A letter to my son as he turns 2!

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Braxton Jacob,
Are you ready for the line? “How are you two already?!” Okay, now that that’s out of the way I can move on. (But really though, how has it already been two years?) Yet as I said to your sister in her birthday letter I struggle to remember a time before I was your mommy. I think part of it is I struggle to remember a time when it was so “easy” because I only had one kid to take care of. But there is more to it than that. Yes, you do bring the crazy, but you bring so much more that makes it hard to for me really recollect a time before you.
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As I have said so many times before, I love our story. I love the things you have taught and continue to teach me. I love that you have made me into a better version of myself. I love that with you every victory is sweet. I love that God knew just what I needed, even when I didn’t, and He sent me you.
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Everyday I am melted by your cuteness. From your little voice to your quirky “Braxton-isms”(this shirt in the pictures really should say “My 2” because you don’t say “I” or “I am”. Its the best.), from your oh-so-kissable cheeks to your big blue eyes and toothy smile, to the way you mimic everything your sister says and does. You are really so stinkin’ adorable. And it is a good thing too because you like to test my patience. There is something about you as you try to get under my skin that has instead has just found you a permanent place in my heart. You have stolen my heart actually. I now completely understand what people mean when they talk about the bond between a mother and a son. You are my boy. And oh, I am so beyond glad that you are! You are an amazing little person. You are more affectionate than any other little boy I have ever known. There is nothing in this world like a Braxton hug. It has been known to snap me out of a funk as quick as your pudgy little arms are around me. And then there are your kissy lips. You do not believe in kissing anyone with any less than a full, fish lipped pucker and on any place other than smack on their kisser. My new personal favorite though is when you ask me to dance with you. I pick you up and we dance cheek to cheek, and you whispered to me the other day “My have secret. My wuv you.” I died-right there, in the middle of the living room with Chris Mann echoing from the stereo in the background.
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The thing about you though is your love is never a secret. I think that is so fabulous. I have always wanted to raise a boy who was not afraid of his feelings and was not afraid to express them. I hope this continues to be true of you. I know that a big part of whether or not you continue to be aware of what you feel and free to express it is how I react to it. I try to encourage you to feel things. (I am sure it will help to have two sisters!) and I try not to shy away from your big expressions of emotion. I think I said it in a previous letter to you; you do everything big. You feel big. You love big. You get angry big. You get frustrated big. You get happy big. You get sad big. There is no middle ground for you, and while at times that can be challenging-especially when it comes to a two year old, I love that about you. I know God is going to do amazing things in and through you as you live life big.
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One verse that I pray for you is Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous? Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you will go.” It is my prayer that the presence of God in your life will enable you to be courageous and strong enough to face into who you are, who God made you to be, and live big for Him. It takes great courage to be who you are, especially when who you are as a child of God is contrary to what the world would desire or expect from you. Braxton, I pray that you will have the courage to learn and accept the truth and then stand up for what you know to be true. I pray that you will have the courage to respect other people and treat them as you would want to be treated. I pray that you will have the courage to be a man of integrity who is deserving of respect. I pray that you will have the courage to be a deep feeler, to be affectionate-because that is who God made you to be. It is such a stigma that men are not supposed to be in touch with their feelings and that they are not supposed to experience fear. Not only is it a stigma; it is a fallacy. Joshua was one of the bravest leaders in Israelite history and God still had to command him not to be afraid. Obviously Joshua was experiencing some fear, terror even. I think this verse can be a source of comfort and strength for you as you face into life as a boy and eventually a man. Part of the courage Joshua needed was courage to face into his feelings so he could acknowledge his need for God. Do not shy away from your feelings, but do learn how to channel them to honor God. I pray that you will be a man of strength. You sometimes call yourself a “big strong man” and flex your muscles. This is something you started even before you could walk. As funny as it is to see you do that, I pray that you will not merely be a man of physical strength but a man of spiritual and moral strength. It is my heart’s desire for you that as you grow that you will be a man who is not strong in his own strength, but strong in the Lord. I pray that you will recognize your God given strengths and weaknesses and not be afraid to say “(God’s) grace is sufficient for (me), for (His) power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) I think it takes true courage to make such a statement.
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I think one of the best examples you could follow when it comes to this is someone you are already very much like, someone who is living life in front of you everyday-your Daddy. He is a man of great integrity, love, hard work, care and courage. I hope that someday you can be as wonderful a husband, father and man as your Daddy. I know you have it in you and I am excited to see the amazing man you will become.
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These past two years God has given me such an incredible gift in being your mommy. Sometimes I feel as if I was not a “real” mommy until I was your mommy. I am thankful that God has used you as a tool to mold me into a better person. You have stretched me in ways I didn’t know anyone could. And I love you in ways I have never loved anyone else. My heart swells to bursting with love for you, my precious boy. I love watching you learn and grow. You talk almost constantly now. I love to hear what you are thinking and experiencing. Having conversations with you is one of the highlights of my life these days. Life is truly so much better with you in it. I am excited about our years to come and what else God has planned for you and me, as part of our story, my B. I hope so strongly that our relationship is one than can withstand what life throws at it and instead of you growing apart from me, that our relationship grows stronger. I know it may be unrealistic to hope that you will always love to hug and dance with your Mommy. Yet I hope that just as you carved out for yourself a permanent residence in the depths of my heart, that I too can have a spot in your heart to call my own. And I hope that even when you really are a big strong man that you will always be my boy who comes home to my arms.
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I love you more than these simple words can say, my B. I hope my life reflects the deep love I have for you, and in my shortcomings I hope I can point you to Christ-who will never disappoint you or fail you.

