Dec 02

For all the mommas out there

I have had two friends within two days text me and tell me that they feel inadequate. They feel worn out, like they don’t have enough to give, that they’re not good enough, that they just can’t do it all, and the list goes on… Sadly, I get that feeling. I feel that way too my momma friends.

It stems from a society that asks a question like this:

Do you work OR stay at home?

The key there is the “OR” part. I am not saying that working and being a mom is not hard. I tried it once, and at that time it did not work for my family, but because the world is so “woman power” these days, we feel like because we are women that we have to conquer it all. And we are free to conquer and do and provide yes, but not everything. We just can’t. We are one person taking care of lots of persons.

Men tend to be able to conquer more on paper, because they have that “one person” at home making lots of things happen for them. We feel like we have to equally conquer all the things that our “men” conquer, all the while still conquering everything at home and for our children too. Insert feelings of inadequacy here.

I get it. I don’t sit down. I don’t slow down. I feel like because I am at home that my house should be perfect, my kids should look cute, and there should always be warm meals. Oh and I feel this pressure to somehow find a part-time job that I can squeeze in and work 10 hours a week and provide the extra 30 grand that my family needs. Insert inadequacy.

We need a break mommas. We need to stop. We have to. I made myself come home after dropping off my two-year old wild man at moms day out, and I put the itty down, and I took some time for myself. It isn’t lazy or lack of motivation, it is working on this feeling of inadequacy. This advent season I am determined to read the gospel more, stare at my tree, have warm mugs of yummy things during nap time, and let this rich season set me up to stop feeling like it is my job to conquer it all. Because I just can’t. And I don’t have to.

Rejoice, Rejoice. Emmanuel.

He, our Emmanuel, came so we could stop this feeling like it is in our control to conquer. He already conquered.

Mercy friends. I saw this last night as William snatched a piece of nativity out of a little girls hand and said “THAT’S MY BABY JESUS”. I busted out laughing and wasn’t sure if I was more puffed up like “wahahha my two-year old knows who baby Jesus is”, or more embarrassed like “holy cow my two-year old just snatched baby Jesus, wow our nativity mindset needs some serious work”. Either way, talk about #momfail.

So I truly pray that as we welcome baby Jesus that we don’t snatch him away and want Him in the form of a toddler {selfish}, but that we come as an innocent babe and look at the wonder of this season. In the midst of inadequacy, hurt, loss, sorrow, messy houses, dirty dishes, miscarriages, broken relationships, and sinful children, I hope that somehow we find Jesus. He’s in this. We just have to look for Him.

Keep Walking Mommas.

YOU are worth something.

Something BIG.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6




Nov 11

God Our Father

William got in the car Wednesday from mom’s day out, and I asked him what he did that day at school. Usually he says: I play friends or I have a good day. His little responses don’t typically include great detail yet, because he’s just a little over 2 years old, but it’s always sweet to hear him say that he played or had a good day. This week we all were processing election news and the state of our country, so when he got in the car and I asked him how his day was and he said: I sing songs and the he proceeded to sing:

God our Father, God our Father
mumble mumble {he forgot some of the words}
thank you for our blessing, thank you for our blessing
ahhhhmennn, ahhhhmennnn

Ever since that day I can hear his little voice singing that in my head. Somehow in the midst of unrest, I have felt peace about one thing lately, and that is that God is our Father, and He promises to bless his people.

There has been a lot of hard stuff in our home lately wading through broken relationships and sadness and tackle a terrible election on top of it all, and dang y’all. dang.

Our home seems to feel heavy, our country is heavy, our hearts are heavy, and our little two-year old boy with big blue eyes and a big ole’ head of blonde hair reminds us of what is true. God our Father… Thank you for our blessing… Amen.

I’m processing a lot, and I just hope as you tackle whatever your world is throwing at you that you remember that the role of our King is not changing. The world is, but He will not.

Ahhhhmennnn. Ahhhmmmennn.

Keep Walking.




Oct 27

Gallery Wall

I have always wanted one of those cool gallery walls in my home with lots of family photos in one place. When we bought our house, I found the perfect place to do just that, and I also happened to find the perfect cooper frames on sale, so it was one of my first new house purchases. They sat in boxes for a while and got super dusty in the midst of our renovation, and then before Mary Kathryn was born, I was insistent that we get them hung.

Dan agreed and hung them for me one day during nap time. I’m not sure about your marriage, but in ours, hanging pictures is quite the stretch on marital commitment….

