Slower days, fuller hearts

One year ago, I was living a life that didn’t allow me to be present. Every minute was accounted for with taking care of my kiddos, my husband & my business. I would move from task to task without actually paying attention to my life and everything in it. This needed to change.

I was completely overwhelmed, not knowing how to get to a place of being present & content. Everything on my plate seemed important, so how was I to decide what needed to give in order for me to live my best life?

It’s been a slow process of refining, but I’m finally in a place where being present is becoming my reality.

I’ve realized that I don’t need to “keep up” with the rest of the world. I can go at my pace. I can build my business in baby steps and in God’s timing.  I can let my house go a little bit if it allows for more time to play with my kiddos. I can make space in my day for resting and doing the things I enjoy.

Life is not meant to be lived checking off our to-do lists in order to feel productive. It’s meant to cultivate beauty in our lives and flourish in our relationships. It’s meant to be spent intentionally and with purpose. God’s purpose.

As soon as I realized that I had the power to change my life, the weight drifted off my shoulders and peace took it’s place.

My days are much slower now. Many of our hours are filled with whatever our hearts desire. So we play outside. We blow bubbles. We play in the water. I read my books. I play my guitar. We listen to music (always gotta have music!). We meet with friends. We live in the present.

Not every day is perfect, this is life with two young children of course! But most of my days are filled with the peace I so desperately desired. My mind is clear and free to take in the beauty that this life brings. I see my children’s faces with so much detail they’ve become etched in my memory. I’m truly soaking in this life. Breathing in the air. Noticing the trees and the flowers in bloom. I’m living MY life.

So how did I get here?

  • I wrote down the things in my life that absolutely need to get done as well as the things that I want to be a part of my daily life.
  • I looked at my calendar and figured out where each of these will fit best allowing for plenty of time in between tasks.
  • I was realistic about what needs to get done and when.
  • I set boundaries for work, cleaning the house, time with friends etc…
  • I physically placed these items on the calendar and set reminders so that I don’t get back to that place of overwhelm.
  • And I gave myself LOTS of GRACE…

Mom life is a beautiful life, but can become chaotic if you let it. Take control of your life, live each moment to it’s fullest and know that it’s ok to go at your pace. You got this momma!

XOXO,

~P

Stop & Smell the Roses…

As much as I’d like to say I’m living life being truly present with those I love, that would be a complete lie…

Being present is something I’ve been striving for especially during this season of life, but the days keep getting away from me. My to-do list is long and there’s always something to be done, a kiddo who needs me, a house to keep clean or meals to prepare. But I truly don’t want to look back on my life and feel like I missed the point.

I’m a neat freak and a busy body, so slowing down enough to be present in even the most simplest of things is HARD. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching, praying and reevaluating of my life over the last few months to try to change this. I am far from perfect or even close to where I want to be, but I’m making progress…

This week was a big step in the right direction.

My hubby was gone for 3 days and initially I was feeling all sorts of anxiety, stress & exhaustion just thinking about those 3 days. But to my surprise I found a lot of peace during my “single mom” days. And this time even came with a BIG change in the napping department…on the first day of my hubby being gone, Savi dropped her morning nap and Jase dropped his naps all together.

At first I wanted to cry, but I quickly realized that with some switching up of my routine, it wouldn’t be so bad. An to be honest, I’m actually sort if loving it! It’s given me the ability to have more down time with my kiddos, to be more present and to stop and smell the roses.

This year has already brought so much change, and yet I feel there is still so much more to come.

I feel the shift happening, telling me to let go. And although I want to fight every bit of this and stay in my ways, my world around me is changing and I know deep down I need to change with it. I need to be more free, more relaxed and more willing to slow down.

My to-do list can wait and things will get done in time, but my babies are growing at a rapid pace and I’ll miss the beauty if I don’t focus on what matters most. So today and every day I will keep reminding myself of this: to Stop & Smell the Roses.

XOXO,

~P

Finding Your Identity among Dirty Diapers, Dishes & Paw Patrol

Before I became a momma, I had dreams of what life would be like…

I envisioned slow days where I would play with my happy kids, clean up around the house while they napped (at the same time) and have dinner on the table by the time my hubby walked through the door. I knew in my heart that being a momma was absolutely my calling, but what I didn’t realize is that I would have other callings/passions as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kiddos and feel truly blessed to be able to stay home with them. I know how lucky I am to not have to send them to daycare every day. But being a stay at home momma isn’t always easy and my days are definitely not all sunshine and rainbows.

My days are usually filled with lots of crying/whining and racing around the house trying to get stuff done while the kids nap only to finally get a break the second one of them wakes. There’s messes and spills at every turn and a toddler that thinks throwing things in the toilet or playing in the cat food is a good time. There’s a very strong-willed 3 year old that I’m constantly having to battle with in even the smallest of things.

About a year and a half ago I felt this urge to find a way to express who I am outside of being a mom.

I used to feel like others would think I was ungrateful for wanting more. After everything I’d been through to become a momma, why did I feel the need to add to my life? But what I’ve come to learn is that it’s ok to explore and express another side to who you are. And that’s where this little space of mine came into play.

