I just had time to lick the spoon.

I felt it coming.
I had felt it coming for a long time.
It's sneaky.
Camouflaging itself as guilt.
What's wrong with you?
Suck it up.
You don't have time for that.

I thought I had fought it off.
I let my guard down a few evenings ago, and it went in for the kill.
It's sneaky. I told you.

Changing dirty diapers and feeding hungry bellies occupy a huge part of each day.
In toddler land, both of those things are very touchy subjects.
Wrestling a seal and feeding a cheeseburger to a goldfish might be comparable.
Oh and potty training? Patience. That's all I have to say about that. You don't know patience until you encounter potty training.
In baby land, it's blowouts and boobies/bottles. I would say it's a tad easier, but also more time consuming.
Having to pee while feeding a baby takes incredible skill. Using one wipe instead of 1,000 is equally as skillful.
Teaching rapidly growing and curious brains takes up another good chunk of the day.
Questions, conversations, shapes, colors, ABCs, animals, numbers.
In between changing diapers, filling bellies and teaching brains there is clean up and lovins.
Baths, messes...messes, baths.
With messes, comes laundry; and spot cleaning poop, spaghetti sauce, finger paint, marker and lots of unidentifiable stains out of carpet, rugs and tiny clothes.
Kisses for boo-boos; and then kisses for the elephant, meow-meow, bunny, spider, sheep, dinosaur, and bear...because they have boo-boos, too.
Mommy, hold me please.
Of course I will. I'll hold you as long as you'll let me. Any time, any place. I would cuddle you forever.
Cuddles turn into gymnastics. On my face.
Laughing and enjoying the moment, while also guarding myself from accidental head butts and eye pokes.
Nap time is a mythical creature these days.

When Tyler came home that day, I was excited.
Excited to see him, but also equally excited to use the bathroom in private.
Apparently I didn't look excited, though.
Babe, are you ok?
Of course I'm ok.
Why is he asking me that?

I walked to the bathroom, closed the door and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
Typically, I don't take the time to look at myself during the day.  It had been a typical day.
With that glimpse, I walked up to the mirror and took a good look.
Hair unwashed. Clothes covered in crusty things. Dark circles under my eyes.
My appearance was expressing what I had been trying to ignore.
No wonder Tyler asked me if I was ok, I thought.
My stomach growled. With that growl, I remembered something.
I only had time to lick the spoon.
The spoon I had used to make Adi's PB&J for lunch.
A spoon because all of the knives were in the dishwasher.
I hadn't eaten all day.
It wasn't new, it happens a lot.
But in that moment, alone in the bathroom, I had time to think about it.

I'm sure I am speaking for the majority of moms when I say this,

I love my babies.
I love them with all of my heart and soul.
They are my joy.
My sunshine.
My everything.
I've never laughed so hard, smiled so big or loved so much.
I remember when I heard their heartbeat for the first time. When I felt them flutter inside me for the first time. Looking into their eyes for the first time and forgetting all of the pain my body had endured to get them here.
Their first smile, laugh, roll, crawl, steps.  Watching their little minds think and grow.  Their hugs and kisses. Everything.
My babies make every day, the best day.
I wouldn't trade being their mommy for all of the money in the world.

I'm so thankful; but I'm also tired.
And I realized, when I saw myself in the mirror, that I need to pay a little more attention to myself.
I'm not talking anything crazy, just basic.
Trying to, at least, shower and eat daily. Take a nap when the opportunity arises. Steal a few minutes to paint my nails. Maybe throw on some mascara.
Little things can make the biggest difference.

Being a mommy is the most incredible experience; and it's also the most self-sacrificing.
There's a fine line between sacrifice and neglect.
Let's make a conscious effort to not cross that line.
Our babies deserve the best version of their mommies.

Let's do our best to give them that version.
A mommy who not only takes care of them, but also takes care of herself.

A mommy who does more than lick the spoon...and doesn't feel guilty about it.


I'm a bad friend.

I'm a bad friend.
I used to be a good friend.
The text all day, talk all night, drop everything friend.

You texted, I replied.
You called, I answered.
Want to grab dinner tonight? Sure!

