happy mother’s day

 my dress (on sale now) / her dress (similar here)
photo credits: tony d photography

——————–

she is the exclamation mark in the happiest sentence that i could ever possibly write

first of all this video, sob fest. i mean really

and it’s true, i wish i could slow down time and somehow bottle up all of her right now and preserve it forever. and i wish i could stop panicking over every moment that counts down to September. every last moment with just me and madison. my last mother’s day with only her. my last time to spend time just us. and i wish i could stop worrying that she is going to feel less special when this baby comes. that my already limited hours are going to be cut in half, if not more. and to be honest, i worry that it’s not possible i could love another human as much as i love her. that i hope i have it in me to love them both this much, but it just seems impossible. and because of this i want to capture as many moments together as possible. i am so grateful to have a great friend who was able to take these photos for me to remember this day. thank you uncle hulk:)

i am also grateful for my own mother who has supported me through every decision i’ve ever made (well most of them) and who continues to support me daily. i am beyond grateful she was able to be there for the birth of madison, that she has been able to watch her grow, and that i’ve had her guiding me through all of these stages. i wouldn’t be half the mom i am today without her. her voice flows through my actions and i find myself thinking about her and what she would do in the ordinary moments each day. she may not always realize it but i am constantly trying to do things in a way that would make her proud. her approval is everything to me, and has shaped the way i think, and act.

and i am grateful for a mother in law who i’m pretty sure has never said no a day in her life. brian and i would be absolutely lost without her help. she has enabled us to do so many things and is been such a big part of madison’s life. we are forever grateful for date nights, for being able to attend classes and work trips, for moments to ourselves and nights out with friends. the transition to parenthood is a difficult one and because of her we have been able to keep apart of ourselves as well.

i am grateful for a grandmother who paved the way for us girls. who raised my mama. and who passed on that southern soul to us all. madison won’t understand it now but i am so grateful she can grow up knowing you granny and that we have four generations that can share in these memories. it means everything.

i am grateful for two sisters by marriage who have taught me a lot about family. we sometimes even fight like real sisters:) which makes me realize how important they are to me. we still love each other and we don’t have to. that is the joy (and sometimes the pain) of extended family.  the potential expend-ability. but we continue to choose each other. and we learn from each other. in ways that we probably never thought we would. we make each other better and we help each other. it’s exactly what i hope for madison & this new baby. that they always have each other. and in case you don’t hear it enough… you are wonderful mothers.

being a mom makes everything different. happy mother’s day to all the beautiful women in my life. your collective stories and our friendship have enabled me to be the mom i am today. i wouldn’t trade one minute.

pink or blue?!

we all know what madison is rooting for…

and i know i said we weren’t finding out, but being in the room yesterday and looking at “baby peachy” on the screen, i had to know. i looked at brian and i asked if he wanted to know. we still struggled with our decision but in the end my curiosity won this time and we DID find out. you can see the results below

we couldn’t be happier for Madison to have a baby sister on the way. brian is the best pig tail maker on the block and there is so much love in our hearts for these two. i already have visions of them holding hands and causing trouble. i can not wait for them to meet. this is the greatest gift we could ever hope to give them both – each other. and this is my prayer. that they grow to be best friends and learn to lean on each other. that they always have each other and never ever feel alone.

also that they share clothes and don’t scratch each others eyes out when they’re teenagers, but that is neither here nor there

this is our family and we’re ready for you sweet girl

IMG_7128

yay moms (mother’s day gift guide)

mom 1 mom 2 mom 3

because YAY moms!!

for everything we do. for everything we have endured.

for all the love that we have given and continue to give.

for the late nights and open arms.

for never wanting to trade a single second of the chaos.

there is nothing like your mother and there never will be.

no one will ever love you more.

don’t forget that.

appreciate her.

always.

1.) tote bag 2.) dear mom mug 3.) cravings cookbook 4.) tea kettle (more colors available) 5.) motherhood wine glass 6.) mom necklace 7.) swell bottle 8.) mama bear sweatshirt 9.) locket 10.) pajamas 11.) mom bracelet (available in silver & gold) 12.) mom bangle (available in silver & gold) 13.) picture album 14.) dollface mug 15.) personalized calendar (15% off with code xoxo) 16.) vase 17.) wireless earbuds (on sale now) 18.) mom picture book (15% off with code xoxo) 19.) coloring book 20.) sleep shirt 21.) pretty & witty candle 22.) mama bear mug 13.) love tote

