Friday, August 09, 2013

Five on Friday!

Hey there! Thank you to so many of you who had nice things to say about this post yesterday. It was a kind of bare-all post, but I am so glad to know it resonated with so many of you fellow moms in the trenches with me!

Instead of my normal (well, can you even call it that considering how sporadic it usually is) Five on Friday post about the highlights of my week, I thought I would instead share my favorite five resources for us moms in the trenches!!! Are you ready?

1. The Bible. Okay, not to be all cliché here, but it really is the BEST resource for us mamas. God's word is FULL of encouragement and conviction and I know that when I am IN His word, I am a better mama. His word has a way of healing my broken pieces and giving me strength to do this mama job day after day after day. If you are looking for a new study Bible, I recommend the ESV Study Bible.  I use my NIV thinline for BSF and to take with me to Church, but the ESV Study Bible is great for personal in depth study. :)

2. 52 Things Kids Need From a Mom by Angela Thomas. My sweet friend, Bethany, posted about this book on Instagram and I immediately ran to Amazon to purchase it. It is AMAZING! Short, doable chapters that are so encouraging! I honestly love this book so much and can see myself revisiting it over and over in the years to come!

3.  Desperate by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae. I wish I'd had this book back when I struggled with depression...even though it STILL speaks to my heart every single time I read it. Its real and shares the ugly parts us mamas sometimes don't want to talk about, but gives hope and wisdom from the perspective of an older mama who's been there and done that.

4. Loving the Little Years & Fit to Burst, both by Rachel Jankovic. These little gems are tiny but hard hitting. Rachel doesn't baby you...she tells it like it is, and sometimes that is just what I need.


5. Trendbreakers, by my very own real life friend Kelly! Okay, so this book isn't necessarily all about motherhood, but it is about friendship and how important nurturing those relationships is to our mental health. It's a great book full of practical advice and ideas.

The other resource I use every day is Pandora. Music is powerful for me and can change my state of mind and attitude immediately. Some of my favorite stations to have playing (that I don't mind my kiddos listening to) while we are going about our day are:

Indelible Grace
Enter the Worship Circle
Sara Groves (my favorite EVER)
Kari Jobe
All Sons & Daughters

Of course, don't for a second think I don't have a John Mayer, Luke Bryan, or Pistol Annies station going while I'm making dinner! :)

Hope these were helpful! Press on Mama Warriors!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Dear Older Me

Dear Older Me,

Hey you with the highlighted hair and the quiet house. I see you looking at the scrapbooks and crying and wishing you were right here where I am. You see the cute smiles and the funny things those kids of yours said and you are wanting it back. I get it. I do! But, can I just jog your memory for a moment? Then you can go pick up your book or take a bath and stop all the crying and just enjoy your time.

This taking care of kids gig is hard work. Hard. Work. The laundry never ends. In fact, I believe it multiplies in the washing machine. It has to because otherwise the massive amount we have just defies logic.

And let's talk about the kitchen, shall we? Clean floors? Hah! An empty sink? Hah! Oh, hi there little one, you want another snack? Another meal? Another cup of water or milk? You wash dishes and prepare meals and clean it all up just to mess it up again. It's maddening.

Your kids need disciplined. They aren't perfect. They sin and you've got to come up with consequences that mean something and that will help them change their hearts. You have to be on it and ready. Even when your kid does something incredibly weird and unexpected and you just shake your head and wonder why they even thought that was a good idea. You're on. Always.

You have no quiet time, no personal space, no choice on how you are going to spend your day. You are with the kids. The kids are with you. And on you. And in your face. And some days you just don't want to be touched one more moment. Your poor husband.

Some days you feel like you are the biggest failure ever. I mean surely the monkey at the zoo would do a better job mothering these hooligans than you. There is too much TV and not enough reading. There is too much yelling and not enough leading. There are days when you are too tired to even put the effort forth to mother well and then you lay your head on your pillow at night and feel the guilt (oh, the guilt) creep up and suffocate you. You pray for God's new mercies the next morning and then you wake up and fail again. It's hard on you, the failing. You question yourself and spend too much time in the pit.

