End of Summer Coffee Date + Giveaway! 2022
A summer photo-dump coffee date and an Anthropology Giveaway!!
It’s that time of the year again…time to catch up on the last few months of life over a cup of something yummy. I’m just hanging out here, hoping you’ll pull up a chair and join me… 😉
I’m at least starting this post from a sweet little spot at the Honolulu Coffee Co. at Ala Moana Mall in Honolulu. I took a rare afternoon downtown to do some returns (and ok, hit the sale rack at Anthropology!) and decided this was a good time to order a soy mocha (with light whip because: balance) and hang out with all of you for a few minutes!
So: what’s your bevy of choice? And…what is on your mind? Really: I’m wondering what you’d want to talk about over coffee? (save that thought for the end of the post and you can enter to win a giveaway!)
Since our last coffee date, I cannot believe how many big things have happened in our family. Like, way more than usual. Two graduations, a World Championship, a couple birthdays, and somehow my kids have covered much of the globe (while Dave and I have mostly stayed on the island.) If we were to sit over coffee I’d probably have to just pull out my phone and show some photo highlights, so that’s exactly what I’ll do here.
But before I dive into that, I’d have to just smile and say: Aren’t you happy it’s nearly fall? I have loved fall since I was a kid and fall wasn’t the thing that it is today. (yes, even before the PSL!) I talk about this every year here, even as we acknowledge that…Hawaii DOES NOT HAVE FALL. 😢 (It’s ok, I’ve come to peace with it.) You might remember that I create my own microcosm of fall each September — decorating the house with (fake) pumpkins, burning my favorite fall candles, cranking the A/C, and telling Alexa to play “fall jazz.” (and my family is like: “What even is that, Mom!??” 🤷🏼♀️) I will soon start a regular rotation of soups and baked-pumpkin-everything.
Happy Note: I do have a trip coming up in early November to the very east coast for a writing conference, and I’m counting on a little taste of true fall then!
Photo dump first, (hang in there — it’s a LOT, and of course you are welcome to skim!)
- Luke graduated (homeschool) high school in May.
2. Josiah graduated from Westmont college the following week!
We had a great time in Santa Barbara. (including Mother’s Day! ❤️)
(My parents AND Dave’s dad ^ gathered with us in Santa Barbara for that!)
After graduation, Josiah and Levi went on a road trip together. 🥰
Then Levi came home and turned 12.
And I made a Baked Alaska. 👍🏽
While that was happening, Luke was in El Salvador for the Jr. World Surf Championships. Hundreds of surfers from 55 countries…
AND HE WON!! 🤩
THAT was exciting.
Then Luke came home for a minute before taking off for Indonesia to train.
Jonah got to spend the whole summer with us while working remotely and hydrofoiling a lot. 🙂
And he turned 21 while he was here.
Josiah turned 23 (without us — ) Then, stopped in to visit at the end of summer. He and Jonah crossed paths for one quick night.
I did two rounds of book edits over the summer.
-As many as possible from my favorite office space — Turtle Bay Resort. 😀
I soaked in time with Josiah before he left to travel around Europe for a month with a friend. (See his adventures on IG here.)
By August all of the older boys were gone and Levi and Dave and I had a new normal…
Levi has had some adjusting to do with being an only child (not his favorite!) but we have bonded over iced (decaf) coffees (sugar is his love language, unfortunately 😜) ping pong, the driving range, and a fresh new homeschool year!
Jonah took a trip to Alaska before college started. He caught a LOT of salmon and halibut.
Like, a lot a lot.Then, Luke’s summer travels kind of went on and on. What we thought might be a month in Indonesia turned into 2.5 months. Then he was invited to Waco, Tx (wave pool) for some training (and did this new move there) After that he needed to stop back in California for some surf-related business, and when we found out he was invited back to Indonesia for a contest in September, Dave, Levi and I decided to meet him in the middle! We flew to San Clemente last week to hang out with Luke for a week. And I’m so glad we did. We had a blast.
It was good for Luke to rest a bit. He had a bit of an ear infection which Dave helped him figure out. And we fed him well. And got him a hair cut. (scroll over to see before and after!) And he golfed a few times.
Levi was one happy little bro.
Luke is currently on his way back to Indonesia for the Stab High surf contest. (follow my IG feed in case I can share links to the contest.)We’re hoping to get him home in October. (And then I may never let him leave again. 😂)
Finally, the three of us had to return to work, homeschool, and our no-fall-fall in Hawaii. Ever notice — Leaving for a trip is much more fun than coming back? awwww.
Well…That was too much even for a coffee date! I’m not sure if you had enough caffeine to stay awake for all of that! haha.
Of course I’d love for you to whip out your phone next and show me your photos, too. I would love to hear what your summer has been like. Hopefully a little more restful than ours! And how does the fall look ahead?
Before we wrap up, I would have to mention how excited I am to be starting my first ONLINE BOY MOM BOOK STUDY on Monday (9/19). (If you aren’t signed up yet, please check it out here. It’s free and it’s gonna be great!)
I’d also tell you that I’ve been busy preparing for my next BOOK (releasing in Feb. 2023) and I’d promise that some BIG UPDATES are coming about the book (title, cover, who wrote my Foreward, and so on…) in just a couple weeks! 🎊 I’m also going to be sharing some little/big changes coming to the PODCAST in the new year then! To be first to hear all of that make sure you are on my EMAIL LIST!
*Also, FYI: In my weekly emails I often share favorite books or recipes, links to helpful or interesting things, and much more. I think you’ll be glad you joined!
In October I will be sharing a Q & A episode on the Podcast so this is a great time to leave me questions about ANYTHING at all! Also — and speaking of the podcast — Thank you for listening! Our downloads have quadrupled this last year, and we have so many more great topics and guests coming up this fall and winter!
NOW FOR A GIVEAWAY!? Leave me a comment below, and I’ll enter you to win one of TWO $50 ANTHROPOLOGY GIFT CARDS! Winners will be chosen randomly on Friday (September 23rd).
Giveaway is closed!! Thank you SO MUCH for all of the awesome comments! I LOVED Hearing from you all!
Congrats to Colleen and Stephanie! (I have emailed you directly!)
TELL ME: What would you want to chat about if we could have coffee…just the two of us!? (+ anything else you’d like to update me on!)
