Tag Archives: motherhood

No One is a Pinterest Mom

2I love my kids more than anything. When my day at work gets tough, I look forward to snuggling with my little men. I want to enjoy my kids. I want to spend Friday nights building forts, watching movies and eating popcorn. I want to spoil them and make memories. I want to really enjoy life with my children. What I didn’t anticipate is how hard discipline would be. I absolutely hate having to be the bad guy.

When it comes to discipline I’m dumbfounded. I’ve read books. I’ve followed blogs and watched videos. I know how important it is … I just find it so hard! I lose my temper instead of staying calm. I don’t know what to say when the timeout is done. I also find that I tolerate a lot from my kids. My sister looked at me during dinner and said something about Jaden’s comment being so sassy. I didn’t even notice.

For my children’s sake I’ve got to figure out how to be good disciplinarian … and fast! I’m great at the loving them up, supporting them, being there for them and having fun with them. I want my teaching to have meaning … purpose.

During a phone conversation with my mama, I mentioned to her that I knew discipline was my shortcoming of being a mom. I know I can do it, it’s just harder for me – it takes a lot of effort. Knowing what to say when you child is pushing the boundaries comes naturally to them. That’s why I value her and my sister’s opinions so much. If it’s not something I’ve read about in a Love and Logic book, I’m not totally sure what to do. I’m also pretty quick to forgive so I tend to let my kids off the hook pretty easily. My mom said she was glad to hear me acknowledge that. No mom is good at everything and if we aren’t honest about our areas of weakness we won’t ever improve.

It takes a lot of self-awareness to know where my strengths and weaknesses are. Moms tend to think we are horrible at it all … but that’s just not true. Each of us have special gifts. We are all uniquely paired with our children. There is a reason my kids are my kids and not yours.

When we are transparent, we can hep each other. My weakness is someone else’s strength and visa versa. I know I’ve helped some of my friends lighten up. When the entire box of cereal spills on the floor we take a moment to laugh about it, play a little and then clean it up. Some of my mom friends would just get angry at the wasted money and food on the floor. I get it … I feel that too. My response doesn’t make me a better mom, it’s just a product of my strength in enjoying and savoring moments. Now this same mom, when her child acts disrespectfully, she knows just how to respond. My kids are the ones who run wild and I struggle to pull them back in line.

See? We need each other. We can learn from each other.

Rather than trying to pretend we were all perfect Pinterest moms, what if we were honest about what our homes and lives looked like? What if we let each other in and allowed our fellow mom’s strength become our strength? Rather than sit envious and feel ashamed because my children act out in public, what if I asked her how she does it. Have any tips for me? No one is a Pinterest Mom … let’s stop acting like we are.

Let’s spend more time building each other up, rather than comparing ourselves to each other. It’s the only thing I am 100% sure of, we need each other.

Love, Mel

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Filed under Mommyhood Meditations, Posted by Melissa

Adios Tonsils!

Tomorrow is a big day … the triplets are getting their tonsils out. I’ve known this day was coming for quite a while … their tonsils are so huge that they are actually impeding their speech. I’m quite glad they are getting them out – I remember how wonderful it was when I got mine out at the age of 21. I wish I had gotten mine out a lot sooner!

I was rock solid about the whole thing until today at about 11:30 a.m. I started to piece together what tomorrow would be like. We would walk into the same hospital that we said goodbye to Owen in. We would kiss our babies goodbye as the doctors took Logan and Weston to the same OR where Owen’s heart, liver and kidneys were removed. I picture the recovery room – where Doug and I were escorted to a small room off to the side, where we would hold and kiss our baby boy for the last time. Then I remember how his cheeks were pale and cool to the touch – like we had been out for a walk on a crisp fall day. I can still feel his cool cheeks on my lips.

My mind just went crazy, remembering all kinds of things that 1. I haven’t thought of in sooooo long and 2. weren’t really helpful in preparing for tomorrow. I’m taken off guard on how quickly these memories come to the surface. I mean, things have been good for a really long time and then BAM the memories and pain in my chest all come back. I attempted to fend off the thoughts as I tried to focus in a meeting and while I tried to get bulletins done for worship while I’m out of work – brushing the slow tears that formed in the corner of my eyes away and taking in a deep breath as my heart skips a beat. Gosh – it’s crazy how the mind can just take over.

