… mommy-isms

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I have been laughing at myself all week and nodding in understanding at all of #teammommy quotes I’d heard over the years but was truly ignorant to or just plain didn’t understand the extent of the experiences.

So, y‘all try not to judge me or roll your eyes too hard as you read through this list of mommy-isms – I promise you the thoughts I had prior to having Baby Drew home were due to inexperience….. and, not being a part of #teammommy. I’m wondering if I’m the only one whose experienced mommy-shock like I have!

#teammommy
Mommy-isms

1.  I have no idea what I’d be doing if I didn’t have (insert baby’s name)
First of all, I had no idea what this meant because OF COURSE you know what you’d be doing…. the same things you were doing before they got there.
But, what I realized is that mommies weren’t talking about activities or their tangible schedule. But, the purpose behind their days. I’ve thought this many times before…. although I enjoyed teaching and truly miss being at the school, so much of the day to day just doesn’t matter anymore. I recognize the opportunities and friend circles, the deeper connections you have with other women because of this new little person who has completely turned your life upside down. And, it’s beautiful.

2. I don’t shop for myself anymore.
Okay….. I have randomly not been shopping (for myself) in literally months. Even before I began shopping for Drew or even Holland and Carrington. I just haven’t been into it. Still, didn’t think that when I was in the mood to shop again that I’d ever, ever not want to.
But,after experiencing the Galleria in an effort to shop for the both of us at the same time (with my mom & sister), I know that we both can’t shop on the same day, and definitely not as a duo. It’s easier to pick up a few things for her and move on. Between searching for something you  want, finding a fitting room, and attempting to try on ONE dress while keeping a mover from crawling under to the next fitting room (true story) is much more of a task that I truly want to deal with. So, that leaves me to shop when I’m on my own … let’s all laugh out loud at that thought. :)

 

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3. Eating cold food… happily.
So, about this……… My pre-mommy thought was “Why can’t everyone eat together?” That’s a sweet idea and sounds so perfectly doable, but for some reason it’s just doesn’t seem to work out that way every meal. And, by every meal I pretty much almost mean ever. You’re feeding someone, or putting them to sleep, watching them play, playing with them, just watching them enjoy life. When you do eat, that cold, luke warm food is heaven…. you’re too tired to warm it again and know that if you don’t eat it NOW, you prob won’t have a chance for a while so you eat up.
We also won’t discuss never eating any meal on your own without having to share it. And, when mean share I mean only getting  a bite or two before pretty much handing it over to a little person who just finished their (hot) meal.

4. “mommy-tired”
The nap while the kid is napping idea just wasn’t an option for me, because I have my to do list with things to cross off and a house to keep. I mean, I’m busy.  That went out of the window on day 2 & I laughed at myself. Now, I try to nap at least a portion of Baby Drew’s mid-day nap. This way, I’m getting some rest, we’re bonding (she sleeps next to me or on my chest), and I’m still able to get somethings done while she sleeps. What I do try to do is schedule at least ONE room action I want to accomplish everyday. Whether it be dusting in the living room or vacuuming a certain bedroom, I try to get that done during at least one nap. Sometimes, each room action has to be broken down throughout the day, but I definitely try to get something done everyday. When I do, I feel like a complete rockstar, because honestly, it just doesn’t always get done.
The first week home with Drew was only difficult in that I had to learn to operate on a new level of tired. I had no idea what mommies meant when they said they were tired. Learning to keep going and get up when I can barely keep my eyes open has been a task but so rewarding as well. I love to drag myself out of bed or snuggle her when we’re winding down at the end of the night even when all I truly want to do is face plant on the nearest flat surface.

