It just takes one. And sometimes, that one is you.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’ve been writing for My Big Jesus once a week or so. You also know that I love Jesus. You ALSO know a lot about me. So, you won’t be that surprised when I tell you that I had a total Jesus moment today.

I was at church for a worship team meeting, and was stopped on my way out by one of the sweetest ladies ever. She’s a long-time buddy of my mother-in-law, watched Hubby grow up, and is a fixture of wonderful ministry at our church. She had a really cool story to tell me.

She had seen my post Like a Litter of Puppies on My Big Jesus, loved it, and shared it with her kids (who are a little older than me). Her daughter, who had read it, got a call from a friend who was in shock at finding out she was (unexpectedly!) pregnant with her fourth child. Can you imagine?! You have three kids. You think you’re all set., then BOOM. One more is coming! She obviously is going to love that fourth child, but you can see why it’s a shock, right? So anyway, the daughter sends my post about Hubby and his brothers being like puppies, and big families and close siblings, and she is totally encouraged! She was blessed by the words that The Lord had put on my heart. That blows my mind.

This story is an inspiration to those of us who desire to bring people closer to God. Whenever I write a post like that, for My Big Jesus or just for my own blog on a whim, I hope it touches one life. If my words reach one life, encourage one soul, spark one mind, or help heal one heart, I am satisfied. Sometimes when I write, that one person touched is, in fact, me. Other times, it’s a friend who saw me link it on Facebook. Or even still, a total stranger, like the story today. It was a very “six-degrees-of-separation” feeling to know that a friend of a friend of a friend read it and was touched. But that’s why I’m doing this! I wrote that post just for her, in that moment of her life, when she needed to hear a little encouragement in a situation in the midst of which she was surprised to find herself. I never know who you are that needs to hear this, but hey – this one’s for you.

A Toddler’s Wonderland

Recently we’ve been visiting the playground at EK’s preschool she’ll be attending in a couple of weeks. I can’t believe we’re already to the preschool stage, even if it is just two mornings a week.




Almost everything on the playground is toddler-sized. If she fell off something, she’d be fine. The swings have little belts, and the slides aren’t too tall.




Don’t worry – I know that swing wouldn’t really hold him in, but I was standing right there.



First time trying monkey bars! She only swung on this one bar, but she did it repeatedly!

IMG_7254.JPGThat’s an accomplished face on a big girl. Cue the tears from the mama.


Is there a neat playground for smaller kids where you are?

Like a Litter of Puppies

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Hubby and I have said, ever since we started talking about kids, that we’d like to have them close together. There are two reasons. First of all, my brother and I are almost seven years apart, and we were never very close… at least not until we were both adults. We get along great now, but we were never in the same stage of life till we “grew up”. Secondly, Hubby grew up with two brothers, just a little over 3 years between the oldest and the youngest. They’ve always been best friends – shared everything, fought over everything, loved the same things, and disliked the same things. They knew each others strengths and weaknesses, successes and faults. Yet they had a strong bond. They still have do, and that bond has carried over into their wives and children as well (you know, once the kids have personalities and do their own things).

Hubby (far right) and his brothers, circa 1988-ish.
Hubby (far right) and his brothers, circa 1988-ish.

I just spent an evening recently, celebrating one of my sisters-in-law’s birthday, with the whole family (Hubby’s parents, his brothers, their wives and the offspring). The love that every person in the house had for every other person was amazing. We know each other well, know our nieces and nephews well, and we love each other well, too. But the most hilarious thing is to see the brothers interact. When they’re all together, they have a hilarious tendency to revert back into their eight, nine, and ten-year-old selves. They immediately start bragging about their Nintendo skills, talk about how they used to wrestle each other in the basement (roundhouse kick to the FACE!), and possibly give a quick reenactment of one of their fights. Or, they lie on the floor, cuddling, like a bunch of puppies, maybe even with their kids.

Sometimes I sit and think about how much love is in that pile of faces and limbs and laughs. Grown men or babies, love and a sense of belonging abounds. What a great image of the love of a Father, who knows us better than we know ourselves, who knows our thoughts before we think them, and loves us abundantly anyway. To be loved is important; to love others unconditionally is of even greater significance.

So when I think about my children, I want to pile them up like puppies. I want to them to have that sibling love inherently, to not really know life without their best friends. I want them to experience that love early, and first hand. Their siblings and cousins, because of their closeness, will know each other inside and out, and will know how to love through differences or difficulties. What better way to love and be loved?

The four babies of the three aforementioned boys, less than one month in each picture.
The four babies of the three aforementioned boys, less than one month in each picture.

The Double Nap

There is a certain sacred time in a parent’s day: nap time. It’s like Ecclesiastes 3 says: There is a time for every matter under heaven. Reaping and sowing. Weeping and laughing. Mourning and dancing. Casting away stones, and gathering them together. In short, it’s the time where shit gets done.

