Baby Number Four: A Birth Story

I came to a different and awed understanding of what life is. It’s not what you think it is. First, what you call your life is not yours at all – not yours to plan, manipulate, or control, at least not very often. That’s a staggering realization. I was humbled to see that the maturity and serenity I thought I had achieved was simply the result of having things my way all the time. If life wasn’t mine, what was it? In fleeting moments of deep satisfaction and insight, I saw the absolute truth of life…love that is no mere word, love that goes beyond feeling, love that is life itself. I was filled with a rush of respect for all mothers everywhere. This was how we all got here. What miracles, what sacrifice, what love! I never knew, nor could I have, before now. Can you imagine this love? Can you anticipate it, fabricate it, measure and evaluate it? No, you can’t, you can only be love, and your child will release its magnitude within you. -from Momma Zen, by Karen Maezen Miller

Where do I start? Continue reading “Baby Number Four: A Birth Story”

Chasing Sunsets: My Maternity Photo Shoot with Baby Number Four

As I write this, I have the sweetest little baby boy snuggled – not in my belly – but on my chest, asleep in my ring sling. Our fourth baby joined our family exactly three weeks ago, and he has been pure joy. I’m tired, grateful, constantly hungry, and a bit out of sorts…but life is good, friends. So good.

I really started to slow down towards the end of this last pregnancy. I was feeling pretty good, but it all started to catch up with, me which meant slower days and much (much) earlier nights. I had to let go of some of the extras (like blogging) which means I never got to share my maternity photos with you! My sweet friend, Chrissy, recently started honing her photography skills and offered to “practice” on me. I put practice in quotes, because once you see these photos you’ll realize what I already know – she is an incredible photographer. (PS she ALSO made the gorgeous flower crowns I wore for the shoot. She is just one of those people who makes everything she touches look beautiful. 😉 ) Continue reading “Chasing Sunsets: My Maternity Photo Shoot with Baby Number Four”

The Source of Bad Days

Being a parent is way harder than I ever expected. I don’t know what I expected, exactly, but it wasn’t this.

I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to learn what I needed/need to know.

All I knew, at the time, was that Edward and Bella were in love and about to have a baby and ohmygosh I’M IN LOVE and I’M ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY! (Yes, I was reading Twilight when I was pregnant with my first. I have no regrets about this fact.)

Continue reading “The Source of Bad Days”

Hello. And a Few Things I’m Learning

Hello friends, it has been far. too. long.

I’m in the final weeks of my pregnancy with our fourth baby, and SO looking forward to meeting this new little one. It has been a wonderful pregnancy that honestly, I’ve not taken for granted and enjoyed with all my heart. But, it was also my first “winter” pregnancy and let me tell you – there is something to spending 31 weeks of your pregnancy in the cold, dark days of a northeastern Ohio winter.

None the less, spring has finally sprung and as the world comes to life around me I’m feeling renewed and refreshed and so excited for all that is to come.  Continue reading “Hello. And a Few Things I’m Learning”

My Essentials For Pregnancy #4

And just like that, I’m in my third trimester with less than 11 weeks to go until baby number four arrives. This pregnancy has flown by for me! I’m grateful in some ways, but in other ways I feel like this has been such a blur! I’ve felt great this pregnancy, with little to no pregnancy related sickness and no major complaints to speak of. I always have tailbone issues with all my pregnancies (not sciatica, my tailbone just starts to tilt out waaay too early), so that is a bummer, but other than that I’ve felt wonderful. Now that we are nearing the end I’m starting to experience some growing pains and feeling rather *ahem* large, but I guess that goes with the territory.

In addition to this pregnancy generally being a healthy and happy one, I’ve discovered some things that have really helped me enjoy the experience more and feel my best. I’m excited to share those essentials with you today! Continue reading “My Essentials For Pregnancy #4”

How We Spent Spring Break 2018: Family Fun On A Budget In Northeast Ohio

My husband is a teacher and his school was on spring break last week. We weren’t in a position financially to do an actual get away, but I wasn’t going to let that stop us from having a week full of fun family adventures!

Don’t get me wrong, I love a great beach vacation. But there is something super fun and special about planning little day trips to see things in your area. I love taking advantage of our days off to explore some of the local fun and flavor that is in our own state.

I budgeted $100 for all of our spring break adventures, which meant I had to be very thoughtful about where we went. There is nothing I love more than researching for and planning fun trips, so being creative on a budget doesn’t scare me – it’s part of the fun! Continue reading “How We Spent Spring Break 2018: Family Fun On A Budget In Northeast Ohio”

The Problem With Mom Guilt

Spend any time around moms – be it on social media or in a real life social setting – and I guarantee that before too long you’ll hear references to mom guilt. Some moms will bemoan it. Others will poke fun at it. But rest assured – almost all moms talk about it. It’s a part of our vocabulary. A part of our subconscious. And between blogs and memes and discussions over Friday night cocktails and Saturday morning coffee, it’s quickly becoming a part of our social fabric.

But here is the problem.

Mom guilt, as we know it, isn’t real. And the misappropriation of this word has some serious consequences.  Continue reading “The Problem With Mom Guilt”

Discovering Daily Rhythms vs Daily Schedules

Lately, we’ve really hit our stride with homeschooling. Actually, I feel like I’ve hit my stride a bit more as a mom in general, too. That is not to say things are easier or that the kids have stopped being kids or that I’ve suddenly stumbled upon the secret to making motherhood a snap. Really, it’s all boiled down to two things: perspective, and finding a good fit for my own personal brand of motherhood.

I’ve been in this whole momming gig for almost seven years now and I’ve been homeschooling for a little over a year. I can honestly say I’ve never felt “good” at either one. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed it, I’ve just always felt this tension between all the things I thought/wanted and all the things that were actually happening.

You are given a lot of advice as a mom. I’m starting to realize that good advice is only good advice if its good for you.

Case in point: scheduling. Continue reading “Discovering Daily Rhythms vs Daily Schedules”

Great Relationship Movies To Watch (Even If You Aren’t In A Relationship)

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share some of my favorite relationship movies. I thought it would be extra fun to include a few movie suggestions from my friends, too! Listed below are all our top picks for what to watch this week, even if you aren’t in a relationship.  Continue reading “Great Relationship Movies To Watch (Even If You Aren’t In A Relationship)”