Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Life Is Short

If you live in SD you know about the tragedy that happened in Platte a couple weeks ago.

If you don't live in SD you may have seen did make national news, but it was probably just a little blip that you saw and maybe you didn't think too much about it...other than maybe thinking to yourself "oh man...that's terrible" or something to that effect.

I've seen those blips in my newsfeed before....heard them on the radio.....seen short little newsclips. An article here or there about some person or family I don't know or don't have any connections with who had some tragedy happen. A house fire. A murder. A suicide. A terrible car accident. Maybe they all perished. Maybe just one of the children is left. Maybe it was a mother who lost all of her precious babies. Or maybe a dad took the lives of his wife and kids and then his own.

It's terribly sad but I can deal with it. I mean.....horrible things happen in the world. Sometimes people go off the deep end and sometimes families are simply taken way too soon in awful circumstances. It's part of living in a broken world.

Until it happens to someone you know.

Not just someone you know, but someone you grew up with. Someone whose family you spent a LOT of time with because her youngest sister was one of your best friends.

Sometimes tragedy hits you below the belt and takes the wind out of you. Takes a blow and you just don't even know what to do.

So you cry.

Tears fall for your hometown school who lost 4 beautiful children. They fall for your dear friend and her family who are enduring and going through grief like nobody can even imagine. Grief that can be paralyzing. Grief that can overtake their very being and press down until they feel like they can barely breathe. Tears fall for your own family and other friends and neighbors who you grew up with. They fall for the entire community and the long reaching arms of the overwhelming loss. They fall for yourself. The sadness can seem unbearable at times.

Attending three funerals in one day, including a community service that was held for the precious children lost was one of the most emotional and exhausting things I've done in a long time. The community service was beautiful and truly honored and celebrated their lives - stolen too soon. Seeing kids from the community having to come to grips with the fact that their friends were truly gone was heart wrenching. These beautiful little lives that were turned upside down overnight. Once safe in their small town and loving families. They all the sudden didn't have the assurance they were safe....their friends weren't, after all. 

No child should ever have to feel this way.

I'm so grateful that my own kiddos are far enough removed that they didn't need to know any of the details. They knew mommy was sad. They knew that mommy's friend lost her sister and nieces, nephews, and brother-in-law. They knew there was a fire. But because they didn't know the children and they didn't personally know the family, my husband and I were able to protect them from the unsettling feelings that way too many kiddos in a small town in South Dakota are now living with since their reality changed.

One thing that my husband and I have talked a lot about in the last couple days is how we've both felt more loving to one another since this all happened. We are both striving to show each other how much we mean to each other, and we are purposing to love on our kids more than ever. Not that we didn't do that before, but it feels more urgent now, if that makes sense.

And it doesn't end there. Over the weekend I spent a lot of time with my friend and her family, and I didn't hold anything back in expressing my love for them all, and for my own extended family and other friends too.

Life is way too short. Nobody knows when their last day on this earth will be. You might not be here tomorrow. Someone you love may not be here three hours from now.

I implore you. DON'T waste time in needless anger. Don't hold grudges. Be quick to forgive and even quicker to love. Show the people you love that you love them and don't take anything for granted.

I can guarantee that my friend's family wishes they would have told their sister and those beautiful kiddos even one more time how much they meant to them. Given them one more hug. I'll bet they would take back any unkind things that were ever said, and regret any angry feelings that were ever felt.

The tears are slowing now, but the reality of living without people they love is setting in.

Please pray for anyone affected by the tragedy, and especially the families of those lost.

Also? Love on those you love. Call your mom. Hug your sister. Tell your husband how grateful you are for him. Cuddle with your kiddos. Send your dad a card. Take your friend out for coffee. Forgive anyone who has wronged you.

Don't wait. You don't know when it will be too late.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

When It's Not Perfect

We know it happens.....

Sometimes, that super-awesome-amazing product that you find at our store just doesn't work how you needed it to. Or maybe it doesn't fit just right. Or maybe the person you give it to already has it (I mean, you can't *always* know what everyone else has, right?)

Well, we understand, and we have made returning items that you purchase at Elegant Mommy as easy as possible.

Our return policy is simply this:

  • With Store Receipt and Within 14 days
    • We will give you a full refund via the same method of payment
  • Without Store Receipt or After 14 Days:
    • We will issue a refund as an in-store credit only
  • Please note 
    • All markdowns and clearance items (including clothes and nursing items) and diapers that have been worn or washed are not able to be returned.
    • Rebekah Scott Designs items are not able to be returned to the store. Please handle directly through Rebekah Scott at 605-757-6655
    • ALL baby carriers and nursing bras/tanks will incur a 25% restocking fee when being returned. However, if you choose in-store credit toward the purchase of a different carrier or nursing bra, the restocking fee will be adjusted to 10%
So there you have it...Elegant Mommy's return policy made simple.

