Monday, August 31, 2015


you know why we go to bed feeling like crappy parents most nights? because we just endured bedtime. no one can possibly feel awesome about their parenting coming out on the other side of that.

abbey made bedtimes seem like a fairy led walk in the park....until 2.5 yrs old.

tucker was pretty straight forward about his intentions when it came to bedtimes from the get go. wasn't havin it.

eisley is a complex little thing. when it comes to bedtime, she is perfect. when it comes to literally everything else...she is, well, complicated. in the cutest way possible of course.

it took me 1.5 hrs to get my 3 children successfully to bed tonight. ONE AND A HALF hours. that may not seem that bad (as my husband had the audacity to say..) but let me tell you, it's that bad.

you know what comes before bedtime? bath time. you know what comes before bath time? dinner time.

for the love, how are the cards so stacked against parents when it comes to schedules.

by the time bed time rolls, or crawls, around i am so emotionally and mentally traumatized by the previous hours' happenings that all i can muster up are some bedtime prayers and a kiss goodnight. i don't have it in me to do songs and stories and long cuddles. power to you if you can find energy for all that but after flying solo through dinner and bath time, i'm literally hobbling into bedtime.

eisley puts up a little fit every night when i put her in bed but it doesn't last longer than 2 mins and she is out. or at least quiet.

abbey is pretty hit and miss these days. some days all is dreamy in her little world and she obliges to staying in bed to look at books until quietly putting them and laying down for sleep. but some days all is the opposite of dreamy and her bed is suddenly the most lonely and terrifying place her little eyes have lied eyes on. on those nights, she likes to get out of bed and come remind me of her new found aversion to her room every 10 mins until i finally issue some half empty threat about taking her tv time away, at which point she supernaturally musters the courage to face her bed, closer her eyes and

but tucker. tucker is holding true to who he laid himself out to be from day one when it comes to bedtime.
eisley lays down the weight of the task of my sanctification at bedtime and tucker picks it right up from her and carries on. i am at a loss with this kid. it should be noted that the two nights a week that gregg is home for bedtime are a TOTALLY different story. tucker also taps into the supernatural on the those weekend nights and finds the ability to lay the heck down and go to sleep within a 5 minute time period. but mon-fri night he is running hard to make sure that mom sanctification responsibility doesn't get neglected.

by the time it's all said and done, i collapse into bed and start trying to gather the engery to do it all again the next night. i need at least 24 hrs to get ready for it again.

bedtime; killing parent's confidence since the beginning of time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

real life

social media is a strange thing.

we all hear the complaints of everyone shows the "highlights" from their life, how no one shows or talks about the real stuff, the less than ideal stuff.  i agree with this consensus for the most part. most of time when it comes to posts, people stick to the highlights of vacations and smiling kids in cute clothes adorably eating their kale. or something. on the occasion that someone admits that their child or life is less than ideal there is almost always a positive spin put on the end of it. something like #stillgrateful or #lovethemanyway or #atleasthescute...i've done all of those too.

there seems to be a desire for realness based on all the comments and talk about how frustrating social media can be in creating unrealistic expectations and setting us up for comparison and let down. but, when you get real and are willing to talk about the hard and annoying parts of your life, you open yourself up to criticism. i feel like this especially applies to parents.

i feel like i post real moments from our lives and i don't always throw in the positive spin hashtag at the end of the caption, because frankly, that's just not (my) real life.

when i have put my kid back in bed 7x at the end of an exhausting day, there is some real frustration. when the 2 year old will not stop screaming her face off in the car for no apparent or fixable reason, i'm feeling pretty done. when the 5 year old decides that for whatever reason, tonight would be a good night to become suddenly and inexplicably driven to tears by the thought of her bed, i'm not feeling super gracious. that's real life. sometimes i put those real life moments on facebook and instagram because i know they are relatable and because posting it out there for the world to see somehow helps me feel less alone in this madness.

it does not mean that i am not grateful for my children. it does not mean that there weren't funny and sweet moments all day long surrounding the chaos. it does not mean that i wish my responsibility to parent away or regret our three children. and, yes, as irrational and crazy as it may sound, it does not mean that i feel like we have met our child quota.

