Advent: Days 12-16 2017

I know I’ve been off my game this year. It’s ok. I’m letting it slide. I want to let you all in on a little secret. I don’t have it all together. I know it can seem that way so many times. We see each other once a week or so, or only through social media, and everything seems perfectly in place. I’m not saying my life always looks like that (in fact, I feel like it seldom does), but that’s often (almost always) how I view other people. It’s this lie that the enemy likes to whisper in our ears, “everybody has it together except for you….you are not enough…you’ll never own up, so just. stop. trying.” It’s super embarrassing to post this for all the world to see, but I had a little meltdown Sunday night. We had a fun, busy weekend, and we came home to a disastrous house. After we got the girls in bed, Blake went down to the basement to finish up some work that he had and I spent the next hour or so cleaning our pit of a house. The whole time I kept asking myself, “How on earth did it get this way?…I try so hard all day long, and this is still what I end up with?…Why can all the other moms out there get this, but I just can’t?…I will never be enough. I can’t do it. This is too hard.” And on and on and on. I cried myself to sleep that night. That almost never happens.

I tell you this, not because I want your sympathy or your pity. I tell you this because I know every other woman out there has felt this way at some point or another. It seems as though we are always in some sort of unspoken competition with each other. I see it in my daughters already and I try to fight those kinds of thoughts out of their sweet little heads. The enemy we face is real, he starts to prey on us while we are young, and he never stops.

Truth be told, I have a lot of good reasons for not being on top of things. We’re homeschooling, which is awesome, but we’re only in 1st grade and I’m still trying to figure it out. I’m 30 weeks pregnant. The aches and pains and limitations are real. And with our history, I’m taking every precaution possible. I refuse to push myself too hard this time. Blake just started his own company a few moths ago with 3 other partners. Everything is new, and exciting, and hard. He works 50-80 hour weeks every. single. week. It’s just a season, it won’t always be like this. But it is the season we are in now. And it’s hard. Raegan had her tonsils out a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. And while she was recovering, she came down with this awful virus that made her recovery 10x worse-and longer-and harder. We had sick kids for basically a whole month. Life. Just. Happens. Things fall through the cracks. Sometimes we can’t keep up. And that’s ok. But it is oh so hard to remember that in the moment.

I was “off” for a couple of days after that. I just felt so defeated. Then Eleanor fell off of our rocking ottoman just before bedtime on Tuesday and I rushed her to the ER so she could get stitches. The waiting room was jam packed and we were there until just after 1am. She got 3 stitches in her tiny little eyebrow that night. When I got home, the other 2 kids had woken up and didn’t go back to sleep until 4am. It was the second night in a row they had done that. Needless to say, this week has been more than exhausting. Then on Thursday morning, Blake paid for me to go get a (very much needed) prenatal massage. We went out to eat that night for my Mother-in-law’s birthday. It was so nice. Just what I needed to turn my week around. I’ve been ok since then. I still have to fight to press down those lies that I get fed all day long. But it’s a battle that I feel like I’m winning right now. The counters in my kitchen aren’t clear from the clutter that’s on them. Our laundry room needs picked up. Our floors could be mopped (even though I’ve done that just about every day this week). But our room is clean, the girls picked up their room, I’ve kept the playroom clean for 10 whole weeks now, and our dishes are washed. I’m counting my wins. Trying to focus on what I’ve accomplished instead of what I’ve not. And tonight, I am going to post what we’ve done for the past few days-it may be late, but I’m doing it, and that’s a win.

SO, all that to say, on Tuesday, we made a gingerbread house. I learned something that day: gingerbread house making is not my strong suit. Next year, I’ll probably buy an already constructed one for us to simply decorate. ūüėÖ¬†You guys, the struggle was real. My mom was actually able to come over for a bit to help us out with the project-so that was really fun!

 

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And 30 minutes later, this is how it ended up:

Wednesday, we went through the drive-thru at Starbucks so momma could get a Chestnut Praline Latte (my absolute fave), and so the girls could each get on of those snowmen cookies they are always begging me to get for them. We had some errands to run, so this was the only picture I got.

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Thursday, I gave the girls some really fun, incredible Christmas activity books from Usborne. Those books kept them occupied for the longest time.

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Friday, we decorated those plastic ball ornaments with the girls. We pulled the glitter out again. It was a HUGE hit. I should have taken some “after” photos, but Blake and I had to rush out before they were done for a Christmas party. My parents helped them finish up, but I never snapped any more photos.¬†IMG_0780IMG_0783IMG_0781IMG_0782IMG_0779

And this morning, Saturday, we had our second annual Ron Swanson themed Christmas party with another family. We were having so much fun, I forgot to take pictures. But we had bacon, and eggs, and ham, and we exchanged gifts. The kids played and we parents got to talk. It was such a good, refreshing morning.

Well that’s it! Thanks for sticking with me! Even though it’s been crazy, I am truly enjoying this holiday season, and I hope you are too.

 

Mother’s Day

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I love Mother’s Day. It’s the perfect day to spend time with loved ones, get some yard work done, and make excuses for eating that extra donut (I’ve raised 3 kids, I totally earned it, right?). My girls are super festive-especially my oldest. They LOVE to celebrate. I can’t blame them, they get it from me. The very first thing Lane said to me when we woke up this morning was, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!” In fact, I think I love this little holiday more and more every year.

I am so grateful for the family that God has given me. A loving husband, three beautiful girls. They give me all the warm and fuzzy feelings. All of them. I love getting to be a¬†momma. It’s such a beautiful privilege. I have learned so much these past 5 years, and I wouldn’t trade being a mom for the world. Truly, I am so very blessed. However, on this day, I can’t help but turn my heart and mind to those babies that I’ve lost. Judah’s¬†birthday is May 2, and my due date for the twins was supposed to be at the end of May, which makes this a particularly difficult month for us.

I don’t understand why my babies had to be taken away from me-I don’t think I ever will. I long for their arms around my waist and to hear their tiny voices whisper, “I love you” into my ear. How I wish I could have seen their grubby little fingers as they helped to plant¬†our garden today, to see their muddy footprints all over our floors. These are things I will not have this side of heaven. And I don’t know why. I feel the weight of it every day. But particularly this month, and especially today. It’s not an easy road to walk, I don’t think it ever will be. I hear different things from different people. “It never gets any easier” “Things will get better, just give it time” “There will be good days and bad days.” I think they’re all true, in different ways. In some ways, it simply does not get easier. It is never easy to look at little boy clothes, or to hear about twins. Some things are truly better-my perspective for one. And while a part of me aches all the time, some days I simply ache more than others. Today is one of those days.

So for all of you beautiful women out there-those who have lost babies, and those who cannot have babies, know this: I’m right there in the trenches with you. You are not alone in your pain. And while I may or may not know you, I am praying for you. It’s ok if Mother’s Day is a hard day for you. It’s a hard day for me too. And my sorrow does not negate my joy. Somehow they are intertwining to write a beautiful story-one I could never write on my own. It is well¬†known that there is beauty in joy, but there is beauty in sadness as well; a beauty all it’s own, a beauty we may not ever understand. But God is working, He’s painting a picture we can’t quite yet see. I yearn for the day when I can see my Savior face to face and He can show me the beauty that lay in all of my pain.

But until then, sweet friends, let’s cling to one another. Let’s pray for each other, lift each other up. Laugh together, cry together, rejoice and weep and celebrate and mourn-sometimes all at the same time. Let’s hold each other’s hands and walk this road together. Because, beloved, this road was never meant to be walked alone.