Monday, August 29, 2011

In a nutshell...

Happy Monday, Mamas!

I have so much to tell you about!

For those of you teacher mamas, welcome back to school! Yeah! or Boo! Depends on how you feel about it, I guess!

I have missed the first day of school because both Gemma and I are sick... just colds- a sinus infection for me (I hope, so that the antibiotics will help). Today, we went outside for the first time in over 48 hours and ate popsicles in the driveway. It was fun and made me just relish in the innocence of my little jewel. (for bad phone camera pictures of this picnic, check out

I've had a bit of a struggle finding childcare while she's sick this week- a struggle that I believe will come again because I work full-time outside the home. It really makes me wish we could make me staying home work. Although, I do really LOVE my job and my kiddos. I just need balance. Sigh.

On a totally different note, I watched a brilliant movie that made me cry and smile called "WarDance". It's a documentary about a group of school children in Uganda who win a regional music competition and get to represent their tribe at the National Music Festival. More than that, it's a story of hope in the midst of IMMENSE suffering, unthinkable cruelty, and harrowing warfare. These children are the most resilient babies I have ever seen and I'm floored by how tiny my problems are in comparison.

I saw a side of children, in this film, that left me awestruck. In spite of horrific circumstances, they survive- more than that... they thrive. I don't know if I could be as resilient as they are. Keep in mind, this movie is not for the faint of heart- it doesn't show anything but the kids do tell their stories... and what shocking stories they are.

As a mama, I wanted nothing more than to pick up these 13 and 14 year old babies and run them away from all of this. As a citizen of the world, I was and am outraged (mostly because I know, full well that this is not the only country where this is occurring). What a fallen world we live in! What a FALLEN world! I thought of my worries, my complaints, my fears and was so thoroughly ashamed of my petty concerns.

These mamas, these daddies and their babies have looked evil dead in the eye... and still, they sing.

What a beautiful, beautiful, song it is.

I will refer to this again in next week's question- another tissue grabber, but I can't write it right now, it's going to take awhile and a will to write. Please join us next monday with an open heart, a box of kleenex and some time to write.

Today's question comes from this place of gratitude for what I have; no, that's not right... more than WHAT I have, WHO I have. I am two feet away from my husband right now, and across the hall from my girl. They are alive, they are safe. We can worship as we please, we have safe travel to and from work, we have food and clothing. Oh, my! We have so much to be thankful for. From this place of awestruck gratitude, I reevaluated how and why I parent the way I do. I want to break my parenting down into the truest, purest form. That got me thinking about what my parenting philosophy is... and that led to...

Question #5: What is your parenting philosophy, in a nutshell?

Please join the discussion! I can't wait to be blessed by your thoughts!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Breathe.... just breathe....

I have talked to many of you in the past weeks and have heard such positive response to the confessions. This is what I longed for; a place to share stories, encourage, and uplift. Simultaneously, I've been struggling with something and need you, my community of mamas, to come along side me with advice, shared stories, even similar concerns. I'm looking for kindred spirits here- tell me you have been there. Tell me it gets better. Tell me you have strategies for coping.

I went out to dinner with my best friend and just burst into tears while I told her about all the fears I had for Gemma and my family. I've been pretty good at denial in the past but with Gemma's health issues early on, I couldn't deny her care or the presence of such issues. In the grand scheme of things, her health issues are minor- although no one could tell me that in the beginning and technically, they still can't "clear her". She is now completely off meds and her feedings are the same as any other baby without feeding issues. PRAISE GOD! What an answer to prayer!

However, I feel that I opened the door to fear, anxiety, and worry all those months wondering if she'd be okay. I can come up with the most irrational fears that have to do with anything horrible happening to her or Abe and I. I know I don't have complete control, or any control for that matter, over her ultimate safety and that I can only do my part but sometimes I get crippled by the thought that I might have missed something. I might not have protected her in some way and left her vulnerable. This gets even deeper, breathe... I trust God to be able to intervene, however I don't trust God to always intervene in the way I want Him to. I have had too many friends lose babies, loved ones, get sick, etc to rest comfortably in the assurance that "He'll protect Gemma". I trust that God is ever-present and after talking to Heather, have created a bit of a mantra for myself: Choose Joy. In the midst of what I can not control, I am surrendering to God and choosing Joy. The bottom line is: I can't protect her from everything. I can be smart about safety but if it takes over my life or my mind, I'm MISSING OUT ON HER! I'm missing out on enjoying my daughter! Therefore, I am choosing joy; over and over again- choosing joy.

I can't control everything, not even close. I can't protect Gemma from everything- she WILL experience pain, disappointment, hurt, heartbreak, fear, and loss... Oh! how it pains me to think that she will have to walk through that. I would give anything to shelter her heart from hurt. Isn't that what all of us would do? So, that's where this week's question comes from...

Question #4: How do you parent with a healthy sense of fear? or better yet, How do you parent fearlessly?

I long to hear your shared experiences, mantras for peace, verses you rely on, warm fuzzies you cling to, and hope that you live by. Let's share in order to grow. Let's be fearless together, mamas.

Choosing Joy,

Monday, August 15, 2011

on and on and on...

