Thursday, July 30, 2015

weekly links: 31/52

Welcome to a series I'm starting of my current favorite blog post finds - a round-up for each week of the year!

One of the main reasons I started blogging is because I enjoy reading other people's blogs so much. I may or may not discover a (new to me) blog and delve embarrassingly deep into the archives (like very-beginning-deep) just so I can get the whole story and background in an only slightly obsessive way. Don't judge. I just love other people's stories, but hearing them straight from the source? Even better. Give me all the details.

I will be sharing some of these favorite reads with you, right here. Some will be humorous (ahem, Jen Hatmaker), many will be heartfelt, and others will just dole out awesome tips, tricks, and ideas. They may be articles, stories, videos, or images. You may not enjoy sifting through tons of blogs to find a gem, so I'll do the searching for you and then happily hand over the jewels I discover along the way.

Here are my picks for WEEK 31/52:

{ the massey spot }
Amber and her husband already have two insanely adorable girl twins, and they just added another baby girl to the mix. This post is a newborn update complete with gorgeous photos that might make your ovaries hurt, ladies. Fair warning. Her instagram is also one of my favorite feeds to follow.

{ see vanessa craft }
I don't even have school-aged children, but I love this printable survey from Vanessa. What a great way to find out the all the teacher's favorites!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

belated beach recap

Well, this is embarrassing.

We went to the beach something like six weeks ago and I haven't shared any of our trip here on the blog. Why? Oh that's right. Because one week after getting back from the beach, we PACKED, MOVED, AND ARE STILL UNPACKING THE ENTIRE CONTENTS OF OUR ENTIRE LIVES. Will the boxes ever end. Rhetorical, so don't bother. I think moving is a lot like giving birth. You forget how awful it is until it's too little too late. The one perk of both is that at the end of all that hard work, you get a "prize" as my obstetrician would say. A baby or a house. In this instance, a house, obviously. 

So, moving on.... (get it?)
We took a trip to the beach in June just the three of us. We always go the same little island off the coast of North Carolina that we've been going to for as long as I can remember. It's a sweet place packed full of memories, and quite honestly feels like my second home. This summer is very likely our last one there because my grandmother is selling her condo where we always stay. I'm mostly just sad that this is not a place Aven will ever remember. 

Aven would live outside if we would allow it, so I felt pretty certain that she would enjoy the beach. It took her a minute to figure out the sand and to not stop every two minutes to wipe her hands off, but after that she was loving it.

Everything and everyone got a wave from her. Shells, the kite flying, the birds scurrying around, the ocean, and of course all the strangers passing by. Stinking adorable, that kid. 

You should know in advance that I take one million pictures when we're at the beach. I know no other way. So if you mind seeing pictures of a cute baby on a beach, a) what the hay is wrong with you, and b) you should probably skip this one.

there is a hidden pigtail in this picture and she looks exactly like her daddy here. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

current book stack

I'm always reading something these days. Usually it's Very Hungry Caterpillar or Night, Night Baby! because my toddler is obsessed with books....and hey, I ain't mad about it. When I'm not reading kid books, I'm working through a few of my own picks. Only recently did I learn to juggle reading more than one book at a time, because multitasking is every mother's middle name. #welcometomotherhood. 

{I used to claim that being a mom has kept me from taking the time to read, but that's just not true. I wasn't making it a priority. So now I'm learning to use my time in a more intentional way, which you can read about here.}

Thursday, July 9, 2015

from night owl to early bird.

That title should probably read "From night owl to reluctant early bird." At least initially.

My propensity for staying up late goes way back, and probably started with my mom and grandmother (whom I dubbed "Gammy" at an early age). If you need an example, here's a good one: when I was still little enough to be spending the night at my Gammy's house, she would sometimes wake me up for a "midnight milkshake" with her. Um, was your grandma that cool? ...Didn't think so.

When I was living at home, my mom was always the last one to bed every night. (Although she was also the first to get up. I have not figured this one out yet - I cannot do both!)

As an adult now, staying up late is still my natural tendency and preference. Actually, was....until I became a mom and then I had no choice but to re-evaluate the sleep situation. Staying up after I've put my daughter to bed seems appealing at first because I can finally have some alone time (which the introvert in me craves) and get some things checked off my to do list. This is all fine and wonderful until the alarm goes off the next morning and have to be a parent or an employee. Who is attentive. And awake.

And honestly, these days I'm pretty much done by 9pm. Just, done.

So I've had to bury my night owl ways. And now.....brace yourselves.

Monday, July 6, 2015

you are a good mom.

I need this reminder more often than I care to admit. I'm guessing you do too? Sure, I'll take it on a good day when I'm winning at patience and understanding, but it carries even more weight and significance when I'm feeling like One Big Mom Fail. 

We doubt ourselves too quickly and judge ourselves too harshly.

So let me remind you: 

YOU are a good mom. 

You ARE a good mom. 

You are a GOOD mom.  


You're doing a great job. 

I know it seems so SIMPLE, these few words. And yes, it's actually very simple. But also affirming and powerful and LIFE-GIVING. Like one giant reset button. 

Whatever's got you stressed or convinced that you just aren't cut out for motherhood, let it go. Relax your shoulders. Say a prayer. Try to laugh rather than cry. Reach out to a supportive girlfriend and siphon some of her excess positivity. Remember the truth: that you are enough today and every day.

For real. It's gonna be okay. Be kind to yourself.

Let's all find a mom to pass these affirming words on to over the next day or so. Maybe a stranger that you notice with tired eyes and a screaming kid in Target, or just a mom friend that you know could use a little pep talk. When mothers come alongside other mothers and simply say, I see you, and you're doing great - that is the greatest gift and compliment we can give each other. 

The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11