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A day in the life of…

So I decided to do some picture journaling to show the different facets of my life. I am a Believer, a Wife, a mom of 3 under three a Minister and the list goes on. Don’t get my wrong I don’t think that droves of people are biting their nails waiting to see what I fed my children today, but I always get questions about how in the world I manage to raise these kids work full time support my husband and write on the side with a smile on my face. So I figured I would chronicle the reality of a day in my life. Granted I don’t think it makes for life changing journalism but I do have some pretty cute kids and some life hacks you may find helpful soooooo drum roll please here we go… enjoy

6:00am- the hubs is getting ready for work I’m off today since I worked Saturday and Sunday (#ministrylife) I am faced with the choice to send the kids to pre school or keep them with me to redeem some quality time that I’ve spent chasing down ministry partners to give them commemorative pens.

The verdict is in I’m keeping all three today!!!! So we feast on cookies bananas and peanut butter in my queen sized bed and watch far too many episodes of Ninjago!


This is Lily 2 years old 20 pounds and a force of nature! This pic pretty much sums up the tude she’s been giving me all morning.


Meet Jude 3 years old and he thinks he is a Sithlord he walked around like this saying “look mommy I’m a Star Wars” this boy is silly and brilliant and refused to follow directions!

Ok it’s about 11:00 I’m feeling pretty good about myself by now. Why not start dinner #crockpotlife as a busy mom family 5 on a budget I cook  a lot to save money and I enjoy it. But I’m not going to lie gone are the days of roasting a rack of lamb with mint jelly all while wearing pearls. I do have my go to meals; I try to make them all quick or fix and forget so my crock pot gets a lot of mileage. Today I was super lazy about it and didn’t want to make gravy which I usually pour over he chuck roast while in the slow cooker. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best

Dishes done (check) stare at the rest of the house and pretend I’m going to clean it (check) Note to self why are there so many toys! Like way too many!



My kids are not veggie eaters so I’m always looking for ways to hide them in their food. I made this homemade tomato soup a week or so ago with lots of pureed carrots. I make it in bulk, pre seasoned with onions and portion it out in freezer bags. I throw it in my spaghetti for added veggies or defrost it for the kids’ lunch like I did today. I’ve got lots of little baggies of what nots in the freezer and none of them are labeled so actually putting this practice to good use is like a fun game of hide and go seek! It’s like my Pinterest side meets the real me and we all just close our eyes and hope for the best!!!! 

Enter stage left my newest addition Joey! He’s adorable and cuddly and honestly I am self conscious about how much time he spends in this rocker. Managing everything else in this life I find myself wondering if I’m short changing the youngest I only hope I don’t mess him up and that my friends are real mommy thoughts unscripted. (Yes my carpet is terribly stained! Between potty training spot cleaning, spilled apple juice and water bottles I think I may have given up)


Ahhh Mommy’s gotta eat too!!! I made myself a grilled cheese on the side figured the kids had enough carbs that day. Lol really I had enough carbs too but something special just for me gives me moments to hold onto where I feel like an adult. (Yes that’s a kid’s spoon don’t judge me)


I try to take time to enjoy the little things. My soon started meticulously staking his toys in the dinning room I would typically tell him to stop but both he and Lily were captivated by their new task. (New rule never interrupt a captivated toddler) this random pile of things including my shoe and a war tank my son called a birthday present for me! He was so proud so I took the bait and paused to enjoy him a bit.


One huge poopie 2 baths and three breast feedings later we find ourselves on an adventure to the doctor. All three kids and myself have been suffering the wrath of winter colds. After doing everything I’ve been told to do I figured I better just take them in to the doc to be sure. I’m worried they will see this mom of three as a newbie and wonder why I brought them in for a viral cold. Why do I even care about their opinions anyway (By the way #teampetty came out during our drive, this is a pic of a new QT which was built recently my husband and I argued about if the new gas station was a QT he said no I said yes I win! What what lol real life marriage goals include rubbing things in your spouse’s face)


At the doc with the three littles is it just me or does everyone stare at us wherever we go. Maybe I’m just making it up out people look at me with half pity and half elation. BTW this was before they got the flu shoot, notice the smiles 🙂


Cup number 3 of coffee today this time in ice form. Honestly I didn’t feel like I would make the drive home the exhaustion is slowly encapsulating me.


Overall the kids do a pretty good job while I’m out. This is not a coincidence but it’s the result of intense prep. First we have a come to Jesus meeting in the car before we get out about how they will be on their best behavior and not embarrass me. I come fully stocked with medium sized toys not small ones! I repeat not small ones! They will be every where. And most importantly I try to communicate with them about where we are going and what will happen next. A lot of acting out by toddlers is caused by not being able to control their environment every moment is filled with surprises and new discoveries so I try to cut down on over stimulation by over communicating. In this case I kept going over why they were getting flu shots what would happen 1st 2nd and 3rd and it worked like a charm!


