When our kids are young, we keep track of every single milestone. And every one feels amazing. The first giggle. The first time he rolls over. The first time she says NO. All of us want to capture these special moments on camera, but there are a million other firsts that happen unexpectedly. Like when a spot of sunshine appears on a rainy day. We never know when they’ll happen, and often, these are the moments we cherish most.
Remember the first time she held one of your fingers? Or he read a big word you had no idea he could read (did he just say binoculars?!). It’s during these moments when we can slow down, not pick up the phone, and just soak it all in. Tomorrow feels far away and whatever happened yesterday is gone. It’s only this one, perfect moment.
And guess what? It cost nothing. No bouncy house or Elsa impersonator. No Instagram photo shoot. Just that single moment when your child puts her feet in the ocean for the first time. Or he catches a grasshopper after 30 minutes of trying. Your favorite memories don’t often come from the carefully curated birthday party. They come when you put your sticky child in the bath and pop bubbles together. Or when they come home the first day of school and tell you all about their new best friend.
Of course, all of us are going to be ready for the big moments. We’re going to capture the first bike ride and elementary school graduation. And that’s totally great. You should make those big moments as big as they are. In the meantime, treasure the small moments, too. The ones that happen so quickly and so unexpectedly, we don’t have time to shoot a video or make a sign. Because sometimes those are the most magical of all. Savor them. They’re the best perks of this parenting gig.
Meet Ann Marie Tennison, a mama of three girls who is loving every minute of it. Although she misses morning snoozes and coffee drinking without interruptions, she wouldn't trade the sweet snuggles (and even tantrums!) for a thing. She's all about slowing down in our social-media driven world and making small moments memorable. Get to know her better below.
Ann Marie, tell us how many kiddos do you have and what are their ages?We have three little girls! Our twins, Hadley & Layton are 7 and our littlest, Ally Ann is 5!
What does your current morning routine look like?A hot mess! I roll out of bed and head straight for coffee! The girls enjoy cartoons while I pull together breakfast.
How do you create magical moments in your family?In the little things! I try to make small moments memorable!
How has parenting changed your thinking on growing up?Goodness, my parents are/ were saints in raising us girls! But, as a momma, it has made me want to SLOW down and enjoy every moment, snuggle, kiss, load of laundry, baby doll and even each tantrum!
What keeps you up at night?Our children growing up in a social media-driven world.
What is something you completely took for granted?Sleep and a quiet cup of coffee each morning!
What makes you feel inspired or like your best self?Bible studies, a great pedicure, girlfriends, date nights & a glass of wine! All in one day would be pretty amazing!
What is one piece of advice you'd give a new mom out there?Don’t beat yourself up over the small stuff. The laundry will get done. The house will be clean again. Find a part of your day to relax even for just a small moment. A hot bath, cup of coffee, phone chat with a friend, long walk, date night and a bible study with other women in your same boat are just a few things that saved me in my early years of motherhood.
What is the best compliment you have ever received?“Your children are so well behaved, sweet and kind!!”
What is one of the best tips you have for making your kids better humans?“Let’s wash out that dirty mouth!” (they’ll only have to lick a bar of soap a few times). And kindness with words is a gift that they will have for the rest of their lives.
How would your kids describe what you do for a living?Mommy sells really pretty makeup & lotions (AKA skincare & cosmetics through BeautyCounter} and has the most fun job with LOTS of toys (AKA we are the owners of a small children's museum, Play Street Museum in Allen, TX) https://allen.playstreetmuseum.com // Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/playstreetmuseumallen
Tell us about the first time your kiddo had a loose tooth?Giddy, excited, grossed out, but ready for the magic that I knew was coming!
What is the hardest part about brushing your kid's teeth?Just remembering to enforce it! We have a built in routine each night, but mornings in the summer when the girls aren't in school is hard! Besides that, they brush their own teeth!
What is your favorite children’s story right now?
Oh goodness… that’s tough! The girls are loving Pinkalicous! Thank you so much for being a part of our fairy spotlight series! Stay magical. xo