here's the thing about parenting that i think we can lose sight of; it is a very weighty and worthwhile role. and, as with most weighty and worthwhile roles, it is demanding and refining. it is filled with high highs and low lows. it will change who you are and how you see life. you will see the best parts and absolute worst parts of yourself when you take on the role of parenting. admitting the hard doesn't mean i am any less grateful than the person who chooses to see it (or at least display it) as all sunshine and hearts. it just means i have a different approach to how i process and share life. and that's okay.

the truth is, sometimes i do need to intentionally realign my focus and perspective to see the beauty in the madness. some nights when my kids finally do quiet down and go to sleep, i walk back to their rooms just stare at their beautiful faces and remind myself what a gift their lives are to me. sometimes, i feel the rise of a well of tears and a physical ache when i consider how much i love them.

so yes, you see will sweet, cuddly pictures with my kids on instagram but it's pretty likely you will also see a crying kid captioned with sarcasm and a hashtag sendalltheicecream. that's just real life for me though.

Monday, August 17, 2015

some things...

i have some things i feel like complaining about and this seems like a good place to do it.

-crocs. okay, my kids have crocs because they are practical for kids during the summer and i got them for free and really cheap. so, i'm not 100% anti croc. i would even wear the slip on ballet flat style if i could find those for free or really cheap. here's my beef when it comes to crocs, SOCKS. for the love people. if you are going to put your kid, or yourself for that matter, in a pair of shoes that's basic selling point is breathability and ease of being washed off, why why why! would you put socks on with them. stop ruining your children. if you've got crocs, then it's no socks. easy to remember.

-rompers. i don't want to let this go, i just don't. yes, so many people can pull these things off and technically look cute in them but WHY would you want to. a little girl in abbey's preschool class apparently wore one to school and i know this because abbey made the observation of the outfits biggest flaw when recalling happenings from her day to me. she said "my friend had to get all the way undressed today just to go potty." yep, that kid's mom put her in a romper. look, i'm all about the romper on my two year but not on my 33 year old mom bod. not even if i somehow managed to not have a mom bod, why would i want to get naked in the stall of a public restroom just to pee? can they really be that comfortable? because so are "yoga pants" and they don't require nudity to pee.

-THIS i don't even know how to deal with this. period underwear, aka, a reusable pad. isn't that actually putting us back a few decades? i get the environmental awareness thing but come on. when it comes to dealing with an already unpleasant part of life, let's not make it more disgusting. if you are really that concerned about the trees there are other options out there. i can't, just no.

-also, Blue Bell ice cream is making is way back out in the world. but that's not a complaint, just more of a critically important piece of information that needs to be shared via every avenue.

-abbey starts kindergarten in SIX days. six. i know quite a few moms in the same boat as me right now, awaiting to send their eldest kid off to public/private/some form of not at home school this month. i keep seeing lots of comments about how they can't believe the time has come and about the fighting of tears. i am still waiting for those feelings and thus have been experiencing mostly feelings of concern over why i am such a bad mom. where are my tears?? maybe they will come monday. yes, in some ways, it's shocking that we are at this point with her but in SO many other ways it's so obvious that she is ready and in need for something more than she is getting at home with me everyday. i guess maybe that's making it easier for me to believe the time has come? because she is so obviously over being at home full time. however, tucker and eisley are going to take it pretty hard.

the end.

for now.

Monday, August 3, 2015

oh, to be enough..

everyone feels like they aren't enough from time to time. it's just the way it is. some of us feel it come around more often than others. some of us have it hanging over our heads on what feels like every single day, only seeing the view shift for a day or two at a time before that yucky feeling edges it way back in.

lately i have been feeling a lot of the "not enough". i don't really like to talk about it though and it's not because i am ashamed of feeling this way but more because i don't want to come off as a plea for compliments or affirmation of my greatness. that's not what i need. sure, my flesh my desire that. but, i know that as lovely as it is for a friend to tell me how awesome i am, at the end of the day those words fade into the background and get overshadowed by the weight of needing to do and be more.