If you’re an email subscriber, let me know and I’ll give you DOUBLE entries! (If you share this post on social media, same! Just be sure to tag me on IG @monicaswanson_ or Facebook – @Monica Swanson- the grommom
I hope you know that I pray for all of you and thank God for this amazing community! Thank you for doing life alongside me, from all over the world…
So much love and hugs to all of you!
PS Ten random things about me in my Aloha Friday Introduction post on IG.
Thank you for sharing your joy and sweet family pics, and for inviting us to walk alongside you in the journey of motherhood because we need to cheer one another on through all of the joys and the challenges. I would love to chat with you about homeschooling high school (since we are there this year with my 14 year old) and about preserving and/or regaining meaningful family connections. Our son has also been sort of an ‘only’, as my daughter has been married now for nearly four years. Shane is enjoying being an uncle, though! (my daughter Laura and son-in-law Nathan gave us our grandson Landon in April of 2021).
Happy Fall, and God bless you and your family!
Elizabeth (Liz) Tefft
Oh I love all of this Liz!! Congrats on the grand-baby and oh how I wish we could sit over coffee and talk about all of these things. Thank you for being there and for the kind words. Sending love and hugs!
If we had coffee, I’d 100% want to talk about how your boys seem to like you so much and enjoy your company!
:). Thank you! And trust me, there were seasons where I wouldn’t have imagined it is what it is. Hang in there! big hugs
I am on my third year of homeschooling and loving it! While sipping on a pumpkin spice latte, I would love to sit and talk to you about our mutual love of homeschooling, family, and all things fall!! 🍁🍂
I am one of your email subscribers, too! Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful homeschooling experiences and knowledge – blessings to you and your family!
Oh Susie, I wish we could sip PSLs together! 🙂 I am so happy to hear you’re enjoying homeschooling! (More from me on that topic ahead!🙏🏼) Big hugs to you!!
Hi Monica, I’m a step-grandma of an almost one year old boy. It’s a blessing to be his only grandma, through a family tragedy. I praise the Lord that though I never had any kids of my own, this little fellow is such a joy to be around. He’s a gift from the Lord. I found your book last week in a book hut on a sidewalk in San Francisco, and can’t wait to start reading it!
Dede — Are you kidding, what a fun surprise to meet you…You found Boy Mom in a book hut!? 🙂 haha, I love that. And you are truly an amazing woman. I love that you are a new step-grandma and appreciating it so much. I hope and pray my book is the support you need! Big hugs to you!
I’d love to hear your take on having kids in church with you vs sending to Sunday school. While I see value in both I have been convicted lately to have our boys in church with us to model and teach worship, communion, etc. How did you and Dave do this?
Email subscriber and character course participant. Thank you for your ministry!
Ashley– Such a great question. I have pondered this one more lately as well, though I don’t think I have a firm conclusion. I also see the value in both and some of it depends on the quality of what is going on in Sunday school etc. This might be a good topic to tackle in my upcoming Q and A episode! Thank you! hugs to you and thank you for being in this community!
I am the Mom of a 1 year old boy, and your podcast and book have offered SO much wisdom, perspective and support! You do a fabulous job of connecting your listeners and I feel as if we’re friends even though we’ve never met. The toddler days are fun but can be crazy, so hearing from a Mom who’s been through the many different seasons of motherhood helps me keep my intention on the long game of parenting, and also reminds me to cherish these special moments while he is young. This is what I would like to chat about — how to enjoy the young and often thankless days, while being intentional about the future. Thank you, Monica!
Thank you so much Birttney! I love your heart. So glad you’re here. And honestly, don’t be too hard on yourself if some days are more work and not necessarily the most fun. It gets more fun as they get older (in my opinion!) but you’ll still treasure these days looking back.
Taming the beast of anger.
I’d like to share our faith journeys and how to spur on each of our Levis.
Oh I wish we could!!! ♥️. big hugs-
I honestly don’t even think I could choose a topic!! I just love listening to you so much and am so constantly inspired by you. So grateful for your heart and your words and your encouragement. 🤍
Oh that means so much to me!!! xo
If only we could have a short minute to talk … I would pick your brain about how to help foster in my 21 year old son, a desire for seeking Christ and turning to Him in all things. He has not had the healthiest relationship with his earthly father and I find myself trying to compensate :/
Oh bless you Jennifer. God hears your prayers and He is not finished with your son yet! I’m stopping to pray for him (and you) now!
If we could sit and chat over coffee I’d want to hear all about how to make it through my first son’s senior year and first year of college! What are the new boundaries? What can I expect? What do I need to know? It’s a hard, sad, fun, exciting and joyous year for us moms!
Oh Erica, I hear you!! I wish we could chat about all of that. But, just like all the seasons, I have a feeling you’re doing better than you think! 🙂 xo
Hi Monica 👋
Coffee and connecting…I’m there! I would love to hear your come to Jesus story. Who are the people that have the most influence in your life and what are you go-to resources that help shape/influence your faith-walk?
Hope next time I am in HI or you’re in SoCal hope we can meet! Thanks for all that you do and providing great resources. Love the encouragement you share! 💛
I love this so much. And I’d love to share more of my story in time! It would be awesome to meet. Definitely stay in touch!
Oh my goodness, what an eventful summer! As a mom of three boys, and our oldest also excelling in sports, do you ever struggle with not being there in person for such big events like Luke winning the Jr. Worlds Surf Championships? I’ve devoured your book, and love that our oldest (now 15) is truly becoming a young man that we truly enjoy and love having around… and yet the process of letting go is also slowly and painfully starting. I’d love to know more about your thoughts and experiences of watching your boys branch out on their own. Thank you so much for all the wisdom you share. I wish I had you as an in person mentor, but your words through this platform and the pages of your book have been so impactful. THANK YOU!
Olivia!! This means the world to me. I love hearing about your son and if I play even a small role in encouraging you as you go I am thrilled.
Yes it is hard to miss the big moments. I suppose I’m just grateful for technology and that we can really stay pretty close (and watch events online) as that brings the excitement home for us! What sport does your son do?
Hi Monica! Our oldest plays rugby 😉
Oh that is awesome!! And a little scary I’m sure! 😉
I’m always excited to see your emails pop into my inbox as a subscriber. I especially like the coffee date emails. Give me all the details 😆 . I have three boys and raising them today is a daunting task. Being a confident mama has not come easily to me. Thank you for your encouragement and letting Jesus shine brightly through your ministry.
