So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

It is impressive you can pack so much feistiness into a five-foot-tall woman, but God did just that when he made Nana. 

She may be 83 years old, but she still insists on shoveling her own driveway and has a busier social calendar than I do. She has traveled to various parts of the countrysometimes solothroughout her lifetime. Nana has more than 80 years of life experience, and I find myself learning more and more from her as time goes on. Here are some of my favorite lessons from Nana. 

The simple things are the big things. 

During a recent visit, I asked Nana what her favorite memory was. I figured that she would talk about a big moment in her life. Her wedding day, birthdays, a grand trip . . . you know, the big stuff. Nana’s favorite memories in all of her 83 years? Camping with her family. Nana and PopPop purchased a camper when their two sons were growing up. They loaded into it on a regular basis. Years passed, and eventually, my husband joined in when he was just a little boy. 

RELATED: We Take Vacations With Our Kids Because It’s About the Memories, Not the Moments

Her answer served as a real-life reminder that the important things are not grand nor expensive. That a quiet summer night surrounded by your family creating memories is what becomes your favorite. It turns out when we reflect on our life that the simple moments are the big moments

The bond of sisters is infinite. 

Nana pushed her older sister’s chair closer to the table to reach her dinner just as I have seen my own daughter do for her sister a hundred times before, and I was struck by the endless connection of sisters

I watched as Nana and her sister bickered, laughed, and told each other like it is, forgoing any sort of filter. They laughed with their heads close together as they spoke of distant memories while leafing through an album of faded photographs. A reflection of my sister and I leaned close together, laughing until our bellies hurt and our eyes filling with tears of joy. 

RELATED: We All Have a “Person” and My Sister is Mine

The bond of sisters is unbreakable. It is not limited by time, age, or distance. Sisters protect. We fight. We laugh. But above all we love. 

Never stop viewing the world through the eyes of a child. 

Nana may be in her 80s, but she has never stopped viewing the world through the eyes of a child. We found ourselves at the playground during a recent family walk. My daughters sprinted to the open swings, demanding to be pushed. All of the adults (including myself) took positions on the bench or took on the job of pushing the tiny bosses. Except Nana. She also hightailed it to a swing. I followed her lead, taking a seat on the swing beside her. Soon Nana was challenging me to see who could swing higher. 

She didn’t stop at the swing. Throughout the weekend she attempted to drive a child-size ATV and my daughter’s bicycle. She then admitted that she never really learned how to ride a bike, and so we had to draw the line on anything with wheels. 

RELATED: So God Made a Grandma

As the years pass, I hope I never lose the playful, childlike perspective of life. That I am always drawn to the magical as much for myself as for my children. That I never take life so seriously that I can no longer see the fun in it. That when I grow old and am surrounded by my great-grandbabies that I run to the swing, feel the wind in my hair, push myself higher, and fly. 

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Tiffany Yoder

Tiffany Yoder has been a Registered Nurse for over 10 years and a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2013. Her blog was originally created to inspire positive changes in health, wellness and happiness. However, she found that she has a lot to say about all the things she is passionate about including motherhood, marriage, faith and military life. Tiffany has been married to her college sweetheart for over a decade. She is blessed with two little girls with great leadership skills. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and insists that it is in fact her true love language. She enjoys day dates with her husband (now that they have a hard time staying up past 10pm) and a good cup of coffee. Read more of her content at www.simplelittlechange.com.

Here’s to the Strong Ones Living with Type 1 Diabetes

In: Living
Pregnant mom on beach, black-and-white photo

This is a shout-out to all the sweet girls. The ones hustling so hard to live like normal. The ones with type 1 diabetes. Some of you have been living with diabetes as long as you have been breathing. Some of you are newly diagnosed and need to know someone who has been managing diabetes for years. I have been living with type 1 diabetes for 17 years, and I see you. Whether you have been diagnosed for 17 hours or 17 years, chances are I’ve felt what you feel too.  I’m here to tell you that type 1 diabetes...

