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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

25 Things I've learned About Motherhood

I've been a mother for just about 8 years now, and I have learned an immeasureable amount about myself, about kids, and about my husband. Here is a collective list of some of those things.

1. Showers are a luxury, uninterrupted restroom breaks are non-existant.

2. Keeping your outfit clean is as impossible as keeping the kids' clean. By the end of the day,expect anything from dirt, snot, food, or even poop on yourself. note - CHECK your outfit before heading out in public and having someone else point out the streak of boogers on your thigh (true story).

3. Just because you have kids doesn't mean the romance is dead in your relationship. I've heard that before, and I totally disagree. If it is important to you, you'll find the time and energy!

4. Toothpaste is apparently hard to get on toothbrushes, but easy to get EVERYWHERE else. If someone could invent a way to brush teeth without the gooey stuff, my bathroom would love you for it.

5. Silence is the scariest sound in the world when kids are around. It means that they are up to no good. Silence is golden, however, when children are out with Daddy.

6. Being a referree sure isn't as fun as the NFL makes it out to be. But it's just as necessary.

7. Eavesdropping on little conversations becomes your favorite past-time. You get to hear their uncensored thoughts and dreams, it is truly amazing.

8. Sibling love is an amazing thing to watch....sibling fights can be a nightmare.

9. When playing board games, the rules become more like guidelines. This will happen because a child will no doubt lose the dice or step on the board and send all the pieces tumbling off their spaces. Or because a child is losing for the 4th time in a row and they just need an extra $50 of monopoly money to get them through :).

10. After days of 24/7 with the little boogers, you just NEED A BREAK. But come Friday night, you say goodbye to the kids and the babysitter, and you miss them like crazy!!

11. Spend all night cooking dinner, and kids won't touch it. Throw on some Top Ramen, and everyone wolfs it down.

12. Kids "helping" makes the job take twice as long. Let them anyways, it's worth it.

13. If your kids enjoy a movie one night, be prepared to watch it non-stop for the next month. I now know Lion King and Aladdin by heart.

14. Your house gets sticky. You don't know how, you don't know why, but it keeps happening just the same.

15. Laundry is never-ending. Dishes are never-ending. Some days you go on strike and say "what does it matter, they just pile up again anyways." Then you can't find a clean spoon or clean socks, and you realize that going on strike against yourself is just never going to work.

16. Things break. A lot. Even better, everyone says "it wasn't me!" with the most innocent of faces. You must become a private investegator to properly bust the guilty party.

17. Disciplining your child really DOES hurt you more than them.

18. Your son will, at one point say that your spankings "tickle". You'll have to try hard not to laugh. Then give the spanking job to your husband.

19. You will get embarrassed in public a LOT. Whether its the out loud "that guys stinks" comment, or the fit thrown in the middle of the supermarket, they'll make you look like a fool at least once...a day.

20. No one's hugs and kisses feel better.

21. Hearing "Mom, your the best Mom" is the greatest compliment you'll ever receive.

22. Watching your children grow and develop gives you such mixed emotions, and sometimes you wish you could start it all over again.

23. Knowing that your husband loves the kids with the same love as you have for them creates a new bond, and makes marriage even that much MORE worth the effort.

24. Kids' innocent faith in God is beautiful. Their prayers are even more beautiful.

25. Time goes way too fast. It is so important to see every day as a gift. Love on them and spend time with them every chance you get.

I'm sure I can come up with hundreds more, but these are the first ones that popped into my head. I treasure my time as Mommy, and am so blessed that God has given me these 3 little munchkins!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

5 Things About Me..

My friend, Mimzi, challenged me to write 5 things about myself that most people don't know. It took me a while, but I think I finally came up with 5 semi-interesting things about myself!! Wow! I'm not as boring as I thought.

1. My dream home is a castle house, complete with medieval furniture (like the oversized, clawfoot tub. AAAHHH LOVE those). I have wanted this since I was 13, and even had my room decorated knight-themed as a teenager. You can imagine my surprise when my husband not only has a last name that means knight, but wanted the same type of house! Coincidence??? Nah!