Hannah – Thank you so much. I have a feeling you’re doing better than you think! Big hugs to you!
If we sat down for a coffee I think I’d love to hear stories about your boys! Mine are pre-teen and I’d love to cultivate a vision of them as young men who follow after the Lord. I’m excited for the Boy Mom book club study! Email subscriber here 🙂
Thank you CK! I wish we could sit down and chat. Sending hugs your way!!
Ummm, planning vacations. I don’t have any coming up but I like to imagine all of the things I’d do, lol!
And next years garden plans, and school trip. 🙂
Love this Carina! Thanks for the comment. I can tell I’d love to have coffee with you! 🙂
We would have so much to talk about over coffee. Golf, sending kids to college and how it is great and hard at the same time.
Yes we would!! Wish we could actually talk about all of that! xo
Drink of choice is iced americano with white chocolate and caramel and half and half!! You did have a busy but fun summer! If we could have coffee and talk, because this is the season I am in, I would ask you about dating for boys!
Yummy coffee drink Sabra! And I’d love to have coffee with you, but you might be disappointed as my boys really haven’t done much dating. (all boy family in the country — I dunno, late bloomers?…) anyways, maybe you can tell me about boys and dating!! :). (I do love the book “Outdated” by Jonathan Pokluda and that has encouraged my boys’ position on dating!)
Oh I look forward to your emails so much, Monica. If we could just sit and chat, I’d want to share stories of being boy moms together and encourage each other along on that journey! 🙂
We are starting our journey with littles. Though we’re still a few years out, I would pick your brain about all things homeschooling. Even though I’m an elementary teacher-turned-SAHM, the thought seems overwhelming at times (since we want 4-5 kids). It’s a great desire of our heart for our family though! I think I’d also pick your brain about the essential self-care balance. I want to do all roles with excellence (not perfection), and I’m still praying through how that looks for me and my family so we all thrive.
PS- I’m a subscriber (and a book study participant!). ❤️
Jenna– Oh my goodness you are my girl!! I love your heart and I love those topics so much. (So much that the next 2 books I plan to work on might just be right…down…that…alley! 🤫 😃) I wish we could talk!! Thank you so much for the comment! xoxo
Wow, what cool adventures those boys have 🙂 I honestly think I would want to chat with you about my boy! I have 3 now as well, but my first (9year old) is tough. He’s so smart and innocent and kind still but he is so curious and often doesn’t think “is this the right thing to do” before he does it. He knows right and wrong but he chooses the wrong thing fairly often and it makes me worried for when things get tougher. Im halfway through listening to your Boy Mom book on audible and Im getting some good ideas and hopefully will get more as I go! 😉 But, if we had coffee, I’d ask your advice on my guy 😉
Theresa– Oh I wish we could chat and I promise I’d encourage you not to worry> Your boy is still young and his brain will develop more in all of those ways. Keep talking, keep praying, it’s all gonna be ok!! 🙂 Big hugs and thanks for the sweet comment!
Hi, I am a subscriber 😉 and loved all the pictures! What a full and beautiful summer you all had! If we were to sit and chat, I’d want to talk homeschool. I want to but my husband is not on board. My oldest is in 7th, then 4th, 2nd and a 3yr old. We live overseas and I think it would be so beautiful (and hard) to homeschool, so I’d love to just sit and hear from you how you did it, and why and all of that! Anyway, peace to you today!
Oh Anna, I hear you. I wish we could chat over coffee! (where are you overseas?) My husband was NOT a fan of the homeschool idea either but he is NOW! I hope that some of my upcoming writing will be an encouragement in that area, but meanwhile keep doing your best with the time you have with your kids and God will provide! Big hugs to you!
Hi Monica! I’d love to hear a bit about how you successfully set yourself up for a future when the boys are all moved out and independent. That time where you find yourself with a life of your own to live that no longer revolves around all the dishes, cooking, schooling, and laundry. I know it happens in phases so luckily there is time for adjustment. I’m just beginning the early phases of that where I have a teenager who is becoming more interested in friend time than family time and it’s somewhat bittersweet to start thinking about what I want my future to look like. I’d love to hear your take and your thoughts process on it! I have been an email subscriber for a while. Thanks!
Thank you SO much Jessica. This is such a good conversation! I wish we could talk face to face! It is bittersweet indeed. Hopefully I’ll cover more on this in the days to come and you and I can go through this together! 🙂 Big hugs-
Over coffee I would want to talk about what your daily time with Jesus looks like and also maintaining relationships with college children and beyond. (I am missing the little years, but loving these, too ❤️). I subscribe to your email, of course, and can’t wait to hear about your new book!
I adore how respectful & humble your boys are, what was your & Dave’s “method” of raising such respectful & humble boys?
Also, if you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I am blessed to be an e-mail subscriber 🙂
Hey Jordan! Thank you for this. Such a sweet comment. I wish we had a formula but I think there were many factors in how our boys grew up (and honestly my 4th has some work to do in the “respect” category. ugh!) Speaking of my youngest, he has been obsessed with Switzerland recently so looking at lots of photos online and now I’m dreaming of a trip there! haha. Thank you for being in my email community!! xo
I would love to chat respect with you! Boy mom to 3 boys in Europe 🙂 love your book and have been reading your blog for years! I am an email subscriber too!
How you encouraged your sons in their faith without forcing it on them.
+ I’ve always been an email subscriber😁
If we could have coffee together I’d love to pick your brain on how to build self confidence in our kids. I think they feel more social pressure than ever before to fit in and not miss out on anything. Technology has made is so they always know what they are missing out on and never feeling like they are enough. I feel the pressure as a parent to make sure I’m making time for them to socialize and foster friendships. I don’t remember it being this way when I was young.
Oh Jamie- I feel you. It simply wasn’t this way before technology. The struggle is real. Hang in there and thank you for taking the time to comment! xo
So many things I would love to catch up on with you!!
First we could talk about kids at college and how to inluence them in a Godly way from a distance.
Next we could commiserate over both of us living in states with no fall. My favorite lifelong season too.
You would get to see pictures of my wild and crazy but adorable puppy.
And just life in general.
Take care friend.
Hey Teresa! LOVE all of this! I want to meet your puppy!! I think I heard that I might get to see you IRL this fall? If you’re coming in November we must get together! 😉 XO
Yes we will be there the last two weeks! Can’t wait to have a real coffee date with you.
