That friend.

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mommy friendsThroughout today, in situations that can only be described as mortifying, my best friend proved once again why she really is the best and why I'm so thankful I'm journeying through motherhood with her by my side.

If you've raised little ones, you know the awkward moments that almost unavoidably come with potty training. To some degree, most of us have been there. I'm currently in the eye of the storm with our two year old, Mairi. I can deal with the accidents and mishaps in the privacy of my own home; where no-one misses a beat when Miss M comes bombing through the kitchen sans pants, but in public, not so much. Twice today Mairi proved while toddlerhood is not for the faint at heart. The first incident happened in McDonalds when she just decided to forgo her diaper right in the middle of a very busy lunch hour. There was a full audience of onlookers watching Mairi hands deep in her jeans trying to remedy whatever was bothering her, when Carla swiftly jumped into action and dealt with the situation (while I awkwardly avoided eye contact and started packing up). The second situation wasn't quite so subtle. After hightailing it out of McDonald's, we moved on to the library. The kids were happily playing and Carla and I were into a nice and relaxing conversation when I spotted it... Mairi, in the middle of the library, making her way up the stairs of the slide, with nothing but her shirt on. While parents gawked and all the kids pointed and yelled "Ewwww!", I grabbed my mini nudist and ran to the bathroom. Carla, naturally, came to my rescue. She ran around the library found Mairi's clothing and brought them to me. We had a good laugh and carried on with the rest of the day (which thankfully was uneventful). Now, with six children between us, most outings never go unscathed and today was really no better or worse than most. There is always at least one injury, meltdown, hitting/biting incident and usually it's a combination of all those things. Today was embarrassing and equally hilarious. It will make for a good story to share when the kids are older and we're reminiscing about all the antics that use to come up when their mothers ventured out together. I can confidently say that this conversation will happen because I undoubtedly know our friendship is a lifelong one.

I know this because there is no competition in our friendship, we simply want the very best for the other. Between us, laughing comes as easily as openly sharing our struggles. We nurture each other's children to the point where people sometimes aren't sure which child belongs to which mother; and while I've never taken our friendship for granted, today I realized how truly grateful I am for it.

Motherhood is hard on the best of days, and on the days when it is as trying as I've ever experienced, I'm thankful to know that I have someone like her who will always run around a crowded library for me, laugh off the awkwardness, take my chid's hand as quickly as her own and be there for me through it all.

Here's to the friends that have our backs and equally, our hearts.

KonMari Christmas Shopping - How To Shop for Children

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konmarichristmasshopping If you've followed my KonMari series, on my YouTube channel, I've spoken a lot about how much this method has changed the way I shop. I am much more aware and intentional about what and how I purchase. With this shift in how I buy, Christmas naturally will be very different than it was in the past; basically no more buying for the sake of buying! I came across a very neat concept that I've elaborated on and this is what I will be following as my shopping outline for our three children this year. It's simple, purposeful, and a great balance of "want", "neat", and "meaningful"!

Something they WANT: This category is for the fun present, the one they've circled in the Wish Book and have written to Santa about. I do suggest waiting to buy this gift until closer to Christmas. Children tend to change their minds on what they're hoping for on an almost daily/weekly basis (or at least mine do); to avoid having to return a gift bought months in advance, wait until children are certain they know what they want under the tree.

Something they NEED: This is a great opportunity to "kill two birds with one stone" (such a terrible sounding expression, but you know what I mean). Something that you likely would have had to purchase anyways wrapped up and given as a present (aren't you the clever parent). New piece of sports gear, hobby equipment, etc.

Something to WEAR: This will likely be more applicable to older children that perhaps want a piece of name brand attire or more expensive clothing than is usually bought. I always include fun socks, a neat hat, or some other piece of clothing accessory that has them excited. Again, win/win!

Something to READ: We're huge into books (you all saw the proof during my book purge), and we include two books during Christmas. One is enjoyed Christmas eve as a holiday themed family book and a smaller one is given to each child in their stocking.

Something to DO: I added this category, because not all gifts need to be tangible. It's fun to include a present that allows for an outing such as: a movie date, trip to the museum, fun manicure, etc. If your children are still a bit young to be impressed with a gift certificate, include some pictures for them to visually see what the activity will be.

Something for ME: This is my favourite category as it's something that will last for years, possibly a lifetime. Something made or reflective of the past year, or the child. An ornament, a photo album (using online sites is so great for these), a piece of art, jewelry, etc.

For FAMILY: A gift for everyone to enjoy together. Some suggestions include: a board game, a family outing, game consoles, even a larger item even like a new TV, etc. I hope this list offers you some guidance in how to streamline your gift buying this year and inspires you to buy a bit more intentionally for the children in your life. Check out my corresponding video on this below:

[youtube id="uoakRTriRfA" parameters="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoakRTriRfA"]

As mentioned in my video, Krystal Acker has partnered with me on two awesome giveaways. You can enter both below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway will be open internationally and I will email the winner directly.

Krystal Acker is an amazingly talented graphic designer, illustrator, and artist from Kentville, Nova Scotia. She works with businesses in creating the design of their brand and creates wonderful prints and customizable art. Krystal's authenticity is very evident in her pieces and it's not hard to tell she invests and is passionate about her work. Krystal can be found at the following places: Facebook Website Instagram

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