Mac and Cheese.

A chunky, dimpled face smeared with cheese,

Spoon held in the air in triumph,

With a gapped tooth smile wide,

Yelling as if entering a battle he’s already won.

This is my son. Eating his Mac and cheese. He’s all in.

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Happy Day.

Today is a happy day. Not because I’m out in a fancy dress and red lipstick eating a big fat, juicy steak with my love, but am sitting in my living room (alone – *gasp*) simultaneously watching a country love story I’ve seen twice and letting the rhythm of some great jazz music serenade me. My active 17 month old just went down for the count and my husband is traveling back to me from a work trip.

It’s so easy in a world filled with social media comparisons to feel that everything you have is second rate. There’s always someone’s hair that’s silkier, someone with better hips, a more romantic significant other, a heavier pocket book – that’s some fancy brand nonetheless! I had to ask myself though, is there really not anything great about being just me? Just me – with my baby belly from giving birth to the most rambunctious, adorable blonde haired little boy – my too crooked teeth, because I begged my mom to not let me get braces when I was younger because I was recovering from severe scoliosis, which God in His goodness allowed me to escape surgery from? Now, they are a constant reminder of the time in my life where God’s mercy was real and beautiful in my life. Why can’t it be my own life that I want the most, instead of wishing for someone else’s?

Embrace who God made you. In the process, you might just find that you are happiest and whole when you let yourself explore all the quirkiness God made you with and enjoy a good laugh about it to boot!

Here’s to a beautiful Valentine’s Day evening spent alone, making a few funny faces on Snapchat, watching the Disney channel with a little one and pondering how wonderful it is to put to death the prideful illusion of being anything other than exactly what Jesus made you to be.

The Song of You.

Of all the traveled places,

The world that I could see,

The little pools of your eyes,

Scale the seven seas.

Laughs and giggles like silver,

From your sweet lips erupt

The little whispers of your hair,

Soft desert sands of Egypt.

Tinkling of shiny crystal,

The buzz of city life,

I’d trade all for the moments,

Of your tiny sleepy sighs.

London, Ireland, Paris,

Germany or Prague,

Do not rival us this night,

Swaying to lullaby’s song.

Impression.

Seeking mark for impression,

Wasted ticks of a clock.

Pain in the visage unpainted,

Puddle sought, does mock.

Were words but an ocean,

Change with every wave.

The puddle could a crater fill.

Tick of a heartbeat; save.

Vessel of fear and truth,

Writhing with stormy foam,

Betrayed by shallow waters,

Shackled wings to roam.

Oh, to be an ocean!

What game this puddle plays,

Puddle she to ocean’d be

But fear kept truth at bay.

Image by John Todaro

Momming.

This year, I have been momming.

Mother: verb
1.
bring up (a child) with care and affection.
“the art of mothering”

Momming: verb
1.
bring up (a crazy human) without accidentally bringing serious detrimental physical, mental or spiritual harm to the half wild/half child you created.
“the art of being an orange and squeezing all your juice and nutrients out every day”

Let’s look at a typical momming day:
I change diapers, snuggle my “Pook”, shovel new foods into his little mouth, rock his wriggling self to sleep every night and read the same books over and over and over.

I also work. Thankfully, a demanding but no less fun job that I love.

My phone rings. My voicemails pile up (as does my laundry), my hair goes unwashed for too many days in a row, my meals consist of too many processed foods (is high cholesterol really a thing? Come on…), and I get less and less time for “me” every day.

I cannot in adequate words explain the phenomenon that happens when normal, average, everyday (and relatively selfish people) become moms. It’s like we somehow morph into super-humans that suddenly resemble more of the energizer bunny than the under-utilized college kid who would binge watch Netflix in her soft Pink sweatpants. Gone is any hope of a nap or eating any snack in peace without fingering a few pieces into a waiting mouth as little hands slap your maybe-a-little-too-chunky thighs for more.

Cracker crumbs. Everywhere. All the time.

Breaskfast for my son (aka the “Pook”): an overly processed, non-organic *submit collective gasp here* cherry tart for breakfast

Morning routine: wake up 45 minutes before we leave every day because “mom” keeps hitting the snooze button.

Attire: well let’s just say the socks never match.

No one told me it would be this crazy. Or maybe there’s just no way to prepare a human body for the cosmic shock that is a child. In any case, this is my life. I’m momming.

I’m rocking and rolling, and then I get a diagnosis from the doc. The Doc says, there’s this thing called adrenaline. We use it when we’re running away from a saber tooth tiger. Yeah…so you have used all of yours up. Sometimes, when your body demands too much of it, for too long a period… your body just stops making it.

Me: But I have to be an orange! People need this pulp!
Doc: You need sleep – pulp comes later.

See, no one told me this. That you could exhaust yourself to the point of a medical diagnosis. But – truth – you can. While momming, you definitely can.

Guess what else they don’t tell you?

That it’s wonderful. Every little tiny ounce of it. If my day really were an orange, this mom would squeeze every last drop of that yummy sweet stuff out of it and perhaps the first sip is mine, but the rest is guzzled up by every other person that needs me.

Lesson: Momming means sharing yourself. And like everything, the more you put in, the more you get out of it. I keep thinking my glass is going to run out and the person who tries to guzzle up the last of it is going to realize that all the juice is gone and the only thing left is some dried old pulp stuck to the bottom.

Instead, I realize that sticky-fingered Pook smile with his little gap teeth, mommy’s dimples and wild “old man” hair is just enough to pull me through. And when my energy runs out – my heart does the rest.

To date: I got promoted at my job, my Pook and I giggled for 15 minutes together before bed, my husband and I actually sat down for a whole movie together two nights ago without falling asleep AND as I’m writing this, I’m only 1 minute past my newly implemented “adult” bedtime.

I’m entirely unique and yet not unique at all, because every mom has this story. Just the details are different. You’re still an orange. Remember to rest, little orange. Remember to enjoy giving of yourself. And most importantly remember to slow down – you are homemade orange juice, not that artificial crap that comes from concentrate // the real stuff takes time and effort.

Never rush the good stuff – but hey, you’re probably late for something by reading this.

This is how we live. This is momming. ❤

This is Us. 

Feather wisps of blond hair curl at every edge

Half Moon eyes crinkle at the sides, blue pools staring boldly up.

Skin smooth as finely sanded wood grains touches mine.

Little palms flatten on my cheek, nudging my head to turn as an earring dangles.

Tiny nails bite into my gum as small fingers explore my mouth 

A corner of your mouth tips, amused but withholding laughter when I close my lips, pretending to munch. 

Tiny dimples deepen on each rounded cheeks as I tickle a thigh, then a pounce on a ribcage. 

Still, a toothy grin only is released revealing little gaps between budding rounded teeth of pearl. 

A rumble of noise escapes, usually the flapping of your lips together as air is exhaled sharply or your tongue clicking quickly against teeth.

Your weight shifts and a small hand pulls on my shoulder to stand in my lap. 

Little knees hit my stomach, and I feel a small pang where the incision is from my C-section. The twinkle of amused eyes falls on the gold bar dangling from a thin chain on my neck. 

You pull the necklace, shifting it from hand to hand, rolling it over until your elbows finally land, and you’re content to just finger the bar. 

Little do you know that it is my most cherished possession, a gift from your father on the day I celebrated being your mother. It’s your name etched in precious metal, and I smile fondly at the sweetness that is you. 

This is us. 

7.27.17