s contribution.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">How amazing that red cheeks and our own visceral experience of life and people, and weather, bring us to the movement of the earth and gravitational pull, and all I can come back to in my mind is the thought of putting on that <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-marmot_raria_hat_womens-4892.html"><span style="color: #993300">wooly warm hat</span></a> that covers my ears with it&rsquo;s earthy and reminders-of-home-like pattern, that makes me think of sitting by a warm fire, inside or outside.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">So, as the days become shorter, and the air becomes cooler, albeit bitter(!!!) sometimes, shall we hide away?&nbsp;I&rsquo;m thinking not.&nbsp;I&rsquo;m thinking it&rsquo;s good reason to brave up, embrace the air, and seize the moments of sensation and the gift of life with our children, family, and friends.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Seizing the sensations with you,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><i>Just can&rsquo;t stop the &ldquo;mothering&rdquo; NOTE</i>:&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/thumbs_up.gif" />&nbsp;protect your kiddos feet ahead of time with some <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-darn_tough_boot_sock_cushion_kids-4397.html"><span style="color: #ff6600">hefty socks</span></a>&hellip;and please study frostbite and the signs of it, so if it is encroaching, you come back inside for hot cocoa sooner, before it bites you or your loved ones!&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" />lol&hellip;.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><i>Motivated &nbsp;mom brownie points</i>:&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/lightbulb.gif" />&nbsp;Don&rsquo;t forget to do a warm bubble bath for your feet with your kids sometime, while drinking hot cocoa (just for fun and a few giggles).&nbsp;If you set up the buckets in the kitchen, spills won&rsquo;t be such a big deal, and you&rsquo;ll create a super fun memory, creatively approaching the colder days&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">(Really, if you do this, come see us&hellip;we&rsquo;ll make you brownies, or at least share some with you)&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/teeth_smile.gif" /></div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-creatively_approaching_the_crispy_cold_days_with_children-23-116.htmlMotivated MomsSun, 07 Nov 2010 07:15:00 GMTHeather NelsonCheering on Motivated Children<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Let no one be fooled, our kiddos are highly motivated&hellip;It doesn&rsquo;t matter if they&rsquo;re riding, running, or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obe7DUe0JyQ&amp;feature=related"><span style="color: #008080">making music</span></a>.&nbsp;They are always on the move.&nbsp;We see it from the time our babies grow from crawlers to walkers, to tumblers.&nbsp;Now some take their steps cautiously, and others drive ahead at the fastest run they can manage at step one and it doesn&rsquo;t stop.&nbsp;Some are hesitant on the balance beam, and some are trying to do flips at the age of 4 and we better catch up and learn how to be a gymnastics spotter or we are going to have an injury on hand.&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center; margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><img alt="" width="270" height="400" src="/userfiles/image/Heather/image/CSC_0116%20(2).JPG" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">When we sign up as parents, there are no guarantees of what kind of ride we will be on.&nbsp;It might be the mini-dragon ride in a circle, or it might be the Cliffhanger <a target="_blank" href="http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.elanso.com/U/D38/388ac29b7881d73fb8d7fb85a242cb5c/128341404988906250.jpg&amp;imgrefurl=http://www.elanso.com/GroupTopic/HlP0J2PUJhPKMGPUJ2HlKzIi.html&amp;usg=__rBQ6o0KLUavnUURKVe0gcBIhmLU=&amp;h=800&amp;w=548&amp;sz=47&amp;hl=en&amp;start=0&amp;zoom=1&amp;tbnid=nuQxBOdFijnDnM:&amp;tbnh=127&amp;tbnw=95&amp;prev=/images%3Fq%3Dstraight%2Bdrop%2Broller%2Bcoaster%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1W1GGLL_en%26biw%3D1259%26bih%3D526%26tbs%3Disch:1&amp;um=1&amp;itbs=1&amp;iact=rc&amp;dur=172&amp;ei=pending&amp;oei=6lrtTM2MCqqrnAfwpbjVAQ&amp;esq=9&amp;page=1&amp;ndsp=24&amp;ved=1t:429,r:20,s:0&amp;tx=65&amp;ty=44"><span style="color: #3366ff">free fall</span></a>, or possibly even a few loop-to-loops and corkscrews. It&rsquo;s hard to say&hellip;we just have to roll with it. Throw out the word predictability. Lay out your best scientific hypothesis, but know that in the realm of children, chaos does exist and dominate.&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/teeth_smile.gif" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">So, the journey of a Motivated Mom, becomes about throwing on your cheerleading uniform, whether you ever wanted to be a cheerleader or not.&nbsp;And that includes the cheerleader dads!!&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/wink_smile.gif" />Or, if you prefer, you might use the reference of coach, team leader, mentor, or something of the like.