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When Time Keeps Moving

Fun fact: I live in the same town that I grew up in. Despite spreading my wings and getting away for a few years in college, I live five minutes away from my childhood home, and Mike’s is five minutes away in the other direction. There is something incredibly comforting about establishing roots in the place you grew up.
And yet, this week as I was driving down the main road in our town I was overcome with a wave of emotion. It may have been because of a country song on the radio (because those always get me in the feels), but I didn’t just flash back to high school. I saw memories of myself as a ten year old, as a thirteen year old girl, rollerblading around town, stopping at the gas station for a Parrot Ice (local friends, please tell me that you remember), spending those long and lazy summer days doing exactly what any child should spend their summer doing. And I couldn’t help but feel sad at just how quickly those days have turned into not only memories, but distant memories.
 
I have known this place my entire life, and yet my current life and my past life are two very different things. Those friends that I spent long, lazy summer days with have all moved on. In fact, of my close childhood friends, not one of them still lives here. The people and memories that made this place home belong in a different lifetime, almost.
This wave of emotion hit me hard. I don’t think we really take a long walk down memory lane all that often. We think of past times, sure, but to allow ourselves to really transport back to a different place and stage in life almost feels as though it is an out of body experience; as if we are watching ourselves through the eyes of someone else. I am not that same girl who spent the summer of 2005 joined at the hip with her best friend, having pool days, sleepovers, and chasing boys. But if I could talk to her, I would tell her to soak it up, because those are memories she is going to cherish forever.
Today looks different. I am married to a boy who grew up in the same town as me. He lived five miles away. I knew his brother, his last name, we had so many connections, and yet our paths never crossed. I always figured I would never end up with any of the boys from my hometown, because I never felt a spark with the ones I knew. Except the guy meant for me was there all along. The children we have, the in-laws I have gained, they are all pieces that were there on the periphery of my childhood, with me being entirely oblivious to the fact that the little world I lived in, the world where I thought I knew everything, had an entire, undiscovered layer that would turn into my forever.
I’m not sure if this post has any grand conclusion. But, I feel as though I have had the strange and unique privilege of living two entirely different lives in one place. My childhood and my adulthood, look pretty different, and yet I have the same place to call home. And that, I think, is pretty darn amazing.

What I Wish Everyone Knew About Being A Boy Mom

Five years ago, if someone would have told me I would be living in a house with all boys, I would have told them ‘I hope not!’ It is not that I never wanted a son. But, for the sake of being honest, I knew (or was naïve enough to think I knew) that I would be able to live without a son. A daughter, on the other hand, that is something I couldn’t fathom living without. Who would be my lifelong best friend? Who would go with me on shopping trips while my husband went off to do boy things. That relationship I had with my mother was something that I knew I needed for myself.
Due to these feelings, I also constantly joked that I would end up being the one person in our families that ended up birthing all of the boys. And guess what, that is exactly what happened. I am rocking the boy mom status, and there is a very good chance that these two boys are the only children we will have. And the thing that I want everyone to know, is that I could not be luckier or more humbled than I am to have been blessed with sons.
I am as guilty as everyone else when it comes to the preconceived notions about boys and girls. Before having kids of my own, I also felt a bit of, dare I say, sympathy for people when they found out they would be having a boy. I mean, they just aren’t as precious to dress up, and they couldn’t possibly be as sweet and adorable as a little girl. And then I myself became a mom of not one, but two little boys. Suddenly I was on the receiving end of those comments and sad looks that I had in the past given to others. I felt so ashamed that I ever could have looked at a mother of boys and felt as if she were someone to be pitied, that she was missing out on something. That I felt sorry for her. I could not have been more wrong. I am constantly told I need to have another baby, because I would be such a good girl mom. I am told that I really need to experience one of each. But do you know what this all implies, regardless of the intention behind those words? That my boys aren’t enough, when in fact, they are everything and more.
What I wish others (and myself) knew about being a mom of all boys is that you will never be short on love. I am the number one girl to not only my husband, but to two precious little boys who adore me. I get to see them be rough and tough, covered in mud and sweat, but then soak in their sweetness as I snuggle my youngest and watch him drift off to sleep, or when I lay in bed with my toddler and listen to him talk and giggle, amazed at the new things he is constantly learning. I get to experience so many new things that, as a self proclaimed girly-girl, I grew up avoiding. I am a better person because of the job I have been given in raising these boys. I burst with excitement when I see a tractor or a train, because I know I will point it out to my babies and they will be over the moon. We sing silly songs. We have dance parties. We do all of the things I dreamed of doing with daughters, yet it is just as sweet with my boys. In fact, I think it is special on such a deep level because, as their mama, I see such a gentle and precious side of them that is not so obvious in boys, that even when they are grown, I have a feeling will still be there.
I have the honor and privilege of shaping my boys into men. Men that will treat others with kindness and respect, that will hopefully be amazing husbands and fathers themselves. The love I feel when looking at them is something that cannot be explained or comprehended.
Do not pity us boy moms. I would never close the door on a daughter. But what having boys has taught me is that each and every child is their own person, and at the end of the day, a person is a person. They have their own little soul, their own thoughts and feelings, and my heart beats for each of my boys every single day. Looking back, I was so uncertain of how I could ever live without a daughter, and yet I never considered that I couldn’t live without the exact children that I have. Having boys is the greatest blessing I have received that I never knew I needed. Moms of boys have a hidden understanding with one another, because we know that while people think we may be missing out on something, we know that that belief could not be anymore untrue. Being a parent is an honor and a gift, and some of us just so happen to end up with boys. Those messy little boys who tear apart my living room and track mud through the carpet? Yeah, I think I’ll keep them.

