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

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  300 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Be a different kind of mom. Break through the distractions and create lasting memories.

Whats 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 todays families are longing
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Thomas Nelson (first published March 2019)
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Average rating 4.48  · 
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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, Im always weary of books that are gonna tell me to do MORE and I cant 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!! ...more
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 doesnt make you feel guilty if you dont or havent 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 Jessicas 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 Smartts Memory Making Mom is sure to have a lasting impact on your family. Jessicas 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 meets ...more
Asheritah Ciuciu
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
I didnt 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 and ...more
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
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
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, ...more
Jenn Conwell
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes life gets crazy and messy and things go unplanned, but theres 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. Its not in a Pinterest-style writing as in its things that can be accomplished and turn out just the way you ...more
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 whats important. Jessica speaks the perfect mix of grace (you cant 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. ...more
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.
Stephanie Neugebauer
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Beautifully written, funny, encouraging, inspiring, real.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the free review copy.

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

Honestly, Im 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, Im happy to say, this one was a winner for me!

With a mix of
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).
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.
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 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 Sacco
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
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
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 it
Jan 13, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I guess I'm in the minority on this one. Or, more accurately, I'm on an island all by myself without another person to be found. I have officially befriended a volleyball. But, seriously, I really disliked this book.

I thought it would have functioned MUCH better as a long article, or maybe a series of shorter articles, but for me there wasn't enough here for a whole book. The idea is simple, make memories. Stick to traditions. Chapter one summed it up nicely.

I abandoned this read on page 76,
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The memories and traditions that we create for and with our families are a gift. This new book by Jessica Smartt reminds us that while it often takes some extra work (and she is the first to understand what that can mean for an already constantly busy mom), its important, worthwhile work that binds a family and has a profound, lifelong impact on our children- and us. Its full of inspiration to create new traditions and memories, as well as motivation to continue keeping existing ones alive.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can't remember the last time I read a book that I spent so much time in, absorbing each chapter before I moved onto the next. And this is coming from a mom of 3 little ones, who barely has time to read anything these days that involves more than skimming to get to the most important parts.

Memory-Making Mom is a treasure. It's become an investment in my family, and it will become an investment in your family, too, when you read it. The last thing I wanted was a reminder of all the ways I'm not
Sarah Boyd
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I purchased Memory Making Mom, I expected to discover some new ways to make holiday memories with my family-and I did. However, my overarching precepts of memory making and tradition building were challenged in the best way. I love the idea that traditions make us implement what is important (p11). Furthermore, memories are not just made on holidays but that maybe we need both the comforting monotony of the everyday as well as spontaneous special days (p17).
Portions of the text are
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I hardly ever leave reviews, but I am today because I wholeheartedly recommend this book!

You may be thinking that you don't NEED this book because you're already pretty good at making memories. Or you might be nervous to read it because you are worried you're a failure in the memory-making department. No matter where you find yourself - this book is for you!

I loved this book! I didn't read it and feel guilty about my parenting and a lack of traditions so far. When I finished Memory-Making Mom, I
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great book to remind us moms about the importance of bringing joy and celebration into our homes. The author is relatable and encouraging, and now I feel renewed energy to start more traditions with my family.

Even though I am terrible at planning, organizing, and following through, I never felt like the author was talking down to me or telling me all the things I should be doing. She simply gives ideas with lots of reasons why traditions are important. Some topics include beauty, food,
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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 thats ever been done to a potato. ...more

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