Oh, mother.

mother

noun |  moth·er \ ˈmə-t͟hər \

  1. A female parent
  2. a woman in authority
  3. something that is an extreme or ultimate example of its kind especially in terms of scale
FullSizeRender.jpg

even Webster realizes you don’t have to have carried a baby, birthed a baby, held a baby, or even regularly cared for kids to be a mother.

“extreme example of its kind”

Mother Theresa is a perfect example of this.

to every kind of mother-

to all those mammas who have a million kids or even just one

to all those mammas who have Kids on earth and in heaven

to all those mammas dreaming of the day they fill their wombs and feel like they’re playing the eternal waiting game

to all those mammas who are caring for a baby originally born to another mamma

to all those mammas who just care for others

-

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY 🌸

-

and to all the mammas just trying to get through this day with an ounce of their sanity and the realization that Mother’s Day should be on a weekday when we can drop our kids off at school and go get a massage - ✊🏼 #solidarity

and to my neighbors who heard me verbally threatening my kids this morning - just know that I had warned them 4 times prior, I haven’t finished my coffee, and they deserved it.

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, FRIENDS!

IMG_5345.JPG

Motherhood Vulnerability

My first babes are 4. 

Which means for 4 years I’ve literally HATED my body. Every bit of it.
Do you know how hard that is for me to TYPE that let alone admit out loud to someone? My entire life I’ve been fit. Like SUPER fit before getting pregnant. I could deadlift over 200lbs! And then I had a swift and forever changing smack in the face of a triplet pregnancy. 

There were so many things I didn’t know I would mourn.
I mourn the fact that I never got an initial normal pregnancy. I mourn the fact that I was so scared to MOVE let alone exercise in their pregnancy that I literally lost 70% of my muscle mass. I mourn the fact that I’ve been SO OBSESSED with these children that I have literally not given my personal health a second look until this year. (The list goes on and on but I’ll spare you)

NOTHING in my life has gone according to plan. I’m ok with that (now...) because it is LITERALLY a more beautiful life than I could have ever imagined, but I’m a PLANNER! IM A PLANNER, OK? It’s NOT EASY to just “be ok with that” when you’re a PLANNER!

I’ve been on another level of anxiety for LITERALLY 4.5 years and I’m finally coming down to a normal level and breathing for once.  

I’ve dedicated 2018 to self discovery. I need to pour into myself. I need to figure out what I really want and who/what I really want to dedicate my time to. I need to find my happiness outside of kids.  
 *dont get me wrong. My kids make me crazy -do irrational things - scream real loud - embarrass myself in public - HAPPY and I’m legit obsessed with them and every stupid little thing they do every day. 
But I think it’s crazy important to be someone outside of your kids. And I think I’ve lost a lot of that in the last 4 years.

And I think a big part of that is because I don’t FEEL like myself. 

IMG_0361.JPG

I had the triplets when I was 25. I was still in the mindset that weight and muscle tone and thigh gaps were the identifying factors of self worth and identity. That may sound super vapid and vain to a lot of people but 🤷🏼‍♀️ it is what it is. That’s where my mindset was. 

Since then... 

I spent a year panicking about the triplets’ health. 
I spent the next year moving to another continent and having another baby.
I spent the year after that adjusting to a HARD reality in a difficult place to raise a large family and attempting to find balance at work and at home.
I spent this last year having another baby and trying to plan our future.

We now have a beautiful healthy family. We have a plan. We have a future.
and I’ve lost myself. 

SO, after a lot of rambling I get back to the fact that I’ve dedicated 2018 to self discovery.
I spent January kind of deciding if I thought that was weird or whiny or crazy or worth it.
I spent February figuring out how to pray intentionally. (DO YOU REALIZE HOW HARD THAT IS? Because I didn’t. I spent a month LEARNING and I’m still just kind of figuring it out)
I’m about to spend March celebrating the vessel that spent 4 years creating 5 amazing humans and learning to love it. Taking a trip for myself with friends, learning how to run for joy again, learning how to love my job again —  so many things.

The funny thing about love - it doesnt have to be perfect to love it. Because nothing is perfect. There is only 1 perfect human and I’ll hopefully meet him someday, but until then I need to learn to love the imperfect. 

I could write another 47 blog posts about living perfectly imperfect. About constantly striving for a more perfect house, wardrobe, photos, for more followers on instagram, for more time for fun and less time for reality, wishing I had different/better talents that what I have - silly silly things that just aren’t attainable. REAL LIFE: I can barely see through my incredibly teary eyes right now, so I’ll save all of that for later. 

So, here I am.   

IMG_0360.JPG

Somewhere between 133 and 142lbs of squishy stretch-marked abdomen (did you know that at my height, the army considers 140lbs+ to be OVERWEIGHT 🙄), living in high waisted pants, trying to fit in more squats than donuts because I know that health is crazy important but NOT trying to beat myself up if I indulge in ice cream Fridays with my kids.

Here I am NOT mourning the fact that I have to buy weird bras to fit my mom boobs that have fed five kids because YALL. I’ve fed FIVE KIDS with my body.
Here I am shopping for new bathing suits because I’m determined to wear a two piece this summer and ROCK IT with confidence no matter how weird it feels to be a lot more flabby than the last time I wore one.
Here I am, learning that strong is more mental than it is physical in this season of life for me. 

