Thankful Thursday

Is thankful Thursday a thing? I'm almost positive it has to be, because there's no way something can be this catchy and not already be a thing. Anyhow, regardless of whether or not I'm the genius that created it, I thought it would be fun to focus on a few of the things that I'm super duper thankful for these days. Without further they are.

1. Podcasts

Ok, I know I keep going on and on about Mom Struggling Well, but you's just that good. And it's just SO perfect for where I'm at in my life. I listen to this daily as I'm driving around town running errands, dropping Grayson off at preschool, trying to get him to nap, whatever. I almost always have it on in the car. I'm getting dangerously close to catching up to real time, and then I'm going to have to wait for it to come out weekly and I won't lie, I'll be a little sad. But it's just so so good, so if you're a mom who struggles (let's be real, that has to be every mom), then check it out. Do it.

2. My Friends

New friends, old friends, kind-of-almost-but-not-really-yet friends - basically any kind of human that I'm connecting with right now seems to be blessing my socks off. Since I've been opening up so much and sharing so much and trying so many new things, I have just had so many sweet women who have been so good to me. After I wrote my post on insecurities in faith I had so many sweet interactions. Two of my dear friends reached out to me individually and had the most encouraging things to say - like, make me cry sweet encouraging words. My bible study ladies have been so encouraging as I stumble into this whole God thing. Online friends have been so sweet to me. Women supporting and encouraging other women is such a beautiful thing and I just love it so much.

3. My Boys
All three of those handsome fellas. The husband has been especially sweet and fun lately - and he's been traveling, which makes me appreciate him so much more, sadly. Grayson has been extra hilarious. Like, I am cracking up regularly from the crazy witty things he's saying. And Gavin is just turning into a real human and is just so stinkin sweet and adorable and he's laughing all the time now which - HELLO - baby giggles are the cutest thing on the entire planet! Gah. I could just eat em all up.

4. The Weather

This is the time of the year that it really rocks to live in Texas. Tomorrow the high is 75, and it's been nice for weeks now. I love having the windows open and Grayson being able to play in the backyard and walking out to the mailbox in my bare feet. Now, talk to me in July or August and I will swear to you that Texas is actually, literally hell on earth. But right now it's pretty great.

I could seriously go on and on - I think I'm on some kind of delirious, lack of sleep high or something, because I am feeling especially thankful right now. But speaking of that, I am NOT thankful for children deciding to keep me up all night long. Between Gavin eating and Grayson tossing and turning (in my bed, yes I know it's actually ridiculous now) and then Gavin waking up at the crack of dawn doing his happy squeals and waking us all up to join in on the party, I've been averaging between four and five hours a night. I think my body is happiest on about 13 hours of sleep a night - not that I've experienced that in roughly three years, but still.

Anyway, I hope you guys all have a long list of thankful things, too. Sometimes it's good to just sit down for a minute in the midst of all the chaos and take note of what is awesome in your life. I guarantee there's something there, no matter how rough things might be at the moment. If you wouldn't mind, I would LOVE to hear some things you're thankful for in the comments. Let me share in your happiness friends!

Insecurities in Faith

I recently posted about how I've had a lot of strange God things going on in my life. Since then, things have still been happening, and I've been leaning in pretty heavily into that area. I've joined a bible study, I've been going to church every weekend, and in my "free time" (hahahaha yeah right) I've been doing a lot of thinking, praying, studying, etc.

I was talking to my husband earlier today, asking if in his church they believe in getting saved the way that we typically do in all of the churches I've been involved in. For them, it's more about being baptized as a baby and dedicated to the Lord rather than making a conscious decision when you're older. Anyway, I was explaining to him a bit about what being saved typically means, and I said even though I was "saved" when I was younger, the heart change that I've had recently feels more significant than anything I've ever experienced, even in my most heavily involved and dedicated times in my life. Something is just different this time, deep within my soul.

I know that this is the path that I'm meant to be going down. I know that this is right for me right now. I can't explain what changed, because nothing really did. Just all of the sudden, everything is different. I feel different. I look at things differently. I want to do different things and pursue different passions. For some reason, God decided now is the time for me and it's like he reached down into my heart and set it on fire. That's the only way I can think to explain the difference.

Even though I know that this is right, this is what's meant to be happening, I am struggling with some serious insecurities. I feel like I've been led to get heavily involved in the church I attend, and to take on a leadership role in MOPS - and all I can think lately is "Who are you to do any of this? You are SO very HIGHLY unqualified." Because let's be honest. I am so very very unqualified.

