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