Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mommy Grace

I had the amazing opportunity to speak to a local MOPS group last week. For those who don't know, MOPS stands for Mothers Of Pre Schoolers, it's an amazing organization that meets all over the globe, yes globe. Please if your a mom of young ones, or a mom with children who have grown, check them out. (Older moms, we need you. They have an amazing Mentor Moms program.)
I was so excited to be speaking about Mommy Grace, accepting grace in motherhood. Its a topic that is huge for me, and something that I have had a lot of struggles in. So getting to share to this group of moms was such a blessing. But can I tell you it was hard.

Really hard.

Not only was the psychical act of getting there some what of a feat, that involved getting up early, driving my husband to work across town, then getting stuck in traffic on the way back, rushing to get everyone ready (my two hour window to get ready was suddenly less then an hour) all while remembering.....

I'm speaking on grace.
But, remembering to accept grace, while getting ready was more of a battle.

I was speaking about grace, but getting shampoo in my eyes.
I was speaking about grace, but maybe a little louder then I should, was "asking" my children to STOP TAKING OFF THEIR CLOTHES.
I was speaking about grace while I ran out the door, threw the kids in the car, and pulled out on to the street only to notice my coffee cup and ipad where still sitting on the hood of my car...

That was grace right there. Pure grace that kept that coffee cup on the hood. Because lets be honest, I would have been more devastated by losing my coffee cup.....

Mammas gotta have her coffee...

By the time we got to the church I was about 20 minutes late with a half naked four year old, a two year old that was screaming no, and 6 month old that finally fell asleep.... All I could do was laugh.

Laugh that no matter what, all day, every day I need to accept grace. The grace has already been given. Perfection was never the expectation, but we believe the lie that it is.  If we can just accept that things are not going to work out the way we would love, then life gets easier. It is easier because we let go of the control, and let God write this story. We accept the gifts He gives us, the beautifully mess, crazy life, and move on to being joyful with the late nights, early morning, and coffee stained two day old yoga pants...

Ok, maybe 3 day old yoga pants, whatever.... 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

When Mother's Day Hurts

This week is always hard, and I know I'm not the only one that finds Mothers Day, painful. 
For me, it's a reminder of years ago when I discovered I was pregnant for the first time. Only to miscarry a few weeks later.
Every year, it happens the same way. I start of strong, few weeks before, knowing it will be okay. No matter what I do, Mothers Day is going to roll around and I wont know how I will react to it till it happens. Then the pit in my stomach starts to grow, I get weepy, quite, and then I hide. 
Every year all I want to do is hide. 

I want to bury my head in the sand, stick my fingers in my ears and yell "la la la la" till it is all over. 
Now, I know how incredibly blessed I am with my little people. I know how much other peoples hearts are breaking, too. That make's my heart break even more.

Mothers that morn never being able to get pregnant.
Mothers waiting for LOA's.
Mothers that gave their child the biggest gift they could by letting them go. 
Mothers who are walking into this weekend for the first time, after losing a child.
Children who are morning their Mothers. 
See this time of year, hurts a lot of us. Many of us cant express the pain that comes with this weekend. Many of us don't know where to start, fearful of not being understood, or get blind sided by the emotions that Mothers Day brings. 
There's hope. Oh there is so much hope, I'm just finding. 

The other day, a friend and I were chatting back and forth and reminded me of the verse. 

I will be the first to admit, I have STRUGGLED with this verse for years. I always read "hiding" as a negative act.

Hiding = being scared, and not going after life. Not facing things head on.

That wasn't how I wanted to live my life. I wanted freedom, and freedom doesn't come with fear. 
Neither does hiding. Hiding in Christ is safe, its letting Him fight your battles, wipe your tears, and understand the word of your heart that your mouth can't form. 

2 Corinthians say "My grace is all you need, my power works best in weakness". I can go into this weekend, hiding, and be okay this time. Not hiding in my own power, my own fears, my own pain. I can go in hiding in His Grace, His love, His power. That is more sustaining then anything I can ever do on my own.

So yes, I might cry. 
I might morn. 
Morn both of the babies we lost, morn that life doesn't look the way I expected.