In the life of the parents of two (or more!), there is an even more sacred yet elusive time of day. This time is the double nap. Some days pass without this time. But on the days that you experience even a few minutes of a double nap, OH THE GLORY! Here is a list of things that might happen during a double nap:

1. Personal hygiene: uninterrupted shower, complete with time to shave your legs and dry your hair!
2. Uninterrupted pee. Or poop. Don’t even act like you aren’t glad of this.
3. Uninterrupted pump (if you’re still breastfeeding, of course).
4. If your spouse is home… I’ll let you guess.
5. A ridiculous amount of cleaning; laundry, dishes, floors, bathrooms, etc. can all magically get done if the kids are all asleep.
6. Phone calls. Catching up with family or friends, bill paying, registrations and more.
7. BLOGGING! (You know where I’ll be.) Or Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. Social media galore.
8. A nap of your own. Never underestimate what Hubby and I coined the “hard shut down and restart.”
9. Exercise. Running laps around your house and yoga to YouTube videos absolutely counts.
10. Meal prep or freezer stocking. You are your own sous chef!
11. Gardening/yard work. Sometimes this can be combined with #9.
12. Quiet time. This might be journaling, praying, meditating, reading, etc. Aka bliss.
13. Home lunch dates. I often find that double nap occurs during a lunch time if I’ve properly used my morning. Have a friend over for a take-out feast!
14. Finishing your novel. No, not the one you’re writing. I’m talking about the one you’re reading that you haven’t had time to read!
15. Eating a meal, drinking a hot cup of coffee, or having a glass of wine by yourself. Maybe this occurs in a bubble bath, or in the sunshine on your back porch. Your choice.

What do you do if you’ve got a double nap opportunity?

Reasons I Feel Sorry for My Second Kid

Let me preface this post by saying that my little boy is a ray of sunshine to all who know him (me most of all) and I love him dearly. I don’t show preferential treatment to either of my kids, and they are both well taken care of. That being said, parents of two or more kids, you’ll be able to back me up on this…

1. He gets really dirty. When EK was not quite 8 months, she was never really dirty. She played a lot, but she had a nightly bath, and her hands and face were constantly being wiped. J usually gets a nightly bath, but that’s the first thing to go if we’re running late or having a rough night. And as far as wiping his hands and face go, he’s left to the mercy of time… either we have it, or we don’t. EK is always trying to feed him something, or hand him something from the ground that’s covered in dirt. Yikes.

2. He wears a lot of hand-me-downs. Don’t get me wrong – EK did also (they have a lot of cousins). But most of her wardrobe was carefully selected before she was born, in lots of sizes, in sweet little outfits. J’s just wearing whatever I can toss on him before he starts rolling off the changing table.

3. He doesn’t get to play with many toys. EK isn’t a great sharer to begin with, but if it’s her stinky ol’ brother we’re asking her to share with? Well that’s totally unreasonable. Anything he has in his hand automatically becomes hers. And bless him, he doesn’t even cry about it.

4. He doesn’t get as much one-on-one time with Hubby and me. This is one we really try to keep to a minimum. We frequently take one kid each if we’re going separate places, so that each kid gets all the attention. But let’s face it – that first kid got all the attention (from everyone because she was the first grandchild on both sides, also) until J was born.

5. He rarely finishes a nap or night’s sleep. EK is loud. Really loud. And unless she is sleeping when he is waking up, he gets woken up by squeals, cries, or heavy-footed running by his bedroom door.

What are some things you feel like you did for your first that you didn’t (or couldn’t!) with your second?

Things New Moms Are Thinking

Listapalooza Part 2: to go hand in hand with the Things You Think at 40 Weeks Pregnant post….

1. So, you’re just gonna load me in the car with this tiny thing and send me home? You’re not even gonna check on me?

2. I could just use a nap.

3. This kid sure eats a lot.

4. Casseroles.

5. What day of the week is it?

6. I still have to pee. A lot.

7.I’m so sleepy…

8. Ugh, I wish I hadn’t Googled that.

9. Is that (sound, poop color, facial expression, smell, etc) normal?

And finally…

10. I had no idea I could love a teeny human this much.

the first teeny thing I loved more than anything.
the first teeny thing I loved more than anything.

Things You Think at 40 Weeks Pregnant

I love making lists (I might’ve mentioned that?) so here’s one for ya! This is a little bit of how I was feeling when super 40 weeks pregnant with my kids…

1. WHEN (for the love of all that’s holy) will this be OVER!?

2. I just want to know what he (or she) looks like!

3. I’m so uncomfortable all of the time.

4. I can’t wait to lose all this weight! (Said the first-time mom.)

5. If another person asks me if I’m carrying twins…

6. Yes, I’m doing jumping jacks. YES I WANT THE LABOR TO START!

7. House is clean, laundry is done, nursery is ready, and I’m caught up on my shows. What now?

8. I need another pedicure. It’s only been a few days, but I can’t see my feet to know if my toes still look nice.

9. I’ll have that fourth donut. I mean, I’m due this week, so I have to stop eating this junk in a few days.

And the kicker:

10. I can’t wait to have my morning coffee, a glass of wine with dinner, and… oh my gosh, I have to pee NOW!

Here's some homage to #7 - the answer to "what now?" was "take a belly selfie!"
Here’s some homage to #7 – the answer to “what now?” was “take a belly selfie!”
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