i follow a good amount of blogs and instagram accounts of bloggers from all different backgrounds. i've got Christian girl bloggers, fitness people, healthy living/eating accounts, mom blogs...all of it in my feed along with people i actually know ;) i don't often struggle with feeling like i want to have what other people have, like homes, trips, etc. although i definitely have dealt with that in the past, the last few years the biggest ways i find myself feeling not enough are:

1) how i look, specifically my weight and body shape


2) who i am as a person, specifically what i "do" or rather, don't do

so yeah, nothing too heavy right? ha.

i know these have got to be really common struggles. it would be so much easier for me to say that i struggle with wanting all the fun vacations i see friends on or the adorably styled homes popping up all over my instagram feed. i feel like these are safer things to admit to wanting, because who wouldn't want to go to Europe for the summer or have magazine quality decor in their bedroom?? it's harder for me to say that i don't feel like the person i am, the way i spend my days and what i see in the mirror are good enough. it shows some deep seeded insecurities. or, maybe i just feel like these things are harder to admit to because they are the things i struggle with. ha. that could totally be it too.

i don't really have a quick fix for this, though i have been searching for quite awhile. i can tell you the fix for the body image stuff isn't in losing weight or working out more. it's not in new, cuter clothes either. those things help for awhile but the effect wears off and soon it's back to feeling like i should be losing more weight or working out harder. it just means that i start to feel even more not enough.  i can tell you the fix for not feeling like who i am and how i spend my days isn't enough doesn't come with adding more tasks to a to do list or by enrolling in graduate school.

so, my new thought is just to own up to it instead of covering it up with attempts at fixing it. my idea is to confess this struggle, recognize that it is ultimately my longing to find my meaning and worth in my accomplishments rather than in Christ that is the true problem. that this whole thing about not being enough shines a light on my tendencies to be way more inward focused than outward focused. my hope is that those in my everyday life would be able to call me out on this when they see it brewing and point my focus back to loving and serving others well.

i KNOW i can't be alone in this and i hope that in just knowing it's a shared struggle will be an encouragement. it doesn't really matter how "enough" we may appear to another person, there is a really good chance we are spending plenty of our days feeling anything but that.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

things i love lately...

these energy bites.

i have been making them for awhile but am still just as obsessed. they are SO good. my kids love them and i do too. i have to take a break from making them because at some point, they become not so healthy when i can't enable self control.

in more food things, i am still eating this salad at least once a day. no lie or exaggeration. i will probably get sick of it at some point but, for now, it always sounds good. i always include butter lettuce salad mix, avocado, tomato, roasted sweet potatoes, salsa and seasoned ground meat (usually turkey) and most often plantain chips. i have added in leftover zucchini and asparagus and it was good like that too. i just had it for lunch.

not wearing make-up. (more on this another time)

dresses. i am on a mission to wear simple dresses/skirts this summer as much as possible. so much more comfortable than shorts. i just got this one at target with a giftcard and i am really thinking about buying another in blue. it's so comfortable!

Body PUMP!-that should link to a video to give you an idea of what it's like if you haven't taken a class before (this is not the class we go to-just a video that popped up on a google search!)

gregg and i have been going to a body pump class 3x a week for over 2 months now. i am really loving it and can definitely see a difference in my arms. as with any workout, i don't always feel like doing it but i am always so glad i did once it's done. i like this class because it's really up to you how much you challenge yourself and how much weight you add on to lift. it's also great for me because i am just not going to do any strength training on my own. it's just not going to happen. 

30 rock! i was getting sick of watching FRIENDS on netflix (who knew i could get sick of FRIENDS?) and decided to give 30 Rock a try. i watched a few seasons while it was on but never watched it regularly. Tina Fey is all things hilarious to me, so i'm not surprised i like it so much but it has been very entertaining rediscovering how great it is.


and i have to mention the s'mores frap from starbucks even though i've only had it once and probably won't get it again because ohmygosh that can't be healthy...but it's SO good.


the end.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

on seeking community

one afternoon last week i found myself with some time alone in our house. gregg took the kids to the playground and i stayed home to get dinner started. as soon as the i heard the garage door shut behind them, i was hit with this need to talk to God.

