The Moment – Monday



his feet || he does things with his feet all the time || like put toys between them and then use both hands to play with it || a lot a lot a lot of kicking || he kicks my c-section scar while I nurse him before naps, which is super fun and not at all oddly uncomfortable || last week during our school commute, he sucked on his feet, and I don’t know how he got them up that high while being strapped into his car seat || these poor little tootsies has so many foot pokes during his first few weeks of life; it broke my heart! || my favorite foot story is how my six pound preterm baby kicked so much and so hard that he messed up the NICU nurse’s genetic screening, something she’d only had happen with one other baby, whom she called a sumo baby

The Moment – Sunday

I had a moment this week where I caught my breath for a moment and realized how lovely things really are.  Yes, it’s busy and chaotic and difficult and uncertain, but I really love this life!

This week, I want to take a picture each day of something regular, something I’ve paused to notice.  Here’s Sunday’s…


sunday afternoon || little people in bed || gabe playing video games on my phone || tahd drowsing beside him || want to paint my living room || super want to paint the fireplace

The Routine


We have a nightly routine, one we developed after we realized Jude was pulling the wool over our eyes and feigning hunger.  Normally, I’m not a big fan of the “your baby is manipulating you with his cries” mindset.  But Jude was totally pulling one over on us for a while, waking us up every 2 hours throughout the night (which I’m okay with at one or two months but less okay with at eight or nine months) and that’s how the routine came to be.

First, Tahd gets the crying baby, either because I’m not in the room or because I am in the room but I’m in such a deep sleep I feel completely paralyzed and like I couldn’t even carry my own body weight across the room, let alone cross the room, pick up the baby, and get back to the bed in one piece.

All the while, Jude screams.

Depending on the time of night, Tahd might try some soothing strategies; this was the major addition to our routine when I finally stopped being willing to nurse more often at night than I did during the day.  It used to be that I got the crying baby first, but that habit seemed to be reinforcing the night waking, so Tahd subbed in and Jude’s night stretches have gradually lengthened.  If it’s much past 4:00 AM, Tahd won’t have much luck getting him back to sleep without me.  At this point, I’m alerted that my presence is needed, and I make my way to the bedroom, or, if I’m already there, swing by the restroom on the way to the pack n play.

Still, Jude screams.

Then, Tahd reswaddles the baby.  Yes, I know.  You don’t swaddle a 10-month old baby.  Except we do.  It’s the only way he’ll go to sleep, and I always make sure the swaddle gradually loosens while I nurse him back to sleep so that by the time he’s ready to be put back, his arms are free.

All the while, Jude screams.  And thrashes.  Do you know how hard it is to swaddle a screaming, thrashing baby?  In the dark?  When you’re not fully awake?  Tahd’s a pro at it.

At this point, I’m usually arriving back to the bedroom, and Tahd is standing by the bed bouncing a {still screaming, thrashing} Jude, who is also adding in the head-banging, a decisive move in which he arches his back and whips his head in one motion, and I’m terrified that someday soon he’s going to make contact with my nose.  I situate my pillows and climb into my spot, ready for the hand-off so I can nurse.

Tahd leans over the bed and passes the still screaming baby into my arms, and that’s when the magic happens.  The moment he hits my arms, he stops.  Completely.  As though it had never happened.  And lately, he follows up with one more thing.

He laughs.

I think we’ve been had!

The Crazies

Things have been feeling a little crazy around here, so I did what any sane person would do and ceased buying processed snacks for my family and proceeded to make my own.  Because that makes total sense, right?  Rather than buy a box of Cheez-Its, I spend my evenings in the kitchen making the dough, rolling the dough, cutting the dough, piercing the dough, and (finally!) baking them.  I also made homemade Ritz crackers.  Because obviously people who make homemade crackers need a cracker repertoire.  I don’t want to be a one hit wonder.

They’re really tasty, though!

You want to know what else is crazy?  Last night, it was dark here by 7:00.  DARK!  I am not ready to hibernate!  I am not ready for winter!  How can this be?  It’s October, friends, which means I’m ripe for Christmas music any second now.  AND I STILL HAVEN’T PUT AWAY ALL MY CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS FROM LAST YEAR!  I keep a small box in the basement to catch any strays after we move the main boxes to the attic, and I never got around to that box of strays to the attic.  Maybe next year I should just keep the tree up?  Tahd?  I’m going to do it.

