kids

Random ReflectionsΒ 

​

It’s rare that I get overly excited for New Year’s, but this year I definitely am. There is something beautiful about new beginnings, and while each new day can be that fresh start, a new YEAR is just that much more hopeful.

Excuse the rambling post this will probably be. I’ve started too many posts lately and then never hit publish. This one is going out there. I think. I guess we’ll see if it makes the cut! πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ

I was browsing through older posts of mine recently, and I had to laugh. The perky ease of mothering 2 children is no longer my life, and now, with 4 children in 6 years, there is no extra of me to spare. #morecoffeeplease 😘 At (almost) 31, I am not the person I was when I became a mother at 24, and I have no doubt that each year will bring new changes, both good and bad, to my life and to myself.

Living with intention has become paramount because the days, as long as they often seem, are flying by.

Parenting books and “philosophies” and catchy slogans have little use in the day to day of my mothering, but parenting with love and courage remains my goal.

Marriage this year was less flowers and romance, and more holding tightly to each other through days that seemed impossible. And then laughing about it. And then kissing. And then juggling bills and babies and diapers and jobs and schedules and meals and groceries and doctors. And then holding tightly again in love. Somehow, this year made me love him more.

Community, this last year and a half, has been a blessing I could not have imagined. There’s so much talk about a lack of real contact in our modern world, people isolating themselves, but in this little corner of the world I have found my tribe – this beautiful, caring community that lifts up and inspires.

Fulfilling the expectations of others matters little compared to the needs and happiness of the ones I love most, and letting go of those others is freeing.

Facing, accepting the past can be challenging, but it can lead to a beautiful present and future.

This year, I was reminded of how much words matter. If you see beauty, speak it. If you feel love, speak it. If you feel anger, sadness, loss – speak. Life is too short to stay silent or closed off.

The more open my heart becomes, the more vulnerable I feel. And yet the reward is that the very honesty which made me afraid to trust, is what now makes my relationships deeper and stronger.

Today and every day, I choose love, because whatever I may do wrong in this life, I will never regret love.

Here’s to 2017! 😁

xoxo, Anna

The Beautiful OrdinaryΒ 

​

I’ve seen a few different posts floating around social media that seem to be written solely for the purpose of a giant YES! THIS! from the 20 or so people that already agree with it. 

Reasons why millennials aren’t having kids. The importance of DOING ALL THE THINGS before being weighed down by boring life. Life choices that seem unimaginable, argued for in the most degrading language, and desperate terms.

The hopelessness, the anger, the bitterness that poured out managed to shock me, and for several hours the words stuck in my heart, with a vague distate that anyone could write this way, never mind feel it.

Sometimes I think that our photo-filled, “adventure-seeking” world has forgotten how to live, because we’re all too busy running, impressing, buying. There’s this constant expectation that to be fulfilled we must be EXCITING!! Travel! Get a hobby! Try new things! Start a business! Be this, be that! And while we’re all running around trying to do everything and be everything, life is passing by without anyone actually living it.

 Excitement and adventure are good – one part of a well-balanced life. 

One part. Not the whole. 

Excitement without rest becomes stress. Adventure without routine becomes monotony. Self-focus without generosity becomes narcissism. 

Here, in my heart and my family, I am always looking for the balance. I’ve learned to say yes to some things and no to others. I’ve learned that calm in my own mind and soul inevitably trickles out into my home and the hearts around me. 

I look around me and see ordinary – everywhere. In our tiny home, our minimal possessions, our simple food, and our careful budget. I see the faces – all those little faces, and the face of the man I love – all these loved ones that are part of a life I’d dreamed of for so long.

For me, this ordinary life, motherhood, marriage – this is beautiful. In the ordinary, I have found love and a contentment I had never known.

 In this beautiful, ordinary life – I have found everything that matters most to me. 

Xoxo, 

Anna 

 

All The Love In My Heart

Sometimes I look at them and wonder how on earth they’re all mine. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜œπŸ‘¦πŸ‘§πŸ‘¦πŸ‘Ά

True story –  I started counting down to bedtime around 4:00. I totally skipped pages when I was reading their book. (To be fair, their book of choice was non-fiction about space travel. I mean… what’s wrong with some good old “Curious George” or fairy tales? πŸ˜‚)
I fed them dinner on paper plates, and I’m not sure who brushed their teeth and who didn’t.

