Survival Kit for the NICU Mama

Survival Kit for a mama who has a baby in the NICU - this is such an easy, practical, meaningful way to bless someone going through such a difficult time. And every item can be purchased at Target!

Many of you know that our second born, Happy Baby, had a pretty rough beginning to his life.

We ended up being in the NICU for almost 100 days!  It was a roller coaster of a season, to say the least.

Ever since then, my heart has become easily burdened for any other mom I know who has been given a similar path to walk.

A friend of mine from high school, Ally, emailed me several months ago asking for prayer for her unborn baby, Jaxson.  Halfway through her pregnancy they discovered that he had Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, which, for him, meant that most of the organs on the left side of his body were formed in his chest cavity.  They were told he would face immediate surgeries upon birth, as well as future surgeries, possible breathing issues, and, obviously, a long NICU stay.

Fast forward and Jaxson is here!  But there are still so many challenges and they have already been in the NICU for 2 months.

Wanting to help, I instantly thought of the hundreds of people who made an effort to bless our little family during our NICU stay.  The cards, calls, texts, goodies, food (you can read all about it HERE) – were all a reminder of God’s love and presence.  Every single kind act, word, or prayer was felt and carried us through the most difficult days.

I knew I needed to send something to Ally to lift her up and comfort her with the sweet knowledge that she isn’t alone.

So I headed to Target and put together a small Survival Kit for her to use while we pray them to Jaxson’s homecoming!

Here is what I put in the NICU Mama’s Survival KitSurvival Kit for the NICU Mama - love this!

1.  Lip Gloss – Just because lip gloss is necessary for all women, at any time.

2.  Hand Lotion – NICU parents have to ‘scrub in’ every time they step foot in the NICU facility.  This requires at least 3 minutes of scrubbing, using an extremely harsh soap and brush.  If you visit your baby several times a day, for several months, this equals seriously DRY HANDS.

3.  Tissues – For the extra hard days.

4.  Hand Sanitizer – Keeping the germs at bay.  NO NICU mama can afford to be sick herself and miss out on visits and snuggles with her little buddy.

5.  Target Gift Card – Besides Jesus, Target just knows how to feed my soul – lol.  Go get your therapy on, Ally – you deserve it!

6-7.  Post-Its and Pen – NICU mamas (and all mamas, really) need to stay in God’s Word AT ALL TIMES.  There are a lot of voices in the NICU – doctors, nurses, other parents, the enemy – that sometimes, if we’re not careful, we can let those voices drown out the One voice we really need to hear.  These Post-Its are for Ally to jot down her favorite Scriptures and post all over Jaxson’s room to cover him and their situation with TRUTH.

8.  Essie Nail Polish – Best thing about this nail polish is its name.  Are you ready?  ETERNAL OPTIMIST.  Because this is something all NICU mamas need to be.

9.  Healthy Snacks – NICU mamas are exhausted and often their own needs get shoved to the very bottom of the pile.  Having something healthy and satisfying on hand will give Ally the energy she needs to keep loving and serving her little man.

Throw everything in a small, travel-ready bag, and NICU mamas have everything they need to tackle another day of fighting for LIFE.

I can’t think of a greater mission, Amen?!

Would y’all please join me in praying for baby Jaxson and his sweet parents?

And if you happen to know any NICU mamas in the trenches right now, I encourage you to pray about finding a way to support them on their journey.

Happy NICU Mama Survival Kit-ing! :-)

Simple RAOKs You Can Do While Driving

We live reeeeally far from our work/church/school, so we spend a LOT of time on the road.

I was recently trying to take inventory of the ways I am working to teach my children about kindness and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that most of the kind things we are actively doing each day happen in the car.

This is good because #1 – The children are physically contained and are mostly an attentive audience (because you can only play the license plate game so long, yah know?), #2 – The children are learning how to love and serve others as Jesus did, and #3 – I am not spending a lot of extra money or going on any extra outings that require a lot of forethought and supplies (ie. that time I tried to do 30 RAOKS for my 30th birthday and ended up stopping after 7 because I was so overwhelmed and broke – lol!).

The ideas I am about to share are great because they work quite naturally into the life you are already living!  It will be easy for you to add these simple RAOKs (Random Acts of Kindness) into your family’s daily adventures.

