Parenting: It’s a Work of Heart

Today’s blog has contributions from my favorite human: Husbandman, or Fatherman as the littles know him…or maybe you know him as Nathan. 😊

Parenting undoubtedly is making me be the best & worst versions of myself. Growing is never easy, but becoming this better person is difficult on a new level. Becoming a parent not only means becoming a better human, but doing so quickly, because if you don’t, you struggle even longer. It’s like a crash course in further developing the fruits of the Spirit. 

  • Love: Parenting means love. You don’t always like baby, but you will love baby. Liking a person means you have a mutually beneficial relationship. Loving a person means caring for them beyond what they can care for you. Baby doesn’t come out loving you, but you need to love baby. Love means serving baby through the good & bad. You’ll have intense emotions from the start, but parenting means more than emotion, it means you need to love your child as unconditionally (like God) as possible. 
  • Joy: Parenting means joy. & my friend, I don’t know who first told that great big lie, but let me tell you it’s not true-joy & happiness aren’t the same thing. Find the joy in the little moments. In the smell of baby, how baby grasps your finger, looks at you, how baby sleeps trusting you to be there when they wake, a hot shower, a delivery that result in a baby, a complete pregnancy, a job well done, a job you just started. 
  • Peace: Okay, admittedly, I have to really think about how peace & parenting went together. I think you have to work for peace. Peace in the middle of the night when the laundry is finally done. Peace in the early morning when the kids are still sleeping. Peace when you get to drink your coffee and it is still hot. Parenting is about making peace. When the kids are crying or fighting. Making peace with the changes. Finding peace in the hand God has given you. Peace in the good and bad moments, knowing that neither last very long. 
  • Patience: Parenting means patience. Patience for baby to arrive. Patience for the bottle warmer to heat the milk. Patience for baby to latch on. Patience when baby doesn’t sleep at night. Patience when baby is crying (again). Patience through exhaustion. Patience while waiting in line with baby at the store. Patience when baby starts crying while you’re driving the car. Patience with yourself because things aren’t the same. Patience with your body as it grows, changes, & heals. Patience with your spouse as they change. Patience with the new dyynamics in your marriage & friendships. I could type for hours on this topic. 
  • Kindness: Parenting is about kindness. Not judging yourself or others. Everyone parents differently. Kindness in listening to advice, giving it gingerly. Kindness in giving away what you don’t need, to those that do need. Kindness for your spouse who just needs 15 more minutes of sleep, so you deal with baby. Kindness in preparing different areas of the home for all possible disasters, because lets be real, baby is a (not yet) walking disaster. Challenge: Find more ways to be kind every day.
  • Goodness: Parenting is developing goodness. Developing morality in baby. Goodness means selflessly acting on behalf of others. Goodness means being consistent in word & deed. Consistently working toward shaping Baby into the person we would like to be. 
  • Faithfulness: Having a child means God was faithful to give you the desire of your heart, He has faith that you’ll do your best. You’ll need faithfulness to attend church, to believe and have faith that God will provide, having faith that baby will be okay, faith that you’ll be okay, faith that you’ll make it through. 
  • Gentleness: Parenting means gentleness. First you have to learn to be gentle with your body as it changes to accommodate another life. Gentleness with the tiny, helpless human from the moment they’re born. Gentleness in voice, to speak gently to baby. Gentleness with yourself because becoming a parent is hard-you don’t need to beat yourself up. Life needs more gentleness, let it begin with you. 
  • Self-Control: Parenting means self-control. Pulling yourself together because you’re the one handling postpartum hormones. Controlling yourself because it’s not baby’s fault, baby doesn’t understand. Self-control might mean doing things you don’t want to do, it also might mean crying by yourself in the bathroom before you see the rest of your family. Self-control is a more difficult fruit than I ever imagined in parenting. 