The boys are ready … we’ve been talking about it a lot. A typical conversation goes like this:

Me: Boys, are you ready for your surgery?

Weston: Yeah – these balls in the back of my mouth are going to get out when we go to see the doctor.

Logan: Daddy has the balls in his mouth out.

Me: Yes, that’s right! Mommy has her tonsils out too. When we get to the hospital they are going to give you a funny gown to wear.

Logan: Mama, I keep my underwear on?

Me: Yes, Logan, you can keep your underwear on. Then, you’ll go to sleep and when you wake up, you’ll have a sore throat.

Weston: ME NO WANT TO HAVE A SORE THROAT! I reaaaaally no wanna go Mama.

Me: It’ll be OK bud. How many popsicles do you get to have for breakfast?

Weston and Logan (looking confused): Popsicles no breakfast food mama. We eat pancakes for breakfast.

Me: But when you have your tonsils out you can have a popsicle for breakfast … or 5 or 6 or 12!

Weston: I like popsicles. I eat Popsicle for breakfast and no go to the doctor?

Smart kid … always thinkin’.

They’ll be fine … most likely clung to me over the next few days but just fine. I’ve cleared my schedule – gotten caught up on most of my chores so I can just focus on them. I’ve got my brother and sister lined up to spend extra time with Jaden. It’s gonna be good – hard – but good.

I’ve got their bags packed – favorite blanket, baby pandas (they have matching stuffed animals), favorite movie and their LeapPads. All I have to do is give them some jello for an early breakfast and get to Children’s Hospital on time 🙂

If you think of it, could you send a prayer our way tomorrow? One for Logan at around Noon and one for Weston around 1 p.m.? You have been such prayer warriors for my family in the past, I feel bad asking for more … but prayers are free right? And hey, I’ll make you a deal .. you pray for my kids and I’ll pray for your kids any time! Just drop me a note and I’d be honored to pray for your little life’s treasures!

Love,

Mel

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Unequipped for Motherhood

There are days when I feel like I am totally unequipped to be a mother. Who’s idea was it to trust me with these little people? My choices may scar them for the rest of their lives! What I say or do might replay in their heads for the next 30 years!

I still remember when I was trying to help my sister with her violin practice (we both played). I must have been being a snot because I remember my mom telling me that she hoped I would never be a teacher. For years and years I thought I was horrible at being a leader and teaching others. It was just something my mom said out of frustration … she didn’t really mean it. In fact, if you ask her, she doesn’t even remember saying anything like that! But it’s stuck with me. What is going to slip out of my mouth and haunt my children for the next 30 years?

I find myself most lost when it comes to discipline or when the triplets are acting wildly out of control. I find myself tuning it out rather than dealing with it. It’s like when a baby has too much stimulation they just fall asleep. When I’m too overwhelmed with chaos, I just tuned it all out. I look at my three year olds throwing temper tantrums and kicking their legs at me when going for a time out and I ask myself, “What have you done wrong to have such naughty little dudes? If I were a better mom, my kids would be better behaved.”

I often find myself speechless – totally clueless on the consequence to offer and lost at how to correct some behaviors. I secretly love when my kids misbehave around my sister, an incredibly talented teacher, because I study what ninja teacher move she makes so I can use it at home. But I’m mom, I’m supposed to know things. I’m supposed to have the right thing to say and the perfect chocolate chip recipe. Reality is I have neither. I usually say the wrong thing, and I just use the recipe on the back of the bag of chocolate chips.

There are many days when I really think God made his first mistake when he chose to bless me with four of his souls. Think about it – God gifts us moms with souls … someone’s heart and voice. He places them on our laps and says “do your best.” No instruction manual. No toll free support phone number. God sure has more faith in me than I do.

I just want so much more for my kids. I want their lives to be overflowing with joy and contentment. I want them to feel loved always – even when I’m really ticked off at them. I want them to be confident that their mom was always in their corner. I might not be whispering what they want to hear – but I’ve got their back. I’m going to tell them when they mess up – but I’m going to love them enough to believe that they can fix they went wrong.

Being a mother is hard. Really hard. I think all moms struggle – even the ones who always seem to be dressed, make up on and a Starbucks in their hand. They feel lost too.