But, I will hide in His grace, and wait. 
Wait to see His power, His love, and that comfort that passes all understand.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


I am a mom of five. It feels strange saying, but I am. I walk around most days, sleep deprived, slightly smelly, in yoga pants, wearing my most precious possession, a simple wire nest with five little pearl beads. Five little beads for five little babies. You can watch people do the math as they look at my necklace, at me, then at my little people gathered around me, trying to make the math work. I know exactly how they feel, I desperately want the math to work too. 

I want the math to work on Monday mornings, when I'm sitting with a hot cup of coffee watching my two boys laugh over cartoons as their sister sleeps in the swing. I want the math to work while we are buckling our three into the van for a family outing. I long for the math to add up on Christmas morning, birthdays, and most of all mothers day. I'm desperate for the math to work when we line up for a family photo. Three little smiling faces, unknowing that two are missing. 

I try to make the math work while missing two little faces. Two little faces that I never got to see, two little faces that I never got to know. My two missing little people that I never got to hold.

There's a desperate grief in miscarriage. A desperation to have something, anything to hold on too, something to remember, something for others to remember. It leaves a hole in your family that others don't see, but that you feel. It settles into you, becomes a part of you, soaking into your essence, like unfinished business. A part of you stays in waiting, waiting for what is missing. Your heart knows the cycle wasn't complete, and you being to live in it.  You being to live in not quite complete, but not completely broken.

There are moments, moments where the boys are fighting, because one wants play ninja so natural he picks the fight with the other, just so he'll play too. Moments where the washer is going, the baby is crying needing to be feed, someone is running around naked, you realize that smell is actually you, as you slide cold coffee into the microwave for the 4th time, and the power goes off, because you forgot to pay the bill, again.

Those moments, you don't forget, you just don't remember. Life floods over the pain, the loss. Your mind becomes filled with all the task of motherhood, the dishes, the laundry, dinner, diaper changes, bedtime routines, and for a moment you are so focused on the here and now that you forget the wishes. The wishes that come in the quite, the wishes of having all five little people in my nest.

Sometimes you sit straining to make the math work, wondering how all your little people would fit together, how personalities would mesh, what would be the same, what would be different.

Would our missing little people have the wild mowak that our baby girl has, would they be fiery independence and slightly stubbornness like our oldest. A calm, hysterical, nudist like our middlest? Or two other totally different balls of personality, unknown to our family dynamic? Would we have four boys, and one girl? Two boys, and three girls? Or one more of each? Would or life be completely different, or absolutely the same?

Life feels split between these two extremes. You never know what side you will fall on. One moment life is flooding over you, the next your heart flooding on to the floor. Day by day, moment by moment, you never know where your going to fall. You watch people try to do the math, and answer the questions people are scared to ask. 

Yes, I am a mother of five.
Yes, we had two miscarriages.
Yes, the math doesn't work, its hard, its sad, it hurts, but its okay.

Because I'm a mom and that's all I ever wanted to be.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I am bipolar

Today is Bipolar Awareness Day. 
When I was first diagnosed, I ran. Ran hard from this label. I was terrified of what it meant, of what it said about me, that it meant I was weak. 

If I was strong enough, I could buck up and move on. 

You can't buck up.

This disorder is powerful, it kicks your tail in ways that most can't imagine. The mania is spastic and out of control, while the depression cripples and phyiscally hurts. All mixed with anger and frustration, all in one 24 hour span. The cycling leaves you questioning. Questioning your identity, which side of the cycle is really you? Questioning if you can keep going. Are you hurting others, your family, you kids? Is it fair that they are dealing with this? When are they going to give up and leave?

Questions, tons of hard, painful questions. 

I don't have all the answers, heck I have very few answers. But I do know this. I am not bi polar, I have bipolar. Just like I have dark hair, blue eyes, or my second toe is longer then my big toe, it is apart of me, not me. Not my identity. 

My identity is in God. I am who He says I am. I am His child, who He has trusted these children to, this marriage to, these friends to, I live through His power. Not through my bipolar. 

Even in my darkest, scarest days, while I  spinning like a top, He's there. 

He's bigger than me.
He's bigger than my bipolar. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

30 reasons

I have this thing with crowns. 
Now, I don't rock one every day, but I will rock a crown on my birthday. There's just something about a birthday, you can get away with some silly stuff. 

30 reasons to rock a crown.

