This post was written on last week. Given the feedback I received from Disney Baby readers both on the post and on Facebook I wanted to go ahead and share it here too :)
A week from now Lola will turn 9 months. 9 months! The day before yesterday I had a moment where my head was racing with all of the things I had to do and then something came over me and said “Stop. Just hold your baby.” So I did. Instead of putting her down after she had fallen asleep in my arms I stared and got lost in her eyelashes, her chubby fingers, and the two top teeth that are on their way down.
I reflected on all of the things Lola has done in the (almost) 9 months she has been with us, each one of them so special given the fact that we still pinch ourselves wondering if this is all real. My little firecracker is on the move; she’s reaching and rolling like crazy. What she isn’t doing is crawling.
Read more here.
This weekend we went to Venice Beach. It was a nice escape from the crazy hot temperatures we have been having in the valley. We walked around and 5 minutes in I wondered if I made a mistake by obliging my daughter’s request to go to Venice. See one of the things that I love about Venice is that nobody cares. You can be silly, or crazy, or just plain weird and no one cares because they are too busy dancing to the beat of their own drum. However, the problem is there were (and always are) some people who seemed to not care at all which resulted in some teachable moments and some “what was I thinking” moments. I mean, how did I not realize there was a Freak Show?! I missed the memo on that one. And I felt bad because my 8 year old said she had fun but some of it scared her. I know the feeling.
That night I prayed that her dreams wouldn’t be muddled by images of the scary things she saw and instead she would focus on the things that made her eyes grow wide with excitement and wonder, and also on the bread pudding that we almost missed out on because her mom couldn’t figure out what the GPS on the iPhone was doing.
Not the “Green Doctors” or all the other words that we read on cardboard signs and t-shirts. But this:
And me, I will relax (not entirely but a little) because at the end of the day she was fine and she learned that many things in life are a mixture of the lovely and the less lovely. Some things are amazing and also out of this world in both a good way and a not quite as good way. Some things (and places) can be fun and exciting and at the same time a little bit scary (Raising a child is beautiful and fun and amazing but at times it can be scary). It is a lesson we learn time and time again as we embark on new and unfamiliar experiences.
But for now I’m grateful that her daddy and I get to hold her hand and help her navigate and sort it all out. And I hope and pray that we can prepare her for a time when she will no longer always be able to reach up and grab my hand at the sight of the unfamiliar.
Still kicking myself about the whole Freak Show part though (would have took an alternate route and bypassed that part). But I’m high fiving myself about that bread pudding :)
Linking up with Selena of Le Petit Reve for #RealMamaLife
Good evening lovelies! Lola has been teething so our nights and been especially tough this week. My poor babe has finally fallen asleep for a bit so I am popping in to say hello and share my latest around the blogosphere.
Today we headed to Venice Beach to enjoy the cooler temperatures and the sunshine. While there we also tried this:
Salted Caramel, Cookies and Cream and Celestial Chocolate Chunk bread pudding from Schulzies. Bread pudding isn’t really my thing but after reading about how good this place was I knew I had to try it. Believe the hype people. This place is good (You can see a couple more photos from our afternoon on Instagram if you’d like).
And now without further ado, here’s some of my latest for Babble and Disney Baby
15 Reasons Disneyland and California Adventure Make the Perfect Date Destination
22 Things I Want My Daughters to Know and Learn Before They Become Mothers
Mother Knows Best: When it Comes to Your Love Life Your Mom’s Opinion Matters
On Life and Love: 5 Lessons Our Mothers Have Taught Us
10 Quotes About Grandmothers
How Becoming a Mother Changed Me
5 Disney Mother’s Day Gift Ideas
On Believing All the Way
Made With Love and Baby Feet: 10 DIY Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day
To all the mamas out there Happy Mother’s Day. Wishing you a day filled with love and joy! xo
p.s. In case you missed it:
The First Long Goodbye because saying goodbye to our littles, even just for a little while, can be tough.
There is nothing that has shaped me more than being a mother. I don’t believe I would be the woman I am today had God not bestowed the honor of being a mother to two of his most precious angels. My daughters inspire me to keep going. Having struggled with depression for so long sometimes I have to dig a little deeper to move, in order to keep from becoming stagnant and in order to prevent me from being complacent while a life that I fought so hard to find joy in passes me by.
My children have fueled my desire to be better; they have shown me that I am stronger and braver than I could have imagined. They have shown me that God can take a horrible situation and something ugly and create something good and beautiful. They have taught me that life is a gift. Each day I get to wake up and live a life as their mother is a gift and I will forever be grateful that I was handpicked by God to be the vessel He used to get them here.
My children have changed my life. They have no idea how grateful I am for their existence. I have often referred to my first born as my saving grace because before her the road I was headed on was one of self destruction. I didn’t love or value myself until her. Out of my immense love for her came the realization that I mattered too. I have a long ways to go in the self-love department but prior to her I failed to realize my own worth and potential. In wanting more for her I began to want more for myself. I began to dream bigger dreams and watched them come to fruition with her by my side.
