Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ice Cream & Trivia (aka: August's Events)

So many things happened in August: school started again, MOPS started again (woohoo!), and we kicked things off with a fun play date and a wonderful mom's night out!

The play date for August was at Cold Stone Creamery, which was extremely timely since there's nothing better than ice cream in the middle of a hot summer's day!

Our moms and their little checked out what goes on behind-the-scenes at Cold Stone, and from what I heard, it was a fun time for everyone. Actually, it was so much fun, there were two days for this play date.

In case you missed out on this sweet treat, keep your eyes and ears open, because there may be a tasty collaboration between MOPS and Cold Stone in the very near future :)

Last week we also had our first Mom's Night Out event! We met up at Mellow Mushroom for their trivia night, and it was a blast! Each group has to name their team, so our team's name was....wait for it..."Mom's Gone Wild!" Would you expect anything less from mom's enjoying a night away from the kids?

Don't worry—except for enjoying an over-21 drink, we didn't take our team name too literally; we made sure to keep things very "PG" at our table! Lots of laughter and some new friendships were formed, and I know it was brought up several times that we should do trivia nights more often.

Want to come to our next play date or mom's night out? 
Register here so you can get invitations and information for all of our upcoming events!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Let's Get Creative, Shall We?

I don't know about you, but between all of the rolls I juggle as a woman—wife, mama, cook, house cleaner, butt-wiper, organizer, chauffeur, and the list could go on, and on, and on—I don't find much time for myself. The problem with that is that in order to flourish as a woman, it's essential to make time for my happiness.

Creativity plays a huge roll in this, so during our second meeting we rolled with the creative theme and busted open boxes of colored pencils and started coloring. In case you didn't know, "adult coloring" is totally trendy now, so while you're toddler is scribbling outside the lines, you can relax and keep things nice and orderly on your paper.

Did you miss the meeting and want to color your own page? 
Here are the pages we used: Today Is Going To Be Awesome and Hello, Lovely!

While everyone colored, we watched a MOPS video on creativity. One part that really struck a chord with me is when the woman mentioned that it's vital for us, as moms, to discover what makes us happy, and go for it, especially in the presence of our children. They see and absorb so much of our lives, that it's good for them to see us taking time for ourselves.

I also loved what Lindsey said about finding your own creative spark. Not everyone loves coloring, or drawing, or anything artistic. You may love organizing, or working on spreadsheets. Whatever it is that floats your boat and lets you recharge, then do that. We work hard as moms, and sometimes by the end of the day you're left feeling completely drained. Shoot, you may be drained before the clock strikes 9 am, and before you've even managed to have a chance to pour a cup of coffee. Take a few minutes to figure out what you love to do, and then work to make that happen. Ladies, fill your cup with creativity!

While we're on the topic of getting creative, we also had our first craft of the year: we made our name tags! I personally love the way they turned out, and the chatter around the room sounded like everyone else liked them, too. Don't worry—if you missed the meeting, we made extras, so there's one waiting for you to put your name on it!

A couple housekeeping things:

1. We're working on our first fundraiser and we're selling shirts! If you'd like one to wear around town (or in your home, or while you drop the kids off at preschool), bring $20 (cash only, pretty please) with you next week so we can get a shirt ordered for you!

2. Check out this schedule for which table is in charge of bringing what type of food, just in case you forget.

I think that's all for now! We can't wait to see you at our next meeting! 
So ladies, tell us all about how you find your creativity—what do you to do make you happy?

Monday, August 17, 2015

The First Meeting!

I know this is almost a week late, but can we just talk about how great our first meeting of the year was? There were so many new moms joining us, and it was wonderful seeing faces from last year around the room, too. Actually, we had so many people, we're adding another table to the mix next week!

After we all dropped the kiddos off (the next meeting will go a bit smoother since everyone will be in the system), it was time to grab some food. The spread, provided by the steering team was great, and I saw several moms sneaking in some seconds (totally acceptable, by the way)!

Next week the blue table is bringing savory and the orange table's bringing something sweet. (Want to know when your table's in charge of bringing something? Check here!) And you guys, seriously, it doesn't need to be the best dish you've ever made—we're moms—we get it. I've totally been the one who's shown up with donut holes or chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A. But on that note, we also discussed taking a vote for the best dish and then having that recipe featured in the next week's newsletter!

Once the meeting kicked off, Lindsey shared a bit about what this season and our MOPS group is all about. To paraphrase (and I actually wish I recorded her, because I truly felt like standing up and clapping afterwards):
Every one of us has an individual spark that drives us, and we all have something that each other needs. There are so many different ways to parent; you may cloth diaper or use disposables. You may make your own organic baby food from scratch or buy it premade. You may let your kid run around naked while the mom next to you does five loads of laundry a day. In other words: we're all completely different. We parent different, and we have different ideas about everything, but we have one thing in common: we're all moms and we all get it!
The coolest part about MOPS is that it's a group just for us. It's a group where we all understand where you're coming from, and we're all here to support each other with your walk in being the best mom that you can be. God chose you to be a mom, and He knew what your life would be like right now, dirty diapers, tantrum-throwing toddlers and all. But when you come to MOPS every other Wednesday, you get a two-hour break to just breathe. You get a moment to just have a break and be around other women who get where you're coming from, and that is pretty darn nice. 

