Balance and Motherhood

Hello new blog post, it’s been a while.

I don’t get to write new blog posts as much as I would like to but I know there will be a season where I can write more and have a little more ‘thinking time’ as I call it.

Right now I’m squeezing this in because the big kids aren’t home and the sick baby is napping!

All these kids of mine leave my brain feeling like the dried up Play-doh you find under the table by the end of the days here lately, haha!

We’re in a season of chaos right not, and I’m not sure if it will ever not be, but that’s okay!

I know that it won’t always be this way and that these obstacles we’re facing now will even out and there will be new ones to face eventually.

That’s just life!

Life will never slow down, you have to just do the things you want, now!

I told Greg the other day “the future is NOW” and he looked at me crazy, haha!

I’m a huge believer in doing the things now and not waiting.

If I always wait for the ‘right time’ I would be dead and gone before I even started something.

That’s where balance comes in.

B A L A N C E.

I kept hearing this word balance tossed around when I first became a mother.

I get it now. Totally, fully freakin get it!

Some days my house will be clean, some days it will not be.

Those clean house days will probably be the days that Jaxson and Mady went to school and Rowan took a long nap. They could also be the days that Mady and Jaxson got more ipad time than I’d like to admit and Rowan had the TV on basically all day and played independently.

Clean house days require less crunchy mama time.

Other days (most days) the house will be a wreck. It may not look totally crazy to an outsider, but they aren’t seeing the laundry that I haven’t folded hiding in our bedroom for days…maybe weeks.(I really need to get better about laundry.) haha!

So basically what I’m saying is that my house can’t be super clean and organized the same day that I sat with the kids and did cute finger paintings or focused solely on them the entire day. No. I need to balance out what I am doing. Some days I’m all healthy and serving home cooked meals, and other days when I’m tired and can barely think it’s a Chick Fil A drive thru day.

All these days happen in our household!

Balance, remember?

My main goal in life is to just raise happy healthy kids that grow up to be kick ass adults and know how much I loved them and cared about them.

I hope that one day when they are older and look back at their childhood they feel warm and cozy on the inside. I hope they remember how much they were loved and how Mom always tried to have a happy and welcoming space for them to come home to.

I hope that when I become a grandmother (somewhere in the far far far far future) that they will always come to me first with any problems. Weather it be needing childcare or a little help in life, because to me that is what family is all about and that’s the kind of family we want to raise. Helping each other out and raising our family together!

Our door will always be open.

This is our life, and it’s only the beginning!

XO

Amber

 

Our Hard Marriage Week Saved Our Future

Marriage.

As I type this and sip on my cold coffee that I really want to reheat but I know that  any movement or sounds from me will attract the already occupied (for just a few minutes I’m sure) kids! Oh, look here comes Rowan arms held up for me to grab her so she can hit all the keys and click all the buttons, oh wait, never mind Mickey Mouse won her attention back.

Okay…back to me and that week I almost killed my marriage!

 

Last week I built a wall in my marriage. It was a stubborn ass wall and it was built by both of us. It was a hard week of marriage for us and I see so much clearer looking back now. All the things we should have done differently and all of the mistakes we both made. We are now taking those mistakes and turning them into learning lessons. For a moment we forgot about the team we are and we made each other the enemy. Instead of going to my husband and telling him why I’m pissed and hurt I shut down, kept quiet and texted my people. We broke all the rules and I believe it changed our marriage forever.

If you’ve followed my blog you know how hard this last year has been. So many losses and ups and downs but one thing that has stayed strong has always been my marriage. We value our marriage and want our children to know what true love really looks like even on the bad days. When we suddenly lost our dog a couple of weeks ago something happened to us and it hurt. I felt angry and resentful. Those emotions shut me down. I felt like we weren’t on the same page and I couldn’t understand why his sadness didn’t look like mine. Not realizing that it’s okay to feel differently. It’s okay that he didn’t have the same reaction as I did. The anger and resentment caused us to both snap at each other and from there we put our backs to each other and I felt like there was no coming back. After a good conversation and us both letting our guards down we were able to reconnect and understand each other better! Communication is EVERYTHING.

Marriage isn’t easy. It takes so much work from both sides. It takes forgiveness and a listening ear that will accept your feelings and be there to hold your hand through it all. It’s okay to not be strong together at times that’s why you have a partner! To help you when you’re down and help pick each other back up. When you work together as a team your marriage grows stronger and you feel like you could move mountains together!

Going forward in our marriage we know that there will always be tough times ahead. I am grateful for this recent rough patch because it helped us to reconnect. It helped me open my eyes a little more and realize that the actions I was taking could actually kill my marriage in the long run. Without the hard times that test every ounce in our bodies we would never grow. These tough times are here for a reason, they’re here to strengthen us and help us learn from each other and move forward. From now on I choose us. I choose to focus on our marriage more than ever. So, here we are nearing the 5 year mark. Feeling stronger than before and knowing that our marriage will never be perfect but we will always be a perfect work in progress.

