Tag Archives: life

You ARE going to miss this

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Yesterday at church a few ladies and I were talking about how we knew we were going to miss these days (you know the ones – the diaper days, the sleepless night days, the wiping butts days, the holding sick kids days) but right now it just doesn’t seem like it. One day we will miss the mess.

Can I admit something? As I was letting our one year old eat yogurt by himself, I realized I missed a lot during my older kids’ younger years. I look back and think about how I didn’t cherish their snuggles and their need of me or their messes like I do now. During those first years of motherhood and trying to figure it out and trying to be super mom (which just left me irritable and exhausted), I missed a lot. I didn’t take the time to slow down and soak in the moments of littleness like I do now.

I was consumed in the laundry, in the making everything from scratch, carrying two non-walkers on my hips, cloth diapering, and cleaning up the perpetual mess in our tiny house.

But now I now have a seven year old who freaking reads chapter books. By herself. Without needing my help. And who helps her brother go through his sight words each night. I now have a six year old who can climb trees and who builds crazy awesome things with legos and who enjoys golfing with his dad. I now have a five year old who will fetch her one year old brother from his pack-n-play at nap time if my hands are full (and she does it with such joy!) and will hold a crying newborn with such tender love and care. I now have an almost four year old who can memorize lyrics to a song like no ones business and rarely needs me to cut his food up for him.

They grow up fast. I can attest to that and mine aren’t fully grown yet.

These little people will always be my babies but they sure do grow up fast and need me less and are becoming capable human beings. Gah!!!!!!!

If only I could go back and just savor those first years of motherhood a little bit longer, a lot bit harder than I did, I would. Because those first few years were more awesome, more sanctifying, and more worthy of the mess than I give them credit for.

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Part of our story

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Today I was walking into the gym with Nora by the hand, Bennett on my hip, and my belly bulging under my shirt. It was very reminiscent of the days just before Ella joined our family (minus the “working out” part of course) and I was reminded yet again to not pray for the life I want but the life God knows I need.

Most of my friends know this but I’m not sure how many people outside of them do. When I found out I was pregnant with Ella I cried. Not happy tears but tears of what the heck??? See while I was pushing out Cooper I declared (in my head of course) that I was never going to have another baby ever again. Yep. Out loud it sounded more like “lets wait a few years and reevaluate where we are”, but I was donesky. Because, you see, we were dirt poor since I had quit my job to stay home with my babies not too long before that. We weren’t struggling but things were tight. Very tight. And I wanted a more relaxed life, not counting our pennies in and out so carefully (looking back these were some of the sweetest days ever). Maybe a life with more vacations and nicer stuff and new clothes every once in awhile.

Fast forward many years and more babies later. Here I sit living the life I never prayed for but would never trade for the world. Seriously. It’s simply the craziest, most humbling, exhausting, best thing I never knew I needed. And if it weren’t for God knowing what life would humble and sanctify me the most, I wouldn’t be able to share this next story because Ella (none of our other wonderful kids after her) would exist.

Garrett and I have prayed for big things for our kids (and little things, don’t think we haven’t/don’t pray for more sleep or better attitudes). We have prayed and talked to them about loving Jesus and what he’s done for them. We talk regularly with them that Jesus is a friend to sinners and a friend to those who the world says aren’t worthy of friendship and even a burden to this world. We have prayed that they would be a friend to those people because of Matthew 25:40 “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

Anyway, a few weeks ago Ella’s preschool teacher shared with me about what a wonderful friend she is, especially to a little boy in her class named Evan. Evan is completely wheel chair bound and has delays and can’t verbally communicate. He has an aid with him who takes care of all his needs.

God has given our Ella the sweetest, most nurturing heart (maybe not so to her siblings or always to her cousins…she is still a work in progress, right? 😉 ). Her teacher explained that most kids in their class are apprehensive around Evan but Ella is his best friend. She talks to him like a peer and plays with him and can now tell when Evan is getting a bit overwhelmed in class and needs to be left alone. She genuinely loves being his friend and told us all about Evan and didn’t mention anything to us about him being different except he didn’t eat snack with them every day.