After her message it was time for some table ice breakers in the form of Jenga! I don't know what happened at your table, but our table had a pretty fun time getting to know each other. (Fun fact: half of the moms at the Pink table can't whistle!)

We're really excited about this year, and I hope you are, too. There a lot of fun things planned: play dates with the little ones (because we know you want out of the house just as much as the kids), mom's night out (because getting out of your spit-up stained yoga pants* and having some grown-up time is always a lot of fun), and several other fun activities throughout the year, so keep an eye on the weekly newsletter for more information and upcoming dates.

We can't wait to see you again next week :)

*You can definitely still come in your spit-up stained yoga pants (been there, done that), don't let that stop you from joining us!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gearing Up For a Brand New Year!

Last week the steering team got together at Bare Bulb Coffee for a quick planning session. Meeting together was good four our souls! We got a lot of work done and finalized a few details for the up coming year, plus there was plenty of laughing and lots of caffeine, so we all had a blast.

We've all been working hard to make sure everything is set up and ready to go for our first meeting. We're lining up speakers, surfing Pinterest for some awesome crafts, and making sure we have everything in place to make your MOPS experience the best it can be this year.

Registration info will be up very soon—keep an eye on our Facebook page, so you can sign up and be ahead of the game once that first meeting arrives. Registering ahead of time means more time socializing and munching on the yummy breakfast items.

I feel like a broken record, but we're all really excited for this new MOPS year!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This Year's Theme: A Fierce Flourishing

Well, hello!

Consider this a re-grand opening of the Warner Robins MOPS blog! There's a new design, new info, a new theme for the year (I'll get to that in a minute), and a new leadership team. This blog is a work in progress, but we'll continue to update it in the coming weeks—hopefully you can find all the info you need to know about MOPS on the pages above. The plan for this blog is to share a peek at what happens during our meetings, as well as other fun things happening in our community.

If you want to stay up-to-date when there's a new post or something fun going on, check out the brand new Warner Robins MOPS Facebook page, and once you become a member of MOPS (info coming very soon), you'll also be invited to join the closed Facebook group so you can stay informed of additional playdates and other fun happenings. 

We're just four weeks out from our first meeting of the year, so I wanted to share what this new theme is all about. Long story short, you can sum it up in six words: celebrate lavishly, embrace rest, and notice goodness. Those sound pretty darn good, don't you think? If you want to know a little more about "A Fierce Flourishing," keep reading. I took the info below directly from MOPS, because they already perfectly worded everything.

A Fierce Flourishing:

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12  

Sometimes we need new eyes. A perspective shift that recalibrates our hearts to the rhythm of God’s goodness surrounding us. To tune our hearts to better hear the music of the divine echoing throughout this world. That we might let that goodness seep into our bones and into our hearts so we can remember what it feels like to flourish.

We think flourishing looks a lot like:

Celebrating Lavishly: Celebrating breathes life into our days. Could it be that commemorating moments might help us to become more alive, to remember what is good and become masterful at recognizing it? How would life change to regularly invite friends into our stolen moments with uninhibited dancing and the best food, while gathered around the biggest table with the deepest conversations? Lavish celebrations can be sacred markers that help remind us who we are.

Embracing Rest: Perhaps it is time to let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as a measure of worth. What if one of the most life-giving activities that would contribute to our flourishing is welcoming rhythms of rest and play into our lives? Creating healthy rhythms in our life is one way we nourish the weary spots in our soul.

Noticing Goodness: Could it be possible that we don’t need new things but rather new eyes to see what we already have? What if we regained our sense of vision, an acute resolve to find hope in the cracks and mire of the mundane? Noticing what is good gives us the gift of perspective and reminds us the sacred is closer than we think.

We become more ourselves when we celebrate, rest and notice, and that looks a lot like flourishing. But this flourishing isn’t the precious or exhausting kind. This is a fierce flourishing. It is a deep-in-your-guts experience of gratitude and hope compelling you to raise your hands and dance freer than you ever have before. It is a fierce protection of your most important moments, an invitation to rest and an opportunity to enjoy the people who are right in front of you.

This year at MOPS, may we become a home for found wanderers, redeemed prisoners, explorers at the edge of their comfort – all of us who were one-time captives now celebrating our unearned freedom, because we have regained the eyes to see. May this year unfold into radical expressions of your own unique Fierce Flourishing.

Sounds pretty great to me! I certainly know I'd love to celebrate lavishly and I definitely need to embrace rest more, and I really want to notice all the little things going on in my everyday life. What are you most looking forward to about this new theme?