Our Summer in Photos | 2018

What a summer! It’s officially fall and we are currently in the mountains of North Carolina getting the first glimpse and feels of the fall breeze and I am 100% in my happy place (minus two points for a congestion and cough). I’m using this weekend as an official transition into FALL and we have big plans to get home, wrap up some home renovation projects and then I have my eyes on a DIY fall wreath project which has me feeling giddy in the most basic white girl crafty wife mom way.

Back in my one-kid days I documented and regularly posted our “everyday” photos but things have been super busy around here since Emmeline Joy joined us (16 months ago…) and while I’m hanging in with the documenting (somewhat), posting regularly is clearly not my forte… right now, anyway!

Easing back into a little bit of a slower season work wise and kicking it off with a recap of our summer in PHOTOS! Like, one hundred photos in a blog post. I’m pretty sure that’s too many. But some highlights:

• We celebrated Emmeline’s first birthday • Emmeline took her first steps • I taught summer school online • Lincoln went to day camp at the YMCA • We spent countless summer evenings and weekday mornings at the Y pool • We took our first road trip to Tennessee (me, ever!) and spent several nights in a hotel as a family of four • during our trip to TN we celebrated the beautiful life of Marshall’s grandma Joy, got to visit with cousins, aunts and uncles and had a date night in Nashville • I took the kids to Pullen Park and Lincoln hated the boats, but they tolerated the train and loved the popsicles • Countless mornings in the sandbox in our front flowerbed • Lots of playdates during the week and some weekends with incredible friends • a family trip to Marbles kids museum on a Thursday • Em started cutting molars and hated us and life, but really likes her new toothbrush • Buzz Lightyear jammies and Superman shirt on repeat • I rented a Sony DSLR and then bought one a month later • Our first trip to the beach as a family of 4, I still haven’t had a Britt’s donut and we all got sunburned • teeny tiny ponytails • one million diaper changes • so many carseat naps • a blue and pink hydrangea bush for a brief time in the front yard • the end of the 2s class in preschool • our best friends from CO and Winston Salem came to see us (and I can’t find the memory card) • so many snacky dinners • Sundays at church serving as a family of four •

Man. I loved this summer 100000 million times more than last summer. Not to hate too much on last summer, it was just really hard with a newborn and new toddler. This summer was just so much more fun. I’m so aware of only having eighteen summers. 3 down already with Lincoln, two down with Emmeline… it’s all going so fast. Kids of Mine: if you’re reading this in the future, please know that while sometimes you drove me completely crazy, I truly love every minute of being your mom. Please don’t ever leave me. K thanks.

Right Now: 40 weeks

Right now we’re guessing…  40 weeks! (As of April 30th or May 1st, depending on LMP or first ultrasound)

Right now I’m feeling pregnant in that… there’s not much else you feel on your due date, other than pregnant. Although, this chick has been WILD the past couple of days. Like crazy movement. Heartburn is pretty fierce (and made way worse by coffee which I want to drink, constantly). 

Right now I’m eating…  80/20 life. We had real people donuts today and paleo pancakes yesterday. Craving fruit and juice. Even better if it’s fruit juice. 

Right now I’m loving…  wrapping my belly. 

Right now, like last time… my hand eczema is getting a little out of control.
Right now, this is different than last time in that…  still pregnant on my due date. 

Right now I’m looking forward to…  meeting this girl! 

Right now I’m reading… nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

Right now I’m wearing…  actually had a major win this weekend and took out the maternity clothes, left some pieces that will work for the next 2 weeks (MAX) and got out my spring/summer clothes that are postpartum and nursing friendly. Got a bag full for Goodwill and the rest packed back up in capsules. It’s amazing how much taming the closet crazy tames a lot of life crazy… but I can still fit my Lularoe leggings (pictured above). Around the house I’m pretty much in leggings, my gym shorts or an oversized T. Out and about I’ve got a couple of maternity skinnies that fit still and a few tops. Lots of tank tops these days. Not even caring about my pregnant arms. It’s too hot for life. 

Right now I’m watching… rewatching Friends.

