September is kind of a crazy month for us Hoelsemas. We have a couple of birthdays, a week-long summer vacation, and I usually start school with the kiddos at some point in the month. This year I happened to realize something that got my mind spinning in many directions.

Back in 2007 (well, technically very end of 2006), my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first child. We were delighted as we really didn’t know if it would happen for us. (I’ve shared parts of my story here, as well as on Facebook. I’ve even written a book on infertility because we faced that disease head on. You can find it HERE!)

Unfortunately, however, that child wasn’t meant to be. God called that angel home in February 2007. My due date was in September 2007, though. Another reason September is just a tad *crazier* around here.

So this is what I realized this year. If my husband and I had never miscarried that child, we would have a 10 year old!! That makes my jaw drop, people! I mean, it’s already hard enough that my oldest is going to be seven in November, and my baby is already four, but a 10 year old!!?!?!? I’m not that old, am I? It’s just really hard to believe.

Time really does fly the older you get. I feel like every time I blink my children are just that much older. So then I got to thinking about parenting. I pray almost every day that my children will grow up making wise choices, having the right people surrounding them, and turning out to be successful, smart, hard-working, honest, loving, et cetera.

I believe heavily that Proverbs 22:6 holds true. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Thus, I try to train my boys in the way of the Lord. I don’t always do what’s right, but I hope I’m doing good enough. I hope I’m a good mom.

Then I came across something that spoke volumes to me. The following post is from 21st Century SAHM on Facebook. You can see their page HERE!

Girlfriends, I got to get something off my chest.

My house is never clean. Like ever. I have friends (with kids) whose houses are spotless. Are they better mothers than me? Nope. Am I a better mother than them? Nope.

I work out every day. I have mom friends who don’t exercise. (I mean other than running around like crazy people after their kids). Does that make either of us a better mom? Nope.

I have a friend who gave birth in a pool in her living room. I pushed mine out in a hospital bed after receiving a gift from the epidural fairy. Both of us are good moms.

I drink a beer or glass of wine (sometimes in front of my kids!) on occasion. I’m a good mom. My neighbor and good friend doesn’t drink. Also a good mom.

I’m a yeller. I have a good friend who is quiet and extremely patient. I envy her. But we are both good moms.

I have friends who are super organic, chemical free, and dye free. My kids sometimes eat popsicles for breakfast. The cheap kind that are 50 for $2.00. Are either of us better than the other? Nope.

I swear, but not in front of my kids. Are you a bad mom if you do? Hell no.

I’m involved with my kids’ school but I don’t volunteer and live there every day. Are the moms who volunteer daily any better than those who never do? No. Am I incredibly grateful for the moms who volunteer every day and help the teachers? YES.

Are stay-at-home moms better than working moms? NO.

Are working moms better than stay-at-home moms? NO.

Are married moms better than single moms? NO.

Are you a better mom if you take your kids on exotic vacations? NO.

Can you be a good mom if you the closest thing you get to a vacation is the park? YES.

Can you be a good mom and have a super scheduled summer with lots of planned activities? Yep.

What about if your summer is lazy with no plans? Yep.

Do good moms let their kids watch TV? Yes.

Play video games? Yes.

What about if you say no? Also fine. Your choice. You’re the mom. And a good one.

I’m a Christian. My friend and neighbor is Muslim. Another friend practices no religion at all. WE ARE ALL GOOD MOTHERS.

My other friend is gay. Her kids have TWO mothers. They are both good moms.

I breastfed. My kids barely had any formula. Am I better than moms who give their kids formula? NO.

So how about this? Can we all climb down off judgmental mountain for a second? And just support one another? And just say, Hey, motherhood is hard. You’re doing a good job. Raising kids can knock the wind out of a person. You got this.

How awesome would that be? Just a thought.

There is a lot of judgment going around, and I know at times it seems easy to think we’re doing better than or worse than other parents just based on situations, appearances, provisions, et cetera. But really I think we’re all just doing the best we can.

So in a day and age where there are a lot of paths to take (vaccines, schooling, foods, technology, chemicals, and the list goes on), the best we can do is research and decide what’s best for our family and/or just choose what fits our budget, morals, conscience, lifestyle, et cetera.

