You know what make social media super great at times?

When people unknowingly fall for things posted by The Onion.

People ranting about social issues, people selling the lasts MLM product(*), people “vaguely” referencing family drama all under the guise of “asking for prayers”…those make social media a beating at times.

Yet nothing makes me feel more giddy than when someone posts a link to an article by The Onion…a notorious SATIRE site…along with a comment about “Can you believe this?”

I can giggle at this because I have TOTALLY been that person before.

Lately, my favorite Onion post on Facebook has been the one about how mom spends beach vacation doing the same household chores in closer proximity to the beach.

Can I get an amen?

Sometimes as moms we loose ourselves in motherhood. We find joy in parenting, in taking care of our homes (thanks, Joanna Gaines!), in tending to our spouse. These are all good things. However we can look up one day and realize past loves…reading, crafting, biking, muesem-hopping…have all taken a backseat to taking care of our families. If faced with a questionnaire in which someone inquires about hobbies, moms suddenly find themselves writing down such options as “Stain Removal from Resaleable Gymboree Clothing” or “Reloading the Dishwasher for the Third Time that Day“.

Readers, if you would answer a questionnaire with similar answers, it is time for you to get a hobby.

This summer, I have set aside a time to work on one of my hobbies. I made it very clear to the kids that I am working on something that is important to me and I would like peace and quiet to finish the task. If they need me for something super important, they are welcome to come and talk to me. Otherwise I am to be left alone.

Some days this hour in the morning comes and goes and the children hardly realize they are leaving me alone.

Then there are days when they simply cannot help themselves and find the need to ask me all sorts of pointless questions.

Perhaps they fear I am lonely. Or doing something uber fun. Or eating secret chocolate chip cookies without them.

Whatever the reason, there are days that this sacred time I have carved out is bombarded by two long-legged kids throwing themselves across my bed tossing out such important questions as “What is the schedule for next Tuesday?” and “Are there any chocolate chips in the freezer?”

Earth-shattering stuff.

I answer their questions and send them on their way, reminding them that mom is working on her hobby and needs some quiet during the designated time. Fortunately I have children who understand the need for peace and space (praise hands for kids that are slightly introverted like their parents) and generally respect the time I have allotted for my hobby.


Want to carve out time for your own personal hobby? Here are some steps to start down that path.

1. Choose a Hobby.

This is obvious, right? However, as we venture further into this mothering gig sometimes past hobbies become a bit of a blur. Take time to think about what you would like to do/create/visit. Think about available resources. If your hobby includes hiking the mountains and you live in West Texas, it may be time to dream up a different option.

2. Tell the Family

No one will know that mom is wanting to venture out on her own if she never mentions it. Tell you family about your hobby. Explain to them why it is important to you and why you want to pursue this. Remember, your kids have hobbies as well. They “get” wanting to do something you love (unless they are in the under three crowd and their hobby is tearing about the house. In that case, talk to your spouse about your hobby.)

3. Make a Plan

Nothing can happen in regards to your hobby until you make a plan for that hobby. For example, when I decided to specifically devote time to my hobby this summer I allocated a time in which to do this hobby. For me, I work on it from 8-9am in the morning. I keep this time sacred. I do not allow cleaning the bathrooms to take precedence or opt to drag the kids to the grocery store instead. This hour is hobby time.

4. Get started.

I am a big fan of Jon Acuff and especially his book “Do Over”. Good stuff there, readers. Sometimes we can make a plan but we never actually get started on said plan. You know those chore charts taped to your fridge to remind your kids to pick up their dirty clothes and brush their teeth?  That same principal will work for you. Jon Acuff has a whole movement helping adults actually make a plan happen by marking off in 15 minute increments when one actually DOES what they planned to do. Get the printable here.


What is your hobby? How are you going to make that hobby happen?

Share with all of us so we can be inspired to step out of the laundry room and embrace some time for ourselves.


(* I love me a good 31 bag and some essential oils. In no way am I criticizing my MLM friends.)


Summer Reading Guide 2015: The Kid Edition

by Lynley on July 7, 2015

Growing up, I remember the brother of a friend of mine was being paid per page of every book he read that summer. I really wanted my parents to pay me per page because I could rack up some serious money by basically lounging around with my nose in a book. Obviously the friend’s brother was in need of some literary encouragement. I also happen to remember that his parents’ did not end up forking over a lot of money once August rolled around that year. Said literary encouragement obviously did not provide the type of motivation he was in need of that year.