I had written my first blog the prior year and found this passion for writing that I didn’t know I had. At first blogging started out as an outlet for me to connect with other blogger moms as well as share my passions about healthy living and motherhood. However, it quickly became a place for growth and finding my true identity.

For so long I was the girl that struggled with Infertility. That was my identity. It became who I was and what I talked about. And when I finally became a momma, I wanted to leave that identity behind. I wanted to embrace this new identity that I had always hoped for and run with it. But before I knew it, my journey with infertility began to show up in places I least expected.

Over the last year there has been a lot of soul searching, trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between the two.

I’m still in a place of exploration, but I feel closer to being the person God intended me to be. I’m learning to embrace this season I’m in (dirty diapers and all) while still finding time to express the passion I have in my heart to mentor others going through infertility as well as build a mom tribe with some of the most lovely women.

My hope is that this year brings with it a sense of peace in my new identity. Knowing that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing…I can be a momma and a passionate person that loves to write and connect with others.

Because when your children are grown and living their own lives outside of your home, there needs to be a soul that is fulfilled. And true fulfillment can only come from becoming who you were meant to be…for myself that’s a loving wife, a caring mother, a friend to those struggling with infertility and writer sharing my heart & struggles through motherhood.

My sweet momma friend, my hope is that you are living your passion too. That your soul feels fulfilled even when the days are hard…

XOXO,

~P

 

 

Giving yourself Grace in a Season of the “Threenager”…

A few weeks back I shared this post on Instagram. I was one week into Jase being out of school on Christmas vacation and to say it was a tough week is an understatement. I typically like to keep the social media posts I share on a more positive note, but on that particular day, I felt a tug on my heart to share…and the response I got confirmed that it was the right thing to do.

As a momma to little ones, it can be very easy to feel like you’re doing things all wrong…

Let’s face it, 3 year olds are TOUGH! It’s at this age they start to push the boundaries, find their voice and have some pretty crazy mood swings. I’d like to say that I’m calm and cool during these super fun times, but that would be a complete lie. I’ll admit I’ve lost my temper more times then I care to admit and have raised my voice when I probably shouldn’t have. And it often leaves me feeling like the worst mom in the world and like I’m failing my child miserably.

But that’s just a lie.

I love my children deeper than I ever thought possible and I know in my heart that I’m a good momma. I’m THEIR momma, the one God chose for them. I know that I’m doing my best and although sometimes the lack of sleep or a crying, teething baby causes me to react in a way I wish I wouldn’t have, I’m learning to give myself Grace (and wine). I’m learning to take a step back, take a deep breath and do my best to respond in a loving way.

My sweet momma friends…

If you’re finding yourself in this place, please know that you are not alone. I’m with you and so many other mommas are too. We are in this together. We can help encourage and lift each other up in these moments of frustration and stress. Give yourself the grace you deserve and trust that God made you the perfect fit for your children.

Lean on Him and He will help get you through.

Although I still have my moments of weakness, building a deeper connection with God over the last year has given me the ability react in a more loving way {most of the time}. Even if I initially respond in a way that I regret, I’m able to brush off the feeling of inadequacy much quicker. I’m able to let go of the stress and frustration and get back to a place of peace, love and contentment.

Before becoming a momma, I had no idea of the challenges that would  be ahead of me so quickly into motherhood. Giving myself grace, leaning on God for guidance and building a strong community of other mommas around me, have been key to being the kind of momma I’ve always hoped to be. I’m still a work in progress, but I know in my heart that I’m doing the best that I can…

Hang in there sweet mommas, you are doing an AMAZING job raising up your precious babies!

XOXO,

~P

 

 

 

 

To my sweet girl on your 1st Birthday…

Where do I begin?…

It feels like just yesterday we were in the hospital, you by my side, and I was writing your birth story. It was a time in my life that will forever be etched in my memory as one of the most magical, beautiful moments…and here we are, on your First Birthday…

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I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure how my heart could possibly love another child as much as I love your brother. But the moment I laid my eyes on you, my heart ached with a love so deep it brought tears to my eyes.

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You have completed us my beautiful girl.

You have the sweetest personality and your smile, oh that smile, it lights up a room and can turn anyones day around. You scrunch your nose up and make the cutest sound, I hope you never lose that joy!

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What I’ve loved most about your first year is watching your relationship with your big brother blossom. From a very young age you absolutely adored him. Your face lights up and you kick your feet whenever he is near. He calls you “Savi Jeanne” or “Baby Girl” like I do and it’s the sweetest thing <3 You’ve started to play together too and I often daydream of what life will be like as you continue to grow together…

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First day of school!

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My sweet sweet girl, I’m so grateful to be your momma.

I promise to never let a day go by where I don’t tell you how beautiful you are and that you are so very loved. I pray that God gives me the ability to raise you to be a confident, joyful and radiant little girl.

I will miss this season in our lives as you are our last baby, but know that there is so much joy in the years to come. Thank you for completing our family and coming into our lives at the perfect moment. I love you to the moon and back Savi Jeanne!

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XOXO,

Momma

To my sweet boy on your Third Birthday…

How has it already been 3 years? I’ve heard the phrase “time flies” many times in my life, but it’s never been more true since becoming a momma…

Just minutes old...

