May 12, 2017

To Mothers...

It’s been said that what happens in cradles and kitchens will prove to be more effective than what happens in Congress. That the beginning of life shapes the whole life. And that a child guided until he is seven produces the man.

And who but us are the cradle rockers, the shapers, the guides that help traverse a way?

A position so primary all the while being evolutionary.

We are mothers – the raisers of generations.

Of men. Of women.

Of kings. Of rulers.

Of farmers.

Of future mothers.

Our place in time and history is that of cultivating the next generation. A generation of people who will one day care for the earth without us. The babes we rock, the toddlers we chase – these are the hands of tomorrow, and we are the shapers of them.

We guide their steps and teach them to walk – then we point out the way in which they should tread in the world. We guard them from high steps and harsh falls – then we impart to them all of which will harm them most in life. We teach them words and how to speak – then we pray their speech is full of wisdom, courage, and truth. We instruct them in kindness and sharing - then trust they will become good stewards of their status in society.

We are the keepers of their lives. The guardians. The gardeners who daily cultivate what will one day produce fruit. We work in patience, seeing what is, but always having a taste for what is to come. We say, “Here we are, but look at where we must go,” and so, gently, we correct our steps. We understand the grace of starting over. Of redirecting. In the wisdom of tiny moments, we build their life, always readjusting to what might better suite their growth.

What begins as the nurturing and nourishing of a body becomes a nurturing and nourishing of a soul. We tend to our infants in the darkness of night, speaking into their fears and saying, “Here I am.” Pointing always to the future of One who will say the same. We kiss their wounds and hug away tears to testify of a God who also binds our hurts and heals our sorrows. We feed and clothe them on hourly rotations – a promise of Provision. We build a trust in our goodness, so that they may one day recognize the only Good.

We are mighty forgers building the nations one child at a time. Having many come before us, we celebrate and thank them - all the while hoping to emulate them.

We build these homes and these lives, caring so deeply and letting go so freely.

We are mothers.

Beauty and strength grace our name.

So to this generation of women who have taken their place in history as the cultivators, growers, nurturers, and guides of the next generation – Happy Mother’s Day – you are doing a good work.

June 23, 2016

Because this is how we roll...

Last week I took the kids out during nap time. We visited the new library and then took a walk down a familiar trail in the 90 degree weather. I let the older kids take off their clothes and play around in the nearby creek to cool off. 

Rori told me it was the best day of her life. 

Two days ago we went to visit our neighbors two hours past bedtime. The kids caught the 84 year old man push mowing his lawn and they couldn't help but run out and give him a hug. From there he sent us in to say hi to his wife, and after a fun little journey through her flower garden he took the kids out to catch lightening bugs for bedtime night lights.

Yesterday she stopped by with a vase of flowers and told me to bring the vase back anytime I needed new flowers for the house.

Today we spent all day at a friend's house. We arrived in the morning, coffee in hand, and headed out just after nap time with the kids' hands full of snacks. 

When we got back home, my sister watched the kids as I headed out for a quick errand and grabbed the mail. A realtor had sent us a postcard asking us how our house compared to the newest listing in the area. 

I smirked and snapped a picture and thought, "It compares just fine."

We're moving again. 

All our "outings" have been potential buyers scouting out our house. And that postcard - it's our home on the front. We're the newest listing.

I've spent a good portion of the last two weeks shuffling the kids out of the house for showings while Brian and I have been scouring listings in Dallas for what will be our fifth home. This will be our fourth out of state move and fittingly Brian is currently across the country buying what will be the tenth vehicle whose title we have owned.

You could say stability isn't necessarily our forte. 

It's a tough move that came fairly suddenly. And I can't say I'm not sad to leave.

The library, the walking trail, our sweet neighbors, and my kind friends... this house. It's another whole life we'll pack up and file away in our repertoire of lives lived. I find myself trying to savor a few sweet moments here and there amidst the chaos this move has brought.

It'll be a blink of the eye and I'll be settling in as the new girl once again.

April 13, 2016

Life with three

I semi-expected three children to feel pretty crazy and a bit chaotic right off the bat. And instead we've just all gotten really good at taking naps - except for Rori who has never needed a nap in her life. 

While I definitely feel like there isn't enough of me to go around, there's a sense of calm that seems to have invaded the house. Because it doesn't really matter if the laundry and dishes are all done or if the floor has been swept - we're just going to roll with what got done, leave the rest for another time, and take a nap on the couch when we need to. 

I've come to learn that life as a mom is a lot about knowing when it's okay to have really low standards and when you need to kick your butt in gear and knock that bar up a notch or two. Newborns, sickness, and traveling husbands all warrant low expectations on how the days are going to go. And by low expectations, I mean not beating myself up at the end of the day or getting overly frustrated at what didn't get done. Lowering the expectations generally leaves me happier and my little charges happier as well. 

And speaking of the charges, the kids have done great with this new little person entering the family. They're both so in love with Emmett. Judah asks to hold him all the time, and Rori just loves to stare at him and tell me how pretty he is.

I've been trying to consciously spend more time with the two of them since it feels like my tone was an endless "no" from being nine months pregnant and now being in postpartum recovery. So the last few days I've been looking for ways to be more positive and say yes a bit more. Although I did tell Rori she couldn't have cookies and coffee for breakfast this morning. She's a girl after her momma's own heart. 

And then there's sweet little Emmett. That's just about all I can say about the little guy - he's just so sweet.

 And calm. He's very calm.

And maybe that's it. Maybe Emmett is the calm that has come to the house when I was expecting a little chaos instead.

 I'll take it.

I'll take all ten pounds of it.

April 6, 2016


I had forgotten how much I love newborns. I know it isn't everyone's favorite baby stage, but gosh, I love it. I love how squirmy and cuddly they are, their little wrinkles and soft baby skin, and that sweet newborn smell. 

With Emmett being our third, I'm not quite sure how many more we'll have, so this time around I've literally just sat on the couch every day and soaked in his newness and held him close.

I just love holding him, and I miss him when I'm up doing something else. I think I just know this time how fast it's going to go. How fast this little guy will soon be two and walking and talking. And I do look forward to that, but for now, I just want him to stay this tiny little being. 

I want him to keep that sweet smell and awkward jerks and his mini little clothes. (Especially when those little clothes are the softest, organic cotton gifted from Whole Parenting Goods. I swear Nell is the kindest person I have ever met.) I want his tiny fists and scrunchy feet to stay just the way they are. And I wish he could fit into little baby hats forever. 

I just love all the newborn-ness and I wish it would stay around just a little bit longer.  I'm sure in reality I couldn't live in an endless world of newborn, because, at some point I'd have to sleep again. But I sure feel like I just don't ever want to give this miniature person up. 

So stay small, little man. Stay small as long as you can.