I think when I started to open up to other moms, I realized that my feeling of incompetency in motherhood wasn’t abnormal. All of my mom friends have felt like they aren’t right for the job at some point. Whether they feel like the job is too hard or their child is hurting and they don’t know how to help – we’ve all felt like we came up short. I felt relief when I learned that I wasn’t alone.

I have slowly been building my group of mom friends – my support beams in my life house. They hold me up when I’m tired. They cheer me on and encourage me when I feel like I want to give up. My girlfriends share in my successes (working on potty training right now oye). They love and cuddle my children when we are together – proving to me that I am raising loveable young men.

To the mother reading this that feels she is not enough – you are wrong. You are enough with what you have. In your child’s eyes, you are a superhero. Be careful with your words – they will come back to haunt you. Nothing you can do about that one. Don’t be afraid to tell a friend you are struggling – be honest about where you are. Stay tuned into your children’s lives. Mom radar is a real thing – trust your gut. But most of all, be forgiving with yourself and be gentle with each other. Motherhood is like walking into a boxing ring without gloves on. It hurts like hell and is one of the hardest things you’ll have to do in your life. But remember,God trusted you with his souls. He’s counting on you to do your best – so keep showing up. Keep carrying on mama warriors!

Love, Mama Mel

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Is Chivalry Dead?

I take my job as a mother to all boys very seriously. It was the moment I realized that I was raising the men who would be taking care of someone else’s daughter that I realized just how important my job was. My life will be meaningful if my boys grow up to be ‘good’ men. Got me thinking … what does it mean to be a ‘good man’ these days? What does the 21st century “good man” look like? Is chivalry dead? In a lot of ways I think it is … but is it too late to bring it back?

chiv·al·ry
ˈSHivəlrē/Submit
noun
1. the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code.

I love that … a religious, moral and social code.

Religious – I want my boys to believe is God and Jesus. I want them to want to attend church and to be the head of a christian home. Now let me say this … if they choose to leave the church, I will always love my boys. But I desire them to have the comfort, support and safety net of the Christian beliefs that I have grown into. I honestly do NOT know where I would be today if it weren’t for my faith in God, my fear of God and my hope in the promises God makes every morning.

Moral – You hear about all the horrible things that happen in this world. Rape, husbands beating up their wives, children hearing their parents call each other all kinds of horrible names, men who control all the money, women who cheat. I want my boys to know right from wrong in this corrupt world. I want it to matter to them that they live by a code. I want them to be rooted in a standard that holds them to a higher level than the role models television and media give them. I pray every day that God gives them the strength to withstand peer pressure – that God whispers to them each day which path they should take. I want them to know the important of being honest, loyal and to have integrity.

Social – is it too much for a man to hold open a door for a women? Now, don’t take me for a traditionalist … I have my feminist tendencies. I believe women and men were created equal. I do not think that women should bow down to men and that women should paid the same as men. But … BUT … there is a level of honor and respect when a man opens a door for a woman. I remember when I had plans to hang out with a friend … when he picked me up, he got out of his car, waited for me to lock up my house then, opened my car door for me. I felt special. I felt cherished. I felt protected. I want my boys to know how to make a woman feel that way. Because it’s their job to protect – not to control or boss around – but to protect the women in their lives. I don’t want them to be afraid to hold their girlfriend’s purse. In turn, I pray that they meet a girl that will honor and love them. That they will accept my boys’ protection as love and that they will cherish them in a way that only a girl can.

Jaden has struggled with the divorce … as can be expected. His anger gets the best of him. He struggles with understanding the change. I’ve lost sleep over worrying about Jaden losing a father figure in his life. But something amazing has been happening with that boy. Something deeply amazing. The other day, Jaden rushed to the door ahead of me. I was irritated because I had to reach and fumble to unlock the door. He opened it, stepped aside and said, “Ladies first, mama.” Then he rushed ahead of me again, and opened the porch door and said the same, “Ladies first, mama.” This continued with each door we walked through … the daycare door, the door to Logan and Weston’s class, then back out again. The little man even opened my car door. My heart was complete mush and I was beaming with pride.