Happy 2nd birthday, Braxton Boy!

Some photo series

I am not sure how to spell the plural of series so I am not sure how to express that there are more than one series of photos here. Is there even a plural? Anyway if you look below you will see that so I guess it doesn’t matter.  :) These pretty much sum up life around here these days…except that in these photos everyone’s hair is relatively clean and combed and no one is in their pajamas at noon.

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Braxton is the star of that series and Royce is the star of this next one.

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Oh, what we go through to try and get one good photo! I know we will look at these in years and be transported back and have to laugh! I was happy though to finally get one decent family picture of all five of us at Braxton’s birthday dinner last week.

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I love my little (well maybe not so little anymore) family!

A letter to my daughter as she turns 4!

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Last night we went on a little date together, nothing too extravagant-just a hair cut for you before your school pictures on Thursday and also to Hobby Lobby to get some things for Aunt Rachel’s upcoming bridal shower. We also picked up a present for your first “just kids” birthday party. As I looked at you in the rearview mirror it struck me pretty hard how big you are now. It seemed like not that long ago that I was driving with just you in the car with me, except you were in your infant car seat and I was talking to you as we drove, not expecting you to answer me back. Last night it was just the two of us but this time we were having conversations about hair colors and weddings and heaven and whether or not it will hurt when we die. (Weddings are a pretty common topic for you these days. You spend a lot of your time planning and rehearsing your own wedding, usually with poor Braxton as a stand in groom. You even spent hours a few months ago coloring “lace” and cutting little snips and taping together a construction paper dress and then asked for a streamer of paper towels and had me clip it your head as a veil. When we went a couple weeks ago so I could try on bridesmaid dresses you found your wedding dress. It was the biggest, poofiest, blingy-est, pinkest prom dress there. You asked me to buy it and when I let you down easy you requested that when it was time for you to get married that we go back to get it. You even double and triple checked that I would take you back at the appropriate time before you settled down for bed that night.) 
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As I looked in the rearview mirror I saw the most beautiful girl I have ever seen, not just because of how grown up you looked running your fingers through your newly cut hair, but because you are just such a sweet natured, tender hearted, little girl who is quickly becoming not so little. Leave it to a mother to want their child to grow up meeting (or exceeding) all the milestones, yet mourn their growth at the same time. Sometimes there are moments where I just want to push the pause button and keep you this way forever. Last night was one of those times.  In those moments I try to capture a mental picture of you and file it away to “look at” later. I try to remember not just how you look but how you are, and how the moment feels. There is still so much innocence and uncompromised parts of you. I treasure those bits of you. I love to see you as you truly are. You are so in tune with other people. From what they are doing, what they are wearing, what they are feeling, to what they need or want and what you can do for them- you see and internalize it all. Your kindness, sensitivity and generosity are mind blowingly mature beyond your years. God made you with such a heart for others. I am pleased and proud as I watch you ask questions about the girl you bought presents for at Christmas for Operation Christmas Child. You often ask me if the little girl is happy, or what she is doing right now, or if she has a house or a car or a TV now, or if she knows about Jesus dying on the cross to take her punishment. The other day you asked if you would see “my little girl” in heaven. I often find myself in awe of you and my heart is melted as I see the purest pieces of you untouched by the world and expectations. You are remarkable. You are so special. You are special to me because of the place you will always have in my heart just for you. You will forever be the one who made me a Mommy. But you are also special because of the wonderful girl God made you to be.  I am so blown away by who you are and who you are becoming and I am humbled that I get to be your Mommy. I consider myself blessed to even know you. Sometimes I look at you and am in shock that standing in front of me is the little girl I carried in my belly for nine months, the little girl I looked at for the first time knowing my dreams were fulfilled, and the little girl who I watched learn to sit and walk and talk. You are incredible and I love you beyond words, my sweet angel. I treasure the connection we have and I pray that I cultivate our relationship in the years to come and prove myself worthy to be your Mommy and your friend.
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(our birth minute picture at Strong Museum)
(I wrote this for your birthday, but our computer was broken so I could not actually publish it to the blog until now.)
Hayleigh Grace,
Oh, how I love you! My heart swells with love for you, my first baby. Can you really be 4 years old already?!?

