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Thinking back to last month...

Today I had a plan. Wake up early, get the girls ready for their first day of school and then take the perfect first day of school picture to post on Instagram, where I would talk about how bittersweet it is to watch my girls grow up into these incredible young women. 
But things don’t always go as we plan. Instead, Falynn and Iyla woke up at 3:30am, got ready for school and then came downstairs at 5:00am to let us know they were ready. 5:00am... two and a half hours before they actually needed to be at school. I rolled myself out of bed at around 6:50am, Super Dad made me some coffee and I quickly shooed them outside so I could take a picture and realized that Falynn was in a long sleeved shirt, a jacket, jeans and old sneakers. I’m pretty sure her hair wasn’t brushed either. Lucia wasn’t awake yet so it would be the first year without a first day of school picture of all three of them. 😫 Whatever. I was tired. So I quickly took a picture (swipe to see) and got them off to school. Lucia woke up late and I couldn’t take a picture of her because my camera lens kept fogging up. When we walked back into the house, the dog escaped, making her even later. 🤦🏻‍♀️ And my coffee’s cold. Anyway, since I couldn’t get the perfect first day of school picture, I hope you enjoy this shot of the girls and Super Dad in their @swimzip.
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Today I had a plan....

My girls are snackers. When they get home from school, they want to be able to grab a quick snack to take with them on the way to after-school activities, or to enjoy while they do their homework. #ad Peanut Butter is a huge hit in our home, but it can get messy, so when I found out about Windstone Farms Creamy Peanut Butter Portable Packets, I couldn't wait to grab some. Instead of making a huge mess (and forgetting to close the lid) with a regular container of peanut butter, the girls can grab one packet and easily add it to just about anything. Some of our favorites are bananas, apples, pretzels, celery or crackers. They have fun creating new combinations and I love that they come in convenient 1.15oz squeezable packets. So much less mess! They are also perfect for their lunchboxes. The peanut butter is so creamy and delicious! BTW, they are naturally gluten-free! @windstonefarms peanut butter packets are now available at your local @walmart. Make sure to pick some up, and check out our stories for a special offer from Ibotta! What will you put #WindstoneFarmsPB on?
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When people find out that I’m a full-time blogger, the first thing they always ask me is what a typical day looks like. #sponsored My answer usually includes one or more of the following words: crazy, busy, hectic, long and almost always includes either my laptop or my phone, in my face. By the end of the day, my eyeballs are exhausted and I can’t wait to get to sleep (as soon as I check my phone one last time). So at the risk of sounding vague and having people believe that I am just playing around on social media all day long, I thought it would be fun to show you what a day in the life of this super mom blogger is like…. Summer edition (because when the girls are in school, it’s a lot more hectic) as well as how I help my eyes filter blue light, thanks to @quantumnatural. Head to the blog to read all about it! #digitalblue #eyehealth #eyehealthmatters #bluelight #raedunnlove #raedunnfinds #raedunnmugs #targetdoesitagain #targetfinds #dayinthelife #adayinthelife #bloggersofinstagram #mentalhealthblogger #supermom #blogginglife #healthblogger #supplements #healthyme #healthymom #quantumhealth #selfcare

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AD: Back-to-school time is a favorite in our house. I'm excited to get back to the daily peace and quiet, and the girls are excited to get back to their friends! While our excitement lies in very different places, one thing we can always agree on is that it's super fun to shop for back-to-school supplies. Especially when we can do it from the comfort of our own home! After going to multiple stores last year and not being able to find a school approved backpack for Lucia, this year, we made the smart move and got it (and her wireless headphones) on @eBay. They offer a money back gurantee, FREE shipping, save your gas ⛽️ and time ⏰ and do your back-to-school shopping on eBay this year! #eBayBackToSchool #HappeningOnEBay #eBay https://lnk2.io/wytbcWl
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I’m not sure what I...

Because is the Story of How Inspiration Happens

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This post is sponsored by Disney Book Group but all opinions are my own.

