Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m Grateful For Saying “Hi”

Most people want to talk, or are at least willing to talk, they just need someone to initiate-I love that Isla picks up on that and says “hi” to complete strangers.
A recent example of this happened the other day. Walking back to our car after an errand, Isla turned around and noticed someone behind us. I had already noticed this person because I feel like I’m always aware of my surroundings (in more of a self-defense, protect myself and my family kind of way). Her response wasn’t to ignore this person. She instead says “hi” in the sweetest voice there is. The lady responded back in a friendly way, mentioning that she was on her way to get some coffee while on her break. My daughter teaches me a lot about being kind and noticing others—not for the potential danger they possess—but for them being in a near proximity to where they could hear our voice if we just said a simple “hello”. I hate that this concept can be so lost on me sometimes. The way Isla approaches strangers definitely makes it feel like she has friends all around. I’m so thankful that she is able to teach me to look around and notice others that may want, or even need, someone to give them a friendly “hello”.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m Grateful For Friendship

Last night we went over to our friends’ house and were treated to a lovely home-cooked meal and wonderful conversation. We hadn’t hung out with them for a while, so it was nice to catch up! Then this morning, I took Isla to a local toy store for story time, where she was able to interact with other children and make some new friends, which she is able to do so easily (I love that quality about her). And tonight we had some friends from church over to house for dinner. We ate yummy food, had a bonfire, played a game, and overall just enjoyed each others’ company. Tomorrow, I will be getting together with ladies from my church to make Christmas crafts and hang out with one another. Looking back at the last couple days I’ve had, it’s crazy to think I feel like I don’t have many close friends! When really, it can be as simple as accepting an invitation to get together, being the one to reach out and invite others to come over, or just texting one friend a week you haven’t heard from in a while to let them know you’re thinking of them. I think I tend to overthink friendship, and my goal is to try and get out of what is often a negative mindset around friendship and embrace each connection point I have with everyone and help them know I’m present in that moment and that they mean a lot to me. After all, that’s definitely what I’m looking for in a friend! I’m so thankful for these last couple of days being able to enjoy friendships and fellowship.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m Grateful For Moments with God

I was up late last night thinking a lot about what it’s going to be like having 2 little girls. Will Isla adjust well to being a big sister and sharing her time with me? Will this new baby be calm and easy-going? Or will she be more strong-willed like Isla was from the start? Will I ever get out of the house again?

That last question had me picturing what going to the store is going to look like. I don’t know if I’ll feel capable or if I’ll even feel like I have the right tools/resources to know how to navigate all of these changes. And then it dawned on me that many many women have gone before me and had multiple children and survived. Not only did they survive, but many of them thrived—being able to raise their babies while keeping up around the house, feeding good things to their bodies both mentally and physically, cooking, baking, being loving wives, and the list goes on. All these things may not happen everyday for these super moms, but why is it that the role of a mother is so great and vast?
I then remembered who created mothers and who placed in us the very desire and ability to nurture, grow, support, and help the family thrive and flourish. God has given me the resource I need to navigate motherhood, including all the changes that are going to happen in the next few months when we transition to having 2 children. And that resource is access to Himself! When Remi is waking up many time during the night to eat and Isla starts having bad dreams making it hard for her to sleep, guess who is going to be my source of strength during those sleepless nights-my Father in heaven who made me and cares for me! He knows the call of motherhood isn’t easy. I like to think that’s why he made women so awesome in so many ways.
I want to step into this next journey of motherhood with 2 children confident that my source of strength is able to be called upon anytime during the day or night. God knows my weaknesses and has the power to help strengthen them. My prayer is that I remember to embrace this phase and point to the Lord, always thanking Him for these blessings that I’m forever grateful for.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m Grateful For Fun Weekends

This past weekend was filled with lots of fun things to do, but when you have a toddler, you’re still aware it could go either way if they get overwhelmed or overtired, etc. Our weekend started off with a birthday party for one of Isla’s friends who just turned 2. That was great because she could walk around, eat, socialize—basically all her favorite things. After that, we darted over to a Friendsgiving party. There were some other kiddos for Isla to play with there as well, and she played straight through her nap time. She was in her element and having a blast, which calmed my fears on whether or not she’d have a meltdown from not sticking to her usual schedule. It showed me that she is getting older and is able to be more flexible. She’s been doing this in some other ways as well and it is making my husband and I super excited to watch! After that get together, we went to our parents’ house to enjoy a nice dinner to wrap up the day. Once again, the girl played so hard. When it was nearing her bedtime, I was getting nervous that she wouldn’t want to go to bed because of being too excited all day, but she finally hit her wall and went straight to bed that night. It was such a full day but a wonderful one at that, and I’m so grateful. I feel like I’m able to participate in more grown up conversations. You know what I mean? For the longest time, I found myself tuning out everyone in order to tend to my child. Watching her grow is so exciting for this momma to experience.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m Grateful For Productive Days

Without specifically planning for it, I feel like a lot got done today, which is a great feeling! The list includes getting groceries, baking cookies, cutting up tons of veggies in preparation for a Friendsgiving feast tomorrow, sweeping the back deck of a million leaves, finally putting Isla’s water table in the shed for winter, taking a nap (yes that’s always on the to-do list when pregnant), having family time this evening, and all of this with Isla by my side. I love when I’m able to feel productive when I’m around Isla because I didn’t always feel like that was possible. It’s amazing to see how much she is growing up. I feel like her stamina is also getting better, which encourages me to try accomplishing more with her. Of course, our days always involve tons of reading and one-on-one time together, but she also loves being with me while I’m doing more grown-up things. For that, I am so grateful. I’m hoping today’s productivity levels rollover into tomorrow, as it can be such a good feeling!

