Category Archives: life

Awake My Soul

March 6, 2018

Sometimes, ya just need a break.

From work, from kids, from life, from social media, from… whatever. I’ve been in that phase for a few weeks (maybe months!) now. Just needing a break from everything. I needed that time to get recentered with my soul and mind and character, explore new spiritual callings in my life that are fulfilling me in ways I never knew, and to have some private time with the family to just be together. It’s been weird, but good weird… discovering new thoughts and feelings I haven’t had before and being off the grid a bit with social outings and social media. I even read a book! A REALLY GOOD BOOK! I haven’t sat down to READ since, I swear, before I had kids (#embarrasing). Kinda loved spending free time nestled on the couch reading and learning instead of mindlessly scrolling instagram.

One thing that remains true and has sunk down even deeper during this break, is my wholehearted love for my kids and family and how that should be my number one priority. Being around them more instead of saying yes to everything and being pulled in 142 different directions bc I can’t say no (#FOMO) has completely filled up my cup of life. Loving on them is all I really want to do.

Turned into an old soul I guess! I’m feeling like such an old lady just wanting to be around my kids and husband all day! My post about Faye a while ago is really hitting home and I want to soak in every drop of our kids’ innocent young sweet love and also have more deep mind-fulfilling conversations with my husband more often. I feel like we’re always talking when the kids are vying for our attention and our conversations never get finished! Nor can I focus! More convos after the kids have gone to bed. Or just more date nights with no distractions!

Plus I’m constantly thinking of my relationships with people. Are they genuine, are they good for me, are they people I want to be associated with, am I feeling satisfied, am I being a loving friend, and most of all, do I feel like myself or a better version of myself around them… all so exhausting and tearing me into pieces.

My brain has been cluttered with so many thoughts and I’m trying to strain out all the bad and keep in the good. It’s made me really reflect on how to lead a more wholesome life and to reevaluate the important things in our lives.

Kind of made up a new family motto:

More family time, less obligations.
More husband/wife dates, less couples dates.
More memory making, less social media.
More presence, less multitasking.
More doing, less thinking.
More praying, less worrying.
More church, less excuses.
More intention, less clutter.
MORE LOVE, less of everything else.

Feeling like a better version of myself this month than previous months and have brushed off some cobwebs up there. Embracing this glorious mess that I am! My soul is yearning for so much more and I’m heading on the right track. Thanks for putting up with me friends, family, and followers! xo

m u m f o r d + s o n s


 

 

Three.

February 11, 2018

Three kids was our magic number. Three wonderful kids. We’re so thankful for our children and it’s hard to admit we are done, but three is our biggest adventure.

John and I wavered between two and three for a long while. On one hand, we were very content with the two we had. We had fears of adding another – outnumbered, more money, harder to go anywhere, table of five, how do we even begin to fit in a car, more money, do I need to get a minivan, how the heck do we travel, did I mention more money??? ugh … so many fears pulling us backwards to stay at two. The older Leo got the easier it was to just keep the cruise control going from there.

On the other hand, we didn’t go into our pregnancy with our second child thinking this was our last. I didn’t savor the last little baby kicks I’d ever feel, or those baby hiccups rocking your belly, or the miraculous birthing experience to see what the body is fully capable of,  seeing your baby – the baby you and your husband created – for the first time, or the first sweet latch to make mama cry, or even the first gummy smile or adorable giggle that completely melts your heart. I needed to experience it all again knowing these were the last firsts.

We went for it, throwing our fears and wallets out the window and went for it. Three. We’d have three.

And I am so happy we did. Experiencing the pregnancy to really savor each and every moment was such a gift. I yearned for each ache and pain and kick and hiccup, knowing it was the last I’d ever feel. I yearned to have another birth story to share and compare. Mostly, I yearned for just one more baby, to smell the sweet newborn smell, to snuggle and cuddle and immerse my love in her fully and completely.

Knowing it was our last baby has even changed me as a mother. Really enjoying each cry or meltdown or hug or kiss has made me patient and 10x more loving (if that’s even possible) than with my other two. So much of taking care of babies for me was going through the motions, I never really liked the baby phase. I couldn’t wait till they were walking, more independent, talking, more personality… but here in this day, in each moment with Faye, I’m wishing she’d stay little, wishing for one more gummy grin, wishing for her to stop growing up so fast, cuddling her so sweet when she cries. It’s made me so aware of how fast time flies right by us. How did we even get to THREE? And now here I am, snuggling our last baby with every ounce of me given up to her.

So if you’re at all on the fence… do it (literally and figuratively). Going into a pregnancy (or adopting or whatever means to have a baby!!!) and having a baby KNOWING IT WILL BE YOUR LAST, was the best thing for my heart and soul (Chicken Soup for the Soul sh** right there). Like a gift from GOD each and every moment.

Three was our magic number.

