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To My Fellow Mothers.


I tried with all my might to stop the tears of sleep deprivation from flowing, but I could not. Perhaps I would have better luck had I tried to stop the raging waters of Niagra Falls from crashing into the lake below.  

My dinner lay cold on the counter, awaiting the witching hour to pass. 

I rocked and I bounced and I sushed; I simultanously filled my two year old’s milk cup for the third time since she woke up from nap. 

I don’t need much. I don’t want much, either. 

However, sometimes I would like to take a shower that I don’t rush through in fear of being needed; where I don’t feel as though I have to choose between shaving my armpits OR my legs- heaven knows there’s never time for both, and many times neither. 

Sometimes it would be nice to eat a hot meal from start to finish, and not have to share it with my sweet toddler (though I must admit I’m lucky that she’ll eat ANYTHING we are eating too). 

Sometimes I would like to pick up and go someplace I want to go, when I want to go. No loading and unloading of children into car seats, no checklist of snacks (bribes), milk cups and diapers to be grabbed for the diaper bag, and no waiting or rushing to accomodate nap times, nursing sessions and meltdowns. 

And then there’s the guilt. Did I mention the guilt? There he is, crying in the infant swing while I get my eldest her dinner. It’s only a few minutes, and I know he’s fine… Yet my heart aches because I know he will never have the same amount of undivided attention that my daughter received for two whole years. 

On the other hand, he is just a tiny newborn whom requires a majority of my attention and relies on me for nourishment. I don’t quite grasp just how much attention I’ve given him until I hand him to someone else, only to have that sweet daughter of mine practically run into my arms the second she notices they’re empty. She clings to me so tightly during these times, and my heart shatters when I realize she misses me, despite being around me all day long. 

This is motherhood. And it’s the hardest, sweetest, most important responsibility I’ve ever been entrusted with. 

Through the tears of fatigue and self doubt, I find myself overwhelmed with joy and unworthiness. How did I get so lucky that I get to raise these precious beings? I wouldn’t trade this job for the world. 

After several weeks the fog of this new season lifts and we start to find our rhythm. Old challenges are put to rest and new challenges will continue to rise as each stage quickly comes, and even more quickly passes. 

They say life is but a vapor. If this is true, then you can imagine how quickly just this fragment of that vapor disappears. 

In the days of weariness, there is joy. What better gift does God give us on this earth aside from love? 

My gosh- love. The love I have for my children is a love that makes my heart literally feel as if it might burst. 

Surely this feeling- the feeling of my heart overflowing and yet moments where I want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry because this job is just too hard and I am not enough; surely that feeling is relatively universal.

I meditate on these moments of overwhelming love in the midst of the all encompassing responsibility, and I find a deeper appreciation for my own mother.  I’m more aware of how she loves me without abandon; how I’m sure her heart ached for me when I experienced hurts of all kinds over the years; how I frustrated her and wore her down; the fatigue and and tears I’m certain I caused; of the times she felt like maybe she wasn’t enough- and how she loved me all the more through it all. 

I assume these things are true, because I am experiencing them firsthand. 

To all of the moms out there- biological, adopted, mothers who have lost, and mother-figures… there is no one this side of heaven that loves the way you love. In the moments that the tears fall, that patience thins, and that failure roars it’s ugly head- know this:

This Mother’s Day, we celebrate you; tears and failures and all.  You are more than enough, and your unconditional love deserves to be acknowledged. I pray you are blessed and filled with joy immeasurable in the seemingly mundane moments of motherhood, and that you know that YOU. ARE. AMAZING. ❤️

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Wrong Worry

When I was pregnant with my son, I felt bad that he was lacking the attention that my daughter got when I was pregnant with her. I began to worry and feel the guilt of all the attention he would not experience, being that he was our second child. I thought about all of the constant snuggles and cuddles I got with my daughter as an infant, and how I wouldn’t have the time to give him the same. I worried he wouldn’t feel the same amount of love that she felt. 

Fast forward nine months. As it turns out, I didn’t need to worry so much about him- I fell instantly in head-over-heels-love the second I saw his face, exactly as I did with my daughter. I wasn’t worried about having enough love for both of them, though. I could not (and still can not) get enough of him. Believe me when I tell you, he gets A LOT of cuddles. I guess I did not need to worry about him getting enough attention, afterall. 