I realized that how my boys treat other other people will forever be more important than any grade they bring home. It will matter more than the level that they read at – the multiplication tables they memorize. The way they treat women will matter more than any other grade they will ever receive. How they treat women will shape their family. It will direct whether or not their heart gets broken, it will affect the kind of woman they choose to be the mother of their children. Chivalry is so important … it’s something I still pray that God blesses me with … a man who holds doors open, a man who helps me with my coat, respects my role in this world as a woman, someone who raises me up on a pedestal … not because I demand it or even deserve it. But rather, he puts me there because he wants to – because he respects me and loves me. And in return, I will love and respect him.chivalry-quiz-0208-de

To my fellow mamas of boys – teach them to be chivalrous. Teach them how to treat a lady. Let’s raise chivalry from the grave …

Love, Mel

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I’m Not Sick

I’m sitting on my couch, watching the Bachelor and listening to my kids snoring. After two lost stuffed animals, three bandaids (one of which is literally on top of Weston’s head, in his hair – exactly where he insisted on me putting it), four rounds of singing This Little Light of Mine, two backs being rubbed, three drinks of water and lots of snuggles, they are all sleeping little angels. Did I mention no tears?!?! I’m getting my mama mojo back!

This past week I’ve been battling not feeling well … I’ve been telling myself that I’m not sick … therefore, I am NOT sick. Let’s be honest, moms don’t have time to be sick! Let alone a single, working mom! So, I just keep telling myself that I’m not. Each morning, I drink a big glass of water, take some cold medicine, get dressed and face the day. If I keep moving, I’ll feel better.

Knowing how much I “love” shoveling, I was less than excited to see the whiteout conditions today. Here in Wisconsin, we got 5-8 inches of snow! I knocked out all my work and was able to leave by 4. Picked up the triplets from daycare and headed home. Sat on the kitchen floor and played with stickers and colored with the littles while the water boiled. We filled twelve different bowls with crackers, grapes and mac ‘n cheese. I didn’t care about the extra dirty dishes, it was fun! I threw in a load of laundry into the washer and folded the load in the dryer from Sunday. I washed all twelve bowls and the dirty dishes still sitting on the counter from Saturday. Then, we put on all of our snow gear and headed outside to clear the snow.

I fired up the snow blower for the 1,534 time this winter. With each trip up and down the driveway I felt stronger and stronger. Not only am I learning how to handle a snow blower like a pro, but I was feeing pretty proud of myself. Proud for the strong woman I’m growing to be. (Note “growing” I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m making progress.) I’m proud that I had the drive to take care of my own driveway (no pun intended). My dad had offered to snow blow for me when he dropped Jaden off. I thought, for one of the first times since moving out, “I can do this on my own and I WANT to do this on my own. There is no reason why I can’t do this on my own.” I laughed, watching the triplets rolling down the huge piles of snow. I had to pause to pick Weston up out of the snow pile he couldn’t quite crawl out of and to wipe the snow off of Logan’s cheeks … I thought of the USA skeleton silver medalist. She trains for the Olympics with her kids playing on the race track … While I’m not going to be headed to Sochi anytime soon, I am training for my own life games. I may never get a medal for my role as Jaden, Logan, Weston and Owen’s mom – I do know that my work is important and precious and worthy of a gold medal.

My dad pulled in with Jaden just as I was finishing up. He was proud of me too – and thankful that he didn’t have to clear my snow 🙂

When we all got inside it was time for baths and pj’s. We had a bedtime snack (Girl Scout cookies – thank you Chloe!) and read two books. Brushed teeth and snuggled into bed.

I guess as I sit here thinking about my day, I’m shocked as just how much moms can get done in one night! I’m always surprised at just how much work kids can be – yet just how much we love them. One thing is for sure – the work we do for our children is never wasted. These tasks are investments. Totally worth every minute.

I’m still “not sick.” Mind over body … I’m still going with that!

Love, Mel

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Where did fun mom go?

The other night I was over at a good friend’s home. After the hustle and bustle of getting settled, I had a moment when I looked around the table and thought, “Wow, I don’t remember the last time I really enjoyed my kids.” Dinner had been made and the stress of being the only one in charge was lifted. I saw my kids in a new way … a way I had not seen them in months. They are funny, smart, independent, stubborn, kind, loving and amazing kids! Logan was loving him mac ‘n cheese and loving the attention he was getting. Weston was asking me to switch chairs with him because he wanted to sit on the stool. Holy smokes, my kids were really talking! (We’ve been struggling with their speech and they have been in speech therapy for over a year now.) I saw how much I missed them. I missed these moments and mostly because I was to busy to notice them lately.

