The best parenting advice I’ve ever received


A few years ago I my grandmother shared with me the most precious bit of parenting advice I have received this far.

I’ve spent countless hours on the internet learning about things like breastfeeding, co-sleeping, sleep scheduling, breaking the pacifier addiction, potty training, along with many other topics. There is lots to say on all these topics. Advice from experts, bloggers, doctors, and psychologists.

Well, my friends, my advice doesn’t come from anyone with a PhD or a certification. My advice comes from a mother of four who has watched all her babies grow up and move on in life. She is now in her seventies. Her expert field has been in being a Mom. She was raised poor, with almost nothing. She spent her years staying home with her kiddos, and helping them to raise us, her grandchildren.

One night, when my daughter was a baby, maybe a few months old, I confided in her that some people said I held my daughter too much. They were afraid I would spoil her. “Put her down, let her cry”, they would say. I did, when I had to, but when I didn’t I loved to hold her. She looked at me and whispered the words that never sank so deeply until tonight: “Hold her as much as you want to, as often as you want to, as long as you can. One day you won’t be able to anymore, or she won’t want you to.”

It is very simple, but the point stuck with me. Often, it creeps into my mind as I go throughout my day. It is a big picture idea. Rather than following a set of rules or some by-the-book formula, it is a practical way to remember to love my daughter and meet HER needs. As a baby, she cried when she needed something. Now, she may need me in different ways. The point remains the same- I ought to never feel ashamed to run to my daughter and wrap my arms around her when she wants to cry or be in her mama’s arms. Love is powerful, and the wisdom in this is beautiful. Be present, be available, be open, and be willing to give my child my love and attention- even if it costs me my sleep or plans.

For years my daughter and I co-slept. It has always worked for us. I am not going to lie- I tried to stop. I spent days, weeks, and months trying to execute sleep schedules and plans to get her in bed without me. After many nights of crying (on both of our ends), she finally made it into her own bed. At three years old. I never guessed that was how it would end up, but that was our experience. I loved co-sleeping, and she did too.

Well, tonight, on her own accord, she decided she didn’t even want me to cuddle in bed with her anymore. Along with that, she is getting too big to hold anymore. The time is slipping so fast. I feel like she was just a baby yesterday. I can hardly pick her up.

Here is the bottom line: in the end, all babies grow up. They won’t want to be held forever. They won’t want their moms and dads in their beds forever. They won’t want story times or cuddles or tickle fights.

From me to you, hold your babies as much as you want. It won’t spoil them to be near their mothers. How can affection spoil? Love is what shapes us and gives us a sense of security. Love never fails.

All the advice out there, while good and well meaning, in the end is just advice. Strategies to move you from one stage to another. Advice to help you get “there” quicker. My question is- why are we always wanting to get to the next stage so fast? These little ones grow up so fast. I truly wish, looking back, I had worried less and just enjoyed being a mother.

I am going to hold my three year old as much as I can over the next few months. Until I can’t anymore. And I am NOT ashamed by it.

Kale, Sausage, and Potato Soup [recipe]

soup 7

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #livethefairlife #CollectiveBias

It was harvest time yesterday. Our whole family was in the back picking fresh veggies out of our garden. We got tons of kale, zuchinni, fresh herbs like oregano and rosemary, and some onions. I wanted to make a fantastic soup using up the extra veggies, and realized I also had some extra fairlife. I remembered a soup I ate a few months ago at a church potluck with sausage, kale, and potato and HAD to make it. This soup has a spicy kick to it, and it is simply delicious. I was nervous I could not make it like the woman from my church had, but I used a similar recipe and changed it up a notch. It turned out really great!

soup 4

Using soup with fairlife was an awesome way to use up our extra milk as well as get some extra protein into a weeknight recipe. Fairlife has 50% more protein and 30% more calcium without adding protein or calcium powders (versus regular milk). There is also 50% less sugar, no artificial growth hormones, and it is ultra-filtered to perfection. I found it in my local King Soopers market.

soup 3

This soup has lots of vitamins and minerals as well, with the kale, onion, and potato. I love the spicy kick and the creamy taste. My daughter LOVES this soup. This sausage, kale, and potato soup goes really well with crackers or a loaf of french bread. It is also a great meal for a potluck or to take to a friend who just had a baby. Hearty, rich, and full of protein and nutrients- this soup is a great way to use up your milk and veggies for a great weeknight meal!

pic store

soup 5


Kale, Sausage, and Potato Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12-14 servings
  • 4 cups 2% fairlife/ milk
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 2 cups Half and Half
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 sweet onion
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 cups kale, washed and cut into bite size pieces (I used 5 cups because we LOVE kale!)
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat a large pan over medium high heat and crumble sausage. Cook and stir about 10 minutes or until fully cooked and brown. Drain grease.
  2. In a large pot add half and half, chicken broth, milk. Stir in potatoes, oregano, onion, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Season with black pepper and salt. Stir kale into the soup and simmer on low until kake is tender, 10-15 min.

    Be sure to check out more delicious milk recipes on the fairlife website! I’d love to hear your favorite!

Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop is now live!

Welcome to the Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop!

A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,
What a day to celebrate! This is the 132nd week of the Let’s Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week!

**IMPORTANT HOUSEKEEPING NOTE! We are looking for co-hosts for our blog hop for September/ October! This is a great way to gain new followers and network with other bloggers! If you are interested please email! Thank you!

Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I’ve never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!


The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That’s right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week’s hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.
The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!
Let’s Be Friend’s Blog Hop Guidelines


1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs, comment, and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news!

 Let’s Be Friends


***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop.
Meet your hosts:

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin’

Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin’

Meet this week’s co-host:

picmonkey collage

PicMonkey Collage
Aleshea @ Glitz & Grits


Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner!
Is there anything we can do differently or better? Please share in the comments!

…on to the Winner!


***This weeks featured post from last week’s hop:


Breakfast Sushi | It’s me Deb!

Hello everyone! It’s Chelsee this week! This week’s winner had something so yummy and unique that I had to share it with all of you. I personally have never thought of having sushi for breakfast, but I do enjoy some for dinner. When I saw Deb had made this yummy sushi that used Johnsonville sausage I immediately printed it so that I can try making it. I am not big on breakfast, but this intrigued me enough to want to try it some time. I think this is a great spin on sushi and a easy way to get kids and adults to eat breakfast.

Go check out Deb’s blog and post! 🙂

Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit!