Tuesday, July 8, 2014

TLM & His First Steps

Last night was an exciting night in our house hold as Jase took his first steps. It was way more exciting than I imagined it would be. My husband and I couldn't stop laughing and giggling watching him waddle. I even got a little bit on video for you to enjoy the cuteness.

I am guest posting over at The Laundry Moms today. I am so excited for this opportunity! It is hard to leave TLM's corner of the internet without feeling encouraged. Hop on over and read my post, and be sure to explore their website. I guarantee you will find something perfect for you!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

You Are Super-Mom

Every new mom comes home from the hospital with the same mindset. They feel like they need to do everything, they need to be up with the baby, changing every diaper, answering every cry, feeding, bathing, rocking, and more. It is just what is in our DNA. The moment we become a mother, that inner instinct that is within us comes roaring out with the hunger to take care of it all. The thing is that is exhausting. You wouldn’t expect your friend to come out of an intense surgery to come home and take care of the kids, her house, and everything in between, so why do we as mothers expect this of ourselves?

I remember getting ready to have Jase. I knew that it was okay to accept help; that I would need the help the first few weeks, and that was okay. I welcomed the meal train my friends had planned. I welcomed the help of my mother in keeping up with housework and watching Jase when I needed to rest or shower. I knew these were things that I would be extremely grateful for when Jase arrived. I am the oldest in my family and have been around kids since before even I could remember, I was aware of the care having a newborn would demand and I knew the help would be needed. I knew all of these things.

Then I had Jase and something changed.

I had an unexpected C-Section with Jase. I was down a lot more than I thought I was going to be after having a baby. I couldn’t get up from a laying position without help. I wasn’t supposed to lift anything but the baby. I couldn’t really lift Jase out of a crib and I wasn’t allowed to lift him in the car seat. All these unexpected restrictions paired with this desire to be super mom made me feel incredibly defeated. I cried on a daily basis, maybe even on an hourly basis, to my husband because I couldn’t do “what I was supposed to do.” I am the mom, I should be the one who picks up the baby, who gets up in the middle of the night, gets him out of his crib and walks to another room to nurse leaving my sleeping husband to rest. I thought that was what I was supposed to do and because I couldn’t do all of that I felt like I was failing as a mother. I felt like I was failing as a wife.

In my conversations with new moms, no matter how their labor experience went, they all come home with the pressure to be super mom. The need to be the one who takes care of every need the baby has and in doing so they are fulfilling their duty of being a mother. So many new moms are feeling discouraged and exhausted because they are unable to measure up to these standards they are placing on themselves. And it doesn’t stop with the first few weeks. It continues into every stage of motherhood, this pressure to be everything, to do everything, to somehow succeed in juggling everything on our own. The pressure we put on ourselves to measure up to this super mom.

The reality of motherhood is you cannot do it on your own. Saying that you need help, accepting the help that is offered, it doesn’t make you less of a mother. It doesn’t even make you a failure of a mother. It makes you a great mother. The reality is motherhood gives you a lot of things to juggle, having a newborn in itself is a lot to juggle, and at the same time you have to give yourself time to heal and time to recover after what your body just experienced.

Super mom isn’t the one who does everything on her own; I would like to think that is more like an exhausted and overwhelmed mom. Super mom is you. That’s right, you. You are super mom because that tiny human in your hands, your birthed him. You carried that child for nine months, gave the majority of your body’s nutrients to that child so that he may grow and be the healthy little baby he was meant to be. You gave sleepless nights, aches and pains, joy and tears, countless amount of energy, you gave everything. You pushed and persevered through labor and gave birth to that child. I don’t care if you pushed for hours or if you endured surgery, you birthed that child. You are super mom. Super mom isn’t created because of what she does; super mom is in fact, every mother. What every mother has gone through to bring a child into this world, that makes her super mom. What every mother does to continue to keep her child alive in this world that makes her super mom.

So, to all mothers everywhere. You are super mom. It isn’t what you do that makes you super mom; it simply is because you are a mother. Being a mother is a big job. It takes all your emotions, it takes every ounce of your physical body, and it takes all of your time. If you didn’t manage to keep the house in complete order, feed all your kids, bathe them, and even take of yourself today, you are still super mom. If you have to ask for a little help so that you can shower, or maybe just brush your teeth, you are super mom. Keep on doing what you are doing, super mom.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jase's First Birthday Party {Recap}

It has been a couple weeks now since we celebrated Jase's first birthday, but I am finally getting to the pictures and I wanted to share them with you. We had a small little gathering with a few of our close friends, and people with little ones Jase's age that he spends a lot of time with at church or play dates. It was such a blessing to see everyone who came and joined us in celebrating our little man turning one. I cannot believe I have a one year old! I had so much fun putting this little celebration together for our little man. I might have a little TOO much fun since I don't usually have a reason to throw little parties. I am glad I have these beautiful photos to look back on and remember this lovely celebration.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Currently {Vol. 8}

A Mama Collective

Thinking about: How incredibly excited I am to be having a girl’s night tonight! A few of my mom friends and I are going to dinner tonight to have a little mommy escape. I think I have been counting down the hours since I woke up. I love girl’s nights. They are incredibly refreshing. You know what else? I am one hundred percent done nursing little man, bittersweet for sure. But times like tonight, when I don’t have to worry about rushing home to nurse before bed it is a little more sweet than bitter.