There is something special about how a chain of events can lead to inspiration and how that inspiration can change lives.  In a way, I find it ironic that I am writing about this because it was a chain of events that led us here, sharing Falynn’s favorite author, Mo Willems and his new picture book, Because.

It was a few years ago when we started going to our local library on a regular basis. Our two older girls had favorite authors and favorite series and always knew exactly what they were going to check out. But Falynn was still discovering her love of books. She would walk down the aisle, select a few books, bring them over to the reading table and I would read them to her. After we finished each book, I would ask her if she wanted to check it out and bring it home… but the answer was always no. It’s almost as though she was still searching for something specific.

So Falynn would often leave the library empty-handed and disappointed.

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mo willems, because, new mo willems book, pigeon, disney books, disney, kids books, childrens books, best new children's book, willems, best children's author, best kids author, book release

mo willems, because, new mo willems book, pigeon, disney books, disney, kids books, childrens books, best new children's book, willems, best children's author, best kids author, book release

One day, I was unable to take her to the library, so Super Dad took her instead. I was surprised to see her walk in our front door with a couple of new books. One had an elephant and a pig on the cover and the other had a pigeon, but the drawings were very similar. She handed them both to me and asked me to read them to her. I watched her facial expression totally change as I read each word. She was giggling and pointing and just loving it. When the book was done, she handed me the other and this continued for what seemed to be most of the afternoon.

When it was time to bring the books back, she went straight to the same area, picked out two more books from the same author, Mo Willems, and asked me to check them out. If it wasn’t a Mo Willems book, she wasn’t interested. In fact, even at age 6, though she knows almost all of them by heart already, she still goes straight to the same shelf as soon as we walk into the library, to see if there are any new Mo Willems books available to check out. If there isn’t, she grabs one of her favorites to bring home that day. It’s no wonder he is a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator.

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mo willems, because, new mo willems book, pigeon, disney books, disney, kids books, childrens books, best new children's book, willems, best children's author, best kids author, book release

When I told Falynn that we would be working with Mo Willems, and sharing his new picture book, Because, she looked as though she had won the lottery. In his new book, Because, Mo Willems composes a powerful symphony of chance, discovery, persistence, and magic in this moving tale of a young girl’s journey to center stage. Illustrator Amber Ren brings Willems’ music to life, conducting a stunning picture-book debut. As soon as the book arrived, she sat down and read it, all on her own, from beginning to end. She studied every single page as though she would be tested on it, later on.  She even noticed that there is an illustration of Mo Willems himself, inside of the book and wondered how many of the others were based on real people.

If you are looking for a great children’s book, we encourage you to check out Because by Mo Willems. And if you love it, don’t stop there. Make sure to check out any of the over 50 books he’s written and illustrated. You never know what they might inspire your little one to do.

Because of Mo Willems, Falynn wants to be a book illustrator when she grows up. Because of the joy that his books bring her, she has even attempted to illustrate her own version of her favorite Elephant & Piggie book. Because she wants to thank him for writing and illustrating so many of her favorite books, it’s her dream to meet Mo Willems. Because we are featuring his new book, Falynn hopes that Mo Willems will read this post and know how much he’s inspired her.

You don't realize the effect an author can have on a child, but Mo Willems has definitely made a difference in my daughter's life.

XOXO
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63 Comments
  • Claudia Krusch
    May 15, 2019

    Reading books like these to children is very important for their development and to help them grow being nurtured by good choices.

  • Ruth I
    May 15, 2019

    This sounds like a great book! I like that it has a lovely message. I think I found the best gift for my niece!

  • Jennifer
    May 15, 2019

    I love when books inspire kids! This looks like a great one I’m gonna have to check it out for my little friend. She would love something like this

  • Alyzza Sanchez
    May 15, 2019

    I heard a lot of good reviews about this book. I would love to buy this one for my daughter too.

  • Catalina
    May 15, 2019

    Beautiful story! So glad to read it again and again!

  • Stefani Tolson
    May 15, 2019

    She sure looks happy reading with her dad. I am thankful that my kids have always enjoyed books and reading.