My personal favorite thing to do while driving is look for cars that are trying to move into my lane.  I LOVE seeing someone’s blinker on because it is an opportunity for me to wave them in front of me so that they can get where they need to go.  I talk to my kids about being a thoughtful driver who pays attention to the needs of others on the road.  We can get so focused on getting where WE are going that we forget to have an attitude of a servant – quiet, humble, and in search of ways to be make someone else’s life better.

This kind of calling on our lives does not have to get in the backseat once we get behind the wheel. :-)

So I made a little FREE Printable featuring 9 easy RAOKs to do while driving for you to print and then leave somewhere safe on your dashboard as a reminder to bless others as well as inspire your kids to do the same.

car RAKS

Happy RAOK-ing While Driving! :-)

Summer Service Ideas – FREE Printable

While your kids are draping themselves over chairs complaining that there’s nothing to do, gently encourage their little hearts to go and be a blessing to someone.

Here are a few ways we like to serve in the hot months of summer…summer serve ideas at happy home fairy.jpg

Our favorite is to bring cold water bottles to the garbage men – I learned that one from my sweet dad!

Click HERE for your FREE Summer Service Printable

Happy Summer Service-ing! :-)

Random Acts of Kindness for Easter

The message of Easter is LOVE.

And love is best shown when we choose to put someone else’s needs before our own.

Like Jesus did.

Here are a few fun ways you can share the sweet message of Easter with the people in your world.Easter RAKs at Happy Home Fairy

Happy Easter RAK-ing! :-)

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18

12 Days of Christmas Kindness

When I am going through a difficult season, I find it incredibly helpful to focus on others.

I like to prayerfully ask, “How can I be a blessing to someone today?”  It gets my mind off my own troubles and onto being a part of the healing of someone else’s troubles.

Sounds like a good recipe for joy. :-)

Plus, it is reflective of the true spirit of Christmas as seen in Matthew 20:28 – “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Here are 12 easy ways to inspire you to be a part of making someone’s Christmas a little brighter.12 christmas acts of kindness

Happy Christmas RAK-ing! :-)

Thanksgiving RAKs

Since my post yesterday was of epic proportions, I thought I’d balance it today with a short one! :-)

I am always looking for ways to bless and serve others in our community.

So, this month, make it your Happy Home’s mission to complete a few of these Thanksgiving-themed Random Acts of Kindness.thanksgiving RAKs

Happy Thanksgiving RAK-ing! :-)

*Turkey cookie idea found HERE*

*Turkey Box of Warm and Cozies found HERE*

“Turkey Fruit Platter found HERE*

*And if you need an excellent Thanksgiving joke, go HERE*

The Grocery Store Candy Bar RAK

With all the candy floating around this time of year, I thought I would share with you a simple little RAK (Random Act of Kindness) that the Happy Buddy does every time we go to the grocery store.

I used to be a cashier for Publix stores when I was in college and let me tell you, checking groceries can get a little dull.

So we thought we’d spice things up for the person who is working so hard to scan all of our peanut butter and eggs and lots and lots of ice cream cheese and bread.

As soon as we roll into a check-out aisle, the Happy Buddy eagerly asks the cashier what his/her favorite candy bar is.

grocery store candy bar RAK 3Once they give him an answer, he swings around to the display of candy bars to locate the one that the cashier said was their top pick.

Sometimes I give him a little help, but he usually has no problem locating the standard Hershey’s bar or bag of M&Ms. :-)

grocery store candy bar RAK 2Next he hands the candy bar to the cashier.

At this point, the cashier usually laughs and looks at me with a, “Is it okay for him to to be doing this????” face.

Then the Happy Buddy tells the cashier that we’d like to buy the candy bar for her to keep and enjoy!

I LOVE this! When you are checking out at the grocery store, have your kid ask the cashier what his/her favorite candy is. Then have them turn around to the candy display, find it, and then pay for it. Then give it to the cashier! Surprise! What a sweet Random Act of Kindness!

SURPRISE!

It’s super fun to see their reactions.

This easy idea gets your Happy Buddies thinking of others and you get to cheer someone up with a little sugar.

Although it adds an extra 97 cents to our weekly food budget, we think that the pay off is worth more than a 100 Grand.

:-)

Happy Candy Bar RAK-ing!

**How much do you know about candy?  Take my fun Candy Quiz HERE with your Happy Home this Halloween!**