XO

Amber

Saying Goodbye to a Sunflower

November 2014 while I was finding out that I was pregnant with Rowan there were millions of other women in the world getting the same news. Out of those millions of women in the world only about one hundred joined a group on Facebook called ‘Sunflowers’ for us girls that were all due about the same week in July. I cheated a little because I was actually due August 1st but since I was early with Jaxson I knew this baby would be too and man am I so glad I cheated!

You see, these girls in our group have became a sisterhood. Although we all live miles and miles away and have never met in person it’s a special connection we all have. This may sound a little crazy to some but I feel closer with these women I’ve never met than I do most people in my everyday life. We all just have such a strong bond and connection! When we first joined it wasn’t an instant connection, it was something that over two years has grown into something beautiful. It started with “hump day, bump day” which we would do every Wednesday and post a picture of our growing bellies then it went to posts wondering if maybe we were in labor. Then it went to ways to induce labor because we were all so miserable together being large and in charge and we all could not wait to meet our babies!

We went through it all together and still are going through it all together. One of our very own Sunflowers lost her battle with cancer this week. I remember reading her post telling all of us in the group that she was diagnosed with brain cancer a few years ago and it made me feel sick. My heart ached for her and her baby girl and her whole family. I couldn’t fathom living day to day wondering when my last day with my daughter would be. Although no life is promised, with a diagnosis that is terminal like hers it just makes it unbearable to think about. After knowing her story, I paid a little closer attention to her. All of her posts were always so loving and inspiring. When I had my miscarriage a few months ago she was one of the first people to send me love in a time of need. This woman was so amazing and she really got around! So many posts about her traveling for work still and pumping breast milk for her daughter in airports. Running marathons!!!! Yes, you read that right. Marathons. She also co-founded a company named ‘Glam Runner’ that make tutu’s for a non profit organization called ‘Girls on the Run’ and I’m sure there’s so much more that she was doing for others that I don’t even know about. She had a way of lifting others. As I read over all of the comments left on her Facebook page and in our group it really just proves how incredible she was. This woman had so much strength and showed everyone how unstoppable she was. Brain cancer wasn’t stopping her from life and she was proving that.

My heart aches for her daughter who will grow up not being able to hug her and kiss her good night. However, I know just how lucky she is because she will always carry her Mother within her. Monika was a special woman and for me to know that from only knowing her through our group on social media I know it was an honor for the lucky friends and family of hers to of known her in real life. Tonight, and many more to come I will go to bed with a heavy heart for all of those who are hurting and missing their sweet friend, Monika.

We hope to see you again sweet friend we never met.

Photo Credit: Medtronic

Here are a few words from our Sunflowers who will also be missing her:

“She made me feel like if she can overcome a brain tumor than how could I sweat the small things in my life. She just embraced each day she had and it made me start feeling more thankful for the small things/accomplishments in my life.-DustiJo Verret

 

“Monika and I made a connection after she posted in the Sunflowers group about anyone needing crib bumpers, she had bought a set that didn’t fit her crib correctly and she wanted to give them to someone in the group. I offered to pay her, but she refused. After that we became friends on Facebook (beyond the group) and I learned about who she was. As I snooped on her profile that day I was in awe of this person who was just down to earth and a normal mama, even through her adversity she was kind, gentle and just a sweet person. Our little talks, and her posts always had a way of brightening my day. She truly was a hero.” -Whitney Perea

 

“Monika was more bold, brave and beautiful than any other person I’ve ever known. I never met her in person but her courageous heart leapt out at me from word go in our mom’s group. She made me want to be a better version of myself!! I can only hope and pray to be the kind of mother she was and show my children the strength and tenderness she showed hers!! For a woman I never even got to shake the hand of… she touched my life in a way she probably never knew!!” -Casey Kerzee Ebbett

 

I remember when we first joined the group she made a comment about being on The Katie Couric show and I had to snoop. I checked her out on the internet and instantly felt in the presence of someone great.
I am not sure I have ever felt respect for someone like I do her. Anyone that runs marathons WHILE getting chemo is a super hero in my book.
Her hope inspires me to think about all the good in the world. I will think of her every time I strap on my running shoes and look forward to running my next race wearing a tutu in salute to this amazing soul.
The love she has for her sweet baby girl was palpable in the posts she wrote and responded to. My wish is for Eva to know how deeply she was loved by her mama and how much we love her.
On that note…I’m going to strap on my running shoes and hop on the treadmill for Monika:)”  -Johanna Harris

 

“I’m so saddened to read about Monika. I’m sitting here crying. I can’t even imagine what she went through along with her family. One of my biggest fears is something happening to me or my kids and not being able to see my children grow up. My heart goes out to her family and friends especially her sweet baby girl.” -Vanessa Boye

 

In loving memory of our friend, Monika. XO

 

2017, I See You!

