Saturday, May 13, 2017

An Ode to Motherhood + What I've Learned

I've dreamed of being a mother as long as I can remember.
I chalk this up to the fact that I have the most beautiful and selfless mother that 
I watched love us four kids with tenderness and grace. 

But we don't just magically become that beautiful and selfless mother full of tenderness and grace.
It's quite the journey of transformation in my experience.

And I've learned a few things in my short (almost) 5 years of experience.

Throw your expectations out the window
I learned this one right off the bat trying to get pregnant. 
Dream scenario: It'll be easy for us to get pregnant. We'll send adorable announcements to our parents surprising them with their first grandchild. I'll have an easy pregnancy and be one of those adorable pregnant girls that barely gains any weight and just looks like she has a basketball stuffed under her shirt. I'll love being pregnant.
Reality: It took time to get pregnant and every month that I wasn't I started to develop anxiety that I might never get pregnant. We finally do get pregnant and send those adorable announcements to our parents only to tell them a few weeks later that we lost the baby. We grieve and then try again. We finally get pregnant again and I have a condition that causes me to bleed through the whole first trimester. I feel like I'm walking on eggshells my whole pregnancy and my face gets fat.

You'll learn this one over and over and over as you journey motherhood though. So just take alllll those expectations and throw them out the window. But if you don't, your kids will definitely throw them out the window for you. No automatic alt text available.
(Pregnant with Grady at 20 weeks)

(Pregnant with Griffin at 20 weeks)

 I am really selfish
Man, did I ever learn this when I had my first baby. 
Your life goes from doing whatever you want whenever you want being at the mercy of a needy baby and pretty much never doing whatever you want whenever you want. 
You learn to die to yourself in favor of another person and its hard. Marriage will teach you this a little bit but nothing really teaches you this like a newborn baby.
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For me this stripping away of self played out first in breastfeeding. I didn't want to do it.
It hurt like crazy and was the most life-sucking thing I'd ever experienced. Pun intended.
They really expect me to drop everything and just sit down and feed this baby EVERY time he needs to eat? Even though it hurts like CRAZY? He eats every 2 hours? You gotta be kidding me!  
Everything in me wanted to say, "Forget this." But I couldn't find one unselfish reason not to breastfeed this baby. So, the mother inside of me rose to the occasion.
She laid down all that selfishness in favor of giving her best. 
That was the beginning of the end of me and it was so hard but so beautiful.

Watching a baby grow up is pure magic
This little person that you GROW INSIDE YOUR BODY gets bigger, and smarter, and more independent every single day. They go from completely helpless to sitting up and crawling and feeding themselves to eventually learning to walk and talk. It's so amazing to have a front row seat.
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Everything feels new again
Getting to experience life through the eyes of your child is amazing. 
Their excitement and wonder is so contagious. I remember feeling so excited the first time my babies experienced snow and it felt like it was my first time all over again.
This happened again and again. Going to places, trying new things. It all feels new seeing it through their eyes.
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Your heart really does grow when you have more babies
I remember crying when I was pregnant with Griffin thinking there is no way I'd be able to love him like I love Grady. And I don't. I love him in his own unique way and it's amazing and sorta incomprehensible until you experience it. 

And then it grows even more watching your kids be siblings
Watching my boys become brothers was something I wasn't aware would make my heart wanna explode. The way they love each other is so special and after 2 years I'm finally watching them become real, true wanna-play-and-do-everything-together friends and it is the BEST. THING. EVER.

It's sweetest love you'll ever know
Grady told me he wants to marry me the other day.
This little boy love is a whole other level of love and pure dependance and trust.

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Time is so cruel to babies
Exhibit A

Exhibit B

You can't pour from an empty well
It's the same concept as why they tell you to put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others when you fly on an airplane. You can't pour from an empty well and motherhood is all about pouring yourself out on behalf of others. So if you're not doing things that fill your well, it's a detriment to everyone. If you've been a mother for any time at all I'm sure you know just how true this is. So find time and ways to recharge and fill your well. For me it's time alone. Time alone with God. And time with girlfriends.  I know it's not always easy to do but in my experience your family will thank you.

It's the hardest/best job ever
Once you become a mother, you're always on. 24/7. Even if you're getting a break you're still thinking about them and worrying if they're behaving for the babysitter. Being a mom does weird things to your heart - like you're dying to get them to sleep and then when they're asleep, you miss them. I truly count it such a privilege to be these boys' mom. And I believe God chose them specifically for me. He's given me all the grace I need to raise Grady and Griffin Goodman. And when I walk in that truth, I feel empowered to raise these boys well. I believe that raising Godly gentlemen will probably be my greatest contribution to this world.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas, soon-to-be mamas, and mamas in waiting.
My heart is with you all in so many ways.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Make a Peeps S'mores Kit + Free Printable

My heart is swelling this Easter watching my oldest son start to understand the Easter story.
We talked a lot about how what Jesus did for us was a gift and we decided to make some gifts for our friends. I love teaching him to never miss an opportunity to love and celebrate the people in our lives and how good it feels to give (and not just get) a gift.