I hate measuring. D measures too much.

The struggle is real.

We did it though, and they were hung nicely for about 6 months with no pictures in them. Such is life right?

Well, last Friday when I was trying to pack for being gone for five days with two little ones, I finally sat down to order some pictures for my gallery wall. Because that’s a great time to accomplish such a thing right? The pictures came, and of course I did not order enough, but oh well… So far we have 3 out of 11 frames with pictures in them. I count it as major progress people.

I also ordered a newborn picture of Mary Kathryn to hang down our hallway. We have a picture of Mary Anna in a big frame and right next to it a picture of William, and poor MK just hasn’t made it to the wall yet. The truth is that I have had time to do these things, but I just frankly avoid them.

As Dan sat on our stairs yesterday and patiently centered the black and white pictures into my copper frames, we both were pretty silent. The first picture that he did was one of our favorites of Mary Anna, but it’s still the same picture at the same age, and nothing about it has changed and nothing will change. You see, as we grow as family my gallery wall will too, but the same pictures of MAC will just continue to rotate.

That’s a hard pill to swallow.

Today I tried MKs’ costume on her. She’s a fuzzy white lamb. And like I mean she’s the cutest. I can’t even handle it. But dressing her up makes me ache. The frames make me ache. Life makes me ache.

In a funny way, my kids somehow became a lion and a lamb for Halloween this year. We don’t really love Halloween at our house, but it is fun to dress up and have an excuse to eat sweets with our friends. We really focus on Thanksgiving around our house. As I have processed my little lion and lamb this year and the hole that is in our family with MAC not being here, I can’t help but cling to the true lion and the lamb, Jesus.

I didn’t plan for their fuzzy costumes to be Biblical at all. Seriously. It just happened to be the least tacky costumes at Target in their sizes, but it’s somehow helped me this year.

http://www.paultripp.com/sermons#!/swx/pp/media_archives/170495/episode/62923

This sermon hits on all of this, so if you have time listen please.

So enjoy your fuzzy animals this weekend. Soak up the littles, because it’s true that babies don’t keep. And focus your eyes on the lion and the lamb.

…”Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne…
Revelation 5:5-6

Keep Walking.




Oct 13

Pumpkins

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I know people get tired of the whole pumpkin obsession, but I 100% don’t. Like please when fall comes, give me pumpkin EVERYTHING! I mean it. Thanks.

I try not to eat bagels and cream cheese daily for the sake of my thighs and everyone who has to look at them, but today I was/am in a funk. It can’t be shaken. I bought pumpkin cream cheese and cinnamon raisin english muffins, because I was at Trader Joe’s, and that store just gets why everything should come in the form of pumpkin.

Sunday night I texted my mom and asked her to come Monday morning, because I just couldn’t do Monday alone this week. She came, we got a flu shot, went to target, and we got pumpkins.

All of these things make me happy, but they also make me ache. I realize as the air is slowly turning crisp and the days keep getting shorter, that there is this pit in my stomach that I just can’t seem to shake. Hence the funk today.

I miss my girl.

She would be 3, and she would love pumpkins. Because her momma does. Her tiny white pumpkin sits on our porch right now, and I just smile picturing her carrying it around and giggling.

A friend texted me this last night…

To the grieving parent: On the days when no one but you mentions their name, I am so, so sorry. Say their name bravely. Know that they are still real, they were still here, and you are still theirs.
-unknown

 

So that’s what I am going to do today. Eat my cream cheese and say Mary Anna proudly. It won’t take the funk away or make my head hurt any less, but at least I can know that she was real, she was here, and she is still mine.

Mary Anna,

My angel pumpkin girl. I miss you so deeply. I love the cool weather, and all I want to do today is order cozy sweaters from anthro, eat pumpkin things, and hold your tiny little hand. It hurts so bad to live without you here with us. I love you. I love you. I love you.

-your momma

Keep Walking.




Sep 20

… and never grow up

It’s one of those nights that you just want to remember forever…

It’s nothing fancy or out of the ordinary, but it’s just life in its simplest form.

I made a yummy dinner of eggplant pizzas from fresh eggplant from the farmers market. We had homemade sourdough bread dipped in olive oil and an easy salad with walnuts and a vinaigrette dressing. I had the kids bathed before daddy got home, and had Ray LaMontagne’s Pandora station playing on the t.v.