  • Toni | Boulder Locavore
    May 15, 2019

    This is such a fun read for kids! Surely, kids will enjoy reading this!

  • Celebrate Woman Today
    May 14, 2019

    Any book is a great way to learn from and to enjoy while reading. I think books are our magic to live life better and stronger.

  • robin rue
    May 14, 2019

    That sounds like such a wonderful book for kids. I need to get a copy for my kids.

  • Allie
    March 11, 2019

    A book illustrator sounds like an awesome job, i really hope she sticks to it so i can pick up one of her books! haha this book though is a great read!

  • Joy
    March 11, 2019

    Your daughter looks like she really enjoyed the book. I will be sure to get it for my niece too. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jane
    March 11, 2019

    Inspiration helps us achieve more. These books sound like awesome inspiration for the younger generation.

  • Bev
    March 11, 2019

    I know right. It is amazing how kids can have their favourite authors as such a young age. Going to the library often is a good habit and it’s so important for our kids.

  • Kalyan Panja
    March 10, 2019

    That surely looks a nice and colorful book for kids with nice life lessons.

  • Catherine
    March 10, 2019

    Sounds like such a great story for the little ones…very inspiring!

  • Irina
    March 10, 2019

    These are such beautiful captures. We go to the library once a week. We love reading so much.

  • Yeah Lifestyle
    March 10, 2019

    Our whole family loves reading and we try to instill the love for reading with our kids as well. So glad your daughter is the same and loves books

  • Sincerely Miss J
    March 10, 2019

    Books are the number one things I like getting or borrowing from the library for my daughter. Such a lovely message that the “because” book has and glad it inspired your daughter. I need to check this book out,.

  • Lisa
    March 10, 2019

    Reading books like these to children is so important for their development. It looks like an excellent and educational choice, and it’s great your little one is so inspired by it too!

  • emman damian
    March 10, 2019

    Because seems like a great book for kids. I hope I can buy one for my niece and my nephews too. They’ll surely enjoy it.

  • Rachael
    March 10, 2019

    One of the best gifts you can give your child is books, a reader lives a thousand lives after all. This looks so fabulous. Long may her love affair with books continue x

  • chanell sinkfield
    March 10, 2019

    This looks like a terrific book! My daughter is only 14 months but it’s never too early to start reading such inspirational books!

  • Connie
    March 10, 2019

    I could only imagine the great feeling it was to see your child come home excited to find books that she actually enjoys. I can’t wait for memories like this for myself. 🙂

  • Ricci
    March 9, 2019

    I havne’t heard of this author but I will check him out! I love giving books to my nieces and nephews for their birthdays and Christmas!

  • Tea
    March 9, 2019

    Aww… super dad. xoxo

  • Beth
    March 9, 2019

    Because looks like a wonderful book! It always made me happy when my kids discovered a favorite author or illustrator.

  • Beth Pierce
    March 9, 2019

    I will let my kids read anything that has a good message! I’ll check this author out! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Jacque Hooper
    March 9, 2019

    My daughter loves a good book with illustrations. This would be no exception! I’ll have to get this for her birthday next month!

  • preet
    March 9, 2019

    such an inspiring article, my kids love reading books and they will be happy to read this

  • Mary Edwards
    March 9, 2019

    It’s so great when books can inspire our kids like this. I will have to have my daughters check this one out too!

  • Jona Shares
    March 9, 2019

    Indeed such a nice story! I am so glad that your daughter loves Mo Willems’ books just like my niece she love’s it too.

  • Ruth I
    March 9, 2019

    It must have been magical to her! I’d love to get this book for my niece. She will surely enjoy this.

  • John Mulindi
    March 9, 2019

    What an interesting read for the kids! I would recommend this to my niece. Thanks.

  • Lynndee
    March 9, 2019

    That sounds like a great book for kids. I would love for my niece to have it. I think she’s going to enjoy it like your daughter did.

  • Sara Welch
    March 9, 2019

    What a lovely message for little ones! I’ll have to check this out at our local library! Thank you for the recommendation; my girls would love this!

  • Porsha carr
    March 9, 2019

    She looks so incredibly happy I need to get this book!