Linking up with Annie today.

Confession

It has been a while since I posted a good old ‘fess sesh. Which is such a bummer, because some of my absolute favorite posts to write are mind dumps. So much is constantly going on, I love nothing better than getting a little bit off of my chest!

I confess..

I hate brushing my toddler’s teeth. Like, HATE it. At least half of the time, he outright refuses to participate. If he is in the mood, he repeatedly asks for more toothpaste because he wants to eat it, and maybe, just maybe, with a little bit of force and crying, a few of those pearly whites get brushed. I hate it!

On a similar note, I also really do not like bath time! We have never given our kids daily baths, in part because living in Minnesota, their dry baby skin really does not need it. When we have those ‘off’ nights, the nights that the inevitable baths must happen feel cut short, and it just feels like work. This could be due to the fact that Lincoln screamed bloody murder for every single bath he had for the first six months of his life. During that time, not only did I dread bath time, but I truly feared it He loves it now (go figure), but I just do not have any fuzzy feelings around that little hygiene ritual.

January is far and away my least favorite month out of the year. February is also brutally cold, but at least it only has 28 days and March is right around the corner. March usually has tons of snow, but there are a few warm days mixed in there as a preview to spring. But January? Cold. Snow. So little sunlight. And no end in sight. I have been burning candles non stop and am decorating my mantle for Valentine’s Day this week #sorrynotsorry just to help pull me through. Minnesota winters. They are not for the faint of heart.

I majorly fell off the wagon with my eating over the past six months or so. I dropped the baby weight, and with nursing just didn’t feel the need to be very conscious of my eating. But even though I dropped the weight, I have just feel ‘blegh’. I am hopeful to get back into working out when life allows me to, but in the meantime like every other person on the planet I used January 1st as an opportunity to eat better. I have chosen to not get Chick Fil A for lunch, have not ordered a coffee that wasn’t black, and have eaten a good amount of veggies. And while three days is not much, I seriously feel SO much better already. I may be crazy, but I feel like in a matter of a few days my body has already gotten rid of so many toxins and junk.

The hardest part of eating healthy is pizza. Pizza is everything, and I will probably never fully quit it.

I want to start a boutique. I would love to have a small shop, sell fun fashion finds, and manage the inventory. But alas, I have a full time job that supports my family well, a new house to think about, and somehow I don’t think it would be the best call to throw in the towel and invest in a new project. If I ever find a money tree though, I will totally quit my day job and pursue being a shop owner.