30 Movies We Love to Hate

For today’s blog I welcome my dear friend, Lori Richardson, as a guest contributor. Today we bring you our definite list of 30 of the saddest movies that we have love/hate relationships with. Guaranteed to make you cry, to be there for you the next time you need to wallow or even when you’re feeling sentimental. ⚠️ Warning: Spoilers ahead! ⚠️

Category 1:  Childrens’ Films

  • Dumbo
    • Dumbo’s mom reaching through the circus cart bars to hold baby Dumbo.  I still can’t watch this movie, guys.
  • Up
    • The first 8 minutes of Up is guaranteed to make you cry.  Carl & Ellie grow up, get married, want a baby, find out she’s infertile, will never have a baby, and then she dies.
  • The Fox & the Hound
    • The widow that raises the fox, Todd, leaves Todd alone in the woods and he just sits there not understanding as she drives away.
  • Meet the Robinsons
    • Lewis travels back in time to watch his mom drop him off at the orphanage. And he almost, almost stops her. But he lets her leave him behind.  Happy tears later in the film:  He gets adopted by all the best people.
  • Monsters, Inc.
    • “Kitty?” Boo looking for Sully.  Also, Mike rebuilding the door for Sully, & the reunion.
  • Inside Out
    • “Take her to the moon for me.”Bing Bong
  • Bambi
    • Bambi’s mother is killed by a hunter.  He goes searching for her & calling out for her.
  • Homeward Bound
    • When Shadow falls into the hole & lays his head down, essentially giving up.  Oh, my heart!
  • The Brave Little Toaster
    • Confession:  TBLT scarred me for years.  It has themes of abandonment, worthlessness, psychotic breakdowns…those poor appliances.  I’m 75% sure this is why I have separation anxiety at the ripe old age of 28.
  • The Land Before Time
    • After saving their lives, Littlefoot’s mom dies.  “Mom, get up, please get up. Please, mom.”

Category 2:  Books Turned Films

  • Charlie St. Cloud
    • His little brother dies because of a car accident he caused.
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife
    • After going back & forth in time, trying to have a baby, the time traveler dies.
  • The Vow
    • Boy meets girl, boy loves & marries girl, boy & girl want to have a baby, boy & girl are in a car wreck, girl loses memory, boy spends entire film trying to help her remember, she never remembers.
  • P.S. I Love You
    • Husband finds out he’s going to die from a brain tumor, writes his wife letters & provides gifts to send to her postmortem.p.s. i love you
  • The Fault in our Stars
    • You spend the whole film thinking the girl is about to die.  The boy dies.
  • Me Before You
    • We all think she’s going to talk him out of euthanasia.  She doesn’t.  He still commits assisted suicide, even after falling in love with her.
  • A Walk to Remember
    • Popular boy unwittingly falls in love with dorky girl, even though she told him not to.  She has cancer.  They get married.  She dies.
  • A Little Princess
    • A little girl ends up in an orphanage because her daddy dies.  She is treated horribly.  Happy ending.
  • The Last Song
    • A girl is mad at her father for many reasons, but he ends up dying around the same time she forgives him.
  • Marley & Me
    • The dog dies.  Enough said.
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
    • Don’t even watch it.  You don’t have enough tissues.

Category 3: Deadly Sad Films

  • Raise Your Voice
    • Terri is in a car accident with her brother, the brother dies.  She goes to art school & write a song about him.  Sings it for her final.
  • The Family Stone
    • When they hang up the photo at the end, after she dies.  BRB getting a tissue.family stone
  • Sweet Home Alabama
    • When the dog dies & they’re talking in the cemetary.
  • Titanic
    • “Jack?  Jack?  Jack!” *whistle blowing*
  • Armageddon
    • Aw, Harry, your sacrifice was epic.
  • Atonement
    • I actually hate this movie more than love it.  Probably the only one on the list I’d say that about.  Let me break it down for you.  A younger sister doesn’t understand what she sees, tells a lie, sends a boy to prison, he never gets to reunite with his true love, everybody dies.
  • My Girl
    • & this my friends, is why people with bee allergies always carry their epi-pens in 2017.
  • Moulin Rouge
    • They fight so hard to make things work.  Nicole Kidman still dies of consumption.
  • Life As We Know It
    • As a new parent, I don’t think I can watch this one now.  A couple die in a car accident, leaving their child to their 2 best friends.  The little baby asking for mama and crying might just kill me now.