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I feel like it has raced by, especially when I look at Royce who resembles you in so many ways. I think to myself, “wasn’t it just Hayleigh who I was doing ______ with? or dressing in this outfit?” “Wasn’t I just watching Hayleigh sleep with the same little smirk on her peaceful face?” It is hard to believe you are four and by the time you read this however much older. Yet at the same time I have the strange sensation that I have been connected to you in some way all my life. I have a hard time really remembering life before you were here with us. Yes, my head can struggle and remember but inside me is so accustomed to you and my life with you that my heart can’t go back. It is hard to explain. It is more dramatic than just a life change. There is something to be said for connecting with a person at your hearts. You are a living, breathing piece of me. You are, in many ways, my favorite part of me.

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As you grow I am seeing more and more of myself in you. I see how I must have been before I was changed by the desire to fit in or please people or hide parts of myself that other people didn’t understand or appreciate. I see me before I became more cynical or fearful or tired. And through watching you, and loving you with so much might, I have come to love and value myself a bit more. When I see the innocent, tender-hearted, silly, imaginative, happy, sensitive, excitable, smart, selfless, people pleasing, sometimes nervous and self-conscious little girl you are, something happens inside me.  With all my being I want to just wrap that little girl up in the most loving, protective hug and I want to somehow through that embrace pass onto you the things I lacked-the things I sometimes still lack. Oh, how I long to embrace the little girl you are now, and me as the little girl I was then, and just whisper truth to them in a way they could really understand-in a way that penetrates to our souls and becomes part of who we are.

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I would whisper to us “you are beautiful, imperfections and all.  You don’t need to hide or change who you are because other people do things differently. It doesn’t mean they are better or worse than you.” I would tell us not to constantly compare ourselves to others or use other people as the measure of who we are. I would tell us not to be afraid to be who we are. I guess first don’t be afraid (or too caught up in who other people are) to learn who you are. I would tell us “who you are is wonderful and beautiful, inside and out. I know it sounds so cliché, but there is nothing cliché about you. You are marvelously unique. Please don’t cause yourself pain by being uncomfortable with who you are or by thinking you are “less than” or not enough. It is not worth it, little girl.”

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In so many ways you are enough . And in so many ways you will never be enough. That is the truth. You are enough because God made you and God loves you. Let that really sink in. Yet you are not enough on your own so the God of the universe arranged His own death because He loves you enough to die for you so you could spend eternity with Him. When you feel like you aren't enough, or you don't have what it takes, run to God and His word and let Him fill you up until you recognize that  He is enough- more than enough.

I would whisper to those little girls “you could never recognize your true worth apart from God. He created the marvel of you, after all. So when you are tying to decide who you are and who you aren’t, when you are trying to find your way, turn to Him for answers and realize He loves you and that is enough. It makes you enough.”

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I would tell us that we are full of so much worth. I would tell us with time comes wisdom and perspective. As I hugged us I would tell those little girls to be secure enough to love themselves so they could be free enough to not be self-absorbed, but rather others centered. God made you with such a heart for others, Hayleigh Girl. I see myself struggle to care for other properly because I get so caught up in questioning, or judging, or loathing, or protecting myself. Oh, how I wish I could infuse those little girls with security and significance in Christ, and confidence in who they were made to be so that they could be free to love others the way God created them to. There are so many opportunities to be made or missed. I pray you make the most of the opportunities God gives you.