At casa de phillips, there is no need (or financial way) to pay kids per page to read.

Both my kids love to read. The boy has been a book fiend since the very beginning. He reads quite quickly and can make his way through a pile of books in no time.

The girl has also loved books from the beginning, but her love grew in different ways. She loved to have books read to her but had some hesitancy for a while when it came to reading on her own. That hesitancy has since diminished and she attacks books with fierce bravado.

The interesting thing about these two is that their tastes in books can be quite different. Part is a gender thing, part is a personality thing, and part is “I don’t want to like that book merely because YOU like that book” thing.


So what is on the girl’s list of books for fellow eight year olds to read this summer? First, lots of non-fiction ocean books. If they contain pictures of really disturbing fish, that is a bonus. Below are some of her favorites.


The Shark Encyclopedia

Rainbow Fairy Series

Capital Kids Mysteries

A to Z Mysteries

The Critter Club

American Girl Mini Mysteries


The boy has his own list of great summer reads. The hard thing about the boy is that on occasion I let him venture over into the teen room to check out their library books. He is rapidly reading through everything in his normal section and he is needing some new inspiration. Obviously we are careful with what he comes back with from said room. His summer reading guide contains some of the following titles.

Science Fair

Gollywhopper Games (he LOVED this series. LOVED. IT.)

Kingdom Keepers (Perfect because we are planning for a trip to Disney in the Fall)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

Big Nate series

Anything Marvel comics related


Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer series


One thing they both happen to love is a boxed set of Calvin and Hobbes comics that my husband owns. For the past few weeks both of them have been pulling these large volumes of comics into bed with them to get in a few giggles before lights out.


What books have found their way onto your kids’ list of “Must Reads” this summer?




Summer Reading Guide 2015

July 6, 2015

Something you need to know about me is that I love a good summer reading program. My kids are signed up at various programs all around our fair suburb. This is not because they need encouragement to read or because I am attempting to keep them entertained (okay…I totally am attempting to keep them entertained.) […]

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365 Days

October 25, 2014

365 days ago I began a journey. On a Friday afternoon late last October, I woke from a four hour surgery, thirsty and begging the nurse to bring my husband back to the recovery room. (She gave me two ice chips and said my husband would have to wait to see me. She is not my favorite […]

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Meet me in St. Louie

October 24, 2014

Back a few months ago, I asked the husband if he would be interested in taking a vacation to St. Louis. Always one up for an adventure, he replied with a casual “Sure.” I then explained that said vacation might involve a hospital stay and a recovery period. Fearing that I may be planning a […]

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Surviving Summer: Super Summer Challenge

June 14, 2014

Thursday night for dinner we dined on Chicken Nugget Kabobs, Sautéed hot dog buns, fruit salad, and cupcakes. Obviously not the typical meal plan one would find on Pinterest or among the pages of Southern Living magazine. However, the meal was met with a round of applause from the entire family. Especially from the chef who […]

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Debunking the Myth of Pinterest

March 21, 2014

I don’t want to brag or anything, but I have just over 3,000 pins on my Pinterest boards. I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon back in the early days, when you had to get an invite and had to own a website. Since then I have been a pinning fool. I have hair boards and […]

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Time Warp Trip to Target

March 19, 2014

Last night I “ran in” Target for napkins. Because there were no children with me, I grabbed a Starbucks (because Starbucks is incredibly cheaper sans children. By the way, Starbucks is getting rid of the cake pop. This is crushing news to my off-spring.) and went to the napkin section. Via the clothing section. and […]

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The Myth of a Fancy Spring Break

March 18, 2014

Confession: We do not really observe Spring Break in our family. As I type that, I slightly cringe because it gets under my skin when fellow parents say such things as “We don’t observe secular holidays” or “We don’t observe eating meat.” or “We don’t observe wearing green on March 17th.” Please know that I […]

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A Letter to all the Mud Rooms on Pinterest

March 10, 2014

Dear Beautiful Mud Rooms on Pinterest, You are the stuff my dreams are made of, with your cute little baskets and sun hats carefully tossed on a rack. Your clean lines and bright colors inspire me. The way all the coats hang evenly and all shoes are tucked carefully away inspire me to be a […]

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