3 sick kids 2 shots and 2.5 hours later we shut it down! Parking lot of the doctor’s office is empty!

7:30 a little late for dinner time guess the lazy gravy I made was a hit as you can see clean plates. Although we did bribe Jude to eat his food with the promise of a cookie they say you’re not supposed to do that… I say who ever made this rule is clearly not trying to feed a toddler on a regular basis

My hubs makes bomb homemade cookies it’s a simple joy and probably one of the reasons I have yet to loose the baby weight! lol I grab two after dinner I have now lost count of how many I’ve had I’m headed to sit down and relax for one of the first times in hours while the hubs preps the kids for bed and folds laundry.


Getting in some time with the lord is tough with three littles but a pre bed praise break with the kids gets my focus back on Christ! This is Jude praising as we watch CCM videos on YouTube.


Screen shot of article I scrolled through during my sit down break. This one caught my eye because I’m always wondering if my relentless coffee addiction is ruining my liver! Turns out according to this article which may or may not be a reasonable source, it’s not!!!! What what via le cafe!


Bae makes the kids fly before bed!

Hubs brushes their teeth I nurse the baby, he gets them in their pjs, we pray we sing or goodnight song, and Tuck them in bed.

The Hubs and I go from kissing each other tickling and whispering about the night time events to transpire to being a little bitter at each other because I thought he insulted my cleaning (which by the way I haven’t been doing very well-but hey don’t you dare say something about it lol) he says he wasn’t. We are still a little distant he goes to bed I plop down besides him and nurse to the office a moment of peace and quite in the dark after a busy day

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Year 32 elated-distraught and everything in between 

As is tradition every year around my birthday I pen something about the great wealth of wisdom I’ve accumulated since last year… (Cough cough add sarcasm here)  If there is anything I have learned from this practice, it’s that whenever I start to believe I am at a pinical of understanding God is quick to show me that I’m fooling myself. 

This past year has been full of life! Changes in my job, new opportunities, a new little one expected to join our family, giggles, laughs and milestones. It’s also been one of belly ache crying sessions, the ones where deep groans seem to erupt from your inner being, it’s been full of tiered days and frustration, dinners that have gone un-eaten, screaming matches lots of humility, lots of love and a ton of painful growth.

That’s life though a milue of good bad beautiful and lovely. If you are anything like me when you look back on a year lived in this life the good parts and the bad parts seem to fuse together leaving behind a haze that reminds you that this existence of ours is real.  The point is that crying means you care deeply, pain shows that you feel with intensity, fights mean that you are surrounded with people to fight with. Being smeared in more baby poop than you could’ve ever imagined means that you have been trusted to care for another human. 

I can’t clearly separate the good the bad and the ugly of my last year. If anything when I look back I see evidence of my humanity, my fragility, my image being formed into Christ, I see pain that teaches hope, I see lack which teaches gratitude, I see beauty, I see God and a glimpse of my own eternality in him.

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Depression and Spiritual Emptiness 

Recently I’ve been walking through life, through marriage,through parenting. Floating by, watching. Just a little bit empty.

I can’t place my finger on when it happened, but I feel like a slowly leaking water balloon.

I will usually just turn on Netflix to distract me from this emptiness, but even that isn’t working.

My house is dirty. I keep trying my best but it just stays that way. I’m tired so much, that I’m snapping at my husband. I am ashamed to admit it, but my tiny toddlers have become tiny terrorists to me. I don’t know what to do with them so I do what I can until it’s time to put them to bed then I don’t know what to do again.

Last night after struggling all day to align myself with the leading of the Holy Spitit I came home from another function at church. My husband was playing his game which is typically my cue to wrap myself in the cocoon of Netflix and chill…without the chill…but I just didn’t feel like it. I don’t know what I felt like doing really. TV seemed like a source of disgust. The kids were sleeping. I am weak from pregnancy so cleaning or crafting only felt like an unattainable option.

So I sat.

I had a flicker of remembrance about the divine nature that is already implanted in me even when I don’t feel like it. I remembered the words of King David “When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2) so then where is my rock? Where is my stability? Where is the living water that I can drink and thirst no more?

Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Father…

I fanatically searched for my bible which I have misplaced. If I’m honest it’s displaced due to my personal disinterest. I couldn’t find it but I didn’t give up! I grabbed my husband’s bible. Distracted and disoriented I began to read.

John 1: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God  and the Word was God.

I fell in and out of concentration and it seemed as if maybe my heart was reading but my mind was not. I was distracted. I almost gave up. I thought “why even try to read when I’m not paying attention to the words?” But my heart, itself, had taken on the race to get to the rock that is higher than I.

