Category Archives: motherhood

Glimmers

IMG_0962There are countless times I am out alone with my 4 boys. More times than not it is my own doing but a doing that I feel is something I need to do. We don’t do much. We can’t. It is just how life is right now. The days of going and doing all the fun activities just can’t happen. Playdate’s at jump houses do not happen. While $5-8.00 a kid doesn’t seem bad… x that by 3 or 4, it sure does add up. So we do little… and that is ok. On occasion though I do feel the need to treat our boys to some adventures and one of those adventures lately have been the zoo. We try to get a season pass to some sort of museum, zoo, aquarium type place at least once a year. Our 1st year here it was the Georgia Aquarium. This year the Atlanta Zoo.

Some trips are better than others… this particular trip went well.

Just the 4 boys and I.

With a cooler packed and my mind set on relaxing as best I could in a zoo with 4 boys.

The trip went well.

I know when I go on trips like this I have to go in with thoughts of positivity…. and preparedness… preparing myself as well as my boys. Reminding them that I need their help and that daddy is not with us. That I need them to be big and to listen and obey, so that mommy does not loose her mind. Yes I have said that outloud before, to them. Some may NOT agree with my choice of words :) – Its just what comes out.

We went.

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we saw.

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IMG_0984& In those moments I felt blessed. While moments did get hectic…. one part of the day in-particular stands out to me. We made a pit stop at the zoo playground… this particular day it was filled to the max. I think every school in Atlanta decided it was a great day to come. :-) It was busy and while there children dashed back and forth with no care at all but for themselves. I watched children bicker over monkey bars and kids push and shove little ones without blinking. My older 3 boys are old enough to play as they please without to much concern on my part… as I hovered over baby Reed though I got to admit, I got nervous at times. Watching these children ages 7+ years old ignoring the fact the playground was filled with infants and young toddlers.

After a few moments there my oldest Caleb came to me and said “Why aren’t these kids watching out for the babies?!” – at 9 years old he was clearly able to see what was going on and realized it was not safe or right. I stood my ground firm and would tell those quick passing kids pushing and shoving to watch it and be careful… with very little regard they just look at me and keep on.

You can’t parent other peoples kids.

I realize that.

I know that.

I wasn’t expecting for much more than what was given me in that moment.

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However, what blessed me was Caleb. Who mindfully watched for those not looking out for the babies… and wanted without even my asking, to protect and help his baby brother. I watched him help Reed up the steps… help baby Reed slide… He was like a shield over his little brother and it was a proud moment.

A moment I needed to see.

While thick in doubt right now.

Doubt of God’s provision of our family and protection… I see glimmers in the midst of His faithfulness… I am not proud of where I am right now spiritually. I am walking through some merky water and I am tired. I am not myself and I cannot wait to get out. I wish it was as easy as writing it down on a piece of paper or on a blog. Its not.


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Thankful for those glimmers.

Prepare Dude Mom’s

ED9A9828I had to find humor today after reading a post on facebook by my friend Candra… a mom of 4 (3 boys/1 girl – same ages as my kids)… she posted about how they got garden soil and spread it all over the trampoline as she did the dishes. Never a dull moment when you are a mom… this is especially true if you are a dude mom.

Boys I promise you have something wrong with their brains that makes it so they cannot rationally think. Its totally true. There is a science about it. So I tell myself. Boys do not think. Some do but even the best don’t. HAH. Hear me out, I do not think my boys are stupid even though they do stupid things. They are bright and smart in their own amazing ways but boy do they do stupid crap.

So I decided it would be funny and good therapy for me to sit down and write a post all about things I have had to endure and handle as a dude mom.

1. Go ahead and get familiar with ER rooms. All 3 of my older boys got their heads stitched or glued before the age of 2.

2. There will be a moment in your boys life, possibly. When they come to you and tell you how they found some chocolate in their bedroom on the floor…. that they ate it… only to realize it was not chocolate.

3. There will always be pee some place in your home. May it be the floor. The Toilet Seat or the Closet.

4. The Slimy boogers are the best, so I am told.

5. No Park trip is complete without a child overly large and well past potty training years, comes to you and tells you they had an accident. The type of accident that just so happens to happen on a day he decided he didn’t want to wear underwear. Which resulted in all sorts of amazing smelling fun down his leg and into a rainboot. This no lie has happened more than once.