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m Grateful For Mommy Time

I meet monthly with a group of other moms (mostly SAHMs) as a part of an organization called MOPS. If you’re unfamiliar, I’d encourage you to visit their website here and see if there are any groups that meet in your area. It has been so encouraging and uplifting for me since joining back in September. It really is like making instant friends with similar connection points because you’re all moms of little ones and navigating similar things.
This past meeting, my husband stayed back with Isla, and I was so thankful for that. I was anxious the night before with fears that Isla wouldn’t do well in the childcare provided because it really is a toss-up on if she’ll be able to stay in there the whole time. She’s almost 19 months old and still hates when I leave her side. It’s sweet but also difficult much of the time when I’m trying to provide her with opportunities to connect with other kids and learn to be ok with having mom leave for a short period of time so that I can connect with other moms as adults instead of being in “mom mode” the whole time.
Having outlets and scheduled times where you know someone else will be watching your child is something so important that I didn’t even realize before becoming a mom. To be honest, it didn’t even occur to me that my child may have separation anxiety and never want to leave my side, but it’s important to push past the fear and anxieties that can surround your child not wanting to leave you and try to do it anyway. It will be so good for the both of you and is a source of growth!

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m Grateful For Snow!

Where we live in Southern Indiana, it can be a little unusual, but not unheard of, to see our first accumulating snow occur a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. That made it super exciting to wake up to this week, especially since we already have our Christmas tree up as well. Talk about all the holiday feels! The snow also came with frigid temperatures, so I didn’t take Isla out to play in it, but she definitely enjoyed looking out the window at it.
Seeing things like snow on the ground make for sweet moments that I can share with my daughter. Remembering that this is her first time to maybe even realize what snow is since she was still an infant last year help me to slow down more to make sure she’s taking in all that there is to experience with everything surrounding the holidays.
I’m hoping we get a lot of snow this winter and have opportunities to play in it and do all the fun things that you’re supposed to do when you’re little and it snows. Until then, we watch as the first snowfall starts to melt and look forward to the next with grateful hearts.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m Grateful For Shopping with my Daughter

To be honest, I don’t go out and about shopping with Isla very often for a couple reasons. The first is that there isn’t money to spend on shopping, so it wouldn’t be fun for either of us. The second is that Isla hates being confined to a shopping cart and wants to get down and walk around on her own, making it near impossible to get any shopping done anyway. However, we managed to give it a try and went to Home Goods and Ulta (2 of my absolute favorite places in case you’re wondering). And although it went about as expected, we still had such a blast! Isla is so good at making friends wherever she goes, and I was able to get a couple things crossed off my to-do list as well.
It was a good reminder for me that even though I know it’ll be tough and maybe even stressful, these outings with her are super important to let her continue to learn what my expectations are of her when we are out in public and to also let her interact with others and make new friends.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m grateful for surprise visits

Yesterday my sister texted to let me know she was in the area and wanting to come by my house. That thrilled me to pieces because I love visitors! Most people can’t come during the day because of work schedules, but she was off work due to it being Veterans Day. Having people over or even going to others’ home in the middle of the day can be such a fun and refreshing way to break up the routine if you’ve been in the house alone with your children for too long. Thankfully, I know some other SAHMs that I try to plan play dates consistently with, but having it be your sister that comes by added an extra fun touch and surprise to my day, which I’m so grateful for.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m grateful for dreams

Not the kind of dreams that you have when you sleep, but I love to be able to just sit and think through hopes and dreams that I have for the day and the future.
To be honest, today was not one of my best mentally. I struggled to be in any sort of good head space where I was able to easily come up with something I’m grateful for. I was stumped for quite a while. But then I remembered the reason why I didn’t have the best day and came up with something to be grateful for out of it.
The biggest reason why I have my bad days mentally is when I feel completely insignificant. Being a SAHM is not always fun and exciting. I spend time scrolling through social media and find either working moms that seem to have more of a life or other SAHMs that have some sort of side hustle or frequent date nights that help to break up the monotony.
Today, I found myself thinking through ways to pull myself out of my pity party slump. I feel like ultimately that’s what it is when I’m feeling sorry for myself or my current situation. I really try to think through careers I might be interested in pursuing one day when the kids are older, or a side hustle I may want to start while the kids are young, and the list goes on…Ultimately, it can get me super excited for what’s to come—a reminder that the days of raising young ones won’t last forever. Yes, today was tough, but I’m praying for a better tomorrow. I’m thankful for the tough days that can bring about hope.