Grounded in Gratitude

Mamas, here we are in Thanksgiving season once again! As we approach the holiday, however it will look for your family this year, I’d like to challenge us to take a moment to be purposeful about our gratitude.

But, first, let’s not gloss over the fact mothering can be challenging in any given season, especially during the hecticness of the holidays. And, this year, your family may have faced unprecedented challenges that have created new stressors.

However, I think we can all agree upon this truth: there is always something to be grateful for.

It’s not always easy to punctuate our thanks over our every blessing. Life with littles is, well, busy! But, appreciation can become a habit ingrained into our everyday mindset.

Gratitude challenges are a wonderful way to remember the many, many ways we have been blessed by God. A journal or even taped notes on our bathroom mirror help us focus on what we can say thanks over daily.

Moreover, sometimes reframing our perspective can illuminate gratitude in a whole new light! For example, we can tell ourselves, “I am so burdened by all I to do today – dishes, laundry, bills, carpool lines, etc.!”

We can rewrite this narrative in a spirit of thankfulness by declaring, “I am so grateful I have food in my pantry, clothes for my family, service providers that supply my family’s needs, and a school for my children to attend.”

Sound simple? The concept is! But, the application can take a little work. Take heart mamas: you can do this!

With a little intentionality, thanksgiving can be a way of life as we speak our joy and gratitude over the people and blessings in our life. And, what’s more, a spirit of gratitude can spread joy, so let’s sprinkle it over our lives and relationships like confetti!

Join us Monday, Nov. 16th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Newnan First Baptist Church as we delve into this topic and encourage each other in the spirit of Thanksgiving!

Happy Fall, Y’all!

Now that it is officially sweater weather, we hope you and your little ones are taking in all of the enjoyment this season can bring.

Next Monday, 10/12, we will meet again at Newnan First Baptist Church from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for … you guessed it!…MOPS Swap! This MOPS meeting favorite is back again just in time for fall closet clean outs. Please bring your gently used items to share with other mamas, and come ready to shop for your family. Items to share include: men, women and children’s clothing, children’s books, toys, puzzles, etc. You can also share household items like frames, decor, etc. Prepare to bless others, and maybe find some treasures as well! Also, we ask that you not take home items to resell, but rather only take items that suit the needs of your family! All unclaimed items will be donated to a local organization.

Friends, the fun has just begun. For the remainder of the fall, MOPS of Newnan will continue to offer food, coffee, fellowship, discussion and content that speaks to our mom hearts. Mark your calendars for each of these evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m.:

  • Monday, 10/26: Our topic will be “Looking for the Lonely.” On this evening, we will delve into how motherhood can be at times, well, lonely. But that is one of the reasons MOPS exists – to bring us all together in this season of raising babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  • Monday, 11/16: As we prepare our hearts and minds for the season of Thanksgiving, we will discuss “The Work of Gratitude.” Even in the midst of challenges and uncertainty, gratitude is a must-have attitude that can be a game-changer for ourselves and those around us.
  • Monday, 11/30: On this evening, come prepared to learn a ton about fire safety for your home. If you have not heard from our friends at the Newnan Fire Department in the past, you definitely do not want to miss this meeting.
  • Monday, 12/7: It’s time to be merry and bright as we enjoy our annual MOPS of Newnan Christmas party.
  • 2021: Stay tuned for details on how our meetings will unfold in the New Year!

Interested in joining us for the first time? Please come check out a meeting! The first two meetings are free and we would love to greet you. If you would like more registration details, please visit https://member-registration-packet-copy.cheddarup.com.

And, as a friendly reminder, scholarship opportunities are still available! We would love to have you along for this year’s journey as we “Decide to Rise.”

Surviving the Holiday Rush 10 Tips for Thriving During the Holidays

We are in the middle of the Holiday season with Christmas just days away! Everyone is getting their favorite recipes and cookware ready. Have you thought about how to manage the cooking, cleaning, and all of the emotions that may be descending on your house? Or are you traveling to see family and all the different expectations and emotions that will be waiting for you there?

Here are a few tips for enjoying the holiday season and not just surviving it.

