being the mom he deserves

The other night I heard Elijah crying long, sad sobs calling my name. I went into his room and he was sitting up in bed, half asleep, tears rolling down his face, crying out for me. 
When I asked him what was wrong, he said, "Mommy, I just want you to be happy!" 
I think he was sleep talking [just like his dad], but it was heartbreaking all the same. 

This weekend was a rough one. 
Adam was gone Friday morning-Sunday morning at a dental conference and I went...crazy... 
There were a lot of texts to Adam telling him that I didn't what he was going to come home to, 
that there might not be three of us here when he gets back, 
and I was pretty sure I was going to have a stroke and die. 

Most of my struggles was trying to keep up with the energy of a 4-year-old on 3 hours of sleep a night and trying to have the patience to tell him, without yelling, to!

So obviously tensions were high and a lot of my frustrations were let out on Elijah. 

But honestly, that's every day. 

My sweet baby boy, who I do love with all my heart, pushes my buttons to no end. 
Our personalties clash constantly and I feel like I don't even know how to talk to him without an edge in my voice sometimes. 

But then there are these indescribably sweet moments where he becomes my little boy again and melts my heart in a single phrase. 
And I realize that I spend so much time stressing over how to parent him and how to get him to listen that I forget to take a step back and remember to appreciate the amazing little kid he is growing up to be. A little kid who wants nothing more than to enjoy life and be loved. 
And I really don't want him to look back on his childhood and remember his mom constantly on the verge of a mental breakdown. 

I absolutely don't deserve this sweet boy as my son and I constantly feel like there are probably plenty of other mothers out there who could be so much better for him without all my problems.
But when times get hard and I struggle with how to be the best mom to my firstborn, I have to remind myself that he's only a child once and he's a happy child at that. 

And there's always another day to try a little better. 

love makes good impressions

I'm really excited to be a part of the Blogger Love Dare that Tausha put together based on this book. It has been a really neat experience to be actively participating in daily challenges to help strengthen my marriage. There are 40 bloggers participating for each of the 40 days & 40 dares. You can catch up on the previous days here: 

You can also follow on Instagram with #bloggerlovedare
When I first read about my day's Dare, it kind of struck me a little bit how much I probably slack in this area. I realized a couple of weeks ago that Adam & I could go a whole day only kissing maybe once. And it's not when he comes home from school. 

We take time to be with one another, we talk & watch Netflix & share ice cream, and we show our love in other ways like serving one another and supporting each other. 
But a warm, enthusiastic welcome is not always at the top of the list. 

Usually by the time Adam gets home from school I'm so beyond frazzled that I barely utter a hello. 
I'm either half-asleep on the couch or bed nursing Anneli or (like today) I'm yelling at Elijah to go to his room because he just disobeyed me for the umpteenth time that day. 
So when Adam gets home, my greeting to him is basically passing off whichever kid is the grumpiest at that time and then mindlessly scurrying around to get dinner ready. 

And honestly neither of us had any complaints about it all. 
Adam shows his love to me by reaching out and taking the kids once he gets home so I can get a mini-break {to make dinner}. And I show my love for him by willingly getting up to make dinner. 
I never felt a lack of love or understanding in this arrangement. 

But what I did felt was lacking was passion & enthusiasm. 

Lately I've been trying to give Adam a kiss or a hug [or really just falling into his arms from exhaustion] once he gets home. It doesn't have to be long, and usually isn't cause we are interrupted by one or both of our children, but it has made a tremendous difference in how the rest of our evening goes and the quality of our interactions. 

Through a more affectionate greeting I can show him how much I miss him, 
how much I care when he's away & when he comes back, 
how much I {quite literally} depend on him, 
and how much I truly love him, not just for helpful companionship. 

So today's Love Dare challenge is:
Love Makes Good Impressions

I challenge you to try harder to give your spouse a meaningful greeting that really reflects your love. 
Honestly, some days it can be harder than it sounds. 
Especially when you have kids and are just bone tired that you can harder muster the strength to pucker your lips or move your arms. 
But the simple gesture of a sincere, affectionate greeting can make all the difference. 

