Sunday, October 26, 2014


I feel like I've become a little bit of a stranger to my own blog. I had such great intentions to build my blog into something more now that Madi is home. And although I still hope to bring them fruition someday, right now, all those intentions are about the last thing on my mind because life as a mommy is busy...and hard ...and oh so very rewarding.

I've learned so much about myself... about necessity... about love and priorities... about poop. (Let's be honest...I wipe it up every day so I feel like I know a lot!)

There's a few things that I've learned about 'mommyhood' (yes, we are going to make that a real word) that I've been meaning to share for a while. we go:

  1. Makeup is a waste of time most days. Because who really cares what color your eye shadow is when you're scrubbing off the dried spit up on your face?? Right?
  2. I'd rather wear sweatpants and t-shirts for the rest of my life. I used to like to stare at my closet and pick out clothes that looked cute together. Now, I just stare at my closet...with an honest desire to try...and then I glance at my t-shirt drawer... I'm tellin' you, the t-shirts always win.
  3. Babies take a lot of time to get ready. I used to be early...everywhere. Now I'm five minutes late ...everywhere. At least I'm consistent right?
  4. Never in your life will you care so much about poop...the color of it; the texture of it; what time of day it came. You might even ask your close circle of friends to pray for for poop... Seriously, it's life people.
  5. I've learned a lot about quick math... like how to add up how many cents Madi "owes me" for each time I change her diaper and she immediately pees or poops into the new one the second it hits her fresh butt. Honestly...I swear she knows!
  6. There will always be another dirty bottle. As if constant dirty diapers didn't kill ya, no matter how many times you wander the house to gather all the dirty bottles, it never fails that when you finish washing them all, you'll find yet another one...under the rocker the diaper bag the car. They're everywhere!
  7. Babies are expensive. You can tell any parent this prior to bringing home their first baby. And then the reality of leaving one of your jobs and having to buy a lot of diapers and formula hits. Mmm... We've learned the beauty of penny pinching...literally to save a penny. Because you never know when you'll need an extra cent.
  8. The middle of the night is the most beautiful time of the day... said no one EVER! For all you moms who loved those 2 a.m. wake up calls, I'm so proud of you for being cheerful even at that insane time. Where were you when I needed you? Two a.m. is way to early to comprehend anything...let alone have to calculate bottle measurements and diaper logging. I tried to enjoy it...I really did. Lucky for me, Madi sleeps through the night now, so everyone in our household gladly enjoys our sleep. 
  9. Germs are real. I always knew that. I always kind of cared. But now, just try to touch Madi's face or hands during flu season! You'll see mama bear come out. I don't try to sound mean, but unless you want to come soothe a baby all night, would you mind just not touching her? We'd rather stay healthy.
  10. Babies know how to fight their sleep... Why? I have not the darndest clue. But they do. And it usually is accompanied by high pitched screams that might break your ear drums.
  11. But eventually they give in. And then that baby's peaceful face is the only thing you want to look at the for the next hour. 
  12. Nap time is beautiful. I love my play times with Madi. I love watching her smile and coo and giggle at me. But I also love nap times. Because it usually means it's 'mommy time' - whether that involves cleaning the house, working, napping myself, or just taking an hour to do something 'me' related.
  13. Your job as a mom literally never ends. It's possibly the busiest job ever. There's always laundry. There's always dirty bottles and trash to empty and bathrooms to clean...the list goes on. 

Okay, all joking aside...being a mommy is a lot of work. I meant what I said in number 13. Sometimes I crawl in bed at night (way later than I should) and wonder what I did that day: Is my ear still ringing from that scream earlier? Did I ever clean up that spit up off the play mat? Shoot, I meant to empty the diaper genie tonight - that room is starting to smell. Or I start making my list for the next day: Hunt for bottles. Wash my t-shirts. Wash Madi's clothes while I'm at it. Pick up more formula. Sometimes those jobs feel monotonous. Sometimes they feel thankless or unnoticed. Sometimes they feel like I've lost a part of who I am in the busyness of the day. 

But then I wake up in the morning to those precious little grunts (because more poop is likely on its way) and walk into my daughter's room. All I have to do is say "Good morning sunshine" and the biggest smile peels across that little one's face. That makes it all worth it. Or when she tucks her face into your neck and crashes because she's safe in your arms. That makes it all worth it. Or whenever she just stares into your eyes and coos at you because she knows you're her momma and you love her to pieces. That makes it all worth it.

This child has already taught me so much and she teaches me a little bit more about herself and myself every single day. 

Being a mommy is the one of the heaviest jobs on the earth: Someone else's life and well being is constantly in your hands. But it's also one of the most rewarding. 

