Thursday, October 6, 2016

An Open letter to the mom of twins at the grocery store (or any mom for that fact)

To the mom with baby twins at the store:

I see you in the store. Tired. Fighting hard to get a cart with a double seat because you know it is your only chance to shop if you get it. Most people don't think about those double seats.

I know what you are thinking.

You see the mom with one child and you think how easy it looks. She smiles. She has time to laugh, play with her munchkin, enjoy shopping and even price match.

You feel like you are in a constant tangle with little hands and you do it on half empty, with your head slightly buzzed from lack of sleep.

I see you.

I know you don't see me. You are afraid to make eye contact. You don't want to be judged. Or you may not want to hear one more person say "It looks like you got your hands full." or "Are they identical?" That would slow your shopping trip and your children will only last a moment before one poops, one cries, one screams or all of the above or even all of the above times two.

To you I look like just another gawker. Someone adoring your sweet, little, messy faced twins. But I am only remembering my own. I won't stop you, I won't talk to you, I am just thinking...

Good job mom.

Imaginary fist bump from one twin mom to another.

You did it today.

They are breathing, you are breathing. Good job

You were never meant to be perfect. In fact, it is just the opposite. We are meant to be flawed, but to show them how to be flawed and still function and move forward day after day.

Good job mom. You are a champion. It is hard, and the only other people who understand how hard are other twin moms who have fought the same battle.

It does get easier I promise. It is hard to see now. You feel like you should be grateful for these days but they are so tiring that you can't even enjoy them most of the time and you feel guilty about that too. Its okay.

They do become friends. You get to sit outside their door at night and listen to them talk when they don't know you are listening. You see them defend each other on the playground. You'll see them hurt inside when the other one is hurt, its sad but also strangely magical.

Right now you feel guilty because you can't give either one of them "all of you". You feel like they are getting cheated out of having all-the-attention of their mom when as babies that should be their right, but they have to share you.

That is true.

But there is also something else- They get something precious instead.

Even when you are gone they will have each other. The relationship that bonds them in infancy is unique, lasting and protective. It expands and continues into something incredible. It's their relationship as a twin. Their love for each other will last even past you.

Their little battles that they face every day, the fighting over the same toys, for example. It is tiring, but the truth is they learn negotiation and relationship skills as infant twins that most people don't learn in an entire life time. It takes most of us several years of marriage to learn skills that a twin masters while they are young.

Their relationship-crash-course is intense. It is hard on the mom and sometimes hard on them but the rewards are incredible, real and long lasting. They learn to love, to share, and to be apart of a unit instead of just existing from the very beginning. As humans we thrive when we are apart of something bigger then ourselves. Twins are that from the day they are born. More than just themselves.

Good job mom.

You are making it.

One foot in front of the other. You can do it!

One day you to will be pushing an empty cart, in a grocery store while watching a mom of twins. Your double seats will be empty while not fighting what seems like a sea of hands that grab unwanted items or provide endless distraction.

You won't be judgmental, because somehow twin motherhood seems to drag all that out of you, you will instead watch with wonder.

You will think...

 "Wow! Did I really do that? How in the world did I make it?"

"That mom. She is doing awesome. Good job mom. You're making it!"

"Imaginary fist bump. From one twin mom to another."

-Susan Chapman

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

4 Simple yet Impactful New Years Resolutions for Fit Family Eating

Recently new dietary guidelines were published urging Americans to make small shifts towards healthier eating patterns. Since it is January, the month of New Years resolutions, I want to write a post about 4 simple yet impactful family shifts or changes that can lead families to better eating.

Display a fruit bowl
Make a goal to purchase and display a fruit bowl for your family in a high traffic location. It is what we call "mommy advertising". Businesses spend billions of dollars a year on advertising. They know that even if a consumer does not stop and think about an advertisement consciously they will still subconsciously absorb the message and are more likely to buy a product or service in the future.

As parents we can take a lesson from the big guys and apply this to our family as well. A delicious fruit bowl displayed in the middle of a counter or table is a type of advertising for healthy eating and alters our family environment for the better. Family members will eventually give into the healthy fruits that call to them from the fruit bowl. Remember to think small for small mouths and appealing not appalling. Buy fruits that scream delicious and will tempt even the unhealthiest eaters.

Drink more water
Yes, yes we all know we can be better at this. However, drinking more water is a shift that is very impactful since it not only can replace bad habits but will immediately improve our health within only a few hours of implementing it. Carrying a water bottle will help satisfy cravings and offer a physical substitute for people that always feel like they need to be bending their elbows as they do with constant snacking.

Get more sleep
Did you know that sleep affects your hunger hormones? Studies show that lack of sleep will increase grehlin (your hunger hormone) and decrease Leptin (you full hormone). So in other words if you lack sleep not only will you be hungrier but it will take you longer to get full which the perfect formula for overeating! So get 7-10 hours of sleep as an adult and you will feel the difference in your waist line.

Offer a pre-cut, afterschool or pre-meal veggie tray
This is the best kept secret of some of the fittest families. Having a tray full of pre-cut vegetables during the times of your family's greatest hunger attacks is a sneaky way to help them eat better. If your family is like mine they swarm and circle the kitchen like sharks as I am either cooking dinner or right after school or church. In these moments I need to buy more time for meal preparation and I don't mind if they spoil their appetite as they are waiting on red peppers, carrots, celery, crisp green beans or other fresh vegetables. Have these pre-cut in advance and bring them out in a moments notice. This practice will help your family steer away from other easy grabs like crackers or slices of bread.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hi All, It's Merri here! It's October and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Last weekend I ran in the Save a Sister Breast Cancer Awareness 5k in St George, Utah. This event benefits the Utah Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. All donations go toward breast cancer programs and research! 

