Tag Archives: love

Baby Mama Drama


I can say with complete honesty that having a baby has been the most humbling experience of my life.

We can all say the things we’d do that would be best for our baby before actually having one. And, we can all criticize those for doing things differently; after all, they must not really love their baby as much as we do because we are the only ones that have our baby’s best interests at heart. And believe me, before Murphy came along, I had plenty of opinions of my own. In fact, I still struggle with passing judgment on someone who has done something differently than the way I think is best.

But guess what: IT AIN’T MY CALL.

I can’t possibly presume to know and understand the circumstances of every individual on the planet, so how could I possibly know what is best for each of them and their children?  I’ve even had private conversations with other women I had previously wanted to judge for a choice they made when it came to their children and was dumbfounded at the secret struggles they had that no one would have ever known about. 

My own child is only four months old, and the level of negative critique (often disguised as well-meant intentions) that I’ve witnessed and seen others experience is alarming.

You wanna find out the sex of your baby? Find out the sex. You wanna make your way through labor by means of self-hypnosis? Knock yourself out! You wanna schedule your C-section? Do it, sister! You wanna push that baby out drug and epidural-free? You go girl! You wanna birth that kid in a blow-up kiddie pool in your living room? By all means! (Just make sure to film the thing, ‘cause we mamas all love watching that sh*t on YouTube.) You wanna formula-feed or can’t breastfeed? Not only will your kid still live, they’ll still thrive. Wanna breastfeed your kid ‘til they’re in college? You do you, girrrrl! Stroller or baby-wearing?  Co-sleep or cry-it-out? Cloth diapers or disposable? Generic baby formula or homemade goat milk formula? Working mom or stay-at-home? Screen time or nah? One kid or 20? Store-bought baby food or homegrown organic? Take your pick.

IT DOESN’T MATTER.

Just love your kids, please. Love the hell outta them and cherish each moment, because, my God, they’re so fleeting!

Let go of all the judgment (on yourself and others), the mom guilt, the bullsh*t. Let it all go and use that energy, instead, on something great like teaching your kid to read, to be kind, to imagine, to think, to love, to have faith in something bigger than themselves. Because THAT?

THAT MATTERS.

Stop asking others how they’re mom-ing in hopes of feeling better about yourself, and stop posting articles on social media reiterating why the choice YOU made is, not only the best, but the ONLY sane choice one could possibly make.

Don’t lie. We’ve all done it.

Stop asking, and just make the choices that are best for your family. Just be informed about it, and know that what’s best in your situation isn’t always the most blatant, black and white answer. There’s so much grey.

SO. MUCH. GREY.

Support other moms out there, and encourage them when possible–or even just when the mood strikes you. Sometimes just a smile in their direction will make their day. And please, only offer your advice when it’s asked for. BE NICE and not just some arrogant, know-it-all, better-than-everyone-else mom.

This message is for me, too. I’m just as guilty as anyone. Maybe even more so. I’m working on it, and I hope this post will encourage others to do the same.

So, if you’re a Judgey McJudgerson out there reading this…..just think about it.

And if you’re a mom reading…..I’m proud of you! I know you love your baby more than life itself, and I know that you’re trying your hardest every. single. day.

Yes, even if you’re not doing things the way you always thought your would or the way others have told you you should. Give yourself a break, for crying out loud! You have, arguably, the hardest job on the planet, and you’re rocking it.

You rock star, you.

😉

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We Did It

When we pulled into the quaint Bed & Breakfast in the small coastal town at the base of northern Irish territory, I was already a bit frantic. We were running behind, had gotten a little lost, and I had driven the hour and a half for the first time on the opposite side of the car and road. Nervous was an understatement.

As we unloaded our luggage from the trunk, we saw him drive into view. Our photographer had arrived.

I had been hoping to have an hour or so to myself before we met up with him. After all, it was my wedding day, and a girl needs time to fix her hair and put on a touch of make-up. Even simple, low-maintenance girls like me.

We apologized, stating that we might have to get started a little later than we had planned. I, bare-faced, explained how we’d gotten lost and how the car rental company had not initially found our reservation in their system, setting us back another half hour.

He was so relaxed and assured us that we had all the time in the world.

I calmed some, but still didn’t want to keep him waiting. I am never late for anything.

I went upstairs, Gene not far behind, flinging open my suitcase, feverishly searching for my makeup bag. We had so strategically packed and repacked our belongings in our minimal luggage, that this was a feat in and of itself. Which bag is it in?!

I finally retrieved it and began the familiar motions of putting on my face. I tried to give my hair a tad more oomph, but quickly changed my mind, as I knew it wouldn’t make much difference. The air was so misty that day.

And there he was, buttoning his shirt so calmly, grinning from ear to ear. Why couldn’t I be more like him, even if just for this one day?

Gene went downstairs to check in with our photographer, telling him I needed a few more minutes, before returning upstairs to gently hurry me along. As unprepared and thrown-together as I felt, I told him I was ready for him to come up to get some shots of the final “getting ready” touches.

When they both entered the crisp, white room over-looking Carlingford Lough, Tim walked up to me and softly spoke, “Listen. You have nothing to be nervous about. This is going to be a great day. No pressure. No rush. Let’s just relax and enjoy it together.”

He also commented on how great I looked in my lacy dress I had so hastily thrown over my head while Gene went to fetch him. A peace suddenly came over me. What was I so worked up over? Everything so far had played out even better than we’d ever imagined possible. Why should I fear that this day would be any different?

Becoming aware of my nonsensical behavior, I decided to let it go. He was right. It was going to be a great day.

I began to actually enjoy myself. Tim snapped shots of Gene putting on his tie—the tie we’d just bought the night before we boarded the plane—and me putting on my casual jewelry. We didn’t worry about how fancy we would be dressed. We didn’t worry about traditions or things old, new, borrowed, or blue. We were just ourselves. True and simple.