i've been a little distant with God lately and i honestly don't know why. when i get a free minute, the thought to pull up the She Reads Truth study will pop into my head and i will quickly dismiss it and go back to pinterest instead. when i am alone in the evenings now i will think about spending some time just talking to God, nothing formal and structured, just talking, but i'll shut it down and pull up netflix. and i don't know why.

but that day, i just couldn't ignore it any longer and i didn't want to. i just started talking and soon myself in tears when i realized that my heart has been seeking after people so much more than it's been seeking after Jesus.

since moving here, i have been so focused on creating friendships and community. i left some really great friendships in texas and my heart longs to have that here as well. i know it's not something i can create on my own or overnight, so i have been praying for patience.

i have read this quote several times and i have always thought of it in terms of the danger of becoming consumed with the love material (created) things. that afternoon i started to see it take on another level when i came across it on pinterest.

while alone in my kitchen, it became very clear to me that i have very much been consumed with pursing friendships much more so than pursuing Him. i put quite a bit of time, thought and energy into seeking out community here in jacksonville and building connections. i love having people over to our house and meeting new friends for myself and our kids. i don't think there is anything wrong with it. in fact, i think having a community of close friends is an incredible gift and tool. it is so important to have people in our lives that we can open up to about the hard, hard stuff, who will speak truth into our lives and hold us accountable. i feel so fortunate that God has brought those people into my life and allowed those relationships to sustain a cross country move and i am so excited about the idea of developing similar relationships here. i truly hope to not only find community for myself but to also BE community for others.

unfortunately, my heart has been longing for community and friendship so much more so than it has been longing for the One that created it. i have spent way more time sending texts messages and setting up play dates than i have talking to God or seeking His direction. it's an easy habit for me to fall in to. it seems so logical for me to look for things that I can DO to help the process along rather than wait patiently on His move.

"my heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
ps 73:26

my hope and my prayer is that He would be enough for me. that more than anything or anyone else in this world, my heart would long to be made full firstly in His presence.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

sunshine and more sunshine

we just finished up a long and great weekend.

saturday morning gregg and i were up bright and early to run a 5k race on the beach. this was my 2nd one and it went about just well as the first. i am so not concerned with speed, i told gregg not to even worry about the timing chip because i really don't care and i knew i would come in towards end.  my only goal was to not walk and not come in last and happily i can say those goals were met. i am really surprised by how much i enjoy these races. i am enjoying them so much so that we are signing up for a 5 miler later this summer. my goal is do a 10k this fall. now that i've put it out there, maybe i will actually do it!

as soon as we got home from the race, i changed, grabbed abbey and we went off to adventure landing for a few hours just the two of us. adventure landing is a small waterpark that is perfect for kids and pretty fun for adults too. we have seasons passes for the summer and i really excited to go over and over again with the kids. they love it! it had been awhile since i had any alone time with abbey other than a quick run to target and i had forgotten what a fun girl she is. she is at such a great age and i often feel like i wish i could give her more one on one time.

sunday after church, gregg's parents came to pick up the kids for the night and next day leaving gregg and i all ALONE for 24hrs. it was glorious. we headed to the beach and then out to dinner at this great taco place (yes! there are a few, and i mean a few decent tacos here) and then of course, we ended up at target. i can't imagine a night out without kids not ending up at target.

the next morning we slept until NINE am. NINE! then we headed out the beach again for brunch at this hole in the wall dinner before heading out a long bike ride through the beaches. we ended up cover nearly 11 miles in total on our beach cruisers. it was a beautiful day and riding through the neighborhoods on the ocean is always amazing.

the kids came home later that afternoon and we headed out the beach AGAIN! it was just such great weather and we knew they had napped and wouldn't be ready for bedtime until later than normal. we spent about 2 hours out there playing as the sun went down.

it was truly a great weekend. i found myself feeling so thankful while we were riding through the beaches monday morning. i think you are either a beach person, or you aren't and i definitely am. i just feel so full and thankful when i'm out there. every time i walk out on the sand i just cannot believe we are living here and this is my home.