Showing posts with label Mommyhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mommyhood. Show all posts

Friday, July 31

Longing for Paris {a Review}

I have to admit…I have always had an inkling to hop on a plane and disappear to another place. As a mom, those days happen far more often and the dream even less likely to happen than ever before. It’s just not possible, but what am I supposed to do about that longing? How am I supposed to find peace and contentment amongst the mess and noise of 5 kids, when I just want to disappear?


Sarah Mae has a new book, Longing for Paris: One Woman’s Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure—Right Where She Is, that addresses these very questions. And let me tell you….it’s a good one! I was fortunate to land a spot in Sarah Mae’s launch group, so I get a PDF copy for free prior to the release {but it was so good that I bought myself a paper copy to share with others…it will be here on August 4th, the day it releases}.

I felt like every page had such truth and wisdom in it, a new way to think about what I felt and why. How about this? Our longings for Joy, Beauty and Adventure are completely natural, God given even, because we are not meant to find contentment in this world, we are meant for so much more, we are meant for Heaven. We were created in the image of a God who created all of the beauty that we can experience in this world.


Sarah Mae talks about how we can go about finding the beauty and adventure that we long for in this world, even as mothers and wives and women who have constant demands on our time and energy. More important than satiating our own hunger for more, Sarah Mae talks about the importance of stirring that hunger in our own children, and how, through words of wisdom from Sally Clarkson, we can.

She talks about how we can get caught up in looking for the thing that will fill that longing, letting it consume our time, all of which never will. There is only one way that longing with ever be satisfied…

“…doing too much of anything at the expense of getting quiet with the One who knows the depths of your soul is to forfeit the gospel. It is to forfeit the beauty we have before us and in us and that, when cultivated through the work of the Holy Spirit, will shine out of us.” pg 72

If you’re completely content in your life and have no longings for anything beyond the immediate, then this book isn’t for you, but if you do….THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU! This book is for anyone who feels trapped and needs to breath, who wants to climb to the mountain tops, to revel in the adventure and the glory of God’s world. Who feels like there has to be something MORE to this life than what we experience ever day.

“I’m not going to neglect my kids. And because of my small capacity, I can’t go full steam ahead with my ideas and dreams. But I’m sure not going to kill my dreams, because that would be denying what God put in me.” pg 148

The best part is…right now the book is only $7.91 on, and if you take my survey {which closes tomorrow morning} you could even manage to get it for FREE if you win the gift card.

You can find out more about Longing For Paris at

*This post does contain affiliate links, you can read my disclosure policy here. I received a PDF copy of Longing for Paris in exchange for my review of the book, the opinions expressed are solely my own.

Tuesday, June 30

a Birth Story

My greatest piece of advice to anyone awaiting a baby’s birth is now: Don’t have ANY expectations. I’ve learned at least that over the course of 3 births.

Peter’s birth was about what I expected, and yet completely different from what I had envisioned. How often I’d troll through pinterest, checking out all of the homebirth and water birth photography, with beautiful glowing mothers welcoming their little ones into the world, supported by those they loved, and photographed beautifully through the course of labor.

None of those photographs happened for me, and yes, a part of me is a bit sad that I will never have those pictures of laboring and our little ones being born. I had mentioned how much I had wanted to just experience and enjoy this laboring and delivery, and I did, but it was all too short {I know, I’m weird to complain about that}.

The weekend I was 40 weeks {June 13th} we stayed home with the kids and did some belly finger painting. By Sunday night we figured we’d probably have another week of no baby and soldiered into the week. I wasn’t having any contractions or anything else that was hinting at labor.

Monday. Nothing.

Monday night I slept kind of crappy. I kept waking up every few hours and having to go pee, a bit of contractions when I was awake, but nothing to even mention.

Tuesday dawned per usual. I made the kids breakfast, we picked up a bit, and played outside. At that point my back was starting to hurt every so often, but again, nothing regular, nothing like contractions.

I posted this picture of Avelyn playing “mommy” around 9:15 on Instagram….


And Ellie took this picture of me at 10:00, the last of me pregnant….


My sister was planning on coming down in the afternoon, around 3:30, so that I could go and sign the kids up for swimming lessons at 5pm. My mom was on the route with my dad {doing what I used to do}, Matt was at my parents’ house receiving deliveries, and I was just continuing on.

By noon I called my midwife to tell her that I was having contractions, but nothing regular, nothing increasing, nothing intense. I was texting back and forth with my mom and Matt. By 2pm I had called my midwife and told her it was contractions, she cleared her calendar for the afternoon and got ready to come over and I told Matt to have his mom come down because the kids were driving me batty during contractions.