Then something happened.
I got married.
And I felt something change inside of me.
My desire for that kind of friendship, the drop everything kind, it wasn't a desire anymore.
My new desire was to spend (the majority of) my free time with my husband.

At first I thought it was temporary.
I thought it was just the "newness" of married life.
I thought things would eventually go back to normal.
But as time passed, I realized that the desire (to spend my free time with my husband) was my new normal.
I married my best friend.

You texted, I replied 80% of the time.
You called, I answered some...but you usually got my voicemail.
Dinner tonight? How about dinner a week from Saturday.

Then something happened.
I had a baby.
And once again, something changed.
My new desire was to spend (the majority of) my free time with the little family we created.

You texted, I replied 5 hours later.
You called, it went straight to voicemail.
Dinner tonight? How about dinner a week from Saturday...as long as the baby isn't sleeping, or teething, and as long as I wasn't up with her all night. Oh, and as long as I am able to take a shower (haven't had one of those for a few days).

You tried to understand. I know you tried. But I could tell you were frustrated.
You thought I stopped caring about you. You felt like you weren't important.
I cried. A lot.
I cried because I knew that, even though you tried, you didn't understand.  It wasn't your fault. You just couldn't. I didn't understand until I was here.

My heart hurt because I knew you were hurting.
I wanted to apologize.

But the thing is, I'm not sorry.

I'm happy. Happy that I didn't marry just anyone.  I married the love of my life.  My best friend. Someone I want to spend all my days with. All my time with. Someone I would rather watch movies at home (in our pajamas, eating Chinese takeout) with, instead of going out.
Happy that we had a baby, and then another baby. Babies that are, in reality, my tiny best friends.
Babies that unlocked a love that I can't even begin to explain.

We're in different seasons.

I'm me.
I'm the same friend.
I care about you.
I love you.
But I'm not just a friend anymore.
I'm also a wife and a mommy.
I have a husband and two babies who are the loves of my life.
They deserve the majority of my time and attention;
and I can't give you as much of myself as I used to.

I know that, right now, you think I'm a bad friend.
But I pray that, one day, you'll marry your best friend and that you'll have tiny best friends.
I pray that you'll want to spend the majority of your free time with them.
I pray that you'll get to experience this kind of happiness and love.
I pray that you'll understand completely.

That, one day, you'll be a bad friend too.

PS. I already understand.


Dear old self, From my now self.


Everything my baby eats will be organic. 
I've researched. The sparkling baby bullet is sitting in my kitchen. I've decided. 
And after baby food...STILL organic. 
Mac and cheese? Chicken nuggets? Cheese puffs?
My baby will never eat that POISON."

That was me. Almost 3 years ago. Freshly pregnant with this little lady...

I can't help but laugh when I think about that old self.
My brand, spanking new, pregnancy test still dripping with pee, new-found mommy self.
The one who would laugh in my face if I were to go back in time and show her this picture.

Conversation between my old self and my now self:
"Who is that kid? And WHERE is her mom?"
Where is her mom?
I'm sitting right here.
Watching her eat cheese puffs straight from the bag.
"How did she get that bag of poison?"
I gave it to her.
"What kind of mom are you?!"
Funny story, actually. I'm you. My child is the one who is hanging out inside your uterus right now.
"HAHAHA! You're crazy. You are not me. NO way."
Oh, I promise I am you. 
A you who is 2 years and 1 month into (out of the womb) mommy-hood.  
A you who played hard all morning with her 2 year old.
A you who (spoiler alert!) just danced her 4 month old to sleep. 
A you who is tired. 
A you who realized that allowing her toddler to eat a few cheese puffs, will allow her to sit down and rest for a few minutes.

