Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

Dear 2017,

I know you are chomping at the bits and bursting at the seams to make an appearance the very second 2016 goes into retirement but let’s pause for a moment and take in the massive responsibility that comes with this kind of change. I can’t imagine how good it must feel to have such a grand entrance; parties all over the world; TV shows actually counting down the seconds until your appearance. All those happy people clinking glasses and smooching away just because you showed up. It’s got to be hard not to take that to the head. I am sure you are aware that your buddy 2016 showed up with up the same glitz and glamour and had some nice moments but there is much room for improvement. So I figured we should try something new this go round: I am not doing resolutions for you. How about some resolutions you try and keep for me during your turn at bat?

  1. More good news… All the bad and fake news is actually making people sick. Bad news is coming from all these different sources these days and it’s almost impossible to avoid. It’s on TV, in Facebook and Twitter feeds; as soon as I flick on my phone or computer it’s the first thing I see. The problem is (listen up ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX) there is actually much more good going on than what is reported. People are finding cures, being healed, saving lives, donating their money, talent, and services. Let’s see more of that! Let’s make 2017 the year of the GOOD NEWS. My kids are getting too old for me to explain away everything they see on TV. So do this for the kids OK?
  2. Less food waste… Doesn’t it make you a little queasy that there will be so many hungry people living on this earth during your 365 days in office and at the very same time one third of the food in this world is lost or wasted? Isn’t there some sort of genius out there or company that can sort this out? I have an idea! Besides being less picky when we grocery shop can’t we start make something else (cakes, pies, something) out of the “ugly” fruit and veggies left behind? 2017, please find someone to turn this terrible matter around. We have to get the food nobody is eating into the mouths that have nothing to eat!
  3. Less talk and more action… Remember the cop who asked the angry protesters to join the police force if they want to make a difference? We need more of that in you, 2017. So many folks, myself included, are so quick to hop on the social media outlet of our choice and rant or rave instead of doing something about the stuff that’s got us so worked up. I’ll bet that if for every text, email, post, or “like,” everybody physically did some sort of good deed this world would be a better place overnight. How about this for a headline going into 2018

“2017 the year everybody put their money where their mouth is…”

  1. Love must trump hate…. We are getting a new president about 3 weeks from you settle in. So, quick, fast, and in a hurry there has got to be some major love spread around. 2016 is ending with the country literally ripped in half, bleeding entrails thrown across every neighborhood, office building, and school yard. Kids have a whole new reason to bully each other. I am standing here today shouting enough is enough. I say let’s give Trump a chance. Let’s stand united behind our next president because if he does well, WE ALL WIN. We’ve had enough racial tension, police brutality, retaliation towards police, shootings, and stabbings in the name of stupidity. Do we really need some aliens to land on this planet Independence Day style for us to understand we are not that different from one another? We are all created in God’s image. He loves each and every one of us one and the same. So 2017 has to be a year where peace and unity prevail.
  2. Finally, slow it down a bit…. 2017, I need you to do me a solid, this one is personal… My kids are growing up too fast, I mean, 2016 seemed to flash by at light speed. I know I have some trouble living in the moment because I am always thinking of what was or what will be and very rarely what is. But my little boys are walking and talking already and it’s just too much. You see, they used to need me more. They needed me for food not too long ago (breastmilk) and now my 3-year-old can open the fridge and grab something to drink. My baby boy has 12 teeth now and last year he was all gums! I am having a hard time with this because as much as people warn you it goes by fast…. This is going by FAST! So, let’s pump the breaks a little, ok? I don’t want to be searching for Easter clothes before St Patrick’s day, planning summer vacation on spring break, or Christmas shopping before thanksgiving dinner is served. I heard God lives in the present and I would like to dwell there too.

All in all, 2017, I think you can do this. I think this is YOUR YEAR… let’s put the hope back in humanity, I’ll do my part too. So, happy new you.


A concerned mom

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Kim Derrick

Kimberlie Derrick, the creator ofhttp://justahotmess.com/ is freelance writer living on the east coast. She is happily married with two young sons and praying for more! She received degrees in Psychology, Anthropology, and African American Studies from the University of Houston and spent time studying abroad in West Africa. She is currently working on her first series of children's books about a quirky kid named Quincy.

To the Parents Facing a Child’s Illness: You Are Strong

In: Grief, Kids, Motherhood
Toddler with cast and IV looking out window

If you are the parents who just sat for hours in a cold doctor’s office to hear that your child has a life-threatening illness, you are so strong.  If you are the parents who can’t bring yourself to decorate or celebrate the unknown because you don’t know if they’ll ever come home, you are so strong.  If you are the parents who travel or relocate to deliver your child in one of the best hospitals with hopes it will change the outcome, you are so strong. If you are the parents who learn all the medical terminology so you understand...