My mother in law was here around 2:30pm and we were working on filling the birth pool when Matthew showed up at 3pm. Oh boy! Was I glad to see him! My sister arrived around 3:15…we chit-chatted between contractions for a bit, but then I had to focus too much. It was all in my back and they came hard, fast, and boy did they hurt!


I’ve never had back labor before, but it was something I was kind of expecting given the anterior placenta. Let me just say, it wasn’t fun and nothing could’ve prepared me for it. My mom arrived just before 4pm, straight from the route, donned my pajama bottoms and Matt’s shirt and got to work.

As my contractions grew stronger and closer my mom and Matt had to push on my back and hips as hard as possible…it was the only way I could handle them. I had tried kneeling the way I had with Avie, leaning on my yoga ball, and standing…none of those positions were helping. The best I could do was lie in bed during the contractions and focus on them, rather than just being uncomfortable.

At 4:05pm I had another strong contraction and felt my water break {kept waiting all day for that to happen, to confirm I was in labor and tell people to come}. I got up to go to the bathroom, leaking, and by the time I was walking back out of the bathroom I felt like I needed to push. The midwife wasn’t here yet.

For the next 20 minutes I literally had my legs crossed, lifting my belly, trying to keep this little one from being born. The midwife raced up the stairs just before 4:30 and I got in position to push. A couple of pushes and we had a head, shoulders. The baby just kind of chilled and the next contraction our little boy was born at 4:35 pm!

It was intense! After he was born I felt like my legs were jelly and my back was finished. I was winded after all of that and felt like I had just run flat out for my life. He was born an hour after I started to have regular and intense contractions, 30 minutes after my water broke, and I think he would’ve been born earlier if I had let him.

Then I realized I never even had a chance to get in the pool!

For the first hour he lay on my chest and nursed a bit and we all kind of sat there in awe. In awe of him, in awe of how fast everything was, in awe of the fact that we did it! We had our baby at home! {and almost without a midwife…I was to the point that I couldn’t hold off anymore when she walked in the door. I was literally praying, Lord, let her get here NOW!}.


We then cut the cord…


got him weighed…IMG_1733

and still didn’t have a name. It was an incredible experience and one I would gladly do again.


Our first family picture. The kids were a bit crazy!


But, at least someone got to enjoy the pool…


Friday, June 12

He Knows

You can find this post on my new blog JessicaMWhite.comI'd love for you to join me over there.

Thursday, June 11

Tuesday, June 9

Why We Chose a Homebirth?

Lots of reasons and no particular reasons at all. We have not been very open about where this little one is being born, because frankly, we haven't wanted to hear people's opinions about it. It has only been in the past few weeks that I've even mentioned to certain people that we're having a homebirth.Homebirth Not Brave Not Crazy Just Educated

People have a wide variety of opinions about homebirths, from: “you’re stupid, why would you risk your baby’s life like that” to “only ignorant people give birth in hospitals”. Obviously, I’m not either of those extremes.  Where do I fall? Smack dab in the middle, you do what you want, I’ll do what I want. This isn’t a decision that we’ve just decided to randomly make, it was with a lot of thought, care, consideration and research {do your research!}.

Avelyn’s birth was completely textbook, no surprises, no problems. The triplets' birth was pretty much the same, other than the obvious of there being three of them. Both times it went pretty fast. Fast enough the first time, that the second time our doctor insisted we get to the nearest hospital and be transported via ambulance {big waste of $2000 in my opinion}.

Before the triplets were born, my usual OB {and several of her colleagues} left the nearest hospital’s practice {the hospital was a 45 minute drive away}, the doctors that were there I did not like: The next closest hospital is an hour away.

I have to admit we really never sat down and made a list of pros and cons as to the why or whether of a homebirth. It was something we discussed, found a midwife to talk to, and kind of just went with it. Now before you think that we’ve entered this whole thing rather brashly, we haven’t.

Since Ave’s birth I’ve read articles online, books, personal experiences, medical journals etc about the risks and joys of a homebirth {find my pin board here}. We’ve taken into consideration my own labor and delivery experiences and our own comfort levels with not being in a hospital setting. It has been something that we have, in our own way, discussed and thought about at great length over the past few years.

Reason #1

I have very smooth, pretty quick labors.

I have never had a complication or issue during labor and delivery that resulted in any sort of emergency situation. That said, we do realize that anything can happen, things can go wrong. Which is why we have done our research with our midwife and feel comfortable in her abilities and care. Also, we literally live 1500’ from our local hospital, and while they don’t do deliveries, they are completely capable of handling life and death situations.

The other side is that given my speedy deliveries the chances are very good that we would barely make it to the hospital, and quite frankly I’d rather not be in the front seat of our van, pulled over on a back road in the middle of the night, pushing a baby out {most likely having mosquitoes feasting on my nether-regions}.

Reason #2

I don’t particularly like hospitals.

This might seem a ridiculous reason, but I don’t like hospitals…like REALLY don’t like them. Yes, I realize I’ve had 4 kids in a hospital without incident. I also know, from experience, how hard it is to get medical personnel who may have literally just met you to respect and adhere to your wishes. I have been extremely blessed with the medical personnel I have had to deal with, most have been highly considerate and understanding of our requests, but there have been enough of them that fought me and treated me like an idiot because of our desires for our children.

With our homebirth we don’t have to deal with any of that, not yet at least. There’s no pressure from a doctor or any one else to submit to anything that we’re not comfortable with, whether it be my care, laboring, delivery, post-partum, or our baby’s care.

Reason #3

I want to see if I can do this….again.

I know this may defy logical thought and reason for most people: That I would be willing to do something so potentially risky, just to have the experience {FYI bungee jumping is more dangerous than a homebirth}. Avelyn’s birth was over before it began. The triplets were an experience unto themselves. This time I want to be able to focus and enjoy the time of bringing this little one into the world, whether it takes 2 hours or 20 hours, without any distractions or undue concerns about getting to a hospital on time or anything else.

I know my body is strong…I know it is capable of incredible things. It took a triplet pregnancy to really KNOW that. I KNOW what my God is capable of. It’s for these reasons that I KNOW that a homebirth is an entirely reasonable and feasible desire for our birth. I want to experience this last experience to the fullest! No regrets.


Honestly, this will be the last child that I birth into this world, and I feel incredibly blessed that we get to add one more little life to our family, that I get to experience one last time what a normal singleton pregnancy and birth is like. However, being pregnant at almost 33 years old {next month} and 28 are two entirely different experiences…I don’t think I have it in me to do this again at 35 or 36, while chasing after 5 kids {it’s the chasing after other kids that makes it hard}. Then there’s also that whole lovely infertility factor which has pretty much rendered this our last, whether we were ready or not. Thankfully God has prepared our hearts for that.

Monday, June 1

5 New Baby Must Haves {from a Mama of 5}

**This post does contain affiliate links, meaning that I earn a few pennies on purchases made through the links: You can read my Disclosure Policy here.**

When you’re having your 5th child and you’ve had 3 of your others at once there really isn’t anything that you need for a new baby. You kind of decide at this point that you have way too much baby stuff and need to purge immediately and for your own sanity. I’ve been going through all of the kids clothes, shoes, toys and paraphernalia that we have; deciding what to keep, what to yard sale, and what to sell on ebay. It hasn’t been easy {my bedroom has looked liked this for the past 2 months}.

All of this also helps me to realize that perhaps I’m a bit of an expert on the necessities for baby. Obviously, there are some things that are absolutely not negotiable…like a car seat, especially if you plan on being in a car, or diapers and clothes. The rest is just an extensive list of things that would be nice, but aren’t necessary. To me, these items are the must-have-end-all-be-all of baby necessities.

A Carrier
I don’t care who you are or how much you love your baby, at some point you’re going to want the use of your hands again, but that little one is probably still going to want to be held. With the rest of our kids we had a Moby Wrap, which both Matt and I loved! It kept them close and warm, it was comfortable to wear, even with the clingy big sister in it.

This time it’s summer though and warm isn’t exactly something I’m looking for. I asked a few friends about the Ergo and the Boba and several others, before deciding that we would ask for a Boba with #5. I need ease of use, comfort, and flexibility…especially going into the summer when we have swimming lessons, the fair, and Matt is gone a whole lot more.

*Ergo Baby Carrier {Borrowed one of these from a friend and I really like it}
*Boba Baby Carrier {I liked the features of the Boba better than the Ergo}
*Moby Wrap {Love this one…it is a bit tricky to get into at first, it’s pretty easy after you get the hang of it, but it can get quite warm}

Cloth Diapers

I realize that specifically cloth diapers are not a necessity. But I love my cloth diapers, if I could wax-poetic about them I would. I’ve missed them, since we moved out last year and the triplets went in to disposables. My whole box of them has been pulled out, lovingly prepped and waiting for use once again. My favorite is still a Bum Genius. {If you’re not into cloth, we’ve always had great luck with Huggies Little Movers and OverNites}.

*Bum Genius {These are my favorites and I have no complaints whatsoever about them}
*Fuzzi Bunz {I love the colors on these so much more than the BG, but the elastic does not hold up well..they do have an awesome repair policy though}.


Once little one will let you put them down and sleep comfortably some place other than on your person we loved having a swing. I didn’t have to go up and down the stairs to the baby’s room and they slept well. I think we got our’s at a consignment shop for quite a bit less than brand new. Some of them get ridiculously expensive, but a good, basic one doesn’t have to cost tons of money, just make sure to get one that has an AC adapter…batteries get expensive.

*Fisher Price Rainforest {This is the one we have, I think I paid less than $100 at consignment}
*Fisher Price Zen Swing {We’ve borrowed this one with Ave, it’s nice, but way too expensive}

Sound Machine
I know for some people this is an unnecessary item, but for us…they are awesome! I never used to sleep with a sound machine, until I visited Matt at college with his mom {who had one}. Now I don’t leave home without it and each of the kids’ rooms has one. They’re great for creating a gentle sound that can drown out the rest of a crazy house.

*Cloud B Sound Machine Sheep {I don’t like that this one turns off after a while, baby usually wakes up when that happens}
*Graco Sound Machine {This is my preferred sound machine}

Coconut Oil

That’s right coconut oil. It’s great for diaper rash, sore nipples, dry skin, a quick spoonful for energy…you name it and coconut oil is probably good for it. With Ave I just used the lanolin ointment which reminded me of the smell of wool sweaters in Ireland {lanolin is the oil in sheep wool}, with the triplets we had coconut oil for everything.

*Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Monday, May 25

Show YOURSELF Some Grace

You can find this post on my new blog JessicaMWhite.comI'd love for you to join me over there.

Tuesday, May 5

Friday, April 24

How I Manage to Find Time for Fun

You can find this post on my new blog,, by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, March 18

Wednesday, March 11

Thoughts for you…

Mamas....some days {or weeks or months} are just hard. When there's a green food coloring "science experiment" that exploEncouragedes all over good clothes; smoothies water falling over the counter's edge; and poopie diapers that you JUST don't want to deal with.

This motherhood thing is downright hazardous....

The frustration and anger boils up in me like Spring sap, threatening to go over and burn everything it touches, when I know that 5 minutes of quiet isn't just about "me time", but about time needed to keep me becoming the momster.

Moms, you're not alone. Whether you have 1 or 20's hard. I'm praying for you.

Monday, February 23

A Few Words on What’s Been Going On

There’s this little detail about having things to share with you…it means I actually have to do things. For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a baby quilt, but honestly I’ve just been exhausted. Fortunately, we figured out one of the reasons why I’m exhausted. Besides growing a person, I’m severely Vitamin D deficient. Normal is between 30-100, I’m a 17. Yea. Not good. I was trying to figure out how the heck I could be Vitamin D deficient, when I realized that for almost 2 years I haven’t been out of my house.IMG_7680

Now, before you think I’m some weirdo that never goes outside….We went from last winter, which was long and cold, to living in my in-laws basement, to moving back into our home {and working on projects INSIDE}, to this winter, which is long and cold. The last time I was outside with any regularity was the summer of 2013. Pathetic. Fortunately, my mom also has issues with her Vitamin D, so she gave me what I need to take.

Interestingly enough, one of the side effects of Vitamin D deficient, besides tiredness, is that your body pretty much needs it to do anything. Great! So the cold I wasn’t able to really kick for almost 2 months {a slightly scratchy throat lingered}, is now finally gone. I’m getting things done around the house: Trying to completely some of the bigger to-dos on our list, before baby arrives.

I did finish that baby quilt, the first one I’ve stitched in over a year, we’ve been working on our mudroom and master bathroom, and I’ve got the fabric lined up for another baby quilt. I feel productive. Now, mind you, I’m still rather tired, but I at least feel like starting projects…which is a good thing. I actually had the motivation to reorganize our pantry!

I have to say though…I love winter. I love snow. I love the cold….it’s the only time of the year that I can literally breath freely {heat and humidity do not agree with me} and I feel like there’s a good reason to be curled up with a book. After this whole Vitamin D thing, I’m honestly ready to have some sunshine on a regular basis!

Despite the “norm” of life for us, we also have several other projects in the works, that are taking up some of my brain power. I’m hoping I’ll be able to share more on them in the next month or so. Right now, we’re just trying to get through most days without the kids going completely batty, which I think may be a lost cause at this point.

How have you been managing this winter?
FYI: If you feel a lack of energy and like you’re unable to get/stay healthy, give your doctor a call about having your Vitamin D levels checked.

