Mom Meets Social Media

It's taken me weeks to write my "Mother's Day" post for a lot of reasons. One, I have a newborn and we are still trying to all get into a groove. Two, I started back at my online job and my "free" time is even less. Three, I have so much I want to write about I just couldn't decide which avenue/topic of motherhood I wanted to fall on. So the realities of motherhood with a mix of social media is what is coming out today b/c I'm in an edgy mood, not a sappy one. So without further ado...

Being a Mom...
There's so many great and wonderful things about being a Mom in the age of social media and technology. I often think to myself, "How did our parents survive these early years without Facebook and texting? I mean sometimes, just being able to post the insanity that just happened in your home helps relieve the stress and makes us moms see the lighter side of "momhood." Like when your toddler plastered herself with Desitin during naptime and about a hundred other people can relate, or when your newborn is up screaming all night long for what feels like the millionth time in a row, when everyone is melting down in a pile of tears on your living room floor over who had the yellow crayon first, or when your dog is puking all over the floor, and your kid walks in smeared in poop. Sometimes it's posting a quick status about ideas for a last minute dinner with only staples from the pantry, when the monsters at your feet are acting like they've never seen food before and it's already 5pm. Or maybe it's making light of the fact that it took you 3 hours to take a shower and get clothes on (nevermind make-up) and your hair dryer never even saw the "on" button and you showed up at your kid's playdate like this. There once was a time in your life when you NEVER would've went out like this, nevermind post it on social media! **GASP** people might not think you have it together!!!
And then, there's texting. The texting content is reserved for only the select few who get to see an even more raw version of yourself. You know, the version that sends competitive texting pictures of whose house is messiest, who looks the sexiest in the pajamas they've been wearing for two days straight, no make-up, and hair looking a hot mess, and who sends pictures of the special drinks they are having to get through the day. It's those friends, who, when all of the above scenarios happen that normally would make your OCD perfectionist self curl up in a hole and die, help you bust out laughing and deal with the mess of life in a happier tone. These kind of texts are reserved for the days when you can't get out and mingle among the sane adult world like normal people, but instead are stuck in duck pecking ankle biting world, which really, you wouldn't change for anything. I sit here and laugh out loud at the 12 hour long texting conversations that happen between myself and some close girlfriends. That's what's so awesome about texting. There's no pressure to respond right away, there's no worrying about the fact that your kid is going to come in as soon as they see the phone up at your ear and insist they are dying and need your undivided attention RIGHT NOW. When chaos is lurking around every corner, there isn't an easy way to have an actual phone conversation. And really, you just need a quick shout out to someone way out there who knows, understands, and will laugh, and cry with you among the snapshots of your day. And so, for your entertainment, here are a few of those snapshots...
"I just got a huge diet coke. Life is better."
"I miss my butt the most."
"Sometimes I wish my dog would die a peaceful death so I wouldn't have to take care of her." (Contrary to popular belief that text was not mine!)
"This is a get naked and cry kind of day."
"Did this really just happen______" followed by any number of ridiculous pictures and scenarios involving small people.
"Can my kid go in the pool with diarrhea?" "Eh, sure. Pools have chemicals."
"What's your high and low today?"

And the negatives of social media as a Mom? There is SO.MUCH.PRESSURE. So much. Too much. The "wealth" of information on the internet is almost crippling to most moms out there. I've stopped reading most of it. You know what I'm talking about.... the mom who is constantly posting "mom-guilt" articles about how your children's childhoods are being wasted away because you didn't pay attention to them every second of the day. Or how you should go out in the freezing cold snow and play with your kids because one day they will be grown and you'll miss those moments. Truth statement- I will miss the days when they are small, but I will not miss the days when I could've played with them in sub degree weather in the snow. I just won't. I love my children. But I hate the snow. And somehow, I read those articles and end up feeling like the world's worst mom. They convince me that I better get bundled up and roll around in the snow pretending I love it, so my kids don't end up in therapy, and I don't end up an empty-nester curled up in the fetal position, bawling my eyes out over lost moments in the snow. You see, my sane self tells me, "Whatever, it's FREEZING and miserable outside. My kids can enjoy the snow outside with Daddy," and leave it at that, knowing that I embrace and capture the everyday moments of life with my children every single day of the week. Playing in the snow does not make or break motherhood.