Come on in during store hours (10-6 M-F, 10-5 Sat) or shop online at Let us help you find the *perfect* natural parenting items for your family!


Monday, September 21, 2015

It's Trade-Up Time

Once upon a time Elegant Mommy had some amazing and extremely loyal customers. One day, one of those very loyal customers had a GREAT idea.

Her idea was basically for us to offer a "trade-in" option for carriers.

We have several different babywearing support groups now, and we also have a few Certified Babywearing Consultants on staff - so it would make sense to offer our customers a way to "upgrade" to the next best carrier option for their babies.

Well, we liked her idea so much that we have decided to implement just that!

Check it out:

So....there you have it. Just one more reason to shop locally! As of now, get your carrier with us (keep your receipt!) and if you ever want to trade-in for a different carrier you'll be able to for a much discounted price!

You're welcome.....we'll see you soon :)


Friday, September 18, 2015

Love Them NOW

My heart is breaking.

A family of six from my hometown of Platte, SD was killed in a house fire yesterday. In a small town of around 1300 people where everyone knows everyone this is a devastating tragedy.

Scott and Nicole were high school sweethearts who had immersed themselves in the community and, from what I know, had friends everywhere. They were active in their church, in the school system, in the community. They had four children who were in elementary, junior high, and high school. In such a small town, that means that every. single. child. that attends school in Platte knew them and were likely friends with them.

Because that's what it's like in a small town. You know everyone and pretty much everyone is friends. Obviously you have some cliques, some "mean girls", some bullying, just like any other school. But aside from that I know that my experience there was that I knew and liked everyone...even those that weren't in my "circle of friends". I'm guessing that it is similar today, and the loss of four children from the school will be devastating to the entire school will take a lot of time for kids in Platte to heal.

My personal connection to the family is that Nicole's youngest sister was my childhood best friend (we are still friends - since 1st grade!). I grew up with this family. We went to the same one-room country school in early elementary. I had sleepovers at their house. We went to high school together. We were "rural neighbors" (we didn't live next door to each other, but were only a few miles apart).

I remember one of my very first sleepovers ever was at their house. It was for my best friend's birthday party. In their home the kids had to do the dishes after meals, and because I was there it was considered a "special occasion" so their mom said she would do them. I remember Nicole cheering and saying "YAY for Evie!!".

She was the cool older sister and that really stuck with me....she was happy I was there.

Since she was older than me we didn't hang out much through high school, but she was always kind and I will always have fond memories when I think of her. Honestly, one of the most vivid memories I have of her is seeing her in the hallway with her arm around Scott. They were sweethearts from a very early age and everyone knew they would get married. They did, and from what I know were very happy together through the rest of their lives.

As a couple and family, they had dealt with their own fair share of tragedy in their own lives and families. About 8 years ago Nicole's youngest sibling, her only brother, passed away and then a couple years later Scott's younger sister passed away after a long battle with cancer.

My heart aches for their families. It's a tragedy to lose one child/sibling. But it's infinitely multiplied when you lose two PLUS 4 grandchildren/nieces and nephews too. Words just can't even do the emotions justice.

It's things like this that serve as a very stark and vivid reminder to hold those you love close and tell them you love them. Don't hold grudges. Forgive them for any wrong-doing against you. Pray for them. Love them. Enjoy every single minute you have with them and don't take anything for just never know when someone's day is going to be their last.

If you are part of my village, please know that I LOVE YOU. Even if I don't tell you every single time I see you. I appreciate you for the part of my life you have, I am thankful for the things I've learned from you, for the encouraging word you've given me, and for each and every smile we've exchanged. Thank you and know how much I value you and our friendship.

I need to go love on my kids for a little while now. I encourage you to do the same.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Layaway at Elegant Mommy

Hey hey hey!

Did you know that Elegant Mommy now offers Layaway?!

Oh, yeah - I'm not even joking!

Check it out:

Now, how's that for some awesomeness - and just in time for the Christmas Holiday shopping season, too!



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I'm Trying Not To Blink in My Over-Busy Life

Things these days are kinda wild around the DeWitt house.

I am (obviously) still your Elegant Mommy blogger, marketer, website lady, and all-around stuff-doer (just not usually in the store). I also work as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor part time (usually I do that outside the home), and I now have a full clientele of doula clients for the first time since adding little Miss Ember to our family (back to life on call here in a week or so). I edit my husband's books and help with sales for that. 