5. “OH MY GOSH…. today (insert baby’s name) did (insert new ability)!!!!!”
So, when out with mommy friends or talking to my sister, it was cute to hear the new things Baby was doing for a little bit…… But, to drown every convo with “Guess what Baby did today” would get pretty old, pretty fast. But, when it is your baby imitating you or doing something you taught them to do – it is the best thing in the entire world….. and, I want to tell everyone who asks me anything about her. Doesn’t matter. “Does she have teeth?” My response “Yes! She has four, two at the top, two at the bottom…. Then that would of course segue into how I tried Orajel and she drooled so much while she was sleeping to how she will now lay down (ON HER OWN!!! HELLO!!!!) when she’s getting sleepy to how her sleep schedule is changing.” I mean, it’s all related. Same topic, right? lol.  (Sidebar – while were resting for nap, I was zerberted by the cutest little kiddo ever!! I laughed hysterically and caused her to jump… Sooooooo, stinkin cute! We just zerberted each other back and forth for bit! loved it!)

 

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6. “I haven’t showered in days and I’m wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday.
This I could not get with completely did not get and thought I would never not shower. My plan, which I began to practice during the weekends with our kiddo, was to shower in the morning before Thomas left for church or attempting to shower at night through exhaustion. Or, during a nap time. Insert mommy-tired and all you really wanna do during nap is nap or unwind, and in the mornings have that early morning play with the baby so I get it now. But, still… not showering isn’t an option. I must shower. I am a huge fan of self-care and my showers aren’t one of things I am willing to give up. My hair is currently all over my head and I’m wearing pajama bottoms, a t-shirt, and no bra but I PROMPTLY hopped of the phone with my sister during D’s nap with a “Oh! I can shower while Drew naps!” She says… “ok….” then burst out laughing. She gets it. She’s a mama. And, finally I do, too! And, I won’t mention how that shower was interrupted midway with “I’m awake now” baby cries, but that’s not important!

I’m sure I haven’t even begun to hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recounting situations, phrases, and actions that I never, ever thought I would say, do, or experience. But, I’m enjoying every single second of every day with this little girl. Even when she fights her sleep and is crying and refusing to allow her eyes to close all the way for any longer than a one point five seconds, it’s truly a joy. I adore her and am so thankful for every moment we have with her. I love seeing her explore our home more and more even though it’s causing me to rearrange a few tables and continue to put things back….. I know being mommy-tired and eating cold food when you haven’t showered is something that many women are desperate to experience. I am so thankful for her. So grateful for each and every snuggle and piece of pasta tossed over her high chair.

This mama life is amazing and I will forever praise God for her. And, never take these moments for granted.

I’m curious about your experiences and if you were every in mommy-shock when you realized what you thought mommy hood would be and what it actually is didn’t quite match up! At what point did you put your foot in your mouth?!

… here’s to each and every joy filled moment in every one of our messy, exhausted days!

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… hi, baby drew

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Y’all.  Y’all. Y’all.
It’s taken me a week and a few days to finally pop my lid… which rarely happens.

I want to be honest and up front, very open and real about what I’m experiencing. At the same time, I have to be careful to guard my heart and use wisdom in what and when I’m sharing my heart. And, I want to be extra sensitive when it comes to sharing our child(ren)’s stories as they are very personal and special. I want to respect that sacred part of them.

And, I’ve been a bit gun shy lately.

This infertility and adoption journey has taught me a great many of things… a lot of those things centered around communicating and the details of it. When to share, how to share, and what to share have been real struggles for me in general but also because things change so often and it’s such an emotional roller coaster. It tempts pride to have to back peddle and take this back and explain this, and the like. But, again. I want to be honest with myself specifically, and definitely you, about my story and experiences.

I’ve experienced so many hurts over the past few years, while writing about every piece of my story helps a lot, the public-ness of it all can make it very difficult, too. So, I apologize if I’ve offended friends and family by positioning you to hear about this here first, please understand that sharing has become very hard.

With that said,
we are officially in the process of adopting a little, sweet tenth month old girl. She is sweet, strong, loving, happy, friendly, and incredibly smart.
drew copyShe is the big sister to the twins we planned to adopt; you’ll have seen her on the blog before and on my ‘gram dubbed “big sister”.

