Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A day in the life of....

I am going to start this now at 7:12am and see if I can finish by the end of the day. The Crazy boys are all contained or distracted for the time being so here is my first attempt.

It's amazing the thoughts and stories that come to the surface when I have the chance to write them down. All of a sudden I am flooded with the kind of gratitude you feel all over your body and out through your eyeballs and fingertips. Therefore, many of the posts here end up feeling the same... "life is crazy but so thick and juicy...full of yummy but fleeting moments." What's ironic though and quite exposing is that every day doesn't always feel that way. 5 out of 7 days end with me recounting to my husband the 3 moments in that day that everything fell apart. Like fully fell apart. I treasure my authentic friendships the most so I am going to give you some doses of that reality today. {Sprinkled with precious smiles from the three as the perfect reminder of their sweet sides.}

1)Monday a new friend with three youngens as well invited our clan to a book fair benefitting her childrens' school and the very school that if money grew on the rosemary plant next to me we would send our children. The possibility isn't thrown out the window or atleast it wasn't until Monday. We pray (and beg) daily for this door to open but I think after Monday the door could have shut for us for real. (I'm being a little dramatic.)

Anyway, everything in me knew this was a very bad, no good, terrible idea. I had volunteered all morning in the 2 year old classroom as the teacher's helper. I had already dropped a 2 year old polly-pocket type of precious pig-tailed girl in the toilet (not knowing a thing about a girl when it comes to the potty) and my very own glasses-wearing, heart melting 2 year old had all but sent me into the corner in tears with his horrific "my mom is in the classroom" type of behavior. Yall, he literally clung to my leg 1/2 the morning and while I was assisting the teacher I drug him around like a vacuum. If he wasnt on my leg he was slithering down the hall like a snake and never once did I see him walk or be-bop as most two year olds do. I needed a toddy by 9:15am...put it that way. So, the baby was tired from his day away from any normal nap (because he was worn on me in the baby bjourn the whole time the two year old was attached to my left leg) and the two year old really just needed to be home in an empty room for awhile....alone. But against my inner instincts we ventured to the book fair where the melt downs began.

The boys have never been in a book store, only a library where books are allowed to be taken away, read, left on tables, and mostly touched. We got there way early on accident - like 25 minutes which in toddler time is like an hour and 45 minutes. I had used my 2 diapers on my 2 year old that morning because the child who the teacher says normally never goes #2 at school went #2 twice while his mama was there. I guess he is more comfortable when I am around?? So since I used both diapers of course law would tell you that the little stinker would go again and by go I mean GO! Enter the principal and admissions director for said school to pick out their books to read to the polite little children who just left their manners-heavy schooling, clad with ironed uniforms and happy smiles. Oh, and my two tired, hungry, never been in a book store, and now stinky toddlers. Do you see where this story is going?

Now I know boys will be boys and toddlers will be toddlers and I am just sure that this precious little school knows the difference in my fairly un-schooled toddlers and their well-mannered 5 year olds but got so bad, yall. My boys just had to be at the front of the story time in front of a slew of sweet boys and girls and what felt like gawking parents. They had to complain about the story being read. My stinky toddler nearly sat on the principals feet to get close enough to see the story and then threw the fit of the year when a little boy sat next to his older brother. Like any mother would do - I bribed him with his big brothers candy cane that I was holding for him and instead of staying next to me to eat it he went back to those high-heeled feet and drooled nice red drool down her leg, all the while older brother sees his candy cane being devoured and loses it. LOSES IT. This is about 8 pages into the 20 page book. HE LOSES IT! Do you feel me sweating. I was literally because I had the baby in the baby bookbag again and I had yet to have a second to take my coat off. It was hot in there yall and my insides were stirring and cringing at the scene before me. Could I walk away and look for the real mother of these two obviously badly parented children? Could I bribe them again to please come with me and get out of the middle of the circle..away from the spotlight?

Let's just say we got out of there with not a hair of my pride left intact and way too much money spent on books just to hopefully glaze over the scene that took place and distract the store and the benefitting school from the zoo that had just exited the building.