I can't quote scriptures. Literally could not quote you one single scripture. I don't know the stories of the bible, who important biblical figures are. I'm not comfortable praying for others - I mean, I JUST started praying again a few weeks ago. I don't know the lingo, I don't know the correct terminology. I listen to the women in my bible study and read these books and watch these videos and I just think, man - how will I ever catch up? I have been out of this world for so so long, how do I make up for 12 years that I've done nothing to further my knowledge, to further my faith?

I realize that this is the time when people tell me that it's the enemy telling me these things. In my head I acknowledge that it probably is - but that doesn't really help all that much. I'm doing my best to learn and soak it all in, but dang it's hard with two little kids! I seriously only get an hour or two to myself every day after the boys are both in bed, and once I've cleaned up the house and done what I "need" to do, there's just so very little time to devote to furthering my knowledge.

I'm sure it will get easier as time goes on, and I'm trying not to dwell. Everyone has their strengths, and quoting scripture and relating every day occurrences back to the bible certainly is not mine. I'm curious though - for any of you that are practicing Christians, did you ever have a time like this? Are you someone who was raised in church and therefore has always had that foundation, or did you have these insecurities early on in your relationship with God? I guess I'm just hoping that someone out there will say "You're not alone! I've been there!" - I need all the encouragement I can get on this new path I'm going down!


On Sunday morning my sweet Grandmother passed away. This wasn't something unexpected. In fact, we've been thinking it would be any time now for months. She was diagnosed with cancer when I was around 36 weeks pregnant with Gavin and we were told it was aggressive and she likely didn't have much time. So in reality, we all were given quite a bit longer with her than we may have initially expected. But being fully prepared still doesn't make it any easier when the inevitable happens.
My Grandmother was a complicated lady, but I loved her so much - maybe even a little more because of those complications. I could relate to many of them. While she and I never had the super warm and fuzzy relationship that a lot of people have with their grandmothers, I always knew that she loved me deeply. One of the things that I cherish the most is the fact that I got to see her with both of my babies. Where she may not have been overly affectionate toward me, she certainly was with my kids. I'm not sure what the shift was, but watching her love on them was such a blessing for me.

I have so many wonderful memories of time spent at her house when I was a little girl. We lived three hours away, and my mom and I would come and stay with her and my Granddaddy often. I loved their house, and one of the things that makes me the saddest is that I'll be losing that home away from home now. We always stayed up late watching black and white movies and TV shows - we watched a lot of Nick at Nite, and anytime I see an episode of Bewitched or The Dick Van Dyke Show or I Dream of Jeannie it makes me think of her.

One of my favorite things about my Grandmother was her voice. I always thought she sounded a lot like Blanche from Golden Girls. She had a real cute southern accent, and said a lot of adorable things like "Oh Heavens!". She also had a cute little dance that she did that I remember from when I was a little girl, and I was lucky enough to see her do it for Grayson a time or two.
She was my last living grandparent, so it's a very strange feeling now to know that that entire generation of my family is gone - aside from distant great aunts and uncles, everyone in my family from that time has passed. There's a sense of comfort knowing that you can go "home" to your grandmothers house anytime that you want, and I'm so sad that I no longer have that.

But she lived a long, full life, with a family who loved her dearly. My grandfather was incredibly devoted to her throughout their entire lives together, and it brings me some comfort knowing that they're together now. I always felt like she needed someone to take care of her - anytime I talked about her I always called her my "sweet little Grandmother", and I just felt like she needed protecting. She was physically tiny, and a little helpless in an endearing way.

I'll always cherish the memories that I have with her. Out of all my grandparents, she and I are certainly the most alike. She's always been incredibly special to me, and I will miss her terribly even though I'm so relieved that her suffering is over.

Mama Struggles

I don't think I've ever heard anyone anywhere ever say that being a mom is easy. I'm pretty sure if anyone has, they have never been around a child a day in their life. Kids are just challenging. Parenting is just hard. Being mommy just isn't the easiest thing. The best, most rewarding, most beautiful thing, sure. But easy? Nope.

There are so many things I struggle with as a mom. Preparing food, for one. I hate cooking. I love to eat, but on the average day I will literally forget about eating until I am so hungry it hurts. I am not great at thinking about fun meals and super nutritious snacks. That's just not me. 