Not everything was perfect. William proceeded to throw lots of water out of the tub, while I was trying to get Mary Kathryn’s jammies on her. Daddy was home later than normal. It was too hot to play outside, so we had all been inside since early afternoon, but it was perfect in the most ordinary of Monday’s kinda way.

I sit now with some tunes softly playing, William jumping around the house saying “jumpin, jumpin, jumpin!”, and itty is sleeping in the swing. And buddy just stooped by the computer to say “hey mommy!”.

These are the nights that I want to savor. Nothing fancy or perfect but just ordinary.

Daddy just said, “Can we have a night like this every night and can y’all never grow up.” Amen daddy!

So I’ll go to sleep tonight with a full belly, probably some ice cream here in a bit and another glass of wine, and I will forever remember these nights…

with my people…

and we will cherish the ordinary but yet so perfect nights like these.

Keep Walking!




Sep 13

Choices

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I love the saying the struggle is real

Like today when I tried to do the simple task of grabbing some groceries, and Mary Kathryn (3 months) was asleep, and William (2) was already requesting a certain cart in the parking lot. I put the itty in the ergo baby carrier, and grabbed the shoeless toddler, and I walked up to the store, and some nice lady was like can I help you??. I kinda giggled and said no I really am okay, but I was thinking man the struggle is REAL.

Choices…

We have them everyday. Big and small. I chose tp eat William’s soggy pancakes this morning, because I was still hungry, and I mean that’s just motherhood. I chose to make another cup of coffee during nap time and write instead of taking a nap myself, because I just needed it today. I chose to go to the grocery store instead of this new delivery thing…

Can we take a moment? They deliver your groceries, bring them in your house, and set them on your counter top! Hello! Can I get an AMEN?

Yeah, I was going to sign up today, but they charge extra for groceries, and again, we make the choice for me to stay at home, so I loaded up the troops and got my groceries myself. The budget is real too y’all.

I choose marriage. I choose my husband. Today in a culture of divorce and half done marriages, I wake up and choose him. Even on the days when he looks at me and says, you know I think I really do get on your nerves! Haha! He does, but I choose him.

And let me take a note that Dan and I made the choice for me to stay at home, and although it may seem glamorous, it is not a choice of out plenty. If any, it is a choice that brings great need. It was a choice we made for our family. William tells me a lot mommy car break, because my car seems to be struggling, and I laugh and say yes buddy, but mommy car break so she can stay with buddy. He usually responds yeah.

He says yeah a lot.

We have been given this grand task from our pastor to work on our life’s mission, and as I contemplate that, it has brought up why I am doing what I am doing, and so it has then even further to spot light my choices. I think to narrow down this mission that he speaks of, I have to know why I choose what I choose.

So today…

I choose Dan the man.

I choose Mary Anna, William, and Mary Kathryn.

I choose to pray more and read more.

I choose to stay at home and flourish at home.

I choose to drink coffee a lot.

I choose yoga pants more than jeans. because… yeah…

I choose to enjoy feeding my family.

I choose life.

I choose a lot of things and this list will continue to grow… But I think it’s just dawned on me to remind ourselves what we choose, and why we choose those things, because in a fast-paced grocery delivering, instagram shopping world, it easy to not choose the right things.

Most importantly, I choose Jesus.

Dan decided we should read Psalms together and read a new chapter everyday. Well I forgot to read day 1-3, so I read those last night, but I chose to make myself read chapter 4 this morning, before I made up 5 million excuses of why I was too busy to do such a thing…

Answer me when I call to you,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.

How long, O men, will you turn my glory
into shame?
How long will you love delusions and 
seek false gods?
Know that the Lord has set apart the godly
for himself;
the Lord will hear when I call to him.

In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the Lord.

Many are asking, “Who can show us any
good?’
Let the light of your face shine upon us,
O Lord.
You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine
abound.
I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
Psalms 4

And after I finished I texted him this: Know the Lord will hear when I call… Reminded me that HE does hear our prayers. Man I need to be praying more.

Keep Walking




Sep 07

The Juggle

It’s okay to ache and be full at the same time. We are living in the already/not yet of the kingdom coming. Everything you’re feeling is the gospel.
-r.s.m.

A dear friend texted me that yesterday…

I was sitting on the couch holding my itty on my legs and sobbing. She was peacefully looking at me and sucking her paci, and I could not do anything to stop the tears. I hugged her a few times, prayed over her, and kept crying.