Do you have any other contenders? Weepy films? Let us know. BRB, hiding films from myself to avoid cryfest 2017.

Recipe: A Working Marriage

Ingredients:

  • A Pinch of Spark
  • A Dash of Humor
  • 1 1/2 Cup of Joy 
  • 1/2 Cup of Kindness
  • 1 Tablespoon of Patience 
  • 1/4 Cup of Peace
  • 2 Cups of Forgiveness 
  • 3 Cups of Humility 
  • Love (as needed)
  • 8 oz. of Snacks

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to withstand judgment from others.
  • Mix spark, humor, & joy until an inkling forms. 
  • In a separate bowl combine kindness, patience, & peace until a warm loaf rises. 

  • Stir inkling & warmth until relationship forms. Bake for a few months until crust appears.
  • Meanwhile, mix forgiveness & humility. Frost it over entire relationship to form marriage. 
  • Drizzle love over the marriage & offer love dipping sauce when served. 
  • Optional: Serve with snacks to maintain a fresh marriage. 
  • Advanced Prep: Add in distance, children, unemployment, sickness, or life in general for a different flavor profile. 

You’ve Got A Friend In Me

Once upon a time it went something like this:

“You can borrow my green crayon.”

“I like your shoes!”

“Can you believe Mr. Carter’s last test?”

“Can I sit here?”


& that’s how a friendship started.  Or something like that.  Because once upon a time, making friends was easier.  When we were kids we didn’t have jobs and we had forced commonalities.  Our job was school, which we sometimes took seriously, and sometimes didn’t.  We were forced to see the same people day after day.  People our age, our gender.  Really, a classroom full of people learning the same things, going through the same issues, it was a recipe for friends.  Even as our personalities developed and we found there were people we didn’t want to befriend, as we grew up and went off to college, there were still more people we could be friends with than not.  People interested in the same fields of study, living in the same dorm, in the same societies, in the same churches, etc.  We took it for granted, making friends was easier than not.

Now here we are, almost thirtysomethings and we are socially inept.  We’ve become picky and selective as time has passed.  It becomes harder and harder to make friends.  Sure, we are surrounded by people with the same interests, but I don’t want to talk about my job in my free time, and that’s what I have in common with the majority of people I know these days.  Because you know what happens when colleagues hang out in their free time?  They complain.

So maybe I make friends with people now that I have other things in common with.  Like marriage. The majority of people I know aren’t married, they’re single.  The fact that I’m married seems to make single people uncomfortable, though I’m not entirely sure why, it’s not like I talk about my husband all the time.  I find single people are always asking me about how we met, or telling me how I cannot understand the dating scene, or complaining about how they’re single.  I find solace in a couple of married people that I know; though we have very little else in common.

So maybe I make friends with people that have babies?  The problem here is that all my friends are at different stages in their lives, and most aren’t with newborns right now, let alone twins.  What do I do, walk around a park with my babies like, “I too have made tiny humans, want to be my friend?” Even still the competitive nature of mothers stresses me out.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m friendly to people at work, at church, etc. However, the problem lies in my inability to maintain friendships. At the risk of sounding lame, I’m honestly just so tired. I’m a full time teacher, full time wife, full time mom of twins; I’m a part time housekeeper and personal shopper who is just trying to make it to church on time. Right now I just don’t know if I can find the time to be a full time friend.  Furthermore, I’m not willing to trade out any other facets of my life to make room for “hang time.”  These days my hang time includes small humans hanging out in my arms or across my lap.


I read the texts, almost never answer phone calls, I take too many pictures of my kids, talk about my students with immense pride, & am generally stressed out with my completely blessed life. I just don’t find the time for people that can’t tolerate these things about me currently. 

So here I find myself, closest to the people that I’ve known since high school.  All women at different stages in their lives. I don’t really know how to make more friends, I just focus on maintaining the ones I have, hoping they understand that during this phase of life I need an extra dose of grace. 

