The Only Birth Advice I Give Out – Use a Doula

I don’t give a lot of birth advice to other moms. Birth is a sensitive subject. I’m always happy to share my thoughts and experience when asked, but I’m careful to never impose what I care about in regards to birth on others. My journey is my journey, your journey is yours. But there is one topic that I’d love to address simply because I don’t think there is a lot of great information out there, and, as in every aspect of life, knowledge is power.

Knowledge is especially power when you are pregnant. In particular, knowledge that is pro mom, pro baby, and grounded in a belief in a woman’s ability to have that baby. For that reason, I’d love to share with you today why we have used a doula for each of our birth experiences! Continue reading “The Only Birth Advice I Give Out – Use a Doula”

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) 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”

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.ย  Continue reading “The Problem With Mom Guilt”

My Best Tips For Getting Kids To Be Good Eaters

No one ever warned me that meal time would be the most contentious time of day as a mother. I’ve always heard the horror stories of bed times gone awry, but everyone failed to mention the daily struggles that can accompany trying to get your kids to eat.

For most parents I know, we’ve all shared the same meal time charade of trying to convince our kids that we don’t in fact hate them, no matter how offended they are by our plate offerings. Continue reading “My Best Tips For Getting Kids To Be Good Eaters”

Our Favorite Family Tradition. 2017 Edition

Every fall since becoming a mother, I’ve continued a tradition that my mother started when my brother and I were small children.

We bake treats, we dress up in Halloween costumes, and we surprise family and friends with a visit at their home or work.

We never tell anyone we are coming (it’s so much more fun to surprise everyone). This means that sometimes we knock on doors and nobody is home, or that we have inadvertently chosen a day when that person isn’t at work. But this also means that we make plenty of impromptu stops for people we didn’t plan on seeing and the day is always full of visits and surprises and fun. Continue reading “Our Favorite Family Tradition. 2017 Edition”

Life Lately: What We’ve Been Up To

Fall is always a fun time of year for our family. We celebrate all but one of our birthdays (Bea’s is up next in November), which always makes life feel extra full in a special sort of way. And we tend to soak up the last of the warm weather and beautiful changing landscape with lots of impromptu adventures that fill our memory bank and hearts with all sort of goodness. Continue reading “Life Lately: What We’ve Been Up To”

I Gave Up Folding My Boys’ Laundry

I haven’t folded my boys’ laundry for a month now, and it. has. been. GLORIOUS.

My boys are ages 6 and 4, and they create a massive amount of laundry. Between their love of throwing “mud bombs” (help me, Jesus), spilling 3/4 of everything they eat on their shirt/pants/shoes, and the fact that getting to the potty on time is hard because “I’d rather be playing,” all I do outside of all the other things I do, is LAUNDRY. Continue reading “I Gave Up Folding My Boys’ Laundry”