Right now I’m listening to… my “motivate” playlist which is mostly tracks from Pastor Steven and adding in some from my Gospel Bump playlist (ha). Been in the mood for motivating music to keep my mind off of everything.

Right now kinda nervous about…  all the what ifs got me today! I guess it’s just the unfamiliar territory of going to my due date, and then all the wondering starts to happen. Would Lincoln have cooked longer if I hadn’t have had interventions? Is it actually possible for me to “go into labor” on my own without membranes stripped and Pitocin and all that? What if my labor stalls at the birth center and I have to be transferred to the hospital? What if I never “go into labor” and have to be induced at 42 weeks? What if I’m not really pregnant and this is just a joke/dream/alternate reality…? What if what if what if?

BUT! I’ve refocused and bounced back from that place since earlier today. It took some tears and getting it all out, but I’m good. There’s just not much you can do about the mental marathon that is the last stretch of pregnancy…
Right now celebrating…  truths!
  1. God designed and equipped my body for this. I’ll go into labor when I go into labor, maybe with help, maybe without help. Who. Knows. Not for me to worry about the how or when, my job is to show up and do a good job when it happens.  
  2. God has Emmeline’s story all mapped out and it’s a good one. He knows the day, the time and how it’s all gonna go down and afterwards we’re gonna see the beauty in it all and I can’t wait to see how he’s being faithful to me now, when I am acting like a total faithless crazy person.
  3. This part is hard, I should give myself some grace. 
  4. Comparison kills your calling. LB said this today at church. The context, a bit different than what he meant, but still. My calling is to be Emmeline’s mama, from the moment she was conceived until the rest of forever and right now my calling is to 1) chill out, 2) keep my blood pressure and stress level at a reasonably low level 3) be patient 4) probably chill with the doughnut eating. I can’t compare my birth/labor story to anyone else’s on the Internet or that I know in real life. It’s unique, just like my girl is, and I just have to be patient. Patient. Patient
We also had a really fun week. A lot of it was “up in the air” because I thought I’d deliver during the week for sure, but we did a ton of fun stuff. Campus Night at Carolina Theater was amazing, Outcry was awesome… we had a super special “family weekend” and just ran errands, and hung out and enjoyed each other’s company. It was super special. Maybe we’ll add a lil’ chica to it next weekend… 

Our Everyday Photos: April 2017

Just a normal Thursday. Marshall was home in the morning because the plumber came to install a whole house water filter (so maybe not so normal…) I took L to preschool and then hung out and worked at Starbucks until it was time for pickup. It was hard to reign in my focus, but I totally goofed off for most of the time, but then finished everything I needed to finish the last 45 minutes like a total procrasti-rockstar. Came home for nap, worked some more while he slept, we went for a big walk and then I headed out to my last married ladies eGroup meeting. Such a sweet day. 

Just Because | Steph + Ben

So, being a mom is tough.  Figuring out what your place in the world is is tough. Finding balance in the tension of being a mother and having a career is tough.

Lincoln was a newborn when I resigned from my teaching job for the coming school year. I was supposed to be excited to have the opportunity to work from home and be with my baby all the time, but it was such an unfamiliar thing I was really not as thrilled as I thought I would be when I signed my resignation letter. There was so much unknown and comments made by co-workers and friends (“oh it must be so nice to be able to stay at home….”) that made me think I was surrendering a hardworking life for a glorified maternity leave– except permanent. 