Then there's the posts and the articles about food and essential oils, and natural care, and you find yourself having a panic attack every time you hand your child a cup of Goldfish. Truth be told- we would all love to feed our kids and care for their health in the best way that exists. I think there is great value in the proper foods, natural healing remedies, essential oils, vitamins, and a researched vaccination schedule. We utilize all of these! But I also know there's a limit to the budget and a limit to the hours in the day to meticulously pour over articles, and food labels, and menu planning, and chemical toxins. Value? Absolutely! Perspective? Most definitely! So moms, breathe a sigh of relief if you are at your wits end and crack yourself a diet soda and hand your kid some crackers from a box, while giving them a multi-vitamin that is not accompanied by fish oil and a bath in essential oils. (Simply because you've run out, or because this months budget doesn't afford for it). Oh how we wish this was the case, but sometimes, it just can't be. And IT'S. OKAY. Breathe deeply, and stop clicking on mom-guilt articles that have you pouring over Pinterest when you should be sleeping to give your child the "best childhood ever." Just love them. Feed them crap sometimes. And post it on social media to find that you really aren't as alone as you think.
(Evie does not have a mullet, even though it looks like it)!


Pips Newbie Pics!

Newborn photos are some of my favorite things in the world, so I was particularly stoked when Jon's highschool friend Hannah (Hannah Hilliard Photography) asked to use Penelope for a training session she was doing for another photographer. Eeeek! Of course!!!! If you are looking to have pictures done, choose Hannah! She has the most adorable studio with such great props!

Penelope Mae was just 10 days old when these pictures were taken. Oh sweet goodness.

I was so thankful my Mom was here when she had her pictures done so she could take the Bigs during Penelope's session. Well, Miss Penelope was being quite the sleeping champ while we waited in the studio for our turn. But, as luck would have it, little Miss decided she was very, very unhappy as soon as Hannah started taking pictures. She screamed, literally screamed, for the first hour and fifteen minutes of her session. Boo. :( She also pooped and peed all over Hannah! Oops! We'll have to work on little lady manners next time, Pip! Haha. I finally got her settled down enough to get a few shots, but I was super bummed she spent most of the time crying. But, at least we got a few good shots, and one sibling shot at the end!

When did my first babies get to be so big?!?!

And just for kicks.... here's a picture of Evie (on top) and Pippi (on the bottom). 
Say what?!?!?! Twins.


1 Month Old!

Well little lady, you were 1 month old on May 6th!
I can't believe you've been here for that long already. You are such a sweet joy to us and my heart is so thankful to call you mine. Here's what you've been up to! 
You look so much like your big sister Evie, but we're beginning to see your own little look mixed in there as well. I can't wait to see what you'll look like as you grow. You've been pretty strong since the day you were born- never had that super floppy newborn body. You're holding your head up really well. Mommy has gotten you to smile quite a lot and disagrees with the idea that you don't know you are smiling. How would they know? :) 
Due to lots of tummy trouble you prefer to be held facing away from us, with your belly on our arm, or any kind of motion that involves bouncing or rocking. Mommy is still trying to figure out how to best help your belly. You are very gassy and spent the first few weeks crying most of the night. Thankfully, you aren't crying as much in the middle of the night now, just getting up to eat, but the evenings are still rough for you. At first, your days were just fine, but now those are having some troubles too. Poor baby girl, I wish I could fix it in a snap! We saw the chiropractor today and you have some issues in your neck and pelvis, probably from birth, both of which can affect the digestive system, so we will be hoping to work on that with several more visits. 

We've found that you love to go at rocket speed in your swing/glider. Daddy came in one evening and saw you just flyin' away in the swing and said, "What on earth!" because it looks pretty funny to see it rocking so much. I said, "hey, is she crying?" We laughed and laughed because it just looks so funny. We said you probably aren't crying because you're trying to figure out what on earth is happening to you. But this little swing has been a life-saver, although we're careful how much you nap in it so you will still sleep in your bassinet.The other thing I've found you like is me holding you while I bounce on the exercise ball. 

You are not typical in your hatred for your car seat. Most babies get in the car and quiet right down. You get very mad as soon as you get in your car seat and don't always settle down after that. 

Your big brother Mekonen and big sister Evie cannot get enough of you! They are obsessed with seeing you with your eyes open and get very excited when this happens. Every morning they rush in to see you and are always wanting to give you kisses. You are so incredibly loved my sweet darling and we are so thankful you are here! 


