5 Reasons a Family Friendly Business is Important to This Mom

A while back in Happy, Healthy & Loved. Stop the Mommy Wars Part III, I mentioned that I’m taking a stronger interest in family friendly workplaces. Among other things, I’m trying to learn what family friendly businesses look like, what employees value most about them, what employees still feel they need, and how these steps actually positively affect a business’ bottom line. Two years ago, this may not have even been a topic on my radar.

Luckily, I have a fairly positive firsthand experience on what a family friendly business looks like. The company I work for offers many of the benefits I anticipate will appear on my “How to be a Family Friendly Business” list down the road. But, what I didn’t realize is how important these things would become to me, basically overnight. And now that I have, I feel they should be offered to all parents out there. Let’s not forget, we are raising a generation of people that will eventually infiltrate our businesses, become influencers and decision makers, and lead our companies. So, we should want to be the primary source that raises them, as well as set a strong tone and example for them. While I still have lots of reading, researching, and interviewing to do, what I do feel I can confidently talk about today is this: 5 Reasons a Family Friendly Business is Important to This Mom. I think this applies to a dad, too, but my perspective is that of a mom’s, so that’s what you’re going to get today.

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Printable: Things To Do

If you are like us, you want the caregivers to your children to be engaged during their time together. We leave our son very seldom and when we do it’s with select people. On the occasion that we do leave him in the care of others we like to provide a “play list” or list of ideas to keep him…and them…entertained. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, even the people most familiar with toddlers and childcare can run out of ideas. So, we like to offer a list of activities to take the hard work out of it. This helps the caregiver successfully keep our son engaged without a lot of worry or stress. Second, we want him to have a fun and positive experience when we are away. We already know our son enjoys these activities and we hope the caregiver will, too. Continue reading


In-Laws & The Life We Share

I don’t want to give away too many tidbits about our reader survey, but when we asked our Jelly Bean Journals community what they are struggling with in motherhood, a number of respondents mentioned in-laws. It got me thinking, regardless of whether we have a wonderful, horrible, or somewhere in between relationship with our in-laws, we are connected for life and will have many joys and challenges to navigate together. I have a few ideas on how these relationships can be approached. So, here are my thoughts for ALL people who have the words “in-law” behind their title.


Photo Credit: Free Stock Photos.biz

Whatever type of in-law you may be, this post is for you. If you are a son-in-law, sister-in-law, father-in law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, mother-in-law, or any other type of “in-law” I hope this post helps you to consider an alternate perspective and forge empathy and understanding in your relationships:

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2014 Summer Recap

We had an awesome and fast summer! Our intent was to have a summer planned with only minimal activities and that allowed the exciting spontaneity that is life with a toddler. While we did have several weekends where we flew by the seat of our pants, we ended up with a packed and fun-filled summer. This is by no means a complaint, but more a reflection as I look back on the quick few months that flew by.  I sometimes wonder if we jam pack our summers because in Wyoming, it seems like we really only get a good three or four months. But, then I remember we like to take advantage of fun times with family and friends and I realize that busy summers would be a part of our lives no matter where we lived. Home improvements, family vacations, pool trips and much more filled our summer! Anyway, here is a quick little glimpse at some of the highlights! Continue reading


Jelly Bean Journals 2014 Reader Survey

Hello friends!

This is a link to our first reader survey! And, boy, are we excited to hear from you! We hope to do 1-2 surveys a year to make sure we are providing content you find interesting and relevant, to learn more about you, to measure growth and changes from one survey to the next, and to do our best to connect with you! We have created the survey with you and your time in mind. It includes 10 mostly multiple choice questions and should seriously take you less than three minutes.

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VIBES: Where A Kid Can Be A Kid & Learn

I have a quick share today about an outstanding program our family recently became involved in. It’s important to my husband and me that our son has access to activities that engage him emotionally, mentally and physically. Last year we enrolled him in an infant and toddler tumbling class with Kerstin and N. We loved this class but tried something new over the summer. I have a short series of pictures to share today along with the reasons we love VIBES, our new fine and performing arts studio.

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Saying Goodbye to Grandpa John

I lost my Grandpa John last week and have been engulfed in navigating life with a grieving family and funeral arrangements. My family allowed me to write and present his eulogy during the funeral service we held for him in his hometown. I am grateful for the bond and love I shared with my grandpa and I would like to share his eulogy with you today.


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The Easiest, Tastiest Ice Cream Pie Ever!

I owe my mom for this recipe. This has been one of her go-tos for parties for years. And it is always one of my favorites. I can remember eating these pies when I was just a bit older than N! We went to a friend’s BaByQ last weekend and were asked to contribute a treat. I decided to whip these easy and tasty treats up to share with our friends. Continue reading


I’ll Choose You & The Floor Everytime

There are a lot of things I need to work on as a parent. But there are also a lot of things I do well and am proud of. While I still sometimes struggle with my decision to be a working mom, I have dedicated myself to being an active and engaged mom in the time I have with N. I consciously and proactively take steps to make sure my personal needs and our home’s needs are taken care of during N’s naps or after bedtime, to the best of my ability, and I take full advantage of lunch hours and my fairly flexible work schedule so that I can maximize the connection and experiences N and I share. But I am always looking for ways and ideas to be more engaged and a better mom.

I am currently reading the book Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford. I am only about 30 percent of my way through the book but, already, I have had “aha” moments as well as feelings of extreme pride as I realize I have implemented some of the suggested tactics both consciously and without even knowing it. As I was reading the other night, I noticed the author was pounding the message about the importance of connecting with our kids. I began to think about the moments that I really, really connect with N and the choices that I make to assist in these times of connection. One of the first things I realized was: almost every time I am in the same room with N, I choose to sit on the floor. Continue reading


A Union & Celebration To Remember

It’s nearing time to celebrate another year of marriage with my wonderful hubby. My, how time flies! Do you remember reading Hello! Chelse Here when we first launched our blog? I had eluded to the day I got married in that post by writing, ”our wedding was ridiculously fun and I have asked him on a couple of different occasions to remarry me so that we can do it all over again! He is good at all of the things I am not and we make an awesome team.” Well, as I already shared earlier this week in Hi, Teacher! Welcome Back!, Daddy D and I are getting ready to celebrate our 4th year anniversary and these sentiments are still accurate for us.


In reflecting on our wedding I cannot help but pull out the pictures our professional wedding photographer, Shannon Miller with Special Moments Photography, took. She captured over 2,000 wedding images for us! I don’t think I have ever shared the entire electronic album with anyone but my immediate family. When I look through these pictures they are filled with some of the people we love very most. They traveled from near and far. It was incredibly special to have them in one place at one time for one huge celebration. Because of this, I’m going to share around 140 photos from our wedding. (These do not include the images from our reception once everyone really cut loose.) They are beautiful and special to me, however, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you and those who were there to celebrate on that special day with us. Continue reading