Monday, February 2

The Hardest Thing {of Motherhood}

                                    “People who choose to use formula are lazy.”

                                                                                            “Breastfeeding in public is disgusting.”

                                   “Sending your kids to public school is like sending them to a cult.”

                                                                                          “Homeschooling your kids is like being part of a cult.”

                                    “Parents who don’t pay for their kids’ college education are selfish.”

                                                                                          “Parents who pay for their kids’ college education are ridiculous.”The Hardest Thing of Motherhood

Lovely statements, aren’t these? That’s what I see on Facebook, what I hear in groups of moms: People expressing their opinions without any consideration as to what choices others have made in their life, or why, without any consideration as to how they may be hurting others.

Motherhood is hard. Parenting is hard. It is the hardest thing we will ever do. We have been given a little person for whom we have to make EVERY decision, to the best of OUR knowledge, regarding their daily well being and the things that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

The majority of parents don’t take the responsibility of parenthood lightly. Vast amounts of time is spent researching, considering, thinking, researching again, questioning, and seeking guidance. Decisions are not made haphazardly.

The hardest thing I’ve faced in motherhood is other MOTHERS: The cattiness, the comments, the judging, they hurt {no matter what the topic}. This mothering thing…it’s tough! We’re so quick to bash those who do differently than us, so quick to put hurtful words in the ears of other moms, moms who are struggling just as much as the next mom with doing what they think is right for their children.

“For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.”
Romans 2:1

I can’t help but think that the ONLY reason why anyone does it is because they don’t realize how hurtful it is, because I would hate to think it’s because they believe that cutting comments are OK to make or will somehow get people to change. If our children behaved in this manner we would not accept their behavior, they would be called what they are…bullies.

Rather than assuming, especially while in a group, that everyone there shares the same opinions take the road of humility: Keep ones mouth closed! Fingers off the keyboard! No one wants to be beaten over the head, repeatedly, by those they come in contact with, that the decisions they’ve made for their children are wrong {based on the opinions of others} and that they are horrible parents who should have their children absconded by Big Brother. Honestly, whatever is being said isn’t going to change anyone’s mind, but it can and will hurt them.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1

I don’t care whether the topic is education, vaccines, daily care, food, or anything else; there is NEVER a reason to be NASTY to other women. There is NEVER a time that it is acceptable to berate other women as being trend following idiots or uneducated. There is ALWAYS a time to extend grace and love and knowledge to our sisters  {and brothers}, from a place of mutual respect and humility. There is ALWAYS a time to remember that we’re ALL just trying to make the best decisions we can.

“Encourage one another and build one another up…” 
1 Thessalonions 5:11

If you’re speaking out of pride, rather than humility, it’s nothing good. If you’re speaking intentionally to hurt others, it’s nothing good. Let’s lift each other up, keep matters of opinion {because, lets be honest…all topics are a matter of opinion} to ourselves in mixed company and social media, instead of hurting people with, what I will assume to be, careless words.

Motherhood is hard. We’re all doing the best that we can with the best that we have. Let’s rise up together and support one and other, instead of hurting and bringing each other down.

*I found this video the other day, which sums it all up perfectly! Yes, it is a commercial for Si.milac {and no I don’t agree with the breastfeeding bashing} but the premise is the same. It’s not a Hate-Debate….it’s motherhood and none of us are qualified for the job.

Wednesday, March 26

Raising Generations Today

This past weekend, amidst the chaos that seems to be my life, I had an oasis. A few hours in which I was able to just be, to listen, to talk, to love and be loved, by other moms. If you didn’t make it to Raising Generations Today this past weekend, I am so sorry that you missed it and you can be sure I will let you know when tickets for next year go on sale.

What is Raising Generations Today {or RGT}? Or #RGTHope on Twitter and Instagram.


It’s a conference in Upstate NY for Moms, birthed from the dream of a friend of mine, September McCarthy. A dream, that the generations will draw together, supporting and loving each other as we raise our children to love the Lord. It was, in a word, incredible; as I knew it would be. Knowing September’s heart for her children, for motherhood, for moms, and for the Lord, I knew that this weekend would be nothing less than Christ’s love for moms.

Now I will share my weekend with you.

My mom was supposed to be going with me, but that didn’t happen. The day before we were to leave, my dad was still in A-Fib after 4 days, and my mom decided that she needed to be home with him. A few hours after that decision was made, my sister {who was due this past weekend} went into labor.

Between me and some other moms, we were able to convince my friend and neighbor to go in my mother’s place.