Jase, just minutes old <3

I lived so much of my adult life bound by infertility. I’d often spend my days trying to convince myself that being a momma just wasn’t meant to be. That I needed to find something else to fill the deep hole in my heart. When you spend so much of your life under a dark cloud, never seeing the light, you start to believe that this is just how life is supposed to be.

Finding my diagnosis and embarking on my recovery journey brought with it a whirlwind of emotion…

I was elated and determine when I finally found the answer to my struggle with infertility, then the heartbreak of a miscarriage knocked me off my feet. I was angry that this had to be so difficult, but knew that I needed to stay strong…finally the feeling of pure joy at the sight of those two pink lines.

It still feels like yesterday that you came into our lives. You were a stubborn little one going 6 days past your due date, a peek into your personality perhaps? 😉 Those first few months were pure magic. Living my life in 3 hour increments, with early mornings rocking you while the sun came up to late nights walking around the house when you protested sleep.

First Valentine's Day <3

First Valentine’s Day <3

You my boy have filled that void in my heart and more. Having you gave me purpose, it changed the person I am and the way I see life. Just one look at you and my heart skips a beat. And your smile gets me every.single.time…I fear I’m going to have to keep the girls away somehow when you get older 😉

I tell you I love you multiple times a day and you reply back with “I love you too much!” How did I get so lucky?!?!

Now not every day is rainbows and sprinkles…you have the stubbornness of your father and the determination to keep me on my toes! But, even on the hard days you always make me so proud <3 You are an amazing big brother, a great helper and such a silly little guy.

First day of school!

First day of school!

You started school this year and I think it came at the perfect time. You are thriving and loving every minute of it! It’s so fun to hang your artwork on the fridge…kind of surreal for me to see it up there I have to admit.

My sweet sweet Jase…

You my boy are truly loved and so very special to us all. I’m excited to see what you’ll be like as you grow older and what sorts of things you’ll be into. But one things for sure…I know there will be many many laughs and great times in our future <3

Happy 3rd birthday Handsome Boy!

XOXO,

Momma

The End of a Decade Long Chapter

January 1, 2006: A day I will never forget. It was the beginning of our “Trying to Conceive” journey and a decade of pain, struggles & miracles…

For the first seven years of our journey, I was in a downward spiral brought on by the pain of feeling broken. The inability to give my husband a child, the one thing only I could give him, was incredibly difficult to get through. My days were spent trying to figure it all out…why was this happening and what had I done to deserve this? I’d have days where I was determined to get to the bottom of my infertility and days when I felt my dream of becoming a momma slipping further and further away. Little did I know that my toxic relationship with diet and exercise were to blame for it all.

Fast forward to February 7th, 2013:

The day I found out my little Jase was growing in my belly. At this point I had already gone through 7 years of infertility and a miscarriage. I remember feeling completely elated and terrified at the same time. Praying that this little one would make it and I’d finally get to bring home the baby I had dreamed of for so long.

October 25th, 2013: The day my sweet boy was born and I finally became a momma.

The moment I laid eyes on my precious little guy was a moment that will be etched in my memory forever. Tears of joy and the release of all the pain and struggles I had gone through to get to this point came flowing out of me. In this moment, it all became clear to me. I was meant to go through my journey. It taught me so much about who I am and what I want out of life and it brought me to my sweet boy <3

Just a few hours old <3

Just a few hours old <3

The year that followed, I had a really hard time imagining loving another child as much as I loved Jase. I had always dreamed of having two children, but couldn’t quite understand how much heart could possibly love another so intensely. The day we found out our sweet Savannah was growing in my belly I was in complete shock. I had only been off birth control for 6 weeks and after everything we had experienced with Jase I just couldn’t believe it could happen so quickly. My heart felt torn in that moment. I was in awe of how well my body had healed and the ease of getting pregnant for a second time, I was excited to add to our family but also really sad that my one-on-one time with Jase was coming to an end.

December 1st, 2015: Our sweet girl was born <3

Instantly I was in love. I cried tears again, but this time not from the pain of the past but for the beautiful future that I was about to embark on. As I looked into my precious baby girl’s eyes, I knew that she was meant to be the perfect addition to our family. The cherry on top <3

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Just a few minutes old <3

It’s now been just over 10 years since we first embarked on our TTC journey and I feel so incredibly blessed and lucky for all that has happened throughout those ten years. It wasn’t always easy, but it lead me to the life I had always dreamed of. I often get asked if we’ll have more and as ironic as it may sound for someone who wanted children for so long, the answer is no. I feel so complete with my two miracles and so ready for the adventures that we will go on as a family.

About a week and a half ago, I took the final step in our journey and “closed up shop”. I do not feel sad that I will never be pregnant again, I’m not even sad that Savannah will be our last baby…I’m living my dream, I’m enjoying each stage and know that as great as it is now, it only gets better. I’m excited for what’s in store and so glad to be moving on to this next chapter in our lives…

XOXO,

~P

 

P.S. If you’d like to read more about my TTC journey, you can read my first blog “Finding Jase” here.