Getting babies to sleep on their own. Such a struggle for me. I apparently just suck at this. My almost-three-year-old is still in my bed for the majority of the night, so clearly I don't have this figured out. And even though we started out so good with Gavin, and he was in the newborn napper part of the pack and play for the first three months, guess who's in my bed now? See? I suck. 

Getting in the floor and just playing with my son. I hate, hate to admit this - it's painful. It's shameful. But I am just not good at this. I am such a busy body. I always have a running to do list in my brain, and it is so hard for me to ignore the dishes and the laundry and the dirty toilets and the just overall mess in the house and sit down and play. I'm making more of an effort to do this every day lately, and it really can be fun for both of us. But it's not easy. 

Seriously, there are so many things on a day to day basis that I struggle to do well as a mama. But the number one struggle for me is patience. And anger. Oooooh, this is hard. Oh, it's painful. Painful. Good Lord, how I struggle. 

I have never been a patient person. I have always been so quick to anger. In my marriage this is a struggle, but I'm dealing with another fully grown, semi mature (kidding) adult that can take it and dish it out and communicate and forgive and forget. With my children? No. Just no. They don't understand it, and they don't deserve it. 

I know this. I so understand this. But still, almost every single day there comes a point that I react in a way that I'm not proud of. Kids are slow. Kids are not great listeners. Kids are disobedient from time to time. Kids are just straight up challenging in a million ways. And they test your patience, again and again and again. And it is so. So. So. Hard. 

I'm trying so hard to be better. And I am getting better. Much. But there are still so many things every day that threaten to send me over the edge. The blatant disregard for what I've just told him to do gets me every time. Oh man is that tough to take. Oh man does that make me want to snap. And sometimes I do, and I raise my voice and say things that don't come from a place of love. And it never helps. It never improves the situation. It always makes it worse. And I always end up regretting it. 

I recently heard something on my favorite little podcast that I've already mentioned, Mom Struggling Well, (learning so much from this podcast, will probably continue to mention it again and again) and it really stuck with me. I actually typed it into the notes of my phone so I wouldn't forget. The guest, and I wish I could remember which guest it was, said that when they are struggling with their kids that they pray "Give me Your heart for my kids". That has become almost a mantra for me. When I'm beyond frustrated and feel that anger rising up inside me and know I'm about to explode, I chant it over and over. When I can begin to see my sweet Grayson from a place of never-ending love and patience, I can see the moment for what it truly is. A not quite three year old boy dealing with emotions that he doesn't know how to handle. A little boy who is testing his limits, like they all do. They have to do it, they're learning and growing and developing into actual human beings. A little boy who may be overtired or hungry or frustrated or needing attention. And when I can see that, I can take a deep breath (or twenty) and approach the situation in a much better way. 
I'm not saying this system is full proof. If you could have a chat with Grayson I'm sure he would confirm that I absolutely still lose my temper on the reg. But I am better. I am coming from a much better place just in general, and I am making a continual effort. The daily struggles that we go through as mamas will never go away. Kids will always be kids, we will always be human. But stepping back from the situation and reminding yourself of the realities of the situation can at least give you a second to pause and catch your breath before reacting. And sometimes a second to breathe is all we need. 

A Kid-Friendly Trip to Fort Worth

A few weeks ago the husband took a couple days off of work and we decided to do a little overnight trip to Fort Worth with the boys. From where we live it's about a 45 minute drive, so it's super easy to just hop on over for a fun day or two.

On Friday we got up and left the house basically ON TIME which was a miracle. I think we wanted to leave by 9 and it was like 9:15 when we were pulling out of the drive way. Seriously, that's miraculous with two children. We stopped at Starbucks because duh we would be needing caffeine, and then we headed straight to the Fort Worth zoo. We are super fortunate because we have two really awesome zoos close to us - we're just about thirty minutes from the Dallas zoo. We had only been to the Fort Worth zoo once before when Grayson was just over a year old, plus we haven't spent much time in Fort Worth in general, so we decided to visit that one this time. Grayson was SO dang excited to get to the zoo. He still says he wants to be a "kiger" when he grows up and is super into the Madagascar movies and The Lion Guard, so he could not wait to see all the animals when we got there.
The zoo is super nice and clean and really beautiful actually, the exhibits are all really well-maintained and the animals look healthy and happy (or as happy as an animal can look I suppose?). It is a really big zoo, so we spent a good four or five hours walking around looking at everything. Obviously Grayson was super pumped about the tigers, but he was seriously overjoyed when looking at just about every single animal. The lions, giraffes, elephants, monkeys, and flamingos were all very big hits with him. I'm sure Gavin was equally excited, but he spent probably 75% of the time napping in his stroller. Oh, to be a baby.

