A Morning on Foot

Hey guys, coming at ya late today. I hope you’re all having a wonderful Wednesday so far. We have had a good day over here, but also a trying one. Parenting is TOUGH some days, and I’m only dealing with one baby, bless all of you out there juggling more! Yesterday in therapy we spent a lot of time talking about limits and today has been a perfect example of pushing my limit. It has been all I can do to make it to James’s nap time and I’m going to have to rally hard for the energy and patience to get through the rest of the day.

James and I spent the first half of our day on foot. I am always looking for new ways to spend the morning rather than doing the same routine every day, so today I packed a backpack, water bottles, snacks, and blankets for a morning around town. James hopped in the stroller (as if), more like I strapped him into the stroller and we were off!

First stop, the grocery store. Did we go grocery shopping yesterday morning? Yes, but of course I forgot a few things in the madness of scrambling together a list at the last minute. A quick in and out and we were on our way to the park.

James and I explored a park right down the road from where we live. This is the first time he’s been since becoming mobile and I have a feeling we will be frequenting this park on a regular basis. James was having so much fun he didn’t want to leave when it was time to make our way to story time about an hour later. Let the toddler battles begin.

Sure enough, we managed to successfully leave the park and walk over to the library just in time for a story. What. A .Disaster. There was so much potential for story time to be a great experience, but it just wasn’t for us. James wanted to be on the move, and was moving everywhere he shouldn’t have been. Such as climbing onto the stage where our sweet leader was charismatically telling a story, picking off the flowers that were next to the stage, walking into the pond to be with the ducks, trying to chase the (not so friendly) geese near the pond, and eating goose poop. And between all of those no-go activities a lot of screaming and story time disruption. So we left.

Homeward bound! And my companion quickly passed out on the walk home. Phew. The sign of a busy morning for sure.

Let’s not forget about the day starting with James smearing poop all over his onesie. Like I said, it’s been a long day already. I am trying to give myself grace in all of these situations however in the moments leading up to nap time I was at the end of my rope of patience. Hopefully an afternoon recharge is just what I need to power through the remainder of the day.

Thanks for following along on the ups and downs of life!

James’s Monday Face

This is James’s Monday face and honestly I can relate. We both spent the weekend battling runny noses, sneezing, coughing, and endless amounts of tissues. Not my favorite way to spend a summer weekend, but it happens.

We are having ourselves a Monday over here. I gave James cereal for breakfast, he hated it. We went to the library for a dance party, he screamed. Because he was in such a bad mood, we went home. I cannot handle a screaming child in public, it’s the worst. After a quick nap in the car we ate lunch, and then I cleaned the apartment with my trustworthy diaper wipes while James alternated between indoor and outdoor play.

He looked cute for our walk this morning. We’ll count that as a win on this somewhat blah Monday.

How are you doing on this Monday afternoon? Fill me in on all of the fun weekend activities you did!

When You Want It All

I just want to be able to do everything and have it all. Not material items necessarily, although if I think about it hard enough I could certainly come up with a list. I’m thinking more in the sense of wanting to be two places at once.

I love being a full-time mom, but it can get boring along with a whole lot of other things. Challenging in terms of coming up with fun activities to do. Exhausting because you have a tiny human looking up at you all day waiting for what’s next. Lonely because the conversations are always one sided. Repetitive because you are doing the exact same thing 7 days a week.

I want to live in all of those mom moments, but I also want to be somewhere else. Interacting with people, stimulating my mind in new ways, stretching my creativity (thank you blogging), and I hate to say it but earning some kind of income.

As I have mentioned before, we currently live close to family and friends. I am so happy here. But there is an adventurer inside of me that wants to get out and explore the world. I don’t want to be confined to one geographic location for the rest of my life. But it’s not feasible to pack up and move a family at the drop of a dime.

So what’s next? That is the question I am always asking myself. I tend to be a restless person. Goal driven. And when it feels like there is no goal in sight I feel anxious. I try to reframe my thoughts to focus on the here and now, but in all of the uncomfortable moments (and there are a lot of them) my mind starts to race.

I feel stuck. It’s hard to sit in this mindset of being fulfilled in motherhood but also feeling empty. To love where you are, but to crave new places and experiences. I do not know where God wants me in this moment and I am probably not spending enough time in His Word or prayer in order to figure it out. I want all of the answers from God without putting any time or effort into the relationship. My good friend Lauren has recently inspired me to think about my time with the Lord. I want to grow in my relationship with God and trust that His plan will come as a result. This will require time. But we are human and there are a whole lot of distractions in the world.