Last night I laid in bed for a long time before I fell asleep. I've mentioned before that I've had all these questions bouncing around in my brain that have been making me quite self- reflective and last night was no different. I have lists of things that I want to "discuss" here and I am going to take us to some really vulnerable places- purely because I'm wrestling with these big questions and want to hear how others wrestle too. I pray that you are willing to dig with me, to open up your hearts so that we may grow together. Thank you for being my "village".

Today however, I want to give us something that we can all write about forever: our kids. Even if you have babies in heaven, in your tummy, in your arms, in another state, there is something that makes them special... what is it? Feel free to go on and on and on... as there is no limit to our love for our kids, there is no limit to the length of your comments! (at least I don't think there is... :)

Always excited to read what you have to say,

Question #3: What is it about YOUR kid(s) that is wonderful, unique, miraculous, marvelous, endearing, inspiring, and lovely?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Heartbreak and Healing


I can't begin to communicate how deeply wonderful it has been to read all your comments and your introductions. I knew that by bringing our own mothers into this conversation I was touching a subject that would be received in many ways. Thank you for being honest, opening up, and sharing. It's what helps us grow- the heartbreak and the healing.

I really love that we can take the risk of opening ourselves up to "strangers" (trust me, I know all of you and you are all phenomenal- take my word for it!) and feeling safe to be honest. I was reading a blog that I follow by Ann Voskamp and immediately wanted to share it with all of you. I got so excited that I had a community of women who will walk this whole self-reflective, exhausting, humbling, thrilling, exciting, tedious journey of motherhood with me. In a word, thank you- for showing up; for reading; for commenting; for praying; for laughing; for tearing-up with "friends". That's what we are now ladies- friends. I count all of you as such and hope you find kindred spirits here.

Just because I'm post happy does not mean that you can't at any time go back and comment on other posts. I will continue to check in on all of them and upload any incoming comments. For any post, the comment section will not close. :)

Question #2: (Let's lighten things up a bit) Sleep. How do we get it? How do we help our kids get it? Go wherever you want with this one! :)

Love you all!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ladies... start your engines...

I've been mulling over what I should ask us to inaugurate this little community into sharing with one another. One of the reasons I started this blog was because I was having these questions at night... questions that I was tossing around with myself- questions that I wanted to hear other mamas answer too. Some of them are really personal, vulnerability inducing, risky questions... and some of them are certainly not. When I thought of what to start us out with, I didn't know whether to force us into immediate intimacy (and hope you were all willing) or let us play a bit.

So, I kind of came up with something in the middle. Take it however you'd like... answer it seriously or humorously or not at all. Whatever you choose. But remember, the only way to be in COMMUNITY is to BE in community so please join us. Share. Grow. Celebrate motherhood in all it's many facets- even the icky self-reflective ones!

Question #1: How has becoming a mama affected your view of/relationship with your own mother?

Oooohhhh.... that could be a doozy, eh? :) Happy posting!

Love you all!

I am overjoyed to be on this journey with you. I'm so very excited to see what comes of this and I'm filled with anticipation over what you all will share, how we will laugh, how we will cry, and how we will be transformed.

Friday, August 5, 2011


If you are here, I've contacted you in some way and invited you into an intimate conversation- about motherhood. I have longed for a group of women in my situation-new moms, and those who have a bit more experience- thank God for you- to come together and support one another, learn from one another, and laugh with one another!

What I came to realize is that if I want a community of supportive mothers, I should create it. So, that's why I'm here and why you're here. I created this space as a place for conversation- a place for advice- a place for funny stories, prayer requests, sanity checks, and encouragement.

We don't all have the same aged children, we don't all believe the same things. We come from different backgrounds, different family makeups, and different idealogical belief systems. But, we are moms, mommies, mamas, mothers- we are all embarking on what I believe to be the greatest journey in life; raising another human being. I am not trying to eliminate or minimize the role of a partner/spouse/husband in this journey, but let's face it- the mom takes the brunt of the responsibility for kids, huh?

So, the format is this... I envision asking a question and opening up the comments for us to just answer as we feel led. No judgement, no pressure. I hope that you feel comfortable sharing your experiences, your struggles, your hopes and dreams for your children as well as for yourself. I don't want to travel the road of motherhood alone and let's face it: sometimes ya gotta have girl talk.

Sometimes, the questions will be really deep and serious, and sometimes not. Sometimes, it will be about a common struggle and sometimes about a philosophical take on parenting. I just want to open the lines of communication and see what happens.

This may start out with no comments (and stay that way!- who knows?) or some of us may fade in and out. I hope that this becomes a vibrant place to mend our souls with the balm of shared experience. I hope that you find friendship here.

The nitty gritty...
1. Please post a comment(as long as you'd like)
2. You can be anonymous or leave a name and link to your blog, if you'd like
3. Please be polite (I must say this even though I really don't think I need to)- do not leave mean-spirited, or judgemental comments. I will have to okay all comments before they are published so I'll have some say over what is allowed on. This should also help control spam.
4. Please be honest. None of us are perfect and if you are, please don't tell me that you are... it'll just make me feel bad! :)
5. Please stick least for awhile. Give us a chance to form some community.

First question: Who are you?

I can't wait to talk with all of you.