In so many ways you resemble me as a girl, Hayleigh. I look at you and am overwhelmed by the amount of beauty one person can possess. I could tell you all day how lovely and wonderful you are, because there are countless ways. I see you struggle and succeed in many of the same ways I did-and still do. Because of that I have a feisty, protective love for you. I can’t fight for the little girl I used to be, but I will fight for you. Part of that fight entails fighting and winning the battle to love and accept myself more than I do now. I know I am far from who I should be, but because we both deserve it, I am fighting that battle. With God’s help we will win. I am choosing to acknowledge my strengths instead of dwelling on and accentuating my weaknesses. I will try to improve them with the awareness that there is a bit of beauty in being tarnished. I would not be who I am without my blemishes and although sins remain a struggle, I am coming to accept my other weaknesses. I am choosing to allow them to point me to Christ instead of allowing them to pull me back inside myself. It pains me to think that you will probably struggle as I do and did. I would love to carry you through life and pick out the barbs and fend off the lies, but I can’t. I can’t protect you from yourself. And I also know that through struggle comes strength, and that victory is sweet. The best I can do is model for you a quiet confidence and security and a generous, selfless love for others. In so many ways the essence of who you are inspires me to do this.

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You have given me so much in these four short years. You have made me a Mommy, fulfilling my calling and filling a void I felt for years but didn’t know what would heal it. And now- as I watch you grow and develop, as I see myself as a girl, as I love you with wreckless abandon- you have given me the gift of loving myself a bit more. I think one of the best birthday and life gifts I could give you is to teach you to love yourself and I can’t think of a better way to do that than to fight and struggle to love and accept how God has made me. I love you enough to struggle with this for your sake, so that hopefully you can see mirrored in me the great love that God has for us both. I choose to do that for both of these little girls: the one in front of me today and the one who still lives inside me.
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I love you more than I could ever explain, Mama. Happy Happy birthday, my love.


a letter to my daughter–2 months old

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Dear Roycie Girl,
In some ways I cannot believe it has already been 2 months since we met you. How are you not a little newborn anymore? In other ways I really feel as if we are old friends and I have known you all my life. I think part of it is you remind me of your brother and sister when they were this age. You look so much like them. Sometimes I look at you while you are sleeping and am transported back in time to sitting in our old apartment watching your sissy sleep in the same pjs in the same bouncy seat. Daddy and I always wondered if we would have a set of kids that looked almost exactly like each other or if we would have kids that all looked very different. I think we have the answer to our question! I think it is kind of sweet and special to see how much you resemble your siblings. I have no doubt though that in a short amount of time you will be very much your own person and I am excited to see your individual personality develop. I think another reason I feel as if I have known you forever is the undeniable connection between a Mommy and her baby. From before the beginning of time God chose me to be your Mommy-your steward on this earth. And I am so glad he did. I longed for a family for as long as I can remember. I have always felt that being a Mommy was my true calling. And here I am. I am incredibly blessed to be your Mommy. I take raising you as my highest calling, my biggest challenge and responsibility and a great privilege.

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Already you want so much to be part of the action. You want to nap in the middle of the chaos and actually sleep better in a bouncy seat in the living room amidst your brother and sister playing and running around than if I put you in another room to nap. (That is something I have to work on. ) You want to be held a lot and you want to be able to look around at everything that is going on with wide eyes and a craned neck. I can tell already how much you love people because you are not really too happy if you are not getting attention. Good thing for you there are plenty of people in your life who want to give you love and attention. In fact, you are rarely left alone! The excitement about you being here still has not waned for Braxton and Hayleigh. They still greet you with the same vigor every morning and will regularly (and spontaneously) smother you will kisses, hugs and sweet high pitched words. They really cannot help themselves. Usually you are pretty chill about it but sometimes you have had enough.

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You are such a sweet girl. You are the queen of the smirk (so cute) and the little lip tremor when you are crying. From the time you were a week old you would coo and “talk” to us. You even giggled for the first time a couple weeks ago and then again a handful of times since. Your first giggle was for me of coarse because clearly I am hilarious. You continue to be very interactive for such a young baby. I chalk it up to a couple of very hands on teachers! I love to sit with you and chat and see your big smiles. Even the third time around it is just as sweet and wonderful because it is you. I consider the smiles of a baby, my baby that I grew inside me from scratch, to be some of God’s greatest gifts. There is something just so wonderfully indescribable about a baby’s smiles. Your smiles make my heart happy.