They also have a really cute Texas area in the zoo that has lots of animals native to Texas and looks like a little western town. After you wind your way allllll the way through the zoo this is kind of the end of the line. Or at least it was for the path we took. In that area there's a train that you can ride that will take you back to basically the front of the zoo, so this is where we decided to call it a day. Grayson was also super excited about the train ride and the fifteen minute wait for it to get back to let us load up was torture for him.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous that day, so it made it nice to just take our time and wander around. After several hours, we left and went to Joe T. Garcia's for lunch/dinner. This place is pretty legendary in Fort Worth, and the only other time I had been I waited for over an hour to get in standing in a line that wrapped around and around the little ramp out front. You just show up and get in line and go in that order. We got super lucky though, because even though it was a Friday, we got there a little before five so we got right in. You sit on this gorgeous patio, and there are literally two things to choose from to eat, enchiladas or fajitas. Kind of strange to not have options, but the food was pretty delicious so I didn't mind too much. The atmosphere is great, so it was a really enjoyable meal.

After eating we went to check in to our hotel downtown Fort Worth. The downtown area is really cool and quite a bit different than Dallas. There were a ton of people walking around, lots of places to eat. After we checked in we changed and relaxed for a few minutes, then loaded the kids up in the double stroller and went to walk around.
We were right near Sundance Square, which is a really fun area. There is a huge splash pad type thing right in the center and they have music playing over speakers, so Grayson loved it. You aren't supposed to play in the splash pad area at night, but of course Grayson got right to the edge and got his feet soaked. We sat there for quite awhile just enjoying the weather and letting him dance around. Then we continued to walk around, and (unfortunately for us) spotted a few horse drawn carriages. Since we had the stroller we couldn't go on one, and Grayson lost his mind he was so disappointed. He seriously cried and wailed and refused to walk or get in the stroller or basically function as a human being the entire way back to the room, which took a good twenty minutes. Overtired children are just the BEST.
The next morning we woke up and had breakfast at Lucile's, which I guess is another Fort Worth classic. It was actually really really good, and we stuffed ourselves silly. After breakfast we headed back home, much to Grayson's disappointment. The first thing he says every morning is "Where are we going today?" - he LOVES to go, and he really hates when it's time to go home. However, after a busy 24 hours, mommy and daddy were very ready to go home and relax a bit (ha, relax with small children). 

If you live anywhere in the DFW area, I seriously recommend every single thing we did while we were there. I'm sure there are a ton of other kid-friendly things to do in Fort Worth, but every stop we made was great. We're planning another Texas trip here in the next couple of months, so hopefully I'll have another post to share then!

All The Pretty

I've really been doing some soul searching lately about what I want to do with this little blog of mine. I was ready to call it quits there for awhile - and basically did. I've come back here and there, and was mostly maintaining it as a baby book for my kids. Riveting stuff for everyone else, I know. But after feeling super encouraged to continue on with the whole writing thing lately, I knew it was time to try and do this thing again. I absolutely love writing, but I've just always struggled with exactly what I wanted to do with this space.

I've struggled for a couple of different reasons. For one, I've always felt like I need to choose a niche, decide what my "thing" is, and stick with it. But I don't have a thing. I'm all over the place. I'm serious, I'm funny, I'm heartfelt, I'm stressed, I'm just about everything under the sun. As I'm sure most of you reading are as well. So deciding to make this a "mom blog" or a "home decor blog" or whatever else it might be never felt like a good solution for me. I need the freedom to blog about whatever I'm feeling right at the moment. 

Another, and probably the number one most major, reason that I struggle is because of ALL THE PRETTY. Alllllll the pretty in the blogging/Instagram/Pinterest online world. One of the amazing speakers at Hope Spoken touched on this, and I totally connected with every single thing she said. Sure, I love to blog. But my blog will never be so very very pretty. I'm not a photographer, so I'll never have the beautiful photos. I'm not a model, so I'll never LOOK effortlessly beautiful in photos. I'm no real fashionista, so taking outfit shots and posting them feels ridiculous. There are so many things that I'm NOT. Bloggers seem to have the most amazing lives, and while yes, my life is pretty dang amazing most of the time, it is also so very REAL. There is so much that is not very pretty, and I am just not good at hiding my realness.

So even though I'm not a big comparison person, and I don't feel jealous or long for the things these other bloggers have, I still felt inadequate when it came to my own personal blog. I just couldn't imagine that anyone would come back to a blog lacking all the beautiful things.