God has given her a heart to just see people for who they are and that they have value. God is already answering the prayer that she would be a friend to the outcast. If God had answered my prayer for a more comfortable life over five years ago, I wouldn’t have this to share but I might have fewer ruined things and fewer stained clothes and a cleaner car. But all the praise to God that He knows what I need before I even knew I needed it! Praise God that He can see my own selfishness and need to be softened in ways I didn’t think I needed to be so I could see His command at work in the lives of all my children. Because, trust me, there are endless stories of how awesome the kids God has given us are and I only share any of them because it is truly the work of God in His goodness and kindness, and not us as parents.

So pray for the life God wants for you because His will is better. And if God gives you children, pray the big stuff and pray it hard because He hears the cries of us selfish parents but He knows better than us what we need because isn’t that true of any truly, good father?

“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2-4

 

REAL mom Wednesday

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You know you are a REAL mom when…

*you wonder how you are so busy and not busy at the exact same time.

Here is a run down of this morning up until 1pm:

6:30am – Put Nora back in her bed.
6:45am – Ella asks to use our bathroom (why she asks, I will never know)
7:00am – Bring Bennett (who has peed out) downstairs for a bottle and diaper change
7:15am – Make coffee and get the kids set up with a show and some cereal
7:30am – Wash my face, put in my contacts, pour coffee, and start my Bible study
7:45am – Nora needs more cereal
7:50am – Tell Eden and Cooper to get stuff together for school
8:00am – Realize I haven’t changed Nora. Change her.
8:10am – Pray with the kids, go over Genesis 1:1, and send kids to bus stop
8:20am – Go to the bathroom
8:21am – Find Nora with an entire box (Family Size) dumped out, stop to clean up
8:30am – Make eggs for the four kids at home and myself.
8:45am – Start kitchen clean up, big two are put on breakfast clean up
8:55am – Attempt to lay Bennett down for a quick nap
9:00am – Finish cleaning up the kitchen and start the dishwasher
9:10am – Switch laundry and put in a new load
9:15am – Try to get myself dressed, teeth brushed, and hair pulled back
9:25am – Get distracted and clean all the ceiling fans
9:40am – Go to get Nora dressed and find her with a poopy diaper and her hand in it -yuck!
9:50am – Wake up Bennett, change him, pack the diaper bag with snacks
9:55am – Load the kids in the van (we should have left 10 minutes ago) to go to the gym
10:05am – Get to the gym and get the kids situated with child care
11:00am – Finish working out, get the kids, head to the photo store
11:15am – Pick up pictures, realize Nora fell asleep in the van, drive home
11:30am – Try and transfer Nora to her bed (unsuccessfully, which means tonight will be great with her!!!!)
11:45am – Feed the kids lunch
12:00pm – Switch laundry, start a new load, start my lunch
12:30pm – Send kids outside so I can eat lunch in peace
12:35pm – Ella insists Garrison is bleeding
12:40pm – Everyone needs drinks outside because it is so hot
12:41pm – Garrison drops his cup and it shatters
12:45pm – Try to finish my lunch
12:46pm – Ella is insistent that Garrison’s foot is bleeding
12:48pm – Try to finish my lunch
12:55pm – All the kids stand at the door complaining how hungry they are
1:oopm – Sit at the computer pretending to do “work”

See – really all I did today was go to the gym for an hour…

You don’t go unnoticed

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Our church is renovating a building. It’s a very exciting time for our church family! Our church is saving money by having our peeps lend a helping hand to get stuff done. It’s a wonderful opportunity of service and sacrifice.

My awesome husband has been spending as much time as possible there helping do whatever needs to be done. It’s great! I mentioned to him the other day how it kind of stinks that I never really get to do any of the “fun and exciting” stuff because I’m at home doing the “necessary and ordinary” stuff. Finding a babysitter and then shelling out the cold hard cash isn’t easy or doable most of the time just so I can partake and feel like I’ve done something to help.

BUT, since my husband is so awesome and wise, he said the exact words I needed to hear…that my time at home doing the “necessary and ordinary” was more important than doing the “fun and exciting” stuff (and that stuff is important too, so don’t get me wrong).

