Dreaded Daycare Drop-Off: 4 Tips for Success

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For most of the H’s first year of life, my husband handled daycare drop-off. I will admit, I didn’t realize quite how awesome this was until he got a new job and daycare drop-off become my job. Most of the time, I love being a working mom, but man, some days or most days, daycare drop-off is tough. There was something about saying goodbye to H at home while he was eating breakfast with his daddy that made going to work a little easier. Dropping him off in a room full of other sometimes crying children is not easy. But after several months of being solely responsible for drop-off, I have come up with a few tips to make the process so much easier and keep me from driving to work crying and dreading my day.

  1. Plan ahead and leave enough time to say hello to the teacher. I have made it a point to get to know his daycare teacher and ensure I leave at least a few minutes in the morning to check-in, say hi, and catch up. Sometimes we talk about daycare, but oftentimes we just talk about life or the mornings we have had. Our conversations are never long as I know she is responsible for watching the other children in the room, but I make it a point to do more than just drop and run. This has made leaving H there so much easier because I adore his teacher. She is excellent with her kiddos and loves them like her own. It allows me to leave some of the guilt about being a working mom at the door because she is teaching him sign language, Japanese, and all sorts of fine and gross motor skills I know nothing about. There is a long list of reasons why I work in corporate America and not in a classroom. I have major respect for teachers because I tried it one year and found out it was not for me. If your little one often cries when you leave, talk to the teacher about what happens after you leave. Often I bet your little one is perfectly fine by the time you are out of sight and this can be reassuring if you do have to leave them in tears.
  2. Reassure, reassure, reassure. Perhaps this is just as much for me as it is for H, but I make sure I give him a hug and kiss and tell him I will be back to get him. I encourage him to go read books with his buddies or find a toy he really likes. I make sure he is occupied and knows mama will be back. I try not to tell him I will miss him, but instead tell him I love him. According to Today, keeping your goodbyes upbeat (even if you are a little sad too) will help the child feel safe and secure. I want H to know it’s okay for him to be at daycare and that he is safe and taken care of even if I am a little sad to leave him there some days.
  3. Focus on the positives.  This has perhaps been the most helpful for me. You can find bemoaning working moms and stay-at-moms all over the internet. And it’s easier to look at the grass and assume its greener on the other side. But spending all your time focusing on what you wish were true about life won’t make the reality of life any different and will heap a lot of guilt and frustration on you. I remind myself how social H is, how much he is learning, and despite being at daycare, that I am still one of his favorite people. He is thriving and making friends. The other week we were in the middle of the grocery store when he yelled out hello to a friend from his daycare. My heart almost melted. I also feel very called to my work and know I am the best mom I can be when I am operating out of this calling. It is always easy-of course not, but I try to focus on all the good things instead of wishing I was in someone else’s yard.
  4. Create a routine.  I am big on routines. Perhaps because I love them, but also because I believe they really help kids. H and I have both evening and morning routines. We do almost the same thing Monday-Friday so he knows what to expect. I try really hard not to do things different or try new ideas during the week. This may get a little boring, but he doesn’t seem to mind eating the same thing for breakfast everyday and following the same schedule. It also helps me not be so frazzled and allows me an extra few minutes if he wants to read a book or watch the “quack-quacks” outside. Everyday as we leave, we say bye-bye to the dog and I always remind him we are going to see his teacher and friends. The routine also helps me leave enough time to have a few minutes at daycare to touch base with his teacher and say hello before heading to work.

What are your tips for doing daycare drop-off like a pro? How have you made the transition easier? Let me know in the comments!

 

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A Year of Authenticity

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Authentic- true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character; Not false or imitation

For the past several weeks, I have been struggling with what to choose as my word for the year.  While I have a few personal goals for 2017, I am more concerned with the year I live and how I treat those around me thus I decided to go back to my word of the year and filter all my goals and plans through the word. I tossed around a bunch of different ideas and looked up a bunch of words in the dictionary. My problem was narrowing down to a single word because there were so many I wanted to choose as I thought about 2017.  I settled on Authentic. I chose this word because it was the closest word to how I want to live this year and how I want to treat others and make decisions.