We recently started homeschool again with the big kids.

I lead a group of beautiful young moms here in our community through my church.

Nursing the babe while editing my hubby's latest book
My handsome hubby has several speaking and selling engagements set up this fall as an author of some amazing books (I'm currently editing his latest book), and in addition to that he is getting more and more hours at his job and will be going full time in the near future.

And on top of it all, the baby is very quickly turning into a toddler - yikes!

This has been my view - she's walking all over!
She has been taking steps for several months now. It's been in the last couple weeks, though, that she's "gotten" it. She had an "aha" moment a few days before my brother's wedding a few weeks ago and has basically just gone for it. She pretty much starts walking wherever she goes and when she loses her balance will crawl the rest of the way. She is losing her balance later and later.......she's getting this whole walking thing down!

So, as we are busy on top of busy, there are some things that I have been thinking about lately, and I'm guessing some of you can relate.

1. Babies are simply amazing. Ok, so maybe I knew this already, but sometimes it really just strikes home, ya know? Knowing that this remarkable little person started off as just a couple cells a year and a half ago is nothing short of a miracle. She is a real human being, has a personality all her own (a pretty strong personality at that), and is finding her place in this family and the world. It's such a delight to get to watch. She is walking all over the place, is super lovey/kiss-y, and *always* wants to "help" mommy and daddy with dishes, laundry, etc (i.e. really likes to throw stuff on the floor)

2. Five year old boys are the best. Since becoming a big brother almost a whole year ago, Porter has seriously come "into his own." He has totally blossomed as a sweet human being and he's just simply an all-around good person. He is my little helper who loves toads, worms, getting really dirty (as I type this he is making mud puddles to jump in), and most of all, dinosaurs. Currently he has a whole herd of them that he takes almost everywhere and does his best to keep out of his baby sister's hands and mouth (usually unsuccessfully, by the way).

3. Seven year old second grade girls are too grown up. At least mine is. Our Miss V is so sweet and kind. She makes a new friend everyplace she goes. She would rather read, ride her bike, or swim more than almost anything in the world, and she has a heart of gold. She is our little encourager (always helping Porter with his sight-words in school and helping Ember accomplish anything that she is trying to do). She is my little mini-me and I seriously don't know what I would do without her - she is joy encompassed in a person.

4. Being a mom who has 537 different things going on in her life is really difficult. I usually feel like I have a multitude of "balls in the air" that if I step out of line or lose my balance, or you know - drop one, my entire everything will collapse. Because of that, I have felt like I'm not the mother that my amazing kiddos deserve. I feel like I have no idea how I can possibly get through this season in life without permanently scarring one of them or making them feel like I value my work more than I value them. I feel like even though my marriage and family is stronger than ever, I don't spend even close to enough time, nor do I give it adequate energy......mostly because I don't have any.

5. My family loves me unconditionally. Even though mommy doesn't have enough time to give them, and I'm tired most of the time, and I'm not at their disposal nearly as much as I used to be, they make me feel like a million dollars as soon as I walk back through the door. They understand that even though mommy is busy, I love them more than anything in this world and every spare second I have will be spent with them. Do they wish it was more? Of course (you know I do!). But they don't complain or whine or anything. And besides that, for now, they have their awesome daddy to fill in the slack that I, they are getting extra daddy time and are completely understanding of less mommy time for now.

6. I am SO glad that this will only be for a season. I have no idea how long I will be doing all that I'm doing. What I do know, is that it for sure won't be forever. I won't always have so little time to spend with my kiddos. I won't always have so much going on that I can't even remember what shoe size they wear. I won't always have so many things to juggle. But for now I do, and that's ok. 

I used to answer the well-meaning "how are you doing?" questions with a very flippant and not-thought-out "oh, you know, busy." kind of answer. I laugh at that answer now. From this point forward I will be much more thoughtful before using that word. Am I busy now? Oh, heavens yes. But life is always busy. In every stage of life, in every season I've been busy....they've all just been different kinds of busy.

For now I want to just focus on the time I actually do have. I'll continue to do my jobs well and give them everything I have, but when someone asks how I am doing I'm going to respond with something more like "enjoying my amazing life and time with my family, how are you?". Because that's what all of this is really about anyway....being with my family and loving watching the wonderful people our kiddos are growing into.
The joys of our world
I don't want to blink because I know it will be over, so instead of focusing on my busyness, I'm going to focus on them. These precious beings that God has given to me to mother while we are on this earth.

(And for now I'm going to try and not worry about what's going to happen when Randall goes to work full time......I know God will work it all out, so I'm leaving it up to Him.)