While I am watching my food and what I drink in things like coffee, when I do decide to treat myself, the salted caramel boudino from Caribou Coffee is the best. drink. ever. It is so ridiculously delicious, I could drink them every single day.

Christmas may be 11 months away, but my boys already have three pairs of jammies for next year. I am sure I will grab a new pair when next season rolls around, but I got them some from The Gap, originally nearly $50, and with discounts and my rewards they were only $10 a piece!

Linking up with Annie today!

Hopes for 2017

I am never the biggest fan of Mondays. This one is more my speed, because Mike and I are both off of work and have plans to tackle taking down all of the Christmas decorations. Not only that, but despite the cliché of it all, something about the new year and the fresh start that it brings leaves me feeling excited and hopeful.

 

I have never been big into resolutions. I hate to set goals, especially unrealistic ones, that inevitably come crashing down after a tough day or two. I set some resolutions last year, and guess what, I don’t think I can say I was successful in any of them. While they are all admirable, positive goals that were designed to improve our lives, sometimes it is just hard to change more than a thing or two, especially when it is more long term. Sometimes life throws you a curve, like a baby going through a difficult phase that makes going to church nearly impossible. Or pregnancy leaves you with so little energy you can barely brush your teeth, let alone make it to the gym five days a week. Life happens, and that’s okay.
You know what I can commit to working on this year? To being better. To spend more time with my boys. To cherish my husband and remember, even on the hard days, that no relationship in my life is more important and he deserves my time, my energy, and my love. I want to be a good employee. I want to be a person who friends can turn to, and who colleagues and complete strangers enjoy being around.
I want to be kind to myself. I want to get better at knowing my limits, and asking for help. I hope to continue to grow and improve in my role as a mother, and to remember that the best thing for my children is for me to be in my best possible state of body and mind. I want to learn to be selfish a little bit more, while also being more aware of when to unplug, tune in and be wholly present.
I have high hopes that 2017 will be a year that I grow and get to know myself better. Less going through the motions, and more awareness and appreciation for this life that I have been blessed with. I may not have a list of resolutions this year, but I do have a theme I intend to live by. To be better.
Let’s do this 2017, I’m coming at ya!

A Reminder To Us All

I regularly listen to children’s singalong tunes in my car. When tantrums happen, they seem to have a magical way of calming things down. The CD I have is often played on repeat, and is often kept playing while I mindlessly sing along long after I have dropped off my children at daycare. It’s catchy, okay?


One of the songs recently struck a chord with me. I have known it since childhood myself, but I think in the current events of our nation, we can all bear the reminder.



Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world”. Not just the affluent children. Not just the well behaved children. Not just the children who have parents who raise them in the Christian faith. He loves the homeless man begging on the corner. He loves the refugees from other nations. He loves those who are in jail for committing terrible crimes. He loves us all. I have been raised to love and serve God, and I do not understand where along the line religion became something that people think entitles them to pass judgment. Do I have beliefs? Do I have opinions? Yes. Do I believe that those beliefs and opinions give me the right to dislike and criticize others who may not live their lives in the same way that I do? NO. Hate breeds hate, and that is not what we are here for. The God of the family who goes to church twice a week and attends bible study is the same God of the family that has never been to church, lives off of food stamps, but says their prayers nightly and thanks God for that food they are receiving. You do not get to be more Christian than another person. As a parent, we often find ourselves with one child who succeeds and strives for the best, and perhaps another child who scrapes by in school and acts up more often than we would like. And yet, we love both children equally and would do anything and everything for them. God wants us to help one another, serve one another, and love one another. I am by no means anywhere near perfect, and I imagine God looks at me often and thinks, “wow, she is making poor decisions. I do not like the way she does things”. And yet he chooses to love me, as fiercely and passionately as he loves all of his other children. So why should I do anything different?