Another crazy thing…



I was on a call in the school pick-up lane, and when I finally looked behind me, this is what I saw.  Which makes me feel even more sensible for making the homemade crackers.  It’s not like my hands are full or anything.  I should probably start grinding my own wheat during all my spare time.

Also, I lost my debit card about 6 months ago.  I had it while I was sitting on the couch one night, and then the next morning, it was gone, and I had to get a new one because of all the looking and none of the finding.  Imagine my surprise when Gabe nonchalantly handed it to me yesterday.  Said he wanted to play a wii game and went to eject the disc that was in there, but a debit card popped out instead.  I’m not going to name any names, but ISLA DID IT.

In less crazy news, my 31 Days series is live over at my new site, Loving Motherhood More.  I’d love it if you join me there and subscribe to the newsletter on the sidebar!  I have all sorts of fun, non-crazy things planned for it, and none of them involve telling people how to make their own crackers.

Influence Conference Recap Part 2

(Part 1)

Do you know how amazing the inside of one’s brain feels after TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF 7 HOURS OF SLEEP?  It’s kind of mind-blowing.  Which may not be news to the rest of you since apparently much of the universe gets that much sleep on a regular basis, but since I don’t, it was like my mind exploded into a billion tiny pieces and when they landed again, they reassembled into this orderly, peaceful place that felt divine. #plusoneforsleep

The last day of Influence started with a session with Jessi Connolly, called It’s Time To Build.  I laughed so much in this session; she had a delightful way of presenting heavy truths interwoven with humorous asides that made for a really nice rhythm and intensity.  Her talk made me want to hear more of her story, because she’s clearly covered a lot of ground in her life.

She told the story of how she was out for a run, praying about what he wanted her to tell us at this year’s conference as well as the theme, when God almost audibly told her, “I hate your kingdom.”  At first, she balked at the idea of telling us God hated our kingdoms until she realized God was actually telling her he hated her kingdom.  This revelation was the centerpoint around which the rest of her talk grew.  Here are some of the things she said that I’m continuing to mull over:

God loves His kingdom.  God hates my kingdom.  He loves it when I build His kingdom.

When I say things like, “Take this!  Clearly I can’t be trusted to use what I have wisely!” God says, “No, you take this and use it for me.”

God doesn’t want a better life from me.  He wants a better life for me.

Being with God is ten times better than being for God.


Next up was Lisa Leonard.  The Lisa Leonard – the one who makes all the beautiful silver jewelry.  First off, I had no idea she did anything other than make jewelry, but she was a really insightful speaker and shared very honestly about some of the marketing strategies her company has successfully employed.  She focused especially on social media and how to most effectively interact with each medium.  She encouraged everyone to understand their brands and engage authentically because people are saturated with marketing and easily annoyed.  Instagram is her favorite platform, but she also has an extensive email subscription list and keeps a very full 6-week marketing calendar.

The third session of the day was with Nancy Ray, a photographer who is as cute as a button, but also feisty and energetic and passionate about what she does.  She talked about 10 Ways to Start and Grow Your Business, and encouraged us to do things such as setting SMART goals, focusing on consistency, making wise financial decisions, deciding to be alive, and more.  She specifically addressed time management and encouraged us to make active choices about how we spend our time rather than passive choices in which the time gets spent in the most frictionless manner.

Last but not least, I attended a session on the publishing industry.  This was a session I thought was going to cover e-book publishing, too, but it mostly focused on traditional publishing and how to write a book proposal – something that has seemed like an amazingly daunting task, but this session made it appear a little more straightforward.  Although I’d like to publish a book one day, that day is not today or probably even this year, but it was interesting to get more information on the nitty gritty of how the process works.

There were some additional meet-ups and an evening worship session, but because I was driving home alone, I decided to leave before dinner so I could make it home in good time.  That’s what I did last year, too, and it seemed to be a good break-away point.

So that was The Influence Conference 2014.  I have pages and pages (and pages!) of notes, so if anyone is looking for something specific, I’d be happy to share in more detail.  Oh – and if you’re interested in attending next year’s conference, tickets are already on sale!

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