Parenting is also really, really fun! These little girls are my pride and joy and I love them and their amazing daddy more than words can ever express. 


I love the blog Faith and Composition. The author is so real and honest. She encourages me. I am so glad that I have found her blog! Today, I read her post about authenticity. Here is the first bit of that post: 
"Authenticity can be a frightening prospect. The very act of baring honest struggles and removing a mask for other to witness can be terrifying. Because we’re programmed to paint over our imperfections, even as moms … especially as moms.
It’s often easier to paint on a smile and feign perfect contentment. You and I could do that with our friends, our family, our church, our children, but perfection doesn’t foster intimacy; instead it builds walls. And I don’t know about you, but I’m more interested in tearing down walls. I long for transparency, for rich relationships, for the deeply rooted friendships built on the experience of sharing real struggles and shouldering burdens."
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is always what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

Wow. Did I need that today, or what? I  am always so excited to pick up Avery and Kinsley from their preschool and to hear all about their time, but today's excitement ended quickly when Avery, my 4.5 year old, copped the worst attitude I've ever seen. Here's the story:

When she came up to me at the pick up line in the atrium, she asked if we could stay and wait for her friend's class to come through because she wanted to play with her friend. I said yes. Her friend arrived and all three of my girls were so excited! They love running around and playing with this particular girlfriend of theirs. Avery came up to me and tried to hand me her lunch box and I told her she had to hold it (because CLEARLY, my hands and arms were already full from holding Lilly, Kinsley's bag and lunch and my car keys). Avery will be 4.5 years old on Saturday- she can carry her own things, especially when my hands are too full!!!! Well..... my telling her "no" when she tried to hand me her lunch box set her off something awful. She pitched a little fit and I told her that we now had to go and she had to tell her friend good-bye. Do you think she sweetly said "bye" to her friend and calmly walked out the door? Absolutely not. She threw her lunch box on the floor and proceeded to kick it all while crying and yelling at me that she wanted me to hold it and she did not want to leave because she wanted to play with her friends. She escalated from there.

I tell you that part of the story because it happened in the church atrium during pick up time with a good 10-15 moms standing there witnessing her reaction... and mine. Talk about embarrassing. I know I shouldn't be thinking about myself in that situation. That I should be concerned about my child's behavior and the heart of the matter, which I was, but I was also totally embarrassed. There. That reason right there is why I so desperately needed to read this blog post today. I need to be authentic. I'm not perfect, my kids aren't perfect. We have some really, really great times, but we also have moments like that mentioned above. It's not fair to other moms for me to only allow them to see the sweet, kind, obedient moments. Someone today probably needed to see my, usually, well- behaved child act that way because it would encourage that parent that they are not alone. It was tough for me. Trying to swallow that HUGE pill of embarrassment. We walked to car huffing and puffing and escalated more there. There were tears shed from both Avery and myself. It was a rough moment. One that I would prefer to never have to live through again.

Authenticity. It's so hard. It's real. I am thankful for women who open their hearts to me, someone they may have never met, on their blogs as an encouragement to me on my best days and my worst.

So, I will try to be more real and authentic. Please help me by praying for me to get past my own fears of what others will think of me.


Parenting is hard

No one ever tells you that being a mom is tough. Most people, myself included, only let people see the sweet moments, whether it is through the happy pictures/videos posted on social media, or the public moments when you are trying so hard to sweetly redirect when your child disobeys in front of others. I am totally guilty of that. In fact, just the other day Avery and Kinsley were arguing in front of their friend and her mom. There was hitting and screaming involved and the other mom looked at me and said "I'm so glad to see that". "Your kids always seem so good and you always seem to have it all together". HA! Let me be the first to tell you that I DO NOT have it all together. I spend many days in tears and lots more in absolute frustration over, what I feel to be constant, disobedience and whininess (is that a word?) from my children. Yes, we have some really great days where we all get along great, but there are more days where we seem to battle each other all day long. I question where I went wrong. How do I change it? Chris tries so hard to remind me that they are just young children/toddlers and they are innate sinners, but it doesn't help me much. Do I expect too much out of them? Probably. I mean, they are only 1, 2 and 4, after all. 

Being a mom is my dream. I am living my dream.  For that, I am beyond grateful. Yes, it's the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. The days that we all get along and the girls are my sweet little angels.... those are the days that help me power through the difficult ones. God has given me this time in my life to be a mother. To teach our girls about His love for them. I fail daily. However, my God is a God of forgiveness and strength. He helps me through the difficult moments. He also rejoices with me in the good times. 

For those reading this and feel like you're all alone in this journey of motherhood. You are not! I am going through the same struggles you are.... and most importantly, GOD is walking alongside of you and ready to help you as soon as you are willing to hand the control over to Him. It's my biggest struggle- releasing my control. I don't always do it, but when I do, it's a beautiful thing. 