So here’s to you thirtysomething, feeling alone in your life.  I’m right there with you.  I’m here for you, shoot me a text…I’ll get back to you eventually (eventually being naptime).✌🏻

I’m Sorry, Twins

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because we had so many doctors appointments while you were on the inside. Once a week, twice a week. I know you hated getting pushed, poked, & prodded. Your twin did enough of that in his free time. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because our life together is so loud. Loud from crying, shouting, & playing together. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because you have to be patient from such a young age. Always waiting for your turn, sometimes quietly, sometimes not. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because people always ask, “Who was born first?” While we all wonder, does it really matter? You’re so special & unique. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because people always ask, “Are they identical?” I’m sorry because I know you’ll deal with that the rest of your lives. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because my body decided to drop eggs like confetti.  I take all the blame. I tell myself daily God knew what He was doing. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because we silently compare you in our minds as you grow, seeing all the differences & wondering what’s normal & should we worry. You’re two different people, you grow differently. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because you’ll rarely get alone time…but at least you’ll never be lonely. 

Logan & Lincoln 3 weeks old


I’m sorry you’re a twin, because you can’t choose your best friend. Sorry, you were born with him. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because you used to be womb mates and now you’re roommates. No break for you, little twin. You know sharing space before most kids can say their name. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because your parents can’t hold you all the time. There are just too many babies in our home. You learn independence earlier than most. I promise we still love you and want to hold you just the same. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because we don’t get that special time together. You know, when a married couple have their first baby and they bring him home and watch their baby grow up and spend all their time with him? I am so sorry little twin, but you have to share that special time that most families take for granted. It’s not that we’re missing anything, but it’s just much more stressful than peaceful in our home than others.  

Logan & Lincoln 14 weeks old


I’m sorry you’re a twin, because you don’t have your own clothes right now, or bibs, or really anything. Everything is shared. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because mama gets stressed out & exhausted twice as fast. I know other moms have more fun in their days, while we just make it through a lot of days. I promise I’m doing my best most days. I’m secretly hoping this means you’ll be more relaxed adults one day. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because you won’t have a puppy. We got you a sibling instead, enjoy. (He has to be potty trained just like a puppy…)

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because you won’t have all the newest toys or clothes growing up. You’ll have hand-me-downs from other families. Just remember there was a time when your parents had to diaper 2 babies, potty train 2 babies, buy clothes & shoes for 2 growing babies, 2 car seats, 2 spots in childcare, 2 everything. I’m sorry, but while money may be thin, happiness we will have in spades. 

I’m sorry you’re a twin, because this apology isn’t even really an apology. Twin life is all you know, all we know. I pray daily that being a twin makes you better men one day. I have faith that God knew what He was doing when He sent you to Earth together. I cherish the years God gives us together, through all the struggles & all the joys.

I know the day will come when you guys play together & I can drink my coffee in peace while other people struggle with their toddler & newborn. #smallwin

What’s wrong with my daughter?

“I’ve looked over Alyssa’s file. I see over the years she’s been tested & screened for a lot of things. Autism, Asperger’s, social anxiety, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, selective mutism, giftedness,” the counselor said.

“Yes, everyone has been trying to figure out what’s wrong with my daughter.  She seems unhappy. She does well enough in school. She has friends. She’s so unhappy though. There has to be something more we can do for her. Some medication to fix her,” said the mom.

“I’ve talked to her. She has big holes in her memory from coping with trauma. Too many bad things have happened to her. She’s smart, she knows she hasn’t done anything to deserve them.  There’s nothing wrong with your daughter.  She’s just angry,” the counselor said, “and she may be angry for a long time. Medication isn’t going to make her forget, the only thing that she needs is the healing hand of time.”

“But I need you to fix her,”  said the now-crying mother.

Now picture it with me:  12 year old Alyssa, sitting on a bench in the hallway outside the counselor’s office, hearing this conversation that I was clearly not meant to hear.  I don’t remember a good portion of my childhood, but I remember this conversation clearly.  I remember being angry as they sat there discussing how I was broken, needing to be fixed, not good enough in my current state.  A discussion between a woman that barely knew me and a mother that had barely raised me.  I didn’t cry, but I was angry enough to cry.