2) And then later that evening I ventured to the gym for a quick 30 minute run-all-of-my-angst-over-the-book-store-dissaster run. It was healing even if only 30 minutes. As we all piled back into the car on the first cold day and aptly, the first day I realized all of our winter coats are occupying someone's lost and found, I realized that it was the night my husband said he would be home after bed time for the boys kinda late. This called for a drive through dinner kinda night but as we drove past "the pancake place" aka the flying biscuit the boys squeals for special pancakes took over my logic. Luckily there wasn't another person wanting pancakes for dinner so we had the place to ourselves. Thus when the ornament bearing a candle crashed on the floor no one else heard it. Nor the 2nd one. And when the two year old poured the peppercorn balls all over his pancake thinking it was syrup no one was there to witness the defeat in my eyes. And luckily the scene that followed as I realized the boys had stuffed my credit cards in the couch at home that afternoon while I was feeding the baby and was just happy that they were entertained went unnoticed as well. "Umm, will you take a check for our dinner?" No, okay..."how about my Flex Spending Card?" "Can I wash a few dishes for you while you hold me three tired and sticky little boys?" Luckily, the manager was so ready for us to leave that he literally took an IOU and allowed me to call him later with my credit card info. I definitely spent more on the tip that night than I did on our 3 pancakes and eggs. My tummy just turned recalling that whole day. I'm just glad His mercies are new EVERY morning!So yesterday we awoke to a new day and we stayed inside the whole day! Lesson learned yet again the hard way.

3) Being a stay at home mom is certainly not all tennis matches and lululemon shopping trips after a coffee date at starbucks. Atleast it isnt for me. It's crazy mixed emotions all day long. Joy from seeing your children play with their plastic nativity set for the first time this season. To fear from then seeing your boy try to flush baby Jesus down the toilet. Gratitude while watching your boys, 14 months to separate them, play "Christmas" in the basement while you finally begin to unpack the 4th basket of cleaned and now wrinkled clothes. And then comes the defeated feelings when the same best of friends get into a pushing match on the stairs just to try to be first to the top. Didn't you just teach them that being first isn't always best and letting others go first is really the rewarding action to choose. Laughter fills our home each night as we watch these boys pretend and make up words for their little world. Its especially heart warming when they are all snug in their matching footie pajamas. But often in the very next moments tears can fill my weary eyes when the sweet bed time routine has turned into yet another drawn out battle of wills. This job is certainly not what I ever imagined it would be. It's not what my mom made it look like because let's be honest - from the eyes of the young child you never have true appreciation until you are actually in the drivers seat. Until you are actually the one awake at night thinking about the things you said during the day to the little ones still mendable heart. Or until you are the one actually seeing your child struggle to figure something out or rejoice when he has clearly amazed even himself. Goodness, if I could now years later truly give my mom thanks for the days and years spent at home, in a pony tail maybe having gone days with only conversation from the mouths of babes - it would feel so good. Now I finally really get it and all of the cards and presents I tried to gift to her over the years not fully knowing the gratitude they could represent would now carry so much weight. Thank you, mama!

So as you can see staying at home all day every day with your children can leave you feeling a little awkward when you finally get out into the real on-time, fully-dressed, paying jobs to tend to type of people. Saturday Brad graciously gave me the day to myself to get some things done. We have lived in our house 8 months and have yet to hang a curtain nor lay a rug. In the grand scheme of things - rugs and curtains are silly but when you have boys running around mostly nude most of the day a little privacy could be nice and a rug or two may help the immobile baby start to want to move. So, I headed out feeling a little silly. I had all this freedom and no real place to be, no one to be with and no budget or checklist to adhere to. I wound up at a fabric store in midtown. I spent the majority of my day away browsing the aisles full of color and pattern and with every rack my mind jumped from place to place in our home, which meant I really got nowhere. I couldn't focus nor did I have an inkling of an idea of what spoke to me. That very morning I couldn't even decide on the creamer I wanted in my coffee. Don't get me wrong - I think I know myself more than I have ever before but there is so little margin in my head to think about anything other than taking care of people so when I get the opportunity it's like my creative brain goes to sleep from overload. It certainly leaves me feeling like a cardboard box in a sea of freshly painted Van Goh's. Needless to say, I left 3 hours later a little defeated but certainly grateful for the time to just wander and dream. I went straight to the upholstery shop to turn the little swab of (plain) fabric I did find into some pillows. Sonny, the owner was a foreign petite little woman with about 50% accuracy in English. We had a 30 minute broken conversation about pillows and then out of nowhere the tears came. Seriously. I am crying on a Saturday in the pillow shop. There were Buckhead women waiting behind me to just pick up their treasures and all the while I am having a melt down with Sonny - my newest and dearest friend. As she could sense my frustration with attempting to decorating my house she goes into a half English version of her take on motherhood. I couldn't understand half of it but I understood all of it. Do you know what I mean? In a nutshell, she was assuring me that pillows don't matter. And bland walls and floors aren't important. All of this I know but yet it still tugs at my heart beckoning for me to pay it some attention on the rare occasion that my husband gives me a free day. Really, my free day should have been spent over coffee with a friend or hiking Kennesaw mountain...doing something that feeds me and allows me to feel like more than just a caregiver.