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">This past weekend was <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/news-detail-6th_annual_turkey_trot_5k,_10k,_junior_gobbler_1_mile-37.html"><span style="color: #ff6600">Clear Water Outdoor&rsquo;s 6<sup>th</sup> Annual Turkey Trot</span></a>.&nbsp;I went to be the event photographer, and ended up determined to capture as many runners as possible, which turned to running a good portion of the 5k.&nbsp;I hadn&rsquo;t planned on this in 4 layers of clothing (it was chilly out), including my jeans, and minus my 5fingers.&nbsp;However, if anyone was motivated this day, it was the minis.... <br /> <img alt="" width="600" height="399" src="/userfiles/image/Heather/image/hnn-%20Turkey%20Trot%202010-%20(54-2).jpg" /><br /> and their supportive parents. The best was to see this littlest guy, running the hardest he could, heading to the finish line on the 1 miler....<br /> <img alt="" width="600" height="526" src="/userfiles/image/Heather/image/hnn-%20turkey%20trot%202010-%20(353)-2.jpg" /><br /> And then the mama so excited about her son&rsquo;s success....</div> <div style="text-align: left; margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><img width="402" height="600" alt="" src="/userfiles/image/Heather/image/hnn-%20Turkey%20Trot%202010-%20(128).JPG" />&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Needless to say, I couldn&rsquo;t resist running further to capture more of&nbsp;their fun in momentum....<br /> <img alt="" width="600" height="402" src="/userfiles/image/Heather/image/hnn-%20Turkey%20Trot%202010-%20(109).JPG" />&nbsp;<br /> We all know what it is to have drive inside to reach certain goals, to try something new, to have a passion that launches us forward.&nbsp;Our children have the same...&nbsp;<br /> <img alt="" width="600" height="402" src="/userfiles/image/Heather/image/hnn-%20Turkey%20Trot%202010-%20(309).JPG" /><br /> It is a gift to cheer them on as they discover their potential and all that they are able to do, whether they are music-makers, engineers, riders, or runners!!&nbsp;Well, off I go to cheer on my chillins working on their own next masterpieces.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Working on my best toe touch!</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Motivated Mama,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-cheering_on_motivated_children-23-119.htmlMotivated MomsWed, 24 Nov 2010 14:33:00 GMTHeather NelsonFocus to the Finish<div><span style="">It was by what seemed happenstance at the time, but really was just the inevitable waiting to happen, that I discovered and experienced a very physical world example of the effects of the mental state. <br /> <br /> </span></div> <div><span style="">I just so happened to be taking my MOMent to do a bit of yoga in the morning.&nbsp;I had taken the measures to provide what my children needed in advance (naturally), trying to ensure that I might get a small dose of &ldquo;Mom-time&rdquo;.&nbsp;The warm-ups went great, and believe it or not, I managed to make it through majority of the poses with minimal &ldquo;interruptions&rdquo;.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> </span></div> <div><span style="">As I neared the end, I went to work on my <a href="http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://images.teamsugar.com/files/users/1/12981/21_2007/bound.jpg&amp;imgrefurl=http://www.fitsugar.com/Strike-Yoga-Pose-Bound-Headstand-262307&amp;h=373&amp;w=282&amp;sz=34&amp;tbnid=JCF-JflLdzDVfM:&amp;tbnh=122&amp;tbnw=92&amp;prev=/images%3Fq%3Dyoga%2Bheadstand&amp;zoom=1&amp;q=yoga+headstand&amp;hl=en&amp;usg=__cDR3WyD5GlI7Qc9PRMDC5YpBS_Q=&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=jhj3TOf_DorKswbYoMXADQ&amp;sqi=2&amp;ved=0CD4Q9QEwBg" target="_blank">yoga headstand</a>, which I have been so proud of, as I&rsquo;ve been able to more regularly stay in them for 1 minute and counting, with variations.&nbsp;It was as I was starting the balancing pose and my children kept coming in and out of the room, I could stay up merely 3 to 5 seconds, sometimes unable to achieve the balance at all for any length of time.&nbsp;I was frustrated with myself.&nbsp;I realized I had broken my mental focus, though there was no reason to do so, no emergency beckoning at the moment.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> </span></div> <div><span style="">I had lost my concentration and stability by a broken and divided mental state.&nbsp;It was true.&nbsp; From the body experience, to mind understanding, I now knew the challenge I was facing.&nbsp;A determined frame of mind; one that was fixed on it&rsquo;s goal, and aware of it&rsquo;s freedom to move toward that goal, albeit it, with some ripples in the water.&nbsp;I was amazed, as my oldest child stood quietly in the background, watching, waiting, wanting to get a peek at mom accomplishing the yoga headstand that was so fascinating to a child&rsquo;s curious mind.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> </span></div> <div><span style="">As my child tried not to disturb me, I realized it was only myself that could keep me from reaching my goals at this point, and the allowance I would give to potential distractions.