But, in this new path that I'm walking in to the world of all the God things, I'm just having so many little revelations along the way. When it comes to my blog, I think the key is in my realness. In my opening up and letting people see what is behind any pretty facade that you may see. Sharing my trials and my frustrations and the lessons that I'm learning and the struggles that I'm going through.

I mean, sometimes it's just so nice to know that you aren't alone. Sometimes it's so nice to hear that yeah, my kid drives me nuts too, just like yours. Yeah, my husband and I get annoyed with each other if we go too long without a date night away from the babies. Yes, my house is a complete and utter embarrassment of a mess at least once a week. And I don't think that I should have to hide those things in order to gain more blog readers or Instagram followers. I mean, I totally understand why people follow all of the oh so beautiful blogs. I do it. I do it and it inspires me and I find so many gorgeous things I want to do and try and buy and whatnot. But I also love it when I read a post that just hits me right in the gut and I'm like YES I totally feel you. So I think my blog may be less of the oh man that's just so fabulous and more of the oh girl I so get you.

So who knows. We shall see what comes of this new agenda of mine. Stuff's about to get real up in here people. Don't get too excited, because I don't have any dirty little secrets or anything, but I do live a very real life with two very small people and one very male husband, so trust me - it's not as glamorous as one might think.

I hope at least some inspiration can be found. I hope at least this might become a place where a mom or a wife or just a woman in general could come to commiserate or to find some hope or encouragement. I want this space to be comfortable, to be welcoming. I want the people who stumble in here to feel like they've found a cozy spot to hang out for a bit. Honestly, I want it to feel like I hope my home feels to my friends. Come curl up on my metaphorical sofa and let's just chat about life. Hopes, dreams, frustrations - all of it. Nothing's off limits here. So if you're in to that kind of thing, stick around and let's see where this goes.

Gavin - Four Months

Oh, my sweet, sweet Gavin. This baby boy is a pure delight. Seriously, he is such a joy in my life. Every time I see his little face I'm just overwhelmed with nothing but love and joy. He is so happy, so content - I say he is a true second child, because he is just so happy to be here, and to be included in our lives. I couldn't love this boy more.
My boy, you are where it's at, let me tell you. You make me SO HAPPY. That's really the only way to put it. The four months that you have been in my life have just been so, so good. You are the best baby in the entire world, I'm quite sure of it. My favorite thing right now is hearing your baby giggles. You have such a good laugh, and I will do just about anything to hear it. But if we're honest, nothing makes you laugh like your big brother. Man, do you like that guy!

The cutest thing in the world is watching you watch Grayson. You will stretch and bend and move every which way just to keep your eyes on him as he runs around the room. When he pays attention to you, oh my goodness. You just light up. The squeals and giggles and screams - you really can't get enough attention from him. Of course he is way rougher with you than mommy would like, but you think it's hilarious. The only time you've ever been anything less than ecstatic is a couple of times when he's yanked a toy out of your hands and you have let him know that it definitely was not cool.

My favorite, favorite thing that we do is let you "jump" on the bed together. Grayson will actually jump, and I hold you up and bounce you with him. We say "Ready....jump!" and you laugh and laugh and laugh. I'm pretty sure you are convinced that you're actually jumping with him, and it might be the cutest thing I've ever seen in my entire life.

Even though you are such a sweet and mild mannered little guy, you are super LOUD. Happy loud, but just so loud. In the mornings when you wake up you start with the cutest little baby yells and squeals, and if Grayson isn't already awake you make sure that he is before too long. You are perfectly content to lay on your play mat for the first fifteen minutes or so of your day, just yelling and stretching out. My favorite thing is the first time that you see me in the morning - you immediately give me just the biggest smile, like you are so happy that I'm there. Talk about melting mama's heart.

Your brother is a total mama's boy, which I adore, and I'm hoping that you will follow in his footsteps. But I have to admit, when Daddy gets home you get so excited. Your little face just lights up and you kick and smile and watch his every move. I tell myself that it's just because you don't see him as often and I'm old news, but you may just turn out to be a Daddy's boy. Don't tell him, but I'm kind of crossing my fingers that's not the case.