Here I am. Ready to love myself again, love my family more, and find some peace in self discovery + relearning self worth. ❤️ 

4.

four years ago we became parents. In a very fast, scary and crazy way. and man did we not get “eased into it” either. 

boom. we have three kids. It literally feels like yesterday but twelve years ago all at once. 

Fun things about the triplets at this age: they still have no idea they’re triplets. We ask them, “are y’all triplets?” And Stella responds “YES!” While Clara yells “NO!” 🤷🏼‍♀️ #workinprogress

They have zero concept of time and it’s amazing. EVERYTHING in the past is “last night.”  ”Mommy, we went to see the Eiffel Tower with uncle Bradley last night?” — we went in September. 😂😂

Clara is the clingiest, then Liv but only when she’s upset, and Jack literally couldn’t care less unless he THINKS he needs to cry and then he just follows suit with a SUPER confused expression on his face. 

And they’re 4.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

Happy Birthday Jack!

IMG_1352.JPG

+ The silliest of everyone, you just never stop. MOST of the time that gets you in a lot of trouble even though we know you just can’t help yourself (and honestly we may turn around and laugh so you can’t see).

+ To you, at age 4, pasta and spaghetti are NOT the same thing.

+ You’re obsessed with all things yellow and paw patrol. If you see a yellow car outside, it’s immediately YOUR car. #duhmom

+ You’re a ball of crazy, crazy energy.

+ anything and everything becomes a sword when placed in your hand. Or a “Maui hook” - it’s terrifying really 😂

+ you’re slowly developing your own likes apart from your sisters and it’s fun to see your differences side by side

+ You could literally not care any less about what others think of you. You’re fiercely unashamed of yourself, and it’s amazing to watch.

+ You’ve also got such a big head that every time we go to the doctor they want to do an ultrasound of it. We assure them it’s genetic 🙄

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK! We love you so much!

______________________________

Happy Birthday Clara Jane!

IMG_1349.JPG

+ you’re a perfectionist through and through

+ the idea that you’ve upset someone or if you find out you’re in trouble brings you to immediate and overwhelming tears. You feel your feelings so very transparently.

+ you’ve inherited my volume, which I can tell you now is a blessing a curse. But it’s definitely taught me a thing or two about myself 😂😂 and I try VERY hard not to shush you because I know how frustrating that is. I’m working on it.

+ you’re the girliest of girlie girls- frills and bows and heels and dresses and skirts.

+ you’re all about PINK and PONIES right now

+ you wake up EVERY SINGLE DAY and ask “mommy, schools closed today?” With so much hope 😂😂😂🤷🏼‍♀️.

+ you have the biggest FOMO I’ve ever seen in any child ever. But not just for yourself. You’re SO SAD and scared to think your siblings will miss out too 💗

+ you tell me every day you’re going to be Doc McStuffins Princess when you grow up and I literally don’t doubt you for one second.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLARA JANE! We love you so much!

_________________________________

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLIVIA!

IMG_1351.JPG

 + my sweet Liv, you’ve got the biggest heart and the hardest feelings.

+ you’re the best in your class at coloring in the lines. Literally I think you’re better than your dad. I’m not kidding.

+ most days your pants are too tight, your socks are too bunchy, your shoes move the wrong way, and you don’t want to wear a jacket, but we’re working through it.

+ you’re our purple girl. You still have the animal part of all three of your purple bunny wubbanubs and they go everywhere with you.

+ you finish all of your statements with “I SAID” when you’re mad. It’s so funny. (“BUT DADDY I want peanut butter and jelly, I SAID!”)

+ every single day you want your hair in one braid. Clara copies you but purely out of FOMO.👯‍♀️

+ you value your time alone and in quiet spaces. 💜

+ you do NOT like it when we tell you your pretty or beautiful or funny or smart. You say “don’t say I’m pretty. I’m Olivia”

+ you really really like learning in school. You may not like the idea of going all the time but you LOVE being challenged and learning new things.

+ you still want to be a princess like Elsa when you grow up

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIV! We love you so much!

_______________________________

we are having a family dinner and birthday party. Brandon made them SUPER specific requested cakes 😂😂 and then we may watch a movie and “stay up late” aka 9pm haha. 

tomorrow we are going roller skating since their gift from us is old fashioned roller skates!!  

💛💗💜 

PS those photos above are totally upstaged. They were playing before bed last night and I had them hop on a stool in whatever they were wearing 😍😭

Balls, y'all!

Chocolate protein balls, that is 😂✌🏼

The kids are on a really great schedule at the new school, forcing us to be more scheduled and organized (even more than before...shocking, I know). We have to have things like lunches packed, and after school snacks ready....we weren't SUPER prepared for this at first. #thanksgoldfish (seriously, though. goldfish fixes #allthethings)

One of my favorite products Young Living introduced in 2016 was their protein powder. Vanilla Spice and Chocolate Deluxe-- 5 kinds of protein (whey, goat whey, pea, egg white, and hemp seed), only 9g of sugar per serving (2 large scoops), and FREAKING 25g of protein. ALSO, it's quite literally the only protein powder I've ever tried (and omg have I tried A MILLION) that doesn't have ONE. BIT. of an aftertaste. 

