Chasing gratitude.

Filing this under daily gratitudes and blessings. I almost didn’t post this picture because let’s be honest, I am not a pretty sleeper. But ohhh for this moment, I had prayed. As a desperate non believer, I prayed so hard for this child after years of heart ache, infertility and lots of loss. I never prayed so hard. ⁣


And here we are. ⁣

Constantly blessed (and sometimes stressed 🤣) by her colorful presence and presents in this world. She is an actual rainbow after the storm. And sometimes she IS also the storm. & I love that about her even on the days it makes it hard to parent her. ⁣

So grateful that Eric felt the love and gratitude for both his girls in this moment, to capture it. Then send it to your mom with the text, “look at your girls”. 😭 ⁣

A few years ago, I decided to chase gratitude. Even…or especially on the hard days. I’m still chasing it, except today I find more of it. Not because I’m more blessed (although I do feel more blessed), but because I have been intentional in playing hide and seek with it. ⁣

Don’t miss or overlook it because it’s hiding in the ordinary spaces. Seek it out. Say “found ya” out loud when you find it. Play this game all damn day, every day. Until it becomes part of your normal daily routine, even on the hard days and even when there’s a hint of sarcasm behind it (sarcasm may be my coping mechanism which I just read wasn’t healthy, but baby steps 😬). There were some days all I could be thankful for was a cup of coffee or just making it through the day. But I’ve come a long way since then and if I can, I believe anyone can. ⁣

(7/15/2020)

What is something you’re grateful for in this moment??

Lean in…to your gifts.

Working realllll hard to teach and show my kids that worth will never come from a grade or ANY external factor…while constantly reminding myself of that very thing. I wish I would have learned this lesson so much sooner in life. 

Academics may not come easy to him, but kindness, empathy & creativity do. And he has such a gift for recognizing a friend in need. I’ll take that all day, every day over a letter grade. 

Shine bright in your gifts, friends. Focus on all that you are instead of all that you’re not and see what happens. Another lesson I wish I would have learned sooner. But damn is it ever being shown to me now. Loud and clear. Better late than never, right? 

If you don’t know what your gifts are yet (I didn’t know mine until recently), what have you been told by friends or loved ones is a gift you possess? Maybe even be brave enough ask those around you. I promise you have a gift only you can give, in a way only you can. Sometimes it’s a matter of recognizing it and not ignoring or running from it. if you’re the praying type, talk to God…ask him to show you. Here’s a prayer I’ve been praying, “Lord, here I am with open hands and open heart. ready to step into who you have created me to be. To use the gifts and talents you have blessed me with in a way that shows people who you are, how you love and the life you want for them. And imma maybe need you to make it realllll clear for a sister because there’s still a little bit of fear that’s sometimes clouding your whispers. So maybe holla at a girl!” 🤣 annnnnd boy is he hollering lately. And sending the people to also holla at a girl. Even if you’re not the praying type (trust me, I get it. I was not for more than half my life), you can still talk to God. He will be happy to hear from you. If you don’t know how to pray or what to say (I also feel you on that, I’m still learning), feel free to borrow my very scholarly written prayer. 

So let’s hear it…do you know your gifts? I’d love to hear what they are. Or are you about to go figure em out?? 

Ps: thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. 😆

Guess who’s back. Back again.

MayHam’s back . Tell a friend.

just in case you forgot what I looked like. This is the face of 2020 MayHam. New & improved.

Well I’m doing the damn (blog) thing….again. Hopefully I can figure it out and keep at it this time around. Until then, I may be spamming you rapid fire style with some of my recent social medial posts that I would like to also live here on my little empty corner of the blog world.

Thanks for being here with me.

wishing you all the love, rainbows and coffee.

xoxo,

-m

looking for wholeheartedness

IMG_6717The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto. This. So. Much. This.

This book (Daring Greatly) totally rocked my world. I’m not gonna lie, it took me a long time to finally be ready to read and comprehend the words on these pages. I have struggled so much throughout my life with feelings of worthiness and self love and self acceptance and where I belong. And this manifesto right here is WHY I am working so hard on changing my behaviors and self talk.

In her book, Brené Brown says “we can’t give our children what we don’t have.” So without making some serious and intentional changes, I cannot lead by example. I cannot show them how to live in a place of self love and worthiness and belonging unless I am living that life as well. I won’t discount the progress I have already made because I do feel I am a better person today than I was a week ago, a month a ago, a year ago. But I also know that I can do better. Much better. For myself. For my children. Because. This. This is what I want for myself and my kids.

