Flattering Swimsuits

The requirements for my swimsuits used to be really simple: don’t give me crazy tan lines. Since having kids, my swimwear has quite a hefty list to stand up to. It needs to hold certain things in and hide other things. It needs to cover my bum enough to be appropriate for chasing after kids and stay up when I’m dunking them in the water. Also, I have to feel fantastic in it. With the teenier-than-ever bottoms and strappier-than-ever top trend, finding the right suit can be intimidating but I’ve chosen a few favorites I can’t wait to try. 

Moving Day

Today, we say goodbye to our home of almost seven years. A friend of mine told me she wrote a note to her daughter when they moved from their first home and I had to do the same. I wonder if I’m overthinking the whole thing. My parents moved my older brother, older sister and I when I was my kid’s age and I don’t remember a minute of it. I don’t have any childhood memories in my home until I was about 5, yet I just want my littles to remember the life we built here. 

Real Talk

I’ve been doing this thing lately where I dread excursions, no matter how excited I am about them, because I’m nervous about how my kids will act. I have to say, my kids happen to be my favorite 3 and 1.5 year olds on the planet. This goes without saying, of course. But I still felt I should. They are genuinely very well behaved with hearts of absolute gold. That being said, I don’t know if I’m the only one but I figured out recently that my kids try out different things they normally wouldn’t when we’re in a new environment. I have to say, it started to eat away at me.

It doesn’t affect me whatsoever when my friend’s kids have an all out tantrum, throw their food or have a hard time sharing. They’re kids! Of course that happens! But when my kids do the same, I completely lose focus and all hopes of me feeling present and enjoying the moment are lost.

If they ignore me (it’s happened.) if they talk back to me with attitude (happened for the first time last week.) if they kick someone (it’s happened.) if they lean over their friend, shoving them into the ground (…take a guess.) Rather than thinking of their needs and an opportunity for teaching and growth, I am scared of what their behavior says about me.

This is a normal feeling. It’s natural. But it’s not right.

I had to remind myself the other day the truth. My kids were not created to be robots-doing everything I say. My kids weren’t created in my image, to bring me glory. My kids were not created to reign in our home, following whatever whim and want they come across. My job as a mother isn’t to strive for perfection, pride or indifference. It’s to reveal to my children their need for a savior and introduce them to the love of Christ.

This also brought up another thought in me-if I’m not alone in these feelings and struggles, why do so few mothers talk about it? On social media we’re so eager to stay “surface close.” We’re sure to give our support in the form of likes and comments. We reach out to ask things like “where did you get that outfit!?” or “how do they like that snack/toy/book?” but when it comes to really supporting each other in stewarding the hearts of these children entrusted to us, it can be pretty quiet.

The more I’ve opened up to dear friends of mine with littles of their own about the difficulties of the current phases my kids are in, I’m so comforted to know they’re often in the same place. The isolation I experience can be so brutal I often forget I created it myself. So here I am, extending the same freedom to you.

I’d love to hear how I can pray for you in whatever season of motherhood you find yourself in right now. Whether it’s finding grace to survive endless sleepless nights with a nursing baby, guilt and stress while navigating the unpredictability of your toddler, a strained relationship with a teenager or even with your grown children.

I’m working on re-centering my focus, removing it from me and even from my little loves and placing it back on the Lord. The weight of the world was never meant for my shoulders, it rests light as a feather on His.


Some Thoughts

There’s been no glamour here lately. No makeup and no fancy outfits. No adventures and no excursions. I’ve done all but prop my eyes open with toothpicks at the end of the day to keep pushing through the to-do list and sleep has never, ever felt better. I will say, I’ll never forget the memories we’ve made these past few weeks while packing up this house. It’s pure chaos, for sure. But the four of us in the home that started it all has felt like the sweetest gift.

Today marks day one of loading up the moving truck. We spent the weekend packing up a storm and doing little else, aside from a beautiful going away party Saturday evening and the sweetest Mother’s day yet. I’m looking forward to this final stretch of everything moving entails and finally arriving to our new life in Texas.

Here’s to a new week– our last week in Virginia.

Thoughts for my Mother on Mother’s Day

I wrote the piece below on Mothers Day in 2013, almost exactly a year before I’d find out I was pregnant with a baby of my own. My mom is the complete opposite of me. I spent my whole childhood confident I’d never understand her, and yet three years after becoming a mother myself I realize we are all called to mother in our own way. We’re given children just for us. Grace just for us. Wisdom just for us. Endurance just for us. And inspiration from our own mothers, just for us. If I didn’t have a penny to my name, no roof over my head and no one to call mine- I’d still know the goodness of God because he chose me for my mom. Happy Mother’s Day, friends. 

5 Game Changer Home-keeping Tips

I grew up watching my mom take the best care of our house. All 7 of us kids split chores every day including making sure our bedrooms were clean and clearing the mealtime mess after dinner. But so much of the responsibilities of the home fell on my  mom. I mean, the way she handled laundry for 9 people will never, ever cease to blow my mind! I knew from a young age that I wanted to create that same environment she created for us. Clean, tidy and orderly. Let’s just say I’m no natural Martha Stewart. I have to work really hard and be very disciplined not to let myself run a home that resembles an episode of Hoarders, but it’s a priority for me and I work every day to channel my inner Martha somehow. Here are a few things that have helped make home-keeping more of a breeze.