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


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.


Getting Real about Postpartum Depression

Did you think that your first weeks with your new born baby would be blissfully spent kissing strawberry scented baby toes only to find yourself in a pit of despair?…. I did

Don’t get me wrong, I had the same reaction as most mothers to my adorable baby boy! He was and still is the apple of my eye, but something was off. Not only was I experiencing the normal shock of being a new mom including the sleep deprivation, anxiety, and doubt. But there was also alot of self loathing, an inordinate amount of crying as well as distance between my son and I.

My mom warned me about those evil little thoughts that come upon women in Postpartum, thoughts of hating your kids or even worse. I took it with a gain of salt but I don’t think I truly grasped the concept until I was there.

I remember taking a nightly walk with my husband and baby, it was a Tuesday, and I could not conceive how I would possibly make it to Friday. The very idea of my own personal survival was faint at best.

I did all the things I was supposed to do, I fed him, I kissed him, I rocked him, I changed him and I truly loved him. But I was not doing it with a kind and gracious heart. I was not serving him with joy, rather with bitterness. I remember singing to him when I couldn’t get him to stop crying even after doing ever single thing they tell you to do. Slowly but surely my song turned into tears and we sorta just held each other and had a temper tantrum.

What perplexed me the most is how other mother’s seemed to delight in baby care. On the weekends I would see post from moms on Facebook talking about they couldn’t wait to wake up to their babies and care for them all day. I thought they were crazy.

On many occasions I would call my husband and tell him that I just couldn’t take another second of it. He would assure me that he would take over everything when he got home from work. I would count the hours until I heard his keys in the door.

I was soaked in vomit and breast milk and things were not normal.

I had a dear friend, who has suffered with depression for some time now, encourage me to get help. I didn’t think anything was wrong with me, I just assumed it was taking me a while to adjust. I started by talking with my doctor about it. I went to a couple of counseling sessions and that didn’t help much.

I spoke with trusted friends and family about possibly going on anti-depressants and their responses ranged from go for it, to just pray about it, to you don’t really need it.

I struggled, I prayed.

I think there is a fine line between what people call the “baby blues” and Postpartum Depression. Even more so I am willing to say that in a completely healthy state a mother, like myself, can not be enamored with the things that baby care requires. These things include being pooped on, vomited on, no sleep, noise, bleeding nipples and so on. I am not really sure who would love these things unless they are a gluten for punishment. Its possible to not really enjoy the newborn stage and its ok. You enjoy your child and these are byproducts of their care.

But when the darkness is consuming you, its not normal and you need help.

So I spoke with my doc and she gave me the meds. The safest antidepressant for nursing mothers they had. I read, I researched, I scrutinized, and I double guessed myself. I think I even called and badgered my doctor some more.

I had the medication in my bathroom and I would stare at it, I didn’t want it. It made me feel weak. It made me feel nonspiritual.

I finally took the meds and OH HAPPY DAY! It was the best decision I could have made!

This was my journey, maybe it is not yours. Medication is not for everyone, but it is an option and for me it helped.

Shortly after a cloud seem to be lifted from me. I still had to do the same things, and get no sleep but my attitude was endearing.

Going back to work was a big part of my journey as well! I know this is not the norm for most moms but even after addressing my postpartum, I could not wait to return to work! I remember driving to work my first day back it was the crack of dawn I had one million things to do but I had never been so happy to be in the daily commute. People asked me if it was hard for me to leave my son, again this was not about depression, it was about me. It wasn’t very hard. I had a trusted family friend loving on my child, he was safe and taken care of and he was loved.

Little by little I realized that work actually energized me to be a better mom for him. I was given the opportunity to miss my son and to value our nights and weekends together which made them all the more sweet.

Please do not hear what I am not saying, I do value stay at home mom, I do realize that meds are not always the answer, this was my story I think other woman can relate. 11150669_10100725832477910_4102300406201662869_n