Regardless of your religion, the frequency in which you practice your faith, or the number of times you pray per day, I hope that we can all choose to love, choose to support one another, and choose to know that we are all equal in His eyes. God is love, so let’s start to practice what we preach.

Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth him. 1 John 4:7-8.

Weekending: RIP Iphone

Well, I did have aspirations of doing a weekend recap. However, we are STILL without internet at our new home (supposedly it is getting set up today, fingers crossed! Mama misses her Netflix!) And, the cherry on top of the weekend was Sunday morning. Lincoln was laying in bed with me, and when I picked him up I noticed soaked sheets. Little man had leaked out. I didn’t totally mind, because there is something about fresh sheets on a Sunday night to start out the week. So I got him changed and cleaned up, tore all of the sheets off the bed, and threw them in the wash. Fast-forward ten minutes, and I could not find my cell phone. I retraced all of my steps from the past few minutes, and eventually, with a ridiculous amount of fear, paused the washing machine to find my beloved iPhone taking a tumble with the sheets. So, yesterday included a trip to Verizon, where I went back to my old phone. It’s an iPhone 5, and I had only upgraded out of greediness versus necessity last year haha, so it still works well. But I was not only without regular internet, but also my cell Wifi for most of the day yesterday.

This morning is Monday, I have a late work meeting, and it has been downpouring. So, cheers to a new work week, and cross your fingers for me that the bag of rice where my beloved phone is currently residing works some magic!

Linking up with Biana today.

Confessions

Ahhh what is becoming my favorite time of the week, my opportunity to get some things off of my chest and be honest. I am back at it with Jess and Caitlin for some confessions, and am ready to dive right in.

I confess..

My back is getting achy already in this pregnancy, and I am NOT happy about it. I really didn’t have back pain until 34-35 weeks the first time, and don’t want to imagine dealing with this for the next 2.5 months. Nope, nope, nope.

Some people are so difficult to work with that it truly makes it unbearable going into the office some days. When you purposely schedule meetings to avoid having to drive places together, and sneak away to lunch so that you can eat alone, you know you don’t like a person. #micromanager

I could eat an entire pan of brownies in one sitting. This is the best recipe I have ever found and I have to restrain myself from making them weekly. It is a problem.
I love when my candles get low and sometimes I light them all the time just do they burn so low the flames go out. 
There are two Targets in my town but only one of them has a Starbucks. Sometimes I drive five extra miles to the one that is further away so I can drink while I shop.
I bought two pairs of jeans from Old Navy last week even though I am 7 months pregnant. I got both these and these for $22 and just told myself I would absolutely keep the weight gain in check so I can fit into them right away.
I am on the hunt for a nail polish that is brighter than hot pink but less bright than neon pink. I think I might be crazy, but the color in my head is ‘Barbie pink’ and I am determined to find it.
My impulse shopping has resulted in me immediately regretting purchases lately, emailing the seller and saying I had the items in my cart but didn’t mean to hit ‘order’. So far I have gotten every order canceled and refunded.
My son plays with my husbands Xbox and game controllers. I hate video games and think it’s my husbands fault for not storing these precious things out of reach, so sometimes I let the kid just do his thing and hope it doesn’t result in the machine exploding.

I’ll leave it off with that. Happy hump day everyone, congratulations on making it halfway to the weekend!

Pregnancy Tales From a Second Time Mom

 I have heard it time and time again that no two pregnancies are the same. Some women are plagued with nausea, and others feel fabulous and sit there eating doughnuts and sipping hot chocolate wondering why some pregnant ladies are so dramatic about feeling sick. Some show before the end of the first trimester, and others (like myself) hide their bump for months and don’t look pregnant until well beyond the halfway point. Some ladies breeze through with zero complications, and others require weekly doctors visits, extra tests, and anxiety. Truly, no two pregnancies are the same, and every woman has her own experience, every time.

With that being said, there are a few things that I can say, with quite a bit of confidence, that every woman would agree is different when you are on your second pregnancy in comparison to the first. Because, while we are all mamas from the day that test turns up positive, a first time mom’s pregnancy experience is just a little bit different than those who have already been through the ringer.