&nbsp;After 1 minute and 10 seconds, I slowly let me feet down, to my child now bursting out, &ldquo;Wow, Mom!&rdquo;&nbsp;&ldquo;That was sooooo coool!&rdquo;&nbsp;</span><span><img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/shades_smile.gif" /><br /> <br /> </span></div> <div><span style="">We can keep our focus, mamas; sometimes it seems our goals are impossible and unreachable, even the smallest ones, but with a small degree of letting go of the falls, regrouping, and refocusing, <a href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-rock_on_running_poster-4187.html" target="_blank">we can keep moving on</a> to our best balanced acts yet.<br /> <br /> </span></div> <div><span style="">Focusing to the Finish, and learning from the fall,<br /> <br /> with you...<br /> <br /> </span></div> <div><span style="">Heather&hellip;</span></div> <br />http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-focus_to_the_finish-23-121.htmlMotivated MomsWed, 01 Dec 2010 22:49:00 GMTHeather NelsonShould I Buy Bigger? More Bang-For-Your-Buck Children's Winter Gear<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Well, Motivated Mamas, it is that time of year; the snow has fallen and the kiddos are eager to be out in it.&nbsp;Maybe you are a pre-season shopper, or new arrival shopper, and some are more along the lines of, &ldquo;oh my gosh, we need gloooovves&rdquo;, and their children are temporarily layered with mom&rsquo;s clothes!&nbsp;No matter what your scenario, there is the ongoing debate of whether to buy bigger, hoping to steal 2, maybe even 3 snow seasons out of winter layers, because we all know it adds up with each accessory.&nbsp;Do you let them swim for one year, or wade the next? <img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" /></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I have found at least one awesome solution; the Obermeyer I-Grow system.&nbsp;I am thoroughly impressed by the idea, and happy to give an in-person demonstration of the system.&nbsp;These <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-obermeyer_snoverall_girls-4667.html"><span style="color: #ff00ff">snowpants</span></a>&nbsp;and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-obermeyer_nirvana_jacket_girls-4581.html"><span style="color: #ff00ff">jackets</span></a> have the ability to let down at least 1 &frac12; to 2 inches more of fabric by snipping a stitch line, so you can steal the extra season for your little snow angel.&nbsp;Another reason to let the kiddos get outside for a bit longer snowball fight, make a few more snow cones, and stay on the ski hill a bit longer.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Not to mention, these guys have super cute, and stylin&rsquo;, matching accessories&hellip;.hats, gloves, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-obermeyer_ultragear_100_tight_girls-4812.html"><span style="color: #ff00ff">undergear</span></a> for extra warmth.&nbsp;Keep junior from tripping over his snow pants this season, and an unplanned whitewash, and go Obermeyer I-Grow.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Keeping you in the know on I-Grow,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Your fellow Motivated Mama, seeking the practical,</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Heather&hellip;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;<br /> For a VISUAL on I-Grow...look here:<br /> <img width="399" height="286" alt="" src="/userfiles/image/Heather/image/Obermeyer%20I-Grow%20Pic.png" /></div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-should_i_buy_bigger_more_bangforyourbuck_childrens_winter_gear-23-124.htmlMotivated MomsThu, 09 Dec 2010 10:56:00 GMTHeather NelsonContentment At Christmastime<div>In a season that can be filled with marketing and commercialization, it can be hard to find contentment.&nbsp;In a year where the &ldquo;downturn in the economy&rdquo; has been the talk of the town, where do you find your own internal gauge as Christmas is creeping it&rsquo;s way towards your front door (and living room floor).&nbsp;&nbsp; I hope this season does not meet you in a daunting fashion, but if it does, I hope to offer a few encouraging words.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>In a season that is about family, faith, hope, belief, friends, and wonder, should we let it be overshadowed with anxiety, worry, stress, or fear?&nbsp;It is an easy thing for a parent to be captivated with concerns of whether they have &ldquo;enough&rdquo; under the tree, or whether they will be able to create the look of awe on their child&rsquo;s face Christmas morning.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s not always a verbal recognition, but sometimes an internal process and pressure that parents place on themselves. &nbsp;I have heard it time and time again.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>I am here to remind us all that our children would be happier with our presence, than our presents.&nbsp;They would far more enjoy an outing in the snow with you, than a snow-cone machine (as fun as they are).&nbsp;They would much more treasure a hand-made gift over time, or a personalized shrinky-dink necklace, than a stressed-out mom or dad.