We live in a world caught up in technology and social media. I heard a speaker recently talk about how social media releases dopamine in your brain-the same chemical released by other addictive behaviors such as alcohol and gambling.  Social media can be and often is addicting. It’s also inauthentic and not always honest. You may argue sometimes it is a little too honest which could be true, but I think deep down for many of us social media is the highlight reel of our lives. I will take an adorable picture of my son and crop out the disaster of my house or ignore the fact that 10 minutes ago he was throwing a massive fit because I refused to give him crackers for the 100th time today. (he discovered how to open the pantry and also knows I keep crackers in said pantry) Social media can easily only portray the  moments when we actually feel like we have it all together, not the moments when we feel like we are two seconds from losing our minds.

Hence the word I chose for this year- authentic. I want this year to be marked by authenticity. Like I read in a blog recently, if you are a mom, the word fine should be erased from your vocabulary. Moms aren’t ever just fine. Motherhood is a roller-coaster of emotion we often reduce to fine when someone asks.  But what if we stopped saying we were fine and actually shared our full selves. What if I was true to my own personality and admitted my house is a disaster because honestly, as much as I try to be neat and tidy, it’s just really not my modus operandi these days. I like things to be organized most of the time, but lately I like to sleep more.

When it comes to relationships, this is where I really want this word to be the theme. The older I have gotten, the more I have found myself longing for deep, close friends. And I am learning sometimes this has to start with me.  I have to pick up the phone and wave the white flag when I need help. I have to get back to being true to who I am and living out that truth. I need to make the invite or plan the event.

So as we head into 2017, my hope is to be authentic and spend more time chatting across the table and less time scrolling down the screen. What about you? Do you have goals for 2017? Or are you a word-of-the-year type of person? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Independent. Multi-Tasker.

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This was the description of women summed up by an author in a book I was listening to the other day. She polled a bunch of women and the theme which emerged was independent, multi-tasker. In other words, women think they can do it all and they can do it all alone.

Talk about feeling hit by a ton of bricks. I could totally relate. I feel the exact same way. All.the.time. Although I might replace the word can with the word should. I should do it all and I should do it alone. Isn’t that the message our culture sends?  Be the perfect wife, mom, employee, church attendee etc. Have a Pinterest-worthy house at all times and host Pinterest worthy events on top of every other thing you sign up to do. Join a board, volunteer, build a resume, or stay home and educate, attend play-groups, take adorable Instagram worthy photos all.the.time.  Are you tired yet? Because I am. Just writing that paragraph made me want to take a nap. But then again, if I take a nap, something else on my ever-lengthening to-do list won’t get accomplished. The author’s description of women was followed by the point of the chapter-Brave enough women know their limits.

Do you know your limits? Do you know when you have blown past what you can handle? Or did you give up a long time ago on limits because it seemed society doesn’t seem to care? Sure, I could find 100 articles on self-care, but for each article on self-care, I could find another on building your brand or image or resume or how to ensure your child is successful or talented or sociable. I will be the first to admit a discussion on limits coming from me is laughable at best. Aside from a husband, 15 month old, and full-time job, I co-chair a board for a local young professional group, co-lead a working group for a different non-profit, and lead a 3rd non-profit I founded a couple of years ago.  Limits? What limits?

Instead of listening to my inner soul and perhaps even the wise counsel of those around me, I am one who tends to keep pushing, keep going, and keep saying yes. That is until recently, I ran smack into a wall.  Not a literal wall, but a wall nonetheless. A wall forcing me to pause. To get help. To start to figure out what limits look like in my own life. I felt God asking me to place all my life in His hands and trust when it was all said and done, I would be okay. The things He was asking of me were not supposed to be so burdensome. They were not meant to destroy my health and marriage and relationship with those around me. But the expectations I had of myself, they were beginning to do those very things.

Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Friend, are you weary today? Are you burdened? Perhaps for all of us, the bravest thing we can do in these moments is come to Jesus. To let Him take our burdens, societal expectations, families, and relationships. To give Him our future and stop acting like if we don’t do it, the world will fall apart. Jesus called us to love Him first and love those around us second. He didn’t call us to resumes, jobs, groups, or volunteer activities. Those things are not wrong, but they must come after we seek Him.