She was right though, I was angry.  I would be angry for years to come.  I’m still much more prone to anger than sadness.  My mom was prone to sadness and I chose not to be sad, being sad meant being like my mom, and being like my mom made me angry.  Every time I felt mistreated for the rest of her life, I’d let her know I hadn’t forgotten.  I knew my level of anger was ungodly.  Hatred akin to murder was what stirred in my heart.  I read scripture about angry hearts.  I knew I needed to let go, but I was immature. I didn’t let go for years.

I was 17 before I started loosening my grip on the anger. I’d say I was 19 or so before I could say I had truly forgiven many people. It was a shame I waited so long, I only had 2 more years with my mom & the damage alcohol & prescription drugs had done to her mind…were just that-done. 

She had a peaceful daughter those last few years. I was removed from home, away at college, the space was healthy for me. I wish I could just tell her one more time while she was still mentally present that I wasn’t mad anymore, that all the bad had culminated to make my life, me, into something better and that I was going to be okay.

I take it as a personal lesson these days. A lesson you might want to heed as well. It’s not worth it to stay mad. It’s poison for your soul. Not to mention it’s sinful and leaves you lonely, with a hard heart.  What’s that quip? Let go & let God.

Accurate.

 

Hi Ho, Hi Ho; It’s Off to Work I Go

Today I sat and stared at my children. They stared back, all 22 combined pounds of little people stared at me like I was the most amazing thing that ever happened. & I sat & wondered what in the world I did to deserve such a stare. Then I thought how very long had it been since someone looked at me the way Lincoln & Logan look at me. I’d wager it’s been a few years. 

You see, I love them most dearly, & while today was a good day, they tend to also have less than good days. By the time I head back into the work force my babies will be 4 months old. I feel conflicted because while I know I’ll be ready to head back to work, I think I’ll miss them as well. (I miss them when I just go to the grocery store.)

There’s a lot of guilt there. I feel compelled to always be with them, to be a stay at home mom until they reach kindergarten-age. On that same note, the thought of walking away from my job for years is unfathomable for me. Financially and mentally, I don’t believe I could be a good stay at home mom. I’m a better mother when I get some space. When I go to the grocery store on Saturdays, I come home renewed. Ready to care for and snuggle my babies with a positive attitude, whereas if you encounter me around noon on a Friday I am tolerable at best and unpleasant at worst because I am burnt out from caring for them 24 hours a day for a straight week. 

Shame on those that shame working mothers. It’s about knowing yourself, and I know it is best for me and my family if I return to teaching. I don’t want my children to remember me as perpetually grumpy. Thankfully, I am a teacher and get weekends and nights off and 20 extra days at home before the new year to spend with my twins (Not to mention summer break!). I won’t be an absent mother. 

I am confident that I was created to teach small people. I am confident I am supposed to be L&L’s mama. I am not confident in my long term sanity in regards for caring for them. Meanwhile, there are people that were created to be with little babies all day long & it makes them happy.

How do I choose someone to care for the precious littles? Will they love their caretaker more than me? Will they be smart? Will they feel cared for and loved? I guess I can only do the best I can and trust God has a hand in it. I can only hope that their caretakers love them ardently as they grow. 

Walking the Fine Line: A Myers Briggs Assessment Story

If you’ve known me for very long, it’s quite likely I’ve prompted this discussion with you: What’s your Myers Briggs typology? I am absolutely fascinated with this personality assessment. If you don’t know yours, now is a good time to take a test before reading too far into this (I wouldn’t want to influence you…or would I?). I’ll drop a link to an assessment for you here: 

Myers Briggs Assessment

I love the Myers Briggs test. I’ve taken many different ones online, for school or in my free time just to see if my personality has changed as the years have passed, it has. I’ve taken many different tests in one day just to see if I get the same results, and I do. I love the consistency of this test. I love the way in which it defines and outlines my personality so clearly. 

