5 Blog Posts That You Should Read

I’m going for something a bit different today in my “5 Things” edition. 

I believe in the power of blogging.

It might not sound like anything special when anybody can sign up for a domain name, start a blog and spout off about whatever their heart’s desire is. But oh, the joy when I find a blog that speaks to me. Everything is at your fingertips when you live in the age of technology – and it’s even better when what your keystrokes find is encouraging, insightful, honest and actually worth reading.

There have, thankfully, been a handful of times when my world was changed, ever so slightly, by the words that someone shared on their blog. And often times, the posts that really strike me are those where the author is emotionally transparent, when they are open about their mistakes and their insecurities, when they remove the rose-colored glasses and allow us to see life in all of its glory – and its pitfalls.

We become enamored when we are doused with the cold hard truth because it has become a fleeting occurrence in this day and age to be forthright, instead of being commonplace.

I am hoping that most of you will find these posts as encouraging as I have.

1. The Pinterest Perfect Real Mom

Everything blares at us from every page and every screen and tells us that we need to do better. It dictates that we need to have it all together, that we have to have all of our ducks in a row. And true, there is something to be celebrated when moms, or anybody for that matter, get it right – some moms are better at some things than others. But what we should celebrate are the small victories. The mom who cleans up the small, but plentiful messes. The mom who keeps her cool through it all, even when it’s just too hard. Motherhood is more than the milestones, sometimes it’s enduring the everyday. This post celebrates that.

2. Grace on a Thursday: Blind Spots

A dear friend sent this to me during my first few months at home. After giving up work out of the home, I was finally able to see what had been overlooked during my years of balancing work and motherhood. Namely, the neglect of the menial, practical tasks that had been going on in my home. And the realization of just what it takes to try to keep a home afloat (and from burning down) was a doozy. But this post gave me such perspective on the matter, and helped me realize what is ultimately the most important. Though this is something that I sometimes struggle with daily, and I am quite certain that the same goes for other stay at home moms, this post was so, so refreshing and encouraging to me.

3. Nope, not ever

A post by a dear, sweet, wonderful friend and one of my favorite-favorites. Definitely check out the rest of her blog. But this incredible post came not too long after she established her corner of the internet. Heartfelt and sincere – a call for moms to embrace their bodies – every scar and every seam. And Sarah’s bravery is evident in the fact that she posted a picture of her post-pregnancy body. If only we could all be that brave.

4. Why Mother’s Day is for the Birds & {A Letter to Kate} 7 Ways to Labor & Deliver Your Best Life

This one is a tie. I would feel like I was cheating you if I made these two posts two separate entries on to this list. Every person needs a favorite author (or two) by default and Ann Voskamp is quickly becoming mine. There is pretty much no post of her’s that I can’t happily read and garner something insightful from. And there is so, so much to chew on in her writings. Her words are encouraging, they are honest and they are thought-provoking. Definitely check out the rest of her site.

You don’t get to make up most of your story. You get to make peace with it.”

-Ann Voskamp

5. For ME? 

Amanda is awesome. I really could just stop right there, but I suppose that I should keep with the format of this post and write-up a smidge about another one of my favorite-favorites. Amanda is really, really awesome. And her blog chronicles her family’s journey with their beautiful son Theodore, born to them with a few chronic health conditions. Amanda and her family have been on quite a journey these past few years and thankfully, I get to both read her blog and know her personally. And she is just as, if not more so, great in real life as she seems on her blog. And she also has the best sense of humor. She can go from insightful to hilarious in an instant. Definitely worth a read!

I don’t have much to add. You, my friend, need to get to reading. Happy hump day!

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The Things No One Tells You About

My day?

I’m not going to tell you about how my daughter nagged me to blow bubbles incessantly while I feebly attempted to made dinner. I won’t tell you that it took repeating myself several times before my son decided to listen on more than one occasion today. I won’t tell you that I woke up in a foul mood for absolutely no reason and that all day the only thing that I wanted was for someone to take these kids, clean this house, feed me chocolate and leave me alone.

I’m just not even gonna bring any of those things up. Because why? Why do that to you all?