6. “Mommy my wee wee is getting hard” – will be said out loud to you by almost all your boys. Typically around age 3. Try not to laugh.

7. I don’t care if their feet are cute. They stink.

8. If you do not give your child soda. Prepare for the random moment when your kid finds someones open soda can at a park, ball game or zoo… and chugs it.

9. Eating food off of walmart floor is apparently appealing to 2 year olds.

10. Boy’s enjoy peeing outside, a lot. Go ahead and teach them proper methods of concealment.

11. If you have a 2 story deck, your child will pee off that and your neighbor will at one point see it.

12. If you have only boys, there will be lots of questions as to why you sit to pee.

13. If you leave spray paint within reach – even the smartest of kids will be ignorant enough to spray it onto a surface that was not meant to be sprayed.

14. Boys Poop in the Tub. OFTEN. It is not fun.

15. and to end… I have to say, boys…. give the most amazing hugs.

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There are many days I handle these things wrongly. I will not lie or pretend to be perfect in all the situations above :) – what I can say is, I am thankful for my boys… despite it all. Life will never be boring here… and I hope that when my boys are grown, the fun will continue with lots of grandbabies. I am hoping when that day comes though that we get some girls in this family. ;-)

Weight of Motherhood

We were on the church trolly this am headed to worship and reed begins to pucker up and cry.. He knew what was coming. Nursery. By the time we got to the actual building he was in hysterics. I've never had one cry this bad before and get so emotional to lWeight. Its a funny word.
You associate it with gain. Loss. Measures. Strength.

Ive had a rough time lately with that weight.
I guess you could say in both physical and emotionally/mentally/spiritually.

Weight obviously sticks around after 4 babies and those who don’t have that problem are blessed or don’t eat :) – My body despite my fight, seems to enjoy the 5-7 pounds of post baby weight. It doesnt seem to want to let that go :) – learning to be content with it… but I do have my days it depresses me. Wont lie about that.

The weight of motherhood though for me right now is in regards to what it puts on you year after year… after year.

I remember when I first began this journey of motherhood. It was something I actually never really “wanted” – although once I got married I did… but as a teen/young adult, I did not want kids for a while. Funny how God can place us in a path that we never see coming HAH.

When I first had my children the weight was not as heavy. I remember thinking often about the safety of my children more than anything.

About SIDS.

About all the possible childhood illnesses they could contract.

About them falling and breaking their neck.

About vaccinating or not to vaccinate.

About which carseat and which direction would be best.

About using a crib with bumpers or not bumpers… this use to consume like crazy!

These two and my #iPad … yet now as my children grow older… I find myself less concerned or I guess more adapted to those thoughts… I don’t let the vaccine thing consume like it did years back. I did my homework, stand firm and carry on. I use to worry myself sick about what others thought about my choices, as well as the medical world…. doctor after doctor belittling me and our choices… it weighed heavy on me.

The weight of it was so hard. Being a young mother, made it even harder.

The weight of not being able to nurse my children, baby… after baby… after baby… as hard as I tried it would not work and it broke my heart each and every single time.

The weight of to educate at home or to send them to public school.

The weight of what to feed them. Because apparently everything on the shelf is bad for us. I mean subway bread will kill us right?

The weight of discipline…. WOW.

Motherhood is changing constantly for me. I have learned a lot the last few years especially. I do not at all feel I have “gotten there” as far as “knowing what I have done” is the best choice… I don’t think any of us will ever get there… nor will we ever always make the right choice.

… but you better believe I will try my best.

Even if my best is imperfect and filled with mistakes.

The weight of motherhood today is heavy on me.

Caleb reading the hobbit while #beardeddragon August relaxes as well :) - so sweet. #homeschooler #homeschool #badweatherhermit Love my boys dearly but after days that are less than easy, you become weary.

Wondering if you are doing things right.

Wondering if it matters.

Wondering if they will grow up to be amazing adults, or broken from all the mistakes you made along the way.

My prayers for safety are there… but even more so I pray the Lord saves me boys young… and that they desire to honor Christ…

That is what ultimately matters….

I want so much for these dudes.

Truly.

Happiness.

Success.

Marriages that are strong.