What I did not expect was that my daughter would be the one pining for my attention. Talk about a shattered mom-heart when your first born is begging to be held by you all day long. 

So of course, I begin to worry about how the attention I’m giving him, as a needy newborn does require, is effecting HER. The tables have turned. How can I explain to a two year old that I still love her just as much as I did before? Will she understand that this phase will pass and things will even out? I worried that SHE no longer felt the amount of love that I have for her. 

I read a blog post on Boston Moms Blog (shared by Twin Cities Moms Blog) that said everything I was feeling better than I could- you can read it here. (I am not affiliated with TCMB or BMB and am not compensated for sharing this post- it just REALLY resonated with me and reassured me). 

This was a turning point for me. I cut myself some slack and reflected on those first several weeks of being a mom of two. What I found in that time of reflection was major conviction. I realized that as a Christian, my worries for either child were wrong to begin with. 

It was wrong to worry.  

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Philippians 4:6-7  (NIV)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Umm. HELLO, SELF!! I know this! Yet why is it that it’s so easy to forget- and even harder to apply? 

In my church life group, we’ve been talking a lot about obedience to God, and how blessings will overflow when we’re abiding in it. This surely applies in this situation. 

See- if I had been obedient to God’s command that I should not fear or be anxious, then I would not have wasted so much time and energy trying to make sure each child felt equally loved. Instead, I could have quieted my mind, given my worry to HIM, and let my immense love for my children flow naturally and without stress; I could have set control aside and allowed and trusted God to fill the depths of their little hearts when I inevitably fall short. 

How often do you worry and stress about things that you ultimately have little control over in your own life? How much love each of my children feel is hardly the only area in my life that I am guilty of not letting God do His thing. 

Know this:

He loves you. 

He loves the people you love. 

He knows your cares. 

He knows your worries. 

Give it to Him. 

He will take care of you. 

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”


Matthew 6:25-27 (NIV)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

❤️


Cereal is a liar. 


If you’ve entered into parenthood (or are about to), you’ve likely received a lot of advice and tips that are helpful, but repetitive. 

Enter: me. I’m here to tell you the random and odd things I’ve learned that may or may not have occurred to you. 

Hopefully these thoughts will help you and make you feel a sense of camaraderie. If they don’t, I hope they will at least make you laugh. 