1. It's your birthday.
2. Laundry is more fun to fold.
3. Pedis look better when matching a crown.
4. Lip synic car solos are more awesome.
5. Bubble baths always need a crown.
6. Reading, come on, who doesn't want to be Belle? 
7. Your kids will think your awesome (if they are little)
8. Your kids will think your crazy (if they are older) 
9. It's Monday
10. It's Tuesday 
11. It's Wednesday 
12. It's Thursday 
13. It's Friday 
14. It's Saturday
15. It's Sunday
16. Your kids are melting down. They will be so confused they will stop crying, trust me, it works. 
17. Dishes get cleaner when being washed by someone in a crown.
18. Same with dusting.
19. Scrubbing a toilet while rocking a crown, a Cinderella experience. 
20. Paying bills. I know I need everything I can get to make that better!
21. Grocery shopping, extra points if you ride in the cart.
22. Shoe shopping. Go after you do number 19. 
23. Changing a squirmy babies diaper, distract them with the sparkles. 
24. Laying out. Come on a crown goes with everything.
25. Drinking coffee, pinkies out! 
26. Having dinner, seriously royal feast, duh. 
27. Checking the mail, give your neighbors something to talk about. 
28. A play date, nothing says "I'm here to party" like a crown.
29. To bed. If sleeping beauty can do it, so can you.
30. Quite time. We are daughters of the king, sometimes we need a little help remembering it. 

How would you rock a crown? 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Oh 30

I turn 30 Friday. I'll admit, I thought I was good. I was excited about 30 since I turned 27. It's strange I know. But then, it hit. 

I had to trim my bangs wearing reading glass..... 

I am going to try and make this turning 30 thing fun, so this week I am going to be blogging on 30. 

Here's my first 30 on 30.
30 things you didn't know about me.

1. Im scared of turkeys
2. I'm the oldest of 4.
3. When I was a kid, I was in a lot of commercials.
4. I grew up around the TV industry. Its not as cool as you think.  
5. I didn't learn how to walk in heels till I was 20.
6. I had purple hair in high school.
7. I also had blonde hair. 
8. I have a thing with my hair, it just can't stay the same.
9. I had someone once think I was Reese Witherspoon, it made me laugh.
10. I worked in a jewlery store in the Charlotte Airport and saw all kinds of craziness.
11. I'm a big NASCAR fan. Yes closet redneck over here.
12. One word, STEELERS...
13. I went to collage for Interior Design.
14. Didn't graduate because of one credit. (Stupid auto cad) 
15. I'm slightly color blind.
16. I am the worlds worse speller.
17. I don't know how to use a comma.
18. I love to read.
19 I read the whole Ann of Green Gables collection one summer when I was 10.
20. I danced for 10 years
21. I played one season of basket ball (it was as bad as you can imagine.)
22. I'm 5'3 (see previous)
23. All of my siblings are significantly taller then me. 
24. I moved to Charleston on  a whim. (It was just suppose to be a week vacay!)
25. I had cervical cancer at 20.
26. I wasn't suppose to be able to have kids naturally.
27. I was 21 when I got my drivers license.
28. Our wedding was a surprise wedding (that's the way to go!)
29.  I swear I saw a ghost when I was little.
30. I'm very claustrophobic! 

Do you have any random facts? I would love to read them.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Dear Yoga Pants

Yoga pants, I remember the day you came into my life. I was swollen, pregnant, sick, chasing after a toddler, while out of town. The out of town trip where I magically grew twice my size till nothing I brought, fit. But there you were yoga pants. Ready to give me comfort and the gift of breathing again. 

Oh yoga pants, we have come through so much. The birth of my little guy, and trips to the niccu. To late night feedings and runs to Target. Remember when it was me and you, for days on end, when the hubby was out of town for months? You gave me so much comfort and made it easy to collapse into bed every night in comfort. Battling toddlers, stomach bugs, and another pregnancy, we got through it together. 

I still laugh at the few times we worked out. What was that about? We both knew we were meant to be together, curled up on the couch, pretending we were watching doc mcstuffins because the kids wanted too. 

Good times yoga pants, good times. 

Oh yoga pants, I guess it was too much for you. To much togetherness, to many days changing diapers, kissing boo boos,  cleaning the house, pretending to be 'active'. Yoga pants, it's time for you to go. You have be worn with love and dedication, what more can a pair of pants ask for? After all, the holes across the rear shows our battle scars, and shows my undies, which is why your now sitting in the bottom of the trash can. 

Because really no one wants a toddler poking them in the butt laughing at their undies, all day. 

So good bye old friend, it's been a ride.