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From an empty cup

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I have this thing for coffee mugs. I love them. Well, I love coffee, so it only makes sense that I love the vessel it’s served in. But I’ve always been strangely comforted by coffee mugs and their tendency to offer you a warm hug on sleepy weekend mornings, a to-go option during your morning commute or a few marshmallow topped sips of hot chocolate.

I have a few of my favorites: the one pictured above, which I got umpteen years ago in a flower bouquet that is now famous, a Christmas mug handed down from my Mom (that I may have salvaged from the giveaway pile), and a rustic Smoky Mountain ceramic mug given to us for our wedding by Jason’s godmother. I rotate these in and out, often disappointed if the one I wanted is dirty, and glad to see it when it’s clean and ready to be used.

I was inspired yesterday by a blog post I read about filling up your cup, metaphorically.

It struck me that we as people can’t connect, support or love those around us if we ourselves aren’t filled with own energy and strength. Especially as a working mom, I often feel torn in a thousand directions, rarely sitting down for “self care” or endeavors that fill up my own cup. And then as we get weary, we get downtrodden and less hopeful, less faithful, less optimistic about our surroundings and future, which permeates through our family, thus creating a vicious cycle.

I’ve found myself in that cycle lately. A little bit blue. A little bit unsure of why things are the way they are, struggling with understanding, struggling with faith. Feeling like my cup was pretty empty. Having a pity party, basically. But for things that I’m holding pretty close to my heart.

And then I thought of this verse:

“Lord, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future.” – Psalm 16:5

My cup may not feel full, but what’s refreshing is that I don’t have to feel full, I can trust that God will be full for me, and carry me through. I don’t know my future, but God does, and that should be enough for me.

So I will find time to rest in that, drink from my favorite coffee mug and have faith that He holds my future.


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Welcome Back

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Dear Little One,

Did you know you are two years old? And your silly Mama hasn’t yet sat down to write about how incredible of a two-year-old you are? I’m not sure why I haven’t written. I guess it’s because I believe I will always remember the small things, how could a Mother forget? How could I forget how “squarey” Daddy’s tickle attacks are (squarey = scary), or your love of helping me crack the eggs open when I make scrambled eggs, or how scared you get when the garbage truck goes by. I’m sure I will always remember the weight of your little self on me as we rock for the 750th day in a row before bed time, or your favorite worn-through Elmo or the way you love to sing in the car. Of course I’ll never forget.

Except when I do forget. I went to see your new, fresh out of Heaven cousin Jack and was asked so many times “how did this feel?” “what did you do when Audrey did this,” “how did Audrey handle this.” And I couldn’t remember. I couldn’t remember just two years ago to when you were fresh to us and we were winding through the darkness of the newborn months. I couldn’t remember how you liked to be burped, or the extreme exhaustion of no sleep, or how long it took you to grow out of newborn clothes.

But what I do remember, and know I will remember forever is how you feel in my arms. No matter how long and little-girl-like you are getting, you are still my baby and always the one who made me a Mama. I will never forget your long eyelashes resting on your cheeks as you fight sleep because you are just like your Daddy and love to stay up late. I hope I never forget how you say “waffle” and “milk” and “let’s go!” with such gumption. I think I’ll always remember how you are already making up songs, your favorite tune being “Frere Jacque.” I hope you sing forever.

You love “snowman i.e., the movie Frozen,” “cookies” and Play-Doh. You don’t like Sadie eating your food, going inside, or most vegetables. We are working on sharing, going to the potty and not touching hot things. You are so curious and talking. all. the. time. You are empathetic. You drop your baby doll and immediately say “it’s OK, I got you.” You like to play the “yes/no” game where if Mama says no, you respond with yes, and then Mama says no again, and then you say yes again, and then Mama tricks you and says yes, and you are smart enough to switch to no! You love to sit on my lap and play with my makeup as I get ready in the morning. You are still in your crib, and if you really thought about it could climb out, but we’re holding out as long as we can to keep you in there because I know the second you’re free, we are in so much trouble!

I love you little one and I promise to never, ever, ever forget how much I love you.