Be sure to stop by Lisa's blog tomorrow for Day 10. 
And you can find the rest of this wee's lineup here

Love Dare: Week 2

 I'm really excited to join up with Tausha of Taush.0 this week for The Love Dare challenge! 
She asked some bloggers to help out each week with the daily challenges & printables for each dare and I get to help out with Week 2. {You can find the first week's challenges here.} 

It has been fun to follow along with each daily dare and help my own relationship strengthen. 
I know that when we put our marriages first and consistently work on our relationships, we can be happier and more capable to handle the things life will throw at us. 

You can follow along each day with the hashtag #bloggerlovedare. 
And be sure to check back tomorrow for my post on Day 9 :)


Day 8: Love is Not Jealous LDtracyBLOG // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // PINTEREST 


Day 9: Love makes good Impressions


Day 10: Love is unconditional LDlisaBLOG // YOUTUBE // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM LD10

Day 11: Love Cherishes LDbethani BLOG // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // PINTEREST


Day 12: Love lets the other Win LDnora BLOG // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // PINTEREST LD12

Day 13: Love fights Fair LDannieBLOG // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // PINTEREST LD13 

 Day 14: Love takes Delight LDsabrinaBLOG // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM LD14 

And that completes our Week 2 printables line up! Good luck this week! Make sure you stop by each of these amazing girls blogs this upcoming week for a breakdown on each Day's dare. There will be thoughts on marriage, relationships, love & the best thing you can give your marriage: perspective. ALL of us are here with a ready hand and eager ear if you need someone to talk to. Reach out. Follow #bloggerlovedare on Instagram for a quick & easy way to keep track of what day we are on. We will see you there.

the difference a bump makes

the skirt is so stretchy & fabulous. and I'm so glad I have this flowy oversized shirt. perfect for both stages :)

The whole pregnancy and post-pregnancy body stuff is crazy.
You spend 9 months seeing your body grow & change exponentially and try to come to terms with the fact that there's a good reason why you will probably never fit in jeans again. 
And then you get to a point where you accept that your body is doing something pretty crazy even if you gain a billion pounds and then you have your baby... 

and all those insecurities about how you don't even recognize your body anymore come flooding back.

I go back and forth between being in awe of my body and what it accomplished 
and how much I hate that all my clothes don't quite fit me right anymore and my pooch is setting up permanent camp on my abdomen [with some help of some Oreos].

The frustrations that I had after I had Elijah have made themselves known again. 
But I'm trying hard to not go to that dark, unhealthy place again. 
And embrace the pooch. 

I never thought I'd miss my bump and the reason why it was okay to eat junk without judgement. 
Or not have to be self-conscious about hiding bellies & curves.

Bodies are crazy. 
They are miraculous and beautiful and frustrating and take up too much time in my thoughts.
They are capable of the impossible and never get enough credit. 

So I'm trying to be more grateful for mine. 
20+ extra post-partum pounds and all. 
And also maybe start running... 

life lately...

this girl...
we are obsessed!!
which is a good thing since she doesn't let us {or really just me} get a lot of sleep.
bed by 1am, eat at 3am & 5am & 7am, up at 10am for the day and no naps unless she's constantly held & nursed every 30 minutes to an hour.

good thing she's super crazy cute and happy and precious.
or I might've returned her by now ;)

Elijah is a great big brother and wants to help any way he can.
he's bounced her to sleep a couple of times and he was pretty dang proud of himself.
he loves her a little too hard but he loves her all the same.

school & studying has taken over Adam's life per usual.
he studies in his office nook until 10 most nights and then we watch Friday Night Lights.
and then I stay up with the baby for a few more hours while he swiftly passes out.
we desperately need a date.

mastitis has reared its ugly head again this weekend and I want to kill all things.
really it's more annoying than anything that I can't do anything and my body wants to die.
the things we do for our kids right??

and that pretty much brings you up to speed on why I'm lazy at blogging. :)