world’s okayest mom’s summer bucket list

Thrive Summer-13

Ok, I am one week into summer, YIKES. For some reason the days are feeling long. The kids are waking up and after a few snuggles are asking to go play outside. I had to make the rule, “No one can go outside until I have my coffee”. So far it has not worked one day.

I see all of these list going around Facebook and Pinterst. I LOVE them. I make them. I post them. I don’t do them. This year I thought to myself, Let’s be real Beth; how is this summer really going to go?”

So I’m making my realistic list.

  1. Start my day with a shower even if that start time is 10am.
  2. Don’t yell at the kids so much.
  3. Drink more ice coffee.
  4. Fit into my bathing suit enough so I’m not embarrassed.
  5. Take the kids to the beach at least once a week and try not to remember sunscreen.
  6. Avoid places that MAY have ticks.
  7. Make Kyle grill more.
  8. Visit as many ice cream places as possible with or without kids, preferably without. They eat all my ice cream
  9. Don’t let the baby fall down the stairs.
  10. Don’t let any of the kids drown.
  11. Prepare to wake up earlier than I have in a while to get Annaka to school on time in September (Gotta start mentally preparing).
  12. Take more photos.
  13. Out of two camping trips planned have ONE successful night.
  14. Go on an overnight BY MYSELF!
  15. Eat S’mores

This is my list. It’s nothing fancy. Maybe we’ll be able to cross a few off maybe we won’t. I’m okay with that.

Cheers to summer, cheers to motherhood and surviving it with laughter, grace and a whole lotta mess.

Thrive Summer-23Thrive Summer-18Thrive Summer-15Thrive Summer-7Thrive Summer-11Thrive Summer-17Thrive Summer-20

when my greatest joy stops being enough

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Being a mother is my favorite job and I have had A LOT of jobs. It’s the only one that if I quit I would feel more empty than relieved. If I got fired I would cry, be miserable and feel less than for a long time. I would beg for the job back and promise to improve cause let’s be real if I were to get evaluated at the moment I would get a good old “needs improvement”.

I am starting to understand that children really are “our greatest masterpiece”. If today was it for me, if I was fired from this mom position (and I’ll be honest some days I wish I was fired.) it would be the job that I would feel the most proud of. No matter your parenting style you are the one who keeps them from being A holes. You have the responsibility to make sure that these gross, smelly, sticky little humans, known as children or offspring turn out to be decent additions to the world. People who leave a mark on the world in some way; they turn out to be a little bit better than who you turned out to be. Or at the very least someone who says please thank you and stops throwing blocks at people’s heads by the time they are 2. No big deal, that is not an intense amount of responsibility or anything.

My children fill my cup some days, not everyday.  Sometimes it feels like they are taking way more than I am capable of giving. Then I stop and think about it; there is nothing better than snuggling in bed in the morning watching a Story Bots together. I love when we are all squished on the little couch reading books. Being the only person your baby wants when they fall is a nice little ego booster. I love seeing them grow, change, learn, discover. Those little monsters sure do know how to keep me humble and boy oh boy have I learned more than I would have liked to from them. Truth be told I love being a mom.

Then why doesn’t it feel like enough? Why do I feel a little bit empty and unfulfilled some days. Is it when I am unshowered, haven’t brushed my teeth in who knows how long; is it the fact that most days it’s hard for me to actually finish a full coherent sentence? Is that what it is? I’m not really sure.

The days when the house is clean the kids are happily playing together nicely dinner on the table and a clean bra on those are the wins. I feel like, I got this, I can do this! Then bedtime happens, and I am back to feeling….. what is this feeling?

So I try to fill this…this whatever it is. I workout for a week, fill out my calendar, make a meal plan, shop, volunteer for things, have a girls night. None of it works though long term. So where does that leave me?

So about a year ago I started selling LuLaRoe. It seemed like a great way to help bulk up our savings and help support my retail therapy; because for whatever reason being responsible for three little lives isn’t enough (What is that?).  Recently I hopped into a group for retailers only from one of the tops dogs. I love her, I think she is fantastic and I wish we could be buddies. She loves her job, it fulfills her,  it fills her cup. She has been having morning motivational tips and when I watch them I actually feel worse? Not because of her but because I feel like damn why don’t I love this as much as her? What DO I love about this? Why am I doing this? Why am I staying up late? Spending weekends away from my family? Then I asked the more important question she was asking, “What motivates you? What fills your cup? Why am you doing what you do?”

RELATIONSHIPS.

