let’s hug.

“You know the only people who are always sure about the proper way to raise children? Those who’ve never had any.” (Bill Cosby)

Truer words have yet to be spoken.

I confess, I was a little afraid of myself pre-parenting. I thought I would fight the comparison-game, size up other parents and wonder whose kid was better at eating organic carrots. I envisioned long days sitting outside of pre-school pickup, dodging other moms with fear of judgment and scowling.

But I’ve been shocked (and relieved) to find the very opposite. When I see a mom of three shoving goldfish into her kids’ mouths in the checkout lane, trying desperately to get them to be quiet and leave the store with limbs attached, all I think to myself is, “Solidarity, Momma. Solidarity.” Or when I see a mom going through the Drive-Thru at McDonald’s ordering a 3rd round of chicken nuggets, I just think, “Do work, girl. Do. Work.”

And just when I thought I was heading into the most judgmental season of life, where moms everywhere stared at one another and we all wanted to hide, I found the opposite. Instead I found companionship, support, and love. My inbox flooded with prayers, support, and encouragement. All I really feel is one big metaphorical hug from Mom-land.

I know Mom-wars are out there, but I haven’t fought them. What I’ve found instead is a group ready to support, give pats on the back in the grocery store, offer a shoulder on the strung-out days, and laugh when someone’s kid is having a meltdown in Aisle 8. We’re trying. We’re all trying. And I could care less if you bottle-feed or breastfeed, co-sleep or have-that-baby-in-the-crib-on-night-one, stay-at-home or send your kids to daycare. You know what? We’re all trying. And we’re all different. Let’s hug.

Cheers to you, Mommas. And an extra-special thanks to those of you working hard to make this space one that’s ready to embrace those of us who still aren’t wearing mascara in public. We know we look a mess, and we’re thankful for you.

By the way, this is what Keegan really looked like yesterday. Image

listening, watching, reading | june

Listening … I don’t know if it’s parenthood, or just my general coolness-decline, but either way, it embarrasses me to say I’m not listening to much these days. My time in the car is normally spent catching up on phone conversations, and if not, I kind of forget to turn on music. WHO AM I? Someone help get me out of this!

Watching … Mad Men. Is there any redemption for Don? What will come of Sylvia? Will Peggy ever get the respect she deserves? And who is this new Betty? And Sally… poor, poor Sally. Sometimes I trick myself into thinking these people are all my real friends and I’m rooting for them on the sidelines. (Except Pete … who could ever root for Pete?) Yes. I have issues.

Reading … I’m about three years late on this, but this month’s read is A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. I am learning so much from Miller about the concept of story and how I can live a better one.

Eating … THIS. Blueberry Crisp from Bread & WineAnd before you say, “I really shouldn’t, I’ve been eating too much sugar,” (I’ve heard of these people) fear not–there is not a single teaspoon of sugar in this recipe. And it’s still delicious.

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Drinking … water, coffee, and Passion tea. Thank you, Erica Garcia, for re-introducing me to this obsession.

Wearing … Dresses. All day, every day. This in-between-body has lent itself to some very creative (albeit hideous) outfits. I’ve accepted & embraced it. That’s the beauty of walking around sleep-deprived–I’m too tired to notice! What was once an obsession and borderline idol has become an afterthought. Pretty freeing, actually.

Weather … This has been the most beautiful summer I can recall. We eat dinner outside almost every night we’re home. And I love it.

Wanting … a little maid to come to my house while everyone’s asleep and clean everything, top to bottom.

Thinking … how bizarre it is that my deepest desire in life is for a little maid to break into my house. Really. It’s what I want.

Feeling … just plain excited. I’m officiating a wedding tonight, and our first Father’s Day with Keegan is approaching this Sunday. I love getting a front row seat to two people committing to love each other, for better and worse.

Enjoying … All of this:

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What about you? What are you on a steady diet of this June? Can you help me out of my music slump?

just you wait

“Oh, just you wait. Just you wait until you have two kids.”

You’ve been there, right? You share a current struggle or circumstance and someone invalidates it with a statement that shuts down the conversation?

It’s not fun.

But you’ve also done this, right? You sat across the table from someone a few years younger than you, watching them walk right into a season you just left, and your mouth can’t help itself but to throw advice into unwanted ears. Suddenly you hear yourself spitting out, “Just wait until you. . .

go to college.

move out on your own.

get a job.

live in another country.

get married.

stay single.

have a kid.

have two kids.

have three kids.

are pregnant with three kids.

have kids that are teenagers.”

And on, and on, and on.

