Doing Life Together

One thing that I feel personally blessed to have in my life is mom friends.  Don’t get me wrong- my single friends, my married-without-children friends, my dude friends, I love them all.  But there’s such a built-in sense of camaraderie, of “oh my gosh, that just happened with us, too!” with these women.  Their kids are just as crazy as mine, they’re just as tired as I am, and they feel just as privileged to be raising their little humans as I do.

On the days that I get to have a “playdate” with one or more of these moms, I always feel a little better about how I’m doing as a mom, but not in the way it sounds.  I don’t mean that I am a better mom than she is.  I mean that it’s encouraging to see another mom, doing her best, loving her kids in her own way.  There is hope for humanity.

One such playdate was on Monday afternoon, at my house.  Two of my mom friends from church, Stephanie and Abby, brought their little humans to play together, and so we could hang out with each other.  Total, there was  a 4 year old boy, a 2 year old girl, a 1 year old girl, a 5 month old boy and a 3 month old girl.  Even in the different stages of these kids’ development, they played very well together (or rather, some played and some just lounged around).  And the moms?  Well, the three of us get to share some stories (hilarious or sweet), complain about our difficulties (weird nap schedules and spit up woes) without fear of judgement, compliment each other on jobs well done (we all have cute kids, ya know?), and compare some parenting strategies (that day’s topic: using baby sign language).

Time spent this way is so valuable for moms specifically, but really for women in general.  It’s nice to spend intentional time with people in the same stage of life as you.  Whether that’s grad school, newlywed, new mom, first grandchildren or retirement, being able to sympathize and empathize with another woman who knows where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re headed next is one of the most wonderful experiences.  Knowing you are not alone.  Knowing you will get to the other side of it.  Knowing you will survive.  Knowing you’ll look back and think (as my wonderful mother-in-law often reminds me), “That stage wasn’t nearly as long as it felt when I was stuck in the middle of it.”

I thank the Lord every day for the many women that I get to “do life” with.  The women that encourage me.  The women that I encourage.  The women that I connect with every time we are together, even if it’s months in between those times.  These are the women that I aspire to be like.  Moms in the trenches, take heart!  We’re doing life together.  How did you connect with the women you get to do life with?  How does it help you in your walk?

Ella Kate (2yrs), Elliott (3mo), Joseph (5mo), Abigail (1yr), Nathan (4yrs)
Ella Kate (2yrs), Elliott (3mo), Joseph (5mo), Abigail (1yr), Nathan (4yrs)

Things You Don’t Know About Me

Just because I’m new to this, and because y’all don’t know me (see, just because I used that word you know me a little better already!) I’m going to make a list of things you don’t know yet but might want to…

1. I love making lists!
2. I’ve been a teacher for six years, and I’m terrified/excited to be a mostly stay-at-home mom for the next few years.
3. The only pets I had my whole life were hamsters. I still am not sure what to do around others’ pets for the first 20 times I meet them.
4. I went to a women’s college. I didn’t really plan it that way, but it was SO PERFECT for me.
5. I have a temper. Tempers are in my genes. I work on it every day, but God bless my husband and children.
6. I have an iPhone but don’t know how to use it. Some day, I’m going to really get it, but as for now I’m just posting on Instagram (follow me!) and playing Candy Crush.
7. I have one brother. We are almost 7 years apart in age. It’s this situation that made me want to have more than 2 kids and have them way closer together. We’re friends now, but we never played together or hung out much until we were both adults.
8. My birthday is December 13. I was born on a Friday. My daughter’s birthday is April 13. She was also born on a Friday. When I found out my son’s due date was December 29, 2013, and I realized that December 13 was a Friday, I thought SURELY the trifecta would be completed. It wasn’t (his birthday is December 28).
9. I am a very eclectic person; in my personal style, my taste in food/beverages, the music I listen to, and the company I keep, I am always surprising people with how much I truly do enjoy different things. I also enjoy the fact that I have no single label.
10. My first day in a public school was my first day student teaching during my senior year of college. I do not, however, qualify as a snob. Both my parents worked very hard to pay for private school for my brother and me. I appreciate my education more than most people in my situation.
11. I love red wine. Specifically, I love cheap red wine. When the hubby and I go to the grocery store for wine, we have a $10 cap. Our favorite thing to do is go to Whole Foods for wine, because usually they have a featured wine that’s $3 or $4 per bottle. We buy a loose bottle to try it, make sure it doesn’t taste like vinegar, and then we go back for a case. Or two.
12. I have played piano for 21 years. It makes me feel SO OLD to think that I’ve done anything for 21 years. Yikes.
13. I do not subscribe to any certain “parenting philosophy”. I love my kids, and I do what I believe is the best thing for them. There isn’t any one parenting style that fits our family perfectly, and I like it better that way. (I am not a fan of labels. See #9.)
14. I love being near a body of water. Lake, ocean, river, they all make me happy.
15. I’ve recently developed a love for exercising/working out. I’m not a fanatic, but I actually enjoy it now!

There you go. A few things you didn’t know about me. What are some things people might not know about you?

Oceans

I have been a fan of Hillsong United ever since I started attending a “contemporary” worship service (more on why I used quotes there later).  They never fail to make really great sounding, high quality music at the same time as provoking thought and entering into worship.  A lot of “Christian radio” these days is missing out on worship AND on great sounds.  My husband and I often joke about the choices some of the contemporary Christian artists make.  Why use those corny lyrics?  Why use that machine-like drum sound?  Is the song encouraging anyone?  Is it pointing people to Jesus?   Okay – off my soapbox (for now) and back to the main idea of this post.

First things first: Watch this video.  Really, truly watch it.  Stop whatever else you’re doing and focus on it.  Let it seep in.

Now.  How do you feel?  Did those lyrics speak to you like they spoke to me?

“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders.  Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me.  Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.”

You know what I’m talking about.  The conviction.  The pull inside you, reaching to your very bones.  Every time I add this song to my set list for a Sunday morning, I know it will reach someone.  Every time, after the service, a different soul tells me how the song touched them.  And in this particular video, it’s just that; a lovely moment of worship is being held by everyone involved.  Did you have a moment of worship?  I hope so.

Let’s Get It Started!

Get ready, blogosphere, because I’m here to stay! I’ve got hilarious stories, heartfelt encouragement, pictures of my adorable children and mom fails galore to share! I believe there is an infinite amount of wisdom to be gained from sharing experiences.  As a wife and mother, I know that gleaning everything I can from other women’s experiences is valuable to my own marriage and motherhood experience. Above all, I believe women are extraordinary and created for relationship. I hope that this blog will generate friendships, encouragement, tips, tricks, and happiness in general. Let’s shine on together.

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