So today, let’s lay our burdens at His feet and just rest. Take a deep breath and trust in His hands it will all be okay.

 

30 Things for 30 Years

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30 cupcakeLast week, I turned 30 years old. I love birthdays, but this one had me a bit emotional. I am not sure why except it had been a really tough few months and 30 looks nothing like I thought it would at 20.  Crazy how fast a decade goes by and all of a sudden you are staring down a new decade wondering where the time went. It seems like yesterday I was celebrating 20 and looking forward to all my twenties would bring. In many ways, I am actually looking forward to my 30’s and glad to say goodbye to the past decade. So as I say goodbye, I came up with 30 things as I reflect over the past and dream for the future.

1. Time goes by so fast. I spent a long weekend with one of my best friends and we were talking about how it had been 5 years since we met. It didn’t seem possible and yet, from the time we met on a tiny tropical island to that long weekend, we had both gotten married, had babies, and settled down in towns neither of us ever intended on leaving.

2. Travel every chance you get. With a 15 month old, a full-time job and non-profit, I just don’t have the time these days to travel. I miss it most days and I am so thankful I took the chances I had when I had them. I know I will travel again, but for now, the memories I have of my trips are constant sources of lessons and reminders to take every opportunity in front of you.

3. Life looks different. Every year, every decision, every step brought me to the place I am at today. It looks incredibly different from I thought it would even a year ago, but each day I am learning the sweet joy of embracing life with all its ups and downs.

4. The older you get, the more important friends are. I have always struggled with friendships. In your early twenties, it’s just hard to make friends. But now on the brink of 30, I have a small group of women who I am growing closer to each month and who are quickly becoming the friends I have always wanted. They are the people I run to when life is tough and when I want to celebrate and together we are navigating lives of jobs and babies and marriages.

5. Laugh. A lot. They say laughter is the best medicine and I can assure you, it has gotten me through some dark days.

6. Learn how to say no. This is a lesson I am learning daily. As I head into my 30s, it is a lesson I want to master. I cannot do it all, be all, and conquer all. And that is 100% OK.

7. Being a mom is awesome. and exhausting. and emotional. and really really hard. I wouldn’t trade H for the world and he has brought more joy and love into my life than I ever thought possible. But he has also forced me to deal with some skeletons in my closet and admit I need help. I can’t do it all. And sometimes (or all the time), the house is just messy.

10. Wait for the right someone.  I dated a few guys in my 20’s I thought I might marry.  Looking back, I am so glad I didn’t.

11. Even with the right someone, marriage is hard.  And in less than 3 years, we have changed jobs, had a baby, and started a non-profit. It’s been a lot and some days are really hard. But even on the hard days, I am thankful to be married to my best friend and thankful we are on this journey together.

12. You do you. This is something I think is especially important to me since becoming a mom. We spend too much time judging or proclaiming the right way to do things. It’s not worth it. Just be the best you can be at what God has called you to do and cheer on those around you as they do the same.

13. Enjoy college. Seriously, some days I wish I could go back to the time when the biggest issue was finishing my term paper or studying for a final exam. It’s easy to wish away each stage of life, but wherever you are, enjoy it. It will go by too quick and the next stage will bring more responsibility and more demands with it.

14. Be generous. There is no greater joy in my life than the chance to be generous. Whether it’s with your time, talent, or treasure, or even a kind word, be generous with those around you.

15. Take risks.  Jump out of planes (literally and figuratively). Follow your passions. Pursue your dreams. Someone out there needs the dream you have in your heart.

16. Do hard things. Things that test you. The moment I had H after a drug-free labor, I felt like I could take on the world. It was hard, but it has given me a toughness I didn’t have before. Perhaps your hard thing is having a tough conversation or making a career move or ending a relationship. Whatever it is, do the hard thing. The rewards are worth it.

17. Say your sorry. Ask for forgiveness. The relationships restored are worth it.

18. Try new foods. I have made it a rule I will always try something offered to me. It has led me to try some interesting things and given me lots of stories to tell. But it has also opened my world and expanded my horizons.

19. Take care of yourself. I am learning this lesson the hard way right now. My body finally said enough and so I am slowly learning how to nourish and rebuild a healthy me.