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I remember tearfully telling Marshall… ”—but I don’t want to be just a mom! I thought there was more for me!”  I felt like I needed to start a business, write a book, do something big. Little did I realize at the time, that raising that tiny person into a  full grown human being is one of the biggest things I’ll ever do. It’s not glamorous. It doesn’t gain a lot of followers. There’s a lot of poop, boogers, squashed bananas in places there shouldn’t be squashed bananas, and lately, singing the songs to Frozen more times than I’ve ever wanted to (that’s my own fault– who showed him Frozen? Me. I did.). It’s taken time, almost two years, and I can’t say I don’t wonder what it would be like to still be working in a school (versus a virtual one) or running a business or writing a book, or going “viral” or whatever, but more days than not I find my heart and soul to be very content doing what I was designed best to do: be Lincoln’s mom. Most days, I kinda rock at it. Not in a perfect, make-all-the-right-decisions way, but in that I recognize the weight of what I’m doing. It’s big. I don’t love it twenty four/ seven, but there are moments– many of them– when the joy just catches me by surprise and I thank God that this is where he put me, even though I was reluctant. There are some freaking hard days, but there are really great days too. And those hard days aren’t all bad, just hard. Getting to this place hasn’t been easy (actually, it was the worst summer and subsequent six months of my life adjusting) but it’s been so worth it, and my perspective on everything is so different. I could not be more grateful. (If you aren’t familiar with my postpartum depression/anxiety/eczema explosion story you can read it here and my thoughts on being “just a mom” here). 
Okay, enough about my experience and exploiting a friend’s beautiful photos to share my thoughts on the complexity of mommy societal expectations. Another day, another post… 

Not to quote the title of my blog but this girl and I? We are handpicked. Like, from day one God had us in mind to be friends. We met in 2013 when Marshall and I visited our first small group at The Summit. We bonded over photography, our love for chocolate pastries and Paris, coffee and kitchen aid mixers, like all in the first 10 minutes of meeting each other. The rest is history. We didn’t know it at the time, but we had lived in the same neighborhood, literally down the street from each other, and then they moved out to the country but were still within a reasonable driving distance from our house. This lady loves so selflessly. The way she serves her husband and family is admirable. She’s like me, into a little bit of everything. We love music, crafting, Jesus, leggings, coffee, photography, etc. Samesies. 
She and her husband worked their booties off the first year and some of Ben’s life to pay off their debt so she could be at home with him and pour all her time into her photography business. In December she celebrated her last day of her day job and is officially a full time mama and small business owner and I asked her if I could come over and document this sweet time and transition. It’s hard when you’re in it to see how sweet it is. These photos are just so special and remind me so much of me and my own sweet boy. There is something so magical, just so so so magical about those everyday things. Making coffee. Playing trains. Eating breakfast together. Reading books. Getting dressed. Diaper changes. Some days its so monotonous, but before you know it they’re reading their own books, feeding themselves and NOT throwing it on the floor (right? RIGHT?!), and using the potty (or so I’ve heard). It’s hard adjusting to the slow life and being on toddler time, especially when you’ve been going 1,000 miles an hour and accomplishing more things before the sun is up than some people do all day…. for most of your life. 
But this girl? She rocks it. She rocks being Ben’s mama. He’s the sweetest little kid in the whole world (even compared to my own) and loves to snuggle and show affection, and I just love it. Even to me. Gives me hugs every time he sees me. Every time! I just love him and could eat him up! Now that she’s more flexible during the day we get to see each other a lot (like once a week!) and it makes me so happy. It’s like a promise fulfilled on so many fronts. I was so lonely and lost and confused in those early baby days, and begged God for community. Every time we see each other is just such a big reminder of God’s faithfulness in his timing in the big things and in the small. Thank you for having me over (ahem– letting me invite myself over) Steph and Ben! It was such a joy to be part of your morning. 