My soul itself yearned for the love of my life Jesus Christ as my mind struggled to catch up. I decided to let the words wash over me even halfheartedly.

I just needed to be exposed to it and let the living water touch me.

I am not fully O.K., but I am better today.

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Bounce houses and parenting 

I’ll be the first to tell you that as a wife and mother my nurturing instincts usually make me think that I am right and my husband is wrong. 

Alas I learned a lesson this weekend about the value of co parenting and the fact that my husband, at times, is so very right 🙂 

I was drawn to this bright red and blue obstacle course with climbing walls and rollers! Being in my third trimester I had to restrain myself from jumping in! 

So I did what mothers are supposed to do and suggested that my 3 year old son tackle the beast with the help of my husband of course. 

They started the course with thrills and giggles as I watch my baby boy glow with victory as he tumbled over the first wall. 

All was well, I had created a memorable moment for my little guy and boosted his courage. Plus since I couldn’t go in so someone had to! 

I turned away for a bit only to find that my enthusiastic husband had conquered the course leaving my son to battle in the trenches all by himself. 

I was mortified to find his little face pressed against the mesh walls overwhelmed by the hanging rubber flaps in his way. I watched his nervousness turn to terror as the only way out was to finish! 

Of course I turned to my husband demanding that he go in and get him but to my dismay my husband refused to listen. I plead with him thinking that going in after my son was the only rational response to this situation. After realizing that my healthy dose of nagging was not going to change my husbands position, I stormed off saying “I’m not just going to stand here and watch this.” 

Seconds later I see my husband trailed by his mini version skipping along as if nothing occurred.  “And just how precisely did you get him out of there?” I asked.  “Well I coached him though it of course, now he knows that with a little hard work and help he can get though just about anything.” 

I admit in that moment my mom madness that I was so desperately holding on to started to fade. My instinct was to rescue my son, although his methods were slightly questionable my husband’s method was to teach my son! 

What a difference another perspective makes! 

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Why Kim K just may be my pregnancy hero

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West catch a movie together

So right about now those of you who know me or those who just operate on common sense are probably doing a “Say what now?!”  I admit there are not many things that would make me put the word hero and Kim K in the same sentence.

But my honest truth is that she really is a model for pregnancy for me. Let me tell you why…

She wasn’t blessed with a “cute” pregnancy and that’s ok!

Yes I know all pregnancies are beautiful but lets face it some ladies have that perfectly round ball and no fat that appears any where on her body! People asked me all the time if I was going to do a pregnancy photo shoot. My answer was no! I enjoyed feeling baby move inside of me, I enjoyed the pregnancy attention I got but I did not love the way I looked.  In my first pregnancy I never seemed to pop out! In fact I got wider and wider until my belly button just collapsed on itself.  I was ok with that but I didn’t have the picturesque pregnancy that you see in magazines and neither did Kim! So a real life famous person had a baby bulge instead of a baby bump and the world got to see that this is a beautiful pregnancy too!  Work that bulge Kim K! You are a trail blazer for wide pregnant women every where!

She had cankles and the world needs to learn about this! Stop telling lies to young aspiring mothers every where! Your feet will grow and heels will spread and they may never come back!  

Ok I will not tell a lie this was a tragic choice of foot wear on her behalf. However this happens in pregnancy! This is what many moms suffer through before the bouncing baby comes! Kim K! Work those cankles and try another shoe but good for you!

Kim K feet

She is not afraid of having babies back to back! 

Kim-Kardashian-and-North-West

Come next May I will have 3 kids 3 and under! I love my life! I love my Kids but to most people you would think that I have somehow lost my mind having so many children back to back. Here are the top front runners of strange rhetoric about having multiple children.

  1. You guys need a TV in the bed room! ummm ok we have a TV in our bedroom but we also like to engage in marital intimacy is that ok with you.
  2. Don’t you know how to use birth control. Why yes my husband was actually a sex ed teacher for some time you know.
  3. (Now on my third pregnancy) Are you going to have your tubes tied?  …I am glad that you are concerned for my reproductive organs however I think I would rather have a conversation about life altering surgery with husband… THANK YOU!
  4. After I found out about my second child another mother says… Oh I am so sorry…I’m like sorry for what? The miracle of life? No need to be sorry we love having our kids close in age.

 

All in all you can see that Kim is an every day women pregnancy hero. She isn’t concerned about what social norms say about how many children you have and how long you should wait. For me when I often feel like a baked potato warped in foil I am proud to see another lumpy pregnancy in media.

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Dear White People: I’m black and I need tips doing my multi-racial Child’s hair 

I giggle as I write this because I am in a major role reversal when it comes to hair sos calls.

Most white people run to the Internet or black friends to figure out what to do with their adoptive or bi-racial children. I’ve read fantastic stories of white patents working hard to learn the mystery of our thick tress. But here I sit on the other side of the grass and it’s not so green.

