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Memory-Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  647 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Be a different kind of mom. Break through the distractions and create lasting memories.

What’s the solution to gaining the balanced, meaningful life you desire with your family? Create traditions that bring joy and significance. Popular "Smartter Each Day" blogger and mom of three, Jessica Smartt explains why memory-making is the puzzle piece that today’s families are longi
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Thomas Nelson (first published March 2019)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Jami Balmet
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book so much!! As a busy mom of 5 young kids, I’m always weary of books that are gonna tell me to do MORE and I can’t handle more! But Jessica gives so much grace for the little or tough years, and so many practical and fun ideas! I felt so much grace and love from her and will reference this one again and again!!
Kelly Wendzel
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a wonderful way to dive in to what traditions and memories you already have with your family, as well as offer new ideas of things you can implement. It doesn’t make you feel guilty if you don’t or haven’t done anything yet but is more encouraging on staying something and the why behind it. I have left reading this book more encouraged and empowered to continue certain traditions we already have and for stating some fun new ones. I love Jessica’s approach to her writing. She is very ...more
Elizabeth Urbanek
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Part how-to, part memoir, and part food for your soul, Jessica Smartt’s “Memory Making Mom” is sure to have a lasting impact on your family. Jessica’s advice does not shy away from the reality of toddler tantrums and everyday responsibilities. She does not paint a picture that her own journey through motherhood is a breeze. Jessica never promises that making lasting memories and traditions will be easy, but she does make you believe from the first chapter that the hard work is worth it. She meet ...more
Michelle Haggard
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I think every woman who is a mother or wants to be a mother some day should read this book. Full of good ideas, and in my opinion, one of the best gifts you could give your children.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
I didn’t think I needed this book, but Jessica stirred in me a desire to be more intentional in making memories with my kids. I read this at the end of the year, and promptly my new year goals shifted from being all me-focused to building in rituals for our family that will create many memories for years to come. Full of grace, Jessica at no point cajoles or guilts us into doing more, but rather inspires and encourages. I heartily recommend this book for any mama looking to invest in her kids an ...more
Megan Moss
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this book very worthwhile. I appreciated all of the ideas the author offered about how to create traditions and memories in my home. I liked how vulnerable and realistic she was, too. The appendix is really useful because she lists all of the traditions in one place. I’m excited to become a little mote organized in the rituals that help bind our family in love and fun.
While I am still working on the day to day management of my home with young kids, I feel empowered to try and list what I
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-stars, netgalley
Basically, this is a Protestant's introduction into living liturgically. Yay for respect for tradition! It is imperative. Those Golden Nugget memories lock in the love and learning in one's childhood.

Sprinkled with personal anecdotes between the activity suggestions, the book makes it fathomable to integrate tradition in frequent succession. The author states that she wants this to be a real mom book, that the activities are suggestions, not a list of must-do items. It is a Christian book with m
Jennifer Fromke
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WOW! I WISH I'd had access to this book 10 years ago! But even though my kids are mostly grown, there are STILL ideas I'm going to use.

Jessica understands (so much!) what it's like to mother littles. She's also just a regular person like me, who wants to make memories with her kids and she's tired and overwhelmed some days and still, she's finding ways to give her children a childhood worth remembering. Also, she makes the reader feel like we can do it too!

This book will help anyone in any stage
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-tbr
Written in an incredibly engaging style that both challenges and encourages, this book is a fast read in the best sense. It carries the reader along while still providing plenty to think on. A reviewer elsewhere described this book as an introduction to liturgical living, and the section on holidays is certainly that. There is a lot here that fits very well with the idea of living liturgically in the domestic church, even if the book doesn't put it that way. Many of the ideas in this book, litur ...more
Jenn Conwell
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes life gets crazy and messy and things go unplanned, but there’s beauty in mess if we spend the time to look for it. While social media was broken last week, I made sure to make time for the things that matter and realized I need to do that WAY more often! I love this book in the fact that it gives you so many ideas for making lasting memories with families of kids of all ages. It’s not in a Pinterest-style writing as in its things that can be accomplished and turn out just the way you d ...more
Katie Killingsworth
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Quite the simple book, really. It’s nothing new or earth-shattering, but I like how the author gets the wheels turning regarding different traditions and memories we can make with our families. I’m not much of a self-help reader, but I felt like this was good for what it was! Makes me want to start (and continue) making those memories with/for our kids, so I guess it’s effective. It’s a good little resource if you want to think of ways to create traditions/memories for your kids/family! 💖

Note: T
Katie Bennett
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Memory-Making Mom is a gift to this generation of mothers. With so many things demanding our energy, we desperately need the reminder to zero in on what’s important. Jessica speaks the perfect mix of grace (“you can’t do it all“), and a challenge (“you can do something“), which is exactly what I needed. This book has changed how we do things around our house, and I am excited for the many other mothers and homes it will benefit.
Heather Fiedler
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Memory Making Mom is such an encouraging book for all moms. This is not a book that would make you feel overwhelmed about adding in traditions when your plate is full. Throughout the book, there are many suggestions of traditions that could be incorporated daily, weekly, and during holidays.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the free review copy.