2. I talk (out loud)to myself a lot. I have actually gotten much better about this, but I used to catch myself doing this all the time, even in public. SIDE NOTE- I do NOT answer myself, so it's all good :-).

3. I love schedules, to-do lists, plans, etc. Even though I've been a work-at-home Mom for the past 7 years and don't techinally have a boss (over the age of 7), I still love to plan out my days, weeks....years. The only bad thing is I love crossing off my to-do list so much, that I'll write down things I already did so I can cross them off, and look like I did more that day.

4. I am not much of a [laundry] folder, but I am very particular with how my towels are folded. They have to look like this:

If they are folded any differently, even if it's a good fold, I hate it!

5. My kids and I make up silly songs all the time using the tune of another song. We do this while cleaning and it makes the chores go so much faster. I wish I could think of one off the top of my head to share- I need to start writing these down!

Well, those are some [no longer] secrets about me! Have a great rest of your weekend!

To keep this train going, I call on Holly, Shandy, and Sarah!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rough Spots and How to Get Through Them

Have you ever looked back on a part of your life and wonder how you even survived?? Like if someone had told you beforehand what was going to happen, you might have just locked yourself in the bedroom and never came out? Or maybe hopped in the car and ran away?


I have actually had 3 absolute terror of times that really define the above for me (I am only going back as far as I've been married). I would like to share them with you, as well as my views on those times now, and most I got through them. If you are going through an especially tough time now, I hope I can encourage you a bit :).

Hard time #1. Miscarriage. I lost my 2nd child at 14 weeks pregnant. I had some spotting so made an appointment right away. The Dr found no heartbeat. It was such a shock, and did not feel real to me at first. Having to tell friends and family was really hard. I was embarrassed for some reason. Like I was insignificant because my body couldn't keep a baby alive (which isn't even true!). I had to have an emergency D & C the next day because my body went into miscarriage but I was too far along to pass it myself.

It was such a lonely feeling to lose a child. I still feel the sting once in a while, even though it was 7 years ago.

I remember what really helped me in those first couple weeks was holding my 1 year old daughter. She was such a comfort to me! I know for a fact that God sometimes shows us his Love through the innocence of a child. And that is exactly what happened in this instance.

My oldest (this pic taken at age 4)

Four months later, I became pregnant again. We were so excited!! I went in for routine bloodwork. That night the nurse called me. "Your hormone count is really high. This means either you have twins, or something is wrong."

That night I broke down. I told God that if I lose this baby too, I am not having any more! In hindsight, I wish I would have rested in Him. But, I didn't. I was heartbroken.

Long story short, everything was fine with that pregnancy. And, it wasn't twins, either. Just a [very hormonal?] baby boy!

But we balanced it out with a very unhormonal name- Alexander Troy.

Sometimes I sure don't understand why bad things happen like this. It wasn't a product of anything we did, and we couldn't have prevented it. But now, looking back, I think that it made me stronger. It made me appreciate my pregnancies and the miracle of bringing a life into this world. It gives me a source of "I've been there" comfort to other Moms. And it also helped me to learn that God has my back- when it seems hopeless, a great blessing could be just moments away! This is why when bad things happen now, I try to look at it through goggles of faith. Remembering that when God closes one door, another one always opens.

Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Hard time #2. RSV. I had my 3rd (and final) child on February 16th, 2009. Prime RSV (which is basically a fancy word for a bad cold) season. When my daughter was 2 weeks old, we all had to take a trip to the Dr. because everyone was sick! My son was the worst. He was wheezing and it concerned me. Really, I only decided to take all 3 because of him. Figured I may as well.

As it turns out, my older two were fine. Breathing treatments and a little antibiotics and they were set. Then she looks at Sonja, my 2 week old. I had thought she was the "healthiest" of them all. But, when the Dr. listened to her lungs, she said "You need to take her to the hospital".


I was NOT expecting that. My sister in law had luckily came with me to the appointment, so she took the older 2 home while I headed to the hospital.

The first day there was an utter nightmare. You can read my post on it HERE. I stayed pretty strong until they had to do the spinal tap. I had to leave the room. I called my Grandma (who is a nurse) and just broke down.

The doctors kept teling me "babies that breastfeed don't get sick. She may have an autoimmune disease". I was scared to death, and began thinking the worst- that I could lose my new child.