{{those cheeks are purrrrrfect for kissing!!}}

I’m not going to go into too much detail about what’s going on right now – i just ask that you pray mightily for God’s will to be done and for this sweet girl’s heart. Pray for us, for her birth family, and for our entire process as we move forward.
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Although, it feels as if my relationship with the birth mother that began maybe seven or eight years ago and everything that has come from that was written just for this moment; I know that this is not my circus. She is ultimately not my child. And, that all of this will glorify God. So much of this particular part of our story already has. She is God’s child, first. His beautiful creation formed from his very vivid imagination.
The final period of her story has already been written and we are faithfully walking it out with her. God loves her more than anyone ever could and his plans are better than ours ever will be. We are faithfully trusting God with her, our hearts, and our family.
dg4Right now, my focus is to love her as Jesus does. To be as patient with her as Christ is to me. To make her feel loved and secure. To make her laugh, rock her to sleep, to comfort her when she’s fussy, and to just be there. Holding her hand, kissing her cheeks, and praying and speaking God’s truths over her everyday.

She’s hilarious and so full of personality. She hums to music, makes kissy sounds, rubs noses with you if you say “gimme nose!”, and has picked up blowing air and spitting (side eye!!). She is truly an immense joy and this past week and a few days has been more than I ever could have imagined.

Sidebar:
The shirt she’s wearing is literally one of my favorites of hers…. it’s a shirt I initially bought for Holland from Peek, but suits her so incredibly well. This little gem is a miracle on so many different levels. She has no idea how special and right on time she is. But, God does. And, I do. I hope to instill that inside of her for as long as she is with us…. that is so very special and loved a great deal. By her adoptive family. Her birth family. By her Creator and Christ Jesus.
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As our little one’s story continues to unfold, day by day, please keep us in your prayers. Pray that God’s will be done and that we are honoring God in all that we do.

You guys have been so wonderful to us… And, I appreciate you so very much. For staying with us, for praying with us, for your messages, your friendship, and your support. It means the world.
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And, as excited as I am, the reality of the situation is unknown so I’m not sure that I’ve truly allowed myself to truly exhale.  But, today. She woke up from her nap, looked at me, and just smiled. I said, as I generally do, “Hi! I’m so glad you’re awake!” and just cried. Because, she is here. Our girl, our dream. And, she fits so insanely perfectly with us – it’s almost as if she’s been here all along. And, for the recognition of God’s goodness and faithfulness, I am grateful for.  For that moment, amongst a ton of others, everything was so real.

… here’s to adoption. to the future. to our God who comforts us with his love, who sings over us, and who so selflessly died on the cross for our sins out of obedience to his father and his unending love for us.

cue: more tears. thank you, God.

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… early mornings

This past week, my husband and I sat on the patio working, enjoying the weather, and soaking up the rare Spring mornings that will be over VERY soon.

Witnessing the day “wake up” was pretty sweet.
Between the birds singing, the sky brightening, and the peacefulness of it all was nothing short of perfect.

Then typical Alaina type random thoughts begin to swirl through my head. Amongst the most normal was this one about how every bird has been given a song by God…. whether loved by all or not, still honors God.

Everyday these birds sing the songs that they are given. Loudly. Clearly. with no shame.
Not the songs they wrote or chose for themselves, but ones created and planned especially for them.
By God. The Creator of all things.

These are the songs that honor and bring glory to God – by believers and non-believers alike.

Atheist, apathetic, or someone of a different religious affiliation all delight in the creations of God.
Like the sunrise, the sunset, and the ocean’s waves.
They all attest to the majestic and detailed Creator.

These creations cause wonder. They cause people to stop in their tracks, people are taken by the beauty of the Lord’s imagination.

Each creation tells of the magnificence of God.

There’s almost nothing like it….

Except for you and I.
We are God’s creations… prioritized and loved higher than any other creation.
Even with our sin issues, mistakes, and past that makes us cringe.

We are each given a story. A life planned beautifully, no matter how difficult or tragic is has been or is currently. Our God has given us a life that is meant to honor and glorify Him.