  1. When preparing an extensive menu, there is enviably a dish that won’t get eaten. In our house, it’s the green salad, so I cut it out of the menu a few years ago. Do the same thing with your expectations cut them down. We often build up one day or meal to be Instagram perfect when that is a mere second of curated photography. What you don’t see on Instagram is the hurt feelings or the fighting children or adults.
  2. Before you leave or guests arrive, practice self-care. Take a day (or more likely an hour) to do something that is truly just for you.
  3. No is a complete sentence. Set your boundaries early, let people know that your rules are in place for the health and safety of you and/or your child. Be clear, kind, and firm. 
  4. Schedule downtime. It is exciting to be with our family when we don’t get to see them often, but everyone needs a break. Keep an eye on how your kids are doing with the relatives they don’t often see, remember you are asking them to jump in and play with kids and adults they may not recognize or have never met. This can be overwhelming for some children.
  5. Think about where everyone is sleeping. Maybe instead of everyone staying at Mom and Dad’s this year, you choose to get a hotel or rent a house nearby. This gives everyone a chance to have a little extra space, which can be especially welcome if there is a new baby in the family. Some families choose to have a quiet breakfast over the holidays and join their families around lunchtime.
  6. If you have one person who you have a problematic relationship with over Christmas dinner is not the time to talk about it. If you feel like you do need to talk about anything serious, do it now, it is much easier to clear the air with one person than having a table full of opinions involved as well.
  7. Realize that not everything will go according to your plan. That is okay; some of the best memories are made when life doesn’t go as planned. (Our oven broke in the middle of cooking the turkey this Thanksgiving!)
  8. As you think about the day, reach out to those who you are spending it with, ask them what they are most looking forward to; together, focus on the parts that are important to each of you. It may be time to let go of old traditions that no one enjoys.
  9. Start a new tradition; if no one enjoys cooking the meal, have one catered or go out. Does everyone sit around but not really know what to talk about? Bring a board game and start a tradition of playing games after eating. Whatever works for your family is what is right, and may change as families grow over the years. It’s okay to let go of the old and embrace the new.
  10. Go back to self-care. As the year come to a close; take time to enjoy the moments with family but make time for your regular exercise, meditation, or hot bath. Keep doing whatever small thing you do for just you.

An added bonus tip from my kitchen; always have lasagna in the freezer, you never know what can go wrong with dinner!

Warmly,

Leah

Leah Robilotto, Founder of The Food Allergy Institute

The Importance of Female Friendships

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It’s a beautiful thing when God brings the heart and head together and your world begins to collide with your dreams!

You might be thinking, “I’m too tired to see my dreams right now” or “the laundry is too high to find my pillow – dreams?” Well, sister, it gets better! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. But I’m not going to sugar coat every detail. It does take patience, effort and even a little work.

When I came to MOPS 3 years ago, I was sad. I was grieving the miscarriage of a child that would have made us a family of four. My kid had never been in someone else’s care and had to be peeled off my hip at our first meeting. My heart did not know how to feel when I woke up each day and my head had to do all the heavy lifting.

Since then, I’ve encountered friendships who encourage me to be where I am and that its okay, promise me that it gets better and they’re right, hold my hand through scary next-step-decisions, confidently tell me that I can do it when I doubt myself, and love me in spite of all my flaws.

Without these female friendships, I might still be reclining in the same chair, under the same pile of laundry while my boy kisses me to say “It’s okay mommy. Don’t cry. I love you!”

You see, when you gather together with like-minded people who share similar concerns, interests and activities, great things happen. You learn to initiate, ask great questions, give honest answers and develop true friendships!

Love grows. My dreams include a place for this, and now I’m watching it unfold before my eyes. That, my friend, is what happens when your head tells your heart to do what your heart can’t imagine how to do, knowing the result is worth the investment.

If you’re still looking for “your people”, please come visit us tomorrow. You just might decide it’s worth a second visit, a third, a fourth and before you know it… you’re inviting another mom you met who felt the same way you did before you found MOPS. So just listen to your head, or me – if that’s what it takes, and come enjoy coffee and breakfast with a table full of female friends who have their arms open wide, waiting on your arrival.

Click here to pre-register, saving yourself some time at the door.

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Help me wish all of our moms with October birthdays a very special month!

  • Ashley Kraft, 10/1
  • Roxie Magro, 10/4
  • Vanessa Erikson, 10/4
  • Jenn MacKinnon, 10/5
  • Carmen Monteagudo, 10/27
  • Taylor Miller, 10/31

Help, we don’t want to forget those with October anniversaries!