Of course, the Dr's were wrong, and she just had RSV, even though she was breastfed.

We spent a week at the hospital. They had to continually deep suction her lungs and give her antibiotics via IV. I was frazzled beyond comprehension. This week was also the week of my midterms for my college courses, and my other 2 babies were sick at home. It was one of the worst weeks of my life!

At one point, I was so sleep deprived that when I changed my daughter's diaper, I just left it on the ground. I felt like I couldn't even move. The nurse came in and freaked out! She lectured me out germs, laziness, etc. When I think of that nurse now, I picture horns on her head! HA, ok not really. But, at the time, I could not believe the mean words she was saying. I broke down and sobbed. When my family came in later that day, I told them what happened. Boy did they make sure the head nurse heard about it!

So, how did I get through it? Well, I survived! For the most part, I didn't let myself think of what was actually going on, I just dug my heels in and barrelled through. Almost like an autopilot...I felt like if I actually sat down and pondered what was going on, I wouldn't make it through. I still believe that way. I asked for a lot of prayer, and I felt those prayers. I leaned on my family and friends when everything got to me (the spinal tap and the diaper woe). Looking back now, I see that my daughter is super healthy, and such a vital part of our family. I also see that God knew this whole time that she would be fine- and while we can only see the present, He is all knowing. That is, again, why I have decided to trust Him with everything. Not trusting Him, to me, is like getting all bent out of shape over something my husband did before having a chance to hear him out. He usually has a good reason for what he does, but if I set it in my mind that he was wrong, I miss that.

"The stars may fall, but God’s promises will stand and be fulfilled."–J. I. Packer

Hard Time #3 I don't even know what to title this one!

We own a landscaping business, and winters can be slow. So, we got a great idea to sell Jason's uncle's Christmas trees! It would help us to get through the slow season and maybe we could actually have a nice Christmas!

That was SO a bad idea.

How I began to view Christmas trees

Not only did we lose $10,000 that we didn't have, I also had other stressors during that time-
#1- our business got audited, and I am the company's bookkeeper
#2- I was going to college full time
#3- my oldest daughter was having frequent fevers of 105 (which later was diagnosed as reflux of the kidneys).

So, what this meant basically was- the kids and I helped run the Christmas tree lot (unless my daughter had a fever, then we mostly had to leave that to Jason), then I did my college work, and in between there I had to work with my accountant (which was NOT a good thing, she messed up on our taxes pretty royally) and the auditor. All the while we were losing money daily.

You know how with the other "hard times", I can say "looking back, this is how I got through". No, not this one. I have NO idea how we got through this one. It was nothing short of the grace of God. I DO know that I just didn't let myself break down. I knew if I did, I would give up. I had learned a little bit from my other hard times, and that "this too shall pass". The tree lot and the audit had time stamps. If I could just hold up until January, they would be over.

The tree lot and audit did end, but we weren't left unscathed. We ended that year in a grand total of 38,000 in debt. Our accountant made some mistakes on our last 3 tax returns that landed us owing the IRS 18k. It has been tough getting digging out of this debt, but with God there is always hope.

Matthew 11:28-29 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

What have I learned from this? I learned that it is ok to make big mistakes. That sometimes they are our fault completely even though they are unforseen (the accountant's mistakes). That sometimes as a business owner, we take gambles and lose (tree lot). But what I really learned, is that in the end- I still had my family. I still had my faith. And now, 3 years later- we are wiser for it.

I guess my conclusion is, bad things happen- whether its a result of our mistakes, or simply a side-effect of living in an imperfect world. The one thing I would change looking back isn't what happened to me- but how I responded. I would trust God a lot more. I would have spent a few less nights worrying. I would have taken a lot of guilt off of myself.

That's what I want you to do if you are going through a hard time...and that is what I pray that I wlll do when I face my next struggle.

Thanks so much for reading!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What Really Matters

I used to be a clean freak- Jason would call me OCD for fun. But, having 3 kids in a matter of 4 years really messed all that up! Not to mention 2 dogs!!

The first 4 years of my marriage were spent raising babies. I had my first child in 2005, second in 2007, and third in 2009. Things were crazy for the first few years!