I swear you are super advanced when it comes to using your hands. You've been great at getting whatever you want for awhile now, and most of the time it goes straight to your mouth. You always go for my phone anytime I have it when I'm holding you, and you're already paying attention to food and drinks when you're in my lap and they are anywhere in the near vicinity. This month you started rolling over really well, technically when you were four months and one week. Since that day (since I'm two weeks late with this post), you are a little rolling machine! Back to tummy to back to tummy, rolling all over your mat. Every time I turn around you're the opposite of what you were a minute before. Grayson and I still think it's really funny every time you roll over. You also are attempting to crawl, I swear. You bring your knees up under you, push way up into a push up, and kind of wiggle/slide yourself forward. I'm thinking you may be an early crawler. I'm bracing myself for the chaos that comes along with that.

You aren't a big fan of being in your swing anymore, and will only stay in there for five, maybe ten minutes if you've got Sophie or another toy to chew on. We sit you in your bumbo seat pretty often, but you don't like to sit, so you try to plant your feet and and stand up, or lean way over to one side and try to slide out. It's crazy. Your favorite place to be, other than just laying on your mat (or in my arms, obviously), is in your little bouncer. Your feet are just barely starting to touch the floor, so you aren't actually bouncing yet, but you love to play with all the little toys that are on it. You really are great at using your hands, so you can entertain yourself there for quite awhile.

You are basically always happy and content, which is just about the best thing ever. The only thing you don't enjoy is being laid down if you don't want to be, or being left in one spot for too long. Also, car rides after dark are not your fave, and you will scream and cry and wail until you cough cough cough, then do it all again. Seriously, you will not stop until we are home and you are out of your seat. This has pretty much shut down going anywhere after dark, but that's alright :)

You got your first tooth at just over three and a half months, which totally blew my mind. You had been drooling like craaazy, but I just couldn't imagine that you would get a tooth so early. But you did! Even your pediatrician was surprised by that. Now you are rocking one tiny, very sharp tooth, and it is so stinking cute when you smile and it shows. I'm pretty sure another one isn't too far behind, but you handled teething so well with this first one we didn't even know it was happening until you bit my finger one day and I felt your tooth! Hoping and praying it's the same for all the rest of the teeth that you get.

You got to go to the zoo for the first time this past month, and you also had your first hotel stay on our little overnight trip to Fort Worth. You were, of course, a perfect angel, which gives me this false sense of security and confidence that I can do anything I want with you in tow. So far, so good. You are going to so many play dates and fun things with your brother, and you are alert and wide eyed for all of them now. I can see in your little eyes how badly you want to be playing with the big kids. When I hold you up and let you watch you squeal and kick your little legs like you're trying to run right along with them.

You've really spaced your eating out, to maybe once every three to four hours during the day, and usually wake up twice to eat at night. You're still taking three or four naps a day, one just about an hour or two after you wake up, another late morning/early afternoon, sometimes another mid-afternoon depending on the second one, and then your last one no later than 5:30. Then you're asleep by about eight and sleep until around 7 to 7:30 in the morning. Not too shabby! Your four month sleep regression also wasn't near as bad as what I remember with your brother. We had two pretty rough nights with SUPER early wake up times, and that was that. Seriously, have I told you how much I love you?

I think it's clear that I absolutely adore you. You light up my world, and my heart is just so full of love for you and that crazy brother of yours. Watching you grow is so much fun for me, and seeing the relationship between you and your brother develop is just the best thing I've ever experienced. I love you so much little baby.


Becoming a mother is the single greatest thing I have ever done in my life. It is also the hardest, most challenging, most frustrating, most absolutely thankless thing I have ever done, ever.

I love my boys. Love them more than anything in the entire world times infinity. I'm sure every mother out there feels the same. But my goodness, the days can feel long. My goodness, I feel so very alone sometimes. My goodness, it sure would be nice if at the end of the day they said "Thank you mommy for working so hard to take care of us!". But they won't. I mean, they're almost-three and four months, so they wouldn't even think to do that. But in reality, they may never say that.

My husband has a job where people are constantly telling him how awesome he is. And he is, so that's good that they acknowledge it. He's getting promoted, getting raises, getting emails from big-wigs in the company congratulating him on things - and it is absolutely filling him up. He loves his job, he loves the recognition, and rightfully so. He works hard. So insanely hard, like ridiculous hours into the night and on weekends and early mornings and basically nonstop. But he is so very appreciated and praised.