  1. Cereal isn’t as easy of a meal option as it pretends to be. This is especially true if you have a newborn. See, the second you start eating your cereal (or any food, for that matter), your baby WILL need your attention. I’m not certain what the exact science is behind it, but it’s an actual thing. The problem with cereal that separates it from other meal options is that cereal is an all-or-nothing endeavor. Once you pour the milk, you’re committed to the entire bowl; there’s literally no going back. You can’t just set cereal aside and come back for it later. It doesn’t just re-heat like a pasta dish. It gets soggy, and eventually disintegrates- eating it later would be an actual sin, I’m fairly certain. So in an effort to not be a “sinner”, you try to eat it while breastfeeding, because gosh-darn-it you already poured the milk. But of course your baby is on your dominant side so you’re awkwardly spilling all over yourself while trying to navigate your spoon like a first-timer. Cereal is a LIAR. 
  2. Men are loud. Look. I’m not just a mom of two- I’ve also nannied for around a dozen different families. Every family was different in so many ways; but one thing was true across the board: men are loud. Even when they think they’re being quiet, they actually sound, to us, like a fog horn and the 4th of July making a baby (sorry for the really awkward visual but it’s a pretty accurate description). Moms and nannies for some reason just KNOW the beep of the microwave and the creeks of the floor in exactly X amount of spots WILL wake every child in the neighborhood. Maybe because we know how sacred sleep time is. For some reason men don’t hear these types of loud sounds? Think of it like dog hearing, except opposite. Trust me- you’ll just be a less angry person if you go into the day expecting it. 
  3. It’s possible to have your home be free of baby/child clutter on any given day. Hahahah! Just kidding. It’s actually not. Diapers, burp rags, toys, books- feel free to tidy it up if that’s your jam, but sometimes you just have to embrace the reality that you have kids now and their existence brings “accessories” to your home. Pink Minnie Mouse everything goes great with my navy and gray living room, and Aden + Anais swaddlers make stylish throw blankets, thank you very much. 
  4. Quick-dry nail polish is everything.  I chose a non-quick-dry color the other day while giving myself a late night mani. Consequently, only one hand was painted for about a week and I will not be making that mistake again. 
  5. Bags for laundry. Do you remember the store Steve & Barry’s? They had these awesome mesh shopping bags; similar to the shopping bags at Victoria’s Secret or Bath and Body Works, but about the size of the ones at IKEA. This is what I use when I do my laundry. Have you ever carried a newborn and a laundry basket down the stairs? Or attempted to carry anything large while wearing your baby? Turns out it can be rather difficult; dangerous, even. Maybe not everyone has this problem; I do have a toddler and a large dog, so I really can’t risk leaving my baby unattended for even a few minutes, but having a laundry BAG means I can actually make a noble effort to pretend to keep up on the never-ending laundry. 
  6. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Scenario: you breastfeed on your couch, baby falls asleep and unlatches, you’re watching Netflix or on your phone. You don’t move because obviously this kid needs to sleep. From your window you see the mailman/neighbor/Girl Scouts/etc approach your door. To put it bluntly, just make sure you put your boob away before getting the door, but just as importantly, before standing up in front of said window. The Girl Scouts do NOT need to see your thin mints. 
  7. You’ll do gross things. You’ll pick a booger out of your child’s nose, lint from between their cute chubby toes, rub their spit up into your shirt, and on occasion, their diaper contents will get on your hands (or sprayed at your face). You won’t always have time to wash your hands, and when you’re tired enough, you won’t even care. Then you’ll eat lunch (aka three cold bites of last night’s leftovers)  in your filth and everyone will live. (Keeping hand sanitizer near your diaper station helps a little though. My gosh I’m not an animal. Most of the time). 
  8. Teenage boys and toddlers eat the same amount of food. It doesn’t  always seem like it when they say “all done” before taking a single bite at each meal (the toddler, not the teenager), but at one time or another you’ll likely question your sanity when you notice the bag of goldfish you bought yesterday is already gone and you’ve somehow gone through three quarters of a gallon of milk in a single afternoon. Either that or I’m alone in this and my two year old daughter is secretly bulking up for her next professional  weightlifting competition. With that amount of protein running through her veins she’ll probably win, too. 
  9. You’ll lose your need for an alarm clock. Who needs a beeping notification to tell you it’s time to get up when you’re always awake? Or if you do manage to squeeze in a snooze, little voices or cries will surely wake you before you need to be up anyway. Sleep is for the weak.
  10. Sarcasm saves sanity. Being a parent can really take your humor up a notch once you get past the point where you think you might lose your mind (or maybe you actually have lost it?). Between sleep deprivation and trying to reason with small humans that have no reasoning capabilities and don’t understand that the chocolate milk REALLY IS all gone and you cannot produce it out of thin air, you’ll cut yourself some slack and laugh at the ridiculousness that is quintessential to parenthood. Maybe it will even inspire a blog post.

And with that, may your coffee be at least lukewarm and the naps of your children be long. 😉


Minimizing. 


It’s almost spring! Time for some good ol’ spring cleaning. 

Let me begin by being extremely honest: I admire minimalists. I have frequently found myself envying the beauty in such a simplistic and clean lifestyle. Bright, white, classy and wholesome. What a wonderful thing to aspire to! 

Regardless of my appreciation for those whom thrive on minimalism, I am not a minimalist. I’m far too sentimental- and even if I wasn’t, my husband is even more sentimental (as I stuff into folders our daughter’s coloring pages that he won’t let me throw out). 

*HOWEVER*

I do believe that life and one’s home can easily be overthrown by clutter, distraction, and unnecessary stress; which is why I have been (slowly but surely) working toward minimizing. 

Our journey began when we purchased our first home. We had already moved from single adults with plenty of “stuff”, to newlyweds with a registry’s worth of more “stuff”, and had been living in apartments, renting a storage unit, and not wanting to let go of any of it. 