This feels like an uncomfortable moment. Not knowing the direction of this blog post and not being able to conclude with a clear resolution. I know there’s hope out there. I know that the Lord holds all of the answers that I am seeking. I feel Him testing my patience and strengthening my faith. As He exhibits upmost patience for me, waiting for me to rest my soul on His promises and seek Him first and in all things.

I will continue to resist. I know myself, and I will not just magically be obedient to God or give Him all that He’s looking for from me. I will continue to grab the steering wheel of my life from Him. I will come up with a list of things that need to get done before I can pray or read. But I can feel His call. I can feel His love. And I know that He will be there waiting with open arms when I come running.

Colossians 1:11-12 “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share the inheritance of the saints in light”

Galatians 1:10 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

A Peek into Our Monday

Happy Monday to you! How’s everyone doing? I’m getting a bit of a late start on this Monday. I’d love to have all of my blog posts published in the morning, but sometimes life gets ahead of me. James was up bright and early today and our day has been filled with all kinds of activity.

We started the morning with Kodiak cake waffles topped with peanut butter and bananas, and quickly made our way out the door for a walk around the neighborhood. Before long it was time to head to the library for a dance party. At the last dance party James seemed to be the only child not staying within our designated cones, but this morning he blended right in with the kid chaos. In fact, one of the little girls decided that it would be a good idea to scoop up all of the cones, and before long she had a full stack in her hands. Our dance leader wasn’t too thrilled with this, but I was happy that James wasn’t the only one not following the rules.

Post dance party, we walked around the pond nearby before making our way into the library to do some exploring. James wandered all over the library in his usual one year old random fashion. I simply followed. We signed up for the kids reading program, mostly because there’s a raffle at the end of the summer and the prizes sound really cool! We also walked over to the bank and I FINALLY got the last name on my credit card switched over to my married name. Almost two years after marriage thanks to a global pandemic, baby, and a whole lot of procrastination but I’m glad to finally have it done.

James and I were quite hungry when we got home from our morning activities so I put together a 5 minute lunch and called it a day. I’m using a recycled salad photo here for my lunch and it looks a lot prettier than the salad I threw together today. Also, James and his pizza, crackers and watermelon…health food 101. The perfectionist in me dies in moments like these.

I’ve been working on some household chores while James takes a nap, read a few chapters in the book of Danielle, showered, and am now sitting down to blog. I’m hoping that James stays asleep so that I can hit “publish” and finish up some laundry before the afternoon activities begin. I’m craving something extra fun this afternoon but I really have no idea what that would be. We are attending a free dinner at the church tonight, and that may be the main activity for the evening.

I hope that your week is off to a wonderful beginning!

When Things are Good, Life Feels Great

And things are pretty good right now. James and I are home from our beach vacation and we’re settling back in to everyday life. We had a seamless day of travel yesterday and were greeted by Josiah at the airport with so much love and kindness. He hung up a sign and posted sticky notes all over the apartment with sweet messages on them. James was happy to be reunited with dad, and more importantly his stuffed animals! My heart is happy and I feel content.

But things aren’t always going to be good. And when things are bad, life tends to suck. I know there are hard moments looming on the horizon and I feel like I will collapse in the slightest valley right now. I’m trying to navigate this situation. God. He really is the answer. No matter what happens here on earth, it cannot change our eternal lives in heaven promised to us by God. Heaven will be protected from all of the things I dread on this earth.

It is difficult to see all of the goodness promised to us by God when we are in those dark moments. But He is there. I can usually feel God closest to me in moments of despair, yet I tend to push Him away. I can’t always see the good in every situation. I’d like to be able to rest my entire being on the truth of God, but I don’t always.

I feel like I need to write these words today for anyone else who may be going through something good, bad, happy or sad. Because some days are great and you feel invisible and other days feel like garbage and you just want to crawl out of your skin and escape to a different reality. I’m feeling good in this moment but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the day is going to go perfectly well, and who knows what tomorrow will bring.

