Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Not Your Mom's Mom's Group: Why you should be in a Mom's Group!

I have been so busy lately that my blog has been a bit neglected. The reason I have been so busy? Besides all of the normal stuff, of course. I am the head of a mommy group! And it is work! But I recently realized just how much I enjoy it! My group, Making Mommyhood Fun, is based here in Birmingham and currently has 68 members! And we only started at the end of February! My co-founder and I have been blown away by how many people have joined. I have really met some great moms, and Ella has really come to adore some of the kids in the group.

But I know that mom's groups sound like something only stay-at-home-moms that play tennis and vacation in the Mediterranean are interested in. But they are really something completely different nowadays. I always feel like people look at me strange when I say that I am going out with my mommy group for a mom's night out or craft night. They definitely give me a "Aren't you too young to be in a mom's group?" look. But that really couldn't be farther from the truth. Our members are extremely varied in age. We also have moms from all walks of life. Some are single, some married, some divorced, some work, some stay at home, some work from home, some are religious, some are conservative, some are liberal, some have newborns, some have grown children, etc. There is someone that anyone can relate to in the group, which was really important to both Sydni and I. We did not want a group that exluded anyone or made anyone feel uncomfortable. Having such a diverse group of women has been the best part of the group in my opinion. I love learning about other people and cultures, and our group has really allowed that to happen.

Still on the fence about whether you should join or create your own group? Well, read on for a list of reasons to take the plunge into the mommy group world.

Reasons you should join/create a mom's group:

1. You need friends! Not that you may not already have a plethora of girlfriends you can call at a moment's notice, but how many do you have that also have kids, or are also married, or are also dealing with a messy divorce, or also understand that moms are often late so they don't bat an eyelash when you walk into the store 20mins late and wearing mismatched shoes? Other moms offer this! Find some mommy friends! They understand the struggles of a toddler that refuses to sleep in their own bed or throws tantrums for cheese (yes, I am talking about Ella here).

2. You need to get out of the house sometimes! Adult time is necessary to stay sane! I literally can't function properly after a week in the house with no outside interaction. It's a lifesaver. Not to mention being in a mom's group is a great way to get to do things that you want to do, just not alone. Concert or festival coming up that you are dying to go to? Just post it and you will be amazed how many other moms want to go too!

3. Being in a mommy group is one of the best ways to network! You can meet so many different types of women, many of whom can expose you to things (such as job opportunities) that you never even thought about. As you meet more moms, talk about what your talents are or what you are passionate about because you never know what connection that person may be able to offer you (by the way, this is just a good practice in everyday settings as well).

4. Your kids need social interaction. They need to be around other kids. This is especially true if, like Ella, your child is an only child and not in daycare. They crave the interaction just as much as you do!

5. Uh, hello? Mom's night out!!! Duh!! This is one of the best reasons! Time out with the girls WITHOUT the kids?? Yes, please! Whether it is to go see a new movie, eat out, go to a wine tasting, craft night, or anything else, you need to have time to yourself. Taking a break from the kids is okay! Enjoying time with friends is good! And not feeling guilty afterwards is essential!!! Leave the kids with Dad or a babysitter, and go have a good time. And don't feel bad about it!

After all of these great reasons to join or create a group, I hope you are about Google mommy groups in your area! MeetUp is a great way to find all kinds of groups in your area! And if there isn't a group in your area that you feel comfortable joining, then start your own (which you can also do on MeetUp for a small monthly fee)! I promise that it is not hard at all! It's actually really fun and exciting! And if you are in the Birmingham, AL area, check our group out! Here's a sample list of the things we have done or will be doing in our group:
Local festivals
Wine and Painting night (MNO)
Dinner and movie (MNO)
Pool dates
In-home playdates
Mom's Sunday Brunch
Book Club
Cooking Club
Trivia Nights
Water parks
Skating party
And a ton more!!!

So go ahead and join a mom's group! You will be happy you did. No tennis playing and Meditteranean vacations required!

Book Review Tuesday: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Okay, so I totally slacked and this post is actually happening on bad! Regardless, here it is!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Warning—Some Slight Spoilers!!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs centers around a teenage boy trying to find out the truth behind his Grandpa’s ‘fairy tale’ past. Jacob Portman quickly discovers that what once seemed like fairy tales are stories quite darker than he ever imagined. His journey halfway across the world introduces him to new people, new worlds, and new terrors.                

            Ransom Riggs did something unique when writing this novel--he included visual aids. The photographs allow the reader to really see what the author had in mind when writing the story of Jacob Portman. Although the photographs can be a bit disturbing, I appreciate the fact that I know exactly what to picture when the author says, “…a pair of freakish twins who were dressed in the weirdest costumes I’d ever seen” (p. 45).
           As far as the actual story, I followed the plotline fairly easily. The flow of the story was a bit jumpy, but I did not think I was missing parts. Riggs is very descriptive with his characters, locations, and emotions. This is essential to really feeling like you are a part of the story and not just an outsider looking in. The fact that World War II played a significant part of the novel just added to the positives for this novel for me—I like studying history, especially WWII. Some parts of the novel were a little expected such as the romance between Jacob and Emma, but having said that, I did not mind that what I expected came to fruition. That’s saying something! One thing I did not expect was that this would turn in to a series, which will obviously happen considering the cliffhanger ending. The idea of the story on the whole is pretty unique though. Riggs made himself stand apart by not writing a novel about love stories with vampires like so many other books out there—but don’t get me wrong I love those stories just as much as the next Twi-hard! It was refreshing! And I expect that Riggs’ writing will just get better.

 I look forward to reading the next novel to see what happens to Jacob and his peculiar friends!

-Lyndsey Mosley

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Review Tuesday:

I've been doing a ton of reading lately, but haven't posted any book reviews yet. Therefore, I decided to start a new weekly post for the blog, "Book Review Tuesday", and it begins today! This first review is actually one I did a while back, but I still wanted to post it.

Let me know what you think! And share your thoughts on the book if you have read it! Enjoy!

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

 I read Redeeming Love based on the recommendation of a friend. I have to say that it is not the type of book that I normally would pick up, but since I am broadening my horizons I gave it a try. I made a good decision.

 It centers around a young woman named Angel brought up in a horrible life of prostitution from a very young age. A man named Micahel Hosea rescues her. Well, he thinks he is rescuing her but she wants nothing to do with him. The story follows the trials and tribulations that face a girl with a dark, shameful past and a God-fearing, Christian man.

The story is a Christian novel, which again is not something I have familiarity with reading, but the Christian themes are played in so well that it does not feel like you are sitting through a sermon. It simply made you realize the affect your faith can have on your life. The idea that everything can be dealt with if you trust in God is central throughout the story. Granted, there are some things in the story that are hard to believe. Such as a man's willingness to forgive as quickly as Michael does. But it is portrayed to be testimony of his faith in God.

Francine Rivers did a wonderful job of making you fall in love with her characters even though you knew of all of their misgivings. Most people cannot relate to a prostitute but people can relate to wishing you had not done something in your past. Everyone has something they regret and there are times that that regret makes you feel unworthy of something or someone. That is Angel in a nutshell.

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

-Lyndsey Mosley

Click here to purchase a copy from Amazon.