Pillows and rugs will have their day, Sonny says, but my children will be grown before I know it and they don't even care about pillows. I left the shop and my day away with not one take home but yet I did take away the best thing of all.....that grateful heart that I spoke about above. Yes, there is no time during the day - not any spare minute to be selfish. And yes, our house is a conglomeration of lousy art projects and pinterest fails. But there is so much goodness in my day. There is so many sweet things happening for the first time that everything else seems silly and useless.

I told Sonny she was hired as my pillow maker when I get around to doing it but in the mean time I would stop by for a pep talk every few weeks. It's amazing what a genuine conversation with an adult, albeit a stranger, can do for the soul. Much more than a boutique pillow I am sure.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Post interrupted

I was starting to put together a pretty thoughtful entry full of newly learned wisdom, some tough lessons, and even a recipe (yes, I turned into that blogger momentarily) and then it happened.
In a pretty monotone voice (as if your college-summer flame just walked right through your kitchen door like he was coming over for supper) I said, "Oh my freaking goodness." And then the newest member of the Bagwell Academy of Manners and Excellence exclaimed even louder, "OH MY FREAKING GOODNESS!" I gulped remembering that #threeyearoldsrepeateverything but carried on with my excitement by simultaneously making out with my 5 month olds cheeks and cuddling his little feet in my arms.

I fear writing this little anecdote because I know when #2 looks back in years to come he will vow to not help me with my sponge bath in my old age due to the obvious lack of obsession that I had over him as a baby compared to his 21 month younger sibling. But I just cant let this get by.

I am OVER THE TOP for this little baby. It's bad. My ovaries literally sing (and cringe) when I look at him knowing that any baby fever I have left in my tired body starts to boil. It's not healthy, yall.

Don't misunderstand me I have loved each of these boys with everything in me and it has literally hurt to watch them grow into little people but for some reason Mr. Stork put an extra dose of yumminess in this newest one and it has caused me (and my marriage) serious trouble. I know like everyone does that this immobile, extra Pillsbury-dough boyish, big eyed, cooing, only satisfied in me stage doesnt last long but this time around this stage is soooo good that it makes me think I could do this three more times in the next three years. And trust me, I haven't made it to the shower yet today, I've lost my temper thrice and apologized twice, and my three year old asked why my booty was poking out this morning as I was getting on my (dirty) yoga pants. AND I WANT TO KEEP ADDING TO THIS MADNESS (only in the moments when I look at #3 and he melts my heart which unfortunately for my husband is ALL THE TIME! EVERYDAY! AND AT NIGHT WHEN I WAKE HIM UP TO FEED HIM NOT BECAUSE HE IS HUNGRY BUT BECAUSE I WANT TO HOLD HIM!)


So back to the "Oh my freaking goodness" comment....As if my insides couldnt dance or scream anymore over this little one he went and did the thing I dreaded. The thing I have always wanted but hoped it would never really happen because I knew that would be the last straw. And of course today he went there and it's over. I'm done.

He sucked his precious-ooey-gooey-fattened-2 rolls before the knuckle RIGHT thumb just like I did as a little baby (and almost until I started school.) Aghhhhh!!!!!

Can you handle that? I mean, I know it's not your child and I know I am sounding like that typical mom whom other women have started blogs over or something but I only relay all this because I need serious help. As we "speak" the toddler monster is walking around in his Bulldawg helmet getting ready for Halloween having already found my stash of tootsie rolls. He some how got them into his bed for his nap and I came in to find all FIVE wrappers stuck somewhere to his bed or body. Please call me and rescue me. Tell me that my babbling, THUMB sucking, always happy little baby boy WILL (repeat it WILL) one day crush my heart and dissappoint me and probably even marry a bigger city girl and run off and get married to her and never come to see me. Come to my house and take me outside, ugg house slippers, those same yoga pants and all and literally squeeze my cheeks and WAKE ME UP! How could I possibly after the third baby now want a whole bunch of babies? This is how.