If you are OVERbusy like me, I pray that you are able to find some kind of balance and life in it. I know the struggle - I'm right here with you, but family and kiddos are WAY too important to not have our focus.

Hang in there mama - you, too, will get through this and you'll be better for it and stronger once you do!

Much love (from the trenches)


Friday, September 11, 2015

I Needed to Laugh

Today has been a day.

A day where I have felt the pull of a million different things and had a hard time dealing with it.

A day where nothing I *wanted* to do was something that I could do.

A day where tears flowed just a little too freely - not for any other reason but that I'm an overly-emotional mama.

A day where I decided I seriously needed a laugh, and I thought maybe you might appreciate one too.


Have a fantastic weekend full of smiles!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Getting To Know Your Baby

Some new mamas aren't worried about pregnancy or the act of actually giving birth, they are more nervous about being a good mom. How will they know what is best for their baby? What if they do it wrong?

La Leche League has some thoughts and encouragement on the all-so-important aspect of getting to know your baby. Following is an excerpt from The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding:

Getting to Know Your Baby

Mothering is not something you can learn from a book. We can tell you, for instance, that most young babies like the secure feeling of being snugly wrapped up and cuddled. We can tell you that at about three months, most babies like company. They like to be propped up in the midst of the family. Instead of wanting to be fed or cuddled, what they often want is just to be sociable. The may be perfectly true observations for many babies - but your newborn may prefer to have his arms and legs free, or your three-month-old may be overstimulated by too much activity and end up feeling miserable. You have to be sensitive to the individual needs of your baby.

The sensitivity that helps you do the right thing at the right time comes from knowing your baby. It develops as you spend time with him, but it develops more quickly, and to a greater degree, if you are nursing your baby. The very closeness and intimacy of breastfeeding give you a quicker and surer perception of the feelings and needs of this tiny person, and help you to know how to meet them.

Ann Van Norman, a mother from Ontario, Canada, tells how breastfeeding helped her learn about her baby's needs:

I thought I had prepared myself for mothering before Sarah's birth. I learned about diapering, bathing, and breastfeeding, but there was no way to prepare for "mothering." I found out that mothering is only learned by doing. Learning to respond flexibly to baby's needs for love, care, and stimulation, putting our own desires on temporary hold, and accepting the constancy and intensity of baby's needs are lessons only learned by living them.

I believe nursing has helped make my learning relatively painless, mainly through the positive reinforcement I have received from Sarah. She showed me how much I was needed and loved. Nursing her meant that I had to take time to respond, relax, and reflect. I am a different person now. Sarah has changed me from a compulsive time-and-task-oriented tiger to a go-with-the-flow housecat.

Your joy in mothering grows as you experience the quick, strong feeling of affection so natural between a nursing mother and her baby; as you develop an understanding of your baby's needs and gain confidence in your own ability to satisfy them; and as you see the happy dividends from the good relationship as the baby grows. As one nursing mother, Shirl Butts, from Louisiana, expressed her feelings:

Those who have never nursed a child might find it hard to understand just how special a nursing relationship can be. Now as I nurse my second child, I can appreciate what I missed with my toddler, whom I did not nurse.

My favorite moments are just before bedtime, nursing my four-month-old daughter. We snuggle together in our rocking chair, her tiny mouth eagerly searching for the warmth of my milk, until at last she latches on and drifts into peaceful sleep. Her chubby little hand is outstretched on my arm, her cheek nestled against my breast. I continue to rock, lovingly studying every crease and fold of her soft body. Times like this make me look forward to the next night and the next. Sometimes she stops nursing to look up at me and give a big smile as if to say, "Thanks, Mom!" and then resumes nursing again. Those moments make me wish time would stand still.

Breastfeeding is not a guarantee of good mothering, and formula feeding does not rule it out. The most important thing is the love you give your baby and the fact that you are doing your best to be a good mother. Mary White, another of LLL's co-Founders, reminds us:

We're all learning, all the time. We're all still reaching up to the top of the ladder, and we've all got a long way to go. But for each and every one of us, the person from whom we can learn the most is out own baby; listen to him. Give to him; in the giving we are growing, as mothers and as women. As we watch him grow and thrive, we are watching an achievement we can really be proud of.

So keep doing what you're doing, mama - you're doing great! The more you keep trudging through the more you are going to learn, and the better mama you will be because of it.

And never ever forget that you've got a village here rooting for you! Join us on Wednesday this week for Milk Monologues at 1:00 pm and Thursday for the evening Milk Monologues (breastfeeding support group) at 6:30 pm. We are here for you and look forward to helping you in whatever way we can!