By: Jennifer Murray

Fast Fridays: Victory Lap

Fast Fridays (2)

I remember back in the toddler days when I thought, “If I can just make it to the school stage, my life will get easier“.

And then in the homeschool days, there were days that I almost chased down that yellow bus thinking it was the answer to making life simpler.

I think my glasses were a little rose covered, thinking I could just drop them off at school and take the nap that I had earned for the last 6 years. Turns out just getting them through the school week has a slew of tasks and demands that I hadn’t considered.

After all we as school moms have accomplished a lot the last five days. 


Together we’ve smeared on peanut butter and slapped together sandwiches. We’ve found lost shoes in the most forsaken of places. We’ve made impressive dinners out of ordinary ingredients. We’ve gotten them to practices with every single piece of sports equipment required. We’ve signed homework papers. We’ve made sure they had something that smelled clean to wear each day. We’ve responded to emails from teachers, PSG, fundraiser coordinators, and the lunch ladies – BLESS THEM. We’ve owned the mornings. We’ve listened to recess drama. We’ve tackled bedtime. We’ve remembered library books. We’ve encouraged. We’ve prayed. We’ve filled up the grocery carts {AGAIN}. We’ve HUSTLED. 

We’ve juggled a million things so that we can give them the best possible school experience.

So please join me for a victory lap. We’ve made it. We’ve accomplished much. We’ve won for the week. 

Monday is a million miles away. 



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By: Jennifer Murray

5 Back to School Essentials

Back to School

Pencils sharpened. First Day of School Pics Taken. School Supply List Conquered.

Now that we’re old pros at this back to school thing, I thought I would share some of my ABSOLUTE essentials for starting the school year off right! (Just in case you’re still loading up your supplies or looking for tried-and-true solutions!)

I’m a bit of a minimalist, so I stick pretty much to the list and see what we can make do on from last year. HUGE PROPS to my stud of a husband for doing almost all of the back to school shopping while we were in Texas with the dudes. I was so impressed when he picked me up from my team luncheon with the van packed with all of our stuff + school supplies x4! He’s a catch, I’m telling ya!

1. We love these Easy LunchBoxes containers and this is our 4th year using them, so it’s been a great investment!  They are affordable, simple, dishwasher safe, and just all around winners! I like that I can throw them in their backpacks without a lunchbox for quick mornings! And if I’m looking for something other than PBJ to go in their lunches, so I love going back to this list for inspiration.


2. Speaking of lunches, I love putting a little note in the boys’ lunch. I certainly don’t do it every day, but it’s a fun way to encourage them in the middle of their school day.


3. These Contigo Trekker Water Bottles have also held up remarkably well – like still using ones from 2012 well! They spill-proof magic!


4. Still on my list is a laminator, and since Amazon has them for over 1/2 off right now ($24.99), I’m just going to go for it!  I think we’ll come up with all sorts of practical uses for it!


5. Promoting and protecting my boys’ health has become a passion of mine, which means making good choices in food, keeping a reasonable bedtime, staying active (we’ve got this one down) and giving our bodies an extra boost with essential oils. 


Tonight I’m hosting a Back to School Essentials night on Facebook where we’ll be chatting about boosting your kids (and your) immune systems, going over some healthy snacks for after school, DIY recipes, ways to help promote sleep, concentration and SO MUCH more! There will be GIVEAWAYS too!  I would LOVE to have you! Join us at 9 pm EST tonight (or I will leave the event live for a while so you can catch up when it’s convenient for you!)  Click on the link to join us!

And in case you hadn’t heard the BRAND NEW PREMIUM STARTER KIT is ON SALE through the end of August, so definitely check out this post so you can take advantage of the money savings and get these oils in your home! See this post for more info:


How about YOU? What’s a Back to School item that YOU can’t go without? 


Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a tiny affiliate commission – so THANK YOU. Know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to your lives, because I genuinely care about you!
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By: Jennifer Murray

Fast Fridays: Overcomers

Fast Fridays

Have you ever had reality smack you in the face and wake you up to what you’re missing in the details of the moment?

That happened to me on Saturday morning. The boys and I were at the annual St Vincent Women’s NICU Reunion Picnic. It’s always a highlight of the summer seeing faces that we haven’t seen for a while who “get” our start to parenthood, and being reminded of how far our boys have come. In the past it’s been a bit emotional seeing doctors and nurses that God used to save our boys’ lives and getting to thank them again for all of their care.

We shake hands with doctors who’s hands held my babies head while a ventilator was inserted down their tiny mouth. We hug nurses who’s arms held my babies when I couldn’t. We reunite with those who’s lives we’ve crossed because of this road, and we play games and eat with strangers who have also tasted the uncertainties of life. 

These boys are overcomers. They are statistical exceptions. They are living proof of God’s power and protection.


The picnic is a an equal celebration of how far they’ve come and a sobering reality check of what could have been, as we are surrounded by families who have lost children prematurely or have life-long challenges to face daily. 

This should have been my mindset on Saturday as we enjoyed a sunshiny August day at the park. However, I was caught up in counting tickets for prizes, trying to make everyone happy, passing out snacks, and feeling frustrated over attitudes of ingratitude. Keeping it real, Yo. 

It wasn’t until a triplet mom ran into me with a hug and a lit-up smile that snapped me back into the reality of what surrounded me. Her kids are older than mine and she was a great mentor to me in the trenches of both pregnancy and the multiple babies stage. Days that I would have LOVED to hear that my babies were going to be healthy and thriving eight year olds one day. My frustrations melted and I apologized to my boys for my attitudes and ungrateful heart {and later they did too}. The day was redeemed.


Some days you have to overcome lungs that are underdeveloped and other days you have to overcome your own selfishness, but we all can be overcomers. 



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