We are each given the ability and power in Jesus to respond to life in such a way that will cause people to draw to you, to taken by you because of the love and light that radiates from you. A love and light that only comes from Christ.

Life doesn’t always turn out exactly how we want it to…. it’s not always a fairytale…. we don’t always get what we want, when we want it. Sometimes, we are honestly dealt a pretty crappy hand.

But, if we have a Christ focused perspective – even the worst of the worst times can point others to Jesus. If it just be our attitude and peace during the situation.

… here’s to trusting God enough to walk quietly beside him, holding (squeezing) his hand along the way.

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quickie

Things don’t aways turn out the way I’d prefer for them to. As a matter of fact, they rarely do.

And, if you read this post, you’ll see that’s the main reason I had so much trouble with my faith. While I was asking God for the things I wanted, my focus was those THINGS. Not God. As horrible as that sounds, I do love Jesus and I think he’s the bomb.com but the issue was – I wanted THINGS and, if not more than I wanted a relationship with him.

Once I got to a point where I wanted God more than ANYTHING….. A lot of my control issues and stressors dissipated. I was able to let things a lot easier because they didn’t matter. At all.

So, this is what I dawned on me today:

We were created to worship God.
ONLY.
That is the PURPOSE for our creation.
To praise God and bring Him glory.

The positions he puts us in, the roles we are allowed to play, and the things were are given are but temporary.

Parenting is temporal. Our professions are temporal. As are our cars, homes, clothes, and favorite wines. People are temporal (thankfully, our souls are not!).

They will not last.

But our God will. Our relationships with our God will last until forever.

Yes, I want desperately to be a mother (and do/have/experience plenty of other things), but not more than I want to worship and commune with God.
If it happens, I will for sure worship. If it doesn’t happen, I am still able to worship because my worship is no longer tied to blessings by any percent. But, 100% tied to who He is.

Oh, things are so much easier let go of this way. Issues that burden me are so much easier given to God. Disappointments and heart breaks don’t tear me away from my God. And, people are so much easier to love.

Everything doesn’t work out the way we want it to go, and we have to often endure some less than ideal circumstances, but none of what we deal with with is too much for our God to handle.

…. press on, pray on. this isn’t our circus.

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because people matter

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One thing I’ve realized over the past few weeks is that I have a crazy passion for people and their circumstances.

My heart has begun to truly break for the struggles, pains, and hurts that so many people are enduring. I know how much they need hope, support, and their desire to feel something besides disappointment and a void that doesn’t seem to be fillable. I’ve prayed for quite a while for a heart like Christ’s, a heart that feels others and I believe that that prayer is in the process of being answered.

I’m grateful for companies and people who support the issues of others and work hard to support them in any and every way they can. One company that opens their hearts and enters the hurts of others is Sevenly. Every week they focus on one cause. This shirt was last week’s cause was Down Syndrome, this week: Austism. I have shirts that supported adoptions in China, and feeding the hungry. I love that for each purchase, $7 is donated toward the week’s cause. I wear these shirts proudly – they have an amazing message, they help so many other people, annnnnnd they’re incredibly soft and wash well. Can’t beat a bit of that!

This company is literally the hands and feet of Christ. Isn’t that what’s is all about? Doing what you can with what you have to serve others in the body of Christ? Joining in and getting our hands dirty together??

This shirt is incredibly special to me as we’re on the path to adoption…. understanding that family truly is more than blood. Not only do we have friends that I know are our family, but our adopted child and their birth family will, too become our family. They are a part of us. We are all connected. Love makes and a commitment to be there makes a family. To be there when you think you want to be alone. To open your heart when you feel that no one else gets it. These are the people who will continue to trust and hope when you feel you’ve lost the ability to keep hoping  against all hope.

I almost feel as if my wardrobe is becoming adoption and cause shirts…. I’m waiting for two adoption shirts that are helping bring a couple babies home to hit my mailbox in the coming days. And, I’m okay with that. T-shirt, jeans or shorts, and sandals or Tom’s (that I also love as they give one pair of shoes for each that’s purchased!)