We will keep in touch and make plans.
Would also love to join you in a Bible study if you are in one when I am there.
I am a mom of three young boys. Two 5 year olds and one 3 years. 🤪Their journeys all started in the foster system when we got them each when they were less than a year old. We finalized their adoptions about 3 years ago and can’t believe how far the Lord has taken us and provided. I’ve been so blessed by your podcast and your book. I have to pray for a constant patience for their wild, energetic, adventurous spirits. You’ve probably talked about this numerous times, but it’s always refreshing to hear how others have navigated the young years especially raising boys! Thanks so much for all your words of wisdom.
So great to hear from you Kella! Wow,what a gift you’ve given those boys. God will no-doubt meet you in the crazy, but so happy that my podcast and book have been an encouragement. Please keep in touch! xo
Love all the updates & photos! Wish I really could join you for coffee in Hawaii! Thank you for sharing! 🙂
I’d show you the personality-revealing gains my boy with autism is having. I’d show you the miraculous reading ability that appeared in my older girl. I’d show you the peak of manliness that is appearing in my older boy. I’d show you the incredible grip strength and thrill for adventure that my 2 yo daughter displays. But really, I’d just love to talk about life, God, perseverance, and joy.
P.s. I’m certain I have tried subscribing to your email list, but I almost never get those emails. :-/
Hey Laura– Well hopefully we will get to have coffee very soon! 🙂 I love all of that so much. And I’m so sorry about the emails — The only thing I can think of is I wonder if your email is putting them in a junk/spam folder?
Looks like your family had a beautiful summer! The photos are great and Congratulations to all of your boys and their amazing accomplishments!
Thank you! Hope you had a good one too!
I think the thing I’d most wanna talk about is how to raise your boys to love Jesus!!! I love learning from you & it is so cool to see all your boy’s adventures & their bonds together!! Amanda (mom of 3 boys under 6)
Thank you! I’d love to talk to you about that and I’m sure you’re well on your way! xo
Happy fall, Monica! If I could join you for coffee I would try not to be too distracted by the view out the picture window at Turtle Bay! I’d want to talk about raising teen boys and all the milestones- learning to drive, balancing sports-school- and all of the things, the path to finding the just right college- all of the things you’ve already guided three successful sons through! Of course, I’d want to chat about Hawaii, because I always want to talk about Hawaii. Aloha and enjoy the season.
Thank you Shannon! Those are some serious milestones and I’m sure you’re navigating them all so well! Love hearing from you always! xo
Hi Monica!!! If we could chat over coffee I would pick your brain on all things homeschooling AND raising and helping my boys in a highly competitive individual sport. We are newer to homeschooling (we like to call it COVID prompted, but God confirmed) and are in it for the long haul.
Homeschooling: I would love your tips, tricks, and advice on homeschooling the different ages/grades without feeling overwhelmed. I have a 4th grader and a kindergartener and the task of schooling both of them feels like it may have its challenges at times.
Sports: Our boys race dirt quarter Midgets, which is a not a team type of sport. It is also a very competitive and unique sport. I want them to do well of course, but not put too much pressure on themselves or wrapping their identity up in how they finish/perform on a weekly basis. Racing also presents its own unique challenges for my husband who is also their “coach”. Tips for momma on how to just be a spectator and not attempt to “coach the coach” as well 😜
I am also an email subscriber and I LOVE all your emails and your podcast! You are just such a calming and inspiring voice to listen to!
Eryn, oh thank you for taking the time to comment. I feel you on all of it! :). More on homeschooling coming from me in the future. 😉 — and wow, that sport sounds so interesting (and stressful!) I have often “coached the coach” haha, so not sure I’d be much help. But praying and cheering are good jobs so hang in there and keep up the good work! Thank you for being a part of this community. Sending hugs!
I just love reading updates about your sweet family! Such an encouragement to see the blessings of good fruit from diligently following the Lord! We LOVE San Clemente too and visit every year!
I also live where we have a “no fall-fall”, and I love an iced coffee or americano with pumpkin/almond milk cold foam on top!
I am an email subscriber, I love when you talk about parenting/ homeschooling!! A question I would ask is what ways you motivated your boys to read as younger boys?! And ways you might have kept them focused in your homeschool in the early grade school years?
Hey Alyssa! Thank you so much. That drink sounds incredible right now (just got in from the beach!) Those are such good questions…perhaps I can include that in my upcoming Q and A episode. I’m sure you’re doing great though, and a little bribery (“rewards”) does work well with younger readers. 😉
Hi Monica. I love talking about kids and training them in their Godly upbringing. Your character training stuff always sounds so good. Love talking how to make the relationship with Christ a foundation for them
I follow you and get your emails!!
Thank you and I so appreciate you taking the time to comment! xo
What an exciting season for you, Monica! My children are similar ages, minus the little one, so it’s been fun to follow along with you as they’ve all grown up! Your heart must feel so full that they have grown into such wonderful young men. I love following you via email newsletters, IG and the healthyhappyandfree. Now that my children are (mostly!!) grown, my area of focus is hh&f. I love the ideas you & your team share on IG. Thanks for all you do for the mom community!
Hey Marie- Thank you so much. I love having you in my community and hope to continue to offer encouragement! Keep in touch!! xo
Monica, it’s great to hear all about your summer! I would love to chat about the young kid stage and ask for advice! 🙂
I also want you to know that our family loves your baked pumpkin oatmeal. It’s on constant rotation over here!
I am an email subscriber, so it was fun to see you in my inbox.
Hello – Aloha *
I am new to your articles and podcast and really enjoy the breath of topics. I would like to talk with you about how you managed the fear of injuries. I feel that with boys it can be tough to let them play and be in new adventures if I have the fear of what can go wrong. I would like to learn how you coped with this while not putting them in a safety “bubble” 🙂
such a great question! I will try to tackle it on my upcoming Q and A podcast episode. But bottom line: prepare them for the things they do. Make sure to follow safety precautions (helmets on bikes/skate boarding etc.) and then let them go.A few skinned knees are not gonna hurt them. Lastly: pray! :). More coming soon. glad you’re here — thanks for commenting!