And then came an unexpected blessing. Another child and as a direct result of her presence came a leap of faith that I would have never dared to take had there been no her. And also the realization that life still has so many great things in store for me; I simply have to open my heart to receive them and stop placing limits on myself and more importantly on God.
There are times when I am so scared because I hate not knowing what lies ahead. I don’t know how long some of the amazing things happening in my life right now will last. But I think back to two times in my life when I was afraid. In these moments I carried my children in my belly. I didn’t know what life had in store for us but after knowing of them I couldn’t fathom life without their presence. And as difficult and scary as those times were we made it. The unknown never prevented us from getting to where we were supposed to be.
My children are agents of change. God used them to change my life in miraculous ways. When it is hard to hang on they are my constant reminder that joy cometh in the morning. They are my morning.
For more on how motherhood changes you read these words shared by myself and 10 other mamas forever changed by the arrival of their little loves. Read their words here.
Dear Jalayla Bee and Lola Bee,
For Mother’s Day I wrote you a letter. It’s about some of things I want you to know and learn before you two become mothers. You can read it here.
I will be back later this month with some updates on all the amazingness that is happening in your worlds, things that result in my world being pretty amazing also.
Love Forever and Always,
I am the kind of person who will try to do 10 things at once instead of starting one task and seeing it through to the end before I start another. You would think that by now I would have learned that perhaps doing 10 things at once isn’t the best way to tackle my to do list. I often end up frazzled and tired, and sometimes irritable. I want so many things to happen and I want that instant gratification. Only it isn’t quite as gratifying when you’ve worked yourself up as a direct response to you biting off more than you can chew.
This photo to me is a reminder of my need to take things one step at a time. Not to be so worried or focused on the endpoint that I stress myself out resulting in an inability to enjoy the in between. All of the moments that make up the middle part — the journey, the people. Eventually I will get to wherever I need to be.
My goal has always been to find joy in the journey. This is the part where I remind myself that the process is just as important as the goal, if not more. One day we will look back and share stories. I am certain these stories will be more about the journey and not so much the end. The journey is where the good stuff (and the bad that reminds you to appreciate the good) lies. The journey is filled with rocking babies, combing hair, saying prayers, driving through puddles, changing diapers, wiping noses, savoring ice cream cones, tears, laughter, recitals, meltdowns, milestones and so much more.
And of course this is a lesson I will have to remind myself of again and when the time comes I will.
Here’s to the journey. And to writing completed tasks on your to-do list so you have something to check off (yes, I still do that) :)
Linking up with Selena of Le Petit Reve for #RealMamaLife
These are the words that have tugged on my heartstrings in some way. They have either made me cry, made me laugh, made me think (or all of the above) and made me reflect on the power of words and the beauty that comes forth when you blend letters with feelings.
Open Mouth Kissing My Thirties — I will admit I am new to Brittany’s blog. I believe I happened upon it by way of a tweet or posting via Michelle of Early Mama. As I mentioned before I have struggled when it has come to the manner in which I perceive myself. Knowing that my children are watching and learning from me has made me make more of an effort to be more kind to myself but it is also still so hard. Having spent so many of the years I have been alive struggling to like myself and the person who stared back at me when I looked in the mirror, the habits I have are so deeply ingrained that for me it continues to be a fight. Additionally there’s the part of me that has had such mixed feelings about 30. A part of me feels like my youth is slipping away and with it my chances to make mistakes because shouldn’t I have it all figured out by the time I hit my thirties. The other part of me wonders if with the arrival of 30 a more confident sure version of me will emerge. A woman who is comfortable in her own skin. Brittany’s post made me smile. She is funny and honest and so wise. “Time to refocus, because I’ve clearly been doing it wrong this whole time.” Read Brittany’s words here.
Confessions of a First Time Mom — I stumbled upon this post of Priscilla’s the other day when trying to locate her email. I don’t know how I missed it. Her post gave an account of what she was feeling as a new mom. The crazy thing is that I feel the exact same way only I’m not a new mom. I’ve done this before and STILL I walk around some days un-showered, my hair not brushed and frustrated at the person I have become. I related to the notion of not wanting to complain because I don’t want to come across as ungrateful. I find myself thinking that all of the time. My family is ok, I am ok but at the same time I’m not ok in the way I want to be ok. I am thankful for Priscilla’s transparency and believe that her post has and will help a lot of us mothers who are struggling with the same thing whether it is our first baby or our second or third. Read Priscilla’s words here.
A Different Kind of Person — “The reason that I wanted to share this is because I have this feeling that so many of us buy into the lies. I would end some of my days feeling like a failure. All the ‘I wish….’.” As someone who sometimes finds myself unexpectedly buying into the lies, Casey’s post struck a chord with me. I have struggled with that same feeling she writes about — the feeling like a failure and the subsequent sadness that comes from it. This post resulted in an aha moment for me. Read Casey’s words here.
To Brittany, Priscilla and Casey I say: I love your words. Thank you for sharing them.
Read any words you’ve loved lately and care to share them? (They can be your own :)