When we moved into our house we were extremely intentional in not decorating every room too quickly. We chose neutral colors as the base for paint and furniture in each room, with pops of color that are easy and inexpensive to update if we change our minds. We also reminded ourselves that just because we have something, doesn’t mean we have to use it. 

Some items made the cut, some are still on the proverbial decision-making cutting board, and some we have let go of. 

The result, thus far, is a home that is not over-decorated, that we love and are proud of. We still have stereotypical items such as family photos displayed, and our choices are personal and warm; but on a limited scale. 

As a bonus, we are able to sell the items we no longer need to fund pieces we absolutely love and that have purpose for our family. 

It’s a continual work in progress, though. 

Along with acquiring a home, we have added two children to our family, and naturally, toys to spare. We are currently working on organizing in that category, so stay tuned. 

In the meantime, one thing we’ve implemented in an attempt to quell the chaos is that we keep just one small box in the living room for toys. The rest find their home in bedrooms or the basement. This isn’t to say that plenty of extra toys and books don’t make their way into the living room- two year olds are funny that way; but it certainly cuts down on what could be a disaster (our basement is proof), and clean-up takes just a few short minutes. 

Another priority in “operation minimize” has been my closet. I would love a capsule wardrobe, but like I said, I’m sentimental and haven’t been able to let go of everything I don’t wear;  I AM working on it. I’ve found that pregnancy has helped this process. Anything that I didn’t miss wearing while pregnant or that is no longer flattering on my mom bod, or no longer appropriate for my age (read: crop tops; sorry T-Swift) goes into the donation pile. I get a little gutsier each time I clean out my closet, and it is so freeing! 

*One thing to note about my wardrobe is that I have three of them; normal, pregnant, and transitional- because heaven knows my normal jeans don’t fit again overnight! Can I get an amen, moms?!  

Lastly, I am intentional in organizing. I keep each of our storage spots in a loose rotation, and on the occasional (rare) event I have some extra time, I clean one of these areas out, purge what is no longer needed, and reorganize. It’s easy to let areas like the pantry, spice cabinet, and medicine chest get outdated and overfilled. Keeping these areas in check reduce (my) stress and keep the things we actually need readily available. How big of a bummer is it when you have a cold and realize your cough syrup expired two years ago? No, thank you. The pay off is really worth the effort. 

I’m excited to continue to minimize as we dive into spring cleaning and continue our efforts to make our home perfect for us.  

Minimalism isn’t for everyone; but neither is excess and clutter- you CAN have a happy medium. 

Happy spring! 

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Postpartum Gift Basket


A friend of mine recently contacted me with a question about what items a new mom might appreciate after giving birth. 

Her best friend was nearing her due date, and she wanted to put together a care package to bring with her when she visited the hospital. 

First of all- can we just take a moment to applaud this sweet gesture?! Everyone is so excited about the baby (rightfully so), and often times bring gifts to the newborn. These are, of course, always appreciated; but the new mom should be celebrated as well! Nine months of pregnancy, hours or days in labor, not to mention several weeks of recovery and sleep deprivation are tough on anyone. 

I compiled two lists of suggestions for her; one with practical must-haves for recovery, and one with items that are just nice to have. 

Must Have:

  • Always overnight maxi pads (purple kind) (not store brand- these do not stick to stitches) 
  • Witch hazel wipes
  • Epsom salt for sitz baths
  • Miralax or similar for when stool softeners aren’t enough 
  • Large hand sanitizer for visitors since its that time of year 😉 
  • Flushable wipes (for when the peri-bottle isn’t enough and if toilet paper is too rough) 
  • Motherlove nipple cream (safe for baby to ingest and works GREAT)
  • Disposable breast pads (I swear by lanisoh brand)

Nice To Have:

  • Snacks/trail mix for middle of the night nursing hunger (someone did this for me and it was super helpful!)
  • Fiber bars
  • Refreshing face mask or other means of pampering
  • Dry shampoo 
  • Large water bottle to keep up on hydrating 
  • Notebook to track postpartum medications, feedings, diapers etc
  • Splurge item: Belly Bandit. Helps to shrink down BUT more importantly makes you feel less like you’re falling apart when all your ligaments are loose in waist and hips.

Who do you know that would love a recovery care package? Go out and bless them! 

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