20. Collect experiences. Stuff is nice, but experiences are better. Collect experiences-even if that’s just trying a new place for dinner.

21. Turn off the TV.  It’s hardly ever on at our house and in our next house, it won’t even be in the main room. It forces us to get down on the floor and read a book or talk about our day. It has brought us closer as a family and I don’t feel like I am missing a thing.

22. Unplug. (see above) We live in a world where screens are a constant in many of our lives. Learn how to turn it off, put it down, and live without it. It’s not easy and I am by no means a master. I fail at this almost daily, but I am trying to reduce my dependence on my phone and on all things media related.

23. Call your parents. and your grandparents. I talk to my mom almost daily and I have made it a point to call my grandparents every few weeks. As I get older, those relationships become more cherished and valuable to me. After my husband lost both his grandmas in a year, I realized life is short and you just never know when this conversation could be your last.

24. Celebrate life. I wanted to have a big birthday party this year. No matter its was week before Christmas and I knew there are a million other parties going on. I threw H a big 1st birthday party. And almost daily I am clapping loudly and celebrating the tiny accomplishments like throwing the trash in the trashcan. Also, celebrate yourself if you are still reading this post! 🙂

25. Find a higher purpose in life. For me, it’s Jesus. He is the reason I live and breathe. And that keeps me going on the really hard and really tough days.

26. Befriend those around you. No matter how different they may be. Love them like Jesus says and include them in your circle. It will lead you down some crazy paths like delivering a Christmas tree to an ex-bouncer who wants to go to church with you because he sees something in your Jesus. And it will enrich your life in ways you never knew possible.

27. Wear your style. Don’t like style wear you.  Disposable clothing is a trend. It’s the cheap outfit you buy for one event and never wear again either because it’s too trendy or poor quality.  But the trend is hurting millions of workers around the world. I will admit its been hard for me at times to shift to buying ethically, but I have tried to stick to items I know will last season after season and when I can, purchase from fair trade and ethical companies.

28. Work hard. Because even if you don’t get the promotion or the recognition, you will feel accomplished and proud of yourself.

29. Start traditions wherever you are. As I have gotten married and now become a mom, traditions are becoming more important to me. They things I remember so fondly from my childhood and the things I want my own children to remember. Don’t get caught up in having a Pinterest perfect house or holiday and create your own quirky traditions.

30. Love out loud. No matter what you do, let it be done in love. Kindness wins every time.

 

 

You do You

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do-what-you-love

 

You do You. 

This was advice given to me by a speaker I recently listened to at a leadership breakfast I went to for my job.  She was talking about her career path and current position at a prestigious local company. At one point, she mentioned her two children and their ages. A quick bit of math brought the realization she had built her career while her children were very young.  After the breakfast, I went up to introduce myself as we had a mutual friend and ask her advice.

Being a working mom is tough. Being a working mom in a world where most people assume eventually you will wake up and realize your lifelong dream is to be a stay at home mom is even tougher.  I have nothing against either camp. But I know where I solidly fit. In the land of working moms. I asked how she did it and if she had any advice to pass along. She had some solid advice and was super encouraging, but one phrase hasn’t left my mind. You do you. She said, you have to do you and that is when you will be the best mom and wife and employee.   As I left and continued to mull over what she said, I could see how so very true it was in my own life.

When I am being me-the best me I know how to be, I am a good mom, wife, and employee/volunteer/friend etc.  But when I try to act like someone else or fit into some other mold, I am tired, cranky, and generally a not-fun version of myself.  In so many ways, in this season of my life, I feel called to stay at my job. I love my son and enjoy every minute with him, but I know this is who I am. I am a working mom. And you know what, when I embrace that, when I live in that space, I am everything else better. I am not spending my days waiting for God to change my heart and make me magically into a stay-at-home mom. I am spending my days doing what I am best at and loving God, my family, and my life well through it.

So friend, you do you.  Whatever you looks like, be the best you. And if we all do this, we will become the best supporters of each other. I can cheer you on and you can cheer me on and we can run our races together, however different they may look.

 

My Do-Not-Do List

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If you missed my obsession with Hoopla, check here for more details. And download it stat. It might change your life.