I left home on Friday morning, stopping at my parents’ to give my little sister hugs and love before heading out.

In the afternoon, soon after I arrived in Corning, NY {about a 2 hour drive for me}, I was wrapped in a bear hug by the always exuberant and smiling face of a dear friend, her sweet little peanut smooshed between us. It was the first time in days that I felt at peace and loved.

We were able to chat and catch up for a few hours before the rest of my group arrived. It was time much needed, for me, to vent, to talk, to just release so much of what had been holed up in my heart these past few weeks {poor Trina and her friend Claire}, and to be filled with much wisdom that I needed to hear.

Prayer Room

On Friday afternoon I attended a session with Shaun Groves about Depression. I think, to some degree, we all struggle with the hands we are dealt with in life, and trying to find God in them. His session spoke to my heart and what I was floundering with. There was so much truth and raw honesty in his words. Words I needed to hear and be reminded of. If you ever have the chance to hear Shaun speak, take it…you will not be disappointed.

My group, M, S, and R, arrived just in time for dinner {which was delicious!}. After dinner September spoke, sharing her Hope for the weekend, her vision, and her heart for all us moms. It was incredible. And followed by worship led by Shaun. Afterward R and I had Early Bird tickets which meant we were part of a small group of Moms who would get to spend some DSC_0210time with September and Lisa-Jo Baker {one of my favorite moms and bloggers}.

We got some special swag at the party, including cupcakes, a t-shirt, and a book. And we got a ton more swag just for attending the conference! And I gifted myself several books written by the speakers as well {Books are my love-language!}

Saturday morning we had breakfast {which was delicious}, followed by worship in the ballroom. One of the things I LOVED at RGT was the way that worship was worked through the entire weekend, not just at the end of the day.

I attended my first session of the day which was Hope for the Weary Mom with Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker: The pleasure of which I had to introduce them. They broke Hope into an acronym, which I loved:

H-Honestly admit where you are.
O-Openly invite Him into your mess.
P-Pray continuously: Your sons and daughters need someone to fight for the, that person is YOU. Your prayers will never be wasted on your child.
E-Encourage your heart with God’s word. His word exists to give us hope {Romans 15}

It was a great session!

Lunch was delicious {salad and baked potato bar}! September’s children Sang the Word for us during lunch, which was such a pleasure and treat! After lunch Lisa-Jo Baker spoke. This woman defies description. I have met her several times, between Allume and RGT, and every time I have chatted with her she is just so warm and loving and real. This was the first time that I really got to listen to her as a speaker.

She spoke to the hearts of moms, offering Hope and a God who loves us, and is in every thing that is happening in our lives. Who calls us to rest in Him, to fight for our children, and to love them.


In the afternoon I attended Faith Bogdan’s session about the early years, our identities as moms and how we’re not defined by what we accomplish. It was a really great session too, I don’t have any notes on it though, since I was late and had to stand in the doorway.

Afterward, we had a few more minutes to walk around and check out the vendors, before our final farewell. It was a great weekend, spent with some wonderful ladies.


During the course of the weekend there was exciting things happening elsewhere: On Friday afternoon a new mom was birthed, just as the conference was beginning. My new nephew, Oliver Rhys, was welcomed into the world, by his mom and dad, and my mom at 2:26pm.


As for next year’s conference….you can bet that I’ll be sharing here when tickets go on sale. And you can bet that they’re going to be sold out really fast…so please, if you have any inclination of going, get your ticket early. If you end up not being able to go I’m sure there will be moms looking for tickets last minute. If you know of a mom who would be blessed by such a weekend, but wouldn’t be able to go due to finances, get them a ticket.

Friends, you can guarantee that I’m going to be harassing you to order your tickets…ASAP.

And yes, I finally got to snuggle my nephew on Sunday afternoon.

Friday, January 31

Just a Touch of Cabin Crazy

Most nights, I lay awake in bed; assessing the day’s craziness. I often thinking about what I could do differently the next day, what I would do better, and all around thinking of all those “good intentions” that I have for my children {most of which do not come to fruition}.

This winter has been a bit of a challenge. It’s really our first winter with mobile triplets, plus a 4 year old. It’s the first winter in which our house has felt too small {the kids pretty much spend their time in our living room}. It’s the first winter when we really could have gone outside, but didn’t because it’s been consistently too cold {YAY! For a REAL winter!}

Yesterday I kind of lost it, I may have gone off the deep end, I may just have thrown all sensibility out the window. I searched pinterest for some fun inside activities, and realized that most of them required forethought and planning. Then I figured what the hell and threw my arms in the air. I pulled out the blocks; I pulled out the play dough; I pulled out every single one of those things that make way too much of a mess.

