The Pig in the Pan Cabinet

The Pig in the Pan Cabinet

Tonight, as I did the monotonous kitchen cleaning, high chair scrubbing, and wrangling of the millions-of-tupperware-and-cups-that-Finn-got-out routine, all I could think about was how tired I am; and how I’d cut off my right pinky toe for the cleaning that will never be done, to just be done, so that I could be either be almost drowning in a hot bath or snuggled up with my dog.  Then I found a toy pig in the pan cabinet.  Out of total muscle memory, I almost picked it up to chunk it back in the toy basket in the living room.

But I didn’t.

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I spend a lot of time these days picking up toys and gracefully handling tantrums of all sorts.  Earlier today I let Finn’s toy truck nap with him because, well a tantrum, that I didn’t have the patience for at the time.  And I ended our evening festivities by almost dropping him in the grocery store because, well a tantrum, that consisted of a very strong 25 pound flailing fireball of screaming stubbornness. Side note: why does this always happen in the checkout line, where the grocery store population is the most heavily saturated, immediately nominating me to become a temporary public figure because my child’s scream is louder than the buzzing of 294 other people?

Anyways, tonight, because of tantrums, I was was kind of 1000000%  tired of the toys everywhere.

But I saw that pig in the pan cabinet and my mind grew still for just a moment.  In the midst of my normal nightly routine that can seem so frustrating and never ending, I fell in love with the fact that I have a pig in my pan cabinet.

That pig means that I have a happy, healthy boy roaming around my home, filling it with laughter and love, and leaving his mark literally everywhere he goes.  That pig reminds me that I have a beautiful blue-eyed mess that yells Chinese-German sayings at me that I can’t begin to understand, but could listen to for a lifetime.  It means that I have the opportunity to appreciate the curious little mind that thought the pan cabinet was the best place for that pig to live tonight.  Oh and the chip clips, they don’t live in the pan cabinet either, but tonight they do, because every pig needs a chip clip to sleep beside right?

And the most important part here is that pig reminded me tonight of the funny little imagination of my boy, as I pictured him sitting in his carseat balancing that pig on his head, as he laughed at himself in the mirror.

But really, the reason that darn pig warranted an entire blog is because it reminded me of how lucky I am that my days are filled with the messes of a little 15 month old imagination.  The mess may not be fun when I just, for the love of all things ever, want to be done picking up toys for the day; but if I choose to put on some rose colored glasses a little more often, I may be able to see that these “messes” are only beautiful little clues into the silly and creative mind of my immensely loved son.

(but can I still get a maid?)

Pictures: Joannarobertson.com

Finn Turns One

Finn Turns One

Finn turned one, and it went pretty much as expect.  He was the center of attention, looked adorable, hated his cake, and threw the majority of his food on the floor.  When I say he hated his cake, I mean he screamed and cried and pretended he was being tortured.  He refused to touch his cake, let alone eat it.  He ended the party on a super cute note, repeating “dog” over and over, and playing with all his toys- soaking up the attention as we laughed at his every move.

Cake hating, food throwing, and all, it was such a special day to celebrate my favorite boy.  I love that he is so loved by our families; and feel so incredibly blessed to be his mama. He brings to me a joy I didn’t know existed.

Anyways, I went with a lumberjack theme, but kept the plaid minimal, because i’m neutral and boring. Maybe next year we can have a colorful Paw Patrol pow-wow but until he knows the difference, I’ll stick with the pretty stuff.

I pretty much just ordered everything on Amazon and raided hobby-lobby-on-sale.  My mom made this perfect cake, and I hired a photographer for the pictures, which we took the day before the party, her name’s Joanna Robertson and you can check out all her gorgeous pictures at Joannarobertson.com.

To the Mama at the Gym With the Screaming Baby

To the Mama at the Gym With the Screaming Baby

Oh hey, that’s me!  But also probably someone else, too.