First of all, great coffee date!!! I guzzled down an iced salted caramel latte I made in my Keurig K-Latte machine I got for Mother’s Day this year while reading. I loved all your pics and sharing about your family. We had a fun summer and are settling into back to school. If just the two of us were having a coffee date, I would share my vacation pics and info about my family. I’d ask you for advice on dealing with back talking. Finally, I am an email subscriber and am really excited about your book club! I recently finished reading Boy Mom, but am going to read it again for the book club.
Sommer! yay, I love all of this. And your Keurig K-Latte machine sounds genius!! 🙂 I wish I could see your pics and I’d love to encourage you in the back-talking. (I’m dealing with it too, so we could really talk…but stand firm and don’t give up!:)) So happy you’ll be going through Boy Mom again with me. I hope it’s a blessing! xo
Aloha and happy Fall from the PNW where we do Fall well!
Aww thank you Tami! I usually make it to the PNW during the fall b/c you do it very well there!! :). ENJOY!
What a special summer! I’d love to chat about nutrition and faith! And any fun hobbies you’re pursing this fall 🙂
Oh we could have a good chat!! Love those topics. Big hugs!
Hi Monica! I, too, share your love of fall. After living in SoCal for 10 years we now are in central NY where fall is glorious! The leaves are already starting to turn a wee bit. I would love to hear your wisdom about how to handle the outward lack of fruit in a teen boy’s life, and how to turn the conversation toward our need for Christ. I have had Boy Mom for a while now (mostly unread), and am looking forward to going through the study.
Jamie! Oh wow. NY must be amazing!! I wish we could chat face to face, but I hope to cover this topic in my upcoming Q and A episode, so stay tuned. So happy you’ll be going through Boy Mom with me! big hugs!
I just found your recently and love your blogs. Been trying to get insights in how to raise a godly kind hearted boy. I have just 1 son – the only child – which has been a challenge of it’s own. Most parenting help I found basically deal with multiple kids. But only-child has so much challenges. It breaks my heart sometimes that I have a hard time finding sources that speaks for only-child (it’s such a lonely struggles, for the kid and parents). But I appreciate your wisdoms regardless, I try to get the best advise to apply to my only-son. Thank you for sharing with u!!
Grace, I hear your heart on this. Now that I’m raising a mostly alone son (though he has brothers) and I see how unique the challenges are. But you are not alone -I know some families who have done an outstanding job raising a single child. Praying for you now! Hope my writing and podcast are still an encouragement to you. Big hugs.
Hi Monica! I’m an email subscriber and first time commenter (long time reader though!). I read Boy Mom last year and found it so valuable for parenting my stepson. Now I am going to reread it (and hopefully stick with your book club!!) as I am halfway through my first pregnancy expecting a little boy!! So I’d love to chat all about – you guessed it – boy mom life, especially the early years, if we were able to get together for coffee. 😊 Thank you for your book, podcast, & blog. I really value what you contribute to the world and draw inspiration from what you share.
Laura! Oh this all makes me so happy. Thank you for commenting! I am very excited about your first pregnancy and have no doubt you’re gonna be a great double boy mom now! Praying the book club is a blessing for you!
The thing I’d love most to talk about with you is how to navigate 12 year old attitudes when your partner and you are not in the same page with parenting. He yells so the 12 year old yells. It feels like a circle that has no end. I feel desperate because we are losing him and time with him.
Oh Megan I am sorry. This is a common issue and while there may be no simple solution I’d say the most important focus would be talking to your partner in a quiet (peaceful) moment — maybe with a counselor even. It will help so much if you can get on the same page. (though none of us are 100% of the time…) Praying for you now! God will lead you!
I’d want to talk in more detail about your book. I’m so excited about the book club starting tomorrow!
Also, finding a way to balance the crazy workload of having a full time job, homeschooling and being the primary manager of everything at home and still find time to connect with the kids.
Hey Brooke! Wow, this is a LOT on you…Hope you’ve got some self-care in there somewhere too. So happy to do the book club with you. Sending lots of love!
I’m an email subscriber and appreciate all the wisdom. I have 4 boys (10,7,5,1) I’d probably want to talk about how to not give up hope along the parenting journey and little things I can do to learn to laugh in the crazy!
Ashlee — Whew! You’re in the thick of it. Keep up the great work and sending big hugs your way!
I know it’s probably a lot of things, but what is the main thing you wanted your boys to know when they left the house. As we are preparing our two boys to some day leave, I would love to know what your focus was during those years! Thank you for all of your vulnerability & advice!
Hey Amanda, love that question! I’d love to tackle in a little deeper in my upcoming Q and A podcast episode, but the quick answer is: I wanted my boys to have a secure identity in Christ. To know who they are and why they matter, and the they are unconditionally loved and valuable because of God — not because of what they do or what others think of them. 🙂 Hope that helps!
Thank you for sharing your honest, real stories and advice in raising boys.
We are in teenage years and it is wonderful and a bit frightening at times. Realizing I am helping prepare him (with God) to be the man, God wants him to be. Also I am preparing to let go in a few years.
It is amazing and a bit emotional at times.
Praying and trusting God.
Such great perspective, Cindy! I love all of that! xoxo
Love that you share your family and all of the ups and a few of the downs too. I’d love to chat about how you find balance between what you want to do and taking care of the fam!
Love reading the updates in your family’s life and also how raising kiddos looks on the other side of naps and diapers (our current stage!)
I think I would just like to sit and chat with you as a mom and woman who is in a similar stage of life. My oldest son will turn 23 in a few weeks, my middle son just turned 21 and my youngest is still home sometimes loving being an only but sometimes not. Conversation on finding new passions and pursuing dreams that God puts in our heart but we sometimes need to wait until a bit more space opens up in our lives. I have been a long time email subscriber and I love your IG pics.
Wow, what a fun filled summer! I’d be picking your brain on how to develop good relationships between brothers as mine are still so small. And I’d probably just want to listen as I think the baby/toddler years have left my brain a little fried 😂
My family and I have kept track of the Grom mom and her boys from the beginning. Someday I hope to meet you at the US Open in Huntington Beach when Luke surfs in it. God has blessed me with a 19 year old Godly son.
I love that and I cannot wait to meet! 🙂 Big hugs!
I would love to chat with you about trusting God in the midst of raising teenagers in today’s world and how/what you pray for for your boys.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom, I have learned so much from you!
I am an email subscriber.