I’m sure I’m not alone in this longing to go and do the things that I see all over instagram or Facebook but can’t because of little people needing to be watched and cared for.

So (and it’s a big SO) if you are a mama out there wishing she could do more than just the “necessary and ordinary” stuff, know that it’s more important to be home doing the nitty gritty every day stuff than it is helping out with a new building (you can insert just about anything in its place). Because I will stand by this: raising children has more eternal value (and is seen by our Heavenly Father as something far more valuable and of great importance) than any building a church can build. Buildings will fade and need repair but children are a one shot deal.

You may never be on a recap video or in a picture montage of the people who helped make the building what it is today BUT I see you when I see your husband’s picture. I see your hard and tiresome work alone so he can help. I see you doing something more amazing than painting walls or hanging lights. I see your sacrifice of his help at home.

So thank you workers for all you have done and thank you mamas for all you are doing.

REAL mom Wednesday

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You know you are a REAL mom when…

*You finally start feeling live you’ve got your groove back.

Whether it’s after a baby or when your kids go to school or you are finally able to sit upright while being pregnant, it feels good to feel normal. And today was the day! After months of hiring a babysitter so I could go to the store alone (the thought of hauling extra bodies while nauseated sounded like torture) and barely being able to just do the minimal housework required to keep up with six kids, I am feeling back to normal. Woohoo! I assembled a changing table for church then loaded up all the kids and took them for an hour long school shopping session and ran errands and then came home and cleaned. Seriously guys. This is the woman I am use to. Not the couch loving, show watching, blob I am during those weeks of morning sickness. Hooray!!!!!!

These past few months

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I said there was a reason for my departure from this neck of the woods and if you follow me on instagram then you know the surprise (and subsequently the reason for me being silent).

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If you can’t guess from this photo, I’ll just tell you. I am pregnant! Woot! We are expecting our seventh child and I just couldn’t muster up the strength to get on the computer because I was using all my energy not to puke on my kids (and remember to feed them and take them to swim lessons and wash their mounds of laundry). It was touch and go during the first trimester but we made it!

Because I know you are wondering – baby (we are positive there is only one in there) is due middle of January. So I have an excuse to gain plenty of weight during the holidays.

I also have been asked if this is a “surprise” baby (because after six kids, people are positive you would never want more). I’m not sure how to answer that. It’s a surprise because we never set out to have another but we never prevented anything and knew it was a possibility. It is not like we did anything to try and permanently stop having children either and were in utter shock or disbelief when we found out we were expecting. Like most of our kids, we felt that God could choose to give us one more or not and He did. And we are so glad that He did!

Anyway, I am happy to be back to the land of the living!

Lately

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Life has been busy lately. Real busy. We’ve had so much going on and so much nothing at the same time. I guess there is never truly nothing going on because #fivekids.

Anyway, all last week we spent going to schools and meeting teachers and getting the kids prepared for what lies ahead. Then this week was actual school and I spent the majority of my free time making trips to Goodwill to drop off stuff from our storage room and to consign a bunch of other items.

Here are some photos from my phone (and they are surprisingly scarce considering all the time that has passed):

I was trapped in my Target parking spot for five minutes.

I was trapped in my Target parking spot for five minutes.

We went to a wedding and were semi-presentable.

We went to a wedding and were semi-presentable.

This is how we Costco.

This is how we Costco.

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A new Chick-fil-A opened and we were invited!!!

A new Chick-fil-A opened and we were invited!!!

Facebook likes to offend me one suggest post at a time.

Facebook likes to offend me one suggested post at a time.

Playing a little golf on a Saturday morning.

Playing a little golf on a Saturday morning.

We took away this girl's paci and she did great until we found out she was sucking her thumb. We gave back the pacis. #sheswearsshecanquit

We took away this girl’s paci and she did great until we found out she was sucking her thumb. We gave back the pacis. #sheswearsshecanquit

Ella enjoying her new chore!

Ella enjoying her new chore!

They really do all love each other!

They really do all love each other!

Sundays get hairy around here but that's okay.

Sundays get hairy around here but that’s okay.

Even when she's fast asleep she still has an attitude.

Even when she’s fast asleep she still has an attitude.