I started to remember a mom book study from last spring when I was a stay at home mom in Sussex. Another mom, Jen, and I were talking about all the crazy, fun things we do with our children. How we embrace messes as times of laughter, that we get down on our knees and love our kids up to the moon and back. We stop for a snowball fight while carrying in the groceries. We let the dinner dishes sit at the table so we have a time for an extra bedtime story. Where did that mom go? How did I become someone who didn’t enjoy the little things anymore? Someone who didn’t embrace each moment as an opportunity to create a memory?

I hear myself yelling and screaming at my kids more than laughing at their cuteness. I get frustrated when they won’t put their boots on rather than find a fun game to make out of it. I remember a time when Logan and Weston got into the rice. It was everywhere! They were laughing, thinking it was SO MUCH FUN! I didn’t get mad … not one bit. I scooped it all up and put it in a huge bin, grabbed some measuring cups and bowls and let the kids have at it. It was all over the carpet, under the couch and on the table. I didn’t care one bit. That’s why God made vacuums. The joy that they got out of playing with simple rice was far worth the extra few minutes I would spend sucking it all up. Besides, the kids loved to vacuum so they really did most of the clean up themselves.

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If that would have happened yesterday, I would have had a canary!

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This photo was taken just over a year ago, on January 11, 2013 with the captain “It’s going to be one of those days.” I’m pretty sure I would have been too flustered to stop and take a photo if that happened yesterday.

What happened to me? Where did relaxed mom go? How did I get so high strung, so fast and without even knowing what happened?

I suppose a lot of it has to do with being the head of my own household. Being fully in charge is more stressful than I knew. I don’t like being a disciplinarian, but I also understand the importance of it. I focus on everything else going on around me – I’m in touch with my own thoughts and feelings, thinking of the bills that need to be paid, dishes that need to be washed and the need for the kids to get their sleep. Not getting home until 6 p.m. doesn’t give me very much time with them. I have little time left to be mindful of what my children might spring on me and how I want to handle it. I am less focused on them and more focused on running a household.

This dinner gave me awareness that I was missing out on so much. I was missing how incredible all of my children really are. I remember the mom that I worked hard to be. I need to stop so that I can hear the laughter of my own flesh and blood. While I strive to be a hardworking and successful single mom, that’s not what I want my babies to remember me as.

I want them to remember mom who laughs, a lot. That it’s ok to make huge messes as long as you have fun while doing so and that you clean it up when you are done. There is more to life than working (but working hard is still really important!). The dishes can wait to be cleaned until after you play outside (come on, it’s only daylight for so long!). Respect is incredibly important and that kindness goes a long way. Prayer is apart of every aspect of life, family is most important and that hugs are a necessity.

I suppose I’m finally settling in to life as a single mom. I finally have the urge to bake and have found the interest in looking for new recipes for dinner. I have started to keep up with cleaning the kitchen and bathroom (please don’t ask me if I dust). Today we had a picnic in the living room – just for fun. I didn’t pick up my phone, but rather we made up funny games to play with our french fries and enjoyed a Popsicle as dessert. I don’t remember the last time I just played with my boys.

I love my children so very much … whether they are in heaven or on earth. Being a mother is one of the most important things, if not THE most important thing I will ever do on this earth. I take my job seriously. Being a mother is one of (if not THE) most important things you will ever do in your life. Make it fun – make it memorable and most of all love your babies!

Love, Mel

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Surprises of Motherhood

This morning I heard myself say, ” Keep your bologna off of your feet.” Something I NEVER thought I would say … ever. Last month I heard myself say, “If you don’t take your finger out of your nose, I’m going to turn off the movie.” Yep … never thought I’d say one that either.