So who cares if I live in my favorite t-shirt or am five minutes late to yet another doctor's appointment? I'm just doing my job the best that I can... and enjoying every poopy diaper along the way (someone remind me later that I said that, okay?).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Another Year & 3 Months Old

Yesterday was my birthday. In the midst of celebrating yesterday I logged onto my Timehop app and found this photo with the posted comment:

10/14/13 "Celebrated my birthday tonight by turning in
mountains of adoption paperwork at our final training class. It
felt so good. Now it's in God's hands & we trust him to guide
us through the Home Study process."

And as I looked at that photo, I reflected back on what that time felt like for us: so triumphant in completing such a large amount of paperwork and starting the journey toward our child yet so defeating in the change of 'plans' that for our lives that we were enduring... It was a beautiful, yet heartbreaking time. Not that we weren't excited to adopt but we were hurting from the pain of our infertility. No matter when you plan to adopt in your marriage, infertility hurts.

Yesterday, as I reflected on this photo and on that evening 1 year ago, I looked down at my child and wrote the below post:

10/14/14 "Last year at I spent my birthday at our final adoption
training class, wishing and praying that that would be
my last birthday without a little one. How beautiful to look
back today and now look at my precious daughter in
my arms. What a long year it has been - I've encountered
and struggled through things that I never expected for my life.
Yet, as always, God's plans were so much better than my own!
This little bundle is the best birthday present anyone
could ever ask for!
#blessed #happybirthdaytome "

What a difference a year makes.... right?

I've been so struck by this over the past 24 hours. At this time last year, I still had nights where I cried myself to sleep. Afraid that no birth mother would deem us 'worthy enough' to care for her child. Afraid that my life looked different that I thought it would when I turned 25. Afraid of so much. And although, as I enter my 26th year of life, fear in my life is still alive and well, I get to look at a constant reminder of God's faithfulness every morning.

And as if celebrating my birthday and getting to reflect on the past year wasn't humbling enough, my little munchkin turned 3 months old today! Seriously...I feel like I just put up the post for her 2 month old pictures. Time really does fly, huh?

In the past month Madi has...
  • Gained some cute baby chub rolls and transitioned into 3 month clothing
  • Found her voice (loud squeals and all)
  • Learned to smile whenever you come get her out of her crib in the morning (she's so happy that someone's there to say good morning)
  • Started to grab and swat at things
  • Gained a lot of strength during tummy time, sitting and standing up (with mommy's help of course)
  • Continued to pull on our heart strings and make us fall more and more in love with her

And speaking of what a difference a year makes? Look at the difference between months one, two and three!!

Amazing how time changes everything...Whether it's physical growth in this little peanut or emotional and spiritual growth provided through the trials of life. Our God is good and greater! Here's to another year and another month in the books for our little Madi girl!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Beautiful Mess

Sometimes answering God's call on your life means saying yes to a messy life... Actually, more often than not, a messy life (at least in my experience) is a sign that God is leading you one way or another.

I have found that the more I strive for obedience to Christ in my life, the more 'mess' that's created to wade through.

Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily.

Is it uncomfortable? Absolutely. 

Adopting Madison has, by far, been one of the most beautiful life experiences that I will ever have the honor of finding myself in. She brings such an extreme amount of joy in our lives and, every night when we cuddle her before bedtime, I look at her sweet face and am in shock that she is ours.

But beautiful life moments also come with an extreme amount of messiness. They bring out disorder that needs to be figured out. They bring about the need to find a new normal...

Adoption is a beautiful mess

There...I said it. Adoption is crazy messy. Much more so than I ever envisioned it being when I signed on to this.

If I'm being totally honest, I can tell you that in the storms that we've experienced while waiting to bring Madi home, I looked at my husband and said, "Why did we do this? I don't want to do this anymore."

But I think that that's a normal reaction in life sometimes.

Sometimes God calls us to something. We say yes. And then we discover what's really involved. And we decide that maybe it wasn't what we initially thought it was and it's harder than we ever thought it would be...and we just don't want to do it anymore. Essentially we find ourselves in the middle of chaos and mess that's dirtier than it initially let on.

Do you get what I'm trying to say here? Beautiful things are often the messy things of life.

The messy things of life are often the moments that bring about our need to work through heart issues so that we can experience the beauty that was originally intended for that moment. have to be willing to experience the mess...the pain, the heartbreak, the anger, the discomfort (this list could go on) order to experience the beauty that lies at the bottom. And sometimes it takes a while to work through those things. Sometimes there's moments where the beauty is noticeable and sometimes all you can see is the mess.

Lately I've had to look at the current mess in our lives...the effects of an adoption that was much, much more pricey than expected, the weight of an open adoption, the balance of life as a mom and life as an employee, and on and on...and realize that if my life is messy, then there's evidence that God is creating something beautiful. 

BUT I have to be willing to look for the beauty.

I'm not always there. Somedays I think looking for beauty is a complete waste of time. I'd rather just be mad at the mess. Others, I can't stop crying because the beauty is in plain view. And then other days I have to make a conscious choice which one I'd rather see.

Bottom line: Life is messy. Adoption is messy. God creates beauty. Today I'm going to choose to see the beauty.