Your Mama


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A Fall Letter

audrey madelineDear Little One,

You rock. You are blossoming and growing and changing so rapidly that I can’t keep up! At 14 months, I swear you are going on 14. I’m sure all Mamas out there say their child grows too fast, losing the baby parts of themselves so quickly you don’t know where you were when it happened. I’m still stuck in this limbo of never wanting you to grow up and being excited about the next stage in your life. I see you as a little girl, a toddler, not a baby anymore. But I hear strangers say “look at that baby!” and I’m instantly reminded that you are ONLY 14 months old. I think you will perpetually feel older to me, and I’m not sure why.

Maybe its because I needed to close that door quickly, transition from you not being a baby anymore and never look back because it would hurt my heart too much. So I see you only as a little girl now. But you still do baby things. You still need rocking every now and then, you still love your pacifier and you still can’t express your feelings just like I think you want to. But, you also do such big girl things! You walk on your own all the time now, you point and tell me things you want (usually things you can’t have), you understand what Daddy and I are trying to tell you more often, and you know how to pitch a fit like no other.

Here’s what else I’m learning about you:

  • If you like what you are eating, you LOVE what you are eating, and only want to eat that, savoring every bite with your tiny fingers held up to your mouth as if you couldn’t bear to let one crumb out
  • But if you don’t like what you are eating, you like to throw it on the floor or chew it up and spit it out into Mama or Daddy’s hands; this has led to your first introduction of time out, which you are definitely not a fan of
  • I don’t know if we are doing it on purpose, but I see us raising you as a very independent little girl; you walk without our hand a lot, we let you lead the way when you walk, and I often find myself letting you guide me to where you want to go
  • You don’t like meat, nor do you like french fries
  • You love washcloths and rags, and love bath time when Mama lets you hold every rag in the cabinet and chew on them until you are pruny as a raisin
  • You are starting to wake up earlier; we had a good run there for a while where you would sleep until 8 am or 9 am, but I fear those days are slipping slowly by

But most importantly, I still adore being your Mama. I can’t wait to share the holidays with you this year. Forever and always, my baby you’ll be.

love, Mama


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Sick Snuggles

I’ve always heard moms talk about how much they “loved” when their kids didn’t feel good, because it meant they would get more snuggles and cuddle time from their normally rambunctious kids. I would often wonder why any mom would “like” that their kid was sick and think “I can snuggle with Audrey any time I want!”

Well, I said that before Audrey learned how to crawl and walk and basically get away from me any chance she could. I thought it before I held and snuggled my own baby for hours at a time, and then learned to ache for it when she didn’t want to anymore.

And I definitely said it before I had to hold my own baby in an Emergency Room with spiked fever and an antibiotic allergic reaction that sent her into a two-day hospital stay.

You never want your children sick, but they way Audrey relaxed on me when I finally made it to the Emergency Room after a $400 last minute flight home from California; the way she was in so much pain she only wanted to be touched by me or Jason; the way she looked for me the instant she woke up from every fitful nap — those moments reminded me how much I missed being able to actually hold her. Not just carry her from place to place, but actually HOLD her and comfort her and feel her body fit perfectly into my arms and my neck.

audrey hospital

Our Audrey is well again, back to her old self (with a few stubborn hives lingering), but she is no longer the cuddly, needy babe she was just 48 hours ago. But those dark moments in a cold hospital room when she let me hold her close for hours at a time, gave me more to be thankful for than I have in a long time. I didn’t like it at all, but I loved it.


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Thoughts on an Airplane

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I’ve done something new. I bought Wi-Fi on an airplane. As we speak, I’m sitting on my flight to San Diego, on my way to a work conference. Knowing that I had three hours of alone time/sitting still time, I thought the $6.99 for unlimited WiFi would be worth it to catch up on all the blogs I want to read, clean out my e-mail and just surf. But what I’m noticing is that rather than being efficient, I’m more observant when I have the chance to type out and share my thoughts through stream of consciousness. Be warned, this will be random.

