You Have Opened My Eyes May 28, 2017

Posted by Paige Dunn | Mini Mom Adventure

You have opened my eyes. Before meeting you I didn’t know what it was like to be in a friend circle of people who have served. I didn’t understand why one looked at people in their troop as brothers. You have opened my eyes as to how one can cope with losing friend after friend. You have opened my eyes as to how one might think, “Why me? Why am I still here and they aren’t?” You have opened my eyes to the horrors of what can happen.  The most unthinkable horror stories of gruesome deaths of friends, brothers. I have an understanding now of what I’m looking at when I see someone in a uniform. The lifestyle, the pain, the tragedy, the sacrifice, the faith, the pride, the training, the hard work. These are things I have such a different perspective on now. Thank you. Thank you for your protection, for risking your life over and over again for my safety and the safety of our country. Thank you for staying alive when it seemed you might not. All that you have gone through has made you who you are. Who you are is truly remarkable. It is an honor to know you. An honor to love you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You are my hero and my Hercules. I love you. Read Full Post

The Methow Valley May 21, 2017

Posted by Paige Dunn | Mini Mom Adventure

I recently had the pleasure of heading to the Methow Valley for a family reunion. This is a beautiful part of Washington State—an area so special it is what you envision when you read fairy tales about a princess coming from a land far, far away. It’s located in north-central Washington, over the North Cascades Highway. (The pass closes in the winter, so in the snowy months, you can reach the valley by going over Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 or Stevens Pass on Highway 2.)

When driving to the Methow on the North Cascades Highway (Highway 20), you can’t, shouldn’t—just don’t—make the mistake of missing the Cascadian Farm in Rockport. They have the best blueberry ice cream ever. Oh, and hit the fruit stand, too. I’m the biggest sucker for a fruit stand, and this is a good one.

The Methow Valley has five towns (Methow, Carlton, Twisp, Winthrop, and Mazama), and each one has a distinct feel. Methow and Carlton are pretty small, residential places. Twisp has an unpretentious local flavor with a lot of shops and galleries and restaurants; Winthrop is an old-west, cowboy-themed town, and Mazama is an outdoorsman’s haven. The valley is a great place to visit year round. There’s usually a lot of snow in the winter, and they often get Indian summers, so a fall camping trip can be a great way to stretch out your short Seattle sunny season. Read Full Post

Goodnight, Sweet Gamma May 6, 2017

Posted by Paige Dunn | Family Celebrations

Tonight I am writing on my iPad in a recliner chair at Virginia Mason hospital. It’s 1:30 am, and I just tucked my grandmother (Gamma) in, said a prayer for her, and sang her a lullaby. She may not make it through the night.

As I speak to her I am uncomfortable. Unsure of my words. Can she hear me? Is she scared? What do you say to a woman who should be recognized as a saint? She gave of herself freely and fully to her family all her life. I feel humbled. Scared. Guilty. This past year her memory really slipped and holding a conversation with her became challenging. This was the time when I should have made an effort to visit more often. My effort this past year really didn’t match my high—oh, ever so high—love and respect for her. Last week we celebrated her 90th birthday, and family came in from all over. It was so much fun to see her surrounded by her five children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I unfortunately was consumed with chasing after H and trying to encourage him to politely share his toys with the other children. Aside from a hug hello and kiss goodbye, I hardly spoke with Gamma. I think death always brings out guilt. I could have done more, should have done XYZ, shouldn’t have said blah blah blah. Once I get over myself, I’m able to stop and appreciate all the good times, look back and cherish the bits of wisdom, and remember the great woman she was and our special relationship. Read Full Post

A Need in Our Community April 22, 2017

Posted by Paige Dunn | Mini Mom Adventure

Hello –

Today I spent a little bit of time at Mary’s Place here in Seattle. If you aren’t familiar with them they do amazing work: one of the only shelters that houses whole families (women with children especially), provides day time services, education, library access, counseling, healthcare, childcare & most importantly a path to a home for families.

They are in desperate need of boys clothing: especially an immediate need for boys size 6 shoes. They also need the basics in sample sizes of toiletries (think hotel shampoo, makeup & skin care samples, sanitary supplies etc).  If you have used clothing, samples of toiletries you don’t need, household items to furnish a new apartment etc I’m happy to help.

I can pick up your gently used items or samples and take them to Mary’s place and provide you with a tax deductible receipt. Or I can provide you with the contact person at Mary’s Place and you can arrange drop off or even pick up.

Please share this email with your network of friends. Let’s get these kids set up with some clothes, their parents with some toiletries, and maybe even with some furnishings as Mary’s Place expands their shelters & places people in homes to call their own.

Sent from my iPhone
Evelyn Daniels
(206) 321-0358

Mud Fest—Oops, I Mean Tulip Festival April 7, 2017

Posted by Paige Dunn | Mini Mom Adventure

It’s been a while since our last Tulip Festival outing. In fact, I believe I was newly pregnant with Pemberley the last time. One thing I remember clearly from the last time was the crazy amount of mud.

I thought I was so smart this time coming armed with tennis shoes and rain boots for the kids. Hayden raced ahead of me the second he saw the mud and took a flying leap right into it. Pemberley ran right after him doing exactly the same thing. Poor Pemberley lost her boots and was standing up to her knees in mud. I went to rescue her and went ankle deep into the mud myself. Funny thing is it was so fun. We might have been a muddy mess running around the field, but we loved it all the same. Thinking back, I think the mud actually made it more fun.