Here is the thing, my lovely chica has very fine whispy hair. Its got a bit of a curl to it but won’t stay in one place. It won’t hold hair clips or ties and head bands slip off like crazy!

What to do!!!!! I’ve tried brushing it with a little water to lay the curls down to no avail. I’ve tried frizz control and curl boasters with no luck. We wash her hair about every other day and use conditioner.

Now don’t get me wrong baby girl would be cute wearing a burlap sack but every once and a while I’ve taken her out only to notice all the other girl’s hair looks like their parents did something to it….. I’m over here like……well I tried.

Since little mama’s hair is fine it’s taking longer to grow in so there is no pony tail swag and certainlyimg_3506 no braiding. I am certain the answer is out there. Maybe this time from a white mom who can help this black mom with some tips????

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My kids are with my husband and they are ok

My mother was a stay at home mom.  She is college educated as a teacher, and smart as a whip, but when she began to have children she decided to stay at home and invest in us. I am forever indebted to her for her sacrifices.

Even at an early age I knew the benefit I had in my mother. If I left my lunch at home, she was at the school to delivery it. She knew my teachers and they knew her. She was president of the PTA. She always had dinner on the table. She was with us to drop us off from school and pick us up after. She was present and I was blessed.

I, like most little girls, wanted to be just like my mom. I was driven in school and set career goals but I knew eventually I wanted to be a stay at home mom. But when it came to be my turn, it just didn’t seem like a good fit for me.

I had a bit of an identity crisis as I returned from maternity leave the first day.  There I was with my 3 month old baby bundle, it was like 6:30 am in the morning. I am not a 6:30 am type of girl. And here I am at this ungodly hour with a smile plaster across my face. I was gripping the steering wheel with excitement! I was ready to return to work.

I no longer had a pull to stay at home and quit my job. I honor those who do but it just didn’t seem like what was playing out in my own life.

I do full time ministry which means that I work Sundays, some Saturdays, some evenings and I am generally on call for just about anything.  Don’t get me wrong, I prioritize my family, I cook dinner almost every day. I hug and kiss my babies, I teach them, walk with them, train them, pray with them and invest in them daily. But the difference is that when you may particularly expect to see a mother with her children, mine are with my husband.

There are several Saturdays that I kiss my son and daughter set them up in the bed with my half sleep husband and put on a movie to give him just a little bit more rest before they are ready to really get moving.

Sundays are a work day for me. I am either, teaching or training, planning and greeting. There are many times I can steel away for a service and nestle in next to my husband and hold my baby girl to my chest as we listen to the sermon. I wish I had more times like that but the times I do have I cherish.

Most Wednesday Nights my husband puts dinner on the table and I get home after the babies have gone to sleep. I admit sometimes I listen for them to stir so I can pick them up and rock them. I do miss them something terrible throughout the day.

When I am out and about on my job people ask me all the time “Where are your kids?” I get things like “Christen I am starting to believe you don’t have children.” I honestly feel like I need to have a shirt made that says “My kids are with my husband and they are ok!”

I get this question all the time and I wonder, “well do people ask you where your kids are at when you are at work?” Do they assume they are not safe and cared for because they are not up under you as you go from task to task?

Men and Women seem to be perplexed about how I can do what I do. My answer is always the same, by the grace of God and the consistent presence of my husband.  I can’t do what I do without him bottom line and guess what he is ok with having to fill in the gaps on my behalf.

As we face a culture of fatherlessness, my kids are blessed to have a father. Not only are they  blessed to have a father but they have a father that is actually willing to change diapers, cook and clean and bring the kids to church on his own. But yet somehow that is not enough!

One day after explaining to a group of people, how my husband is the key in allowing me to play my role, there is yet still the push that if I am not the one cooking on a Wednesday night, if I am not the person who is watching Saturday morning cartoons, if I am not the person who dresses them for church that somehow my family is missing out. Some how I am not fulfilling my call as a mom.

So this is my challenge and my response. My kids are ok, in fact they are more than ok. They have the love of their mother and they have the love of their father. They know what it is for their dad to comprise what others view as traditional gender roles for the sake of this children. They know what it is like to be rocked to sleep by mom and by dad. They know that my husband has cleaned up their vomit, cleaned up their poop and cleaned up their tears. They know that this whole God thing isn’t just something that belongs to mom, but that dad on his own volition and his own will leaves the house on Sunday morning long after I have gotten up. He baths them, he dresses them he cooks for them he packs extra clothes for them, he brings bottles and snacks for them. He manages to get two toddlers in and out of the car by himself and sits in church, often without me by his side, because this God thing is not just my thing, but it’s his priority and he is passing it on to my family.

So next time you wonder where in the world my children are, they are not wandering the streets. They are with their dad and they are ok.