February Goal Type Things 2017

  • set up and start bullet journaling 
    • I have the most wonderful undated monthly/weekly/daily planner from Target that I discovered was a one time collaboration and it sent me spiraling into the depths of the internet to find a new one. I’m super duper not interested in paying more than $20 (even that’s more than I’d want to pay…) for something I will scribble on, spill coffee on and that potentially has features I do not need, care about or plan to use. Per the recommendation of my sweet friend Marie, I finally Googled some bullet journaling tutorials and that is TOTALLY how I already run my work flow/schedule– except I was using a pre-made undated planner. Amazing. I’m excited to try it, and am looking forward to having a central location for lists too. I have a running tab of lists in my phone and legal pads about and the idea of having them all in one place gets me so excited. I found a cheap-ish one on Amazon that will arrive tomorrow and now I just need a good black pen. Hit me with your favorites. 
  • start teaching round 2 of Financial Peace University
    • It’s starting February 19th! We’ve partnered with Elevation Raleigh to offer this course AGAIN with free childcare, coffee and no rush hour traffic. We will meet at Millbrook High School on Sundays during the 9:30 worship experience. The course runs for 9 weeks and you are free to come check it out without investing in the kit– it WILL change your life! Register here: https://fpu.com/1036068
  • go to Ikea (FINALLY YOU GUYS) 
    • I get paid on February 10th and we have quite an Ikea list. Several house projects are in the works and we are borrowing a mini-van and plan to fill ‘er up! Yippee! 
  • assemble king bed + move queen bed to the Big Boy Room + move crib into the Baby Girl Room! 
    • We’re playing musical beds! We’re getting a memory foam king bed (adulting, so much adulting) and our queen mattress is going in Lincoln’s room and his crib (now toddler bed) is getting moved into baby girl’s room. 
  • make a nesting to-do list and clean out, organize and start preparations for Baby Girl’s Room!
    • We’ve already gone through the clothes, downsized tremendously and have a ton of NB through 3mo stuff washed and ready, just need to get it in the room, put it all away and hang stuff on the walls. Post coming soon with inspiration for her room. EEEEEEP. 
  • complete Foto February Challenge
    • I came up with this photo challenge for the month just for funsies. I’ve only done one so far, and it’s really fun! And really challenging to let go of the pretty image ideal… jump in! There are no rules! 
  • finish reading Respect Dare
    • This book has been pivotal in this season of transition. We’re not quite newlyweds, we’re preparing to transition to two kids, we’ve been in our house for five years.. it’s an interesting place to be and this book has provided such a shift in perspective for me. It is cheesy at times and the lil’ feminist in me sometimes screams and wants to stop reading it, but I’m finding it important that I challenge my thinking on all front and see things from other perspectives.  I’m slated to finish it in the next two weeks (I’m a bit behind) and there are already quite a few “dares” that I haven’t really done full out and I’d like to do again. Perhaps this fall will be a good time to do that, I think! Regardless, I totally recommend it if you’re looking for some guidance in approaching marriage biblically. Men speak respect, women speak love and it’s a really great combination of these ideas with some practical tips, “dares” and reflections. A great “quiet time” piece and has sparked some wonderful conversations between Marshall and I. Highly recommend! 
  • maintain existing + continue developing good habits
    • I’ve upgraded my water bottle to a 1L and am drinking 2-3 liters a day. Want to keep that up! 
    • I’ve been getting up early to work in the mornings and it has been a game changer for my stress level! Finding such peace and joy working in the wee hours of 5 and 6am. I don’t even know who I am anymore…
    • I lowered my step goal to 6k a day, and some days it’s easy to hit and surpass, others not so much. Get back to walking every day and yoga 1x a week once I hit 30 weeks. 
  • enjoy at least one Lincoln + Mama day each week
    • I’m getting all nostalgic about only having ~13ish weeks left of this pregnancy, and the transition to 2 YEARS OLD hasn’t been too bad, but there are definitely a few more tantrums than there used to be. It’s getting more difficult to wrangle him in public when he decides to not obey, BUT– it’s worth it. We’ve been going to Marbles a lot, would like to maybe go to Pullen Park and ride the train one day, go get special donuts at Levant… and also, would like to document one of these with my big camera. 

Lincoln’s 2nd Birthday

True Life: I totally forgot my kid’s birthday.

We sat down at the end of November to plan out our December. End of course dates and deadlines for work, finalize our Christmas budget, decide which Christmas parties we would go to, schedule our date nights, go over any last minute budget additions or changes to the month. I synchronized all the dates in my paper planner with our shared iCal (I am an undeniable pen+paper planner person, but Marshall uses iCal so I put things in both places) and started making my Fun To Do List for Christmas and then we turned off the lights in the dining room and started to head upstairs for bed and I realized. Lincoln’s Birthday. December 28th. Crap. I totally forgot. Didn’t even have it written down in my paper planner (it was a reoccurring event in iCal, so if you’re on the fence between iCal and pen+paper….)