1. Running through the Houston airport is no joke. I’ve run through an airport before trying to catch our flight to our honeymoon, but this time, I was by myself with my bag and my suitcase and I was truckin’ it. Barely made it, found the last possible spot for my carry-on bag up top and hoisted that baby up there (with no help from the 80 jillion strapping young men seated around me thankyouverymuch) just in time to sit down, take a breath and take off.

2. Watching other people on the airplane Wi-Fi is pretty great. Currently, I’m spying shamelessly on a young girl to my left who before we took off opened her Instagram no less than 10 times to look at the same picture, which seems to be a photo of her and her boyfriend. Then, as soon as the pilot let us turn on laptops, she was on Facebook in an instant, chatting with probably the same long lost love, while strategically combing through her hair finding split ends and tagging her Delta Gamma sorority photos from the weekend. #stalker

3. ALWAYS PACK A SNACK. Because of the drama mentioned in #1, I have no dinner. I have Cheez-its and that’s it. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do, these poor people don’t know me when I’m hangry.

4. I’m also judging everyone’s outfit. I’ve seen socks with flip flops, a full length trench coat on a woman that made me wonder if she had anything on under it and several girls who wear tights as pants, WHICH. IS. NOT. A. THING. girls.

5. I’ve had an empty seat on both flights. Do I smell that bad?

6. I miss Audrey.

7. I miss Jason.

8. I’m hungry.

9. OK, now my stalker friend has her personal Facebook page open and I think she is admiring herself over and over again. while eating a Subway sandwich. Maybe she will give me a bite? I’ll tell her she’s pretty and that her hair is golden and flowing like the wind devoid of any split ends.

10. I’m missing the premiere of Walking Dead. Sad face.

11. Wi Fi on a plane is AWESOME. Welcome to my brain, folks.

Cheers to you all. I’ll be in California all week learning how to be a kick-ass marketing + communication professional, and maybe doing a little shopping🙂


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A Perfect Fall Day

Last weekend we did what every warm-blooded American family does in October (even though it still feels like July here): we went to a pumpkin patch! Well, it was a miniature corn maze, with a pile of pumpkins in one corner, but to us, and mainly to Audrey, it was heaven.

It was a really nice day weather-wise, and a good little outing to get some fresh air and be in the sunshine. It also gave me a chance to start my reign as the mom who puts fashion over comfort in my children. Her boots were CUTE, so it didn’t matter she couldn’t really walk in them, she was wearing them until we got a picture, dangit!

audrey pumpkins

audrey smiling in maze

family in maze

audrey in maze

fall family photo

mr joe audrey


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Being a Grown Up

Sometimes, it’s hard being an adult.

But what I’m finding even harder, is transitioning all parts of my life into adulthood. I’ve got the whole job thing, responsibility thing, taking care of another human thing down (well, pretty much), but what I don’t have is the ability to transition the seemingly mundane categories of my life into full-fledged adulthood.

Getting up early is an example. I know that getting up earlier can have lasting impacts on your brain function and efficiency. I know that I need quiet time with God to pray, reflect and enjoy moments of peace before the rush of the day. But, I still cling to that alarm clock like it’s going out of style, rolling myself out of bed dangerously close to the “you’re going to be SO late” precipice and dancing dangerously with what’s appropriate hair styles going on day 3 of no shower.

Another example, my makeup bag is woefully comprised of the same products I used in high school. The same grocery store and Clinique counter products that I love are still in rotation. Now, nothing is wrong with those items, I will continue to buy them, but I REALLY need to update and upgrade my beauty and makeup routine. Less Lip Smacker, more Sephora. I’ve started watching some makeup tutorials on YouTube, like this , and I’m starting to get more into it.

Also, one of the hardest transitions into adulthood/mamahood is carving out time for yourself. You go from a self-focused world before marriage, before kids where it only matters what you do. But now I’m responsible for other humans and it is sometimes exhausting. Self care, taking me time, whatever you want to call it, it’s important. So I’m looking to set aside time each week to do something I like to do: read, take an online sewing class, take a bath, etc.

Whatever it may be that helps this whole transition into an adult easier, I’ll take it, try and let you know how it goes!

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