1. Sleep. I think this is one area where nearly all women experience a sign of pregnancy, and that is the fatigue. Because it is real, y’all. I am talking can’t keep your eyes open, falling asleep at your desk, 7pm bedtime kind of tired. The big difference with pregnancy number two, though, is there is no milking this symptom and taking it easy. Guess what? That little munchkin(s) whom you so lovingly let grow in your uterus a mere year or two ago is now a living breathing monster, and they could care less that ‘mommy is tired’. So embrace the tired. Feel the tired. And smile knowing that the pregnancy fatigue is only a brief preview of the sleepless decade that lies ahead of you. Or, give in and begin co-sleeping with your one year old because it makes sense to just start going to bed at the same time (7:00pm, in case you were wondering), anyway.

2. Your body. As I said before, every woman experiences different body changes in pregnancy. But, it is a fairly safe assumption that bump #2 will show up earlier than bump #1. Your body remembers doing this before, and it is more eager to pop out and say adios to your normal pants than it was the last time. Changes will likely be different this time, too. This time, my skin is worse, I feel ‘wider’ as opposed to growing straight out, and I totally do not feel like I am rocking the pregnancy glow I did the first round. Of course, that could be due to the lack of sleep and monster child mentioned above. I digress. The main point is to not have expectations that if you rocked your skinny jeans until your 7th month of pregnancy, that you will this time. And that is 100% ok.

3. Pride. I am a late shower in pregnancy. I also linger in the ‘is she pregnant or fat’ stage much longer than I would like. However, in my first pregnancy, I was convinced that I would squeeze into my jeans as long as possible, if only to say I wore pre-pregnancy jeans through my 25th week. And let me tell you, I had a few experiences of wanting to rip off my jeans in public because of this. This time around, even though at almost 18 weeks I am still fitting (pretty comfortably too) in my regular jeans, I am rocking sweater dresses, oversized sweaters, and leggings on the regular. Comfort is the priority this time around, and I am saying goodbye to my ‘pre-preg’ wardrobe way sooner. Not because I can’t squeeze into it, but because I would rather squeeze into my yoga pants.

4. Feeling pregnant. While I can’t speak for others, my first pregnancy I obsessively tracked my baby’s progress, size, weight, and growth milestones every single day. I would lay for hours waiting for those first kicks. And I spent all of my free time daydreaming about nursery decor and what he would look like. This time around, I will literally go days and forget that I am even pregnant. Not because I love this child any less, and not because I am any less excited. But this time around, I have the most beautiful little 16 month old boy who wants to play pat-a-cake with me and giggles at everything I say. I know I will love this baby with every fiber of my being just like I love my first, but for now, I know that baby #2 is safe and warm in my belly getting all of the love that he or she needs, and I am soaking up every second I can with my precious first born.

5. Being nervous. This one could go either way for women, but depending on how your first pregnancy and labor went, you likely feel much more prepared for delivering and bringing home a baby. First time mom nerves tend to focus on:

  • Will it hurt
  • I don’t know if I can do this
  • What do you do with the baby once you bring them home?
  • When will I find time to shower?

Second(or third or fourth of tenth) time moms get nervous, too, but not like first time moms would expect. Our fears are more focused on:

  • Who is going to take care of my other kids while I am at the hospital?
  • Will I love this baby as much as my first?
  • How will I split my attention between kids?
  • Just major mommy guilt, in general, because you are obsessed with your first kid and don’t yet know this second kid who is gonna rock your first kid’s world.
  • OMG is that much of my paycheck really going to daycare costs?
  • and really though, WHEN WILL I FIND TIME TO SHOWER?!

 I am not an expert by any means, but hopefuly this provides a bit of insight to how much things change. I look back at my self two years ago when I was pregnant and just think ‘oh, if only you knew how easy you have it’. Because really, I have now accepted the harsh reality that I will really, truly, never sleep again 😉

Today, I am linking up with Jenn, Holly, and Jessi to share what’s ‘hap-pinning’ lately!