A mothers job, whether she's a SAHM or a working mom or a mom who works part time or any variation, never ends. You are never, ever off the clock. Ever. When you're sleeping, when you're away from home, when you're sick. You are on call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If a kid gets sick, they want mommy. If they are hurt, mommy. If they are mad, mommy. Mommy gets it all, the good and the bad. And it's awesome. But it is oh-so-insanely-make-you-want-to-cry exhausting. Just tonight, I got the kids to bed, got to spend approximately ten minutes with my husband, and then HE accidentally woke Gavin up. And of course, I got to be the one to deal with it, because when a baby wakes up he doesn't want daddy, he wants mommy. And I cried. I shushed and rocked and bounced and cried and cried. Because mommy just wants a couple of hours at the end of the day for her. But she very rarely gets those hours.

And this is a season, I know that. I know that tiny babies and toddlers are the neediest of the needy, and I know that some day I will miss being needed this way, I know. And I do cherish the moments, I do - well, not all of them. But most of them, I do. But sometimes it just feels so very thankless. Is anyone noticing what I'm doing? Does anyone see the hard work I'm putting in? The hours upon hours upon hours of diaper changes and breastfeeding and handing out snacks and reading books and disciplining and dealing with tantrums and bedtimes and potty breaks and on and on. It literally never, ever ends. And there is no acknowledgment. There is no big raise, no pat on the back, no "job well done" or "we couldn't do this without you". And it can be hard. And frustrating. And overwhelming.

But something that I'm beginning to remind myself, or something I feel I'm being reminded of, rather, in my crazy new world that I'm living in, is - God sees it. He sees it, and he appreciates it. He loves it. He made me for this, for this hard, hard job that I'm doing. No, I don't think being a mom is my purpose or my calling necessarily, but I do know that these sweet babies are meant to be mine and I'm meant to be theirs. I know that God put them here in my hands to raise and love and teach and lead in the right direction so that they will be amazing men someday. And I know that he is there with me in the hardest of the hard times, and I'm learning that if I just turn to him for a moment and ask for help, that he will. Tonight, when I was so angry that A unintentionally woke up the baby and that my precious alone time was being stolen away - I was actually seething I was so angry, and the tears were just flowing - I just said a simple little prayer asking for help, saying God I'm just so tired, I'm just so done, I just need a tiny break, just a little break, please. And almost immediately the anger was gone. Almost immediately, Gavin settled into sleep. Almost immediately I was able to lay him down and go back to my precious, precious alone time. Oh you guys, the lessons I'm learning. They are so valuable, and so needed.

I hope this resonates with someone who needs to hear it. Because it can all be so very hard, but what we're doing, it's not for nothing. It's so worth it, even when it doesn't feel like it.

God Things

Life can be really, really funny sometimes. Not necessarily funny haha, but funny like what on earth is going on...and that's kind of how my life is right now. There is so so so so much background to what's going on that I won't get into right now, but basically, some weird God stuff is going on in my life and it is blowing my mind.

This probably isn't something that anyone would notice, but I have most likely never, ever mentioned God on this blog before. That's because for the past almost 13 years I have had basically nothing to do with God, with Christianity, or with anything relating to either of those things. In a former life I was very into the whole God/Church thing for quite some time, and then - I wasn't. Some things happened that made me very bitter and hurt me a lot, and I pretty much turned my back on all of it.

One of the things that hurt me the most was just the hypocrisy of so many "church people". I knew that I never, ever wanted to be associated with that in any way. So I decided at the age of 18 that if I was ever going to be a Christian again, I would be all in. Until that point, I just didn't need it. And I have lived a very, very happy and content life all these years without any acknowledgment of God.

Of course this kind of freaked A out, because he just has this unwavering faith, and he couldn't understand my aversion. I would say it wasn't necessarily that I didn't believe in God, but I just wasn't totally sure and didn't feel like I needed that in my life. My mom is another person who tried many, many times to talk with me about things, but I always just said that until I felt like something was missing from my life, I had no desire to pursue that. And honestly, I have been perfectly, completely happy without it.

But over the past couple of months some interesting things have been happening. For one, I've been involved with the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at a local church for the past two years. Quite honestly, I did it just because a friend was and kind of rolled my eyes at the Christianity side of it. But suddenly, a couple of months ago, I had the intense desire to volunteer to be a table leader next year. Hmm. OK, that's kind of strange since being a leader at a church thing probably requires some kind of faith - but I went with it and volunteered. I also very randomly one day went online to search for ways to get involved in the church and found a women's bible study I wanted to join. Umm, what? Seriously, it's like something was taking over my brain/body and I would do these things and then kind of wake up and realize what I'd done later.