And, I let this happen….


And this…..

Cabin Crazy: The Goodness of Messes |

And yes, even this…..{I will forewarn you to  turn off the sound, so you don’t have to hear my blaring voice}.

And you know drove me a bit batty: Wait, I’m not going to lie, it actually drove me more than a bit. All of those things on the table and floor, the play dough that was ground into the cracks in the wood floor and the rug, all of it everywhere, made me want to pull my hair out. Because I know there is no point in cleaning it with little ones still up and about, and that as soon as they wake up from their naps, it’s going to happen all over again; which means mommy and daddy get to clean it up on their time.

Cabin Crazy: The Goodness of Messes | LifeintheWhiteHouse.comYou see this is one of those things of mommy-hood that I really don’t like: The mess. You know what I did like though…watching their creativity, watching the fun they had being in an off-limits room, watching how they actually behaved pretty well, despite my sewing machine and china cabinet being mere inches away.

But it is also one of the things that we need to do, allow the mess and the creativity. Allow them the opportunity to discover and learn who they are. Even if it does mean an hour spent with a steak knife cleaning play dough off the floor {and I truly say that with a smile on my face}.

Friday, November 1

Avelyn Turns FOUR!

I have been a mother now, for more years than I fought to attain that title. It has been more than I could have ever hoped and everything I imagined {good and bad}. This girl, no matter her years, is my dearest friend. She knows me like not many others do, loves me in spite of it, and continues to hold me in awe of her and our Creator.

Ave is 4!

A little bit about Avelyn at 4!
*Weighing 34.5lbs, 42“ tall
*Wearing a size 10 shoe, and 5 in clothes
*Loves books…LOVES THEM!
*Wants to be outside whenever she can, rain or shine.
*Has been out of overnight diapers since last Christmas, with only a few accidents.
*Has such a heart for her brothers and sister, and every one else {this kid has more “cousins” and “brothers/sisters” than we’re related to!}
*Knows her colors, shapes, a little less than half of the alphabet {by sight}, and counts to at least 20: We started homeschool this past September, but haven’t gotten crazy with it.
*Can write her name, Ave, and about 3 or 4 other letters in the alphabet.
*She can swim for short distances by herself.
*Giving up the Georgie {her pacifier} tonight {SOOOO, NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS!}
*She comes out with the darnedest things, then follows it up with “That’s a figure of speech..hahaha”

I found my list of questions to ask at each birthday {You can go here to read last year’s}. Here they are:
1. What is your favorite color? Pink
2. What is your favorite toy? Playing dress up by myself at Baba’s
3. What is your favorite fruit? Strawberries
4. What is your favorite TV show? Wonder Pets
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Grilled Cheese Sandwich
6. What is your favorite outfit? Princess Ballerina Dress
7. What is your favorite game? ABC Mouse
8. What is your favorite snack? Cheese
9. What is your favorite animal? Sheep
10. What is your favorite song? Schlaf Kindlein Schlaf {Sleep Baby, Sleep}
11. What is your favorite book? Curious George, Peter Rabbit, and about 50 others
12. Who is your best friend? Clare
13. What is your favorite cereal? Rice Crispies
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play
15. What is your favorite drink? Farm Fresh
16. What is your favorite holiday? The holiday of going to Noah’s Ark {Sight and Sound Theater}—She’s British, a holidays a vacation.
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Georgie (her pacifier) {That ends tonight…pray for us}
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Dippin’ Eggs {Over easy eggs with Toast}
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pigs in a Blanket
20 What do you want to be when you grow up? A Mommy

Monday, August 12

Stopping Houdini

James is rather an active little fellow: He has tendencies like those of a troop of monkeys.

I’d like to submit Exhibit A into evidence:

JamieHe first climbed out of his crib before a year old. We kept putting him back in, putting him back in. Then he stopped for a while, which was nice. Then he started again…all the time.

When Ave started climbing out of the crib, we debated getting a crib tent, which was a mesh dome that attached to the top of the crib, and had a zippered door. We didn’t buy one, because she eventually stopped. We decided  to buy one with Jamie only to find out that they had been recalled, and no longer available. Not good.

I googled to find alternatives. Nothing. Finally I found someone who suggested using a sleep sack, so that they couldn’t get their legs over the side. We bought two, and it worked. For about 2 weeks. Until he figured out he could slide himself out the neck hole.

Out came the sewing machine. I stitched the entire top tighter {we couldn’t go down a size because of his height}. Jamie was once again contained and unable to circumvent my invention. That lasted about a month, before he figured out that he can get his legs far enough apart to get out.