My current audio book loves are all of Shauna Niequist’s books. I probably should stop listening to them because they make me cry. Ugly tears sometimes. But I love her. and her writing. and she narrates them. Currently, I am in the middle of Bittersweet and she has a chapter in there on her “Do-Not-Do” List. At one point she was overwhelmed and trying to do it all (hello all my millennial mom friends) and received some wise advice which lead her to creating a list of things she doesn’t do. Things on the list are free from guilt and shame because by not doing those things, she has time to do the things she loves. This was what I needed to hear. After a month of fighting and losing the battle with a nasty cold and generally just feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and on the verge of a meltdown, this was the breath of fresh air I needed.

The world of social media makes mom-guilt a lot worse I think and I was struggling big time. So I enter for your enjoyment (and accountability or free pass) my personal Do-Not-Do (“DND”) list.  It’s a work in progress and subject to change. But the things on this list today are things which I refuse to have any guilt over. None. Nada. Because the things on this list mean I can do other things I love and enjoy and bring life and wholeness to me and my family.

Amanda’s DND LIST

1. Fold socks-sorry folks, mama ain’t got time to match all your socks. In our family, we go through a lot of socks in a given week. They will be placed in your sock drawer and it’s up to you to find a matching pair. Or don’t because I hear mis-matched socks are all the rage.

2. Halloween Costumes- This is timely as this week was Halloween. I made my list prior to the 31st and since this was on the list, I refused to let any guilt seep into the day. I have a full plate and making a costume was not a reality. And I refuse to spend money on something to be worn once. On top of that, I never celebrated Halloween as a kid and am undecided on what we will do as a family, but for now, it’s a no go.

3. Decorate for any holiday aside from Christmas- I LOVE Christmas. So much I won’t even deny I may become the person with a tree in every room. I love Christmas music, Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, Christmas cards. I think you get it. But only Christmas gets a free pass. Sorry to all the other noble holidays, my house will not reflect your presence. It’s just one more thing I have to clean up.

4. Grocery Shop at multiple stores- I know it would be more budget friendly, but time is money. And in my limited spare time, spending it driving to multiple stores to save a little money just loses out. So sorry Aldi, I will miss you so. But today I will enjoy my one-stop shopping trip that takes less than an hour.

5. Go to the gym- I hesitated to put this one on my list. At different points in my life, I have spent a lot of time at the gym. Early mornings, Saturdays, late nights-you name it. But right now, I have an active one-year old who demands all my attention and a gym membership and gym classes just don’t fit on the calendar or in the budget. They will again someday I am sure, but for now, this is on the list so I can stop feeling guilty about the fact that instead of going to the gym over my lunch I actually ate a meal sitting down without a toddler screaming at me.

That’s my short DND list. I am sure there are other things, but the things I put on the list have, over the past several months, caused me the most guilt so they went on the list. Life is too short and there are too many beautiful and lovely things to do so just know, if you ask me to a Halloween party there will be no costumes. 🙂

What’s on your DND list? Don’t have one? What are you feeling guilty about that might need to go on the list? Being a momma is hard and there just isn’t time for everything.

One Year Later

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birthday1hudsonThey say kids grow up fast, but how truly fast they grow up is not something you understand until you have them. And then all of a sudden you sit here on the verge of your first kid’s first birthday and wonder where the time went. Weren’t you just born yesterday? I still picture that moment with the most vivid of memories. H’s birth was tough. He came into this world as stubborn as his mama and I love every ounce of his personality and little life.

Perhaps because H is our first or because I always wanted an August birthday, I have a big party planned. I have no idea who will actually show up, but honestly, it doesn’t matter to me. Planning it has been the most fun!  It has given me time to reflect and be excited and dream and pray for my sweet and stubborn little man.

Let’s be honest, this whole mom thing is TOUGH. Nothing about it is easy and most days I feel like I am literally wearing my heart on my sleeve and then ripping it out to physically leave it at daycare. This is exacerbated by the fact the last week of drop-offs have been full of huge tears, outstretched arms, and lots of “mamama.” Today perhaps was the hardest because instead of tears, I got the cold shoulder. Oh kid, you already know how to crush your mama. Thankfully, I am confident he is in the best hands and in just a few short hours, his face will light up when I walk back through the door to pick him up.