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>The time we have here on earth is so short, the people we are surrounded by cannot always remain within our grasp, and so the richest thing we have to offer this holiday season is our love.&nbsp;Love is the one thing that endures&hellip;.and it is the greatest thing we have to give and receive.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>May you find yourself content to rest in love&hellip;.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>The gift that is free, but comes with great cost sometimes&hellip;the gift we are free to receive, and that is given to us freely&hellip;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Though all things may pass, love remains&hellip;.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>May we all be free to love and be loved, with contentment and peace&hellip;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>At Christmastime,<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Your Contentment-Sojourning Mama,<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Heather&hellip;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <br />http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-contentment_at_christmastime-23-127.htmlMotivated MomsFri, 17 Dec 2010 23:35:00 GMTHeather NelsonShoveling, Sledding, and Santa<div>The day has come upon us quickly.&nbsp;How did it arrive so fast? In the wink of an eye, and the swirling of snow, we find ourselves celebrating the Christmas season, and it&rsquo;s finale.&nbsp; However, the day is just the beginning.&nbsp;Following today will be houses filled with giggles and toys, and children eager to get outside for a romp in the newly fallen fluff. &nbsp;Gear-testers at their best, children are uninhibited in the fashion adults tend to embrace with age.&nbsp;Caution thrown to the wind, our children are ready for some fun.&nbsp;This is the day we have, today, to live the moment to the fullest with our kids.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>I expect we will have more snow, more cold days, and more ice.&nbsp;Considering that we often take the time to stop and play with our kids on Christmas in the name of Santa, and that the time for New Year&rsquo;s resolutions is yet to come, may we make it our goal to play more and laugh more in the year to come.&nbsp;It may require <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-outdoor_research_adrenaline_mitts_kids-1844.html"><span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">warmer gear</span></a>, or extra energy, but the effort will not go unrewarded.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>I have laughed to myself about the top 10 reasons to go out and shovel the snow; contemplate it, it&rsquo;s a good smilemaker.&nbsp;Anything from being a glutton for punishment, to a great solution for a practical, dual-purpose, productive workout, to a perfect excuse to build a custom sledding hill for the kids, to an opportunity to serve a neighbor, unnoticed.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>On the note of sledding, there are hopefully plenty of outings to come.&nbsp;We have used our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-mountain_boy_sledworks_ultimate_flyer_52-2427.html"><span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">wooden sled</span></a> on the shoveled snowhill, and had a blast playing with friends on the same.&nbsp;I recently had the great revival-of&ndash;the-toboggan experience.&nbsp;I was left with the resonating images of childhood fun zipping down the hills with my sister, parents, and the dog.&nbsp;Having put sleds under the tree this year myself, I am hoping to create those same smilemakers for my children that they can look back on.<br /> <img width="350" height="210" alt="" src="/userfiles/image/Heather/image/165602_10150356065795591_671355590_16328934_335722_n.jpg" /><br /> A new year challenge to the Motivated Mamas and Papas, siblings, and those close to the hearts of children; ask them how you could make your family better or closer in the year to come.&nbsp;I recently heard the words of a small child expressing the desire for less work and more play.&nbsp;We all would love more play, wouldn&rsquo;t we?&nbsp;But as this is a key way our children learn, grow, and express love, couldn&rsquo;t we take the time to speak their love language?&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>May I suggest we all consider this for our New Year&rsquo;s resolutions; to play more and work less.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Blessings of play to you and those you love,<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Heather</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-shoveling,_sledding,_and_santa-23-128.htmlMotivated MomsSat, 25 Dec 2010 20:05:00 GMTHeather NelsonHibernate or Activate<div>&nbsp;</div> <div>It seems I find myself debating with me on a daily basis about this bout of bitter cold.&nbsp;I keep swaying to &ldquo;hibernate&rdquo;, &ldquo;hibernate&rdquo;, while in the backdrop, another part within me says, &ldquo;Activate, Activate&rdquo;.