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 preparation

When you’re looking forward to something, doesn’t it seem just as fun, if not more fun, sometimes to go through the planning process? Like with the anticipation of an upcoming vacation where you’re packing and getting everything ready while dreaming about all the fun you’re going to have. Or for me in this case, planning the menu for Thanksgiving dinner as I eagerly countdown the days until the day is actually here. I absolutely love the preparation process.

Mixed in with Thanksgiving planning, I find myself also starting to prepare for Christmas. I am definitely not a Scrooge—I welcome Christmas celebrations whenever anyone wants to fa la la. I do not judge because I know how happy this season makes me as well. It’s a whole new world too when you have kids and can see the experience as being so fresh in their eyes. I’m grateful for this season of thankfulness and preparation leading up to the holidays.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m grateful for laughter

The story I’m about to share will probably seem so silly and strange to you guys, but I’m going to share it anyway because it happened to me today, and I’m thankful it did.
This morning, we all went to the health department to get our flu shots, including Isla. As we were sitting in the waiting room watching her play with the different toys, Ross and I found a toy that seemed strange, and we weren’t sure how it worked or the point of the game. So we did what any curious person would do and start messing with it. I’m not even sure how to describe this game except for that you use magnets under this table to try and move the pieces that are on top of the table. Before you know it, Ross and I have turned an innocent children’s toy into a full-on competition between each other to see who could “win.” We were cracking up at each other for how much we had gotten into this game and had a blast being the only adults enjoying the kids’ toys.
I live for moments like this with my husband. Since becoming a mom, I can find it harder to break through my outer shell that is constantly worrying and having thoughts travel a million miles an hour to just stop and laugh at silly things. I’m thankful to him for helping me enjoy mundane activities like going to the health department for shots.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m grateful for mornings

I wake up so excited that it’s morning. I love everything about mornings to my morning routine, breakfast, coffee, everything! I often wake up feeling tired still, so don’t get me wrong, it can be hard to get out of bed at times. However, there is nothing like watching some morning news while snuggling with my whole family in bed after Isla has gotten up, opening our blinds to see the sun coming up, making my oatmeal, and making delicious coffee. It all just speaks to my soul.
Being able to have such laid back mornings every day is one the reasons why I love being able to stay at home with Isla and not be rushed to get anywhere first thing. And with my husband’s schedule, he is normally able to set his work hours and allow for a leisurely morning as well.
Being able to have something that I love to look forward to every day is so helpful in keeping myself in a joyful and grateful state of mind. It’s not always easy being home a lot and raising a toddler, but I sure am thankful that it allows for me to enjoy my mornings with my family.