My Oh My, The Time Flew By...

(First can I say...Happy Beautiful Autumn! My absolute favorite time of year...I will look forward to it all year, every year, forever. I am loving these brisk days.)

Well, Goodness me.

It's been very nearly 4 months since I tended to my little corner of the web here! Hmm.

I've thought about sitting down and trying to write many a time, but you know...insert normal excuses here. Summer was full and busy and quite...eventful. :)

I do have one not-so-common, pretty legit excuse for disappearing, at least for a little while.

In fact, I gots some

Big News.

News that surprised even me in mid-July, and had me feeling not so hot for awhile.

(*Hint Hint* *Wink Wink* *Nudge Nudge*)

I'm sure y'all can probably guess what I'm getting at...soon I will be calling myself

A mother of 4!!!

That's right...another sweet little squishy baby will be mine to hold again in late February or early March, right after my daughter's 2nd birthday.

(Wait, time out, WHAT? She will actually, eventually TURN TWO? I don't believe it, I won't...)

Ya know, I had this thing when I was in first grade...the same age my oldest child is now...I *loved* the number 6. I was 6 years old, I had lost 6 teeth, I had 6 people in my family, and there were a whole bunch of other cute and random reasons that led me to decide that 6 was most *definitely* my favorite number.

And that I wanted a family of 6 someday too. :)

And I kinda love how that little 6-year-old plan of mine is coming true. It truly is a little crazy how you can have such a clear memory straight out of childhood (seriously, I remember exactly what my elementary school hallway looked like, and I remember standing outside the bathroom once, telling someone about my love of "6"...), and now time has blitzed forward and I'm 30. Mom of 3, expecting a 4th.

Does this mean I'm supposed to be grown-up?


So, the early-prego-yuckiness hit me hard for awhile (not too hard, but worse than my previous experiences), and staying up late was out of the question. Nothing defeats my inherent night-owlness like early pregnancy. I start to doze at 8 pm, and grrrr, that drives me crazy! So there went blogging.

But I'm happy to say that I've officially reached the glorious 2nd trimester where the nasties disappear, and that fabulous nesting energy kicks in. I LOVES it. Wish I could bottle it up and hoard it away in the cupboards for after the baby arrives. :)


Of course, as always, and even more than ever, my mind is revolving around the all-encompassing topic of my life....

that of motherhood.

It's hard, ya know?

Rewarding, yes.

A blessing, indeed.

But hard.

Some days, for maybe like 2 seconds, you feel like you might, just might, deserve the title of "Supermom." But that's not what the everyday is like. The vast majority of the everydays involve scrambling, rushing, dashing through the routines...the getting to school or the appointments on time, the running errands and buying food and making meals and so on and so on. Or, on the flip side, some everydays are slow, dragging everydays, where you feel locked in the house. A house filled with dual choruses of crying toddlers and complaining grade-schoolers and meals you prepared that barely get touched and toys that always spread themselves *everywhere* and it seems like the children's bedtime will never, ever come.

And then, even after all your work, all your scraping-together-your-patience, your enduring through the endless requests and demands and problems, you don't usually allow yourself to sit back and feel satisfied with your hard work (because it is most definitely HARD WORK)...

...Instead, too often, you sit and feel guilty about your shortcomings as a mother. You beat yourself up for not being better: more patient, more creative, more skinny, more attentive, more fun, more more MORE...

...and you allow that tidal wave-type feeling of "I'm a failure" to wash over you, pulling you down, down, down.

And it's so not right, ya know?

Happens to me all the time. Happens to all of us at some point, I'm convinced...even that mom who I watch who I'm convinced is the epitome of Supermom. She LOOKS endlessly patient and IS incredibly creative and IS gorgeous and skinny and works out all the time and she's fun and a fantastic cook and housekeeper and interior decorator and everything else....

I'm convinced even she cries behind closed doors sometimes.

And you know what? I find more and more that hearing about the experiences of other mothers and their similar struggles is an infinite source of inspiration and support to me. Not in a "misery loves company" kind of way, but in a "I'm really not alone in this" kinda of way. It helps me to decide that I should really just stop (STOP!) this whole beating myself up thing, and instead free myself a little by realizing and accepting the truth...

Motherhood is hard, period. It's dang hard work. For everyone. Everyone is learning and struggling and sure, sometimes triumphing. But it is never perfect and never, ever, ever will be. And that is, most indeed, OKAY. 

What matters is not that we be perfect, but that we find the consistent courage to pick ourselves up again each day and

Try, Try Again.

So many mothers out there...in my neighborhood, in my family, in the wide, grand blogosphere... keep me tryin' and keep me goin', because they keep on tryin' and keep on goin'. ;) They remind me to appreciate the sweetness of motherhood amidst the mess of it...to hold onto the tender moments buried in between the difficult ones, to treasure the little things that are so common and so everyday now, but someday will live only as memories, and will pull at my heartstrings in an aching kind of way.

I want to learn to better appreciate these "normal" days. They are treasures.


On that note, I want to share my recent discovery that inspired many of these thoughts: 

"Finding Joy," a blog by Rachel Martin. 

She's a mom of 7 (boom!) who writes about motherhood with a kind wisdom. She tells it like it is, but with humor and lightness and grace and hope for all of us moms out there fighting the good fight. I came across a link to this post of hers on Facebook one day, and can I tell you...it felt providential. It was so absolutely needed, and at that exact time. Just hours before I'd had a breakdown, crying and telling my husband about my feelings of "I'm a failure." Her words were exactly what I needed, and reading them buoyed me up. Each new post from her gives me a renewed sense of courage and purpose, and a desire to find joy in the little things, the everyday, despite everything that is hard. It's writing like hers that makes me grateful for this wide landscape of the internet, and the way that it enables people, and particularly women, to connect and communicate about and cope with all that they go through.

Just today (again, Providence!) she wrote a post compiling her Top Ten Posts on Motherhood.

(One of my very favorites of the ten: The Pinterest Perfect Real Mom. It's a great reminder that our lives as mothers don't have to be picture-perfect and pinterest-worthy for us to consider ourselves a success.)

If you need a little boost, a little encouragement...and who doesn't?....Go and read one or two of Rachel's posts. I guarantee there's something there just for you. :)

Rachel's blog is full of so many beautiful photographs of her family and their life and home. I love the little details that are captured in so many of these images....they are those moments in family life that we too often consider to be "common," when really, they are some of the most special memories a mother and her family will make. In perusing her blog, I was often thinking how amazing it was that Rachel had the time and ability to not only raise those 7 babies, but also to have such an amazing collection of writing *and* document her life so thoroughly and beautifully in photographs. I've recently discovered that many of them are taken by her oldest daughter, Hannah. The fact that Rachel showcases the gorgeous talents of one of her children as such an important part of her blog makes me love it all the more.

(Photo via Finding Joy)

Hannah wrote this post for her mom back in August while her mom was traveling, accompanied by some sweet photos, like the one above. Hannah's love for her siblings and her family is evident and heartwarming. I was also thrilled to discover that she even has a fantastic blog of her own, full of her photography and writing. She is a self-described "old soul," and it shows. She's obviously one amazing teenager.

I'm grateful to Rachel for her insights into motherhood and finding joy...it's clear as day that she's doing something very, very right. :)

Site Design By Designer Blogs