Thursday, December 29, 2016

I Choose Joy.

Looking back on 2016, I could be the girl who talks about how crazy of a year it has been. How terrible our world seems right now. How scared I am to raise a human in our time. How drugs and violence seem to be really out of control. I could talk about my own trials and tribulations... but instead, I want to CHOOSE JOY. 

I choose to love my family more each day. 

I choose to create. 

I choose to forgive. 

I choose to forget. 

I choose to play more in 2017.

I choose to worry less. 

I choose to be more faithful to God. 

I choose to listen to His commands. 

I choose to be patient... or I'll atleast choose to try.

I choose laughter over tears. 

I choose to fight for my dreams. 

I choose exercise.

I choose wine.

I choose my friends. 

I choose my husband. 

I choose my daughter. 

I CHOOSE Joy for 2017. 

What do you choose? 

And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion."

Exodus 33:19

"How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You To dwell in Your courts We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple." 

Psalm 65:4


Thursday, October 20, 2016

"When I am angry, I will seek to be kind.."

To think how far we have come since each of these pictures. Almost 9 years later... 

God presented me with the opportunity and the need to do some self reflecting as we near a decade in our beautiful journey together. I preordered a book that comes out in January that allowed me a small sample of the first 5 chapters or what the author calls challenges.  Becky Thompson's Love Unending is exactly what I needed to hit the ground running on remembering to be not only a mother, but a wife. I often find it near impossible to be good at it, wife, teacher, daughter, friend, etc... most days I feel I'm failing at at least one if not all. 

From Facebook I'm sure it seems we have it mostly together... we love each other and we basically have since day one.  But my heart knows I need work. Chapter 2 of the book is about speaking kindly. I struggle so hard with this. While I know when to hide it, my favorite words are 4 letter words, I get frustrated easily with people and things and my annoyance is very apparent. Unfortunately, my dear husband takes most of the hit. 

Speak kindly. 

It seems so simple. It was even in our wedding vows. "When I am angry, I will seek to be kind..." 

Talk about failing.  I fail daily... almost every hour, I'm sure. Life is so busy. And I use that as my excuse to be short and rude. Sometimes, because I know we love each other I feel as though I can say anything and speak any way... 

But like the book says, "Honest conversations should never be confused with the permission to be disrespectful." 

I am thankful for the opportunity to read something that puts me in my place and makes me squirm because I KNOW I'm at fault. 

I cannot WAIT to continue with these challenges. I already want to skip ahead... but I know I need to focus the way it was intended. 

The book comes out in January and you can go ahead and preorder now if you're interested. 

Love Unending by Becky Thompson

"The tone of our voices often communicates our hearts more clearly than our words ever do. And we have the power to change the nature of every interaction by speaking with a tone that conveys kindness."

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you."
 -Ephesians 4:32

Friday, September 2, 2016

Real talk- #PreKLife

It's Friday. The last day of my first full week with my PreK kids. And do you know what I'm doing? Looking at the pictures that I took this week of my PreK kids. 

I'm tired. I'm a full time working with kids mama. I'm exhausted. 

But here I am. Just feeling my heart grow by the second. I can literally feel it expanding. It will get close to reaching its capacity. It will be broken from time to time this year. It's bound to...four year olds are good at that. But my gracious, how can I already love them all so much? 

I am thankful that teaching is like child birth. I forget how little they are when they come to me. I forget from year to year that my official title for the month of August and September is "cat herder." 

(Side note: getting 19 four year olds in a line is the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen...well maybe not ever. But it's a close second.) 

Anyway. I'm thankful for the summer amnesia that exists for teachers. I'm thankful for the entire tribe of BESt coworkers that help us out throughout the day. I'm thankful for an assistant that totally understands my wide eyes and "what is happening?" comments. I'm thankful for a wonderful cleaning staff that smiles when I tell them "I'm so sorry, a kid went #2 in the urinal." (Real life) 

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Real talk: getting my life together.