As I have watched H develop a personality, I see in him so much of me. He is stubborn as can be and adventurous with zero fear. I have a feeling, despite my best efforts, we may become well acquainted with the ER as he grows.  He is also so much of his father. He is so observant and a quick learner. He loves to eat and loves to love. He is the most cuddly, sweet little boy. I pray everyday for him to grow into a lover of Jesus. I pray for him to have a heart for the least and to be a champion for the downtrodden. And I pray he never loses his adventurous spirit.

Being a mom has changed so much of who I am as well. I realize how much I value the simple things in life and how much I love being home with our little family. I have realized how tough and lonely being a mom can be and how much we need community. I also think prayer is the only parenting tool you need. Sure, other skills are good to have, but at the end of the day, I have to lay my anxiety and fear and worry at the feet of Jesus and trust He loves H more than I ever could. Over the past year, I have learned to say no to things and to limit my time away from home. I have learned just how truly strong I am and how willing I am to do whatever is necessary for my family. And I have learned to trust and seek Jesus in every aspect of my life.

So my sweet H, as you turn 1, my biggest prayer for you is you come to know Jesus and you know you are always safe in His arms. Even if mine fail, His never will.

 

You Don’t Have To Be Supermom

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The next time you go to your local library, see if they have an account for Hoopla. It is my new favorite app. I can borrow music and audio books through my local library and listen to them while I am driving. Although, on the same note, I feel old for admitting my new favorite app is one that gives me the ability to listen to audio books. Regardless, I love it. With an almost one-year old,  I just do not have time to sit down with a book. But I do have time to listen to someone else read me one.

My current audio book is “The Best Yes” by Lysa TerKeurst. If you haven’t read (or listened) to it, I highly recommend it. The book came on the heels of another book I will write more about later, but has been the perfect narrative to my current position in life.  Our little family is about to go through some good, but tough changes. My sweet hubby took a new job with more hours and I have a growing non-profit, an almost toddler, and work full-time. Add to this a constant struggle with my calendar and the word “no”, this book has been a lifesaver in so many ways.  I could write about many things I am learning or many of the amazing things Lysa writes about, however, the downside to audio books is a lot of the exact details get lost.  I get the general gist and eventually will pick up the hard copy to fill in the more minute details. But one line has been playing over and over in my head  since I listened to a portion of the book on my way to a lunch meeting the other day. Lysa was talking about a comment a reader had posted on her blog and the line that stuck out to me was “You don’t have to be a supermom.”

Perhaps you don’t need to hear that today, but boy did I need to hear those words. In a world of social media, Pinterest, and an opinion about every-little-thing, those words were a lifesaver. They were a reminder to me as I walk into this next season, I don’t have to be a supermom.  Because the reality is, I can’t be one. I love H more than words can explain. But I am not supermom.  Some days I am frustrated mom. and tired mom. and overwhelmed mom. and don’t touch me one more time mom.  And some days I am Pinterest mom and do-it-all with grace mom and superb chef mom.

But regardless of the day, I want H to remember I was his mom. I want him to remember I wasn’t always distracted or running around trying to be supermom. That I was gracious with him and accepted the limits on my time, talent, and emotional capability. I want him to remember my strength came from my relationship with Jesus.  That I set the laundry aside to do a puzzle or play a game.  Am I good at this? No. Am I working on it? Yes.  I am slowly trying to let go of the to-do list and embrace a be list.  Just Be. Here. Now.

Today whatever season of life you are in, remember, you don’t have to be supermom.  You don’t have to have it all together. Because I bet, regardless of how you feel as a mom, your kiddos think you are super.

Savoring Slow

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Dandelion-in-the-morning

 

For much of my life, I have been a morning person. Prior to getting married, I was up and at the gym between 4:30 and 5 every morning. I love the peace and calm of the morning. I maintained my early mornings after getting married for a while, but slowly the early morning gym workouts fell by the wayside. Add a baby into the mix and my mornings became “how late can I sleep and still get to work on time.” They were chaotic, rushed, and anything but peaceful and quiet. I was barely able to get to work on time and struggling. Majorly struggling.