lockets with pictures of children inside – my favorite are here and here 

matching mother/daughter robes /more here

personalized (pink for me) sneakers (choose a cute phrase for the NIKE ID like “love you” or a pet name / or let you kids choose and it’ll be hilarious)

mom graphic tees / my favorites are here, here, here and here (here too)

i also just really love this sweatshirt :)

thoughts on family & a birthday party

yesterday after spending the day with my extended family i started really thinking about what family means. lately we have been over the place. we are all so busy in our respective lives and we all have our own busy schedules to keep. sometimes we forget how important phone calls & text messages can be. we forget that all too often the smallest form of communication can mean the most. we forget to check in on each other – we forget to be there for each other. because we are ‘too busy’ / our problems become the only problems and sometimes we build up resentment toward one another that is hard to break back down.  and sometimes people just aren’t wired the same. sometimes we expect too much (or too little) from each other and even though we don’t always realize it, this can weigh us down. the truth is that no matter how we are feeling towards one another, nothing should trump the fact that we are family. and that forgiveness in all it’s forms is so important. for issues small and not so small.

our Easter Sunday sermon really set this in  motion in my head recently. Our pastor said

we have a mistaken notion that forgiveness concerns the healing of the past, but that’s not it at all.  The past is done and gone, it can’t be changed.  Forgiveness gives us back the future.

forgiveness is about moving forward.

so in our everyday lives i pray that we are able to overlook the small things and that we are able to check-in with ourselves and each other much more. that we forgive each other our shortcomings and instead praise our efforts. when all is said and done, family is really the only constant. the one you are born into, and the one you choose. i am grateful for both of mine.

and happy happy 6th birthday Cait. holding you in my arms 6 years ago was the first time i ever thought, hmmm, i think i might want one of these. now a daughter later and one child on the way, i can’t believe how you’ve grown. your kindness and sweet nature still baffle me at your age. and your patience and love for madison warms my heart. so happy birthday you sweet gentle soul. i hope the world never changes you. xx

dear teenage madison…

DEAR TEENAGE MADISON,
If you are anything like your mom (and I hope you are so much better than me) you are going to be rebellious and argumentative and think you know everything that’s best for you in this world. I know because I was there. And you might even roll your eyes now, and yawn or feign interest in what you’re dear old mom is saying but the truth is, as good of a kid as I was I was also a very opinionated little hellion when it came to authority and my parents, especially my mother. It’s a time i wish i could get back and have spent years as an adult mending. But the point is you don’t know it all. And neither do we. But I want you to know now that everything we do and have ever done for you has come from a place of love. We are not evil trolls who want to squash your fun. On the contrary we want you to experience everything in life but we want you to be smart as well. This goes for your current three year old self when you tell me “I don’t like when you say no” to your adult self when you’re making your own decisions. “No” is sometimes necessary. It’s not a weapon, it’s a tool. And you will learn from it as much as you’ll learn from yes. Probably more. So as much as you want me to be the yes mom I hope one day you’ll look back and thank me, like I thank my own mom – because without that guidance I’m not sure if have ever grown out of my selfish bossy teenage attitude. I wouldn’t have learned how to put others before myself. I wouldn’t have become the mom I am today. The one I hope deep down you’ll respect.
that being said… you will most certainly think you know it all. you’ll have your own version of right and wrong and your own plan for your life. you will assume you know best. and we will have our version of right and wrong and our hope for the direction of your life. sometimes these will line up and more than often they will not. but the most important thing here is always be true to yourself. while still being respectful to us. Don’t ever let us we’ve snuff out a dream of yours. don’t let us stop you from going after anything you want – but do listen to our warnings. do understand what we say is out of love and love alone. And do know that no matter what your outcomes – success or failure – we will still be here and we will never say I told you so. i promise you that now, i promise your threenager self that. we will never make you feel that you have failed us and we will always continue to support you, even if you decide to slightly stray from the path we would like for you to walk. We will let you make your own mistakes and then offer you a shoulder to cry on. We will give you an inch so that you’ll reach for a mile. we will plant seeds in your head for the future and hope they plant themselves there. but i truly believe life is about finding out who YOU are, not about becoming who your parents want you to be. and i will raise you to the best of my ability with that as our core. i am here to help you become who you are inevitably going to be. to challenge you. to push you. to love you. and to be present in every single step of that journey with you.
so as you go on your way, just remember to always be kind (to everyone), work hard, be brave & know you are always loved (even when you hate me)

v

LOVE,
your mama
PS:
11d3b0dfb9a23423cd6d1748e89140fb