Children.

and most of all Salvation.

The weight of a mother…. if you are new at this journey, hang tight :) – if you are in the phase I am in, lets be real together…. I am tired of being fake.. although for some time I feel I have been pretty transparent with most. I still have a tendency to put my guard up… but im learning to let it down. I want other moms to know they are not alone in this journey and that it is ok to feel broken some days.

11 years of marriage, done.

Jan 4th this year was our 11 year anniversary. 11 years. Went fast and slow hah.

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We got away for a night this weekend. 1st time since Reed was born :) – so over a year. Was good to get away. A friend of mine baby sat all 4 of our boys. So thankful.

I thought I would write up a list of some things Ive learned over the last 11 years of marriage. Through experience and through mentorship :) – yes mentorship in marriage, totally needed hah…

1. I remember when we 1st got married… my husband and I use to say “Ohhh we won’t be THAT couple…” You know, the one that fights about stupid things.. or the one that seems “out of love” within just a few years. We wouldn’t “fall into that” pattern and be that way, because “we were different.” – Let me tell you. What you THINK you will be and what you WILL be are totally different… and while I think our marriage is much stronger now than it ever has been… we have definitely had our moments of being THAT couple. You go in expecting it won’t happen, trust me, it probably will and if it doesnt, you are either very blessed or way better than majority of the couples in the world HAH!

_MG_8796 copy2. When I got pregnant with my 1st born… I remember seeing couples out there with kids throwing tantrums, or being messy… or acting “weird” – Travis and I both were dead set in believing our kids would NEVER behave that way. Uhhhhh. Yea. 4 boys later. We have those kids LOL! Don’t go into marriage expecting miracle babies that never do wrong. You will be disappointed ;-) – just go in expecting to be blessed in-between the barf, poop, bickering and in-between battles over legos. Its all worth it, don’t get me wrong… its just not as “easy and float in the cloud” dreams of perfection. You will have your imperfect days… and you will have your days you talk negatively about a child.. or two… or 3 to your girlfriends or other couples over dinner (without kids). Doesn’t mean you don’t love them :) – it just means you are what I like to call “REAL.” And yes the image to the right says it all.

3. Sex. Yeah. Im not going to get into that LOL. We have 4 kids. Enough said. Although if I was truly honest. Id tell you, that excuse you heard often in movies “Im to tired.” – totally true. You will be to tired for it and often. Doesnt make you wrong. Makes you totally normal and a mom of many. Sorry husbands… its not you, truly.

4. Socks. They will NEVER stop leaving socks around the house. NEVER. So may as well get over that now :) Their forgetful ness to pick up the sock does not mean they don’t listen. It means they are men who have small attention spans and an inability to retain small task information for long periods of time. Either that or their lazy and don’t give a crap. Doesnt mean they don’t love you :) – don’t invest to much stock into socks.

5. Don’t be afraid to tell your spouse what you need and what you don’t need. Communication is key… pretending you are ok, is never wise.

6. You will at one point or another shave your husbands neck. At least if you are as poor as us you will :)

7. Go ahead and buy a King sized bed. Skip the queen :) – we still have a queen and let me tell you, when we can afford to buy a king, we are! I sleep like a wild woman and my husband is a cover hog. Then again I am too. Lets just say, we could use a larger amount of blankets and bed space.

8. Invest in a white noise machine or fan. If you are a light sleeper and you intend to sleep in the same room as your husband (which is wise for a healthy marriage… unless you are hugely pregnant and want the bed to yourself or co sleeping and dealing with a newborn at night. Your husband may choose to sleep elsewhere for a season and thats ok too!), you will need some sorta sound to drown out “snores or huffy puffy sounds” – all men do it. ALL OF THEM. SOME women do too ;-) – not me, I just talk in my sleep sometimes. Which my husband finds very funny.