 

Something had to change. And while I think some of my struggles were from some postpartum issues, I think many of them were from skipping my morning rituals I had loved for so many years. My mornings were so chaotic, the rest of the day just seemed to follow until I fell into bed exhausted, dreading the morning alarm. I ran across an e-book I immediately knew was what I needed- The Abundant Mama’s Guide to Savoring Slow.

Each chapter is a habit to work on in order to savor the moments of life. The book is designed to work through over an entire year so I am going to go through it slowly and then in January start over at the beginning.  The first chapter is entitled “Wake Up.” So with my journal, Bible, and book ready, I set  my alarm for 5:30am in order to give me 30 minutes in the morning to read, write, and pray before starting my day.

Mamas and friends, this is the best decision I have made. It is tough. Some mornings, I want to just stay in bed. And I will admit, a few times I have. I am growing in giving myself grace to not to be perfect. But more times than not over the past three weeks, I have gotten up early and positioned myself on the couch for 30 minutes. Sometimes my little one decides to wake up early and interrupts my time and sometimes I end up talking to my husband for part of it, but it has made the biggest difference. Those 30 minutes have meant my days are less rushed, I have more energy, and I feel better equipped to love my family.  I am learning the moments of life to savor are the small ones. The moments when I hear “ma-ma-ma” coming from the kitchen and I drop whatever I am doing to make sure little H knows his mama is right here. The moments when I spend a few extra minutes eating ice cream with J instead of rushing off to bed. I needed my mornings. They are fresh water to a thirsty soul.

Want to join me on this Savoring Slow journey? Sign up for my e-mails or comment below.  What does “Wake Up” look like in your world? Maybe for you it is getting up earlier. Or maybe it is unplugging from your phone. Or maybe it is reading one extra book or playing one more game. Whatever it is, enjoy the moments and learn to savor them.

Waiting.. And More Waiting.. Part 1

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He is almost one right?!?bebravelittleonearrow

I have lost track of how many times I have been asked that question over the past several weeks. People look at the calendar or see me and little H and all of a sudden, it hits them, it’s almost August. Isn’t his birthday in August?

Yes. His birthday is in August. And yes he is almost one. But the more I get asked about it, the more sentimental I become which is odd because I am not a sentimental person. I have actually been excited each time he has grown into a new size of clothing. I have loved seeing him grow and tried to not be sad about the passing days and the moments when I no longer see a tiny baby in front of me. However, to truly celebrate one year of his life, allow me a moment to reflect.

H was supposed to come the middle of August. We live in Southern Indiana and August is HOT. I also had a lovely OB jump the gun and inform me about 5 weeks before he actually came that I should go home and pack my bags right NOW. (this was not my regular OB..)  I did just what he said because what did I know. The Dr. said he could come ANY day and at that point the farthest I had gotten in packing was making a list of what I wanted to pack. This was at about 37.5 weeks. At 41.5 weeks, I was cursing my packed bags. See, they sat in front of our door, packed, for FIVE weeks.

While pregnancy is not short, any amount of time over 40 weeks is SO. MUCH. LONGER.  It’s like the clock decides to stand still. I was ready to meet our little guy, but I was stubborn and determined to let him come on his timing so I waited. And waited. And at 41 weeks and 6 days, after walking 10 miles between two days, I was done. I called my OB almost in tears and said I couldn’t be pregnant any longer. Remember, it was August. And it was hot. and I was now approaching 42 weeks pregnant.

My husband and I went out to eat that night and enjoyed the last night as a family of 2. Tomorrow, H would be here. Needless to say, I did not sleep much that night. Mostly I kept hoping maybe I would have a contraction. But nope. Nothing. I got up and ate breakfast (shh.. don’t tell anyone) and headed off to the hospital.

I will tell you a little more about his birth day later. But I was looking back through old blog posts and came across this post I wrote in January of last year- The Year of Patience.  Apparently, H knew about my word of the year and decided his arrival would be a great time for me to work on my patience. I am confident he came at the exact right time and I learned a lot about patience in the process. He is my August baby which is what I always wanted. His birthday will be a celebration of the grandest sorts because after almost 30 years of a December birthday, I can now live vicariously through my precious baby boy, throwing parties without the fear of snow or the conflict of Christmas parties or the stress of final exams.