Ditchin’ The Mom Bod

September 19, 2017

Three Kids = Mom Bod. This third kid really did a toll on my body. After Ivy, I had been running throughout the pregnancy, and well, first kid, so bounced back pretty effortlessly. Leo, I didn’t do anything during the pregnancy, and still, mostly bounced back. Now with Faye, I was doing Barre3 and running and while I’ve made it back to my pre-birth weight, that doesn’t mean I’m happy with my bod.

It’s like, total Mom Bod now. No abs, no muscle, boobs… what, and no butt. This girlfriend jean trend with the long butt is doing no favors for my already long Mom butt! Something about the third kid, man, tough on the body. Breast feeding has gotten my weight back down, but now it’s time to ditch this Mom Bod!

I’ve started a workout regimen, it’s feeling so good to sweat and get some high endorphins running through my body!! Here are 5 tips to help you get started!


FIND A GYM. As much as I LOVED Barre3 (miss it there so much!!!) and would LOVE to workout at Form, I need childcare and I really just want to run again (I competed and ran all through high school and college, so it really is my first love!). I feel like that’s the best all around workout for your body and will deliver the quickest results. Plus, fall running, is like THE BEST. So, I decided to join at the Sanford Wellness Center and am really liking it so far! This way, I can drop the kids off at daycare (the Grandmas that work there just hold and coo at Faye the whole time!) and head outside to the Outdoor Campus for a short run while they’re taken care of. Or I can run on the treadmills. There is also a fabulous pool for the kids too to use! So many opportunities at a big fitness center! Tons of things to do. Plus a gym has so many motivational people and staff there to talk to, I love the community feel at a gym. Has anyone tried the new Club Pilates in town? AMT and Revolution are also amazing!!!

WORKOUT WITH FRIENDS. We all need motivation and someone or something to help us along. Working out with friends is the perfect way! There’s a large group of us girls that have a private trainer on Tuesdays and it is SO AWESOME. It’s so fun knowing your friends will be there and will push you while you get to chit chat about everything. Someone to work out with is huge! Really gets you to the gym and brings out a friendly competitive side.

LISTEN TO MUSIC. Get spotify, or apple music, or whatever you want, but GET MUSIC. And find a great playlist. I really love “Today’s Top Hits” on Spotify, it’s a great mix of tunes and tempos I love.The playlists “Workout,” “Cardio,” and “HIIT-Pop” are also great ones on Spotify. Music hides how hard I’m breathing, haha, so I can push myself harder! Plus, I try to catch the beat if I’m doing squats or weights or something so it helps me stay on track.

GO SHOPPING. As if we need a reason. But seriously. The first thing I did after I got back down to birth weight with Faye, was buy some new jeans. Something about a tight fitting sexy pair of distressed jeans (like these, these, or these black ones), makes you feel good about yourself, even if you do have a Mom butt or have to buy high waisted ones to keep in the Mom gut :) And maybe buy yourself a new workout outfit while you’re at it (yoga pants – here and here).

FORCE YOURSELF. The first step is always the hardest, but once you get started, the workout burn feels so great and the results will feel even more great. Make a goal for yourself, maybe you want to start working out 3 days a week, or you want to run 2 days and do a group fitness class 2 days, whatever you decide, and stick to it, make a plan. I try to plot out the group fitness classes I want to attend that week, which days am I going to run, and I DO IT. If I skip once, it’s easier to skip the next time. Try to make a plan and just get your shoes on and GO. And remember, a friend to meet up with or you signing up for a class will hold you more accountable!


Hope this helps you get ambitious again! And with the start of the school year and kids back in a routine, this is the perfect time for Mom to get into a routine also! Good luck! Feel the burn! :)

Pics by The Sampson House at Barre3

Ivy the Helper

August 3, 2017

Three kids basically means you have your hands full at all times. There’s always someone that needs something at all times of the day. Since having Faye, it’s been tough to keep up with things around the house, being a stay-at-home Mom has never been harder! Recently though, I’ve been noticing that Ivy is asking to help more and more, her intuition that Mom needs help has definitely kicked in (thankfully!).

I’ve been having her put her laundry away and make her bed for about 6 months now, but that’s really the only chore I have made her do, besides the obvious ones such as picking up toys and dressing herself. I feel like I’ve totally deprived her of helping out and being independent! Not that any child really likes chores, but Ivy totally does! I plan on taking full advantage of that until she’s a teenager and hating it!  I think it’s the feeling of being involved and doing what Mom does.

Ivy has recently asked to help dust and empty the dishwasher, she’s all of a sudden such a big girl and such a big help! I feel bad that I haven’t had her help with those things for months! It took her to ask to help instead of me encouraging her to be a big girl and help out around the house. #momfail. I love that she’s independent and I know that having chores around the house will make her feel involved. Time to encourage all of that!