It kind of stinks to live this way. I guess it makes me feel like an emotional rollercoaster. But maybe we’re all on emotional rides of some kind. Our feelings change all of the time. I know there are people that are a lot more resilient than me, and I admire that quality. My therapist mentioned resilience the other day as one of the outcomes of my year long therapy program, and I’m looking forward to that goal. I’m trying to figure out the line between normal emotional fluctuations, and emotions that signal red flags. I don’t know where that line is.

In this moment I am waiting. I never know how I will handle the next challenge that God will give me, the next test of my faith. These days, it’s really scary to be in the waiting period. Scary because the bad’s have been REALLY bad. I guess you could say that I am living in a constant state of anxiety, fearing my own reactions in life. That sounds so blah, but it’s true. I’m scared for my husband and son as well. Not that I would ever do anything to hurt them, but my emotional state hurts them sometimes. I don’t want to, but it’s just an area of my life that feels out of my control right now.

While I soak in the good feelings, I am also preparing for (and dreading) the next “thing”. The next time the demands of motherhood get the best of me, the next sickness that catches me off guard, medical bills that are higher than we can afford, feelings of failure, etc. How will I react? Will I be resilient when life gets hard or will I collapse? Honestly, I will probably collapse, but hopefully by the end of the year I can say with confidence that I can get through anything with the power of God and the holy spirit inside of me. I know these things, I just don’t know how to access them.

Psalm 112:7-8 “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.”

Through it all, God’s light shines through.

Midweek Check-In

Howdy folks! I thought I would pop on today for a little Wednesday chat. Our week has been nothing out of the ordinary so far. On Monday James and I went to a dance party at the library. We had fun, but it also felt like I was the only parent there with a child who didn’t want to stay in his designated dance space…thank you, Covid. James wanted to be anywhere but within his coned-off quadrant. On the bright side, he’s a people person, on the not so bright side, Covid guidelines are still making socializing difficult these days.

Monday and Tuesday were HOT ones over here, so hot that we have been under a heat advisory. Aside from our outdoor time at the library, James and I have stayed inside the past couple of days. We tried to go for a walk early yesterday morning but both of us turned into puddles. James looks a little too excited to be unpacking groceries in the photo below…I guess that’s what happens when you’re cooped up inside on a hot day πŸ™‚

What tastes better in 100 degree heat than a big plate of…lasagna! Kidding, but yes, that is actually what we ate for dinner last night. I brought a meal over to one of our cousins who just had a baby, and figured I would make us a batch of lasagna too. Not the most summer friendly meal, but when you’re sleep deprived with a newborn, I figured a hearty meal would hit the spot. Plus this is my favorite lasagna ever, thank you Ambitious Kitchen!

Also my favorite ever, these peanut butter m&m cookies I made yesterday to go with the meal. I didn’t expect much from the recipe the first time I made them, but they literally melt in your mouth! SO good!

Enough about me, what’s everyone else up to? Summer plans? Lots of pool/lake/beach time on the horizon? We’re still feeling a little tied down by James, but he’s able to do much more this summer than last so I think we’ll be able to get out more to enjoy it! Is anyone watching The Bachelorette? Thoughts? What are your go-to summer meals? I feel like I need to turn on the oven less this summer, it just makes everything feel hotter!

Ok, off to get this day started! James and I are going over to a friend’s house this morning, I am excited to spend time with her, plus she has a pool! I’ve also got my first in-person therapy session this afternoon. It is a 2 hour intake interview, and I’m pretty sure I walk out with an official diagnosis. I’m feeling anxious about the results, but constantly reminding myself that this diagnosis is not my identity. I’m so grateful to be surrounded by such loving and supportive friends and family as I continue this recovery journey, and for God who is always sending me reminders that I am His and that’s all that matters.

Have a wonderful Wednesday friends!

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11

Thinking Out Loud

Eating lunch in peace…that is rare these days. James and I went to church this morning which means that his morning nap didn’t happen. He was more than ready for a nap when we got home and is now sleeping soundly. I just finished a quiet lunch of avocado toast with eggs. As I look at the picture of it I’m like, “ok what happened to the eggs? and why so much hot sauce?” It was a little bit of a hot mess, but tasted good none the less.

I have been blogging for almost two weeks now and I absolutely love it. It is painful, rewarding, frustrating, and fun all at the same time. But I don’t really know where I’m going with it. I don’t have a lot of readers, which is fine, and thank you to everyone who is following along! I think I need to step up my social media game which terrifies me. I am afraid of putting myself out there and the hurt and rejection that may come. There could also be a lot of good that comes out of gaining readership too though.