(I put the cute kid on here to keep your interest level up...)

Step 1 of getting my life together: Washing my face. (Step 2 involves making the bed in the mornings... I'm only on step 1 and I can feel your judgement.) 

Disclaimer: I am NOT trying to sell you a product. I am committing to writing a review of a product. I am NOT getting paid. I am keeping a word to a friend.

Now that we have that out of the way... 

A few weeks ago I noticed a Facebook friend of mine had an amazing complexion. 

Hold up. 

I'm going to say friend of mine. Except I never see her in person. But I feel like we are besties. 1. Because she loves a selfie as much as I do. 2. I think she's a boss at owning her life. 3. She thinks my kid is super cute. Winner by my standards.


My skin was a mess. Oily all the time. Bumps galore. Maybe it was because I was 28 and still not washing my makeup off at night like I should have been doing for at least a decade or longer. 

So, I noticed her skin. Now just so you know, she's a big time sales person and rocks at it. But I didn't want to sell. I wanted the product she used. With hesitation, I asked. 

Side note: I already had an itWorks account from earlier in the year when I tried a few things and of course bought the wraps because I think those things are the shizzzz. I don't know if they actually work, but they make me feel better about myself... so that's all that really matters. 

Back to it. She told me what she used. So I got it. And I will be honest I haven't used a ton of face products religiously so I can't compare. But I can tell you that I look forward to washing my face every morning and every evening. And for me, that's a pretty big deal. 

I mean, that's a solid extra minute of sleep I could be having. 

So, after a couple of weeks she wanted me to review it for her. Of course I'm thinking, "GAHHHH all my FB friends are going to unfriend me" (which is saying a lot because I post all the stuff about er'thing and if they haven't unfriended me after 619 days of my kid pics, they were in it to win it.) 

Well, like I said before, I'm pretty sure this girl and I could be besties. So I wanted to keep my word. So here's my review. I freaking love the face wash. And the day/night time serums. I love those too. Use em... Don't use em... Whatever you think is best. But that's my review. If you want to know more, just ask. I'll point you in the right direction. 

Now please go back to your usual Facebook newsfeed scrolling. 

But first... Let me take a selfie.

Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Psalm 51:2

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Why not more?

So Sunday's are my favorite. I feel the most like myself, the most like the wife, mom, and person God wants me to be on Sunday. I feel the most alive on Sunday. 

I struggle so hard to keep that feeling going all week long. By the end of Monday I am already exhausted and reaching for the weekend. But I find myself NOT reaching for God. But why?  I know why I love Sunday. I relax listening to the word of God. I find joy knowing my baby girl is in a nursery down the hall that she is finally loving and is being loved on by people who love God. 

Here's my question: Why not more? 

I have a bible, I have an app, I have my voice and my thoughts, I have the ability to worship with songs... Why am I not doing more? 

Because life is too busy? Because I have a pity party when I take my kid to the sitter instead of staying cuddled for an extra hour? Excuses. I have so many excuses. And those excuses are getting in the way of me being where I feel most at home... Right in the word of Jesus. 

So going into this new week... I am going to choose more. More time with God. More time digging into the person he wants me to be. More time making sure that sweet child of mine KNOWS without a doubt that her mama loves Jesus. 

Wouldn't it be great if every single day felt easy like Sunday morning? And I think it can. I just need to work on it. 

"Your love never fails"

Nothing can separate
Even if I ran away
Your love never fails

I know I still make mistakes
But You have new mercies for me everyday
Your love never fails

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mom life: Having the rebound rate of God

Scene: 3 new pairs of converse shoes are unboxed and the toddler picks the pinks ones out and MUST have them on her feet immediately. She was basically saying, "Mom, I don't have time for this unknot the shoelaces crap, the hardwood is obviously on fire and I need shoes to protect my feet from it." 