We went to the store and found everything we need to make some Peeps S'mores Kits.
We love to make s'more at home and use our microwave in lieu of a campfire so we thought our friends might too!

All you need is some graham crackers, some chocolate and some Peeps marshmallows to make it festive. Plus our printable tags and either a stapler to do a folder tab or some string if you want to make a regular tag.

Then get as many supplies as you need to make all your s'mores kits.

Super simple and easy to have your kids do!

That's all their is to it! Like I said the printables allow you to either do a fool over tag you can staple or you can cut them to use like a regular tag with string!

I've also included a tag version that doesn't specifically have to be for Easter.
So you can do these anytime for a special surprise for one of your favorite peeps! :)

Happy Easter to all of you, my favorite peeps! 
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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Working from Home + Using a Standing Desk

Working from home is no joke. Don't get me wrong, I love it. 
But it takes so much self discipline and I wouldn't say that's one of my strong suits. One of my biggest struggles is that I find it so hard to be productive on my design work and shop stuff when everything else I have to do around the house is staring me in the face. 

I'm sure you've heard of the standing desk by now and how many companies are switching over to that for their employees benefit. Everything I've read says that standing desks are proven to increase productivity. So I thought, it was worth a try for me.  

The appeal of the InMovement Standing Desk is its portability and how it works with your existing desktop. Days that I dedicate to work, I like to be in my dining room which is central to my house so that I can keep an eye on what my boys are up to and the light in here just makes it a pleasant place to work. And then days that I don't need to be in front of the computer for hours, I can just store it away.

I would definitely say that even after just a short amount of time using it, I could tell a difference in my productivity. I love that I could just put it on the end of my dining room table and adjust the height to what feels comfortable for me.

Standing during my work hours motivated me to stretch and do simple exercises frequently.
It made me feel energized.

Not to mention, my whole body feels so much better after spending hours standing and working instead of hours all pretzeled up in my desk chair.

I caught my husband using it one day that he had dedicated to working on music.

He obviously was able to adjust it much higher to suit his 6'2" frame. The workspace was big enough to accommodate all this gadgets he needed for work.

And I might have to fight him for who gets to use it.

If you're in the market for a standing desk or just looking to improve your health and productivity at work, this InMovement Standing Desk might be just the ticket. And you're in luck because if you use code BLOG30 then you can get 30% off!

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Friday, March 3, 2017

HelloFresh First Timer + Review

We had our first experience with HelloFresh last week and we loved it! And here's my reasons why.

1. It makes a great at-home date night.
This was the initial reason I wanted to try it. We've been doing weekly dates nights and I thought it'd be fun to do something a little different but still cooking at home together. But it ended up being the perfect break from meal planning and grocery shopping that I needed.

Doing it for our date night was so fun. The meals come with step by step directions and pictures so it was just fun for us to turn on music, get the wine started and divvying up the prep work.

2. Super easy and great ingredients
The other two meals we got, I ended up making by myself but to just go in the pantry and pull out the box of all the stuff I needed for dinner and not have to think about it was such a treat.
I loved that lots of the prep work was already done. Like pre-peeled garlic cloves and de-tailed shrimp!

For me, getting in the kitchen with a new recipe and no kids around my ankles is my happy place. I truly enjoy cooking like this and easy cooking guide is a welcomed relief at the end of a long day.

Also, this meal was our favorite.
Fiesty Shrimp Linguine

3. Generous Portions
The other thing I'll say that I loved is the that the portions for the family pack we got were really generous. Like for this Balsamic Chicken, Josh and I just ate it the first night and later in the week I was able to feed all four of us with the leftover portion.
Our whole family ate the shrimp meal twice. And the left over beef stirfry made quesedillas for the guys and topped a salad for me. We were able to make this 3 meal pack feed us all week.

4. Special ingredients I wouldn't normally have
For me it was fun to use ingredients that I wouldnt' normally have in my pantry.
Like Herbs de Provence for the veggies. So good.
And hoisin sauce for the beef stirfry. We loved it. And it felt like a treat because it's not flavors we have all the time.

Having HelloFresh last week was such a treat for us!
And now you can treat your family by using my referral link for $40 off your first box!
Try it and make your week 1000x better!

 Have you tried it before? Are you a HelloFresh regular? Let me know your thoughts!
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