Keep Reading

No Screens Before 7: How Our Family Broke Free of the Screentime Habit

In: Living, Motherhood
Kids using smartphones

“We still have three more minutes!” my 7-year-old says, bouncing with Christmas-like anticipation and excitement. “Well,” I say, looking from him to his 9-year-old sister, “what could you do for three minutes?” “Leg wrestle!” they exclaim and run to the carpeted living room. This life-filled exchange was not happening in my home just a couple of months ago.  In spite of my best efforts, screen time had taken over. Both the kids and I would slip into this zombie-like, space-time vortex. I would look up and know it wasn’t healthy, but it was just so easy to just keep on...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Have to Lose Yourself to Be a Good Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman brushing wet hair

There is nothing wrong with losing yourself in motherhood. Diving in head first, serving your kids and spouse endlessly, never asking for a break, being proud for providing an amazing childhood for your kids, and allowing mom to become your entire identity. But what if you don’t want that?  When did this become the standard of motherhood we are all expected to achieve? Why does society say the best mom is the one that’s 110% physically and emotionally available for her kids all the time and never does anything for herself? Why are you less of a mom if you...

Keep Reading

Witch, Please! Hocus Pocus 2 Release Date Means the Sanderson Sisters Countdown Is ON

In: Living
Bette Middler in Hocus Pocus 2 on Disney+

“Lock up your children!” screeches Winifred Sanderson (played by Bette Midler) in the teaser trailer for Disney’s long-awaited Hocus Pocus 2 movie. But I say, “Mark your calendars!” Disney revealed the release date for this much-anticipated sequel and I’m happy to report that the Sanderson sisters will be flying above Salem and to your Disney+ stream on September 30th! The countdown is ON! Check out the trailer and get excited! But first, a confession:  I have to be honest, I was 16 when the original Hocus Pocus came out, but for some reason I never saw it until I was...

Keep Reading

Good Dads Make Great Grandpas

In: Grown Children, Living
Grandpa walking with two grandsons, color photo

This is not only written for my dad, but for all the dads out there who aren’t the typical, everyday dads. The hands-on dad, the dad who goes on bike rides, the dad who watches his grandbabies. The dad who creates a legacy whether he realizes it or not. The world needs more of you.  It’s not every day you get a dad who enters a diaper changing contest and comes in second place. Yes, that happened to my dad. He would take me up to the local mall to walk around and one of the stores was holding a...

Keep Reading

Dear Friend, I Don’t Want To Lose You

In: Friendship
Two women smiling, color photo

I’m sorry I don’t text you like I should. I’m sorry I don’t call you like I should. I’m sorry I don’t check in to see how you are. I’m sorry this friendship can feel one-sided at times. I’m sorry I’m so distant. The truth is I’m struggling. I’m struggling with life. I’m struggling with finances. I’m struggling with trying to please everyone and do everything. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it The problem is I try to please everyone—everyone who doesn’t matter. My problem is I’ve gotten so content with our friendship that I know you’ll...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

I Traded My Body for This Full Life

In: Living, Motherhood
Happy family smiling

It was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I was cradling my firstborn child—my rainbow baby—tenderly in my arms as she contentedly nursed. I looked down at this beautiful miracle, unable to mirror her blissful content. Six weeks after the birth, I was still feeling like garbage. Being a first-time mom, I figured the fatigue was par for the course. My other symptoms, however, were suspect. Will I see my daughter grow up? were my thoughts as the streams of grief flowed, pooling on her swaddle. At my medical check-up, I brought my concerns to my doctor...

Keep Reading

The Truth is I’m Drowning

In: Living
Woman with hand on face sad

I find myself sinking. Really disappearing. Everyone around me sees me. They see my smile, my involvement, my willingness to please and participate. No one notices how easily I shift between despair and real tears and conforming to what the situation requires of me. Sometimes this shift happens within the matter of minutes.  Not waving, but drowning. I’m on a weight loss journey. The scale told me I am down just over four pounds. And I feel really good about that. I know I have another 15 to 20 to go, but I am four down. I made a promise...

Keep Reading

Older Kids with Special Needs Can Get Overlooked, and it’s Lonely

In: Living, Motherhood
Two hands held together next to a wheelchair, black-and-white photo

Middle school is tough. I have three girls—two of them now teenagers—so I know firsthand how tween insecurities can quickly spiral into friend drama and subtle bullying. I’ve watched my girls get left out and left behind, and we’ve had lots and lots of talks about what it means to be a good friend. And as much as I want to tell you it doesn’t hit differently with my third daughter, I can’t. Because it does. When your tween daughter is in a wheelchair and has endured—and is still enduring—health and physical challenges that would destroy an adult, a mama’s...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime