5 Reasons why family dinner is important for my large family

5 Reasons why family dinner is important for my large family

Family Dinner? Let’s talk!

Hello Everyone! What a beautiful fall day it is!

Fall, Trees

I hope everyone is enjoying it in a way that keeps them smiling throughout the day 🙂

In the spirit of the holidays, there has been a lot of discussion amongst my coworkers and I about the upcoming family gatherings. The loud screaming at the t.v. from the favorite uncle in the living room because his team is losing or because he needs another beverage. Many can’t wait to have those long overdue conversations and spend that much-needed time with family members from afar. While others are thinking about how excited they are to cook their favorite recipes for those big family dinners!

Understanding that the holidays are the main times during the year that families eat together, it got me wondering whether or not families make time during the week to have family dinner. Now when I say family dinner, I mean sitting around the table (without electronics and other distractions) and just having the best company of all, the company of each other! Having a good old-fashioned family dinner throughout the week is one of our favorite things to do in our household!

However, after bringing up the topic, I realized that not many make time for the lost tradition of family dinner. And for some, family dinner has become a cycle of making a plate of food and going to sit and dine with the phone, laptop, or television screen. 

With work, school, projects, and after school activities, Yes! I know that life gets in the way. Of course, those same everyday things keep us from being able to have that special time together as well but that’s ok. With a family of seven, life definitely gets crazy, but we adjust and make up for it. The fact that we are a large family, we make it our business to have family dinner at least 3 to 4x out of the week. It helps keep us connected and in the know of what’s going on with each other. It also gives me the opportunity to just stare at each face and just take in their beauty and growth!


Sit Down & Let’s Eat

I asked each of my children if they thought our family dinners were important and what were some of their favorite things about them. Here were some of their responses:

1. Time to Talk

So during each family dinner, we take turns going around the table giving everyone their own opportunity first to discuss their day then to discuss any issues they may be dealing with and need advice on. Especially with four daughters in the house, someone is bound to want some advice even if it’s only about a new nail color, Lol! Each of them were in agreement on this one because they anticipate hearing more about each other’s day! I love to believe that taking this time to open up and express our feelings amongst each other helps to strengthen our foundation as a family through communication.

2. The Company of Each Other

Having 5 kids in the house makes for nonstop adventure! Something is always going on and not everyone is always being nice to each other either lol But having each other’s company at the dinner table seems like perfection even if only till dinner is over. For the most part though, they love being around each other and it definitely shows during dinner time. This has to be one of my favorite of the choices because they are all growing up so fast and sometimes you need that minute as a parent to just sit still and take in their beauty, growth, and togetherness!

3. The Food

While we are just a family that loves to cook, our children rave about mom and dad’s food as if each dish is competition worthy! I still hear about the time I made them cornbread muffins (and burnt them by accident), yet my daughter swears up and down that they were some of the best cornbread muffins she ever had! LOL! You just gotta love their support! They love trying new meals and even cook dinner some nights. In honor of one of their favorite food shows “Chopped”, each night they have us “present” their dinner to them so that they can judge our meals. Yup! Young food critics in the making!

4. Food Buddies

Reason #4 is straight from the youngest and toughest of the KIZNY squad, 6-year-old Yumi! For her, family dinner is her favorite because she loves to have a food buddy. A food buddy is a sibling or parent (preferably a parent, Lol) that will sit with her and eat while making sure that her belly is getting full. Yup! You read that correctly! She loves to watch her belly as she eats and I think it is adorable and definitely worthy of making the list!

5. Responsibility

Yes! You read that word correctly! My 12-year-old Lizzy is the “mom” of the squad and prefers to take on responsibility. She likes how her father and I tries to rotate the responsibilities amongst them because it teaches them how to keep different areas of the house clean. The responsibilities that come with family dinner is almost like routine for them now. From setting the table, sweeping up after dinner, and even washing the dishes, each of us take part in the family dinner aftermath to teach them what it means to be a team. It feels good to do these tasks together and adding some loud music doesn’t hurt at all either!

Keeping Traditions Alive

So can you tell my family and I are big fans of family dinner? It’s just one of those things that we try to hold on to because it has great benefits for the entire family! If family dinner is something that you’ve always enjoyed but haven’t had one in a while just randomly pick a day and stick to it. Ban all electronics and outside distractions from the table, sit, and enjoy the meal and company around you!

So even if family dinner isn’t your thing that’s fine! Drop a comment below and let me know what traditions you and your family continue to hold on too. Because at the end of the day it’s all about making real-time for those you love and being able to put everything aside and focus on each other.

Thanks for reading!






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Moments of Self Reflection #2

Moments of Self Reflection #2

Conversations of Love

This Month’s moments of self-reflection topic holds dear to my heart because it’s all about conversations of love. These conversations either helped to inspire, build a bond of trust, or were just long overdue. For the sake of healthy relationships, it’s important to remember to take the time and actually focus on communicating with those that are important to us. This is a lesson that took me a while to learn. When you don’t grow up with a good role model of how to establish a relationship with someone, it’s especially difficult to maintain one. The foundation of any relationship should be communication. Whether it’s a friendship, a marriage, or a relationship between family members, always be open to talking. Many times relationships are damaged due to the simple fact that life gets busy. However, there should be no excuses that keep us from those that are important to us. We all go through things in life and these recent conversations of love helped me to realize that even when you’re battling your own storm to not forget that others may be going through a storm of their own as well.

Words of Worth

A recent message from a friend prompted a conversation of inspiration. Having known this friend for a long time yet not having a consistent communication over the years, made this situation extra special. I was able to assist a friend during a moment of feeling unworthy. Many times in life we allow other’s words to determine our self-worth. We tend to forget that a person’s treatment towards us is based on their perception of life and has nothing to do with us. Reminding my dear friend that it is us who give away the power for other’s to determine our self-worth. Constantly worrying about who other’s want us to be and whether they approve is what diminishes our self-worth. We then lose focus of who we are and what values are important to us because we are to focused on whether society is pleased with us. Dear friend, you are a good person of great character. Do not allow anyone to break your spirit. Please remember that we all make mistakes in life but we cannot allow them to determine who we are. We live, we learn, and we grow! Your strength lies within your growth, take credit for all that you’ve worked hard to achieve, and embrace your journey!

Words of Love, Long Overdue

This conversation of Love was one that was long overdue yet patience and time was necessary for it to come about. As I stated before, so many things get in the way of communication within relationships. Episodes of anxiety and depression also play a significant role in this family relationship as well. With every word left unsaid, is a thought left in the mind of the other that they are not needed. The thought that you are no longer an important part of their world. However, instead of reaching out to solve the issue, time ticks away. Mentally, neither of them are in a position to comfort or be there for the other because what little strength they have they must use for themselves. In reality, they both face the same self-torture yet neither of them were aware due to lack of communication. During moments of anxiety and depression, people tend to distance themselves from those they love. Distancing oneself is never done out of spite but because the depressed person does not want to burden those they love. Although their intentions are good, it many times has an adverse affect. Making loved ones feel ignored and left with hurt feelings. That in return just starts a vicious cycle of damage to the relationship most times. Taking a moment to understand that they both faced the same storm was a moment of clarity for them. Clarity in the fact that regardless of what they were facing they needed to be there to catch one another. Clarity in knowing that they were a major part of each other’s world and knowing that they were each other’s inspiration. These words of love and forgiveness were long overdue for them but they came right on time.

Words of Trust & Unconditional Love

There are moments in parenthood that are going to throw us for a curve and we just have to plant our feet and hold still. Creating a bond of love and trust with our children is important. Being able to have an open line of communication with them is detrimental to the relationship. Working on these bonds with our children should start early. It is important for them to know that they can come to us, their parents and talk to us without having to face over reaction, judgement and harsh criticism. This next conversation is a beautiful one of trust between a parent and a child. This beautiful young soul walked around with such a heavy burden on her heart. Scared of whether she would be judged was one fear but the worry of acceptance and love by her parents was her ultimate fear. After sharing her burdens with her older sister she tried to gather up the courage to say the words. Her fear stopped her in her tracks and she remained silent. Her parents handled the situation with a great sense of care, patience and understanding. She was able to express herself and go to sleep feeling confident in who she is. The bond of trust and communication displayed in this moment was pure. She took great pride in knowing that she had such a strong and loving support system around her. In knowing this, she felt confident enough to face the world. The courage and trust that this young lady and family exhibited was one of beauty and grace!


I am thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of these conversations in some way or another. Within each experience a different lesson is learned and that’s what my journey is about. Taking the time to observe and establish the relationships in my life rather than react to them. Learning to communicate better and work to repair those relationships lost to miscommunication. I’m not looking to revive a bunch of dead relationships. However, it is important to me to maintain the relationships in my life so that they remain healthy.

 Don’t be shy, Can you think of any moments of self-reflection that have been on your mind lately? If so, leave a comment below!

Thank You for taking the time to read my blog post!

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Moments of Self Reflection

Moments of Self Reflection

Personal Inventory of a Beautiful Mess

Self reflection is something that I tend to do often but it has an adverse affect on me. Instead of me taking the personal inventory that I’ve collected to better myself, I take it and beat myself down.

We all know that saying, “You are your own worse enemy”. Well it’s almost as though it defines exactly who I am, sadly. I realize now that I’ve been such an enemy to myself that it’s affected so many relationships in my life.

I’ve had many moments of drowning myself in such negative thoughts that I’ve unintentionally and sometimes intentionally, pushed people away from me. I mean, how can I trust someone else with my heart and my thoughts if I can’t even begin to trust myself? How could I allow anyone to see what I see of myself?

How can I say that I truly love someone when I don’t even know how to love myself properly? I’ve even questioned and tortured myself with whether or not I was even worthy of others love, so in return I would refuse to love myself because I myself was not worthy of my own love. These are just a few of the questions that haunt my soul on a regular basis. My inner voice can be cruel and manipulative.

Do you know how low of a point in life one must be to not feel they are worthy enough to love themselves?  It is a lonely, dark, and unforgiving place!

I apologize sincerely,

I dread those moments dearly! I don’t wish them on my worst enemy! I don’t wish them on me any longer either!

I am sorry to all the people in my life, at some point or another, that I have hurt. I am sorry that the lack of love I had for myself reflected in the way I tried to love you.

I apologize for not being able to be there for you because I had no understanding of what it meant to you at the time.

For my absence in my life and yours, I apologize sincerely.

I apologize for staying silent when I should have let you know how I felt to help us build a stronger bond. For my lack of voice and standing up for us, I apologize sincerely.

I apologize for shutting you out before giving you the opportunity to accept me or for me to accept you, for that I sincerely apologize.

 I apologize for not knowing how to be a friend when I promised I did. For the distance, isolation, and judgement, I sincerely apologize.

Most of all, I apologize to myself for not taking the time and having the patience to understand who I am and forcing you to live in the who you were and live with the ideas of how you grew up.

I am a work in progress. I am learning to admit my faults and hold myself accountable because being unaware is no longer acceptable. I want to cherish life and the few people who I have remaining in mines as well. I no longer wish to hold on to negativity and allow it to hinder my growth!

I accept that I am a beautiful mess but I’m not done yet!



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The Way He Cares For Me

The Way He Cares For Me

Good Morning Mama!

“Good Morning Mama, are you hungry?” my son says to me. Oh how I love the way he cares for me! He is quiet and a bit mysterious and while it can be frustrating at times, I have to admit that it’s one of his best qualities! My son, the only boy, what a special place he holds in my heart! He is growing into a young man so fast and I’m just trying to keep up.

I remember being pregnant with him and not knowing what was going to happen or where we going to end up but I loved him, I needed him. He was someone who would hold on to me and love me forever. No matter what I did and who I was or wasn’t, he was going to love me regardless. I didn’t have a dime to my name or a father to hold on to for him but I carried him proudly because we were a team! He gave me hope. He made me realize what true unconditional love meant because before this I had never felt it and what an amazing feeling it was!

Now here he is 13 years old! Where has the time gone? I sit back and think about all the mistakes I’ve made as a parent and I beat myself down. But then my baby comes in the room and says “Good morning mama!, are you hungry?” and I’m not so hard on myself anymore. Those words while they may seem so simple to some, they mean the absolute world to me! It lets me know that I taught him to care and most importantly he cares about his mama.

The funny thing is we sit and have grown up conversations. He is a young man and I intend to treat him as such. Which in turns means that during these real conversations he gets to see his mom as a human being. He understands that I make mistakes and I also need to acknowledge them and make them right as I expect him to.

As he continues to grow into the awesome young man I know he will be, I take great pleasure in watching and being a part of his journey, are my thoughts as I enjoy the delicious french toast he cooked.

His love, patience, and care reflects in his food and I am a proud mama all over again.


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Summer Vacation 2018

Summer Vacation 2018

Tennessee, With Love!

By The Dreaded Phoenix

Grandma to the rescue!

What a summer vacation to remember! Actually, as you can tell from the title that this was our first vacation ever and it could not have been any more special! Yup! After 14 years of being together and 11 years married we finally managed to make it to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! I mean let’s be real, we’ve only planned this tripped and tortured ourselves with the idea only a few hundred times! LOL!

It’s not that we weren’t serious about going but with five beautiful mini versions of us running around and those two dreaded words “bills & budgeting” (ooh! I shutter just thinking about B & B LOL!). But, as adults we now what the priorities are but we also know things come up and for the most part we stay focused.

Well for us, our break came this summer when grandma ask to keep our squad for a month and a half over the summer break! Now I can’t even lie, this was a break we all could use! Especially after making a major move from one state to another and everyone facing the dreaded transitioning with home, schools and work. Yeah a break was almost mandatory. Although we all were going to miss each other, the mission was on for everybody! I honestly believe in unison, we all thought about how we would try to have a great summer break!

So while grandma and the kids were discussing amusement parks and swimming pools, my husband and I immediately thought about none other than the beautiful Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! It has always been a dream of ours to stay in a cabin so after much research over the next week our vacation was booked!

Relaxation, Mountains, & Memories

First off, what a beautiful scenery Tennessee offers and may I just say, OMG! The air is amazing!! I would have to say that the fresh air is one of the fondest memories I took with me. I mean, I was expecting my allergies to really kick in and bother the hell out of me and surprisingly, Nothing! I mean it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I loved it!

The mountain views were absolutely priceless! I mean everywhere you turn they were just complimenting the scenery. This was the first time that we actually experienced driving up and down mountains and let me tell you! I fainted a few times! Lol! ok maybe not really but quite a few times I couldn’t bare to look out the window. Absolutely breathtaking! 

The cabin was Priceless! Needless to say that we were absolutely speechless! The detail and character of the cabin was done with pure love! The only issue that we had was not being able to stay longer! We had everything we needed and the seclusion was a great addition to all the other amenities as well!

Last but not least, the adventures and memories! While we wanted to make sure that most of the trip was spent relaxing in the cabin and just enjoying each other’s company, we did venture out and try a few things old & new!  I booked us tickets to see a magic show since either of us had done that before and it was pretty entertaining I must say.  We also tried the alpine coasters and go-karts which were really fun but my favorite of all was white water rafting!! We scared the hell out of ourselves but it was definitely worth the experience and can’t wait to go again!

This vacation was everything! My husband and I definitely sit back and enjoy the memories and we are already budgeting for our family vacation! I can’t wait to see where we end up next!

Memories to last a lifetime!

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