Where February Went



Our almost 10 pound breech baby, Gloriana, was delivered via cesarean February 9, 2015. The rest of February was composed of swollen feet and legs, recovering, blurry days, sleepiness, bonding, and oodles of sweetness, cuddles, coffee, and snow. How did you February go?

Hearthside Happenings



Craving eggnog. Even though I know raw eggs is not a good idea right now.
Resting every chance I get. Seriously every chance I get.
Enjoying the Nurturing Great Kids Devotional.
Wrapping presents.
Stretching a bunch.
Packing for our trip to visit my family.
Missing my chiropractor already.
Making my lists and checking it twice.
Obsessed with scarves.
Wishing for a new poncho or two.
Vowing to have a fire pit by next fall.
Sneaking in as many Christmas movies as I can.
Tweeting Christmas movie wisdom.
Stalking mommo design for kid's room ideas.
Pondering shades of peach for the new baby's room
Reflecting on the baby's name we're mostly sure about.
Debating keeping her name a secret till after she's born.
Hunting for a small used dresser for our little's room.
Thinking I need to try Darius Rucker's Christmas album and print this tweet on a t-shirt.
Proud of the bacon chutney and essential oil blend I made for my honey for Christmas.
Marveling over how my sweet adventurous spunky funny girl turned three one week ago.
Loving how Little Miss shouts, "Merry Christmas!" every time the Christmas lights flick on.

Hug It Not Fight It

Up until recently, watching the earth prepare for a time of slumber was bittersweet. Lovely until after Christmas when winter seemed to lose it's sparkle. But while learning more about the Sabbath in the Priscilla Shirer bible study Breathe, something came to me. Maybe winter is a type of Sabbath? Maybe it's a time for all of us to rest and reflect while nature does her thing? Maybe I should embrace it? Hug it not fight it. That plus my growing belly and increased sleepiness (nothing tuckers me out quite like baking a bun in my oven) have me actually ready to cheer on the season. Now tell me, has any sweet peace come to you lately?

Fall


Is it me or is fall in all her gorgeous color and splendor simply flying by? One minute the leaves were beginning to turn and now it seems like they're almost all done. It makes me a little sad. It makes me want to grip fall tight like my little's leaf bouquet. Fall is such a sweet sweet time. I wish it would last longer.

Don't Think


Sometimes, the best thing I do (or don't do) is refrain from over thinking things. That happened this weekend. Which resulted in me riding in a chairlift for the first time. It was so scary and beautiful and thrilling. Have you ever tried it? If I had looked it up beforehand or over thought it, I might have talked myself out of it. I'm so glad I didn't. Now I have to admit, I look forward to doing it again. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever not thought something through and been happier for it?

#2 Is...



A girl! I couldn't take it anymore, so ten days ago we went to one of those lovely imaging centers.
I'm so excited. Now we can start planning, buying, and trying to pick a name! Hoo-ray!
By the way, just like last time, we're open to name suggestions.

Question: Do you like this image better in color or black in white?

Try Again


Sometimes Little Miss will build a big impressive tower out of legos, only to accidentally knock it over and watch it crumble. She'll shout, "Oh N-O!" Then crestfallen, sometimes with tears in her eyes, look to me.

My response is usually the same. I say, "That's OK honey. That's just an opportunity to start over. Try again."

After I'd said it a few times, it hit me that I should take my own advice. The next time life doesn't go my way or something I've been working on won't take, I'm going to remember the mantra I use to soothe my kiddo. Things doesn't always go the way we want the first, second, or even the third time we try. That doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't try again.

Greats

This week I'm grateful for time with my little's great grandparents. Me and the mister don't remember ours and we both delight in seeing our little gal bonding with hers.

So tell me dears, what are you thankful for this week?

Serving Memories


I don't always have time to read magazines. I usually collect a pile until I have a small block of time to sit down and peruse them. This past weekend I finally sat down with my Parade magazines. The Miracle in My Mother's Pudding by Sarah DiGregorio (featured in the May 11, 2014 Mothers Day edition of Parade) really stuck with me. Especially the way Sarah ended the article.
"I was 21 when my mother died, and every year that passes without her is like a map of a foreign country, unfurling with new, unexpected ways to miss her, new ways that she is gone, still gone. But when I make this pudding, and all the other dishes she left behind, we are together in a way that is not a metaphor. A recipe is a magic trick: It makes the past live."
Isn't that brilliant? My mama is very healthy and well but I did lose my dad three years ago. I can totally relate to her describing life without a parent like a map. Something foreign and unknown that unfurls. I also love what she said about recipes being like magic. This article has me thinking that this summer, I might ask my stepmother to let me go through some of my dad's old papers. Maybe, just maybe, I'll find the recipe for that delicious pie he used to make on special occasions when I was a kid. Wouldn't that be sweet?

Do you have a recipe that helps you connect to someone you've lost?

Please visit parade.condenast.com to read The Miracle in My Mother's Pudding by Sarah DiGregorio in it's entirety.

It All Goes By So Fast



Wisdom sometimes arrives at the funniest or most unexpected times.

My husband and I are big fans of Speedway coffee and since we have family a few towns over, it's our ritual to stop for a gas fill up and cup o' joe before we head out of town. On our last trip, not too long ago, I had a brief but memorable conversation with a cashier. I should preface by saying that we take turns running into the gas station so we can leave Little Miss comfy in her car seat and get on the road quicker. Usually Mr. goes first and pays for mine in advance. This time when it was my turn to make my coffee, the cashier smiled at me good-naturedly and said, "I sure am glad mine are all grown up now." Aka, "Bless your heart! Taking turns for coffee." I paused. Then I smiled at her and said, "Come on, don't you miss it a little bit?" Her response? Yes. She went on to confess that that is the reason she has four dogs now. After her five kids grew up and left, she just couldn't bear the quiet and lack of little feet in the house. We laughed, said goodbye, and I called her a superwoman for having raised so many babies. Then I returned to my husband and little girl. Grinning at the blessings in our minivan, I thanked God for all the ways he's using motherhood to humble and teach me.

Our brief encounter reminded me of two bits of wisdom I try to always remember about motherhood.

The first is from a book I'm still listening to called We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook by Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph. Rachel calls motherhood, "a long series of small “letting goes,” inch by inch."

The second comes from the last part of You're Gonna Miss This performed by Trace Adkins and written by Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miller. In the song the dog is barking, the phone is ringing, and the babies are wrecking havoc, when the plumber tells her:

"You're gonna miss this.
You're gonna want this back.
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast.
These are some good times.
So take a good look around.
You may not know it now but you're gonna miss this..."

Motherhood is, I firmly believe, the most amazing blessing and honor we women ever get the privilege to do. However, it isn't always easy. When it is, it isn't always easy to slow down and enjoy it. But we must. We should. I look at my daughter's beautiful little hands, these tiny versions of her papa's hands, and I think, "How sweet are these fingers? They're not going to stay this tiny for too long." So on the cusp of Mother's Day, I just wanted to share with you how I remember to slowdown and gobble up every beautiful, sometimes messy, piece of motherhood. It all goes by so fast.

Now go call your mama. Chances are, she's missing you right now.