So, we turned the light back on, sat down and cranked out the lowest key of low key 2nd Birthday parties: Firetrucks, family, order pizza, figure out how to make s’mores in a fire on his actual birthday. DONE.

The old Kellie was trying to hang onto mom guilt and beat myself up over forgetting my kid’s birthday, but the new Kellie was like: Hey, girl. You remembered. This is only the second time you’ve had to do this in your life, and last time you were pretty much just celebrating keeping everyone alive. This year, you’re thriving. And you also planned a pretty awesome Christmas month. Don’t worry. He’ll never know unless you blog about it. (Hmm…..)

And you know what?! It was kind of the best birthday ever. I love that his birthday falls over winter break. Marshall will always be on trackout and I will always been on winter break whether I’m teaching online or face to face, and it’s a guaranteed family day. The past two years we’ve disassembled Christmas on December 26 and started decorating for Lincoln’s birthday on the 27th which I kind of love. We got everything for free pretty much with a Wal-Mart giftcard from Marshall’s work for Christmas so we decked it out.

We started on the 28th with a big breakfast, headed to North Raleigh to Fresh Levant Bistro for gluten and dairy free donuts, stopped at Aldi to pick up snacks for our local fire station and headed over there to show Lincoln the firetrucks. They totally outdid themselves. They showed him every nook and cranny of every firetruck that he wanted to see (he literally asked them to open every door/cabinet on every truck) and let him sit in the driver’s seat and even turned the sirens on for him. He had the best day ever.  He cried when we left and begged the firefighters to hold him (hold youuuu!) and it was a blast.

We came home, had a normal lunch, put him down for nap and when he woke up our families came over for pizza, presents and we made a bonfire (!! thanks Uncle Dan!) in the front driveway in an old metal washbin from our wedding (finally putting that thing to use!) and roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. The kid had the best day ever. Marshall had made some little cardboard firetrucks out of diaper boxes and the boys ran around in those and played with all the firetruck toys and by golly. It was a blast. He is so blessed and lucky to have such awesome grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins (and babysitters!) that love him so. We love you little guy! Sorry we forgot your birthday, we love you so much and celebrate that you’re ours EVERY DAY. Also, don’t want to forget how much you loved the dark chocolate. 85% for life on s’mores.

Christmas 2016

Christmas was so special this year. It was really special last year. The year before was pretty special too (39 weeks pregnant— was also kind of stressful #babywatch). This year though. Undeniable magic!
Lincoln was old enough to know what was going on for the most part. He knew Santa said “Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!” and liked to wish strangers a Merry Christmas out and about.  He understood presents and opening things. He loved Christmas music and Christmas lights and our Christmas tree (although he did not understand why there were toys hanging on the tree taunting him and not letting him play with them). He learned in preschool that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and occasionally would say “baby Jesus, ham!” which was just the most precious thing ever. Also, the Christmas preschool crafts? I die. 
I rented the 35mm 1.4 for the week to get Christmas and his birthday in there, so I tried to document a lot a lot a lot. I missed some people on Christmas day between all the cooking and spending time with visitors, but for the most part I got the days. Loved looking at this photos a month out! 
It’s been really fun to see our own little family traditions come to life and evolve since we got married in 2011 and now with Lincoln and soon with Emmeline! Next Christmas we will have an almost 7 month old too?! So fun.
This was the first year we’ve been really successful at planning and adhering to a budget for gifts for each other and our families which honestly I think made the whole thing even more special. We didn’t have a ton of money to spend on each other so we were very intentional (and may have overspent for Lincoln slightly because they had wooden food at Aldi and I was too excited…) and it made it all the more special. I felt like the Grinch at the end of the story this year, I honestly was SO excited to see the reactions of my people to their gifts that I didn’t really realize I would be getting gifts too! That is such a change from who I was even last year.