Come to think about it, there are lot of motherhood moments I never expected …

  • How many times I’d be covered in pee, poop or puke
  • How my heart would melt at just the sight of my kids sleeping
  • That everyday things, like carpooling, could be beautiful
  • Pediatrician appointments could be so stressful
  • Buying simple things like fresh fruits and veggies would make me feel like a ‘good’ mom
  • How much dirty laundry little bodies could produce
  • How bad diapers could smell
  • That bedtime could bring so much rest to both the kids AND mommy
  • The words, “Mommy lay with me” could make you forget about all the bills that need to be paid, the toys that need to be picked up or the dishes that need to be cleaned
  • Playdates were for both the kids AND the mommies
  • How little arms wrapped around your neck could make you forget just about anything
  • If the kids cry long enough, you will eventually start to cry with them
  • Some of the questions your seven year old will ask will leave you speechless
  • The little sweet baby you bring home from the hospital, the one you promise to love for all of eternity, will one day talk back to you and shatter your heart
  • You will one day debate if a shower is really worth the time and energy
  • Grocery shopping will stress you out (when all the kids come)
  • That you won’t really care if you are puked on because you are too busy being worried about your sick baby to care for
  • How much joy you would feel when your child reads you a story all by him/herself
  • When others tell you how “well behaved” your child is, the relief you would feel – that you must have done something right

Motherhood is beautiful, irreplaceable and incredible. Men who appreciate this art are to be treasured. Those who are mothers shouldn’t take it for granted. Those who wish to be mothers should continue to pray for the blessing. Those who are mothers with children who are already in heaven need to know that their babies might not be with them, but they can still love their children in a unique way. Women who wish to be mothers but are struggling should know that God is with them. Every mother has their own story on how they became mothers. It’s incredible. But every mother, want-to-be mother, mother of an angel or woman who never wanted to have children of her own should know that their purpose in life is incredible. Honestly, you are molding the future.

Jaden has started to repeat something he over heard me say. “My mom had me way too young.” The point that this is true is irrelevant. I did have Jaden too young, I was a senior in college when I found out I was pregnant. And still the fact that I became a mother is nothing less than perfect and beautiful. I really wish he wasn’t so intuitive … I wish I didn’t have to “smooth” this over with him. I tell him that I was younger than I thought I would be when I became a mother. However, everything about him coming into this world was perfect. He was loved, planned and wanted from day one. He was no mistake. I very conscientiously chose to bring him into his world.

There are so many surprises in motherhood. There are so many things I never thought I would say. Being a mother is a gift. It’s a responsibility. Being a mother is an opportunity to change the future. Mothers — accept nothing less than being wonderful. Hear nothing less than you are strong and amazing. Men — encourage your wives and mother of your children. They are precious and needed in your and your children’s lives.

Love, Mel

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The Things Moms Say

This came out of my mouth today…

“Weston, take your finger out of your nose.”

He just switches from his left finger in his nose, to his right finger. I guess I need to be more specific …

“If you don’t take your fingers out of your nose, I’m turning the movie off!”

Never thought I would hear myself say something like that …

Don’t tell the Love and Logic class about my threatening statement haha …. Pam would tell me that I should have said “Mommy turns the movie on for little boys who have their hands in their lap.” or “Mommy turns the movie off for little boys who pick their nose.”

The point is … why is it so hard for three year old boys to leave their boogers alone? I swear that kid was mining for gold some days. Hey, if he ever does find a gold nugget we’ll be rich … maybe picking your nose isn’t such a bad thing … leaves you open to possibility!

So many ways to say the same ridiculous statement. These are my favorite parts about being a mom …. kids keep you funny 🙂

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all my mama readers! Moms – Grandmas – Step Moms – Birth Moms – Godmothers – the list goes on forever …. And a special mother’s day to all those mom’s of angels.  Some years it hits us harder than others.

For me, it was a good year – of course I missed Owen – but the celebration of the day out weighed the sadness this time.  I recognize that it might not be true every year – or true for all the upcoming anniversaries and holidays that remind me so much of when I had three babies on earth.  The spring reminds me of the HUGE triplet stroller that I used to load up and take all the kids on a walk around the block just to get out of the four walls of my house.  The open sidewalk was the only place I didn’t feel totally over sized.  The spring reminds me of meeting a friend at the park with her two adorable boys – we lost touch until a year after Owen’s death and are now great friends.  It reminds me of when my street was under construction and I used to rotate the triplets in the bumbo in front of the front door to the bay window to the coffee table – they would sit and watch the trucks for hours!

When I think of Mother’s Day I always think of this picture:

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and this one ….