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There is already a special place carved out in my heart for you. I love you so much. Everyday you’re a light to our home. You are a perfect addition to our family and I could not imagine how life would be without you. Our family wouldn’t be whole and I wouldn’t be whole without you, sweet girl. Although I really would be fine if you stayed little forever (get used to hearing that), I am excited to see how you grow and develop into a unique person. I have so much left to discover when it comes to you and the journey promises to be fun, exciting and full of love.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with Nana looking through her drawer of old school papers, crafts and notes etc. that Rylie, Jayna and I had given her over the years. I love the relationship I have with my mom. I love that we can laugh together, cry together and talk about anything together. We are so close. She is truly one of my best friends. I even made a drawing in first grade about my best friend and chose my Mom. I hope that someday we can be that close. I want so badly to cultivate a relationship with you where you are comfortable coming to me with anything. My mom and I have very similar personalities. Maybe you and I will too. Maybe we won’t-which would be okay too of coarse. I just hope that even if our personalities, interests,  and take on things differ that we can still connect at our hearts and have a special bond that is only ours. I want for us to someday be best friends too and enjoy each other's company so much that the hours fly by. I want to be the one you run to with exciting news that is spilling out of you and in those times when you can’t hold the tears back any longer I want to be the one who you open the flood gates for. I know the biggest reason Nana and I have such a wonderful relationship is because of her. She was and is an incredible mom-one of the most loving and sacrificial people I know. I hope I can emulate that in my own mothering. I love you so much already, my sweet Roycie girl. I am excited for what the future holds for us and what our love story will be.



You know those days where you just kill it as a mom? I mean really hit one out of the park, nail it, one for the record books…you get it. I haven’t had one of those days in a while. I have spent a lot of the past days and weeks barely keeping my head above water and even questioning whether or not I have any business swimming in this water anyway…or whether or not I even want to. I kind of even, at moments, regret taking a dip in the first place. I often find myself sputtering and flailing and looking around everywhere for a life preserver. Okay, enough of this silly metaphor. You get the idea.

Being a Mom is tough yo! That is the truth. It isn’t for the faint of heart as they say. And another truth is sometimes, (okay a lot of times) my heart feels pretty faint. I know I am not alone in feeling this way. Just in the past couple weeks I have shared my heart with a couple of my dearest friends who are also Mommies with kids my kids’ age. Isn’t it wonderful when you have a friend who can finish your sentences, who understands more than just your situation but also your heart? I am so thankful to have friends who don’t balk at my ugly moments and can celebrate with me in my victories-even if one of those victories is just slapping on some makeup, a pair of cute boots and going out for coffee.

Even though I know I am not alone in feeling this way and even though I am virtually always surrounded by little ones, I still manage to feel pretty lonely sometimes. And then there is the guilt. Oh the guilt. When will I be able to just silence that voice in my reeling head that is always telling me I am not enough, I can’t do anything right and my worst nightmares are going to come true and its all my fault?

I lose my temper with my kids. Guilt.
I don’t discipline them enough and let bad behavior go. Guilt.
I don’t feed them healthy enough snacks. Guilt.
I feed them too healthy and don’t balance it out with “normal” eating which naturally includes the occasional treat. I am going to give them a warped view of food. They are going to get an eating disorder. Guilt.
I care too much about their outfits. Guilt.
They go in public looking like slobs because that is what they wanted to wear and I didn’t have the time to comb down Braxton’s bed head. Guilt.

They watched too much TV. They didn’t memorize enough Bible verses. Hayleigh can’t spell every word in the dictionary. I didn’t pray for them enough. I am pretty sure they just heard me say “crap”. (Yep, Braxton is now saying “crap”. Oh great Hayleigh is laughing at him and now she is saying it too. Royce? Wanna join in the crap fest and start saying it too?! ) Braxton is addicted to his bink. I really should just make him quit cold turkey. Oh who cares? He isn’t even two and it is not like its cocaine. Besides if he has the bink he is better behaved. Oh wonderful, Emily. I am using the bink as a prop for good behavior. Haven’t I read (and underlined) the parenting books?! I am just as addicted as he is, aren’t I?!  I guess I should read more parenting books. I haven’t taken them to enough play dates. We have been running in so many directions that they are over-tired.  They are eating eggs for dinner…again. Should I be potty training Braxton? Should I be sleep training Royce? Should I be training Hayleigh to solve world hunger? Did I read them enough books today? And not just the goofy ones, but the ones that actually teach them things or are long enough to stretch their attention span and have pretty pictures?  I should play with them on the floor more. I should really teach them to spend a little more time doing independent play. My house should be immaculate-I mean I am a SAHM. I shouldn’t care so much about the clutter. I should be less stressed about cleaning and more engaged with the kids.  I should spend less money at the grocery store. I should really buy more produce and organic products for our family. I should be able to have a moment to myself. Now I feel bad for even saying I that. I mean being a mom is all I ever wanted and they are kids for goodness sakes.  One literally needs me to survive. I shouldn’t have gotten Hayleigh that outfit. I should only get her clothes off the $4 table at Target. I should really get Hayleigh some more durable, better fitting clothes than just the ones from the $4 table at Target. Have I held Royce enough? I think I have held Royce too much. She needs to do more tummy time. When was the last time I gave the kids a bath? And while I am thinking of it, when was the last time I washed my hair? Speaking of hair, Braxton is way over due for a hair cut. Royce has a skullet. That is probably my fault somehow as well. And I should really learn some cute styles to do with Hayleigh’s hair. I should go look on pinterest. Pinterest…my house is too dirty and unorganized. Last night’s dinner was too boring…I mean I didn’t even make a dessert in a coffee cup that cooked itself and also magically cured cancer. My wardrobe is too dull. But I really shouldn’t care so much about my wardrobe. I mean first things first. I should really be throwing  Hayleigh a pink birthday party that looks like something out of a magazine complete with a rainbow 10 layer cake that resembles a castle, while turning an old t-shirt into a scarf, French braiding my hair and baking scripture cookies. Crap. Great, the kids heard me say “crap” again.