And this is why.
He waits with his mouth opened in a perfect "O" shape when anyone walks by just wondering if they will look his way.
He eats his fist when he is hungry, ne'ry a cry.
He can't move because he is a little overstuffed so when he gets excited he slams both of his legs down at the same time over and over as if he is clapping with his legs.
His eyes sparkle.
HE SUCKS HIS RIGHT THUMB and doesnt even really know how to do it yet so he looks even more scrumptious.
He is the only thing I've ever known that is 110% satisfied with just me. Now, I know this is a little weird were it to continue but it touches my little mushy heart. And it makes me think about my desire to be FULLY satisfied in Jesus.
He giggles if you even glance his way.
He sleeps in the car, in the bed, in the swing, in your arms. Is this for real?
He makes those precious baby sounds everytime he eats reminding me just how relaxed he is in my arms.
He completes our family in ways I never knew possible.

But mostly (and here come the hormonal tears) he reminds me of the miracle that he was for our family. At a time when I was at the lowest that I never knew existed he was Gods answer to me. Somehow God knew the unthinkable, a pregnancy while using an IUD for birth control would be the thing to help reset my year of insomnia. And as I write this he is tooting like an 80 year old man after bar-b-que. Pure love.

Now please don't think I am slighting my other darlings. Once you have kids you do finally get that you and your siblings were all "equally loved unequally" meaning loved as much but differently if that can happen. I think it can. Again, it is a picture of the Fathers love for us - were all loved more than we could ever know but also loved personally and individually. Many of my 3-time moms have agreed with me on this. For some reason the third time really is a charm and in my case it makes me want to keep going and complete our little basketball team. There I go again. Call in the reinforcements NOW (before my husband gets home). But I guess by #3 you aren't stressed about whether you are doing it right now because you know it all works out anyway and you aren't feeling guilty like you did after your 2nd by ruining both #1 and #2's life for ever having to divide your time between two needy little people. There is an ease, a joy, a confidence, and energy, and a sense of peace despite being pulled and pushed and yanked and screamed into three different directions. And, that my friends, is why my husband may never sleep in the same room with me again.

Monday, October 15, 2012

An update hashtag style

Folks, this is about all I can muster up these days. I have started 6 posts since the last one and have yet to finish one. Life is rich, full, constant, draining, so sweet and flying by right now in our house with three little ones. We recognize that these days are long but the months and years just keep stacking up and it makes me want to hyperventilate! My heart is so full. My eyes are so heavy. But most of all we are just so grateful to be right where we are with our little family. It is rarely glamorous but it is mostly always entertaining. I never knew I could be so comfortable driving to the beach with a turtle on top of my car, ending my 5 year anniversary celebration at Micheals...yes, the craft store, and spending most of my days in a pony tail and yoga pants. But I also never knew I could feel such satisfaction by serving little people all day (and all night) long. This is certainly one of those big seasons in life where the dots connect, things make sense, and my priorities are aligned. I only hate that I dont have the time and energy to really get my thoughts down as I know I will look back on these young years and see so much of my foundation for my faith in my God, in myself, in my husband, and in my story being built. So, here it goes.....hashtag style...



#weALLloveourbabysitter #firsttimeleavingALLthebabies


#whosaysonlygirlsgetintomakeup #thankGodhiseyewasnotpoked


#agiantsandbox #aboysdream









Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monthly purge

I can't explain what happens to me when the house goes quiet and I sit down with a blank piece of blog paper in front of me. Many of you have read along for years and you may remember there was a season before life exploded and there wasn't nearly a day I would miss the chance to sit down and put the stuff on the inside- out and available for anyone. I actually enjoy writing more than animal crackers which if you have known me longer than this blog you know that is a whole lot. At one point in college I calculated that I had spent close to $600 on animal crackers in about 5 years. I was concerned by that number and decidely quit but it didn't last long. So as you see I really do enjoy stringing my thoughts together on paper or on here but I don't like to edit and reread so I have never made a solid writer with real credentials. I worked for the Atlanta paper in high school and one summer after and it proved to me that getting paid for what you love to do isn't always the best thing, especially if you aren't a rule follower. So like my writing, much of who I once that I was has gone by the waist side for a bit. I know full well that the "she" that I once thought I knew is there but there just isnt a spare second to develop her character right now. (And even as I write that I chuckle on the inside knowing that what I am doing now is molding me more into who I really am anyway than any of the writing, exercising, hostessing, party planning, trip taking, exploring ever would do.)

