31 Days to Embracing Motherhood · family · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post

31 Days Embracing Motherhood: In the Hardest Times

Six years ago in the wake of the worst tragedy my family had ever experienced, my then-baby crawled for the very first time.

I was surrounded by chaos, by heartbreak, by faith.

Faith is her middle name.

And she pushed up on her knees and rocked back and forth and I can still see the pink and white romper she was wearing as she inched across my grandmother’s immaculate carpet now marked with the tracks of ministers and cousins and neighbors.

She crawled.

It’s a memory that’s etched into my heart and always in the back of my mind when I look at her now all skinny knees and elbows and mischievous grin.  I can’t help but wonder if I would remember this milestone if it wasn’t framed in grief.

Why do I sometimes let the smallest, sweetest moments get lost in the worry and the pain and the fear?

The world as I knew it had just ended, but she crawled across it anyway.

For all my posts in this 31 Days Embracing Motherhood series click here.  There will be no post for yesterday since I spent it with my family in quiet remembrance of the life of one we loved.

31 Days to Embracing Motherhood · family · motherhood

31 Days Embracing Motherhood: When Letting Go

Today when they’re up and the sun is still fresh on the horizon and you’re still bleary-eyed and haven’t had your coffee, when the errands and the ball games and the fall festivals and the scout meetings and the dinner time and the clothes ready for church time threaten to overwhelm your precious moments of having them all here, with you, wholly yours from God for just a short time, remember this…

today my uncle will walk his last baby girl down a woodsy aisle in an outdoor chapel 
and give her away.
Are you ready for that?  Are you?
I’m tired of cheerios grinding under my feet and pink toothpaste in the sink
and rewashing soured laundry and shoes left everywhere except where they belong
but I’m not ready to let them go.
Someday I will be…or maybe it’s just that someday I’ll be able to realize
that it’s time to let go 
and my heart will break 
and heal 
and embrace the new journey
but for now
I’ll take all this.
1000 gifts · amelia · family · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post · joshua · madelynne · Top 10 Tuesday

Those Perfect Moments

When you’re a mom
especially a mom of 
rowdy
rambunctious
rough
little girls
and just one sweet tiny boy
it’s easy to get caught up 
in the moments that are hard.
I posted that last week
so this week
I thought I’d share that 
in life
in motherhood
there are plenty of 
perfect moments
fleeting and quick
but if I could just freeze 
this time
I would.

one.
Madelynne all curled up in our armchair reading chapter books all by herself ignoring the chaos around her until her baby sis climbs up too.

two.
The noisy baby napping nearby who grunts and sighs and purrs non-stop when I am trying to nap but who curls into my chest and is quiet as can be.

three.
When Amelia wakes up her hair is everywhere all swirls and curls and sweetness.

four.
Just one day when we all got along (mostly) and I reinstated some confidence in myself.

five.
Handfuls of not-quite-ripe blackberries they and their favorite boy friends are picking off the bushes.

six.
Dishwasher humming, dryer thumping, crockpot bubbling, babies all at rest.
and big girls at art camp 🙂



seven.
Long nursing sessions when we’re just both so content.

eight.
Eight little feet that will bring the Good News
we pray.

nine.
Clutching her “star bucks” Annabelle says, “Mommy, did you know the library has a room where you can buy stuff?”  The library is our new favorite summer place.

ten.
Trying for a perfect moment sometimes gets you one better.
It may not have been the original vision, but it’s ours.

Linking up today over at Growing Home and Many Little Blessings.

and all photographs are courtesy of MBShaw Photography.

Growing Home Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

amelia · birthdays · family · gardening · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post · joshua · Photos · spring

Months in Photos


I gave up on my 365 project because I can’t remember on which days I took certain pictures.And I would hate to lie to myself.Instead I discovered A Month in Photos over atsimple as that
And of course, I’m already behind.But here’s February and Marchso now I’m all caught up.

In Februarywe celebrated Amelia’s 2nd birthday with a Pooh partyand my 32nd with birthday brownieswe did some acts of love and ate fondue for Valentine’s Joshua started a new job so he got a cake, toowe made a banner out of birthday cardsand ate popsicles on the porchBelle had a tonsillectomyand two ER visitsone for stitches in her chinFor such a short month, we sure were busy!

I can’t believe March is overand spring is here and soon we’ll be a family of six.We’ve been enjoying springKayden taught Amelia to shoot some hoopsBelle turned six and had a Hello Kitty party at the park despite the rainLeah Kate turned one and we celebrated with the BarksdalesI shopped the consignment saleand thank goodness, otherwise they’d be nakedJoshua planted the garden with lots of helpwell, sort of help anywaywe’ve already had an Easter celebration at churchand are trying out crazy hats because it’s already hot!
Maybe our April collage will feature a sweet baby boy….

family · thanksgiving

What Thanksgiving Looks Like….

….when it’s gluton-free.

I figure today was a perfect day for a Thanksgiving post even though I’m as ready to decorate a tree as anyone.  It’s still good to remember the specialness of a day for thanks-giving and a day we got to spend reconnecting with some family.

Leg #2 of our 1500 mile journey last week took us to Catawba, Virginia, which is about 45 min north of Blacksburg.   We stayed with Joshua’s brother and sister-in-law, who due to Catie’s allergies, are organic-y non-gluton folks.  Luckily, they made a few exceptions for us and still managed to stay within Catie’s best health.

So here’s a gluton-free Thanksgiving, Brackett style.

That’s right….macaroni and cheese (with broccoli), pumpkin pie, a big stuffed turkey (Catie is one of those Yankee people who do stuffing instead of dressing but we love her anyway), a heavy-laden table, and some tired folks on the day after.

Happy Thanksgiving because it’s never too late for that.