I know you want what's best for that sweet baby growing in your belly...
You've already heard and read that the only way to provide that is to do organic everything...
but truth is,
you're going to stress yourself out.
You're going to give your baby things that aren't organic.
You're going to feel like you failed,
but you haven't failed.
You've learned.
You've learned that the only person who knows what's best for your baby is YOU.
If organic-everything stresses you out too much,
then it's not what's best for your baby.
And approximately 3 years from the moment you're in right now,
you'll finally realize that you haven't failed...
that you're an awesome mommy...
and that a few cheese puffs won't hurt.


one day

We've all had them.
Days when we feel like we are 2 seconds away from running away.
And by running away, I mean calling someone (husband, mom, friend) and letting them know, in a calm but serious voice, that you will be leaving your house in a few short seconds.
What about the kids?
That's why I called you.
You're not taking them with you?
No. They've been screaming all day. Refused naps. Threw their food.  Drew on the wall.  Peed in the floor.  Hit me in the face. Made me cry. They're the reason I'm running away.
I'll be right over.
Thank you. By the way, the house is a wreck. Dirty laundry, dirty dishes.  The living room, the bathroom. I'm not even going to describe the state of my bedroom. Please hurry. 
Ok, where are you going?
Well, I was going to just get in the car and drive as far as I could.  But I'm too tired for that.  I think I'll just take a nap.  And maybe a shower.  Did I mention that I need you to hurry?

Am I right?

The days we feel like failures.  To our kids.  To motherhood.  To all of mankind.

You know what I think?

I think we are putting too much pressure on ourselves.

The house should be spotless.  Empty laundry baskets, not overflowing with dirty clothes. Spotless sinks, not piled up with dishes from last night's dinner....and maybe the night before that...and also from breakfast and lunch.  Clean floors, not covered in toys, stained with spills and smudged with tiny footprints.

Stop.  Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Stop letting others put pressure on you.

One time, I read something along the lines of "When I'm frustrated with my kids, don't tell me how fast time passes. Don't tell me how much you wish you could go back to where I am right now."

Why is that not ok?  Why is it not ok for a woman, who has been where you are, to tell you that time passes far too quickly?

As a mommy of a 2 year old and a 4 month old, I'm here to tell you....
Time has never passed so fast.
We wake up in the mornings, and before I know it, the day is over and we're going to bed.
It's like trying to hold water in your hands.
These days are going to be gone before we know it.
The days of hearing little footsteps...the same ones that leave smudges on the floor.
The days of filling up sippy cups...the same ones that spill and leave stains.
One day we'll have time to wash the piles of laundry and the dirty dishes.
One day, our babies won't need our constant attention.
Because they won't be babies anymore.

Let's kick the expectations and pressure to the curb.
Let's give ourselves a little grace.

And if you still feel like running away sometimes?
That's ok.
Call your husband, call your mom, call a friend....
Ask for help.
Take a hot shower and a power nap.
And when you wake up, enjoy every second of your babies, being babies.
You'll have a spotless house one day.


what they say is true, but let me explain.

I think we have all probably heard someone (who is already a parent) say,
Your whole life is about to change
to an expectant mom and dad.
And the tone used is similar to the one used when we whisper Don't go down in the basement or Look behind you, when a character in a suspenseful television show or movie is about to die.
And that's that. They don't elaborate or explain themselves. They say it, half smile, possibly chuckle, and then either change the subject, or walk away.
In their defense, those "already parents"  are probably completely oblivious to the fact that they just left the soon-to-be parents in a mental panic.
What did they mean by that? What did they mean by change? What else changes someone's life? ....TSUNAMIS! Oh my gosh, we're going to die!
Maybe everyone's mental panic is not as dramatic as mine, but you get the picture.
What they say is true, but it's not scary, and it's nowhere close to being a natural disaster.
I'm going to do a little elaborating for them.
They are telling you that, you haven't met your best friend yet...but you're about to. You haven't experienced the true depth of love yet...but you're about to. You haven't met the most beautiful person in the world yet...but you're about to.  You haven't met the smartest person in the world yet...but you're about to. You're about to smile more than you thought possible.  Laugh more than you thought possible.  Pray more than you thought possible. Change more poop-filled diapers than you thought possible ;) You're about to be so incredibly proud of someone, just for being who they are. You're about to care for someone so much, that you will willingly put their needs before your own 24/7. You're about to hug and kiss someone from the time you get up, until the time you go to sleep. Oh and have people told you that you'll never sleep again? They're exaggerating. You won't sleep as much as you used to, but guess what? You won't mind. With every precious smile and every sweet giggle, your heart will explode and melt all at once. You're about to meet your whole world. And you're about to be someone's whole world. In their eyes, no one will ever, ever, ever compare to you. You'll be their hero. 
Yes, you're about to be tired and, most likely, un-bathed; but you are about to experience more love and more joy than you ever knew existed.
Your life is about to change, but you won't remember what it was like before, and you won't want to.


dry shampoo.

