Sunday, July 31, 2016

Shelley's 50th Birthday Party

Tomorrow my mom turns 50, and this past weekend I helped my Aunt Karen throw her a surprise party.
Honestly, the party itself was somewhat last minute and I definitely could not have pulled it off without a lot of help from Karen, Gabe, my Uncle Mike and various other people I hope I don't offend by failing to mention.

We had Rhodes rolls, smoked pork loin, baked beans, watermelon, colelsaw, corn on the cob (the cooler method totally works), brownies, and root beer floats.

For the decor we tried to focus on Shelley:

As a side note, it was amazing to be able to go through all of the family pictures looking for ones of her. We showed Hazel who she was named after (not that she cared), saw that baby Roland looked just like my Uncle Coyle (who died as an infant), and saw lots of memories of my awkward years.

We also set out picture props for people to pose with the lady of the hour, and I am glad because we made some memories with those silly things.

We also had a box set out for people to write down their favorite memories with Shelley and some framed subway art with hisotircal events that happened in 1966, the year she was born. 

But the best part of the party was seeing my mom see so many people who loved her in one place. 
It was a lot of fun and I am grateful she has given me the legacy she has. 

Happy Birthday Momma! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


I did not always believe that I was meant to be a mother. In high school, in college, when I was struggling with fertility and then sustaining pregnancy, when our oldest had sensory issues, when Hazel cried for hours at a time, and as my two oldest had simultaneous screaming at the top of their lungs meltdowns in the grocery store while I was on a fairly important phone call (hence the meltdowns, I know)

...all of those times I didn't really believe that I was a right fit for motherhood.

And then tonight, as I was pouring over medical journals, printing off important studies, and highlighting articles, something dawned on me. Not all mothers are prepared in the same way, and my life experiences have been preparing me to be my children's mother for quite some time.

In high school I was taught how to research, and then how to form educated opinions based on said research, and most importantly, how to voice those opinions in a somewhat cohesive manner.

In college, I was further taught about statistics, learned important milestones in child development, studied genetics, and learned how to effectively advocate for change in the public health arena. And, because I have taken so long to graduate I still have access to many forms of research I would not have otherwise.

I have been prepared to advocate for my children for over ten years. I have been prepared to understand their specific needs and my girls' rare blood disorder.

So no, I might not be a mother in the same way other women are. I might not have wanted children from a young age like other women. But Heavenly Father blessed me to know how and when to fight for my children. He gave me the knowledge and courage it takes to question experts and say "That isn't good enough." 

God allowed me to have life experiences that prepared me for my specific experience in motherhood.

And tonight...
I finally realized that I am good enough to be my children's mother. This is what I was meant to do. It is not all I am meant for, but it is the most important thing I have done in my life thus far and it is the most important thing I am doing right now.

I am meant to be a mother. 

I find it somewhat amusing it took me fighting for my children to figure that out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Choose Your Hard

After Hazel was born, Gabe and I went between being finished with having kids (2-4am jogs around the house to soothe a fussy baby will do that to you) and wanting a few more, to wondering if that was even an option.

We discussed the time frame between Roland and Hazel and decided it actually isn't a bad gig. Kids close in age is pretty awesome. We havr even seriously considered "4 in 4" (four kids in four years) for various reasons.

A few months ago I came across the phrase "Choose your hard." It was in reference to health (you can choose to eat right and exercise or you can choose to suffer from the effects of a poor diet and lack of exercise both are hard to do). But, as I have thought about that phrase I think it extends to most facets of life. And while we sometimes have no control over our trials, we always have control over our reactions.

Right now, that "hard" is having children so close in age.

While I am cursing the potty training gods (aka my very stubborn, not ready or interested toddler) for ruining my plan to never have more than two in diapers at once, I am also glad those diaper years are overlapped and not spread out.

We chose our hard, and we are actually pretty excited about it.