Big hugs to you, Kelly! Thank you for subscribing and I’m hoping my next book offers more insight into the season you are in! 🙂
You had me at Anthropology gift cards! But really I have been silently watching and I guess it’s time to let you know that I find you and your family very inspirational. I love the smiles and enthusiasm for life, love for Christ, and warm glow of Hawaii and surfing that surrounds your life. I am thankful to see someone who loves Jesus also striving to be excellent and help others raise mindful kids and live a healthy lifestyle. You are so blessed!
Thank you Amanda!!~ What a blessing to hear that. 🙂 Big hugs!!
Also, i am a email subscriber ☺️
What a fantastic summer! Our family had some adventures as well as my 17 yr old ( my oldest, and only daughter) went on a summer long mission trip to Iceland. It has been so amazing to see how God has used that time to grow her closer to Him. She is currently applying for colleges, including Westmont, which is her top pick. I have loved listening to your sons speak on the podcast about their time in college knowing i may soon have a Westmont student on my hands. Im still nervous about what may be taught there eventhough it is a christian college. Is it more confusing to hear worldy values and topics taught at a christian college than at a public one?? Is she discerning enough?
Oh I love this! My best friend growing up’s mom was from Iceland so I grew up with so many Icelanders. (none were believers that I know of) – What a great mission trip! Your daughter will do FINE!! I hope at Westmont! 🙂 (My sons can keep an eye on her too!) Please keep me posted!! 🙏🏼
YOU WON the gift card! I just emailed you so please reply and I will get the gift card on it’s way!
I love your podcast and all the wisdom you share! I have two boys (7 and 8). If we sat down for coffee together, I would love to talk with you about their spiritual formation, and all the anxiety I have around whether or not they will grow to love God. I often feel heavy with the burden that it is all on me (which I know is not true, but it feels true!). Seeing your boys as young men who love and follow God is such an inspiration! xoxo
I love that and appreciate the kind words! And I wish we could have coffee so I could remind you of all the things you already know! 🙂 Really, keep giving it to God, and keep living your own faith authentically. They’re gonna do fine! Thanks for commenting!
Empty nest syndrome — it has me in its grips.
Oh! …and longtime email subscriber!
awww, I’m sorry. But God has plans for you now so don’t miss them! 🙂 Great new seasons are ahead!
Yes! Of this I have no doubt!
I’m a new subscriber and just discovered your podcast which is my new staple while nursing our newest baby boy. With three boys as well, I’d love to talk more about navigating the younger years to set them up for success down the road!
Awesome and welcome! Big hugs to you, and keep up the loving, beautiful (hard) work. So happy to have you on board!
I would LOVE to chat about the seasons your boys went through when friends were scarce. We’re a homeschooling family of four boys too. My second boy is such an outgoing friendly guy and makes friends wherever he goes. My oldest is more introverted and has a harder time making friends. I feel like he’s in a season of loneliness because of it😢. I would also love to chat about how to encourage these boys to follow the Lord when societal pressures are so strong. How do we make a relationship with Jesus to be the most important thing in our lives. I have sooo much I’d love to chat about!!! Thank you for all your encouragement, Monica!!!
I’m also an email subscriber!
Thank you Ali! I wish we could cover it all over coffee, but I have a feeling you’re doing a great job and just need to trust (and enjoy 😉) the process. Hoping my next book will be like a long coffee date, touching on many of the things that concern you! Big hugs-
Gosh there would be so much to talk about! 2 things I would love to chat in depth with you would be…..
1. How to instill listening and respect in the age 3-7? I have 3 boys all 2 years apart. 1:1 they are great, but together seem to go wild and crazy! How did you do it?
2. Cooking meals for a family of 6! In the younger stages what were your go tos? I have some picky and some non picky eaters. I know once they get bigger the food volume will also be a thing!
Thanks and as always I love listening to all of you stories, tips, and watching your boys grow up into strong men!
(Also I am an email subscriber:) )
Thank you Heather!! Great questions (might include some in my upcoming Q and A! :)) but wish we could cover it over coffee! Boys are crazy together — it’s normal. Though getting them out to a safe place to run wild is helpful! Cooking — no easy answer but we try to have a “no picky eaters allowed” rule in our house (though my 4th hasn’t signed the contract, haha.) PBJs, healthy snack food (fruits, nuts…etc) and big pots of pasta or other favorites so leftovers are available were a few of my go-tos. Costco is a must around here! 🙂
Love all of it!
Thank you so much!
Hi from Oregon! I’d join you for a coffee date in Hawaii any day! Lol A friend and I are very excited for your book study coming up. And just thinking as I read your post and saw the pics… I am trying to cherish these sweet young years with my boys but also so look forward to the friendships I will have with my 4 boys when they are older. So fun! *also an email subscriber
Yay and yes…it really is special to know our kids as people. Keep investing in them now. Big hugs to you!
I’ve been a long time email subscriber. My 3 sons and I love keeping tabs “on those Hawaiian guys!” What a busy summer, so many blessings! WHEN 😉 we have coffee, let’s talk about all things Jesus, Boys, Homeschool! Our high school journey has begun for us, I’m sure you could share and encourage me through that!
yay and yes– this will be an exciting season for you! Thanks for being here and hugs to you!
I love how I feel like I’m your best friend just by reading your blogs. (Of course I’m a subscriber☺️)
Truly though, we have so much in common: love of fall, homeschool boy mom, and I live in SC (oh how I’d love to grab coffee with you at Bear Coast or Zebra House, 2 of my favorites.)
I’d love to hear how you celebrate birthdays with your boys. We love to make it all about them, rarely have friends over, but rather their favorite activities (Disneyland, hockey game, golf date, etc) and then their favorite meals. Sometimes I feel guilty that we don’t throw them big elaborate Pinterest worthy parties, especially because they get invited to so many of those, but at the end of each birthDAY they say they had the best day, so I guess that’s what matters most in my book. I’d love to hear if you have any traditions or memorable birthday adventures.
Hope to run into you when you come back to SC. 💞
Hi Kelly! Thank you so much. I really wanted to do a (IRL) coffee date in SC when I was there but I just couldn’t fit it in with all the family stuff. Next time!! I’m similar to you with birthdays — and I’d just tune out the comparison (that’s not easy, I get it!) and listen to your kids. They love to feel loved by YOU! (if they want a party, they’ll tell you! 🙂 Keep up the great work and sending big hugs!