Oh. I'm sorry. I'm not moving fast enough for you. Anywho. I got the giant shoe on her cute, giant, size 7 foot. (We all know a size 7 converse looks like a clown foot.) 

So, the shoe is on but heaven forbid I tie the thing. I mean WHY would I even CONSIDER treating that baby that way. Tie her shoe? Her brand new pretty pink shoe that she to have on her foot? In my best Pete the Cat voice, "Goodness no!" 

Well, too late. She assumed that my tying the shoe was actually going to set off some sort of missile and destroy the world so of course she flung her hands to her face and fell into the couch with all the drama. 

Incase you were concerned. Eventually I did tie the shoe. Which helped keep them on. And in fact, did not launch a death missile. Oh, and she heard the theme song to Sofia the First so everything was (insert Pete the Cat voice again) "ALL GOOD" in about 2.5 seconds. 

Good thing she's got such a good rebound rate. I mean if she held a real grudge for everything I did that she didn't like... We wouldn't be talking for the next like 65 years. 

I'm replaying it all in my head and thinking, gosh, God has a pretty good rebound rate too. Even better than MK. Because the second I doubt, the second I roll my eyes at someone, the second I sin in any shape, form, or fashion... he has already forgiven me. I could untie my laces all day long and He is not going to care from one minute to the next. My God is going to say, "Hey girl, don't trip, but if you do... I've got your back. I've got a bandaid." 

My prayer tonight is to have the rebound rate of forgiveness and understanding of my 20 month old who teaches me to be more like God every day. She may not like what I do, but she's going to forgive me within like a second. JUST like our God. He made us in His image for a reason. For that, I am thankful. I am able to see Him so much more clearly through her. 

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27

What I imagine MK saying, "'re the worst!"
"Nevermind, let's cuddle and watch Disney." 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Reflecting on 27 and welcoming 28.

The clock struck midnight. The coach turned back into a pumpkin. And just like that, I'm 2 years away from being 30. I think there must be some mistake because I'm certain I was just at BBQfest my senior year having the most insane time of my life with Nikki and Libby. I mean, there was an Elvis involved. 

No mistake. I'm still having the time of my life, but instead of Elvis and BBQ, I'm throwing sprinkles for Libby's second baby, working with #allthekids and living the #momlife. This number...28... It has a really distinct sound about it. It's so close to 30. I can't say I envisioned my life any differently. I don't exactly know what I envisioned at all. But I do know this. This has been the most amazing and most trying year of my life. 

27 brought me so much joy. Having the ability to watch my Mollie Kate learn and grow has brought so much happiness into our lives. She is truly the best thing that has ever happened to us. On days that seem long and grueling, she brings the biggest smile to my face. And watching her daddy with her as she has grown brings a smile to my heart. 

On the other hand, this year I've felt much failure.  Failure as a mom. As a teacher.  As a wife. Failure with the way my body should look.  I have had some of the many heart struggles.  I set myself up with ideals of perfection, all while knowing perfection cannot and will not be achieved. I am ever so glad that God does not expect perfection out of me. I am so glad that He sees my heart even on days that seem long and tiring. 

I am taking 28 by the horns. I plan to love harder, laugh longer, and reach for my crazy dreams. With my husband, baby girl, family and friends by my side and the Lord in my heart, I know there is nothing I cannot achieve. 

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

We live by faith, not by sight. Corinthians 5:7

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When simple tasks aren't so simple anymore.

Today has been a trying day for mama. 

I am not sure why Mollie Kate is grumpy about life today, but she totally is. (It's possible that she's tired of going to Hobby Lobby ever day after school.) 

Don't worry girl, you'll love it one day, it's in your genes.

Anywho, I needed to run in and grab 2 things and I knew exactly where they were. After that, I needed to go into Kroger and buy some flowers. What could have been a 5 minute trip into each store turned into an hour and a half. My patience was running thin and my bottle of wine was calling my name. 

While rocking her to bed, I prayed for patience. Again. As I always have to do.