Today was a day spent mucking through the minutes and the hours. And during that time, something occurred to me: nobody tells you about the in-between in life.. You look forward to all of those big moments in life and how huge they will feel to you. But the truth is that those milestones only make up a handful of days in what are otherwise years and years of life. They’re blink and you miss em moments; high school graduation, college graduation, getting married, having children. Poof, then they’re gone.

And then there are the days in between those days.

Days that make up time, filled with triviality, love, discouragement, anger, indifference, busyness, joy, contentment and fulfillment. The in-between. In between those fleeting momentous occasions? Life. Life is the in-between. No one really elaborates on days like today. They don’t really tell you what it feels like to have to wait for those big moments. They don’t really tell you what it’s like to wait for the darker seasons in life to pass. They don’t really tell you how repetitive life is going to seem sometimes and how you’ll want to pull your hair out.

People aren’t kidding when they tell you that life can be cruel.

It’s filled with moments that you wish you could forget. Painful goodbyes to people who you love. Flat tires and speeding tickets. Forgetting that important thingie at home or losing your keys and not even making it out the door when you need to. Or the strap on your son’s sandal, being a pain and not strapping. Just because. Lost relatives, friendships that dissolve as life gets tricky. Learning that the person that you have a crush on doesn’t love you back. Acrimonious words hanging in the air between husband and wife – words regretted or stinging.

Painful, yea.

But for as unrelenting and difficult as life can be, and for how fuzzy people are on the details when they say that “life is hard” they also forget to elaborate on something else.

How good it can be.

The way my daughter’s perfect ringlets of hair blows in the breeze or when my children are actually playing peacefully and happily together. Finding a piece of chocolate in the cubbard on a bad day. The husband, getting home earlier than expected from work – walking up the drive way with flowers in his hand. Your child learning how to say ‘I love you’ or ‘amen.’ Warm conversations with your best friend over a fresh cup of coffee. Finding a pair of jeans that fit just right. A warm autumn day, coffee in your hand and a smile on your face. Saying goodbye to the husband in the quiet hours of the morning and watching him climb into his truck and realizing that one day, things may not be as simple as this.

I could go on and on.

Life can be so, so good. The in-between that I’m lucky enough to have? So good. And I forget how good it is, good enough that it even warrants the need to be written about so that I can smile as I read those words again and realize just how gracious God is to me. How much he gives us – even if our years are relatively short. And when people unabashedly or in a matter-of-fact tone write off your discouragement and tell you that life is unfair, ask them to make a mental note of all that they have and have been able to enjoy. Life isn’t always peachy, no. But when the clouds cover the sun, all is not lost. There is still so, so much to look forward to. And if we don’t take note of that fact, we will miss out on so, so much.

I hope that you had a wonderful week and thus far, a great weekend. I hope that you all enjoy lots of great in-between time this week. 🙂

You Know You’re…When

Normally, I like to do a lead in for each of my posts. But tonight, I really don’t care. So let’s pretend that I said something witty about something interesting and let’s all have a laugh together.

Go.

You know you’re a parent when…

You’re excusing yourself to go to the bathroom and you say,

“I’m gonna go potty,” or “I need to go pee-pee” without thinking twice.

Certainly makes dinner dates with the hubby more interesting.

 …..

You drink from cups that look like this…

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...because there are no other clean cups.

…..

You can’t eat a meal or a snack in peace, because your children…

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..always…

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…want…

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…what YOU’RE eating. Ugh.

…..

Your lunches consist of Mac and Cheese, bologna and cheese sandwiches,

fruit snacks, goldfish and graham crackers.

Because that is what your children are eating. And you must eat. 

…..

You have cleaned up the same messes, time and time again.

You have reiterated the same rules time and time again.

You have…pretty much done anything numerous times.

…..

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 When sometimes, that^^ isn’t just the baby’s face.

It’s your’s, too.  

After a long day… 

A sleepless night with kiddos in and out of bed…

A trip to the grocery store with bickering children… 

Fill in the blank. 

…..

When getting a shower AND brushing your hair AND blow-drying it

is a treat.

 Otherwise, you normally just look like this all day….

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…..

And finally, 

if this is you after a long day…

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Then you’re a parent.

…..

Congrats…

Now, go to bed.