All I could put my finger on was that grief is so draining. We’re going through a lot of transitions at our house right now, and transitions are hard, and they’re especially hard when you have little ones under your feet. I forget how heavy grief is until life gets harder, and then I realize that waking up everyday is hard, and then you throw a wrench in the machine…

I mean there’s nothing to really do but just say: damn.

I try not to cus, except for pressing moments like stubbing your toe so hard it bleeds or pouring coffee on your newborns head {not that I’ve ever done such a thing}, but I mean sometimes there’s no other word to describe it.

Just sayin….

If you’re more noble and proper than me, bless you. Maybe one day i’ll be like you.

It kinda hit me in the midst of my tears, thinking through all the changes, anger, happiness, etc., that everyone goes through stages of grief and hard times. It’s just a fact of life.

BUT

There are a few of us that walk with that grief everyday. Every. Single. Day.

It does not diminish the grief or hurt that others feel, but there’s this little club of people who have to learn how to cope with 24/7, 365 grief. That process is hard. Like really hard y’all. And the truth is that it’s not a my life is harder than yours game by any means, it’s just the reality.

The Lord has been reminding me so much lately that, as a friend of mine says all the time, that comparison is the thief of joy. She’s so right. I don’t compare, because I can’t. I don’t have friends who have lost their babies in their arms, and I would drown daily if I compared my loss to their life. So what I can do is cling to the promises of the King of Kings, and cry and cus from time to time and just try to…

Keep Walking

Even when I do feel like life is heavy… Thankfully my baby girl taught me that life’s just about taking that next step. Sometimes you start to step, you trip, maybe skin your knee, maybe even break a leg, but we all stand up and start walking again eventually.




Aug 27

Bittersweet

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So there’s this thing that my husband loves to do, and it’s go to restaurants or movies alone. Like really? Is that even normal? It’s the most bizarre thing to my extroverted self. If I did such a thing, then I would  spend all my time feeling lonely, but to him it is peaceful. It’s something we have always debated in the years and years that we’ve been together.

Sadly, this has seemed like a season of life where I go to restaurants alone a lot and walk away feeling isolated and lonely. When it’s against my nature, then it makes it feel even more glaring.

As I get older, and sure I’m not quite old yet, but in the realm of life experiences, I should truly be on oxygen at this point. I realize that the Lord puts us in seasons of plenty and in seasons of isolation. I am not the best at resting during the season of isolation.

I texted a close friend recently that lives in Auburn, the place where a lot of times I feel like all of my problems would go away if we could just move back to that quaint little town. not true. And I told her that I feel like I am everyone’s second and third string friend, and I missed having her as a first string friend in my daily life. It’s true. I mean I have been given some SUPER cherishable and enviable friendships lately, but I am still not anyone’s “person” here.

Let me take a break by explaining your person. Your person is the one who no matter what is going on they ALWAYS get you. They can usually say what you’re thinking before you say it. Typically it’s not your spouse, even though they’re your person too, but it’s just different when it’s someone of the same gender. They can go into a store and know what you would buy and what you wouldn’t. Usually, they’re a different personality type than your own, and you can enjoy laughing at each others strengths and weaknesses. No competition. No comparison. No explanation. Just living life together. Through it all.

Like right now, I am sick and feeling even more isolated, because my toddler is at BB and Doc’s house (grandparents) and my infant is sleeping and my hubs is working (on a saturday, vomit!), so I need my person to drop off a muffin and a latte on my doorstep, because they know that’s what I love when I’m sick. Instead I went and got it alone this morning with the itty.

Don’t get me wrong, I am capable of getting my own muffin and cappuccino, but it’s just the feeling of knowing that they’re there. I have a few persons that are those people to me, and they’re only a phone call away, but it just stinks when you don’t share the same grocery store and coffee shop with them.

During this season of isolation, I have come to realize that I don’t like isolation, and yet the Lord has been rich in his mercy to show me that I don’t like it, because I don’t want to sit still long enough to recognize the pain that I face everyday.

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead the people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey al the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
Joshua 1:6-7

My Auburn momma used to always say this verse to me. Do not look to the right or to the left Kari. Don’t do it. I spend too much time looking to the right or left and not looking to Him.

Even in isolation, He is enough. He will sustain.

I started this book at the beach, which is kinda my thing. Read about 3 chapters in a book, keep my bookmark there and think about picking it up for a while, and then giving up on finishing the book, because my type AAAA self is too worried about keeping the house clean and making to do lists to sit down and read. I mean come on stay at home mommas, really? Reading! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Bizarre, because I would kinda like to write a book one day. Guess I better become a better reader first.