We decided that our family gifts will be one thing for each other from each other. We each got Lincoln a gift, and he got us a gift and then we did one “big” gift for the kids, which this year was the teepee. Lincoln’s gifts from me were wooden pots and pans for his kitchen and a little wooden coffee maker which he LOVES. He makes soup, coffee, quesadillas, pancakes, eggs, etc. all day. Marshall’s gift to him was a little Melissa & Doug piano which he ALSO loves. He’ll sit and bang on it and sing “hallelujah”. He is so musical and loves anything music related. I got Marshall a cool amp stack print that he asked for explicitly (gah, so appreciated) and some junk food he likes (Reese’s, Dr. Pepper and pistachios). He got me a precious necklace with our initials, m+k, on it. Lincoln gave me nespresso pods and a Hobby Lobby giftcard, and gave Marshall a little Rubix cube (2×2) and a GearBall (which is already broken, because he later threw it…).

We haven’t quite figured out stockings yet and what/if we’ll do anything with those (although I bought a set of four on clearance after Christmas for next year!) and we didn’t really keep up with any sort of advent thing like I wanted to, but next year will be here before we know it. What a special Christmas!
Christmas Eve is our travel day, so we go to my sister’s in the morning for breakfast and let the cousins play and exchange gifts. Then we mosey over to Marshall’s parents for Christmas Eve dinner and Secret Santa gift exchange. Lincoln got a super cool tricycle this year from Gigi and Pop Pop! It was a little big for him but a month later he can already reach the pedals and can steer it a little bit! He loves his bike. He super loves when friends come over and ride it and he just hops on the back. Christmas Day we spend the day at home, big breakfast, open gifts and play all day. We invited our families over to stop in if they want to and my dad, my grandparents and Marshall’s family came throughout the day and we enjoyed their visits! 
Declaring it: best Christmas yet. Which is fun, because the best is yet to come! 

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Our Everyday Photos: Fall 2016

This fall was crazy! And awesome and wonderful and magical and special and it FLEW by. I found out I was pregnant the end of August and I was down for the count for most of September and October. If I wasn’t puking, I was trying not to puke and if I wasn’t doing either of those things I was asleep. It was a bit of a blur, but thanks to some nausea meds and a really patient then-one year old and his awesome dad we still made a few special fall memories. This year we made a little fun fall to-do list with some of our favorite fall experiences. I hate the feeling of realizing you missed it, you know? Like when a season (literal or figurative) comes to an end and you realize you wasted a lot of it thinking you had a lot of time. Time goes by so fast now with kids (SO FAST), and I’ve found entering each season (literal) intentionally is really helpful for me, and when it’s over I can celebrate the fun we had and welcome to the new one, instead of having regrets and wishing I had had a plan.

Some fall highlights:

Lincoln started preschool two days a week; picking out pumpkins at the Farmer’s Market; having our own little family Thanksgiving just the three of us; having two ultrasounds and seeing little baby bean and later MUCH larger baby bean; Lincoln immediately referring to our ultrasound pictures as “baby”; going to the State Fair with my best friends; hot apple cider; impromptu Lion, Tiger + Bear family Halloween costume and Lincoln’s first trick or treating; surviving our first (and hopefully last) Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease situation; Marshall played bass at the NC State Fair with Elevation Worship; Second Annual Tacosgiving with my sister and her family; decorating for Christmas– just a few of my favorites!

2017 GOALS | part one

I’m still working on the action steps, but I have my “whats” and “whys”. Realistically, I know a good chunk of this year is going to be about surviving. A new baby means sleep will be lacking, as will time to myself and my ability to have clear coherent thoughts most of the time. My goals this year are really “big picture”, I’ve have had some ‘action steps’ written down and just haven’t really gotten them rolling yet. I have a lot of little things to do to get ready for baby (including quite a bit of work to prepare considering I’ll have a newborn the last month or so of my spring and yearlong courses and no maternity leave).  The idea of coming up with strict goals for this year with strict action steps I would likely not follow through with was really stressful and overwhelming so instead, I’m just focusing on the big picture.

Our pastor encourages us to come up with a word for the year of what we want to define or describe what God will do in our life. Nothing really came to mind for me so I asked Marshall what his was. He chose abide from one of our new songs we sing at church Hallelujah, Here Below. It’s one of my favorites. I love the message and perspective. So much.