Keep Reading

I Am a Mother Evolving

In: Grown Children, Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Mother and child walking by water in black and white photo

Those who mean well squawk the refrain— “The days are long, but the years are short.” They said I would miss it— little feet and newborn baby smell nursing in the wee hours with a tiny hand clutching mine. Tying shoes,  playing tooth fairy,  soothing scary dreams. They were fine times, but I do not wish them back. RELATED: Mamas, Please Quit Mourning Your Children Growing Up I rather enjoy these days of my baby boy suddenly looking like a young man in a baseball uniform  on a chilly Wednesday in April. And my Amazonian teenage girl  with size 11...

Keep Reading

Kids Need Grace and So Do Their Moms

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman touching child's forehead

We were having a hard morning. Our house was overrun with toys, I hadn’t had a chance to get dressed, and my stress level was increasing by the minute. To top it all off, my 3-year-old was having a meltdown anytime I spoke to her. Even looking in her general direction was a grave mistake. It was one of those days that as a parent, you know you’re really in for it. I was quickly losing my patience. My frustration began to ooze out of me. I snapped orders, stomped around, and my attitude quite clearly was not pleasant to...

Keep Reading

As a Nurse, This Is How I Prepared My Daughter for Her First Period

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Woman wearing sunglasses with hands on the sides of her face and smiling, black and white photo

I don’t remember my first period, which means my mother had me well prepared. This doesn’t mean I was okay with it. I remember feeling awkward and tense each time. And honestly, for many years, shopping for feminine hygiene products filled me with unease. But wait a minute! There shouldn’t be anything shameful about something that will recur for about half of a woman’s life! Who decided it was to be a sensitive subject? Aren’t we all supposed to show empathy toward each other when it comes to this?  I say, pass the Midol around, sister! I knew the time...

Keep Reading

With Grandkids, It’s The Little Things

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Nine children sitting on a couch together

We had just pulled into the driveway when our youngest grandtwins, 3-year-old Ellis and Brady, came running out the front door and down the steps to hug us. “Let me see your earrings, Grandma,” Ellis said, reaching up to pull me down to his level. “The green M&Ms!  I told you, Brady!” “Those are the ones our brother Adler picked out for you!” Brady yelled as he ushered us into the house and started going through the tote bag I always carry for them, filled with favorite books from our house and three little bags of snacks in the bottom....

Keep Reading

Childhood Is Not a Race

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Two young girls playing in creek bed, color photo

Sweet child, I know you want to grow up. You want to get older and do more and more. I see you changing day after day. You are no longer a little girl, but you’re turning into a young lady. You’re becoming this wonderful person who leads and cares for others. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. But don’t rush out of your childhood. It’s this beautiful season where wonder and discovery live. It’s this beautiful time when you don’t have to carry the weight of adulthood. It’s this beautiful time. Savor it. Slow down and enjoy it. Breathe in...

Keep Reading

There’s Something Special about Band Kids

In: Kids

There is something incredibly special about band kids. The hours of practice that begin in elementary school. It’s the squeaking and squawking of a new alto or the flutter of early flute days, high-pitched honks from a trumpet, constant and consistent tapping . . . drumming on everything. And gallons of spit too, until one day a few years down the road, you realize all that practice time has turned into an incredible melody and skill. The alarm that goes off at 5:35 a.m., and before most people are awake, band kids have sleepily found a quick breakfast bite, grabbed...

Keep Reading

You’ll Grow So Much In Kindergarten and I Can’t Wait to Watch

In: Kids
Two young children in backpacks walk toward a school building

On her seventh day of school, my kindergartener doesn’t cry. It was a long road to this day. For the first six days of school, we experienced varying degrees of screaming, clinging, running back inside our house and slamming the door, and expressing general displeasure with the whole idea of school. “I wanna stay home with YOU, Mommy!” “But Charlotte, you are bored out of your mind every day of the summer. You hate it.” “No I don’t. I LOVE IT.” “Well we can spend every afternoon after school and all weekend together. You’ll be tired of me in five...

Keep Reading

Six Feels So Much Bigger

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little girl with horse, color photo

Six . . . Six is only one number more than five,  one grade, one year . . . but it feels so different. Five is baby teeth and new beginnings. Five is venturing out into the world, maybe making a friend. Meeting a teacher. Learning to ride a bike. Six took my breath away. Six looks like a loose front tooth—tiny and wiggly, soon to be replaced by a big tooth, one that will stay forever. Six looks like a bright purple bike zooming down the driveway. RELATED: When There Are No More Little Girls’ Clothes Six looks like playing...

Keep Reading

There’s Something Special about Football Boys

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Football captains lined up at 50-yard line, color photo

There’s something about football boys.  Maybe it’s the sunrise practices when the heat is too strong mid-afternoon. Or maybe it’s the late nights lying in their beds, studying game film long after practice has ended and once their homework is done. Maybe it’s the way they look under the Friday night lights, with pads over their broad shoulders and light reflecting off their glossy helmets.  Maybe it’s intangible, something that can only be felt deep in the heart as you watch them run through the paper banner, past the cheerleaders and fans, and onto the field. Yeah, it’s true, there’s...

Keep Reading