Stay tuned while I continue the search for wholeheartedness…

 

xoxo,

m

coffee mugs & tears

What a perfect day to bust out one of my most treasured coffee mugs that usually IMG_0965.JPGcarefully sits in a safe place in my mug cabinet. I remember climbing up on my tata’s lap as a little girl to sit with him as he sipped his coffee from this mug every morning. And as time passed, I remember watching Andrew climb up on his lap and do the same as a little boy. I am so thankful that both my nana and tata got to meet at least one of my babies. I wish they were here to be part of Ash and Laila’s lives, I know they would just get the biggest kick outta these 2 crazies. I wish I had more time with them, it wasn’t enough. But I feel so lucky to have so many amazing memories of all the time we did have together.

I remember every morning as I rushed out the door to get to class or work…my tata was sitting there in his chair, sipping his coffee. I would give him and Andrew a kiss on the head, tell them I loved them and run out. One morning I ran out of the house, he wasn’t in his chair yet. He was getting ready for his much anticipated hunting trip with my uncles. I didn’t wait. I just ran out. Without saying goodbye. Without telling him I loved him. Without kissing him on the head. Without seeing him in his chair, sipping his coffee. That morning I didn’t know that I would never have the chance to do any of those things ever again. Grief is so weird. It just sneaks up on you and sometimes and just slaps you in the face. This morning I reached up for this cup because I thought it was so appropriate being we leave for Hawaii in a few days. But as I cupped this mug in my hands and brought it to my face…the smell of coffee hitting my nose instantly took me back to being that little girl sitting on his lap smelling his coffee and snuggling up in his arms and made me miss him and my nana something fierce.

Don’t ever be too busy to tell someone you love and appreciate them. Slow down. Take the time. Say the words. Appreciate the moments.

 

xoxo,

-m

cuteness + compassion

The face and the heart of a kid that will change the world one smile, one wave, one thumbs up, one dab and one act of kindness at a time. Maybe I’m blinded by mom googles, but I’m convinced his loving and compassionate soul is much older and wiser than that of a typical 7 year old….on most days. I’m not *that* blinded.

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And speaking of acts of kindness, Ash is still collecting baby items for his birthday charity drive. This year he is collecting items for the Hushabye Nursery which is working hard to open a recovery center for infants experiencing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Did you know that every 25 minutes a baby is born addicted? That’s a lot of babies needing specialized care and patient hearts. His goal is to make sure the center has enough baby blankets, clothes, swings/bouncers and diapers when they open their doors and take their first tiny little patient. If you are interested in donating any new or gently used baby items, let us know and we can add you to the fb event page or send you the amazon Hushabye nursery wish list.

 

xoxo,

m

my monkeys, my circus…

 

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We went to the park yesterday and I captured so many adorable and loving moments of these two and I was so proud to watch their love and appreciation for one another. These right here are some of those precious moments captured that make you feel like you’re parenting game is so strong.

 

Unshakable. You’re doing everything right. Of course minus your all too frequent trips through the Chick Fil A drive thru, goldfish (the snacks not the actual fish. I don’t want any fish activist coming after me) and grapes being thrown at them just so you can finish one more thing that should have already been done and the constant forgetting to sign the 2nd grade daily progress sheet resulting in your kid not being able to hit up the prize box at school every Friday. Aside from that…You’re doing pretty damn allllllright. You kids clearly love one another so much that it totally makes up for all the other “not my best parenting moments”.

Then the sun goes down and they turn into hungry little maniacs. And I’m not talking hunger for mac & cheese. I’m talking about hunger for your sanity. The screaming. The destroying of your house. The running around you as you (im)patiently wait for your instapot to make the magical beeping sound of success while you huff your Stress Away essential oil bottle like those people you see frantically breathing into paper bags in the movies. But hey it’s all in fun, right? They are just kids after all. Kids having “fun”.

Then after repeating “eat your dinner, please” 2738 times you give up and cut your losses after approximately 37 pieces of macaronis and 102 chips eaten collectively. Yeah. I saw the bag of chips you thought you were hiding. Actually I heard you before I saw you. And I’m now strongly considering banning chips from ever entering this house again. Whhy whhhy whhhhhy do they chew so loud?!??