I know it's unrealistic, but I don't want her to see me undone and bothered by the small things. At the same time, I want her to see me fall to my knees, begging for the patience that life and love demand.  I know she was feeding off of my mood. I know I should have dropped everything else and gone outside to play or gone for ice cream together. The other things can wait. She will only be a toddler for a moment. She will only beg me to hold her for a few more months... If that long. I get angry with myself when I don't recognize these things in the moment. But, now I know for next time. I'm human, and a first time mom... I'm bound to let things get the best of me, right?

She's sleeping now. It's 7:11 and still daylight. The house needs to be cleaned again from the tornado that is named, Mollie Kate. But instead, I think I'll sit here and watch HGTV. Because if I don't, then I'm letting another moment pass me by. A moment of "me" time. 

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:6-7

Sunday, February 28, 2016

All the feels

All. The. Feels. 

I have never in my ENTIRE life been as emotional as I have been the last three days. I cannot stop counting my blessings. Over and over. I am in awe. I look at Mollie and I swear I fight back the tears. Why? Because she is so freakin awesome that my heart literally cannot stand it. I think she's awesome when she's awake. I think she's awesome when she whines. I think she's freakin awesome when she calls me "MiMi" instead of "mama" and I think she's awesome when she lets me rock her for a quick minute before she goes to bed for 12 hours. 

Side note- I am not saying that motherhood is not hard. I would be LYING if I said that being a mother/wife/teacher/combo is easy. It's not. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. I fail daily. I fail at being a mom and I fail at being a wife. I have found many faults in myself over the past 14 months. But every single smile makes all the work so worth it. 

My heart aches hoping she feels as much love FROM me as I feel FOR her. She is my light in this crazy world. She makes me so proud and makes me look forward to the future.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Ephesians 4:2

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Paci game... Part 2.

As I mentally prepare myself to make the paci a bedtime only situation in a few weeks... I can't help but notice how obsessed Mollie is with her paci's these days. At any given time she has one hanging from her shirt, one in her mouth, and one in each hand. My favorite part is when she changes them out.. As if the current one in her mouth isn't good enough. She goes to bed rubbing a paci on her eyes (similar to what she used to do with her fuzzy mittens.)  As I rocked her tonight, I handed her the second paci, where she then sat up, changed them out, and laid back down on my chest, as if it were totally normal. I couldn't help but think of the thing that once consumed my life... The paci game.  If only I knew that in a matter of what seems like days, she would no longer need me for this game. She would so soon be able to not only spit them out and replace them, but hold 4 at one time. My baby is no longer a baby. My baby is a growing toddler. I'm trying hard to hold on to the few things that keep her my baby girl, like a paci... And her new paci game. I'm okay with it. It makes me smile. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

That moment.

So I didn't know this, and no one told me about it, but I'm positive I'm not the only one in all of history to feel it. There is a moment...a monumental moment...where a mom or parent becomes a child's life. I don't know when it happened specifically, but it has. For months far before she could have even known it, Ben and I joked about who her favorite was. Of course I thought it was me, but often, he thought it was me too. BUT... Mollie has always been a people person. She didn't care who was talking to her and holding her, she was eating it up. She didn't meet a stranger.

Until now. 

You see, over the past week or so, I have noticed that she isn't as willing to go to everyone else. She isn't as brave as she once was. Instead of watching tv and playing on the floor, even if for only a moment, she wants to be in my arms. After naps she wants to rock and cuddle, and before bed she lets me love on her for just a moment longer than she used too. I am her home base. I am her safety net. And don't get me wrong, she loves her daddy and he is bound to be her favorite with his kid self trapped in a 34 year old body. But for now, she is my world. And I am hers. And I will cling on to that as long as she lets me. 

Mamas do you remember that moment? When you realized that baby knows YOU are living for him or her? 

"When I tell you I love you. I don't say it out of habit or to make conversation. I say it to remind you that you are the BEST thing that has ever happened to me."