I spent 2 hours…going back and forth in his room, putting him back in his crib. Not fun! Now what was I going to do?! We debated building up the sides of his crib with a 1”x8”, since the other sides of his crib are against the wall, but that would also make it hard for me to put him down and pick him up.

What were we to do?

Well, let me tell you about my genius: It doesn’t happen often. I took said sleep sack and stitched down the bottom part of it. Effectively making the leg area narrower. Voila! No legs over the side of the crib.

Yea, you’re probably thinking, “just convert it to the toddler bed”. I am not ready for monkey-boy to be clamoring around his room at will {he kept EVERYONE else up the other night with his nocturnal shenanigans}, and I am not willing to sleep on the floor in his room for the next 4 months.

If you have a fellow Crib-Climber-Out-ter this is what I suggest.

*Buy a sleep sack {I did get our’s while they were buy one get one half price at Babies R Us}
*Make sure the top is relatively fitted, that they can’t wiggle their arms out and through the neck opening. Adjust with sewing if need be.

If this only works for a short time. Then do this:

*Stitch the sides of the sleep sack in from waist to bottom, lengthwise. I took ours in from the arm hole gradually to about 7” on each side from the zipper.

Effectively going fromHoudini Collage It’s not my best sewing job by any means, but it works. I didn’t spend more than 3 minutes doing it. I didn’t want to take the time to make it pretty if it wasn’t going to work. Now that I know it works, I’ll spend the time and make it more attractive and serge the seams.

There’s still plenty of give and room in the waist area {since James sleeps with his legs curled up}. So he isn’t cramped or uncomfortable, but he is contained…for now.

If they get out of this then I’m at just as much of a loss as you are.

Friday, August 9

Friday, May 31

I’ve Got Nothing More to Give…

This week has been hard people: Not every-minute-of-every-day hard, but hard in the moments. Like weary down to the bone, why do I even bother, exhausted to the point of sleeplessness hard. I know I had promised my Gwynnie Bee review, but that just isn’t happening. Monday. I promise.

I know since going public with this space a little over a year ago, I’ve kind of shied away from post things that are going on in our life, but this time I have to, because honestly I need your prayers. Truthfully, more than need them, I am craving the comfort of knowing that others are praying with me.

Remember how we fenced in our yard last year? Because of the amount of traffic along the cow-path in our backyard to the community vegetable gardens? Last summer we received a series of letters from a neighbor, telling us that our fence infringed on their right away and that we needed to immediately remove it, preferably out of the right away area.

After the fair, Matt went and spoke with the neighbor explained our position {the safety of our children due to traffic, that has not heeded our requests to slow down, regardless of signage and verbal reminders}. An agreement was come to. The fence would stay and legal documents would be drawn up allowing it. Particularly since no one has any clear idea of where the right away ends/beginnings.

All through the winter I kept questioning where our copy of these documents were.

Tuesday night we received a phone call from another bordering property owner {who had expressed issue last year jointly with the other neighbor}, that the fenced needed to be move, that if it was still infringing on the right away on September 15th, they would seek legal action against us.

Matt immediately called back this person, stating our case, that we thought this had been amicably dealt with last Fall, and again asking where would be an ok distance for our fence. No response. They told us that they really didn’t have an issue with the fence, since they don’t need to get farm equipment to the property any more, but the other  neighbor {whom Matt had sat down with} was the one who wants it removed.

Within 45 minutes someone was at our door {the original neighbor}, sweet as pie, and saying that they don’t have an issue with the fence, it’s the other one. That they’re sorry for the inconvenience, but that the fence does restrict their rights.

I was beaten. Downright, moved to tears, slapped in the face beaten.

This alone has caused me so much grief this week. So many minutes wasted by worry and thought about what might happen. But time spent in worry, is time that reminds me to call on God.

The internal issue has been Avelyn. The conflicts with her have just left me completely drained of any remaining gumption after dealing with the fence. She’s been deceitful, disobedient, unkind…you name, she’s been it….and sad to say I just haven’t had the where-with-all to be on her the way I should be, but I’m frustrated and angry and hurt by how she’s been acting. So we’re back in boot camp mode now.

I’m just beyond grateful that it is Friday. That we made it through the week. That the next 2 days Matt will be home, and we have a bit of fun planned. I’m praying that it is the recharge that I desperately need.

But if you would be willing to pray for us, regarding a final and clear resolution regarding our fence I would be so grateful too you {preferably one that does not result in our being forced to tear it down, and risking our children’s safety}.

And how may I pray for you this weekend?