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>This week I found myself facing the same crux.&nbsp;Standing at the Redbox with eager children awaiting their desired selection for a kick back cozy night at home, I discreetly peered around the man about to check out the movie my little people were seeking.&nbsp;Simultaneously my youngest piped up to the tune of, &ldquo;Mom, do they have it (naming the movie)?&nbsp;I can&rsquo;t wait!&rdquo;.&nbsp;Knowing he was hearing the whole inquiry process, since his eyes darted to the side at my child and back to the screen, as if hoping to not be discovered as the man who took away a child&rsquo;s expectation for delight, and appearing as if he was almost caught red-handed, I decided to put him at ease by bringing some humor to the situation.&nbsp;I said to my child, &ldquo;well, it looks like it might be taken for the night buddy, and I looked at the man and laughed, &lsquo;how could you?&rsquo;&nbsp;The man tried to reassure me that there might be another one yet available.&nbsp;He told my child he promised to bring it back the next day, and that he had kids hoping for the same movie at home.&nbsp;I laughed and told him we&rsquo;d survive, no worries, telling my little guy we could try to nab it then. To my joy, my child did not crumble to tears.&nbsp;In an enjoyably appeared turn of events and a reward to my child&rsquo;s patience, there was actually another one in the big red box!&nbsp;<span><img alt="" src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/shades_smile.gif" /><br /> <br /> </span></div> <div>Should we have fallen apart if our desired mental distraction and excuse to hibernate in the bitter negative temperatures was not available?&nbsp;I could see it now, &ldquo;Desperate for a little reprieve, Mom launches at the man who takes a night&rsquo;s relaxation away from her and her devastated children&rdquo;.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s just a movie&hellip;and a night indoors in the warmth.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>While we appreciated to have some kick back time, the next night we acted in rejection of complete hibernation, and made our way to some indoor activity at the <a target="_blank" href="http://whitewateraquatic.com/">Whitewater Aquatic Center</a>.&nbsp;After an alternatively active outing, my children fell asleep, happily exhausted at the end of a bitter cold night. <br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>So, while we can (and should) appreciate the whipping wind hideaway and reprieve, curled up at home, it&rsquo;s a great family night getaway to be indoor active, even if requiring some blasts of cold, in the process of getting there.&nbsp;Most areas have a local <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lakegenevaymca.com/">&ldquo;Y&rdquo;</a> to drop into as a family, or some form of an indoor center to access as a family. For the days of less challenging weather, or even when you are geared up for the elements, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/cwo-X-country-skis.aspx">cross-country ski</a> or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/cwo-snowshoes.aspx">snowshoeing</a> is the next best alternative. &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>My conclusion, therefore, on whether to activate or hibernate for the winter, is&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;. neither.&nbsp;I will aim to do a wee bit of both.&nbsp;Because it is great to have the sensation of cold, to be alive and to use our able bodies, and not give in to the beastly bitterness of it all, but on other days, it sure is good to fall into some rest, relaxation and reprieve, indoors&hellip;.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>To a balanced bitter season for us all&hellip;.<br /> <br /> heather...</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-hibernate_or_activate-23-131.htmlMotivated MomsTue, 25 Jan 2011 12:17:00 GMTHeather NelsonThe Power of Parental Habits<div>&ldquo;Since habits become power, make them work with you and not against you.&rdquo;&nbsp;-</div> <div>E. Stanley Jones<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>I find myself tired.&nbsp;I am weary of a long year.; even with some good outcomes, it has had some very wearying details.&nbsp;Like the relentless nagging of dripping water from the kitchen sink when you just can&rsquo;t fall asleep, each drop can become louder and louder till it feels like the water is resounding within your own mind as you toss and turn&hellip;.as if a gong is being sounded within your own bedroom.&nbsp;So the idea of an energetic start to 2011 is a bit daunting.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>If you are like me, you are looking at all the motivational ads and thinking, &ldquo;Man, I&rsquo;m just pooped.&nbsp;I could use a nap.&rdquo;.&nbsp;Mind you, I was up tending a tiny one with a fever throughout the night. &nbsp;Still, I can&rsquo;t help but let a smile spread across my face, and giggle at least a little bit thinking about the fact that it&rsquo;s ironically funny. &nbsp;&nbsp;The motivated mama has run out of pep talks.&nbsp;Ah, but isn&rsquo;t that motivating?&nbsp;Isn&rsquo;t it funny how it is restful to run into the good company of those that we can relate to?