Being a long distance auntie

LDA: Long Distance Auntie

I haven’t hugged or kissed my nephews in four months. This is the longest period of time I have been away from them. Big deal, I am not their mom…right?

Wrong. 

It is not easy being a long distance aunt. It’s not so much that I am homesick for “home,” but I miss my family.

This is a HUGE transition. I was a spoiled auntie in Indiana. I had all the child-sized hugs, kisses, giggles, and snuggles a girl could want, and I never took it for granted.  Mr. Cooper and I both miss having our family time with Sean and Barry. We FaceTime once a week (more if we can), but that is it.

I can’t wait for them to visit Texas. We will have a Texas sized adventure!

So please hang in there with me blog world. I may craft a little too many crochet projects, sew a few superhero capes and write about two little boys that I miss with all my heart.

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She’s my Bonus Mom…

We are having our first house guest tomorrow! Ann, my bonus mom, is coming to Dallas to visit for the weekend! Technically, she is my step-mom, but I like bonus mom better.

I’m in cleaning and fall decorating mode to prepare for her visit. Gabi is doing a great job supervising me as I clean.

So happy to have family time this week! If I miss one thing about Indiana, it has to be having family around to do things together.

We are going to shop in Grapevine, watch the Cardinals games, have brunch at Blue Mesa and possibly checkout the Texas State Fair.

Now…I have to get back to folding towels and thinking up some tasty dishes to serve!  Hope you are having a great week!

I may make her my new favorite Cilantro + Lime White Chicken Chili with jalapeño cornbread…YUM!

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Celebrating birthdays across many miles…

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Happy birthday, Mom!

We celebrated my mom’s birthday today! Even though she lives in Indiana (1400 miles away), Mr. Cooper and I wanted to send some birthday wishes, smiles and giggles. It wasn’t possible for me to fly home to spend the day with her. Instead, we did a few of her favorite things.

1. Eat tacos for birthday dinner. Check.

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2. Send a silly birthday greeting. Check.

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3. Indulge in a homemade cake made by her beautiful and creative daughter. Check. 🙂

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4. Sing her Happy birthday and tell her I love her…priceless. Thank goodness for FaceTime! I love you, Mom!

Let’s ring up some family fun time!

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One way to build family relationships is to always have a plan for fun activities during family time. When I worked in behavioral health,  I heard a lot of complaints of “I’m bored,” or “There is nothing to do.” They were families reaching out for help on how to build better relationships, learn positive coping skills and communication skills. So, I came up with my seasonal family activities ideas on a binder ring. The photo above is an example of the ideas I made for my family using left over seasonal paper and stickers from my scrapbook stash.

Here is what you need:

  • Any kind of paper (it doesn’t have to be expensive scrapbook paper)
  • A hole punch
  • 4 binder rings
  • Your imagination
  • Art supplies you have around the house
  • Glue or glue sticks

I divided my family activities by season because there are certain things you cannot do at different times of the year.  It also helps with focusing and not to be side tracked by ideas you couldn’t possibly do (i.e. go trick or treating in April).

Have a brainstorming session with your family. Set out the paper and art supplies. Let creativity and imagination take over. The ideas do not have to be expensive! You may be surprised at what your family likes to do! Write it all down. Draw art for the idea. Use stickers to illustrate the activity. The sky really is the limit on this project. It does not have to be perfect, only perfect for your family.

You could also start new family traditions and add to your binder ring. You can throw away an idea that really didn’t work. This is the beauty of the binder ring. Plus, if you have a growing family…there will be new activities to do!