Chin Up, Mamma, You're Doing Good: A Letter to Myself

I don't know if it's my current pregnancy hormones or the 4 in me (shoutout to all my fellow enneagram lovers!) but lately I have found myself so overly sensitive about my children growing older.  My oldest is nearly six and about to lose her first tooth.  Is there any mother on the planet who has shed more tears over a loose tooth?  Please, I would love to know!

Sometimes, I am shocked at times audacity and its willingness to rob in plain sight.  With that comes one of my biggest fears:  to look back on this time of my children being young and thinking that I did not do enough.  

I should have looked up more 
I should have played more 
I shouldn't have gotten so angry 
I should have held them more 
I should have paid more attention 

The idea of having these thoughts one day, it terrifies me.  More than almost anything because well, I love my children almost more than anything and I want to be the very best for them.  But parenting is hard and there are days when I am exhausted and I don't want to play.  There are days taken up by discipline and I get frustrated.  And there are days where I just flat out get lazy and zone out on useless things.

For some reason it's always easier to remember the days where I feel like I have failed.  Not too long ago I was having a conversation with my husband about this and he said something like this:  "for all the times you feel like you have failed there are a thousand successes and yet you always remember the failures.  You need to shift your focus."

He couldn't have been more right.  As mothers, why is this so hard for us?  Why is it so hard for us to see ourselves the way that others see us?  I wanted to take my husbands advice and take ownership over my fear.

So here is what I did.  

I got myself a notebook so that I can take record of my successes as a mother and all the times that I:

Do Look up  
Do Say yes to play 
Do Remain patient 
Do Hold them  
Do Pay attention

It won't be everyday but the things that stick out the most I want to record because I want to remember.  Someday I want to remember that I did good.  

I can't believe I am going to do this but I decided to share an entry that I made a few days ago, a letter to myself.  It's a little vulnerable but I feel like there are a lot of mammas out there carrying the weight of fear just like the one that I am trying to shed myself.  I hope that this helps.  I hope that it inspires you to do the same so that one day you too can look back and know that you did good.  That you did your very best and that overall your best is what you remember.

Dear Me,

Today you didn't fail.  I know someday you will be old and your children will be grown and because I know you, you will be hard on yourself.  You will look back and think that you didn't do enough.  So I want you to document these days more often to serve as a reminder that you love your children fiercely and for all the times you fail, you succeed far more.

So today... 

You started teaching Hadessah to use the potty for the first time and you kept your cool when she pooped and peed on the floor.  I am proud of you for being patient.  When Ezrah came home from school you played outside with her.  You threw the ball back and forth and talked about numbers, only Ezrah wants to talk about numbers.  Then you watched her show off her gymnastics moves over and over and...over again.  You zoned in on the proud grin of hers.  I am proud of you for cheering her on.  Sometime later you came upstairs to zone out on your phone but you stopped to think about the precious time that's disappearing.  You put that useless thing down and scooped up your two and five year old to play some more.  Ezrah wanted to play "mommy" so she cooked you and Hadessah dinner and you ate all of the pretend pancakes she put on your plate.  Then you laughed out loud deeply as you watched Hadessah whisk together her own pretend dinner.  Her mannerisms are all her own and they bless you with joy.  You zoned in on their imaginations.  I am proud of you for pursuing creativity along side of them.

There were times during this day when you felt exhausted but it was also filled with belly laughs, and butterfly kisses, and a hundred "I love yous" this day was good. 

There is nothing you can do about time.  It's as if someone left it out in the hot sun, it melts away quickly.  But let's freeze time in the pages of this book.  You can make the best of it and you will keep finding a thousand new reasons to fall in love with your babies as they continue to grow older.

Keep reminding yourself of your victories, let's remember more days like today and one day you will look back and know that you did good.  You love your children fiercely and I am proud of you for being their mother.

Love,
         
                Me 


Ezrah's Updated Room Tour!

Hi guys!  It's time for another room update!  I have been posting about the girls' room for the past couple years and since we are a military family we go through a lot of changes due to moving.  Right now we are living in a three bedroom home so Ezrah has her own room again, which is what I am going to be sharing today.  I have to say, even though moving so often can kind of get tiring I never get tired to setting up my kids' bedrooms.  I just love making their little spaces extra special and I really love how Ezrah's turned out.  My one pet peeve is that the walls aren't white, they are kind of a light beige.  I prefer white interiors because they feel really fresh and airy but since we are renting I just had to make do and in the grand scheme of things it's not really that bad!

Since baby number three is a boy the girls will eventually have to share again but for now, this works really well (I like to keep my babies in our room for about the full first year, just my preference).  Hopefully I will get around to sharing Hadessah's room soon too!

Like always, I will provide some links to some of my favorite things throughout her room!


Ezrah is my little girly girl so I tried to make her room as feminine as possible.  I went with a sort of ballet theme so there are a lot of soft pinks, whites, and golds.  I definitely wanted it to feel put together but also very simple at the same time.  