It’s Friday and although I worked out each day this week, there isn’t one single day that I got in the full workout that I intended.  Tuesday my babe miraculously peed a gallon and a half in the 20 minutes that it takes to get to the gym.  It got all over him, and his mama forgot extra clothes that day.  I ALWAYS have extra clothes, except for when I need them.  Anyone else? Needless to say the first 30 minutes of my would be workout was spent in Baby Gap, because retail therapy.

The very next day I attempted again, only to have my workout cut short by a hysterical baby who needed me.  So we left.  And I saw the other lady who left in the same fashion that I did.  

Something she said made me think that she was just now returning to the gym post-baby and that it had yet to go smoothly. I wanted to tell her how much I hope she keeps going-but our babies were screaming.  

It’s hard getting back into the gym after a baby.  

Maybe you never were in the gym before your baby, and you have a new-found motivation to live a healthier life.

Maybe your weight is bothering you, which I hope you’re giving yourself some grace, if that’s the case.

Maybe you’re like me and you tried SO hard to stay in shape during your pregnancy, and never took into account how hard it would be to work out when you had that cute little monkey clinging to your hip all the time.

Whatever your reason is, I’m glad you’re there, screaming baby and all.  And I hope you keep coming back, screaming baby and all.

I have a feeling you’re not sleeping great, at least not always.

I have a feeling that you wish you saw faster results, but geez, you grew a HUMAN.  

I have a feeling you sometimes feel guilty for taking time away from your baby so that you can invest in yourself, but I hope you remember that whatever it is that makes you a better person, makes you a better mama.  

I have a feeling that your back hurts because you are in a constant state of lopsided-ness, and that some days you contemplate skipping the gym for the rest of your life, and eating leaves every day to make up for it.   Please don’t only eat leaves.  

I have a feeling you may feel like a beached whale every time you attempt a push-up during those first few weeks, and you’re just straight up mad because you thought you’d stop feeling like a whale when pregnancy ended.  You’ll get stronger, and no you don’t actually look like a whale.

I have a feeling that is seems like it takes an act of God to make it to the gym on time.  When does that stop?

I have a feeling that sometimes you think you’re growing biceps by the minute by carrying that baby around, so why even go to the gym? You’re right, your arms look great, take a break once in a while and eat the darn cookie you’ve been craving all week.

But please bring that screaming baby back tomorrow.

Mama at the gym, you of all shapes and sizes, all different levels and capabilities, you’re doing so good.

This post-baby workout journey looks much different than the journey that we were on before our babies.  But, if you ask me, the only difference now: it’s more worth it than ever before.

To Finn, Year One

To Finn, Year One

It’s the eve of your due date, and I’ve been pacing anxiously for hours.  At 3 AM I know that after 9 months of waiting, it’s finally time to meet you.  I wake up your dad, and at the speed of light he jumps in the shower, grabs the camera, races to the car, and begins driving towards the hospital excessively fast.  We’re ecstatic and chaotic.  We walk through the hospital parking lot in the middle of a dark cold night, no one around, no sounds or wind- just silence, but inside I’m exploding with excitement.

There year one began.

I didn’t know as I lay there in the hospital that day that this was the beginning of the best.  I was anxious and ready, I was nauseous and miserable, I was convinced at one point I was paralyzed from the epidural.  Nothing could have prepared me for the immediate love I would feel.

I saw you take your very first breath, and in a single instant a new heart grew inside me dedicated solely to loving you.  There year one began.  There life began.

I couldn’t put you down those first months.  I couldn’t stop staring at your every feature.  I almost didn’t even realize I wasn’t sleeping.  There would be a year of that.

I rocked you in the night, as the whole world was sleeping; I cherished with everything in me, the moments that were just you and me.   I tried to remember how little you felt snuggled to my chest.

For one year now, I’ve tried so hard to remember it all.

The days seemed long, but started passing so quickly.

You were smiling, then rolling, then sitting, then crawling, then standing.  All in one year.