These are the trenches of motherhood. These are the poopy diapers and snotty noses and whining and time outs and these are the days of locking yourself in the bathroom. Its day in and day out and its real and its hard and I'm praying it's worth it.

Because you there, older me, I hope you have few regrets. I really hope you can look back on these years with great joy. I hope you can remember the hard times and know you gave your all. You fought when it would have been easier to give in. You gave when you were totally spent. You cleaned that dang kitchen one more time and folded that hundredth load of laundry for the week. You read to your babies and listened to them even when you felt like zoning out and you made a million memories and only a few mistakes.

I hope you can look back and cry because it was so good and laugh because it was such a mess. I pray you get to see the bigger picture and that all your years of sowing and planting and watering and  praying reaps a good harvest.

So go ahead, remember the good times. Just do me a favor, remember the hard times too. And send some young mama a card of encouragement, okay? Oh, and don't cut your hair super short.

The Younger You

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A Big Change & PL Week 31

So, this past week was pretty much UGH to the max. We had been praying for over a month about whether or not Shawn should accept a position with another engineering firm in town. It was a tough (to say the very least) decision, but ultimately we decided and felt peace about him leaving the job he'd worked at for eight years. Monday, he told his employer he would be leaving and after 24 hours of back and forth offers, Tuesday morning it was a done deal. I won't share all the details here, but by Tuesday at 8:00 am he was home. By noon that same day he was at his new employer and I had the sickest tummy the entire week. We trust that this was the right step for our family and we are humbled and blessed by this huge opportunity for Shawn. And each day further into this new chapter we get a little more excited. Because of the nature of the situation, my PL for week 31 is a little more private than I'd like to share here so I've blocked out some of the journaling. ;)

Week 31: I went with the Midnight edition this week. The colors just seemed to fit the mood of the week. The insert is from when we went to STL to see Matt, Desiré, and Caleb. That was definitely a huge highlight to the week!

I wanted to include this card from our sermon on was like God was saying, "Listen!"

*sorry the right page is blurry*

I really love journaling on the lines of these striped makes me happy. Also - I am obsessed with these two iphone photo apps: A Beautiful Mess & Rhonna Designs.  

This week finished out my first album for 2013. I'm excited to start on the next one and still can't believe I've finished this much and that I STILL love it....even on the weeks that are hard to journal.

*Linking up to The Mom Creative*

Wishing For Wednesday

Here are a few things I've been crushing on lately....

1. Missouri Show Me baseball Tee from Creator Designs. I stinking love this company and their quality tees. You can get yours for ONLY $15 here.

2. This amazing crock pot from Target.  Isn't it darling? I absolutely love my crock pot, but it is narrow at the bottom (just the style I have) so I would love this one that is more oblong shaped! Plus it's only $34!

3. This Americana scarf from Old Navy. Vintage looking and precious. In love!

4. The new Sunshine kit from Project Life. I know, I know, like I need any more PL kits. :) Of course I do!

5. Sunnies case from The Pleated Poppy. Just darling. And practical. And darling.

6. John Mayer chalkboard quote for the master bedroom. We are in the process of pulling inspiration for our remodel of that room. This has to be in there somewhere!

7. A blog re-design by my friend, Miranda! We are working behind the scenes to revitalize this blogging space of mine! I can't wait!

8. This is more of an, "Oh my goodness I love this how did I not know it was around before now and I drank all mine and now am out" kind of wish. Have you tried the Hiland Iced Coffee? It's amazing. Like life changing. I might even love it more (in the summer) than my regular Kcup coffee with lots of cream. So. Good. Wish my fridge had some in it right now.

I think that's it for today. Hope you have a great Wednesday!!! It's nice and rainy here so we will be cuddled up watching movies and playing tractors and dolls I'm sure! No plans to go anywhere or do anything feels just about right!