Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Tribute to Moms

My new favorite holiday is fast approaching. Next Sunday will be my first Mother's Day. (I actually thought it was this Sunday but since I'm actually sitting down at the computer, we're gonna go with it) As my BFF reminded me, this is the 1st year that I really get to celebrate all that this loaded word, mother, has come to mean. Each day I grow more in awe with the enormous, exhausting, exhilirating, enchanting job that is being a mama. And since I know that on that day I'll be a ball of incoherant emotions (as usual. maybe), I wanted to share some things that have inspired me recently.

Our MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) steering team does a monthly bible study. We are reading Tender Mercy for a Mother's Soul.  It has encouraged me more than I can ever say. This week's chapter was called Grace Upon Grace. That about sums up what we give and what we need 4,000,000 times a day (as mothers, or in any other role in life- maybe moreso as wife ;) In this chapter was a beautiful tribute to moms that I wanted to share. I think each one of us can find our moms or someone who was like a mom to us in this.

"A Tribute to Moms"
This is for all the mothers who froze their bottoms off on metal bleachers at soccer games Friday night instead of watching from cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see my goal?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.
This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up chunks of hot dogs and cherry soda that suddenly reappeared saying, "It's okay honey, Mommy's here."
This is for all the mothers of Kosovo who feld the night and can't find their children.
This for the mothers who gave birth to babies they will never see...and the mothers who took those babies and made homes for them.
This is for the mothers of victims of school shootings...and the mothers of the murderers.
This is for all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes...and all the mothers who don't.
This is for reading, "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year...and reading it again, "just one more time."
This is for all the mothers who mess up, who yell at their kids in the grocery store and stomp their feet like a tired two 29 year old who wants ice cream for before dinner.
This is for all the mothers who taught their daughters to tie their shoelaces before they started school...and for the mothers who opted for velcro instead.
This for the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair, milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.
and my personal favorite~
This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot. - Author unknown.

my first day as a new mom, in disbelief that this baby was a GIRL!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Greetings from Savannah. Thanks to the prayers of MANY, we are having one of our nicest trips yet. We leave tomorrow to start Holy Week with Ross. He will humbly have his feet washed by Fr. Fallon at the Mass of the Last Supper. This is always a special week for our family. When R and I had been dating for just a few months, we took a half day on Good Friday, hiked Kennesaw mountain and said a rosary together. It was at that moment that I knew God had answered my prayer for a prayerful, devout Christian man who experienced his faith through Catholocism. Many hikes later and he is still leading me closer to Jesus. Prayers for you all to experience a calm peace, knowing whether you go to church or not, whether you pray or not, whether you have questions or not, whether you love Him or not, you are immensely, and immeasurably loved.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On a lighter note...our girl is 9 months and 4 days old

And whoa is this my favorite age!! If you subtract the eating paper, recent 5 am wake-up trend and desire to gnaw on every cord in site, it really is the most wonderful fun I've ever had. She has 6 teeth and will eat anything and everything. Mama couldn't keep up with that appetite so now she gets a bottle of formula a day to meet her needs. While my emotional, crazed self cried buckets over this decision, 3 days in and life is already better for our girl. Words are baba, dada, and the sssss sound. Waving bye is starting to happen, as she figures out what to do with those fingers. Bath time is adored and being outside is her favorite activity. We are so excited for Spring!

This little girl, this PURE GIFT, is an area of my life where gratitude is not a problem. Even when she's face first in the dog bowl. I mutter thank you to Jesus about 30 times a day for this girl. Tears rolling as I write that. What on earth did I do to get her?

My Mary Kate,

You are Light.
You, my sweet girl, love to be outside. You crave the sunlight, just like your daddy. Since you were a tiny, tiny baby, walking outside would calm any cries. As not much of an outdoorsy kinda girl, I am happy that you are teaching me to literally walk out of the darkness and into God's beautiful, light-filled nature. I see the trees and the clouds through your eyes now and, like you and dad, want to be in the great outdoors!

You are Joy.

While you couldn't hunt easter eggs at the nursing home with our MOPS friends, I had a hunch that you might throw a few smiles to some folks who needed it. You are sitting on Barbara's lap, and holding Dot's fingers. You played with them (and Dot's walker) for an hour.  Given sufficient rest and food, you have a smile waiting for anyone who will give you attention. And nothing on this planet gives mom and dad more joy than watching you bring that joy to others, simply by being you.

You are friendly.

