amelia · gus · · joshua · madelynne · monday

And Then It Snowed….

We had no idea it was coming.  In fact, we didn’t alter our plans to attend the UGA Gym Dog meet just because the white stuff was falling because we really didn’t think it would amount to anything.

I’m sure to all those folks who think it’s warm when we’re freezing at 34 degrees don’t think this amounts to much.

But we’re in Georgia, baby.  This is as good as it gets.

And then it was gone.

And it was Monday.  I roasted a chicken.

31 Days to Embracing Motherhood · amelia · gus · · madelynne · motherhood

31 Days Embracing Motherhood: When Pictures Tell Your Story

They still seem too little for this.

They pose whenever the camera comes out.

Gus is still not sure what to think.

His uncle Corey wore this thirty years ago.

My children will eat anything we grow ourselves.

Swimsuits can’t dry in the rain.

She’s almost always smiling.

He is always chewing his fingers.
He love his mama.

She loves him.

1000 gifts · amelia · gus · · madelynne · monday · motherhood

When 365 Makes a 180

One year ago, I was trapped by the daunting realization of motherhood times four.
Today I gave up my early morning sleep to listen to that baby boy squeal all up and down his tenor range while attacking the bumper in his cradle.

One year ago, I forced joy at my daughter’s seventh birthday, and then cried in her daddy’s arms because now I would forever mark the day I first became a mother with the day I realized I didn’t think I could do it again.
Today we’re five days into being eight and a whole year into mothering four (because it all starts at conception) and she’s still the greatest teacher of grace I have.

One year ago, I was overwhelmed by the “I don’t haves” of financially-strapped stay-at-home life.
Today I revel in the moments I’m present for because I’m not heading out our door at breakneck speed to continue a life that gave us less than what we have now.

One year ago, either daddy or I read bedtime stories each night.
Last night, Madelynne read Jesus to him, Annabelle read Hop on Pop (my favorite Dr. Seuss) to anyone who was listening, and Amelia brought me Cat in the Hat to read to her and nursing Gus.

One year ago, I was finding joy in the small, silly moments of life with three daughters.
Now, I’m seeking joy everyday in the random, grace-filled moments of motherhood.

….baby Gus chewing his blankets
….the way his face lights up when I come in the room
….Amelia’s swirly hair that is the envy of all her aunts even when I haven’t brushed it in a couple of days
….Madelynne’s delight in having her own space
….the way Annabelle talks about her teachers, this year Mrs. B is the authority on everything
….trying to teach selflessness and failing and realizing that perhaps the best teacher will be the act itself, so today I’ll be calling the local soup kitchen and setting up to take the big girls to volunteer
….trying to get the Word into their heart and realizing I need to put more of it into my own first
….is it irony that the best view of the pre-dawn sky is out my bathroom window?
….regretting that I was so negative for so much of my pregnancy, but thankful that despite all my shortcomings, being honest and open about that struggle has blessed others whose story is similar
….so much joy in hearing of so many friends who are walking this journey of parenthood right along side us…especially my dear friend who isn’t facing a NICU on this go round but should deliver a healthy full-term baby boy soon!

Linking up with Miscellany Monday and A Holy Experience this morning.  Now it’s off to pour some cereal and tag some consignment.  Blessings!

1000 gifts · amelia · family · · joshua · madelynne · Top 10 Tuesday

Those Perfect Moments

When you’re a mom
especially a mom of 
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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Friday Five · · madelynne

See: 5 Minute Friday

What do you see?

I see my two big girls, my first attempts at mothering, my inability to fix their hair incredibly cute on this last day of school.

I see Annabelle is tall enough to wear the dress Madelynne wore the first day and Madelynne is forcing that smile because she was irritated I would take their picture but wouldn’t drive them.

I see how much they’ve been through this year.

Such a big year for such little people.

A mommy who couldn’t quite get it together but is trying so hard.  A new brother who was so unexpected and such a blessing.  A change in lifestyle.  More of the words “we just can’t afford that” and less of the giving in.

I don’t think I’ve scarred them.  If I have, I don’t see it.

Instead I see hope for the future.  Another chance to help make the world a little better, brighter, sweeter.

They’ve completed kindergarten and first grade and so soon this picture will be caps and gowns and sequins and tiaras.

I’ll take the hand me down dress and forced smile.