It’s been a little while since I chatted about a motherhood book I enjoyed! I’ve been slowly working my way through MEMORY-MAKING MOM for a few weeks now, and I finally finished it up.

Honestly, I’m always up for a book with ideas (I can definitely use the help) on how to be a “fun” mom, or in this case a mom whose home is filled with memory-making moments and experiences. And, I’m happy to say, this one was a winner for me!

With a mix
Stephanie Neugebauer
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Beautifully written, funny, encouraging, inspiring, real.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Some good ideas, but nothing groundbreaking. It was a lot of short articles and lists and read like a blog (which after reading I saw the author has a blog so I guess that makes sense).
Marisa Groom
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes ma'am! I'm glad I came back to this book as I had set it aside for about a year....I got a bunch of tips to take into consideration! Hello half birthdays and once a week family dinners. ...more
Emily Barton
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jessica has given me lots of encouragement and things to chew on in the book. I highly recommend this books to moms with kids of all ages.
Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Amy Sole
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is SO good. I love that the author gave examples of things I can do as a Mom to help my babies make memories. I can’t wait to take what I read and apply it in my home. Highly recommend this book for Mamas!
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although most of the suggestions for family traditions were not new to me I still really enjoyed this book. It made me so grateful to have a family to make memories with.
Melanie Medina
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nailed. It.
I loved reading this book - and re-reading several sections of the book that focus on redeeming my own childhood. Making memories is my favorite thing to do. Printing pictures, even in this digital age, is so important - to me! This book has so many cool connections in my heart, mind and spirit. :)
Kate Becvar
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We know that family time is super important, but so many other things seem to get in the way. This book not only encouraged me to be more intentional with our together-time, but it gave some awesome, practical ideas to try out! I am excited to have a plan and get some of these on my calendar!
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Memory Making Mom
By Jessica Smartt
I have enjoyed this book so much!
It is so easy to get caught up in mom guilt. I find myself living an unbalanced life to try and counter the guilt. I have said yes to far too many things in order to feel sufficient. If I am not doing all these things then I am not a good mom… Memory Making Mom introduced positive ways to make memories with my family and help me find balance in being a mom. I think that there were so many great ideas shared. Here are a few thing
Allison Mccawley
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was worried when I started reading this book that it would make me feel like a failure as a mama and point out the things that I was not doing correctly, or even often enough. I was so pleasantly surprised once I got started to realize that it was not that type of book at all!

This book is full of tips and tricks on how to build traditions that will carry on for years to come. I feel more energized and enthusiastic about creating these moments so that my kids can look back fondly at the things
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Years ago, I remember once sitting in a MOPS session and hearing from a mother a few steps ahead of me on the journey. She outlined ALLLLL the things she and her kids do in the summer. While it sounded fun, it sounded MORE exhausting. I left feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.

But this book.

I am so encouraged by what IS possible with my kids, when I read Memory Making Mom. It's attainable, simple, joyful, affordable. While Jessica Smartt encourages the reader to adventure, she also encourages to
Rhiannon Morris
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing

It's more than a book, it's a resource for mom's and a reminder that we don't have to go to extremes to give our kids good childhood memories. The key is traditions mixed with the occasional sprinkling of spontaneity. Jessica Smartt balances the two concepts beautiful and shows us mom's we don't have to be perfect to make a lasting positive impact on our kids and our future generations.

I would recommend this book to families everywhere (not just mom's because sometimes family lo
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mom's are the memory keepers and this book shows you how to keep up with the memories in a way that keeps your history accessible and modern.
Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author. All opinions are my own.
Aurelia Mast-glick
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mothering
"Traditions are a planned determination to remember, celebrate, and value what is important."

"Traditions offer security.
Traditions provide comforting memories.
Traditions make life sparkle.
Traditions remind us what matters.
Traditions connect us to others.
Traditions shower love.
Traditions are worth it."

I debated getting this book because it just felt like another to-do list, another reminder of how much I fail as a mom to make life fun and interesting for my children. But I'm also a sucker for boo
Syncopated Mama
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Syncopated by:
Easy ideas to help you create traditions that breathe life into your home!

Although I usually always enjoy little "idea books" like this one, sometimes they can be a bit overwhelming.

What often starts off as a book full of amazing and inspiring ideas quickly turns into a disheartened attitude as you add all of the new, overwhelming, "must-do" ideas to your already-packed to-do list, resulting in plenty of mom guilt and discouragement.

But I'm here to tell you that this little gem is not like those
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book for review is “Memory Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home” by Jessica Smartt. This book falls in the genre of religion, Christian life and family according to the publishers.

Meet our mom, Jessica Smartt, a mother of three and popular blogger of blog. “Smartter Each Day”, that talks about creating memories for her family.

Do you remember your childhood growing up? What did your family do together? It is important to spend time together. But how does one make i
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Jessica Smartt is a former English teacher turned homeschooling mama of three. A week after her first baby was born, she began her motherhood blog “Smartter” Each Day. Jessica and her husband live in beautiful North Carolina, where she loves hiking with kids (mostly), steaming coffee in the afternoon, family bike rides, and anything that’s ever been done to a potato.

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