  • Corey Troutman, 10/4
  • Ashley Kraft, 10/5
  • Keisha Payton, 10/12
  • Katie Rower, 10/19
  • Ashley Daigle, 10/22
  • Colleen Shumaker, 10/25
  • Lindsey Fraizer, 10/27
  • Margo Skaletski, 10/31

MOPS Of Newnan Fall Kick-Off

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I did not know how much my life would change when I visited MOPS for the first time, now three years ago.

I’ve been blessed with the freedom of independence from an early age. Encouraging my new two year old to also be independent is what drove me to find a mom group in the first place. Yet he was devastated when I dropped him off, and I was unprepared for that to break my heart when I walked away from his classroom.

I lost it! The tears flowed steadily during my first meeting, and I couldn’t imagine anyone in that fellowship hall wanting to befriend me.

Those are the only details I remember about my first meeting, but I left with so much more than details. I left with a feeling! A feeling that MOPS is a place of acceptance, love, peace, joy, laughter and fun!

Two weeks later, I came back. My boy cried again, but I was confident for him; this was a place he could learn independence, meet friends, accept others and have fun!

Three years later, I’m coming back without him because he just started Kindergarten. I’m a little sad because I started MOPS for us. He’s a little sad because his MOPS friends have become his best, like family.

MOPS has given me so much more than the fun from each meeting! It’s offered me friendships, perspective, understanding and helped me open my heart to opportunities that I wouldn’t have pictured for myself.

When we open our hearts, God has something special waiting for us!

As we get ready to kick-off a new season of MOPS (tomorrow!!!!), ask yourself this question. “What feeling, experiences or opportunities will I miss, if I don’t give MOPS a chance?” If you’re ready, nerves and all, to get connected with a tribe of women who will walk through motherhood with you, then join us tomorrow to kick-off this next season of MOPS of Newnan. (And jump to the bottom of this post for meeting details.)

My experience is just that, my story. We all have one, but I wanted to share a few testimonies from other moms who’ve opened their hearts to MOPS.

“I can meet REAL friends after moving to a new place.”

“We are not alone in this journey called motherhood.”

“Other women are not scary.”
 

And a few from the MOPS Int’l Blog:

“I’ve learned that with God I am never alone … I always have a friend.”

“God is fighting for my self-worth, for my family and for my love.”

“It’s liberating to be able to express that life isn’t all gravy. Being a mom is way harder than I ever thought it would be.”


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Help me shout out to our moms with summer and September birthdays and anniversaries!

May Birthdays:

  • Sara Sloderbeck
  • Michelle Baumann
  • Chelsey Hicks
  • Aaron McNeely
  • Jessica Whitlock
  • Chanel Choitz
  • Robin Ervin

June Birthdays:

  • Laura Stockman
  • Amber Gharapetian
  • Keri Davis
  • Tiffanie Teel
  • Michelle Silence
  • Allison Caines

July Birthdays:

  • Tori Hansen
  • Jaimie Moss
  • Ashley VanDenBerg
  • Katie Morgan
  • Priscilla Coffey
  • Elizabeth Gordon

August Birthdays:

  • Angela Jarrell
  • Angela Dodd
  • Cassie Jackson
  • Allison Herdic
  • Ashley Daigle
  • Dori Itzel

September Birthdays:

  • Caitlin Marker
  • Caitlin Chambers
  • Jacqueline Warren
  • Kaitlin Wren
  • Robin Lea
  • Kelly Pringle
  • Audrey Tomlinson

May Anniversaries:

  • Amee Davison
  • Amanda St. Germain
  • Caitlin Marker
  • Chanel Choitz
  • Trish Cappiello
  • Allison Herdic
  • Angela Dodd
  • Maranda Wood
  • Tory Leech
  • Tori Hansen
  • Jessica Whitlock
  • Jenn MacKinnon

June Anniversaries:

  • Cassie Daigle
  • Ashley Watson
  • Robin Lea
  • Sara Sloderbeck
  • Bethany Dickens
  • Katie Morgan
  • Kristie Kimmel
  • Julie Nielsen
  • Kelly Pringle
  • Karen Slade

July Anniversaries:

  • Roxi Magro
  • Michelle Baumann
  • Kathleen Frederick
  • Dori Itzel
  • Katie Jeffords
  • Shanna Edel
  • Robin Ervin

August Anniversaries:

  • Angela Jarrell
  • Emily Ingold
  • Linsey Harper
  • Christy Faircloth
  • Katie Beese
  • Jaimie Moss

September Anniversaries:

  • Kelly Presnal
  • Andrea Reese
  • Julie Wall
  • Brooke Wells
  • Priscilla Coffey
  • Vanessa Erikson

A few reminders…

We meet at First Baptist Church Newnan, but come to the preschool entrance at 53 Madison Street, Newnan, GA 30263.