We were at Tulip Town and they had a tractor ride you could go on. That was the highlight of the trip for Hayden. Hayden also loved watching the fancy kites they had flying. Once we were frozen solid, we headed inside for some hot cocoa. I wrote an article on the Tulip Festival last time I went with tips. See it here. What would I do differently next time? Not a thing. Bring clothes that can get dirty. A warm coat. Cash. Everything is cash only. A camera. You will want pics. Other than that, just go. It’s a blast. Read Full Post

Rice Krispie Easter Treats March 27, 2017

Posted by Paige Dunn | Family Celebrations,Home & Garden

Hayden’s godmother, my goddaughter Presha, is in town from college. She had a brilliant idea for us to get together and make Rice Krispie Treats. I was thrilled because I recently picked up a great idea from Pinterest for Rice Krispie Treats for Easter. The picture was perfect! Looked so easy and beautiful. Surely not even I could mess this one up. And it is a project with Rice Krispie Treats, so what could be tastier? So anyway, the idea is you form the Rice Krispie mixture into eggs and decorate the eggs. The ones in the picture were so beautiful you almost wouldn’t want to eat them. I found two similar projects.

1) Jam the Rice Krispie mixture into those plastic Easter eggs. This will form the perfect egg shape. If I had just left them like this, they would have been picture perfect. I couldn’t do that—didn’t feel creative enough. My darn creative urges truly can be my best friend and worst enemy.

Read Full Post

Dear Stay-at-Home Moms Everywhere March 18, 2017

Posted by Paige Dunn | Paige's Parenting Collective

Dear Stay-at-Home Moms Everywhere,

Are you feeling like a dairy cow—nursing all day long, a taxi driver, a mess-picker-upper . . .

I know there is nothing glamorous about this. Did you give up your career for this? Do you think back about the days you were praised for a job well done? Do you miss feeling important to the world? I do sometimes. I sometimes struggle with my identity in being “mom.” Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being a mom. But sometimes I reminisce about my days as an actress and how exciting it was. I loved that chapter very much.

I’ve allowed myself to close the door to it and be okay with it, though. From time to time I wonder what is next.

It hit me like a ton of bricks this morning that I was made for a very specific purpose. If I spend time looking ahead or in the rearview mirror, I could miss it. What if I am raising a future president or leader and it is my job to help form them and build them up to get on that path.

Don’t let yourselves be distracted by needing praise from the world. Head down. Your most important job is the little sticky fingers and sassy-mouthed loves in your home. This is a chapter. It is so, so important. Raising your kids to be amazing people is such a cool opportunity. Speak positivity into their lives. Tell them how much you love them. Tell them the gifts you see in them. Tell them all about their strengths. You get one shot at this, mammas. Give it your all. Hug and kiss on your kids. Teach your sons how to treat a woman right. Tell them they are a masterpiece that God created. They are a beautiful work of art. Tell them how they are your greatest treasure. When they go to sleep tonight, make sure their heart is beaming and warm from all the nice things you see in them. Set them down the path God created them to go down. Not the path you want them to go down. Set them up for success.

You are a mom. This is a huge blessing. Own it. Enjoy it. You are a mom. Own the title and wear it with pride.

Dearest Momentum Supporters and Friends, March 12, 2017

Posted by Paige Dunn | Bringing Sexy Back,Favorite Things

doublerunnerIt is hard to believe that MOMentum started when Hayden was a baby and I was walking the hills in my neighborhood with my co-founder Kelly Singer, trying to get the baby weight off. We came up with an idea to help moms in our community. We wanted healthy living to be accessible to everyone regardless of their financial situation. Our hearts were heavy for the moms who worked all day and had to choose between seeing their kids and exercising. We felt it was important not to have to choose. We wanted to help the moms who wanted to model healthy living to their families but were unsure how.

We saw a need in our community and decided not to look around to see who was going to step in and help. Why not us???

I started visiting parks and interviewing moms. I learned from some they didn’t feel safe going for walks in their neighborhoods. This particular interview at Powell Barnet Park in Seattle stayed with me. I made a promise to myself that day that I would make it happen for those women. It wasn’t the first park I installed, or even the third, but I got it done. It makes me so happy knowing the women I spoke to that day are able to go use the equipment. Read Full Post

Homemade Goat Cheese Goodness February 28, 2017

Posted by Paige Dunn | Home & Garden

This is so easy to make you won’t believe it. This is coming from me who could ruin the easiest of recipes. Here’s what you need:

  • One gallon of goat milk
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • Salt and favorite fresh herbs
  • Candy thermometer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Colander
  • Large bowl
  • Pot
  • Ladle

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Road Trip Tips for Brave Moms January 25, 2017

Posted by Paige Dunn | Mini Mom Adventure

Yesterday I completed my first road trip alone with Hayden. We drove from Seattle to Sun Valley. I like this drive. I also prefer driving to flying because it gives me flexibility in how much I can bring and when I want to leave and come home—and then there is no need for a rental car. Sun Valley is my family’s second home. I grew up coming here. I’ve never been one to do much planning for a road trip. I’m more a “throw clothes in a bag and go” kind of girl. Just under two years ago, when H was born, that grab-and-go lifestyle came to a screeching halt.

This trip alone with H went so well it made me think that (a) H is an amazing little car traveler, and (b) I did something right in preparing for this trip. Just in case my great preparation had something to do with it, I’m going to share my strategy.

Tip 1

Pack a bag for each person and one family bag. The family bag is in case people need to change clothes mid-trip due to, well, usual road trip casualties. It is also there in case the trip isn’t going well and you need to abort, grab a hotel room with a pool, and finish the trip the next day. In our family bag, I packed PJs, toiletries, one set of extra clothes for each person, and a swim suit per person. Thankfully, we got lucky and never had to use the family bag. Read Full Post

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