IMG_1778.jpg

We've always made the kids smoothies with the protein (they love both vanilla and chocolate), but it's such a freakin mess, y'all. There's NO QUESTION someone will always spill it EVERYWHERE. I've always been interested in easy "no-bake" things, because let's face it....
I DON'T COOK. It aint happenin. 
Brandon came up with this recipe and it's our go-to after school snack! (also, I could eat 1,000...)

IMG_1773.JPG

+ 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
+ 1/2 cup YL chocolate deluxe protein powder
+ 1/2 tsp cinnamon
+ 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter (or any nut butter)
+ 3 T natural honey
+ 1 tsp vanilla extract
+ 1/3 cup chocolate chips
+ 2-4 T coconut milk
+ 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
(chia seeds optional, too, but we ran out...)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add oats, protein powder, and cinnamon to a large bowl.
  2. Add in peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
  3. Add in chocolate chips. Mixture should be slightly sticky but still crumbly.
  4. Slowly add in coconut milk 1 tablespoon at a time and using hands (get yo hands dirty!) combine until it comes together in a sticky ball that holds together. If mixture is too dry, add in more liquid but not so much that it won't hold shape.
  5. Roll into balls using hands.
  6. Place in a container to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Store in fridge until ready to eat.

IMG_1775.jpg

SO EASY. Legit, 10 mins. 
AND SO DELICIOUS.

#yourewelcome #happyfriday

blog signature new.jpg

protein balls pinterest grab.jpg

❤️

The Great Toy Rotation

If you didn't know, Germany doesn't know sunshine.
They are NOT friends.

It has a lot to do with the fact that NOTONEPLACE in this country has central AC. This is not an exaggeration. So in the 3 months that Germany decides to give the sun a chance, it's miserably hot with no escape.
 😂😂😂😂

But in the other 9 months of the year it's likely to be a foggy, rainy 40-60 degrees (or colder). You can imagine how fun this is with #allthetoddlers.

When rightfully b*tching (making the "i" an asterisk makes this G-rated still, right?) about this 18 months ago on my Facebook, a friend suggested Toy Rotations to keep them more occupied when stuck in the house on super miserable weather days. After Pinteresting my life away, we are now dedicated Toy Rotators & will never look back.

I separated the toys into 3 different piles. Putting a little bit of everything in each one. Some kitchen stuff, some cars, some babydolls, some peppa... you get it.

I labeled them "Rotation 1," "Rotation 2," and "Rotation 3."
Every 4 months we pack up our current toys, and pull out the next rotation. It's like Christmas freakin' morning on the rotation day, and today just happened to be that day.

Come January, we will rotate again and have yet another "Best Day of my Life." hahaha 

IMG_3235.JPG

Positive things I've noticed as a result of toy rotating:
+ Less begging at the store for toys.
I comment, "we can get new toys when the new box comes out" and everyone shuts up willingly.

+ More playing with the toys we actually have out.
Before, when ALL of these Godforsaken toys were in the playroom, bins were dumped, toddlers fought, mom + dad screamed, and no one played. Now we get SOLID HOURS of REAL PLAY and it's freakin' GLORIOUS.

+ Clean-up is SO MUCH EASIER.
Due to the major OCD I have inherited, I cannot go to bed without completely cleaning the downstairs of the house. That used to be legit HOURS of me in their playroom organizing the entire thing, and now it's my CHILDREN putting away their toys in bins before bath time, and 15 mins of me going behind them to reorganize because #cantletitgo

+ SEE YA LATER CLUTTER
I actually enjoy the rooms in my house more now that they aren't floor to ceiling devoted to toy storage. #praisejesushallelujah

+CLEAN OUT THE CRAP.
I've recently read one too many tragic articles or news stories about kids choking on broken pieces of toys. Rotating gives me a good chance to go through EVERYTHING, throw out the broken, donate the things they didn't enjoy anymore, and enjoy the piece of mind that purging brings. 🙌🏻🙌🏻

IMG_3236.JPG

Some people do smaller, more often toy rotations--like weekly or monthly. In this household, #aintnobodygottimefothat so, that's why we chose every 4 months. I also have WAY more kids to play with the larger quantity that comes with only rotating 3 times a year.

Other notes:
+We always keep out educational toys
+We always keep out books
+We always keep out puzzles

Right now, I don't involve the kids in the process because I enjoy my sanity. But, as they get older I'll likely involve them in the process and let them choose what they want in each box. 

IMG_3234.JPG

Tonight I get to sit down with Netflix, a big cardboard box, an Olivia Pope sized wine glass and bowl of popcorn, and a black trash bag. I'll go through our latest rotation and clear the crap from our lives.
The feeling of freedom it brings is unlike any other.

Also, typing that last sentence out has made me realize just how deep into this #momlife I've plunged.

HAPPY SUNDAY, Y'ALL!

 

blog signature new.jpg