What I Love About Being a Parent: Kim Rowe

It’s hard to believe that it’s already April 23rd, isn’t it? Throughout the month of April, I’ve been teaming up with my friend Jennifer Cooper of Classic Play to celebrate the joys of parenting. We’ve been preparing for Mother’s Day by asking some of our friends to share what they love most about parenting. Each week, we’ve been hearing from a different mom. This week, my friend Kim is sharing her heart with us, and I love what she has to say.


Kim says, “What I love about being a parent is how it has stretched and pushed and smashed me into the very best version of myself. And what I love too is how it continues to. I mean the reaching and growing is never ending really when my teachers, my beautiful daughters, are ever-changing themselves.

And that’s the stuff. I love it. I do.

Because now I know important stuff. Like, I know me. So I’m in love with my role as parent and pupil and thankful for each lesson my Little Teachers give.”

I love that, Kim, because it’s so true! We often think that we are the teachers, but we are constantly being taught along this journey. It’s beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing that, Kim!

Come back next week for another What I Love About Being a Parent post!

Kim is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist and adoring mother. You can read more from Kim at her blog, Little Stories.

Calling All Kids- Vestabulous!

Have you all been following along with Alida Makes’ Calling All Kids Series? Calling All Kids is a series that Alida created that explores children’s clothing as it relates to gender, and today is my day to share in the series!

Calling All Kids with The Southern Institute

Some girls are not fans of the color pink. I am happy to know this first hand, as I have never been much of a girlie-girl myself. I can count on one hand the items of pink clothing that I have in my wardrobe right now. Abby’s favorite color has always been blue, but the gender-stereotype rebellion is not limited to that. This is a girl who has never dressed up in a princess costume or a frilly tutu. Her birthday party themes as a very young girl were as follows: Toy Story, Star Wars, Harry Potter. Yes, her five year old cake was decorated with a light saber battle between Luke and Darth Vader and we gave out chocolate R2D2 lollipops. I loved every bit of it!

Calling All Kids at The Southern Institute

The main item that I wanted to create for the series was this vest. Vests have typically been a menswear item, borrowed by little boys on Easter Sunday or other holidays, but I say that a vest is the perfect layering piece for a fun-loving girl’s spring wardrobe! I used Jocole’s Reversible Vest Pattern to make this one for Abby. It’s available in sizes from newborn all the way up to 14… score!

Calling All Kids at The Southern Institute

The striped fabric is overstock from J Crew and 100% cotton. Our local fabric store gets the overstock from several designers, apparently, and this is the second J Crew fabric that I’ve bought (the first being the Swiss Dot that I used in the Oliver+S Hide and Seek Dress). The contrast fabric that I chose is Robert Kaufman and is a linen cotton blend that feels wonderful! The pattern is reversible, which makes it incredibly versatile, but I chose to switch out panels a bit and put the buttons on only the outside striped panels.

Calling All Kids at The Southern Institute vest collage

I had never sewn a vest before, much less a reversible one, and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that there was one point that had me completely confused! I stared at the instructions for two days wondering what in the world I was supposed to do. I don’t know if I was missing something (completely possible) or what, but I finally figured it out somehow and it came together perfectly. I had to take it in 1-1/2 inches on each side for a slimmer fit, and it fits her just perfectly.

Calling All Kids at The Southern Institute

I think the skort really adds a lot to the outfit too. I used Heidi & Finn’s Tennis Skort pattern and a dark heathered denim colored knit material. It’s really a pretty boyish looking fabric that looks completely adorable when made into a cute little skort. I love this pattern. The size twelve fits Abby great. She just turned eleven, but she is over five feet tall, so I needed the length of a twelve. It worked beautifully without any modifications. I love the built in shorts (not shown… a girl has to draw the line somewhere. :))

Calling All Kids at The Southern Institute Tennis Skort

It has been so much fun being a part of the Calling All Kids series and following along and seeing what others have done to challenge the typical gender stereotypes in children’s clothing. Isn’t that the best thing about making your kid’s clothing yourself? There is the chance to make exactly what they want and like, the way you want it too! Now that’s a win-win. I hope you’ll visit the others and check out what they’ve sewn up for their kids! Thanks again for stopping by The Southern Institute!

Calling All Kids at The Southern Institute

Oh! And did I mention that there’s a giveaway too! Go on ahead and enter while you’re here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What I Love About Being a Parent: Hope Gustafson

I’ve loved reading about what some of The Southern Institute Community members love about being parents. Being a parent is a sometimes thankless job, but it is such an honor to be called to this job, isn’t it? Throughout the month of April, I’m teaming up with my friend Jennifer Cooper of Classic Play to celebrate the joys of parenting. Consider it a prelude to Mother’s Day. We’ve asked some of our readers to share what they love most about parenting. Each week, we’ll hear from one of them. Today, my friend Hope is sharing with us what she loves about being a parent.


Hope says, “I have so many days where I feel like I am so much less that what my boys deserve. Selfishly, one of the things I love most about being a mom is the constant picture of God’s goodness and grace that these boys of mine provide. They are each such individuals and every now and then I catch glimpses of the men they are turning into -men who will be passionate, and hardworking and who love big. I love the stolen moments of conversation that we have during drives to practices where I get to see into their hearts. Boys don’t seem to share as much, so my heart just melts during our little talks. I have to imagine that is how God feels when we carve away moments during our day to share our hearts with him. It’s humbling and an honor to be a mom.”

No matter what today brings you, I hope that you can find something that brings you joy in your journey as a parent. Think about one thing that you do really well for your children, something that no one else does quite as well as you do. Then join us for deeper discussion at The Southern Institute Facebook Community. Have a wonderful day, and thank you so much for stopping by!

Hope blogs at Outnumbered5to1, and you can find her on Instagram too!