I say all that because I am so surprised at my half-efforts made to come here, to one of my favorite places to unwind. I would think even among 60 extremeties to be cut every 3rd day and the diaper trash that goes out atleast daily (I'll worry about my carbon foot print on another day) that I would find a few minutes to steal to atleast get a little writing done.... a little part of the true me out there..but as you have just doesn't happen. But neither do alot of things. If anything profound comes from this season it is that I have learned the art of loving myself and I have slowly learned to give myself grace and not be so hard on the me that can't seem to do the things I used to do....even with just two kids. I can't believe that I was any better at paying attention to my talents and ambitions just one short kid ago?!?! Somehow, 3 has been the number that has broken me, and I am truly grateful it has....

Because it has allowed us the pleasure of truly living in the moment.

It's raining now and it will probably rain for a few days so come Thursday I may change my mind but for now I am being romanced by the rain. The boys and I sat in the garage earlier today just smelling the rain as it just began. Then on our way into our favorite rainy day lunch at Chick fil A we found every puddle in our path and made sure to get wet enough to leave foot prints once inside. I will never claim to have the patience or creativity of a teacher but in the car today me and the big boys talked for atleast 10 minutes (which is a long time in toddler years) about the rain and how it comes from God, nourishes the trees and the flowers, and it is a gift to us. Then, for one of the first times in his short three years, Brooks, started to pretend he was on a ship in the water (while we were driving) and he was opening his map to find our way home. I never thought hearing your child pretend would be so beautiful? Would you read into all of this with me? Many of you may be bored by our little morning but I just have to write these things down because I know that they will go and be gone quickly and how I would have hated to have been on my phone during all of that. How I will want to have had a real memory, deep, deep down of our often long days together - even the ones drenched in rain.

This isn't at all where I thought this little "monthly purge" would go but that is what I love about this living in the moment type of thing that I have finally started to appreciate. Honestly, before this most recent season (aka - 3 years and 3 kids)I was always looking for the next date on my calendar or the next trip, or the next milestone to celebrate. Lately, the conversations in the rain and the 20 minutes playing with the boys deep inside the slide at the park hold even more excitement for me than anything else. Having our kids close together has done this to me. It's shown me just how quickly each phase goes by. Brad said it best the other day and it sunk deep in my gut and it kinda hurt. He said, "Just think...William will be 3 in a year and 3 seems to be the point where things are a little more easy so by this time next year we'll be 2/3'rds of the way through with the hard stuff." Ouch. He didn't mean it to wish away where we are but more as a high place to look to...a place to set our sights. But in my gut I wanted to melt into a puddle. Though an easier season would probably do all of us some good around here - I don't want it to come quickly for any reason...not even for the thought of throwing out the diapers or donating one of our now THREE cribs to a new family or having anymore time to myself. It is obvious, I have never been more needed (and physically drained) in my 30 years but I have also never felt more useful. For so many years leading up to my plunge into motherhood I just wanted to be used. I didn't need to make a ton of money or be the best at whatever my title was - but I did want to feel like I contrubuted. FInally after all of that searching and praying, I know I am contributing, even without the paycheck or daily kudos from coworkers to prove it. And there is so much to be said for feeling available to do whatever it is you are truly needed to do. For my sake, I am grateful I wasn't deep in the middle of a demanding and satisfying career when the call to mother children came my way. I know it would be impossible for me to be excellent at both and that is all I ever be all in to one thing. To be all about it no matter the sacrifice.