&nbsp;The stabilizing parental-fellowship factor; what a blessing to know we are not alone.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Whether you are highly motivated and eager to get out there and attack all of your 2011 goal-directed activities, or you would rather roll over in bed, hit snooze, and take advantage of the winter doldrums, hear ye this: the power of a habit can overtake the momentary and fleeting urge to collapse and give in to hibernation for the cold season.&nbsp;Ennui can be overtaken with activity, and activity can bring excitement.&nbsp;Excitement can be the reward of engaging in the habit of play, and the habit of play can be formed with short increments every day of quality and quantity time with our children.&nbsp;Quality and quantity time can be blocked out like all else in the daily grind.&nbsp;And this is a grind that doesn&rsquo;t wear down, but soothes and sets free to newness for all involved.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Welcome to 2011, my motivated parental friends!&nbsp;I hope we will all be able to share some motivators to powerful habit!&nbsp;My motivator is the reward of blessing my children, resting, renewing, and freeing myself, and butterfly-effectually (yes, I made that word up)&nbsp;<img src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" alt="" /> building encouragement into the lives of those we each encounter.&nbsp;&nbsp; May our habits overtake us only for true good in the year ahead!&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>I look forward to the journey with you&hellip;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>What do you hope to make a single habit in 2011?<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Starting at the posting of this blog, I will shut off my laptop, and take some more quality time with my children <img src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/heart.gif" alt="" />; undivided quality time, inaccessible except for emergencies!&nbsp;<span> <img src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" alt="" /><br /> <br /> </span></div> <div>Blessings only and growth in your 2011 habits of power,<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Heather&hellip;</div> <br />http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-the_power_of_parental_habits-23-129.htmlMotivated MomsSun, 02 Jan 2011 20:38:00 GMTHeather NelsonWaiting for Snow<div>During the winter months, do you ever find yourself waiting for snow?&nbsp;I heard it was supposed to possibly snow 3-6 inches tonight.&nbsp;I feel like a little girl looking out the window again and again in search of Santa in the sky and Rudolph&rsquo;s nose lighting up the night.&nbsp;I can&rsquo;t help but resist peeking out again and again to see if the fluff has started falling from the sky.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>I am a girl that loves the tropical waters, finds life and breath at the ocean&rsquo;s shores and at the sound of it&rsquo;s roars, but come wintertime, born and raised in the Midwest, I can&rsquo;t help but long for a good snow and a romp in the white popcorn ice fluffs falling in the darkness.&nbsp;I want to lie down on my back and form a few snow angels while I get lost in the glistening night with my children.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>I am waiting.&nbsp;The night is not over.&nbsp;I imagine throwing on my favorite <a href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-lole_alex_pants_womens-1668.html" target="_blank">snowpants</a>, cushy warm and <a href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-marmot_snow_bowl_component_jacket_womens-5094.html" target="_blank">insulated jacket</a>, and my long-awaited <a href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-sorel_cate_the_great_womens-4768.html" target="_blank">Cate the Great&rsquo;s</a> and venturing out into the night. &nbsp;&nbsp;I would tackle it in warmth, and be ready for some snowball fights with my <a href="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/product-detail-outdoor_research_adrenaline_mitts_womens-2136.html" target="_blank">OR Adrenaline Mitts</a>, just like my kids, and would still be smiling after an hour of play.&nbsp;The only thing to pull me in would be the calling of hot cocoa with some freshly made whip cream in my Isi Whip Cream Whipper.&nbsp;<span><img src="http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" alt="" /></span> I cave at the comforts of a cozy home after a cold night, even with the proper gear.&nbsp;I love to hunker down and dream of snow days to come.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>I hope this night finds you still reaching for the wonder of a fresh snowfall&hellip;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>And if not tonight, I hope I will awaken to a fresh, glittering crunch in the morning&hellip;.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>To wonder in the journey,<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>heather&hellip;<br /> &nbsp;</div>http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/post-details-waiting_for_snow-23-130.htmlMotivated MomsMon, 10 Jan 2011 23:02:00 GMTHeather Nelson