  • Lyosha
    March 9, 2019

    those two are adorable. And the books looks great too. I think it is a very worthy read overall. Very-very nice!

  • Toni | Boulder Locavore
    March 9, 2019

    That is really an interesting read for kids!

  • Joanna
    March 9, 2019

    That was such a beautiful story. It’s warming seeing how people inspire other people. And what an amazing day for your little girl when she found out that you will work with her favorite author!

  • Theresa
    March 9, 2019

    Because looks like a captivating book. I am glad that your daughter found a connection with Mo’s works, as that will continue to spark her interest in reading.

  • joy abou zeid
    March 9, 2019

    I want my kids to end up reading lots of books. My mum used to make me read every night and I am grateful she did! wonderful post

  • Stephen
    March 9, 2019

    I honestly believe that reading is the key to success in life. It is great you are developing these habits now.

  • NYC Single Mom
    March 9, 2019

    We love Mo Williams. I am so happy your daughter found a book she loves. I love the artwork and story.

  • Catalina
    March 9, 2019

    wow! What a beautiful story! I am so glad that your daughter loves Mo Willems’ books! It’s so sweet to read about it!

  • artchee
    March 9, 2019

    Because looks like a fun story to read to very young children.

  • Kara
    March 9, 2019

    My kids love to read and this looks like a fab book. My daughter wants to be an author when she grows up

  • kumamonjeng
    March 8, 2019

    Good to know that you girls love books. We need to expose our kids to book as soon as they are born. Let them touch it even they are still baby. Before you knew it, they can read and fall in love with reading and this will be fruitful to their life.

  • Subhashish Roy
    March 8, 2019

    Reading is such a good habit to develop in this internet driven world. And so happy to see them so happy & knowing what they want.

  • Terri Steffes
    March 8, 2019

    I love the photo of your daughter and husband laughing about something in the book. What a moment!

  • Lori Geurin
    March 8, 2019

    What a wonderful experience for your daughter! Books are truly amazing, aren’t they? As a former teacher and mom of four I just love seeing the light in a child’s eyes when they discover a book they love.

  • Pam
    March 8, 2019

    Mo Willems is one of my granddaughter’s favorite authors too. She loves Mo Willem books.

  • Lian Wright
    March 8, 2019

    I love Mo Willems books. They are so much fun to read and to look at. I also like sharing these books with my kids. They think they are funny and love to read them over and over again.

  • Gervin Khan
    March 8, 2019

    First time to hear about this book and I can really say that it’s really a good book to give for my daughter. She is a big fan of reading books and right now she is looking for a new good book to read. As a gift, I will definitely get this book for her!

  • Brianne Tursi Manz
    March 8, 2019

    I think it’s wonderful the impact and influence Mo has made on your daughter. I love her enthusiasm and passion for books and that she wants to be an illustrator.

  • candy
    March 8, 2019

    Good for you in helping your daughter continue her search. So exciting when she found what she knew all along what she was looking for in a book.

  • Colleen
    March 8, 2019

    This would be such an excellent book for any young girl. It has such a positive message!

  • Holly Southern
    March 8, 2019

    Oh my gosh, I love this story! Watching your child find their very first favorite author is so special because you know their love of that author will translate into a love for reading all their lives! These look like great books, too!

  • Amber Myers
    March 8, 2019

    Aw, this is so awesome. Books are the best. This one seems like a great book. My kids would have liked it when they were small.

  • Stacie
    March 8, 2019

    This looks like an amazing book! I love the message and the artwork. It’s really impressive.

  • Gisele
    March 8, 2019

    This is an awesome post! Reading is so important and books need to draw kids in as these do. I hope Falynn gets to meet Mo Willens soon.

  • tiffany Montgomery
    March 8, 2019

    This sounds like a great book! Do you like the boxes? We’ve looked at them but are on the fence.

  • Kita Bryant
    March 8, 2019

    I am always looking for new books that my daughter can read. She is an avid reader and I love when others give great suggestions so we aren’t guessing what’s good and what’s not.

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