I looked up some other chores on this site and this site that are age appropriate and I couldn’t believe all the ones that I could be making her do! We’ve been doing the no-brainers, like pick up toys, get yourself dressed, put clothes away, etc., but the ones I never would have thought about are helping set the table (WHY didn’t I think of this! DUH!), scrape your own plate into the garbage, water the plants, clean the windows, put away groceries (obvi she knows where the snacks go! Haha), etc. I am excited to get her to try out some other chores around the house! Here’s another site that has great ideas too! I’m considering doing a chore chart. Looks like a fabulous way to stay organized and to encourage them doing their chores on their own.

The thing I have to get over, is that I know it probably won’t be done exactly how I would do it (I tend to be particular about some things!), and it will take longer than if I do it myself, but what a great opportunity to teach!!! And for her to learn! And hello, 4 hands are better than 2! It will take patience on both of our parts for sure, but she is to the age where I want her to feel her worth around the house and take pride in learning and helping out. And she is antsy to help! Time to take advantage of that before it’s gone! :)

What are some chores you have your toddlers do?

Three.

July 28, 2017

Well, we’ve officially joined the “crazy club.” 1. Crazy to have three kids 2. Crazy: as in chaos crazy. Nevertheless, with all the craziness going on, I could definitely add a third crazy 3. Crazy in love! Not to quote Beyonce or anything, but this third kid suuuurely has my heart. Maybe it’s being the baby of the family, there sure is something ultra sweet about Faye that has completely filled up my heart.

Enough gushing. Really. Okay what you really want to know… How IS IT with three?

Someone asks me this almost every day with the same look on their face expecting me to say how hard it is and how tired I am and how much work it is, everything you’d expect if you had three kids, and all most of those things are true, but they’re missing one key thing about all of the 3 kid business – that BABIES SLEEP. Praise the Lord! This is the only way I’m surviving right now!

Faye has been such a good sleeper! She made it 7 straight hours at night for two nights in a row this week! WHOOP! Otherwise, she’s usually around 6. Then she just wakes up to eat quick, chug-a-lug, then right back to bed for another 3-4. So again, THANK GOD for sleepy babies! Plus during the day, she hangs out and has Ivy in her face every second for an hour, then back to sleep. Hallelujah. During her naps is where we get things done!

This has given me enough energy to make it through the day to keep up with these rascals. I’m NOT good at staying home, I get antsy, the kids get antsy, we just have to either get outside, or go somewhere. Faye’s mellow personality has allowed us to keep doing the things we love to do – pool or park day all day errry day! Or the zoo to run these kids wild from animal to animal. Basically anything to maximize our time away from the house and get these kids to use up their energy.

Oh. And popsicles. YAAAAAS. They’ve saved me keeping Ivy and Leo entertained! I need 15 minutes to nurse… POPSICLES. I need 15 minutes to shower… POPSICLES. I need 10 minutes to change because I got breastmilk or spit up everywhere… POPSICLES. I need 30 minutes to cook dinner… TWO POPSICLES. Haha, okay maybe not that extreme! But popsicles have saved me this summer! (I could also replace ‘popsicles’ with ‘ipad’ to be honest! Judge the way you want!)

Mostly, three kids has been about a new routine.

New routines, like, I might just have to throw a kid in their bed without a book because I’m trying to get three kids to bed at the same time. I might just have to clean that mess up later because I have to go nurse. I might just have to get fast food on the way home because it’s easier. I might just have to neglect a kid a little because another kid is screaming. All the things that give you SERIOUS Mom guilt. Your attention is divided amongst another child and it’s tough on everyone. It’s really hard to put Faye down because I just want to hooooooold her and snuggle my baaaaaby, but I try to use her naps to the fullest and take that time to be present with Ivy and Leo. Then her hour awake time before she falls aleep again is when Ivy and I get to play with her, because Leo has NO interest whatsoever #boys

Thankfully kids are resilient and change as we change, after those first few temper tantrums, of course, but eventually they get it.

So, how is it with three? Two to three is definitely harder. I swear, Leo’s had more meltdowns this last month than his whole life. Everything takes so much longer, especially with nursing before we go anywhere. Ivy is curious and asks a million questions in my space and Faye’s all day. Routines get all messed up as we start new ones. I have serious Mom guilt on and off all day as one of the kids is always getting neglected. BUT we’re getting the hang of it. And choosing to be positive and trying to be easy going really does generate a good mood amongst everybody! We’re just going with the flow here and trying to survive.

My goal with three is just to embrace all of it. The minute I realized we need new routines and everything won’t be perfect, was the minute I knew I would be okay, WE would be okay. Nothing is right, nothing is perfect, it’s basically a shit show, but I’m going to embrace the shit (pun intended… baby poop diapers, MY GOD) and try be as stress-free as possible and just love on these little kids and enjoy this chaos as much as I can! Our last little baby, gotta hold her as much as possible! And frankly, it doesn’t last forever! These kids grow up too fast!