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It’s the only photo(s) I have with all four of my children.

I go back and forth between feeling a huge whole in the middle of our family and not being able to imagine how I would keep up with a third one. Please don’t ever take what I just said as though I wouldn’t want a third one or that I would be able to handle it.  I just can’t mentally picture what it would be like to have another two-year old into the mix of our daily lives.  Weston and Logan keep me on my toes!!

This year, the boys and I went to church in the morning and then to my mom’s for the afternoon.  We walked to the park and played for a while. Then three little girls came to play too …. triplet girls.  What are the odds?  A message or a sign from God?  A coincidence?  I’m not sure what the message was or if it was meant for me – but it did catch my breath to watch Logan and Weston play along side the three girls.  It was pain strikingly clear that one of my children was missing at the park.  There should have been three girls and four boys (including Jaden).

I got my annual picture with the boys again this year.  The boys were already in their pj’s for the car ride home.  What little monkeys!  But they are, after all, the very reason why I’m a mom today.  I told Jaden this morning that I had him to thank for being a mom – he was the one that gave me my supermom powers!

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Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!!

Love, Mel

 

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Filed under Mommyhood Meditations

Keeping the Spirit of Christmas Magic Alive

The holiday season is equally filled with the truth of Christ’s birth as well as the story of Santa.  Some would actually argue that it’s more about Santa … I’ve often wondered about what the perfect balance is to keep the Christmas spirit alive … how much effort do you really need to put forth to keep Santa ‘real’ for our little ones?

We’ve adopted the Elf on the Shelf to our holiday traditions this year.  We have had a lot of fun finding Snowball-Owen (Jaden named him) all over the house doing things like hanging from the ceiling fan, on top of the xmas tree, playing with Jaden’s toys and so on.  It’s incredible how easily Jaden believed that this little plastic doll comes to life in the middle of the night to create a little mischief (and of course report to Santa on if he is being naughty or nice).

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If only our own faith is as easy as a child makes it appear to be.  One part of Jaden’s prayer with Isaac (see A Play Date for Jaden) keeps finding it’s way into my daily thoughts.  “If he [Owen] is ok, will you send me a sign?”

When growing up my sister liked to test the concept of all those imaginary characters we tell children about (the Tooth Fairy, Santa, the Easter Bunny).  She’d leave notes asking if they would leave her just a little something to let her know that they were real.  Just a little sign to know that she could keep believing.  My mom went to great lengths to keep her Christmas magic alive.  She was up until the wee hours of the night painting golden eggs from the Easter Bunny and finding the perfect white fluff from Santa’s coat.  If you ask my mom about it – she will groan and start to say what a pain Rachael was about these things.  But if you get her talking enough – she’ll begin to tell you how she secretly loved it.  She had fun and took delight in fueling the magic.

Here is where I get torn – Jaden is asking for a sign from God.  My first reaction was to find something to leave out for Jaden to show him that God is real.  I want to teach him that God listens to your prayers – He hears you when you reach out to Him.  But isn’t this where faith is supposed to take over?  Believing in something you can’t see?  Wouldn’t I be starting something much larger that could potentially set him up for disappointment and doubt later?  God doesn’t always answer your prayers … Garth Brooks song anyone?  Or at least He doesn’t answer them the way we hope He will or in the timing we want Him to.

I just don’t want the magic to die for him.  I love that he chose to pray when he missed his brother.  It’s something I sometimes forget to do myself.  My mother reminded me that rather than step in – I should sit back and pray about it myself.  Lift Jaden up in prayer that he might receive the reassurance and comfort he needs.  I should cultivate his relationship with God with prayer rather than control.  Perhaps my thought to intervene is proof of my own doubt.  Maybe God has a far better way to reassure him that Owen is in heaven.  As much fun and delight I would have working hard at night, planning something orange for Jaden to wake up to – I’ll kneel instead.  I’ll fold my hands and bow my head.

Dear God, Thank you for blessing me with such a wonderful and faithful boy Jaden.  You know his heart far better than I ever will.  I pray that you will offer him the comfort and reassurance he needs to know that his brother Owen is in heaven with you.  May he feel your love even when he is uncertain.  Let the answers to his questions lead back to you.  Protect him and guide him in places I cannot.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Filed under Faith, Jaden Story