Well hello there and Happy New Year! I know, I know, I’m a little late on the New Year blog – but hey kids be crazy!

Currently Rowan is talking to herself in her crib while she is supposed to be settling down for a nap and I’ve got Jaxson planted and watching a movie with some popcorn.  (Do what ya gotta do, right!? Haha!)

Now let’s talk, 2017.

So far I’m killing it! I started off 2017 ready for new beginnings and plans.

I bought a new planner, got a gym membership and I’ve even been making more home cooked meals!

Like I said, KILLIN’ IT! Hahah!

Hopefully I can keep up with myself and not fall back into old routines.

I’ve been waking up before everyone else in the house in the mornings and going to the gym.

I’ll admit that the morning thing wasn’t my first choice. I’ve never liked mornings and having to wake up.

However, it’s kind of my only option to go to the gym since Greg works so much and I would never know for sure when he gets home so I could go to the gym.

This schedule just works better for our house plus since I’ve started doing this I LOVE it.

It’s kind of turned me into a morning person.

I feel good when I get up and have a little quiet time for myself and being able to just be alone.

I’ve also got so much energy now! Like, crazy weird energy that makes me clean a lot and just do so much!

This new routine has made me a better version of myself and I hope that I can turn this into a lifestyle.

This year I want to take better care of myself and so far it’s paying off in the Mommy department.

So take care of yourself Mama’s! Your whole family will benefit and you will feel so good from the inside out!

In other news…

This year I would love to get pregnant again.

Since my miscarriage at the end of November I’ve kept myself occupied with the holidays and all.

But now the thought of pregnancy is starting to creep back in my mind and I want it!

I’m hesitant to think about it too much but since it’s been on my mind the past few days I want to get it out there and blog about it!

When we had the last miscarriage I told Greg I didn’t want to “try” anymore and I just want to let it happen.

Now that it’s been a little bit I find myself eager to try again.

Just thinking of it all makes me so nervous and little less excited.

Before the miscarriages I would have just been over the moon to think about getting pregnant again.

This time is different.

This time I’m nervous, impatient, worried, happy.

It’s a lot of emotions all mixed in together and it’s all out of my control.

Jaxson still talks about the baby we lost and every time he does I feel like my heart could burst into a million pieces.

I can’t wait to be able to tell them again that they are going to have a new little baby.

They’re going to give that new baby so much love.

We’re all hoping for a sticky baby this year and I can’t wait to finally deliver some happy news on here and start pregnant blogging! Haha!

So, stay tuned…Baby coming sometime! 😉

 

Saying Goodbye to a GOOD year

This morning as I was drinking my coffee and watching the kids play I began reading a random parenting article. It was about how hard parenting is, and really all of it was true. I laughed at a few of the things because it’s exactly how I can picture things happening in a few years. This article triggered something in me and inspired me to start reflecting on this past year.

2016.

Recently, I have been thinking of 2016 in a negative way. After two miscarriages and trying to sell our house it made the year negative for me. However, it has me so excited for 2017 and all the new possibilities for our family. The changes that I hope are coming and whatnot. But then after this article that pointed out so many things that we as parents experience it reminded me about just how much I have got out of this past year!

In a positive way.

Here are some reasons my year was awesome!

This past year taught me so much and I believe I have grown more in this year than ever.

It has driven me to think more about others and be more considerate.

I’ve learned that no matter what you plan in life it will always go a different way and in the end it will still be okay.

I’ve been taught even more patience than what being a mother has already taught me, I’ve gained more patience with life.

My love for my children has not stayed the same but it has grown even bigger.

I watched as Mady, our oldest grew into an extraordinary young girl.

I watched as Jaxson grew into an amazing little boy and leave behind his baby-ness.

I got to watch our baby, Rowan, take her first steps and become a toddler.

I have watched all three of my children grow in so many ways that make my heart swell with pride every second of everyday.

I’ve grown closer to my mother and let go of a lot of past resentment which in the end has taught me forgiveness and understanding.

2016 gave me courage that I never thought I had.

It gave me courage to reach out and meet my biological Dad’s family and it was pretty great.

This year has given me gratitude for everything we have.

This year has shown me beautiful friendships from all around the world from women that I’ve never even met in person but yet I feel like I’ve known them all my life.

It’s also gave me the courage to start my blog and share my life with so many others!

So, what I’m trying to say here is thank you 2016 for the high’s and the low’s that have given me wisdom.

Thank you for another year of life with my family and giving me many great memories that will last a lifetime.