It's a fun tradition my sisters and I started doing back in 2008. Some years there are more of us than others, but we all have a good time no matter our numbers! And how can you not love the fact that you are running for an amazing cause? We've also started to get our daughters involved! I wanted to share a few statistics and an info graphic that might just save a life!  

Breast cancer facts

1 in 8 women worldwide will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

Each year, nearly 227,000 women nationwide will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 40,000 will die from the disease.

Local needsThis year an estimated 1200 Utah women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 250 will die from the disease.

Utah ranks close to last for screening mammography rates in the nation.

According to our recent community needs assessment, the primary reason for this is lack of insurance and/or ability to pay for these services.

How are Komen funds used?75% of net revenue funds local programs for breast health education, screening, and treatment.

Including the $633K recently funded to this year's grantees, Komen Salt Lake City has funded $4.76 million to Utah nonprofits for breast health programming (see details below).

With funds from last year's Race for the Cure, our grantees coordinated and provided assistance to over 900 uninsured and low-income women to receive mammograms through the state's free screening program.

Nearly dollar for dollar, the funds we contribute to research are used right here in the state of Utah.

Komen recently awarded three major research grants totaling $2 million to Utah's Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Info graphic provided by Bankers Healthcare Group! This graphic is great and our hope is to bring awareness to early detection of breast cancer.
For more information please visit


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Don't Hate Yourself into Being Fit/Thin/Skinny or Anything!

This post has been floating around in my head for sometime.

In sharing this I am afraid that a few may think that I have confidence issues or insecurities but I am pretty sure that these thoughts occur in almost every human female that I know and that I am in good company.

First of all lets be clear, I've had 5 kids. Also most people don't know this but I gain weight easily so it is a constant battle. No big deal, I just have to watch it and if I ever let my guard down then I pay for it for a while. So in simple terms I have gone through the weight-loss or get-back-in-shape process several times.

It took me a while to realize that part of my process to getting back in shape involved me hating myself into getting in shape or losing weight.

It was a process that went something like this:
  • Looking at myself in the mirror and saying "Yuck, this has got to change."
  • Then examining imperfections more closely and feeling angry at myself.
  • Then using this experience as a way to drive the change and keep me motivated.
I used this process as one of my inner tools and motivators to make the change that I desired. It seemed to work but did not help a bigger underlying issue of self love. For example, the truth is that if you are unhappy with yourself fat you will also be unhappy with yourself thin. If you are unhappy with yourself out-of-shape you will also be unhappy with yourself in-shape. 

I'm not sure when it happened but I realized this process was beneath me. That I was meant for greater things. Some where, some how I learned my worth and in learning that worth I also learned that hating myself into being something or a certain way was a "tool of change" that I needed to take out of my motivator tool box. 

I have seen other people use this tool. I have also even seen women who go further and unknowingly trick their husbands into telling them that they are "fat" or "need to lose weight" and then feeling betrayed. Then they use that experience as a motivator to lose weight. It is the "Does this dress make me look fat?" scenario. Not only does this hurt them but it may hurt their relationship and cause trust issues in the future on both ends. 

It took me a few years to first realize that I was doing this and second to change my thinking. It wasn't easy and I still slip now and then but for the most part I have focused on loving myself into reaching my goals. 

Now my process is much different.

It is more like this:

  • Looking at myself in the mirror
  • Seeing the things I love the most
  • Understanding the things that I cannot change
  • Laughing at how the world thinks it can brainwash me into trying to conform to its narrow and fleeting standard of beauty
  • Deciding what I can do to try a little harder to be a little better
  • Accepting that my body is one of my oldest, dearest friends and will be with me until the end.
  • Decide what can I do to make "her" life (my oldest friend) the best it can be- the most emotionally rich, active, healthy, and exciting.
  • Very simply, I do my best and forget about the rest.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Help My Kid is Overweight! 9 Tools to Help a Child Achieve a HealthyWeight

How to Build a Kid's Healthy Weight Toolbox

When working with children to achieve a healthy weight it is important to use a "toolbox approach" instead of a narrow linear one. A toolbox approach is to gather tools and ideas that you can collect, sharpen and polish and use in different stages and times in life. Our children will grow into adults and will soon learn that life is full of twists and turns. The more tools they have to achieve and maintain a healthy weight the better equipped they will be to succeed through life's challenges.

A tool is an attitude, habit, environmental feature or action that can help us achieve our goals. If you find that one tool works better than others temporarily it is okay to focus on using that tool to the fullest while trying to continually build other tools in order to solidify behaviors. You may discover that one tool is more effective than others and makes all the difference. Most likely, however, you will need and use several tools to help your child obtain and maintain a healthy weight. No matter your child's age it is wise to focus on building an entire tool box which will help provide a scaffolding to hold your child's positive behaviors in place. 

9 healthy weight tools are listed below.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Marathon Monday

Today I wanted to write a quick blog post about marathons. I should call this post, "How to Run a Marathon in 4 Easy Steps." ;) But there's really no easy way to run a marathon actually because....

"Running a marathon is like having a baby."
- Merri K. Hackett

Step 1 - Pick a race and register

Just like when deciding to have a baby, you and your spouse have to talk about it. Is this marathon during a good time? Is your spouse willing and able to support you? When you can both agree, it's go time!
This is one of my pinterest boards. It's great to register early because you get in a lot cheaper. So I save my races here and refer back to it often.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...