For most of us mamas, fall in Alabama means visiting the pumpkin patch with our kiddos, enjoying pumpkin spice everything, and getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday. We’re also one step closer to preparing for Black Friday, and two steps closer to having a vacation during the Christmas holiday season. Whew! There is so much going on here, there, and everywhere that we may not realize our kids are feeling burned out.  

“I’ll be right back. I’m going to get more acetone.”

I smiled and nodded, watching the nail technician step away to refill her nail polish remover. I looked down at my toes. The pink nail polish I successfully reapplied (without removing) for a good year’s time remained, staring back at me in defiance, just as shiny as it was on one of the many (dozens of) times I reapplied it in haste. It was mocking me.

As a kindergarten mother, I am so happy to see my Little back in school. Summer was great, there was a good bit of rest to be had, and, boy, was it had, but… I’ve gained back a huge sense of mommy purpose.

As a child, I loved the movie Heavy Weights. And even though I was slim from competitive swimming (the movie is about kids at a “fat camp”), I absolutely wanted to go. Cabin living, swimming in an icky, green-colored lake, and staying awake all night with friends, sneaking sweets we’ve hidden away from the establishment? Yes, please! 

With the summer in full effect, I’ve started to get antsy. I’m a working mom, and while my schedule is the same as it always is, my now out-of-school son’s structure has dwindled. And by dwindled, I mean there is no structure

So, the camping birthday party happened... and it was fabulous in the most boyish, "manly" way possible. Now that I’ve fully recovered, I’ve got some tips to share with you – five ways to have an amazing, camp-themed birthday party.  

When I began writing this column almost five years ago, I was pretty much under the impression that by the time I was three or four years in, I would basically be a parenting expert.

Growing up, I despised losing. I was a competitive swimmer for nearly 13 years, and thank goodness I broke records, or I would have had a fit. Or two. Or three. On the occasions I received a medal other than gold, I would practice even harder, extending my five-day-a-week practices by swimming additional laps and sprints while at the local swimming pool with friends. 

With the New Year comes resolutions. This year, one of my goals is to work toward investing my time, rather than merely spending it, in all endeavors! As a working mom, I have learned that meal prepping on a Sunday is beneficial for my family and gives me more time to invest in other areas during the work and school week. 

Do you have activities and traditions passed along by your parents that you now enjoy with your children when the holiday season rolls around? Or are you a believer in creating your own? Or maybe you are a mother for the first time this year and are looking to discover and incorporate new traditions for your new family.  

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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