Then she entered the room; a young girl with a pacifier in her mouth, not even waist-high. In her hand was one of the most gorgeous hand-picked bouquets I’d ever seen—another element I didn’t bother to arrange that day. She was the granddaughter of the B&B owner, and wanted to pick flowers for “the princess” on her wedding day. This was the sweetest of moments, in a way that could never be planned or manipulated. It was perfect in all its spontaneity.

We made our way downstairs and rode in the backseat of Tim’s car up to the woodsy car park at the base of the mountain. Our mountain.

Reuben, our minister, was not far behind. Introductions were made, laughs were had, and up we went.

The hike took about twenty minutes and was more difficult than expected. We were all breathing heavily by the time we reached the top, and nothing could prepare us for the view we were about to experience. All we could do was stand there in silence, in awe of the beauty on all sides and as far as our eyes could see.

Worth it. This moment, this marvel, made everything—all the planning, stress, nerves, questions—feel worth it.

We just stood in complete wonder for about half an hour before any vows were exchanged. Just being here with the person I loved so much, experiencing it all together, felt like our vow in and of itself. We both knew that to say those solemn words in this miraculous place would just be the cherry on top.

We turned to face one another, embracing in our joy and gratitude. This time was a gift, a gift that neither of us would ever take for granted. We thanked God with every fiber of our being, for each other, for this trip, for this life.

Then, in that voice that always steadies and comforts my soul, he spoke into my ear.

“We did it.”

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J. W. III

Happy birthday to one of my favorites….

Mr. Jack White.

You, sir, have proven that keeping it simple really does reap greater results.

Love your message.  Love your methods.  Love your art.

Keep it up!

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See You Soon, Paw Paw….

I never thought I’d be writing a post like this one so soon.

I’ve been a little absent for a couple of weeks.  A lot has taken place.

Last Wednesday, my mom called and informed me that my grandfather (AKA–Paw Paw) was in the hospital for dehydration.

Don’t worry.  It’s nothing serious.

The day after, I got a call at work from her saying that he wasn’t doing so well.

I packed up my bag as quickly as possible and was on the road.

I got to the hospital in time to see him.  He knew who I was and was happy to see me, but shortly after, he was no longer himself.

Then, on Friday afternoon, he was gone.

The details are not something I wish to rehash.  I’m sure they’ll be burned in my brain for all of eternity.  I would like to say, however, that he went peacefully–just like he had always hoped to.  I’m so thankful he did not spend month after month suffering over his illness.

My family is still in shock.  We had no idea our time with him was so limited.

He had been so healthy and so active, up until the very end.  His favorite pastime was gardening, and he never had a year that he couldn’t do it because of poor health.  What a blessing.

I already miss him so much more than I can ever say.

He was the best man I’ve ever known.  He was humble, selfless, honest, sweet, caring, so full of love, and–in my mind–perfect.  I couldn’t have picked a better Paw Paw, even if I searched the world over and traveled through time.

This experience has just been another reminder in my life of why we should make room for what means the world to us, and eliminate the things/commitments/people that don’t.

My Paw Paw was a master at living simply.

I plan to follow his example in every way possible, and even if I can only be a fraction of the person he was, I will consider my time here successful.

I can’t believe I won’t be able to go visit him anymore on Sunday afternoons, or share Christmas or Easter dinner with him.  My heart breaks to never be able to see his smile or hear his voice again in this life.

Yet, I’m thankful for the almost-27-years I had with him, and am so honored to be able to say that he was my grandfather.

And I anxiously look forward to the day when we will all be together again.

 

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(photo by my cousin, over at the green.)

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Other than God, family’s all you really need. (Granny, Great Uncle, Paw Paw, Great Aunt, Great Granny.)

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This is my Granny and Paw Paw. Today would’ve been her 80th birthday.

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Happy “Valentime’s”

Let me be clear:  I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day.  Never really have been.

I think that it can be a forced way of showing love and care towards someone for one day, when, in reality, we should have been showing them all along.

do think, however, that it can be a good thing, too.  If nothing more than to raise awareness, causing us to stop and remember those we care about.

So, basically, I have mixed feelings on the day.

Anyhoo…..I’d like to take a minute to acknowledge my Valentine.

My boyfriend’s probably the sweetest guy around.  Our 3 year anniversary is next week, and we’re still going strong.  That means he’s had to put up with me and all my crazy for 3 years.  Brave man.

I make light of it, but seriously.  I don’t know what I would do without him.

He’s shown me what it really means to love someone unconditionally, always putting my needs above his own.

He’s patient with me (most of the time <wink>) and loves me, not in spite of, but because of my flaws.

He can cook like nobody’s business, and does so frequently, seeing as how I suck at it so much.

He never hesitates to go without something for himself to assure that my needs are met.

He’s always the first to forgive, the first to apologize, and the first to compromise.

His sense of humor is just as bizarre as mine, and he never fails to make me laugh—even in the hardest of times.

I’ve never met anyone that I felt so compatible with on a spiritual level.  We discuss things that are important to us, and we open each other’s eyes to new ideas and new knowledge constantly.

He challenges me, helping me grow in more ways than I ever could have imagined.

He’s also quite the minimalist, himself.  YAY!

I’m hopeful for our future together, and I feel as if I couldn’t have been more blessed in finding him.

We won’t be going out tonight—we usually don’t on Valentine’s Day—but will, instead, enjoy spending time together over a nice meal at home.  Which, of course, he’ll be cooking.

SO…..Happy “Valentime’s” Day, and happy anniversary to us!

What a pair of Marys.  —Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration

Is there someone in your life you could show a little extra love to, not only today, but everyday?

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