I ran from room to room, answering calls for water, potty, kisses, blankets, and – not for the first time – I wished for my husband to have a “day job” that would leave him home to parent with me for the bedtime hours.

I rushed from child to child, until I heard one small voice call out: “Mommy, you’re the goodest mommy. When I’m a Mommy I’m going to show all my love in my heart like you.”

Oh, you guys. I’m not the goodest mommy, and I was barely feeling like an okay one today. But somehow for them, I was “showing all my love in my heart.”

If I do nothing else in all my life, here, in this home, there will ALWAYS be love.

Some days, we’ll make cute Pinterest desserts, and some days we’ll eat hot dogs on paper plates. Some days, I’ll laugh, and play and read every book in the pile, and some days I’ll skip pages in the one book I read. But always, always, always – I will show them all my love in my heart.

Today and every day – I will show them my love.

Xoxo,

Anna

I Was Here

 

I want them to remember that I was here.

Sometimes I was here in big, exciting ways: hosting parties and holidays, arranging surprises, planning vacations, and doing Pinteresty projects.

Sometimes I was here in quiet ways: drying tears, reading books, cuddling during thunderstorms, making snacks, folding laundry, budgeting for necessities and fun, driving them to the activities and friends they love.

Sometimes I was barely here at all, just going through the motions of the day. Watching the clock and wishing it would move more quickly so that I could call for bedtime.

Sometimes I wished I wasn’t here. When the heavy weight crushed down on me, when the enormous responsibility of this motherhood life felt too overwhelming – then I would cry hot, aching tears that didn’t stop, terrified that I was not the mother I am supposed to be, resentful of the freedom that was no longer mine.

But, my sweet loves, Mama was here. Always here. Here for the good and the beautiful that I love to share, and here for the darkness, too.

Remember that Mama was here, that Mama tried and tried again, and remember –  always – that you are loved with every part of my heart.

Xoxo,

Anna

Moments

​

Then there’s this. 

This other side of motherhood that nobody else sees. 

Those moments when you think you might be invisible…and then you wish you were so that at least you could drink your coffee in silence. 

Those moments you find yourself crying over the washing machine and thinking that no one has EVER been as terrible a mother as you. 

Raise your hand if you’ve been there!! πŸ™‹

The other day, I was talking with another mother, whose kids are older now, and she told me, “You’ll miss the hugs and kisses, and as unbelievable as it sounds, you’ll miss the noise!” 

It made me stop and think. Moments, good and bad, are part of every life. But this motherhood thing is about much more than a moment. It’s about a lifetime of moments that are shaping the hearts of my children, and in the meantime, also shaping my own. 

This is why I look for the good,why I share the good – why I am one of those people that loves that silly chain-mail-esque “Love Your Spouse” challenge. 

Not to be fake. Not to say that the bad moments aren’t there. But to acknowledge and remember always that the good is all around. 

Today and every day… I choose joy. I choose love. 

Xoxo,

Anna

Because It’s Worth It

​

My motherhood is a constant pull of emotions in my heart.

There are days I feel overwhelmed by this life, and then there are days I look around and feel incredibly blessed by the happiness and richness of love around me. There are days I think I would give a limb to be able to sit in silence, and then I remember a time when I was sitting in silence, longing for the community and activity and experiences that I now have.

It’s become very on trend to write “Open Letter to That Person In the Store,” or to talk about all the tedious, stressful parts of motherhood. 
Those things are all real. I’m not trying to be fake or flippant. 

But for me, perspective is everything. 

Realizing that as tired as I am at the end of every day, I’m tired from doing the job I love most of all. Appreciating that even when mistakes are made, my children never doubt my love. And feeling grateful that through motherhood, by opening my heart to the good, so many beautiful, strong people have become part of my world. 

I will still be bummed when my kids wake me up at 7 on a weekend instead of sleeping in till 11. My teething toddler’s screams are no more pleasant to me than to anyone else. πŸ™‰ But I will choose joy. Every day I will CHOOSE joy and love. 
Not because it’s always easy. Because it’s always worth it.
Xoxo,

Anna