And then just as I am about to pass out from my brain being dizzy some well meaning person tells me to enjoy this time in my life because it is the best years of my life.

Ahhh!!!!! THIS is the best it is going to get?!! You mean it only goes down hill from here?! Now I feel guilty for not making the most of every minute because time goes so fast. And to make matters worse I feel compounded guilt because there are plenty of moments during these “best years in my life” where I am pretty sure I am not cut out for this. I know this is what I always wanted-that this is supposedly the happily ever after in our fairy tale. I know that I am blessed beyond what words can express. I know that these days are precious and fleeting and what memories are made of. I know. I know. I know how I should feel. But the truth is sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I want to be anywhere but here. Sometimes I just want to jump in my minivan and drive away and never look back. Talk about guilt.

Some days I rock it as a mom. I usually find that those are not necessarily the days where all the laundry is sorted and put away and the floors are mopped and the dishes are stacked neatly in the cupboards while a crockpot meal cooks itself on the counter. In fact the days where I go to bed at night feeling somewhat satisfied in my mothering are the days where despite the dust, and the diapers, and the undone to-do lists, (and pretty un-pinteresting hair), I know I connected with my kids. I heard them laugh until they couldn’t breath. I watched them learn something. I looked at them and really saw them for who they were that day. My all star mom days are not always the most together days or the most eventful days. They are days when I am out of my own head space and the hamster wheel of guilt. They are the days when I am actually present with my kids, and not just to be their referee, stylist, nutritionist and chauffer. The days I want to relive are the days where I am not only patient with the kids, but patient with myself as well. Where I allow myself to laugh, where maybe I accomplish just one thing on my to-do list but I don’t beat myself up for it, where I take a moment for myself without guilt and where I don’t run from the honest and sometimes ugly feelings that come with motherhood.

Being a mom is tough, yo. And it isn’t always pretty. And it is rarely neat and tidy. And sometimes I hate it. Some days I am crippled by it-by all that comes with it. The fact that sometimes I am miserable and trapped and resentful and desperate and just so done with it all makes me feel so guilty-like if everyone knew they would lock me up and call CPS. Or even worse, tell my kids some day that there were moments where Mommy was on the verge of losing it and there were moments where Mommy felt inept…and *gasp* there were moments where Mommy really blew it.

I wish there was a neat and tidy way to do motherhood. I wish there was a neat and tidy way to tie all these feelings and thoughts up and give a simple solution. But I haven’t found one. I kinda doubt I will. For now I am just trying to do my best. I am falling into the strong and gracious arms of Christ.  I am trying to be the mom I know my kids deserve, even when I feel like they don’t deserve it.  I am trying to give myself a break every now and then. And when I am overwhelmed and just want to run and bury my head in the sand I won’t. I will stay. I always stay. Sometimes I stay out of obligation. Sometimes I stay out of fear. Sometimes I stay just because it is the right thing to do. Sometimes I stay because a drooly smile penetrates my mind- spinning ,sleep deprived, coma like state and is just the life preserver I need. I stay because despite all the horrible feelings and thoughts that pop up my heart is here. Whatever the reason, I stay. And honestly, right now there are days where that needs to be enough to dissuade my guilt. How is that for some Mommy- truth?

 "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." Psalm 28:7

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