Monica! I would LOVE to sit down with you for a coffee date. I was actually thinking of you over the the last week because I was struggling through parenting my almost 6yo son and wanted all the wisdom you have. I also was going to re-read Boy Mom, and I saw you’re doing a free study! To say I am pumped is putting it lightly. Cannot wait for it!
Yay Trisha! SO happy to hear that. And I have a feeling you are doing better than you realize! I’m 6 is young, but also not so young…tricky stage! Hang in there and we’ll do this together! big hugs!
It would be so fun to chat with you! I’d ask for some advice on parenting my youngest. He is the most fun boy ever! Creative and energetic, but also so impulsive and gets angry very easily. Makes for some interesting and exhausting days!
I remember those days well. Keep up the great work- big hugs to you!
How to celebrate and enjoy being a lady and having your own tastes and style in a house full of boys.
Adapting to boys and husband w all different personalities and love languages all under one roof 🤪.
We stayed at Turtle Bay Resort & a rental for a couple days for our 20th anniversary. We celebrate our 25th this fall. We would love to go back-ha our kids want to join us! 🙃 It’s gorgeous and peaceful.
Things I’d like to talk about…unfortunately how to help your young adult (grew up in church) and has chosen not to fully walk with the Lord-how to help without being overbearing, how to have faith (believe beyond what I see in the natural), how to keep loving them when their actions/behavior are pushing the family away. -heavy, heart hurting topic. 😔
I’m also an email subscribe-from the beginning. 🙂
Oh Kelly, I wish I could hug you on that front. So hard to let them go and trust God and His timing. No easy answers on that one except that God loves your child so much and your prayers are heard. LMK if you make it back to the North Shore! 🙂
I know my own past and God is faithful. I know how much He loves my son too- just hard to watch and I definitely don’t want to get in the way of the Holy Spirit. I will definitely let you know when we chime back to the North Shore.
Thank you for your encouragement. 🤗
Hi! I’m excited to be doing the “Boy Mom” book study with you! And yes, I’m a subscriber 😉
I would love to chat about how to encourage genuine desire for reading & memorizing scripture! We have a LOT of conversations about God & the Bible, & even use some helpful resources with scripture references attached. But as my boys are all still young (7, 5, & 3), I’d love to gain wisdom on how to get them reading their bibles with us!
I love your heart, Jordan! Keep it up and trust that it all comes in time. Hugs to you and thank you for commenting. I hope the book study is a big blessing for you! xo
I would love just to talk about marriage and following Jesus 🙂 and how to best balance letting kids become adults
Such good stuff right there. 😉 I would love to talk about all of it!
First, I LOVE seeing the photos and hearing the stories about all your boys!!!! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing them with us. If we sat down for coffee, I’d love to get advice for how to best help my 15 year old who is struggling with his faith. Also, I’d ask, how do you connect on a deeper when he isn’t open to connecting. I’ve tried for years, literally. I play airsoft with him, I play computer games (that I have no clue how to play but I try!); and he just will not ‘go there’ with me. Perhaps, he’s just not ‘built’ that way? IDK Thanks for reading my book, Monica! 🙂
Stephanie! I appreciate your comment so much. I kinda cringed at this post because it felt like just a “dear journal” haha – so thank you for saying you enjoy. 🙂 Thank you for sharing about your relationship with your son. I think I will tackle that more in depth in my Q and A podcast episode, it is so good and so common. It sounds to me like you’re doing all the right things. Just be patient, you may be surprised when he opens up a bit more…Anyways, wish we could dive into it over coffee. Big hugs to you!
What do you think you and your husband did that allowed for your boys to be so independent and adventurous as they grew older?
Such a good question. Please look for it in my upcoming Q and A episode in October! big hugs to you!
I want to ask how the Foundation Worldview curriculum is going. How’s Levi liking it and how much prep do you do for it?
I ordered it late and it hasn’t even arrived yet! I cannot wait to start though. Trying to decide if we’ll do it on our own or try to gather with a small group…Stay tuned!
I’d like to chat with you about what kind of coffee you drink? And how you have the energy and strength to do ALL that you do?!? Lol. I’m not sure what Anthropology is but I’d like anything free 😉 And I don’t have any kind of social media 😬🤷♀️
Thank you Joni! I love alll kinds of coffee, haha. And if you don’t know about Anthropology maybe don’t google it, haha — it has everything from some of my favorite clothes, to the yummiest candle and home decor. Dangerous! 🙂 Big hugs to you!!
Ways to prioritize our husbands/our marriage when we have little ones at home 🙂 Also- effective ways to discipline children.
Love that. So good and important! big hugs to you Caitlyn! Keep up the great work. 😉
Our kids are about the same age (19/17/almost 11), so I’m sure we could talk about how much we miss our kids when they move on, and how the one 6 years younger has a different life than the older two. And our family trip to Cabo. Excited to be traveling again. Three trips left this year. (I work so I can travel. 🙂 )
I am a regular email subscriber and podcast listener, and was a regular blogger reader back in the day. Can’t wait for book #2!
Colleen! YOUR NAME WAS DRAWN!! I just emailed you so confirm that email and I’ll have a gift card on its way! xoxox
I would just sit and listen to every and any insight you could share on all things Jesus and raising boys ❤️ I enjoy your weekly emails and podcast so much. It’s been such a blessing for this momma of 4 boys under 10yo.
Oh that blesses me! Thank you so much!! I wish we could have coffee! xo
Already looking forward to your next book!! Enjoy Fall🤙🏼 Aloha
Yay for fall and thank you – i Pray the next book is a blessing to many!!
I would want to chat about homeschooling. I find your encouragement and insights so helpful!
Oh so glad to hear that, Kendra. I’ve got a lot coming ahead on that topic! 😉
I have 2 boys and 1 girl. 1 son in college, 1 in middle school and my daughter is in elementary. I feel I’m probably close to your age. How do you feel and process this time in your life related to age? I know this is a big question. Your kids are growing up and leaving, you’re getting older (hormone, skin, sleep are different), and daily habits are changing due to less children at home etc… It’s a lot of changes to take in.
It is a LOT of changes to take in, you are right Julie! Such a good comment — I’m going to try to tackle it in my upcoming Q and A podcast episode! Most of all, taking it one day at a time and not trying to figure it all out at once…Oh there’s so much we could talk about over coffee! 🙂 Big hugs and let’s do this (well) together!