So GO!!!!! Check out Sevenly – I’m sure they’ll have a cause very soon that you’re into. If you’re not into t-shirts, you can definitely use your personal gifts and talents to support and love on a friend. Something we can all do to be supportive and loving in action.

… here’s to supporting people and their struggles.. after all, we’re all family, right?

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… cancer really sucks

Today, I had the most amazing day but to be honest, my heart is kinda heavy and is breaking in so many ways.

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I have a really wonderful friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 27. TWENTY FREAKIN SEVEN years old. Thankfully, THANKFULLY, thankfully, as of this past year, at 30, she is cancer free.

For that, I will forever thank God for. She is the most incredible woman who has the most positive outlook on life and is so supportive of her friends and family. This gal is  a gem.
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Today, I learned that a woman whom I’m connected to in a couple of exciting ways, is battling breast cancer. My heart completely broke for her. For her young daughter. Her family.

I think about everything that we go through in this life, I consider all of my friends and their struggles and I think about how BIG we make the small stuff. How silly we behave when things don’t go our way. How easily we break away from relationships before we truly attempt to find solutions, and tough out the tough stuff. How we value things and neglect people. How we are such a self absorbed people.
meishagirl

My survivor acquaintance/friend’s shirt says “A selfie (self exam) saved my life!”

Today in Houston, The Sisters Network, Inc. hosted its 5th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness 5k Walk/Run. I truly had a wonderful time and ran into women I hadn’t seen in a while, ran into a survivor acquaintance, and was in awe of the love and support shown for women who have battled this cancer.

As I thought about this post, I literally thought that it would be this sweet, fluffy post about how truly great today was. (and, it was really great.) But, I honestly can’t. My heart is aching and broken for women and families who have to endure such a difficult task before them. Such a life altering task. It changes everything. It changes how families will be expanded, it effects and challenges how women view their bodies and their femininity. It grows you up, strengthens you, and puts life into perspective.
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I’m thinking about how unfair all of these difficulties seem.
 I have friends whose children are stuck in the DRC. I have friends whose babies are waiting for them in orphanages. Women are battling infertility. I have a friend who went on a trip to Uganda with a team who removed jiggers (little mama bugs that furrow in shoeless feet and have baby bugs that just hang out causing immense pain) from the feet of little ones. There are people who are living on the street. Who don’t have clean water. Who are being abused. Who are struggling with life. People are literally fighting day in and day out for their lives.

There seems to be no justice. No consideration of how much a person has experienced and endured. No thought behind a person’s character. No peace. No rest. No relief. No break. (Ever feel that way?)

There is nothing easy about this life. It is full of disappointments, heartache, and pain.
And, yes, some people seem to have it easier than others. But, the truth of the matter is, we’re all struggling in some way. We will all struggle. We have all struggled. No one is exempt.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on Him, for he cares for you.

The beautiful thing about the pain of this life is that not only is it temporary (thank God!), but we don’t endure it alone. We aren’t in it by ourselves. Yes, we are given amazing people to walk these roads with, but better than having our people with us, we have a God who is the creator of all walking with us. Leading us. Guiding us. Comforting us. And, bearing our burdens for us. I know I keep saying that, but it’s truly what keeps me sane. I can’t get past who God is.

Nothing is lost on Him.
He is righteous and always right. He is thoughtful, purposeful, and just.

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Today was beautiful. The weather was amazing and totally made liars of the meteorologists and apps that forecasted a rainy, cold day. I celebrated life. The lives of two cancer survivors and the life of a sweet, little girl who turned 4 today. A little girl we prayed pretty hard for. The life of the one we’re waiting to come home. Celebrated the lives of God’s people who are in this thing fighting with everything they have in them. Who are believing Him to be exactly who He said he is.

Today, through the difficulties of life, I was reminded of how faithful God is and how beautiful and inspiring life can be is.
How if we stay focused on God, our hope remains in tact and our perspectives positive.

… here’s to feeling your boobies & getting mammograms. Do it! Do it! Do it!

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