Anyways, this book Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist is just rich and good. Read it. Even if you don’t get past the first chapter. She says this:

When your life is easy, a lot of the really crucial parts of Christian doctrine and life are nice theories, but you don’t really need them. When, however, death of any kind is staring you in the face, all of a sudden rebirth and new life are very, very important to you.

Just like one of my persons texted me last week, I feel like our conversation about Mary Anna and Mary Kathryn is the definition of bittersweet. That’s kinda my theme right now I guess. Trying to wade through the bittersweetness of a baby girl who’s with Jesus and another one who’s in my arms, all the while tacking life with a busy 2 year old, a husband who works a lot, and some isolation mixed with lots of snuggles, cookies, and laughter too.

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…when life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.
-bittersweet

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Keep Walking.




Jul 17

3

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Mary Anna,

It was your 3rd birthday on Thursday, and today is the anniversary of the day that you went to heaven. Sometimes I don’t know which day is harder for me, or if it is the days leading up to your special the day and the days in between your birthday and today that I recollect on those short, yet long 4 days that we had with you. I fell asleep last night crying, because I was remembering the last moments that we had with you the night before you left this earth.

Baby girl, I wanted to write you this letter on your birthday, but I got really sick, and I just had a horrible day. A horrible day, because I physically felt as bad as I did emotionally.

We released 14 pink balloons and sang you to on your birthday. We will always celebrate your special day.

I have spent most of this week wondering what your voice would have sounded like. Your little brother talks ALL the time, and I think that he has the cutest little voice.

And now I look at your little sister, and can’t help but imagine how you would’ve grown and looked as you grew. She looks just like you, and it melts me.

My angel, I don’t know what to say or think, but that we miss you and love you deeply. You used to jump in my belly when I played music, and music still speaks to me. One of your daddy and my favorite bands came out with this new song this week, and it was fitting because it remind us of you.

I don’t want any relief

Cause I don’t wanna let you go right now.

Close my eyes and think of you

Go to sleep and dream of you

We don’t get to be here long.

Baby girl, I am glad that I don’t have to be here much longer without you. I am glad that life on earth is not it. You are the promise of heaven that points me to Jesus. You taught me how to long to be with Him. What a gift. You are my greatest treasure.

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I know you found the promise land

But I’m still here and I’m missing you.

Keep Walking.




Jul 11

Mad

I am just mad today.

Just flat mad.

I caught myself being mad at everyone in my life for no plain reason. Well, I mean the reason is that Mary Anna’s birthday and the anniversary of her death are all happening in the next 7 days, and I just dread all of them.

I have been stuck. I can’t print Mary Kathryn’s birth announcement. I can’t plan William’s 2nd birthday party. I just can’t.

Today after my heart was just cold at life, I decided to go on a run. Dan was on a bike ride while the babies were napping, so I greeted him at the door ready to go.

He said, “I think you need some fresh air, so go run…” I said, “bye”.

I started running during the hottest part of the day as fast as I possibly could. I am 5 weeks post partum, and I have very little stamina, but I just ran.

With this song on repeat.

baby, i’m not moving on, i’ll love you long after you’re gone

I ran fast.

and long after you’re gone, gone, gone

And faster.

for you, for you…

I remembered the way she looked the moment she was born, and how happy my heart was.

you’re my back bone, you’re my cornerstone, you’re my crutch when my legs stop moving

Hear little noises were in my ears, and my eyes could see only her eyes.

you’re the pulse that I’ve always needed

And I fell. I fell flat on my face. I scraped my knee, leg, both hands, and there was blood dripping off my finger.

like a drum baby don’t stop beating 

I stood up, and I started running again. Sobbing. I kept running.

like a drum, my heart never stops beating…

I ran until I could barely breathe.

for you

I was mad, because I just want her back. I want my Mary Anna in my arms, not in my memory.

baby, i’m not moving on, i’ll love you long after you’re gone

I opened the door, walked in, and burst into tears again. My sweet babies and hubs greeted me, and they were what I needed.

Grief hurts.

I showed D my wounds, and he tenderly said, “Somehow, this is just fitting karebear. I am sorry. But.. this would happen.”

I’m hurting literally and physically.

i’ll love you long after you’re gone, gone, gone. my sweet Mary Anna.

Keep Walking.