And then pray. Pray it all goes well. Pray our children grow up right. Just pray. Let God take care of the rest.

And, finally, don’t worry about what others think (yes, easier said then done). Just rest in the knowledge that you’re doing the best you can do, and that no one will love your kids better than you do.

So this September, I will take all these words to heart, and continue to be the best mom I can to these two precious boys (and one angel in heaven).

Have you ever taken some kind of baking or decorating class? I know that such things are offered at stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. They seem like fun, but I have never taken one from either place because I think I would get too intimidated. However, recently my mom came across a decorating class that was taking place in someone’s home close by. There would only be a few other women invited so we thought, why not?!? After all, it would be a fun mother-daughter event to celebrate Mother’s Day with.

So anyway, this decorating class was going to be adding flowers to cupcakes and making a bouquet. When we got there, the teacher was super helpful in showing us how to do three different types of flowers: a rose, a daisy, and a chrysanthemum. She went through each step carefully, and made sure we could see well what she was doing.

Having said all of that, I want to share some pictures from that night. The first is the set up. We each got five bags/tips, a spatula, tray, mixing bowl, and a flower pin (not really sure what that is called. It’s simply a baking tool that has a round flat top and a sharp tip that allows you to stick it into a piece of Styrofoam or whatever.) And frosting of course!

After going through all the demonstrations, we were able to pick out the colors we wanted. I chose green for the leaves, yellow for flower tips, white for the daisy, peach for the rose, and a dark purple for the chrysanthemum.

Now it was time to get to work! We would take our flower tip and put on a piece of (wax?) paper and go on designing our flowers. Here is my tray full of the flowers I created. There are 14 total, 2 to put on each cupcake we’d be decorating.

These beauties then headed to the freezer so that the frosting would harden, allowing the flowers to peel from the paper easily. While these froze, we set up our boxes that our bouquet would be in.

These are the cutest little things! Up top is room for the seven cupcakes. I picked out three chocolate ones and four vanilla. Then when my tray of flowers was placed back in front of me, I went to work figuring out what flowers I wanted to combine with each other for each cupcake. I then added some leaves. After all was said and done, this is my finished product:


Not bad for my first time! I’ve decorated (I say that loosely because it was never anything tough) cakes before, but never had made flowers. I thought the flowers turned out pretty neat, especially my daisies! And they were a lot of fun making as well! I appreciated how the instructor clearly taught us, and then remained super helpful the whole evening through.

What do you think?

This class was a lot of fun, and someday I might do some other kind of decorating class, especially if the same person is doing it. I learned a lot about techniques, gained helpful hints on making baking/decorating easier, and most importantly, I had a wonderful time with my mom!

What are some things you’ve done with your mom for Mother’s Day?


Mother’s Day always brings about a mix of emotions for me and so many others. For nearly four years, my husband and I tried so hard to become parents, but it just wasn’t working out. Anyone going through infertility knows the struggle they face when it comes to special occasions such as this. Not just infertile couples, but those who have lost their moms find the day bittersweet as well. Or even those whose children have left home. Mother’s Day (& Father’s Day) can just be plain tough.

What I’m about to share won’t make it any easier, but I think it needs to be said nonetheless. When we think of Mother’s Day, we think of our moms (or if we are a mom ourselves, we might think of ourselves). But it’s about more than that!

  • It’s about father’s pulling double duty
  • It’s about pregnant-for-the-first-time moms
  • It’s about angel-baby moms
  • It’s about grandmas or aunts taking over the role of mom
  • It’s about women who have a mother’s heart
  • It’s about women with biological children
  • It’s about women with adoptive children
  • It’s about women with foster children
  • It’s about step mothers
  • It’s about mothers-in-law
  • It’s about anyone assuming the role of caring for others
  • It’s about those who constantly pray for the wellbeing of children
  • It’s about those trying to become moms
  • It’s about repeat moms
  • It’s even about pet moms

Basically….THIS! I see this going around Facebook this time of year, and it is absolutely 100% truth!

With that said, to all that fit within these perimeters, Happy Mother’s Day! And please know that if you are not particularly happy this day of the year, I (and so many others) can understand.