9. Its ok to be different from each other :) – opposites attract.

IMG_930810. Don’t expect your spouse to be your mother or your father. So often we grow up wanting “personality” traits we saw in our parents. If you don’t think this is true, go to professional counseling for 18 months, you will think otherwise. My husband should not expect me to act or do things the way his mother did… and I should not expect him to behave or treat me or remember things that were important to me as a child, that my parents did for me. Make sense? So in short, don’t ever assume or expect them to KNOW you like those things that your mother or father did, unless you tell them. We are each our own person.

and…

11. Since I can’t very well end on 10. We are after all celebrating 11 years :). There will more than likely come a time in your marriage you will want to quit. I think the couples out there who do not experience this the 1st 10 years are blessed. I have wanted to leave before. Throw in the towel and give up. Marriage today is the type of thing that is so flippitly done that couples just give up. They have a fight. They have something bad happen. They don’t “FEEL” happy… they give up. After all, you can divorce. Over 60% of the marriages in the US end in divorce. If not more. Its OK to do that, especially if you have reason to, right? Marriage is a commitment my husband and I made before a Holy God… It has had its many bumps along the way… all marriages do. We are committed. All that being said. I know many friends and family who read my blog are divorced or have been. I do not think all cases end in divorce for “wrong reasons.” Addictions can kill a marriage… abuse… adultery… marriages can be broken and will…. Satan has a grip on our culture and society… and so many marriages do not make it because of our own brokeness and sin. Its sad to see…. in some cases I do believe divorce needs to happen… as sad as that sounds. In many though, I think the marriage can be saved.

So to all those married for 11… 2….7 or even 18 years… these are my few random thoughts as I typed up this post today… in-between interruptions and task I had to complete. Filled I am sure with error. It is what it is :) – Thankful to be able to say I have been married 11 years to an amazing man and father to my boys.

Love you Travis!

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OCD – My Secret

ED9A8169So, I thought id post about something that may be a bit taboo for some to read about. It may be something that people “worry” about or “think less of” when they hear people struggle with it. Although they would be in the wrong, not the one with the struggle. It might be something many people who know me, know already. I however don’t talk about it much… so I thought while I had it on my mind, id go ahead and post about it.

I have come to the understanding since moving to GA… that I struggle with some OCD tendencies. We had to go through pretty intense counseling when we came to the City of Refuge here in Atlanta… a place of healing and refuge… but obviously a place where you face a lot of your demons too.

I remember having OCD habits even as a kid.

I hated when my hands would get dusty or gritty… Id have to lick or wash them immediately. Yes lick. The thought of grit or dirt on my hand bothered me for some reason.

I am very funny with food textures… which can be linked to OCD… I to this day can’t eat many foods because of their texture. Yogurt… oatmeal (cooked), sweet potato (I will eat sweet potato fries, because they are crunchy, not squishy or mushy), I dislike any fish, mainly because of the taste but texture comes into play, peanut butter, smoothies (I have to force myself to drink them), milk shakes (hate them), need I go on?

I also remember from the moment I married, moving furniture CONSTANTLY. What is up with that? bored? :-)

Now that I have lots of little ones in the house, I am being faced with my struggle head on.

ED9A8172KIDS ARE SO MESSY.

Boys especially.

I know the Lord gives you each little one for a reason, and while my boys being here have so many reason :) – I know one of those reasons is to teach me and help me, by being forced to deal with this daily.

While our home is so far from perfect, on days it is not “together” – I do struggle with looking at it. I have to fight the urge not to get upset. I am very tense if my home is messy… and even though I know with complete understanding that these little messes do not matter long term… it still does bother me. It seriously is a type of bondage that I fight daily.

Im in the thick of it.

Dealing.

Been medicated at one point. No shame there. Although I have felt shame for it.

I currently am not on medication… but I won’t say that my days are perfect either.

I am taking something called Valerian Root right now at night to help me with relaxing a bit at night. It is suppose to work similar to Melatonin. It is a root extract and contains magnesium as well, which is also known to help with anxiety. It is something I do not intend to take long term. Just for these last few weeks in the thick of winter. Winter I have noticed I battle this more than any other time of the year. It hits me hard. I think being cooped up indoors has a big part of that…

Assigning chores to our boys does help… but I will be honest in saying that them having to do chores, sometimes makes it worse… because It isn’t done perfect and I want it to be.

UGH, seriously such a horrid cycle!

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I know through prayer and with time, I can deal with this… and hopefully one day be free from it (for the most part). We live in a broken world, we are each broken in our own ways… and this is one way I am broken right now.

So to all the mommy’s out there who may be dealing with anxiety, OCD, depression… you aren’t alone.