I also decided that I wanted to start going to the church where we go to MOPS. I talked with A about it, and we decided to try it out. He has never really been to a non-denominational church since he has always attended the Armenian church here in Dallas, but he was open to trying it out. We went a few Sundays ago, and the message seemed like it was made for A - it was about taking the time to rest, that you shouldn't work 24 hours a day, God made you to work but he also made you to rest, and so on. Since I haven't been blogging really I haven't posted about this, but A is basically advancing like crazy at work, and he is working nonstop. Non. Stop. He asked if I knew what the message was beforehand because it was so crazy how much he related to it. Then they also did communion, which let him see that even though the church may not be as traditional as what he's used to, they still have traditions that are important to him. So I felt like us being there that day was kind of a "meant to be" thing since he went in a little skeptical.

I've also been having just a lot of clarity on issues that I've always struggled with in life. For seriously the past twenty years I have felt like I have some greater purpose. I've never known what it is, but I've had feelings about certain things. The problem is, it's always seemed so far out of the realm of possibility, and also, there are way too many things that I have an interest in to choose which to pursue. I want to do this and that and this and that, and it becomes overwhelming so I just don't do anything. At all. I've felt almost like I've been stalled in this area of my life, and I couldn't figure out a way to get out of the cycle of dreaming so many dreams and being almost paralyzed when it comes to chasing them. I sat down the other day and started brainstorming, and things just started coming to me. Idea after idea, and all of the sudden I felt like I had the answer: I don't have to choose. I can pursue them all. Every single dream, every single idea that has been with me for all these years, I can do it. I honestly never even felt that was an option before because it felt too big. But suddenly it just seemed like that was the answer. So I've been working on things that before I thought were out of my reach.

And then. The craziest thing happened. I somehow stumbled upon this podcast Mom Struggling Well. Can't remember how. And I'm not so sure that I realized that it was a Christian podcast. But as I was driving around last Thursday while the kids slept (which is the only way Grayson will nap nowadays) I started listening to episode one. And I was so incredibly touched by what I heard that I immediately went on Instagram and searched for the woman who was interviewed that episode. I found her page, and the photo that she had most recently posted was of her in the Nashville airport, headed to Dallas for a women's conference called Hope Spoken. Now, I had heard of this conference before because I have followed one of the women who started the conference on social media for years. But I never felt like it was something I should go to because it was for Christian women - aka, very much NOT me. But Thursday I commented on her post and said something about how I had just heard her story on Mom Struggling Well and was so touched, and wished I had gotten a ticket to the conference. Almost immediately she commented back, as well as another sweet girl who said she heard people were still selling tickets. Then she tagged another girl who had a ticket for sale. And within about an hour I had contacted this other girl, talked to A, talked to my mom, and made arrangements for me to attend this Christian women's conference that I had NO business being at.

So I went. Alone. To a conference full of HUNDREDS of Christian women. So. Out. Of. My. Comfort. Zone. But I just knew I needed to be there. And man, did I need to be there. It was amazing. I met so many amazing women. I  heard so many heartfelt, inspiring stories. I realized how insanely out of the Christian loop I have been, because I didn't know any of the praise and worship songs, didn't know any of the authors or books or movies they were talking about. But to be in a place where I should have felt so out of place, I have never felt more welcomed. I have never felt like I absolutely knew I was where I needed to be. I have never had such inspiring conversations and felt just such a - I'm actually not sure what it was. It just felt pure. It didn't have any of the yucky, icky, just all around grossness that I've associated with Christianity for so long. It opened my eyes to SO much. It let me see that these hundreds of Christian women were just like me with a little Jesus sprinkled in there. They were laughing and joking and sarcastic and sometimes saying "bad" things and drinking wine on break. It blew my mind. It was just so, so, exactly what I needed.

And now? Things just feel different. It's so funny. Just like I said before, life is funny. I'm praying more often. I'm listening to Christian music, which seriously would have made me sick to my stomach a couple of weeks ago. I'm finding that I'm more patient with Grayson, that I'm happier - like, from within, not just like surface happy. Things just feel lighter, if that makes sense. Someone that I was talking with today said that I'm in what they like to call the sweet spot. Things are just flowing and working out and it's just like God is making things happen. If you would have told me even two or three weeks ago that I would be writing a blog post about God stuff I would have said you are CRAZY. And it all does feel a little crazy. But it also feels very right. I never actually thought I would get to this place in life again, but it looks like I almost have no choice! Things are just happening and I feel like I'm along for some kind of crazy ride. And I have to say, I'm actually excited to see where it takes me.