We start at 9:30, but MOPS Kids drop-off opens at 9:15, so be on-time and get your extra 15 minutes, since we end at 11:30 and must promptly pick up our kiddos, in order to relieve our Caregivers on-time.

Street Parking is available all over downtown Newnan and surrounding First Baptist Church, but their is also a parking lot across the street from the preschool entrance and  a gravel lot past the building on the left.

Oh, and if you haven’t pre-registered. You might want to STOP! and take care of that right now. Otherwise, it might feel like that early morning in the doctor’s office when they hand you a clipboard full of paperwork, but you have the kids tugging at your clothes and calling you by name 1000x. Avoid that feeling and use this link to pre-register now.

A NEW SEASON

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I’m sitting on my patio with shade from the trees and umbrella watching my almost five year old play in the lake. I don’t know where the time has gone or how I’ve come to this day where it’s time to tell you about our new year.

Reflecting on my years at MOPS of Newnan, I can’t help but share how blessed I have been. Honestly when I discovered MOPS, I was a mom who had lost her identity. I struggled with a sense of fashion, leaving the house, socializing my boy and especially making new friends. I was a mess!

I wouldn’t exactly call myself fashionable today, but I do feel that I have found myself again. The confidence to accept a leadership role here has helped redevelop the strong woman I once was before motherhood. In the past year, I have helped coordinate MOPS of Newnan’s Summer Bible Study and the 2018-19 MOPS season. I have survived the first year of my son’s education – life changes BIG when they start school. And I’ve managed my time wisely enough to fit in freelance web development allowing me to contribute to my family’s finances again.

I’m not sharing these things in search of recognition, but to help you find yourself in my story.  I want you accept where you are today, make choices to advance your tomorrow and find confidence in the best future you can imagine!

Now, that we are entering the last year Kala Arrington and I will lead MOPS of Newnan as Coordinators, we want to introduce you to the newest leadership team that will make it all happen this coming year. Are you ready?

2019-2020 MOPS of Newnan Leadership Team

Co-Coordinators: Kala Arrington and Tiffanie Teel

Coordinator Shadows: Vanessa Erikson, Kathleen Frederick and Kristie Kimmel

Finance Leader: Emily Ingold

MOPS Kids Leaders: Katie Jeffords and Jeannie Hart

Creative Activities Leader: Ashley Watson

Hospitality Leaders: Ashley Daigle and Cassie Daigle

Member Care Leaders: Christy Faircloth and Jacqueline Warren

Discussion Group Leaders: Katie Beese, Amee Davison, Vanessa Erikson, Robin Ervin, Kathleen Frederick, Nancy Hall, Kristie Kimmel, Jenn MacKinnon, Aaron McNeely and Laura Prout

First Baptist Church Newnan Liaison: Laura Stockman

Publicity*: Tiffanie Teel

Fundraising | Service Projects Leader: open

Please help me welcome our 2019-2020 Leadership Team to MOPS of Newnan and Congratulations!!


With each new season, MOPS International brings us a new theme to set the tone and theme for the year. This year, we are thrilled to introduce you to our new theme, entitled TO THE FULL. Watch this.

 

As you know, brand new members to MOPS of Newnan can try two meetings for FREE. But if you are a veteran member, consider keeping your current membership up to date and reserving your seat at our table through Early Registration. We are excited to be expecting a record year for registrations!

Click here to access the registration form and payment instructions. Early Birds by May 30th will be entered into a drawing to win a MOPS of Newnan T-Shirt and all Early Birds by June 30th will receive a Reduced Registration fee of $100 vs the Standard Membership Dues of $115.


Please join us throughout the summer for a variety of social activities and, as always, invite your friends! Our summer activities are for members and non-members, giving newbies a chance to mingle with us to get just a taste of what MOPS of Newnan can bring to a family.

Find our summer event schedule by clicking here.


*There is opportunity to contribute to the MOPS of Newnan Blog. If blogging has crossed your mind and you’d like to get your feet wet or even share one message with other moms, this is the perfect opportunity for you to donate a little of your time. Please inquire with Tiffanie Teel.