Reading: Beyond Bathtime still. I also just finished reading “Embracing the Love God Wants You to Have” which you can read my review on here. I should also be receiving another book in the mail here soon to review and I am really excited about that one. I have a few books that I really want to read, I just haven’t ordered them nor do I know when I would have the time to read them. I am already doing so badly at keeping up with the one I am reading, and supposed to be posting discussion questions on Instagram for. Oh boy. Writing this just reminded me.

Listening to: Silence. Really. It is beautiful. All I hear right now is our little floor fan turning back and forth and my fingers tapping away at the keyboard. Little man has been napping for a couple hours now, and I usually play worship music as I work, but today I just sat in silence and it was nice for a moment. I usually don’t like complete silence, but today it was definitely nice.

Watching: America’s Got Talent. Hubs and I have all these shows we really enjoy watching and they are all finally starting to come back on. Seriously, have you ever watched this show? It is HILARIOUS! Nick Cannon does an amazing job hosting, and the judges are hilarious. Some acts have me laughing so hard I cry.

Thankful for: I am thankful that God is teaching me so much about myself in being a mother. He is teaching me about grace, He is teaching me about love, He is teaching me about patience, and the list goes on and on. I am still trying to figure out how to balance everything on my plate as I have a toddler running around, but I can feel God’s grace encompassing me through it all. Between my husband, an energetic little toddler, my house, church responsibilities, and still trying to keep up with this blog as well as find time for myself in between all that; it is a lot to juggle that I haven’t quite figure it all out. It’s always an adventure! God continues to add more dreams on top of that and it just reminds me that I need Him to do all that He has called me to do. I am thankful that I have a God that I can lean on for the strength I need to do what He has called me to do.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Embracing the Love God Wants You to Have (Review)

There is something so welcoming about the conversation that takes place at a little table in the corner of a coffee shop. There is something about just two friends pouring out their hearts to each other over a cup of coffee. Those heart to heart conversations are so intimate, bringing friends closer together and into the deepest parts of their hearts. That is exactly the direction Taffi Dollar took in writing her book.

Reading the words in the pages of this book is just as if I was sitting at a table across from her having a conversation. She pours out all the stories and lessons she has learned from others and from her own life on embracing the love God has for you. She pours her heart out on returning that love to the people around you and putting it to practice in your daily life. She floods the pages with experience and stories from others as well as in her own personal life.

Taffi Dollar breaks up this book into three parts. The first part is about embracing God’s love in different areas of your life. She shares all the attributes that accompany God’s love; unconditional, graceful, forgiving, and so much more. Then she encourages you to put that into practice in the last three parts of her book by loving yourself, and putting love into practice in your marriage and parenting. The heart behind this book is for the reader to grasp the love that God has for them so that they can live out life with that love into practice. The only way that we can truly love ourselves, love in marriage, and parent in love is by understanding the attributes of God’s love.

I think reading a book that is written just as if you were sitting across the table from the author can be wonderful. It can help you to feel connected to the words on the page. I personally had a hard time following her at times because I felt that there was a tendency to ramble, or get off topic with side stories or side statements, much like a conversation would be. So in book format, that made it a little difficult for me to stay focused. I think if this book was to be set up or read as a daily devotional, daily encouragement, or a daily attribute of God’s love and God’s love practiced in your life it would have been a little easier to read. Each part is broken up into subheadings, each subheading a different aspect of love. Each subheading doesn’t exactly flow into the other, but collectively all fall under the part of the book it is organized in. So breaking up and reading maybe a section a day I think would encourage the reader to get the most out of the book. It would enable the reader to focus on just that attribute as well as not get confused as the stories change in each subheading.

This book really serves as a reminder of all that God’s love encompasses. It reminds you of all that God has promised with His love. Then it goes one step further to encourage you to operate in God’s love on a daily basis. How to bring those attributes into your daily life and loving yourself, into your marriage, and into the way your parent your children. It serves as a great reminder to the love God has for us and how we can embrace His love for ourselves.  
*I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.*