My bundles of joy...and chaos! :)

More Chaos :)

I learned very early on that I can either have a super clean home, or I could have time with my kids. With our lifestyle, it was really hard to accomplish both. For the first 4 years of the kiddos lives, I was going to college....and working from home as a bookkeeper....and having my husband work many hours a week (which he still does), leaving all the household responsibilities to me. All the while I was the full-time "stay at home" Mom to a newborn, 1, and 3 year old. Needless to say, keeping a sparkling home was going further and further down my list of priorities.

Something I learned to embrace early on is that, aside from the Lord, my family is #1. Life is always going to be "too busy"- I will never be able to get everything done. But, I CAN take the time for the important things in my life. My first priorities were being a Mommy and a Wife. I have taken that priority very seriously, and do not regret it.

I am the mom that will drop everything to play a game of Candyland with my kids, or going out back and fingerpainting, or teaching my kids how to bake. We also did preschool daily in our home, and crafts. And science experiments. And built forts...the list goes on. I took them on weekly field trips, had a devotion with them every day, dropped my windex to dance on a whim, and cuddled them whenever they asked. When Jason came home from work, we all sat down to eat a homecooked meal. I talked to him about his day, and told him about ours. Then we had family time, which included things like going for walks with the dogs, watching a movie, or playing a game. After the kids went to bed, Jason and I hung out together and built our friendship and marriage.

Here are some pics of the great memories we have:

I felt that when the day was at it's end, I had truly done my best to be the wife and mommy, business partner and friend, that I could possibly be. That felt so good...I felt accomplished.

They were my #1. So, after them came work/school, then meal-planning and grocery shopping/cooking, then health and fitness. And guess what got left by the wayside much of the time? My poor house. I have had off-and-on symptoms of CHAOS (Cant-Have-Anyone-Over-Syndrome). It sucked! My husband is a huge people person and always wanted visitors- and I would freak out because my house wasn't clean. So now I still had the "clean freak" attitude, without the clean house! It has been my biggest struggle! I dealt with feeling inferior a lot of the time. It looked to me like everyone else had it all together, and I was just this inadequate person! Jason would always try to tell me that "everyone has the same hours in the day, and no one can do it ALL". But I was pretty much convinced that everyone BUT ME could do it all!

Finally, I had a couple of older Moms (they are so wise!)tell me just not to stress about the home. If my kids are happy, well-behaved, and my husband isn't overly worried about a perfect home, to just let it go. No Mother of grown-up children has EVER told me, "wow, you are going to regret not cleaning your tub some day". I instead have heard woman after woman tell me how they WISHED they would have let their house go sometimes and just spent time with their kids. So, when it all comes down to it, I'm thankful that I did what I did. I let go of thinking that I am inadequate, and instead embraced that God gifted me with children and a husband, and I truthfully did my best to savor every single moment.



Now, I have a 4,5, and 7 year old. They are old enough to employ in daily chores, and I am ready to claim my house back! My schedule has relaxed a bit, as I am not needed every second of every day (it's more like every 5 minutes now). I have recently found a great website,, and have been putting many of her principles to work the past few months. My goal is to decorate our house to feel homey (I have not, at all...since the kids have been born), and have it just clean enough that someone can stop by at any time and I don't feel panicked. It doesn't have to be perfect. I've given up on perfect! But, I do want a good schedule to keep everything flowing smoothly.

My first chore right now is getting us all the way unpacked. We've lived here almost a month now, and still have a lot of unpacking to do. We haven't had a free weekend since we moved, so it has been a little trying. During the week I homeschool (since we moved near the end of the shcool year, I am homeschooling Jayna until August), as well as have other obligations. Jason is working obscene hours currently. So, getting this all started has not been quite as "epic" as I would have liked. But I am slowly getting there. Our sink has been staying clean, our living room and kitchen is all unpacked and we've kept up with that. Laundry WAS doing well until our washer broke (UGH!).

Once we get unpacked and I get more of a system together, I will post about it!! This is a journey, and I am looking forward to its outcome :).

Post is linked with the following:

This post is linked with an amazing blog called A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, check it out!