We are an altar of broken stones
But you delight in the offering
You have the heavens to call your home
But you abide in the song we sing
Ten thousand angels surround your throne
To bring you praise that will never cease
But hallelujah from here below
Is still your favorite melody
And should the fire that once burned bright
Become an ember my eyes can’t see
I will remember your sacrifice
I will abide in your love for me

Jesus Christ our king enthroned
all the praise is yours forevermore
Hallelujah, Here below
All the praise is yours, forevermore

Let this be me this year! In the hours of pain, labor and delivery, where time stands still.  In the fog and cloudiness of early postpartum days. In the  eternal, seemingly never ending weeks and months of sleep deprivation and healing in my body. In the moments of toddler tantrums and crying babies. In the heaps of laundry, piles of dishes, accumulating dirt and dog hair. In the unanswered emails, text messages and assignments ungraded. In the reality of something always left neglected, unfinished, incomplete and undone. Let me abide in your love for me, survive on your word, rely on your truths and believe the promises for my future. This is my big picture for 2017. 

2017: Abide 
2016: Thrive
2015: Simplify
2014: Goals
So here’s my big picture. I wasn’t sure how to categorize them this year. It’s a combo of what worked, what didn’t work, what I want to make time for and actions I guess for abiding.

  • Diet. 
  • Routines.
  • Personal photo taking and organization. Digital workflow with Lightroom and uploading to personal Smugmug. 
  • Time management at home. 
  • Adhere to chore/housework rotation to do a little bit daily, so I don’t feel overwhelmed when it all starts to pile up. 
  • Finish work during the day. / Improve workflow to be more efficient. 
  • Online storage of RAW files.
  • iPhone photos. Take less, delete more, keep fewer. 
  • Family time! 2+ a week, finish work before Marshall gets home so we can unwind, cook dinner, and play with Lincoln before bedtime and have QT after bedtime (aka play Monopoly Deal) 
  • Baby books! Yes, plural. I still haven’t finished Lincoln’s. Finish Lincoln’s, prepare baby girl’s so once she’s here all I have to do is write stuff down and print photos. 
  • Print pictures for our photo wall from 2016 and 2017. 
  • Order/finish my 2016 Chatbook (I currently have a ticket open with them, I have three stubborn photos that won’t go into my book….).  
  • Read for fun (post forthcoming with books for the year!) 
  • Take care of myself. 6k step goal daily, water daily, vegetables + vitamins daily. Smoothies 2x a week, broth 2x a week. relaxing baths 2x a week. 
  • Enjoy newborn days. No visitors first two weeks (sorry, but also not sorry!). Sleep, recover, nurse and savor! 
  • Make seasonal goals/bucket lists for quality family time. 
  • Read and study the Bible frequently. 
  • Listen to uplifting, encouraging podcasts.
  • Pray frequently.
Happy New Year! 

I Am Handpicked

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As a mom especially, it’s hard for me to not have regrets or to wish I had done some things differently. I’m positive this will be a reoccurring theme for the rest of forever. Sometimes I find myself wishing I’d made different decisions or for a “do over”, for some reason these wishes come to me in the final moments of each day while trying to fall asleep. Every single mistake I’ve made or dumb thing I’ve said. Sometimes, just from that day, or sometimes from years ago. I am not totally sure why my subconscious hates me and tries to sabotage good sleep.

Occasionally, like right now, I have these lucid moments where I’m grateful for the mistakes and the imperfect way things go. My perspective wouldn’t be what it is now had things not been the way they were. And I’m thankful for that. Thankful for growth, and for a God that never leaves me and never stops teaching me. Thankful that I was designed for and handpicked for this job of ‘mama’. It’s freaking hard some days, some days it’s easy easier than the hard days, and some days I walk with an energy in my step that I can only define as joy

There may be others better at teaching, parenting, disciplining, funning, or you name it–
there is a not, never was and never will be, another person on the planet that could replace me. I was made to be Lincoln’s mom. Designed for it, in fact. Handpicked for it. And I’m rocking it.

Thank you, Jesus. Your ways are perfect.