The other big secret of this season of life that we are in is that you don't have to make sense to anyone but the 5 people within your own walls. Often I tell people that my family feels so fragile right now. There isn't a more perfect word. The big boys would mimic someone skipping into 285-traffic if they had even the slightest ounce of trust in that person. This makes the world all of a sudden seem like such a threat, from the things on tv to the words in the songs on even B 98.5, to the way a toddler friend treats his little sibling. They are sponges and it seems my job is to filter the water that touches their surface. But then there's me.....I am an even bigger sponge. Being a mom is a weird role in many ways....of course I am interested in how everyone else is doing it but only because somewhere along the way something taught me that I didn't know how to do it in the first place. My most freeing days are when I unplug from social media, turn off the tv, put down the parenting book, and think for myself about how I would like to train, rebuke, teach, love and instruct my little people. Our most natural moments come when I draw from within me....what my mama taught me and what is in my core and then decide for myself and for our family how we should preceed. I finally get the silly saying my mom always said about everyone else jumping off that bridge.

And with that - I have found myself more confidently saying no. Can you feel the burden fall off my shoulders just writing that? It has never felt so good to JUST SAY NO. No, we are not going out of town for a short 24 hour trip even to a fun place with our fragile little family, no we are not buying an ipad for the three year old (yet), no I can't come just won't work for us. The other theme these days is "what is simple?" Dinners are simple, weekends are simple, birthday gifts are often homemade, morning activities involve a few solo cups and some string, and with these short little words - no and simple- I have experienced more authentic joy than all of the alternatives combined. The best part is - for the first time ever I don't feel the need to explain to anyone either. For one of the first time's ever - it doesn't have to make sense to every one else. It just has to fall in line with our values and our priorities. Though we may be fragile right now, we do have a well fortified wall around us because of these boundaries we have set. We are on a lock down of sorts but inside these walls it feels so darn good...and, it's oh so cozy, therefore, I don't mind the looks or comments or opinions one bit. What a sweet place to live!

Aptly, this is what I have been reading over and over and over this month and if you know me well or have texted me for any reason in the last few weeks I have probably sent you on your way with these beautiful words. This is from Psalm 138. How perfectly lovely and pleasing to a mom, a daughter, a wife, a husband, anyone..... These few words speak so much louder to me than any pat on the back or 100th like on facebook. These words assure me that I am known, no matter how far away from myself I feel and no matter who understands what I am up to these days. What perfect, perfect words on this perfectly rainy day.
Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit down and you know when I rise. You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down. You are familiar with all of my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty to attain.
Psalm 138

And here are just a few of the smiles that make the long days worth it all. Trust me, there are just as many whiney hours, nose bleeds, scrapes, and tongue biting moments so it isn't always tied in a pretty blue bow but hopefully you know that about us anyway.Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Needed this today

I have had this blog in my inbox for a few days and just got around to reading it. It was the perfect timing.

10 Ways to be a Happier Mom (by Ann Voskamp)
1. Life is not an emergency.

Life’s a gift.
Just. Slow. Down.

2. Now is not a forever grace but amazing grace.

Do whatever it takes to wake to wonder right here.

3. Sometimes the slowest way is the fastest way to joy.

Make time today, even a moment, to read Scripture and memorize it.

Without the lens of His Word, the world warps.

{Slowest=fastest to joy}

4. Laughter is the cheapest, holiest medicine.

Preschoolers laugh 300 times a day. Aim for double that. Tickle someone, (yourself!), if necessary. This is good!

5. Motherhood is a hallowed place because children aren’t commonplace.

Co-laboring over the sculpting of souls is a sacred vocation, a humbling privilege.

Never forget.

6. Homemaking is about making a home, not about making perfection.

A perfect home is an authentic, creative, animated space where Peace and Christ and Beauty are embraced.

{Perfect does not equate to immaculate.}

7. A pail with a pinhole loses as much as the pail pushed right over.

A minute dawdled here, a minute scrolling here — they can add up to your life. Write down your intentions for the day and prayerfully ive the intentions and spend your life well by paying attention to the moments — which pays thanks to God.

A whole life can be lost in minutes wasted, small moments missed.

8. Believe it: I have all I need for today.

The needs of our day are great but our God is greater and we call Him Providence because we believe: He is the One who always provides.

{And when God provides, He should be praised, and if God always provides, shouldn’t praise always be on the lips?}

9. Slow. Children at play.

The hurry hurts the kids.

Time’s this priceless currency and only the slow spend it wise enough to be rich.

If we had to actually buy our time, would we spend it more wisely — spend it more slowly?