This is your BFF Joy. You love, love her. And I'd say the feeling is mutual (though that girl does not discriminate in who she throws her big, scrunchy nosed grin at!). You love Joy and other little people. This week at church, you crawled around on the floor with another little boy. You didn't mind at all his desire to steal your book; you just loved another little person to play with. I am happy that already you enjoy the babes around you and pray you grow to have rich friendships to walk you through life.

You are fun!
This picture was taken March 20th, 2011. We had just come home from Savannah and dad was vegging in the bedroom. He asked if you could come hang out with him. Already, you are probably his favorite buddy. I walked in to see this. It's one of my favorite pictures of you and daddy just enjoying being next to each other. I did find parts of that magazine in your diaper later but that is just fine by me!

You are adventurous.
The other day I walked in your room to find dad putting your diaper on you backward. As in, you were in this position and he had just given up on changing you the normal way. There are things to see, places to be, and none of them involve you laying still for a millisecond. You army crawl at the speed of light and no amount of baby proofing can stand up to you. Your heart is eager for adventure, curious about the world awaiting you. Dad couldn't be more pleased. Mom couldn't be more nervous!

You are loving.
While not much of a cuddler, you show your love to people in so many ways. By happily holding a birthday sign for memaw, or by the way you lightly held your Busia's face while you sat on her lap, there is no doubt who you love. I am the single most blessed woman on the planet earth that you love me.

You are His.

Oh my girl. This past weekend, on your 9-month-birthday, I left you for the first time. My stomach was in knots all week. I feared you feeling abandoned by the lady who feeds you. I feared not being able to enjoy myself without you. I feared you growing up feeling the burden of a mama who needs her gal too much. I feared something happening to you while I was gone. I feared not being able to share you with your grandparents and daddy while I was way. And as I rocked you for a ridiculously long time Friday night before I left, I wanted to keep you to myself, to not share you with people who love you. You are mine, I thought. And as quickly as the thought entered my mind, the Lord reminded me that this is not true. You are His. You are a precious, invaluable gift that He has loaned me for however long He sees fit. I must share you with the world. Because they need my friendly, joyous, loving, fun, adventurous, light-filled girl. And truly, because you need them too. I am so happy you are already His and I pray that you know every day who loves you even more than mommy and daddy.

Happy 9-months to my beautiful girl.
I love you, so, so much!


Monday, April 11, 2011

next place

I am having a day over here in Smyrna. It started off well. By 11am, I had washed all the sheets in the house, had dinner in the crock pot, one bathroom cleaned, sink cleaned (cause my old friend Weschler always reminds me kitchen sinks hold more bacteria than toilets). I had a baby napping longer than usual and a living room dusted. I started to feel competent.


Fast forward 3 hours and a few self-indulgent tears later. I have a daugher asleep, a dog not licking me, and the breeze coming in the windows my husband convinced me to open. But I am not thinking about this beautiful place. I am thinking about the places I "want" to be. The house I want to own. The new car we just decided not to purchase. The new job I desire for my husband. The way I wanted to feed my daughter.  Didn't I just blog about being content where we are and not needing things?

Bigger idiot.

Life is so, so beautiful for our family right now. But my discontented heart is focusing on doors recently closed, and the seeming lack of windows opened. It is focusing on where we are not very strong (weak is not even the appropriate word.) Recent nutritional needs for Mary Kate have me feeling terribly inadequate as a mother. It deserves a post of it's own but even I have a limit on self-indulgence. I am so disappointed in myself that I have allowed a few insignificant setbacks to cloud my view of the beauty that sits in front of my face.

Need I repeat it again, idiot.

I feel like a child, a bratty, bratty child. My husband has a job that allows me to stay home with my child. My child has been nourished exclusively by my milk for nine months. My friends rival the apostles of Jesus in loyalty, compassion and goodness. Why is it so hard to keep the focus there some days.

All together now...

I will step off this bandwagon now. (all clap in gratitude). I know that I am human and as humans with sinful hearts, we will always want more than we have. We will always want to be in that next place in our lives- the place with more square footage and bigger cars and fabulous milk supplies :) But, as sweet J.Space reminded me today (thank you gchat!), until ALL we desire is God and his love, until that fills every superficial, materialistic want, and even the honorable, respectable wants, there will be days where we will be total idiots, craving the next big thing.

Mama Ninness here is heading to confession this week. The state of my heart is pretty gritty right now and while I am so assured that God is smiling at his idiotic daughter right now, there is real, selfish sin that needs to be confessed. I don't doubt that I'll be enving and wanting before I even walk out of the confessional, but it feels good to expose it for what it is and to aim for wanting the biggest thing- the big guy upstairs.