Hang in there, mom. It's a difficult journey, but God has called YOU to go on this journey called Motherhood. Learn from it. Enjoy it. Encourage other moms. I need the encouragement and you do, too. We've got this! 

Thank you, God, for allowing me to go through the ups and downs of motherhood. Help you to rely on you daily. 


Lilly 13 months

This sweet girl is so cuddly and smiley. I mean, seriously, she is THE BEST CUDDLER and I love it! She tries her best to keep up with her big sisters and is taking a few steps by herself. Two weeks after her first birthday she took her first solo steps. At 13 months she will take about 5 steps by herself.... it won't be long before she is running circles around our kitchen with her sisters. Lilly still sleeps in mittens during naps and at night time because she still has this thing about pulling on her hair and eyelashes.... what is that all about!?! Her Dr. didn't seem concerned at all, yet he also had no suggestions for me on how to get her to stop this habit of hers.

13 month stats:
Weight: 19lbs 7oz (20%)
Height: 28 3/4 in (25%)
Head circ.: 17 3/4 (45%)

Her second boo-boo from the childcare at the YMCA

trying to be like her big sisters in the Dr's office

12 month check up at 13 months old!

First ponytail in over a month now that her hair is growing back!

ready to start walking!


Lilly's one year photo shoot

The incredibly talented Seana Tate took these adorable pictures of Lilly at 12.5 months old. Seana and I met when we lived in Niceville and thanks to social media, we have kept in touch. I love that we have kept in touch and that we can get together when we go back "home" to Florida. Check out her website.... Seana Tate Photography

Lilly is ONE!

I'm almost in shock that my baby girl is one today. So much has happened in her one year of life yet I feel like the year just flashed before my eyes. Over the last 24 hours I keep replaying the first moment I saw her. She was limp, blue and silent. The doctor and nurses were moving quickly and it was the scariest minute of our lives. That's all it was... a short 60 seconds, if that, but it felt like eternity to me. The neonatal nurses worked with her and she finally started to cry and "pink up". I thank God for her (and her sisters) every.single.day. Now, here we are, exactly one year later and she is a healthy, happy little girl. She brings so much joy and happiness into our home and my love for her overflows! I cannot imagine my life without her in it.

Lilly Ann:
- smiles all of the time
- goes with the flow
- LOVES her big sisters and is always giggling with them
- still doesn't sleep through the night consistently, and when she does sleep through the night she wakes up between 5:15 and 6:15am.... I REALLY hope this changes soon. Mommy likes her sleep! :)
- cruises on furniture and walks with her push toys, kitchen chairs or anything else that will move when she pushes it.
- she is just beginning to stand without holding on to anything, but this doesn't last long before she plops down.
- walks well when holding on to something or someone. She really only needs to hold on to one of my fingers for stability when walking. I don't think it will be too long before she is walking on her own
- one week before she turned 1 she started to pull her out. We noticed she would do so when nursing or sometime during the night because we would find clumps of hair in her hand when she woke up. This has resulted in a bald spot. :(
- nurses 2 times a day (morning and night) as of two weeks ago
- tried whole milk a few times at 11.5 months, but I noticed it made her spit up a lot so I haven't given her any recently.
- loves dogs... and I mean she REALLY LOVES dogs- especially our neighbor dogs, Penny and Finnegan
- still only has two teeth (bottom centrals)
- wears size 4 diapers
- wears 12 month clothes

We love you, Lil, and are so thankful God has allowed us to be your parents.

 Below are pictures of Lilly eating her first cupcake on her birthday!


Lilly: 11 months

It's Lilly's birth month... and tonight at dinner Chris mentioned our "1 year old". Um, I am not ready for her to be one! She is quite possibly our last little baby and I am wanting to hold on to the baby period for as long as possible. I don't want my last baby to grow up. I have such mixed emotions about her birthday being one month away. For one,  I love this stage. She is busy exploring everything, she is cruising every where and she loves being a part of all that is going on. Such a fun time! However, like I said previously, she is my baby and I want her to stay that way!

Lilly at 11 months old:
- waves hi and bye
- doesn't sign because I haven't taken the time to teach her how to do so
- cruises along all the furniture and will push her walker, chairs, or anything else that will move when pushed, but won't attempt to walk without support yet.
- celebrated her first Thanksgiving and Christmas.... which was so hard for me to believe because she's been with us for so long!
- still nurses exclusively 3 times a day
- eats table food and is an excellent eater. She much prefers food that she can feed herself rather than foods we have to spoon feed. She also gets really fussy if we don't feed her quick enough!
- still loves bath time
- has separation anxiety when we drop her off at the gym or church nursery.
- she despises diaper changes and will cry the entire time we are changing her.... all while trying to roll over or scoot off of the changing table. Changing her clothes and diapers is like wrestling an alligator- or so I think!
- wears size 9 and 12 month clothes
- wears size 4 diapers