We Serve a Risen Savior

Happy Easter! 
This year, we had a much "simpler" Easter celebration than last year in terms of family activities and devotions with Penelope's birth being just two week prior. We did however, get to do our Easter advent/Easter tree readings and ornaments. We do an Easter version of the Christmas Jesse Tree and I linked up readings from the Jesus Storybook Bible and The Big Picture Story Bible to go along with the resurrection eggs. You can see the exact plans here if you're interested!
Easter has become my favorite, most meaningful holiday. I normally spend reflective time journaling at Easter, but in my newborn fog these days and running on very little time and sleep, I was not able to write out my thoughts in succinct format for a blog post. However, in these crazy days, I've been thankful to have those quiet reflective moments between me and the Lord to think on what He has done for me. Here are my personal, reflective thoughts on Easter last year.

Between the Cross and the Empty Tomb

Easter Sunday Joy

Here's a snapshot of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus! 
My bigs...
 And my little...
 Penelope's 1st Easter

Daddy and the babes
 Mommy and the babes

 Easter basket fun! 
 Easter egg hunt at Grandma Magz and Boppy's! 

 Checkin' out the goods. 

Living He loved me.
Dying he saved me. 
Buried he carried, my sins far away. 
Rising He justified, freely forever. 
One day He's coming. 
Oh glorious day! 

Because Grandparents Are the Best!

Penelope was born on Sunday, April 6th and that coming Friday could not come fast enough! Grandma and Grandpa were coming!!!!! Not only was I excited for my kids who were BEYOND thrilled, but I couldn't wait to see them. I just hate living so far away. And to top it off, I was dying for some real Mom help. As Jon kept saying, "Just hang in there. Your Mom will be here before you know it!" We survived that first week and then they arrived! Unfortunately, my Dad could only stay for the weekend due to work, but my Mom stayed a whole week. Here's just a snapshot of our time! 

I have so many precious memories of my Dad reading us bedtime stories and teaching us the Bible. I especially loved how he did all the character voices too. My Dad is one of the most humble, patient, and God-fearing men I have ever known and words fail to describe my thankfulness in being part of his great legacy... I am beyond blessed to watch my children, nieces, and nephews, share in this legacy. To date, he and my Mom have 10 grandchildren. What a blessing to witness how God has impacted future generations by the faithfulness of my parents. 
Penelope Mae is grandbaby #10! She's named after my Dad's Mom. 
Yep, this guy is the greatest. At 31, being right next to him is still the best place to be. 
And for fun.... see, not much as changed in 26 years. 
Macy only gets attention when my Dad comes to visit. She always climbs right onto the blow up bed with them. Ha!!! 
Love how intently she's listening to Grandma's voice. So sweet. 
(And in the background, no, we don't have a bird, as people keep asking when they see that. It's our seed starters for the garden). 

I loved being able to just sit with my Mom at night on the couch and relax. Of course, little Miss Penelope joined the party. Grandma got her to smile for the first time. Cute little smirky smile. 
My mom let the kids have a sleep-over with her in her bed. She's a brave woman. They loved it. Here they are snuggled up together. 
Seriously, my Mom is amazing. The sacrifices she has made for our family are innumerable! She has ten grandchildren and I cannot even begin to give you example after example of her selfless, enthusiastic love for her family, her desire to serve, and give, and then serve some more. She's wonderful. I don't even know how she does it. She is hands down, the most efficient person that I know. She came in on Friday, and within minutes took over. I could've cried being able to just sit down since I still felt incredibly sore and in pain, and not have to worry about the kids getting some love, meals getting situated, etc etc. Not only did she keep up the normal cleaning of the house (like dishes, laundry and such), but she did a million other things like cleaning the floors, the ceiling fans, and even cleaned out the window sills from the winter so we could open the windows). And she did all of this while playing with the kids, taking them outside, playing games, doing crafts, and lots of hugs and snuggles. I tell you, she's amazing, and you won't find a better Mom anywhere. I often find myself, already at 31, thinking ahead to when I'm a grandma, and I hope I'm just like her....special dates and outings with the grandkids, sleep-overs, playtime, teaching them things, loving them, spoiling them, taking them on special outings, babysitting, and just letting them be kids. And now to find a way to keep all my grown up kids in the same town as us so I can do that! My sister who lives just miles from her is the luckiest person in the world.