And what you and I may not realize is that while our heart is pure, and our intentions are good, what we think we’re doing isn’t really what we’re doing at all. Because when we talk at people instead of listen to them we quickly invalidate what they say and trump their pain with “my life is harder than yours, so shut it.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like having clarity about this when the damage is done. I don’t like the moment I’m driving home from Starbucks and realize I monopolized a conversation, or spoke out of turn because my pride needed to come first. I wonder if today, we could listen. If we could place a metaphorical (or physical) hand over our mouth when we’re tempted to trump someone else’s struggle, and instead allow them to feel safe and heard. What we may surprisingly find on the opposite end is someone who wants to listen to the person that listened to him, first.

I wonder how different our families, relationships, churches, and businesses would be if we chose to listen a little more, and speak a lot less. Let’s listen today. And let’s put away the “just you wait . . .” monologue, and replace it with life-giving dialogues instead.

“Just you wait. . .” No. Just you listen.

listening, watching, reading [may]

Listening … Lately, it’s all about Pandora. Maybe it’s because all my music is on an external hard drive still, or because Mumford & Sons station ROCKS. Either way, I’m on a steady diet of Pandora.

Watching … Mad Men is BACK! I’m surprised to say this, but I find myself rooting for Megan this time around. Maybe I’m just sick of Don… yeah right, I could never be sick of Don.

Reading … Quiet by Susan Cain and Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg. My momish-brain is getting them mixed up; sometimes I start pulling together conclusions about introverted women in the workplace and then realize . . . wait, those are separate books. I highly recommend Quiet for everyone–whether you are an introvert or not, chances are you’re married to one, work with one, or live with one. It’s changed the way I approach people, and myself.

Eating … Lots of quinoa, black beans, and goat cheese. I don’t know how my brain decided this was a good meal (probably a moment of pantry-panic), but lately, it’s all I’m eating for lunch. That and… you know, oreos. For balance, obviously. (You didn’t think I was that healthy, did you?)

Drinking … water, water, and then some more water.

Wearing … I’d rather not admit my current wardrobe choices, but since there’s nothing I can do about it . . .  you can find me in one of two things: yoga pants and a zip-up hoodie, or yoga pants and a t-shirt. Twice a week, when I prepare to see other earthlings, I dress like a person.

Feeling … grateful, excited, and did I mention grateful?

Weather … In between Spring and Summer, which means geese are everywhere . . . patrolling parking lots and scouring out their next victims. Also, flip-flops are here.

Wanting … to wake up on Saturday morning to a clean house and a enjoy nice, long hike at Eagle Creek.

Needing … to attempt the laundry. At this rate, a mild attempt would equate to extreme success.

Thinking … thinking? What a funny word. Give me a couple of weeks and I’ll see if I remember how to do that.

Enjoying … coffee in the mornings, my son, my husband, my new coworkers, our new church, friendships, watching Mad Men at the Trujillo’s, oreo cookies, passion tea, and back porch living.

What about you? What are you on a steady diet of this May?

the waiting game

Remember that time, about ten days ago when I took a picture of myself with a big, “I’m about to meet my baby!” smirk and posted it on the internet for the world to see? And then remember when ten days passed and I was still pregnant?

I do.

But there’s hope yet, it turns out I won’t break a record for world’s longest pregnancy. We head to the hospital tomorrow night to start the inducing process. We’ll start small on Sunday night, stay overnight, and they’ll induce on Monday morning. I really hesitated posting anything on any form of social media about this, only because I have been slightly overwhelmed with it all and wanted to maintain some form of privacy. However, our family does need a lot of prayer, so pray for us in the coming days! We are anxious to meet this little guy and bring him home.

Meanwhile, here’s a song that’s been on repeat in our house:

“I Will Show You Love” by Kendall Payne

the rumors are true

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…I’m still pregnant. :)

Yesterday marked my first “official” day of maternity leave, which I did on purpose. Even though our due date is not until Friday, I saved up some vacation days for the week leading up to the big day, thinking (if he was still in the womb) it’d be good to have a few days to relax before he arrived. And now it’s here!

So we are trying our hardest to enjoy these last few days “just the two of us,” although I admit it’s hard not to be anxious just to see this little guy’s face! But I find myself in a deep place of gratitude this afternoon . . . grateful for a healthy pregnancy, that we’ve made it this far, and for this special time with Kyle.

Also, if you’ve texted me in the past two days and I haven’t responded, I don’t hate you. I just happen to leave my phone upstairs a lot, and once it’s up there and I’ve already made the journey downstairs, well . . . it’s a journey to get back up. You understand.