The dresser was an absolute score!  I found it at a garage sale for 25 bucks and it is such great quality.  I'm not sure what kind of wood it's made out of but its SOLID!  I just repainted it and added some cute new knobs. I love the shabby chic look of it! 

Dresser Accessories 

1.  Unicorn Dolls (These have always been a huge hit with my girls!) 


3.  I got her lamp from HomeGoods awhile ago but I love the look of this one I found here too. 


Bedding and Wall Accessories 

1.  Ezrah's bed is from Walmart and her bedding is all from Target.  I loved the soft pink velvet!  

2.  I have always been so in love with this little swan from Target and I think it totally fits the theme! 

3.  Okay, this gold wreath is by FAR my favorite thing in Ezrah's room, maybe even the whole house haha!  I think it is so beautiful and it looks like it could have come from Anthropologie only it's from Target and cost a fraction of the price.  I scoured the internet and couldn't find it, which breaks my heart because I wanted to get another one for Hadessah's room!  But I thought I would include it anyway just in case you are ever shopping at your local Target, you can keep your eye out! 


Bookshelf

1.  This cute cloud shelf is from, you guessed it!  Target and it's filled with some of our current favorite books!

2.  Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear

3.  This is Sadie by Sara O'Leary

4.  Antoinette by Kelly DiPuccio


Sitting Area 

1.  I have had this chair for several years now and it has made its way around the house countless times but somehow it always ends back up in one of the girls rooms.  I got it at a vintage fair for around $5 and it has always been one of my favorite things.  Its old and beat up but its got character and its PINK!

2.  The pillow:  another Target find!

3.  I am OBSESSED with this tea set by Moulin Roty.  Seriously, can I be five years old again?  I think the Parisienne theme adds a nice touch!


The Closet 

My second pet peeve about this room is that there were no closet doors when we moved in.  But in the end I was kind of okay with it because it kind of looks like a mini fashion rack.  Ezrah is in and out of her closet all day long changing her clothes (she. loves. clothes.) so it worked out for her too!

I think in the end, that's the fun about renting.  There are a lot of things that you have no control over changing but you can make things work for you.  I am a firm believer that you can make ANYWHERE feel like home if you put in a little creativity.

Well, that's it for Ezrah's newest room tour, I hope you enjoyed.  Stay tuned and someday soon I will share what we do with our little boys room!

How fun will that be?!







Age of the Internet: The New Form of Public Shaming

For people living in glass houses we sure love to throw our stones.  I've been there.  I've shattered the walls of my own dwelling, now I stand surrounded by its perimeter.

The internet makes it too easy.  We throw clicks around like boulders hoping to make a fatal blow to the head.  We can do it in the blink of an eye and most importantly, we can do it in private.  We can make a fatal strike and then walk away to resume our own private habits that would sting the world were it to ever see.

And why do we do it?  So we can sit up in our lofty places?

Throwing stones.  It becomes less about a true moral stance and more about a position of status.

"If I can just show the world who I am against, then the world will see that I am good."

Isn't that what the Pharisees wanted when they brought the adulterer to trial?  It's recorded in the Gospel of John:  they had this woman cowering in the dirt like a dog, frantically searching the ground for even the smallest puddle of grace to lick up.  Not only would these men seek to strip her of her life but they would seek to strip her of her dignity by surrounding her with the eyes of many, a public shaming.

Who would give her that sip of grace? 



It was a Man that came along.  He would build her a well so deep and wide that she wouldn't merely quench her thirst but she would be saturated in the rich hydration of compassion.  Grace upon grace. The Man would build this well by the cost of His own blood.  By dying a slow and painful death, stripped of dignity before the eyes of many.

He took her place.  

What if the world doesn't need to see that you are good?  What if the world just needs to see that Christ is good and that you are simply bent on carrying around His light like a lamp in the dark?  Dear reader, the world doesn't see Christ when you post articles and memes or conjure up a handful of characters to form an angry opinion.  It reeks of public shaming, it reeks of anger and false virtue but it doesn't show Christ.

I think back to anytime I have clicked that share button while seeing red.  I am regretful that with each click, I skipped out on grace because the reality is that every person connected with some article on the internet is living and breathing.  Did you catch that?  Living and breathing, with the same amount of human condition as me.  Just because they are invisible behind a screen doesn't mean that they will never feel the weight of our blows.

Listen, I will be the first one to say it:  Stand for something and hold people accountable but do it in your own personal life without dragging them to the public square.  When we are able to look others in the eyes we are more prone to give grace, we see them flesh and bone and compassion wells up.  Its outside of the virtual space where we can have real conversations that ignite both reconciliation and change.

Remember, always, before you resort to making public blows the grace that has been washed over you by the color crimson.  And may you be so moved by the wonder of it that you extend grace to others in haste.