The fine balance between letting our boys navigate through friends/high school life with more independence and stepping in when needed.
If we could sit and have coffee together (I would love it so much!), I might ask you for advice on how you might connect with an older son who’s weary from battling a chronic illness and a little mad at God and to pray together. 🤍
Amy, Oh I would love to be able to talk in person and pray for you. Stopping right now to pray for you even though I’m not with you. ♥️ I hope you find helpful role models and inspiration to share with your son, but even then, praying you can trust God and His timing…This must be so hard. Sending lots of love your way.
Thank you so much ❤️ I’m so glad I found you. You’re an inspiration, and I have much to learn and implement even with our girls. God bless your beautiful family!
Amy! So happy to have you in this community. My next book is for you as a girl mom as much as the boy moms. Yay! Sending love and hugs!
If we had a coffee date I would want to know how you do it all! A day in the life so to speak! Also, Email subscriber!
Oh that’s a fun question!! I’m afraid it wouldn’t be too impressive, but I like that idea! Big hugs.
My question: how did you become friends with your older boys? I look forward to having a relationship like that with mine!☺️
Hello friend! I always enjoy our coffee dates. You certainly must be tired from all your traveling and keeping up with your boys!
My summer was full at home just trying to keep up with my 4 little boys. Something om my mind lately that I would love to ask you…..how can I keep up? With raising boys well, taking care of their needs, housework, cooking, bills, office work, and church, and awana, and sports?! I just wonder if I’m the only one who feels overwhelmed by just the basic things in life. It’s all just A LOT right now 🥴
Also, have you heard of the book and author “feeding the hand that bites you” by Kenneth Wilgus? I would be curious to know your opinion on his parenting methods.
Thanks for chatting!
Hi Torie! Oh that is such a good question, I’m going to try to add it to my upcoming q and a episode! But the bottom line is; You have to let some things go. My home isn’t nearly as tidy as it used to be. I have had to outsource certain things. My kids help with house cleaning (which means I’ve lowered my standards a bit, haha!) and I did not sign my boys up for everything…we learned to just do some things.
I have not read that book but I’m very curious by the title.:). Let me know if you like it -maybe I should order it!
I would love to chat about finding peace during the difficult seasons of parenting.
awww, yes. I wish we could chat about that over coffee and you could tell me the hard stuff. I’m stopping to pray for you right now. ♥️ I’d remind you that though it isn’t easy — seek the peace that is hidden in Christ- not at all dependent on circumstances. Trust Him (a faith choice) and believe that He can bring good out of everything. In time. Wish I could hug you!
I only have littles right now – having your “heart” so far away in so many directions at once must be quite an adjustment!!
It is, but thankfully it comes over time and by the time it comes we are ready for it! :). Thank you for your thoughtfulness!
Thank you for this update! Congratulations on having 2 sons graduate! That is awesome!
I am a weekly subscriber and I love your podcast.
Since subscribing, I bought the children’s Bible storybook and I read a chapter to my son every night. I also read him a scripture before bed. If we met for coffee, I would want to know how I can further bring Jesus into my son’s life.
Oh Laura I love this. Thank you for commenting! the best way to bring more Jesus into your son’s life is to keep growing in your own walk with Jesus. Then He’ll just flow out of you! Sending big hugs!
I live in Florida and miss fall too! I started decorating for fall the second my son went back to school lol.
I love it!! Enjoy your version of fall (and the benefits of Florida! :))
I would want to know how you’re handling having only one child at home and the others so very spread apart!
I have developed great respect for parents of only children, that is for sure! He likes to be with us, all the time, and that is not easy! I’m grateful he is an avid golfer as that takes up a lot of time. I think sports might be the saving grace when you’re raising just one kid! And I miss the others but we all connect at various times of the day which makes it always exciting in a different way! Thank you for your thoughtfulness! XO
Hello! I’m an email subscriber and I love following your journey on FB! You are an inspiration to many boy moms! I appreciate your love for The Lord and for your family!💙
Thank you so much, Sarah!!
I would love to talk to you over coffee about your faith and how you stay strong during challenging times, like your boys traveling around the world. My 18 year old is moving across country in December and that will be such a hard transition for me.
*I am an email subscriber and have enjoyed your blogs and books for many years 🙂
Tamara — Oh thank you so much. You’re gonna do great. God prepares your heart — even if it is still hard. I appreciate you following along and hope you have a great fall with your son before he goes!
Would love to chat over coffee about how to best guide my teen through difficult situations, making and being friends, school, all the things I feel lost with (even though he’s my youngest so you’d think it would be easy by now but it’s harder than ever) .
Cindy — you’re right, it’s never easy!! And our world does not make it any easier, right? I wish we could have coffee and you could tell me the specifics you are facing. I’m stopping to pray for you and your son now. Thank you for being in this community and I bet you’re being an amazing mom to that son! Keep up the great work!
I would love to talk about raising boys I have three 27, 24 & 4!!! Crazy I started all over when I was 42 . We live in Florida but my 24 year old moved to Nashville with his wife almost 2 years ago !!! So it’s still a adjustment…. I could go on and on . My sons are Austin , Jesse and Noah all unique in their own special way! I am a LPN in a memory care unit which I love !!!
Hi Jill! I love your unique situation and wish we could have coffee so I could hear more about it! Sending hugs and love!
Hi Monica. I love your passion for Jesus, family, and learning! I am praying to be an intentional, present mama while also being well-boundaried. My first born son just turned turned 18 last week. I have been starting to grief the loss of “launching”him next fall.
It’s all bittersweet. 😭😊
How do you ride that line of parent/coach role as they move away?
My 15yr old son is conflicted with peers groups. He really wants to go deeper in his relationship with Jesus and with his friends(but they don’t have that same desire), and teaching my daughter(12) boundaries and helping use her voice.
Oh, teaching how to take ownership and responsibilities for yourself…it’s a running theme in my house. 😬🙏
I am grateful my kids are physically and socially active, but they sure have a lot to manage in their world!
Thank you for being so many relevant topics to the forefront with a Biblical worldview at the center. 💛
Holly, this means so much to me!! Thank you and thank you for sharing from your family’s current place. It sounds to me like you’re doing an amazing job. Keep it up! And we can do this together! 🙂