One whole year now, I have questioned my every move, so careful to make sure it’s the right one for you.  I’ve been obsessive and over-protective and clingy.

I’ve learned to let you fall sometimes, to let you dig in all the drawers and make all the messes; to let you explore and learn and cry.  Giving you that freedom has taken a year.

You have changed every part of my soul. It didn’t take you even near a year.

You were so tiny with your indented chin, and round little nose, dark blue eyes and dark brown hair.  One year would change you into looking more like a boy than a baby, with your bright blue eyes and light hair, chubby cheeks, and three cute teeth.

I have celebrated every milestone, and watched in awe as you’ve changed and grown.  I didn’t know so much could happen in a year.

For a year now you have sent me to my knees, thanking God for His grace and His gift, begging Him to keep you safe and healthy always.  Every day for a year now, I have prayed these things and more.

Every day for a year now I have known true joy.

Thank you for the best year.

The Wrestling Match: The Perfect Gift

The Wrestling Match: The Perfect Gift

Today, I found myself overall frustrated.  It seems that over the last few days my 10 month old has turned into a toddler-style baby.  In other words he can’t walk but he is an excellent tantrum thrower with an intensely strong-willed personality.

Earlier, I was trying to get him dressed, you know, so he doesn’t go out in public in 20 something degree weather totally naked.  It turned into a full blown wrestling match.  He kicked and screamed and squirmed and as I was quickly losing the battle, I was secretly proud of his strength for a whole 10 seconds.  Then purely frustrated. I was darn near sticking him in his car seat naked and wrapping him up in a blanket in the grocery store, as if he wouldn’t rip the blanket off and reveal his wardrobe malfunction, that would be blamed 100% on his mom.  These days CPS would probably show up before I could even try to escape.  I finally got him dressed in clothes that hardly matched.

He naturally skipped his afternoon nap and is currently sleeping naked in his bed at 7 PM.  I could explain, but it’d be redundant.  Minus the fact that I’m stressing over him being naked and not snuggled cozily in his fleece PJs, I’m relieved he’s sleeping way before his bedtime. I just feel unenthusiastic about taking on the task of trying to either entertain him or get him to fall back asleep when he wakes up. I’m kind of more interested in travelling to a distant world in my head.  The beach to be exact.

But since I can’t hop on a plane and actually escape, I sat down with my journal and began doing stuff like what I’m currently doing.  I came across something I wrote back in September.  It’s sappy and was only intended for me to ever see, but here’s a little look into my ridiculous sappy mom heart:

I pull you close and never take my eyes off you as your body grows tired.  You softly reach up and grab strands of my loose hair, your little hands are so curious.  You gently play with my necklace, then move your wiggly fingers slowly to my chest, and your eyes shut.

Those words remind me first of all that time is flying and secondly that I feel guilty for being so frustrated, because look how sweet he was!  But that’s beside the point.  Those words are a reminder of the whole-hearted, intense and focused love I had for my precious boy in that moment.   Today my love was anything but focused.  My love never changed, but my focus did.

I get it, we can’t always stare at our children the way we stare at them when they’re only months old.  That would get creepy, plus it’s just frustrating to stare at a screaming child.  I also get that sometimes we have to escape into a different world for sanity’s sake.

But on days where chaos replaces the calm, the clothes don’t match, the screaming never ceases, and yes, even on the days that my babe poops on my favorite romper at the doctor’s office, could it be possible to revel in the imperfect moments and have a strong and focused love, never lacking in gratitude?  To look past the hard moments to and see the bigger picture, the bigger meaning?   A hard day with a little one, means I’ve been entrusted with a little one.

My son is evolving into a beautiful wild soul who never wants to sit still, or do anything that doesn’t align with his very important plans.  When he wants to be naked, believe me he WANTS TO BE NAKED.  How lucky am I that I get to watch that wild naked soul squirm around?

So, here’s to a Christmas focused on all the gifts.  The gift of our Savior, and the gift of all the hearts God entrusted me to love.