About the test:

There are 16 personalities, governed by 4 traits each. You are either:

  • [I]ntroverted or [E]xtroverted
  • I[N]tuative or [S]ensing
  • [T]hinking or [F]eeling
  • [P]erceiving or [J]udging

Many MB tests will also give you your scale results. Example: On the P/J scale I’m majority  [J]udging and only slightly [P]erceiving. I like this, it shows that your personality is not fixed. You’re not 100% anything, you just lean one way or another more heavily. 

My personality is fairly static. I’m what I’d like to propose as an ASFJ. You might be reading that & is thinking, “Wait, Alyssa, there is no A option.” & you…would be right…but hear me out, okay?

I first took the MB Assessment in high school. I was easily labeled an ISFJ & I would agree with it for that stage of my life. The ISFJ is called The Guardian & is described as: 

ISFJs are interested in maintaining order and harmony in every aspect of their lives. They are steadfast and meticulous in handling their responsibilities. Although quiet, they are people-oriented and very observant. Not only do they remember details about others, but they observe and respect others’ feelings. Friends and family are likely to describe them as thoughtful and trustworthy. ISFJ’s make up 7% of the population (10% of the female population). Some of the notable ISFJ’s: Neville Longbottom, C-3PO, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, & Cinderella. 

Then in my sophomore year of college I took the MB Assessment again. This time I was labeled as an ESFJ, The Caregiver. I agree with this as well. In fact, teachers are often ESFJ’s, making up 12% of the population it is the most common personality type of the 16 (17% of the female population are ESFJ’s). About ESFJ:

ESFJs project warmth through a genuine interest in the well-being of others. They are often skilled at bringing out the best in people, and they want to understand other points of view. They are serious about their responsibilities, seeing what needs to be done and then doing it. Generally proficient at detailed tasks, they enjoy doing little things that make life easier for others. They value tradition and the security it offers. Some of the notable ESFJ’s: Lily Potter, Jar Jar Binks, Thor, Doctor Strange, Storm, & Anna (Frozen).

So what party am I supposed to count myself in? I identify with both, given the right scenario.


After college, as a wife, teacher, mother, I took the MB Assessment again. Guess what happened this time? I scored dead even on. E/I scale. So I’m neither particularly introverted or extroverted. I am whatever the situation calls for. I am both; I’m an ambivert. Thus the ASFJ.


I am who you need me to be. My husband and students usually need me to be an ESFJ. My friends and children need me to be an ISFJ. I would say at the end of the day, I just try not to overthink it…but that goes against everything my -SFJ self is. If you need me, I’ll be over here leaning on my -SFJ laurels, waiting to serve others, after all, that’s what makes me happy. 😊

Please let me know what your type is! I’d love to know. I’m an I/ESFJ married to an ISTP (The Craftsman). 

Dear Kids, I’m Your Mama

Dear Kids,

I don’t know if I’ll ever be strong enough to tell you, but your boring mama wasn’t always a boring mama.  Furthermore, I don’t know if I want to tell you about the things that came before you. But right now, while you’re sleeping & you’re so small & I am so sick today, I’m thinking you need to know that I am your mama. 

When I was in the fourth grade, I met my first best friend. Shawna (whose birthday is tomorrow) was my best friend for 12 years. We grew up together. Her parents even tried to adopt me the year I turned 12.  I learned a lot of life lessons by growing up with my best friend. I was absolutely devastated when she died in a car wreck (that wasn’t her fault) at the young age of 21.  I remember finding out in the middle of the night, clutching my chest and collapsing into the floor, thinking things would never be okay again. I remember waking up in the floor and yelling at the sun because it didn’t have a right to shine the following day, because in my mind-the world should have just stopped. It’s absolutely awful to lose your best friend, & I hope you never lose each other. 

Other people really enjoy turning 21, but I didn’t. Not only did I lose my best friend when I was 21, but I lost my mama. My mama was so sick, so unwell. She made me crazy because her mind was half gone. I spent years caring for my mama because she wasn’t well enough to care for herself. No matter how crazy mad she made me, I still loved my mom. I still mourned her when she passed away. At her funeral someone said to me, “Alyssa, you are so tough. You’ve been mourning your mother for years. She’s really been gone for years and you’ve carried on with it by yourself. I couldn’t do it.” That’s probably true, another person probably couldn’t do it. 