You’re so close now. Bath time. You got this. You totally got this. Home stretch. And as you’re getting the water ready you overhear the conversation being had between your two kids…. that love each other so much……

Ash: “Laila ever since you’ve come around, you been taking all my stuff. Enough is enough already! You’re going down!”

Laila: “shut.up.Ash!! Shut up! Shhhhhuuuutttt up!!!!!!! Give me my sword!”

Followed by the loudest screams ever while she rushes him and takes HIS sword.

Ash: “ugh Laila. You are such a beast. You’re never gonna have any friends, if you keep this up.”

Laila: “suuuuuuush Asssssssshhhhhh!!!”

Me: “Laila. Come here. You’re not being nice.”

Laila yelling: “I am nice!! My sword.”

As she pulls it in and guards it with her life.

Me: “no you’re not being nice and that’s Ash’s sword. You need to go give it back.”

Laila. “Ugggggh. Fock.”

But not just any old F bomb. She dragged it out…”Foooock!”

Uhhhh….yeah. The 2.5 year old dropped the F bomb. And although you’re kinda impressed that she used it in the proper context, you hold your head in shame because you’re pretty sure she got that word from you. Actually you know she did. There is no doubt because when that word leaves your lips, that’s EXACTLY how it sounds. And as you file tonight under “not my best parenting moments”, you’re just thankful the 7 year old didn’t here the F bomb dropped so the damage control is limited to yours and your 2.5 year olds potty mouths and you hope that she quickly forgets this word in her sleep. Dear 6lbs 7oz baby Jesus, just please hear this prayer!!!

I’m not alone, right?!? I can’t be. There are other moms out there with potty mouth toddlers? Or kids living off of Chick Fil A and a prayer….right?!

And this is my #totalMayHam

to be continued….

storms+rainbows+hope…

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I love how Facebook tugs at my emotional heart strings with these adorable pictures and memories. This picture was taken 5 years ago today yet it seems like yesterday.

img_3067Since I’m working on “being free” this year, I’m going to share a bit of my heart here. These memories are sometimes bittersweet to look back on. I remember being so happy and thankful for my little family, but I was silently battling depression and anxiety while struggling through infertility and loss. I was talking with a friend today and shared about what a lonely road that was to walk sometimes. Even with the most supportive family and friends. It’s not always easy to put on a smile and act like you’re keeping it together or answer those heart breaking questions of when you’re gonna have another baby. But I always told myself, I have to trust the path laid out for me. Even if that meant feeling like a piece of my heart may always be empty.

With each negative test, each hormone shot, each medication that made me a hormonal nightmare to be around, or with each loss I always tried to convince myself that we would one have another baby. I tried to never lose hope, but every once in a while the thought would creep into my head “what if my arms will always be empty? What if I would never again get to hold a baby that grew inside of me? What if that is my path?”. The thoughts always crushed me, but I felt I needed to always be ready for that hard possibility.

After one of our losses I had a friend that had previously lost a pregnancy tell me “you will one day hold the baby you were meant to have.” I remember looking at her and saying thank you, but in that moment I remember being angry at those words. I wanted the baby I just lost. And the one before that. It wasn’t until I held Ash in my arms that I realized. He was the one. He was the one I was meant to grow and hold. I can’t imagine a world without him and I know he is meant to change the world with his heart and his compassion. 

So after having already gone through the storm with Ash, you would think I was better prepared for that several year storm the next time we faced it. Nope. I think when you’re in it.  You’re.in.it. And it’s intense. The whole uncertainty of it all. That’s probably one of the hardest parts. If I knew that after the storm, the rainbow would come…I would battle a million storms to get that rainbow. But the hard truth is that the rainbow doesn’t always come. 

Our next storm was rough. 2 more losses, unsuccessful treatments, side effects of meds, discouraging news after discouraging news. I was told to not hold out hope with “traditional methods” and that if I did become pregnant this round, the pregnancy would likely end in miscarriage because the same medication that was supposed to help me get pregnant was the also making my uterine lining an unsuitable environment for implantation. After this news, I was done. Mentally. Emotionally. Physically. Done. 