Baby girl turned 8 months old yesterday.
EIGHT months old.
That absolutely blows my mind.
She's so big now. And buddy, does she have one sassy personality. Or should I say, attitude?
Either way, she sure keeps me on my toes these days.
She is the most incredible little human I've ever met.
For the life of me, I can't figure out where the time has gone.
I've watched her, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week....and somehow, she grew right before my eyes, without warning.
It feels like she should still only be a few days old....but she is currently STANDING right in front of me with the sweetest bottom toothed grin.

One of the biggest reasons I can't wrap my mind around the fact that she's two thirds of a year old, is because I feel like I am no where close to being a two thirds of a year old mommy.
In 8 months, she's learned to smile, laugh, suck her thumb without poking her eye out, roll over, sit up, pick things up, play with her toys, talk jibberish, say mama and dada, clap, give hugs, point, high five, hug, eat some big girl food, hold the phone up to her ear, say hi, crawl, pull herself up. She's gained 13 pounds, grown 8 inches and has 2 bottom teeth.

And me?
I'm an awesome milk maker, I body shower daily, use dry shampoo frequently, remember to eat 50% of the time, and 9 times out of 10 one of my boobs is flopping in the wind because I forgot to put it away after a nursing session. I have a mountain of laundry that could compete with Everest, and a sink of dishes that could be featured on an episode of Hoarders.  Kick butt diaper changer used to be on that list, but I'm currently having to change my technique because she changed it up about 2 weeks ago, and changing her now is like changing a greased pig....that is log rolling.

If you kept count, you saw that Adi is awesome.

Some days I may feel like I'm failing and doing everything wrong, and I might look like a hobo....
but when my little girl looks at me, she sees a mommy that can do anything. A superwoman. A woman that she is head over heels in love with. And I'm thankful for that, because I'm head over heels in love with her, too.


Unconditional Love

I thought I knew what love was, but then I had a baby.
We've all heard that, or something similar.
I never understood what that meant.
But then I had a baby.
And within the first few minutes of meeting my daughter, I said it.
I've said it every day since then.
For the past 5 months, I've wondered why people say it....why I say it.
I loved my husband before I loved my daughter, right?

I've never heard someone say, I thought I knew what love was, but then I got married.
Why? Do we not (really) love our spouses? Of course we do!
The love between spouses is wonderful. You better one another, encourage one another, look past one another's imperfections...you CHOOSE to love one another, every day.
Imagine what married life would be like if one spouse woke up one day and decided they weren't going to choose love? The whole day would be filled with being angry, unforgiving, and seeing every single imperfection their spouse had. That's how divorce happens.

After 41 weeks, I finally met my beautiful baby girl. I held her for the first time, looked into her eyes for the first time, kissed her for the first time, and I felt an overwhelming emotion that I had never felt before. I knew the emotion was love, so I said it,
"I thought I knew what love was."

I finally understand why parents say it. Why I say it.
It wasn't just a baby that grew inside me. Unconditional love also grew.
Unconditional love. That's what's different. It's not a love you choose, it's a love that's birthed.
It can't be defined. Every time I try to define it, tears fill my eyes. It's incredible and terrifying. Incredible because I had no idea I was capable of feeling a love like this. Terrifying because my heart is now outside of my body. It's a love that is completely overwhelming.
No matter what she does or who she becomes...my love will be constant.
Even when she's 40 years old, I will see her as the tiny baby who is sleeping in my arms, right now.
And just when I think there is no way this love could be more overwhelming....I remember,
this is how God feels about us- His children....His babies.

"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God-
you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration- what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day."
Psalm 139:13-16 (MSG)