15 Gifts Your Wife Wants for Mother's Day

This year, to take a little bit of the pressure off my husband for mother’s day, I decided to put together a list of things that I would enjoy being given for Mother's Day. Husbands, if you're struggling with ideas for what to give your wife, show her this post and ask what her thoughts are. Wives, if your husband is like mine and thinks too big, stressing himself out, share this list with him and maybe even give him an order of preference. The items below are in no particular order for myself, but I'd enjoy receiving any of them, so my husband should be safe!

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Six Ways to Prepare for a New Baby Together

If and when we have a third, I've joked with Joe that I'm doing everything that we need to do during the first month of pregnancy so I have the upper hand no matter when the baby decides to come. But the more I've thought about it, the more I've realized what is actually important to do before our family grows and what can be done later. Decorating the babies nursery would be great, but Emmy turns two this weekend and her room still has nothing on the walls, but she doesn't mind.

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Six Things That Help Me Find Daily Balance and Routine as a Wife and Mother

When I quit my full time job to stay at home full time with my kids earlier this year, I knew that I was going to have to make a lot of adjustments. I've been working to find a daily routine that works well for our family and I think that I finally have a good thing going. Every day isn't perfect and there are still a lot of days when I feel like life defeats me. But the days when I do these seven things, I notice that I'm happier and so is my family. These are the things that have helped make me a better wife and mom.

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The Breakfast Food That Makes Me a "Fun Mom"

Belgian Waffles with fruit, ice cream and Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce are more of a dessert, but because they're waffles, I justify eating them for dinner and even breakfast. This is one of my favorite foods from childhood and one that I always looked forward to introducing my future family to. This is a meal that can turn an ordinary day into a special occasion! I'd like to think that meals like this make me a "fun mom" in the eyes of my kids.

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25 Ideas for Simple Family Fun

Sitting on the riding mower display for a few minutes and going nowhere was the highlight of Bensen's weekend. It was a simple thing but it left a big impression. He's been carrying his own John Deere toys with him everywhere, they're his current most prized possessions. It made me realize that for every big outing or fun adventure I plan for our family, I can plan a dozen simple ones, because my kids and my husband will love them just as much.

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The Importance of Praising Your Spouse in Front of the Kids

The other day I walked into the kitchen where Bensen was sitting at the table with Joe. A few minutes later, Bensen said, "Dad is a big deal!" Then he and Joe gave each other knuckles. I just laughed because Joe being "a big deal" is a running joke in our household and really with anyone who knows Joe. Later I found myself wishing that instead of laughing, I had agreed with Bensen and in that moment said, "Yes, dad is a pretty big deal." Because Joe is a big deal in my eyes, and the most amazing man I've met. I married him after all, didn't I? He had to be something special to become my closest confidant and my partner in life.

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Four Ways We Keep our Family Safe and Happy On Car Rides

This year, one of my goals is to make sure that our family is prepared in case of emergencies, both at home or on the road. Over the past month, I've made it my goal to ensure that our cars are stocked and ready for anything that we might encounter on the road. I know that no matter where we go, whether it's just to the grocery store up the street or on a long drive for a family vacation, we can have peace of mind knowing that we're prepared for any situation that comes our way. Here's a list of the things that we've done to make our drives happier!

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8 Ways to Foster a Good Relationship Between Your Kids and Your Pet

Howie joined our family two years before any kids came along. He was used to a calm, quiet environment where he had the freedom to enjoy life wherever he pleased. These days he shares attention and living space with two little ones who are anything but calm and quiet. As our little family has grown, it has been our goal to build a happy and safe relationship between our kids and our dog. We know that they will all be the best of friends if we do our part to teach them how to interact well with each other while they're still young. Two and a half years into this parenting thing, we've learned a few important lessons for fostering that healthy, happy relationship.

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Advice for Families in the NICU - from People Who Have Been There

September is NICU Awareness Month, a month designed to inspire hope and to honor families who are currently in this situation as well as the health care professionals caring for their little ones. I wanted to do something to give back this year, because our time in the NICU was trial but it was such a huge blessing at the same time. I wanted a way to provide them with support and hopefully make that time just a little bit easier. I asked other parents who have experienced a NICU stay, as well as nurses who work there, to share their story and offer a few pieces of advice.

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Five Tips for Successful Family Date Nights

Earlier this year I put together a list of fun family activities that I hoped to use for family date night at least once a month. We haven't gone through many of our ideas yet, mostly because it's been cold and we've been trying to keep Emmy healthy and warm. Now that the weather is better and we're able to get out more, we've been doing something fun as a family at least once a week. I take the kids on an outing by myself at least once a week as well. No matter what we choose to do for family fun, going out with two young kids is always an adventure.

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Motherhood, I Wasn't Expecting That...

My role as a mother is so different that I always dreamed it would be. I've watched my own mom, my friends and other moms around me for years and I guess I had put together some sort of picture in my head of what motherhood would look like. Being a mom has been a million times harder than I ever thought it would be and has exceeded my wildest dreams all at the same time. Some days I can't wait for bedtime to get here and others I feel like I never want to hang out with anyone other than my little family. It's a crazy road this parenting thing. I'm so glad that I chose the man that I did to be my partner on this journey.

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Why I Miss Our Time in the NICU

It has been seven months since we left the NICU but I still think about it often. Is it weird to say that I miss that place? How could someone miss having half of your heart at home with the toddler and the other half in the hospital with your tiny little one? Those three weeks were definitely some of the hardest in our lives but also some of the best. I cried more tears during those weeks than I have at any other time in my life, and while some of them were tears of anger, frustration or sadness, quite a few of them were tears of joy.

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Family Date Night is Important Too - Ideas for Family Fun

Just as date night is important for your marriage and one on one time with your children is important for your parenting relationship, regular family time is important too! Spending time together as a family builds memories and strengthens relationships. In addition to making date night a priority, I try to make family time a priority as well.

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How to Keep the Romance Alive Postpartum

I think every parent out there can agree that the six weeks following the birth of your child are some of the most chaotic, exhausting and rewarding weeks of your life. They are also the weeks when it is easy to let your marriage take the backseat because there is so much going on and your priorities are elsewhere. If you don't make effort to keep your relationship going, before you know it, your kids will be grown and gone and you won't know the person that you are married to as anything more than your partner in parenting. For this reason, I believe that those weeks after you add a new little one to your family are some of the most crucial for your marriage.

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