Where do I want this blog to go though? What are my strengths? What are people interested in reading? I feel like I don’t have a lot to offer the world right now. I am a mom to a one year old. My marriage feels a little broken, my thoughts feel a little broken, and I feel like I’m not worthy enough of people’s time to stop by and read this blog.

I am a people pleaser by nature and that is a hard world to live in. I know deep down that I cannot and will not make everyone happy. I know that there will be people that disagree with my beliefs and values. So I am writing this post for myself as encouragement. To keep going. To write even when the content is seemingly invaluable. My husband Josiah always encourages me to “just write” and that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m trying to figure out where the line is. I want to share all of my life with you guys an quite honestly, why keep it private? For me to share means that I am keeping it from being buried inside of me, burdening my soul. So should I share it all? I mean at the end of the day my life is not mine anyway, I have given it to Christ and I am doing my best to walk with the holy spirit inside of me. So I hope that by sharing my life I am lifting up Christ in the process.

In complete transparency, my marriage has been up in flames this weekend and I will take the blame. I have always been the type of person to get stressed out when there is no plan in life or when plans change at the last minute. I like to know what lies ahead and prepare for the future as much as possible. Long story short, plans changed last night and I didn’t handle it well. Looking back I wish that I had just gone with the flow and it is something that I am going to continue to challenge myself to do.

I would love to paint the picture of a perfect life here on this blog. I would love to share photos of my husband and I embracing each other with smiles on our faces, and James beaming with joy in every moment of his life. But let me tell y’all, that is not the reality around here. And I am not aways ok with that. I gain confidence each day in God when I see him answer my prayers in big ways and when He shows me the other side of the difficult times. I hate dealing with conflict, I hate sitting in uncomfortable moments in life, but I live with the hope of eternal life with Christ in Heaven where none of this pain and tears and heartbreak with exist.

My husband preached a wonderful sermon today about working out your salvation with fear and trembling. I actually wrote about the verses that he preached on in my Philippians Chapter 2 summary. Salvation is a gift that was given to us by the grace of God, but what we choose to do with that gift is up to us. Are we going to be “lounging lizards” as Josiah so humorously worded it today or are we going to actively walk with God? I am choosing to actively walk with the Lord, even when it is hard, even when I want to quit, even when He doesn’t answer my prayers the way I want him to. Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Amen!

Reframing to Thoughts of Gratitude

James just got into trouble in the bathroom and I sat there passively watching him. That’s where my mom motivation is at the moment. My mind wants to go to a place of criticism for not disciplining James as well as other mom’s, and questioning why I even let him get into the bathroom in the first place, I could have easily shut the door and prevented the whole scene. James is a walking tornado these days, or so I like to call him. His mom on the other hand is a total neat freak that is challenged by the constant mess in our apartment. That’s just the beginning of the mindset shift I need to make. Hence the title of this post, reframing to thoughts of gratitude.

I wish I could express gratefulness in ALL moments of my life, because as Josiah says to me when I’m down in the dumps “there’s always something to be grateful for”. And he’s totally right! I just get sucked into these negative spirals and comparison traps and completely lose sight of the blessings. Last week I wrote an post titled “How I’m Really Feeling” and expressed some raw feelings including our desire to have another baby. Let’s reframe for a second and acknowledge what a huge blessing James is in our lives. Even if we were never able to have a second baby we would still be content and overflowing with joy and love for James.

Motherhood has been a challenge, but in the moments of tears and clutter and loneliness and repetition I am incredibly grateful to be home with James, sharing his whole life with him and watching him grow.

Marriage has been a challenge as well, but in the moments of anger and resentment and doubt I am grateful for a husband who stands by my side and lifts me up when I am down on the ground ready to give up.

Life itself is a challenge, but in all moments I am grateful to have a God that hears my prayers and answers them, who has blessed me with the most loving and supportive family and friends, who has brought me out of my darkest moments, and loves me unconditionally. If your hope lies in Jesus, there is no amount of darkness in your life that can’t be overcome by His magnificent light. And if that’s not something to be grateful for, I don’t know what is. Praise God!

Question of the day: What is one thing you’re feeling grateful for today?

Have a lovely Wednesday everyone!