some November pics with some Mommy thoughts

People. I will miss these days SO much. 
I know its not "kosher" to say that about these crazy exhausting days... 
but I will miss them. I can feel them fleeting and it makes me emotional. 
My only consolation is that I hope to have at least one Grandchild and I look 
forward to getting to make all sorts of memories with Grandbabies. 
Different, but at least it doesn't totally end after our kids grow up, right? 

on the way home from the library. 
had to pull over and snap the sunset. 
I marvel daily at God's amazing artistry. 

    We love football. And as it turns out, we live 5 minutes from where our team trains.

 Nights when Daddy says, "after dinner I'd like to play Minecraft with you guys!" 
are the best nights. Rachel says they're better than birthdays :) 
I love this picture mostly because none of them knew I was taking it. 
And then because there's 5 people I'm crazy about in it. 

 In motion. 
Flying on Mommy's feet like Superman. 
Even though we have NO clue who Superman is yet :) 

Its amazing... 
He didn't care that there was a pile of 4 loads of laundry 
to be folded right behind us. 
He didn't mind that dinner was grilled cheese sandwiches & tomato soup. 
He didn't even care that I hadn't showered. 
He was flying on my feet. 
It was fun and it was fun with Mommy. 

 Can I say it again? 
I will miss these days. 
the end. 

    his eye lashes stun me. 

He's not nursing anymore; weaned himself around 16 months, but he is still to date our most cuddliest child. He goes to bed very easily. Doesn't fuss at nap time, sometimes at bedtime he needs more cuddles than usual, but he likes to sleep. He needs it! He moves around and climbs constantly!

We have a song he loves to have me sing to him. I've sung it to him since he was born.
Have you ever heard this song? We love it. Makes me cry every night when I sing it to him.
The second I start to sing it, he begins to rub his ear lobe and breathes deeply, while staring into my eyes. I know he's about to go when his eyes blink very, very slowly and I feel his grasp loosen on my arm. My husband captured this picture when he found us sleeping. I love it.
 Its in these moments that the enormously difficult job I have as Mommy feels totally and completely worth it. I see them as little "thank-you's" from Jesus. Like He's giving me a sweet taste of joy and reminding me of the beautiful, messy and extremely important job I do every single day.
The job that sometimes doesn't feel very important. It feels like a lot of repetition, a lot of messes, a lot of do-overs.  Jobs that don't get finished, dinners that are half made as boo-boo's "get fixed" and potty messes are cleaned up off the floor. It rarely ever feels glamorous or something anyone would volunteer to do after spending a day with me ;-)
Weekends don't have the same meaning they did when I was single, because, well... kids don't really grasp the "weekend" concept.

Lately online there seems to be this 'war' between what's harder or what's more valued - the stay-at-home mom's daily job in raising her kids? Or the working mom who's gone during the day but home at the end of the work day to be Mommy to her kid(s)?
We're all in the trenches. If you work outside the home, you come home exhausted from your job. If you stay home with you kids all day, you're exhausted at the end of the day from your job. Do we really need to get a measuring stick out and decide who's job is harder?
No thanks. Lets focus more on encouraging one another and giving a shoulder to lean on when we need it. Because we're all gonna need it.
I've had people tell me I never look stressed {And somewhere right now my husband is laughing out LOUD}
I get stressed, people. Maybe not as easily as some, but it comes.

We're all so different and we're all very unique. But we're all created in God's image and you want to know what's always super encouraging for me to remember?
God has chosen ME to be my children's Mom.
Not the woman next to me.

He chose you to be their Mom when he began forming that child in your womb.
So when you have days where you're completely overwhelmed and you want to throw up your hands and throw in the towel, pick it up. Give kisses all around, look at each child and give thanks for them.

If you struggle with laziness, or follow through, or organization, or letting loose and having fun with your kids, or being creative, or just feeling overwhelmed with daily tasks, or whatever you struggle with - pray over those things. Tell God its a struggle. He knows it is. He's eager to help and lend grace. We're never stuck. And don't fall into the trap of blaming your kids for the areas in your life that you chose not to get control over.
Our poor kids already get blamed for our lack of sleep, our extra weight, our dumb jokes, our lack of shower habits, our burnt dinners....

Give 'em a break on this one ;-)

 lately when we tell him to say cheese, this is what he does :) 

 I personally like one-on-one dates with my kids. 
I love those opportunities to talk with them. 
To hear them talk and not be interrupted. 
We don't make a big deal out of these in our family. 
Its usually Costco with Mom all by yourself. 
A walk to the Library. 
Maybe a trip to Starbucks. 

We don't always get treats. 
It doesn't always mean money is spent. 
Just means TIME is spent together. 
I know its pretty common for Dads to do this and I always 
encourage Moms to as well. 
How often are you ever alone with one child? 
It shouldn't only be dads, though that is special :) 

I love that with kids, its the little things in life that thrill them.
Cookie batter on the spoon is about as amazing as Christmas morning.
He was so pleased. He's seen his older siblings enjoy this, but never had it himself.
This was his day. And he licked them clean.

Moms, we are blessed women. We truly are.
My kids don't usually come to me and thank me for my love and service to them ;-)
But God does. He gives me little glimpses throughout my week where I marvel at His goodness and am overwhelmed with the gifts He's given to me. He's trusted me with these 4 crazy kids and I feel SO lucky to be their mom.
I'm amazed how sanctifying the difficult moments are... for me.
I'm amazed at how often I'm brought to my knees and find myself worshipping God because I know how its ALL him and none of me.
I'm amazed at how these 4 babies have changed my relationship with my husband and how they've allowed me to see him, not only through the eyes as wife to husband, but through the eyes of wife to a Father.

Take joy in the everyday, seemingly mundane, regular, not terribly spectacular moments.
Everyday is a gift from God. Its all spectacular.
Marvel in it.
Say "I love you" often.
Praise before you criticize.
Find joy in the repetition.
You could wake up tomorrow and find life very different from the day before.
You sure you want that?
I remember when we were rushed to the Children's Hospital after Miles' fractured his skull... I told the paramedic on the way over, "in moments like these I ache for the mundane, messy life of raising my kids - and the biggest stress being, we were late for an appointment and someone forgot shoes." :)

Get giddy over the simple, everyday chaos.
Its gonna be gone someday and I know for me, I'll miss it.
The house will one day be quiet. Too quiet.
We'll probably laugh one day as we find ourselves running TO our kid's homes to see them instead of wishing we could break OUT for a girl's night ;-)

And I know for me, I will most likely sit down to sift through pictures and wonder, "how on earth did I do that?" We're gonna be heroes in our own story someday. Right now we're too busy looking at our failures and feeling like we could always do better and be better.
Someday I think we're gonna find ourselves amazed at what we actually did.
I already do that when I look back at pictures of my older 3, when they were babies.
I tell Jason all the time,  "I had no idea in those moments just how difficult that was. I was so hard on myself. We had THREE babies, under the age of 4."

Insanely blessed.

2 {comments}:

Gina said...

I live it! I'm so glad you're back in blog land! You are very encouraging and inspiring--real, and I need that. Your love for God and family shine through and warm me up. Thanks for sharing��

Stef said...

Gina, you are beyond kind - thank you!


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