Well what do you know. That was the month I got that positive test. I have never prayed so hard. I asked every morning and every night and just about ever hour in between for this baby to just hold on. “Hold on, baby. Just please hold on.”  Talk about being in a glass cage of emotions. At 6 weeks, we thought we were going to lose her. Bed rest. At 18 weeks, we thought we were going to lose her. Bed rest. And let me tell you, being a NICU nurse during this was not easy. At 32.5 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital in preterm labor. As a NICU nurse, I know that had she come at that time she would likely be fine but I also know how important those last few weeks of growth and development are. So all day, everyday in that hospital

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Ash cheering on Laila to stay put.

bed I pep talked her “just hold on, Laila. Please just hold on.” And funny enough when they turned all my meds off at 36 weeks in true Laila fashion, she did what she wanted to. She held on…till 39 weeks. She shocked everyone. And if you know her, you will know she’s still holding on since the day she was born. She is 2.5 years old and is the clinger of all clingers. Always in my arms or my lap. I’m trying to still really embrace this since after all she probably heard “please just hold on” at least a billion times in the 39 weeks I grew and carried her.

 

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It was in this exact moment right here that I ugly face cried. Hard and uncontrollably. This is the moment it hit me, that all the previous tears, the heartache, the disappointment, the raging storms led us to this very moment. Ash holding Laila and looking up at us with tears in his eyes, “I’m sorry I’m a little bit crying. I’m just so happy she’s finally here. I knew she would come. I told you she would come.” And as he looked down at her, “I’ve been waiting so long for you, Laila. But I knew you would come. I love you my little baby shooting star.” This. Right here. My rainbows after the storms. My whole heart. laila_2weeks-11

I look at these memories and my life now and I can’t help but shed both happy and sad tears. Happy tears for all the rainbows after the storms. Sad tears for all those in the storm. The heartache and heartbreak anyone experiencing infertility and/or loss has to experience. But I also have hope. Hope that they will one day find peace and comfort in their hearts. Hope that their rainbow is right around the corner. Hope that  they know they are not alone, even when it feels like it.

xoxo,

-m

lies + chocolate and possible jail time…

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The truth shall set you free. So here I go. Setting myself free. After all that’s what my twenty seventeen is all about, right?!!

So a few things you may or may not know about me. I LOOOOVE chocolate. Dark chocolate specifically, but chances are if you put most chocolate down in front of me it may not survive. It’s a real problem. I will go to the store and without even realizing it, I will have put bars of chocolate in my cart. I guess the heart knows what the heart wants…and mine wants chocolate. All the damn time.

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oh just me eating chocolate for breakfast.

So another thing you may or may not know about me, I’m a baaaaad liar. Like the worst. My mom knows this, my husband knows this, my friends know this. I know this. So here’s where I need to own up cuz I lied and it’s about to bite me right in my 1?0 pound ass. We just got new/more/different life insurance because well…apparently adults do responsible things like this. And I filled out the paperwork and entered those numbers like I was filling out my DMV paperwork. Cuz everyone lies on their drivers license, right?!! What? Are they gonna weigh me? Noooooo. I don’t think so.

Well…so it turns out, the life insurance people…they do weigh you. They come TO YOUR HOUSE and weigh you!! “It will only take 10-15 min.” She says on the phone. And of course in my mind I’m convinced she’s throwing around those exact numbers because she was on to me and my lies. So I hang up the phone and run up upstairs to weigh myself and vow to lose 10-15 lbs before my appointment…. the following week which is ridiculous. And even more ridiculous I run downstairs and stress eat bars of chocolate. The weight obviously doesn’t magically fall off so what do I do? What any normal person would do and change my appointment…not once… but 2 more times. In an attempt to lose weight by eating ridiculous amounts of dark chocolate bars. Huh?! Seriously?!

Sooo….here we are on the eve of my 10-15 min weigh in and I am down exactly zero pounds. But what I am down is approximately 6-10…ok maybe more Trader Joe’s chocolate bars.

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my pantry at any given moment.

So…tomorrow may be the day I either go to jail for insurance fraud or get denied coverage cuz I’m way too short for my real weight…not my drivers license weight. Time will tell. Please tell me you’ll write….

To be continued….

ugly face cry strikes again…

So just when I thought all the ugly face crying from leaving my nursing career was out of my system…a package shows up in my mailbox that reopens the flood gates. This time. Only happy tears.

 

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one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received.

The contents of package is a reminder that I am on the right path. With the right people. People that I would never know had it not been for this business that accidentally fell into my lap. I love it. And I love them. So much. This tribe of women that I never knew I needed.

My one word. Free. And my intention not only for this year, but from these moments forward. Free to be…

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Today the happy tears flow because I know I have found my people, my tribe. The ones that know my flaws, my crazy and still love me, accept me and cheer me on. Thank you for being in my life…

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to be continued…

xoxo,

-m