All posts by Jennifer Collins (GracefulMess)

Jennifer Collins (GracefulMess)

About Jennifer Collins (GracefulMess)

Jennifer is a mom with a day job and she likes to write about her victories and messes along the way. She is living an adventurous life as a Georgia transplant learning to thrive in Maine, with a strong Southern accent that screams that she is "from away" and a new-found love for lobster rolls and timely snow plows. Jennifer's writing has been featured on BlogHer, iVillage Australia, Daddy Doin' Work, and Mamapedia.

Fa, La, La, La, La (Whose child is that??)

When your kid is THAT kid.

Ahh Christmas.  The season of wonder.  Of beauty.  Of hope. Of joy. Nothing gets me into the Christmas spirit more than the special services held at our church in December. The season of Advent, the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, is a holy time in the church and truly sets […]

Elf on the Shelf Ideas (from a busy parent)

Cole as "Crackle"

Love him or hate him, if you have small children and have adopted the Elf on the Shelf® tradition for your family you are likely beginning to run out of steam by now. Chances are you’ve been at it since Thanksgiving and are in the third week of making sure that the little red felt […]

I’ve changed my mind about our Elf on the Shelf.

Cole the Elf

Holiday traditions.  Every family has them.  Many are universally celebrated, and some are as unique as the people who celebrate them.  I grew up in a family that cherished our traditions and the holidays took on a certain rhythm of shopping, cooking, travelling, and then ultimately celebrating together. Fast forward to parenthood. The pressure is […]

Opening Day of “Dear” Season

Opening Day of Dear Season

11 years ago I married my best friend. He happens to be a hunter and our wedding day happened to be on opening day of deer season. We jokingly refer to it as “dear season”.  Here’s why… It has been a point of contention throughout our marriage. WE planned the ceremony. WE chose the date. […]

What I should have done when I found out my friend had Breast Cancer

How should you really support the cure?

Last June, a dear childhood friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.  My heart hurt for her.  I wanted to hug her neck and be there for her.  I wanted to make her meals and sit by her side while she went through chemo.  I wanted to help her out with her kids.  But I couldn’t… […]

Breastfeeding is not sexy.

Breastfeeding is not sexy.

There.  I have your attention.  I used the words “breast” and “sexy” in my title, which led you here. I am writing this piece in honor of World Breastfeeding Week. I’ve thought about sharing this before but I usually shy away from stirring things up on sensitive topics.  Well, nothing is more sensitive to a mother […]

A back-to-school list to live by.

Back-to-School List

I started seeing them back in June.  School supplies officially hit the stores. I began to feel the uneasiness and anxiety that is back-to-school for a parent. School had literally just ended and our summer had yet to begin.  I hadn’t even bought bathing suits for the kids. My daughter didn’t skip a beat.  She immediately started […]