I have never been unemployed. I started a job two weeks after I graduated high school and I’ve had a job ever since. Your mama has always worked hard. My daddy taught me that. 

My brothers and I all grew up in different homes because my family was very broken. You might notice we all have very different personalities and qualities, I think that’s part of the reason why. I know I was dealt the worst hand. I grew up living with various relatives for short periods of time, and even longer stints in state foster care. I won’t pretend this was anything short of awful. I grew up wondering why my parents didn’t love me enough to take care of me. I grew up wondering what was wrong with me because I was tossed around more than a baseball at practice. I grew up wondering if I’d ever feel anything other than homeless. I’m sure everyone involved had their own reasons for their choices, all I know is that I survived it and was bitter about my experience for years. Even when I got out of the foster care system and went to live with my mom, things still weren’t good for me. I made myself a lot of promises because of my childhood. I promised myself I’d be a better person. I’d never drink. I’d never smoke. I’d never take recreational drugs or prescription drugs I didn’t need. I’d never turn away a child on my doorstep. I would dedicate my life to helping children. I would be a good wife and a loving mom. I would be a better person than what I had grown up seeing. Are you listening? Because this is important:

I have kept my promises

I wanted more for my family, so I kept my promises and married someone that would keep those promises as well. No child should see what I saw in foster homes. It’s okay to be poor, it not okay to just survive your circumstances. You are not lucky kids, nothing that’s happened to you has anything to do with luck. You live inside preparedness. You live within planning. You live inside a million dreams and promises and plans. You live among people that we have chosen to be a part of your life because we are confident that they will love you. I wanted you to never doubt you were loved. 

I don’t care if you don’t think I’m beautiful. I don’t care if we’re never rich. I do care to let you know that I am smart, kind, & practical. Above all, I want you to know that I am strong. I’m the kind of strong that still cries when Dumbo is taken away from his mama. I’m your strong mama. Remember that when you think I’m just boring, just living a quiet life. I’ve already lived an exciting life & now you are my greatest adventure. 

There’s a lot more about me that I could tell you, but right now you’re both sleeping in my lap and I want to love on you a little more…before you’re not so little anymore.  So for now, that’s all I need to say.

Love,

Your Mama

3 Months & Growing

Our babies are just at 3 months old now & I am actually enjoying this current phase. Each baby is different (it’s true-I have 2!) but here are some things I love about our 3 month old twinfant boys. 

  1. They have eyelashes now. Long beautiful eyelashes. Lincoln’s are brown, Logan’s are black. 
  2. Their eyes have changed. Lincoln’s are dark blue, Logan’s are light blue. Lincoln’s are big and round like a cartoon character, Logan’s eyes are wide. 
  3. They’re growing hair longer and on parts of their heads that were bare before. 
  4. They fit into baby clothes so much better now. 
  5. They smile and grin. 
  6. They make eye contact. 
  7. They coo to talk to you. 
  8. Lincoln can hold his bottle (if it’s a short bottle).
  9. They’re curious about each other. They look at each other. They shout at each other. 
  10. They have sleep patterns. Lincoln sleeps on his back. Logan sleeps on his side. Both love blankets. They sleep in 6-8 hour blocks.
  11. Lincoln flirts with women, but is still shy in general. 
  12. Logan is a people watcher. 
  13. They play with their hands. Lincoln can fit his fist in his mouth. 
  14. They’re solid in weight now. At least 10 pounds. People are less scared to hold them. 
  15. They’re still cuddly. 
  16. They love head rubs. Especially around their ears. 
  17. They know us. They smile at us. They prefer us. 
  18. Rolls of fat. Lincoln has a fair few. Logan has…a couple. 
  19. Their expressions are becoming more detailed. They use their whole face when they look at you. 
  20. They stick their tongues out when you touch their little noses.