{God’s Word never says Hurry Up. God words only whisper: Wake Up.}

10. Love is patient.

Parenting’s this gentle way of bending over in humility to help the scraped child up because we intimately know it takes a lifetime to learn how to walk with Him.

Patience. Love always begins with patience and patience is a willingness to suffer.


The art of really celebrating life isn’t about getting it right – but about receiving Grace.

The sinners and the sick, the broken, the discouraged, the wounded and burdened — we are the ones who get to celebrate grace!

Regardless of the mess of your life, if Christ is Lord of your life, than we are the celebrants out dancing in a wild rain of grace — because when it’s all done and finished, all is well and Christ already said it was finished.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Original post here. This one may sound like I am a paid food blogger but I think it's just my post pregnancy appetite on fire. Hello maternity clothes still in play almost 3 months after birth! And, yes, these are all truly blessings I want to remember one day when these little years are so far away or even one day in the near future when I can't find anything positive in the minutia of the day. These are more than just "likes" - they are heart felt little things that make my heart swell with gratitude.
58. Baby giggles. OH. MY. WORD.
59. Matching outfits (so I can easily tell when one is missing)

This picture also reminds me how much I love trips to Costco for entertainment and on Saturdays for a good meal worth of samples!
60. Trying new restaurants
61. Fresh seafood in Atlanta

62. Grandparents close enough to visit
63. TOMS on little boys
64. Summer tomatoes from a friends garden
65. Pink tennis shoes or anything pink with all the testosterone in my house
66. The netti pot - ewww
67. Le Croix on a hot day
68. a VIDEO monitor! Yes, after 3 kids we FINALLY caved and yall....I AM ADDICTED. Hi, my name is Betsy and I am obsessed with watching my child in a scary way.
69. Baby fat rolls at all the right places, wrists, ankles, above the elbow
70. new baby boy bedding for the nursery (after 3 straight years we needed some new spunk)
71. Alessi White Balsamic and those summer tomatoes (with fresh mozzarella)
72. My mother in laws fresh pound cake sent just for me (so I ate the crust off of half of it before I decided to share)
73. 3 year old giggles (aka driving while videoing your children who undid their carseats)74. 2 year old bed hair
75. An unexpected weekend with only the baby and the baby's daddy
76. Dinner out with my favorite person
77. Dinner out again with my favorite person and brother and sister in law
78. Dinner with those 3 over 4 hours and a few bottles of wine
79. Internet shopping
80. A quiet car when the toddlers are at grandmas
81. My favorite trees in our back yard blooming for the 2nd time this summer
82. PEACH COBBLER ICE CREAM. OH MY STARS. This better be in heaven.
83. Hearing my babies laugh and say they "wuv me" over the phone
84. Our new preschool starting in a few weeks - an answer to prayer!
85. Afternoon thunderstorms
86. My abs starting to hurt again because they have been used
87. Sleep. Ahhh. What a miracle.
89. Recalling what we were doing during the last olympics....before 3 kids and 3 moves!
90. The view from Brad's office on the 20th floor.
91. Strolling the mall while the kids are away...wasting time like I used to when my biggest worry was what I might wear out that weekend
92. And taking 2 hours to work out and then even take a long shower just because I can
93. Words with friends to make me feel like I am with some of my favorite friends
94. A mosquito free yard to enjoy
95. Baby dancing (kicking) on the floor after a good meal
96. Feeling those first date type of sparks again - almost 5 years later
97. Watching a man work in his yard with pride
98. Sweet prayer time with a friend - the kind that never ends without sweet tears
99. Planning parties
100. The good feeling I get after knowing I finished my water bottle for the day
101. A new dress
102. A manicure with my mama
103. A goofy baby 104. An oversized teddy bear, aka wrestling toy and cuddle friend

104. Potty training successes
105. A fun, private back yard

106. Precious baby time that only happens when the big boys are sleeping

107. Talking like a baby when you swore you never would
108. Staying up too late to watch the London Olympics
109. Laying 5 deep in "daddy's bed" to watch diving together (and clapping excitedly after every dive)
110. The Sandy Springs farmers Market on Saturday's
111. Clean baseboards. And a good workout.
112. Pandora on the radio computer while cleaning
113. Nutella for breakfast
114. Nutella anytime
115. Nursing a baby while eating Nutella and knowing atleast a bite of the calories have already been burned
116. Nursing a baby

Stay tuned...