I can’t help it I am a relationship junkie. I want to know all about YOU. I want to know what makes you tick. I want to share any little bits of knowledge that I have to share. I want to encourage, share my failures and wins. This is what I have loved about any job that I have had,getting to know the people. When I get to build on current relationships. Foster new ones and strength old ones. I have also always loved connecting people. It wasn’t until last week that I realized this is a gift. It’s not just something I am good at by chance. This is something that I am now realizing is something God has gifted me with, which I believe that when the big guy gives you a gift you better put it to good use.  You better figure out how to use it best in the best way to bless others. Thinking about ways to use this gift fills my cup.

Thinking that there is more to me than wiping butts, emptying dishwashers and trying not to loose my cool is relieving. Thinking that I may have other gifts than raising small people, cause let’s be real, that’s a gift, is like, PHEW!

So when I finally had a little time to breathe, get out of my own head and stop trying to fill my void in my own strength I began to not feel so… whatever that feeling is. When I stopped asking ME what I could do and starting focusing more on Jesus, more on how I can serve others the best way he has created me to do the more it became clear that just being who I have been created to be will fill me up. It’s okay to have OTHER joys, other things that get me out of bed in the morning, because I was created for more than just the very important role of mom. I have many talents, skills and interests. Just like all the other wonderful mothers I know and love.

So there it is, when I focus on loving people, serving those who cross my path, it makes these fleeting moments with these little faces my greatest joy.

 

What’s the blog for?

I originally had this blog when we started the whole baby thing. Kyle’s family is on the West Coast as well as some of my family, I have friends all over the United States, what better way to keep in touch? I also felt that it would keep me picking up my camera as well as sharpen up my editing skills. I guess too, that I have this deep dark desire to say all these profound things that can help all the sleep deprived, perfectly imperfect moms feel a little bit better, let’s be serious here.

Well, maybe now that I am not quite as tired and I have a few years under my belt, I have nursed and cloth diapered three babes. I (or my husband) have dropped them all at least once. I have had so many failures, a few successes. I yell and scream A LOT. I am saying sorry to my kids all the time, we have countless hugs and kisses here as well as countless timeouts and tantrums. Yet we have survived on Netflix, popcorn, fig bars and peanut butter and fluff. We have fun and we love pretty hard in this house.

So the reason for this blog is because in this house there really are no secrets. So weather sharing my stories is just for the sake of sharing, to help another sweet lady out, or just to embarrass my children in the future here it is.

I hope you enjoy, laugh a little maybe even cry a little but welcome. smith kids

Playing catch up.

I can’t believe that the last time I blogged my baby was 6 months old, it’s been a year! I want to first say that not much has been going on here at the Smith house, but how can that really be true with a 5, 3 and 18 month old. Really so much has changed, I have actual kids now, diapers and onesies are becoming a thing of the past. Annaka starts Kindergartner in the Fall, Thaddaeus starts preschool as well. This means I will have ONE child two mornings a week, I won’t be very pregnant and I won’t have a newborn attached to me at all times while a toddler is trying to climb my leg.

Some things of course have not changed. I still drink too much coffee, have a full calendar, a stack of mail to go through and we are still living in our two bedroom apartment.

We still want to adopt and foster, our family is still going to grow but we are about to enter a new part of this journey. So here I am not picking up where we left off, because like Beverly said it’s too much to “catch up” I’ll never get everything down and so I’ll just stay where I am. Stuck with a 6 month old. So we are moving forward. Isn’t that all we can do in motherhood when we feel bogged down, behind. The feeling that we will never catch up and always feel stuck trying to pick up the pieces, working on that ever growing to-do list. So here is my first step in part of motherhood I’m moving forward.

So here we go.

Thank you to http://www.themainetinker.com/ for the lovely Mommy and Me session this past Mother’s Day. ❤

6 months and counting

Oh our sweet chubby boy. We made it to 6 months. Enoch is such a joy to our family, nothing but happiness and contentment. Talk about easy going, I guess for us third time really is charming. He falls, bumps his head, gets slammed with toys, shoved over, sometimes ignored and forgotten yet he still always greets with the sweetest smile. We got our “easy” baby. He brings so much joy to us all, his sister and brother both love him so much. Even as I sit here and type he is playing quietly and sweetly on the floor with his toys letting out a squeal of delight every now and then.

Enoch is our most chatty baby, he plays by myself the best. Goes for the things that he needs without waiting for any help, already a go getter. He has been enjoying breakfast with the family. During month 6 he went from barely sitting up to full on crawl. He wasted no time! He is not spitting up as much which means less clothing changes. He loves to pull hair and still enjoys a couple snacks at midnight and 4am. He wants to always be part of the action, like to walk while you hold him and tolerates when you hold him facing out.

We love our boy and I promise we have many more photos of him than this.

Momlationships

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They say that when you have little kids time flys. That one day you are wiping butts and the next day you are sending them off to college. I belive this to be true 100% and the more that you add to the tribe that faster it seems to go. I am always wishing for more hours in my day, more time.

With baby number three I have really been thinking about my relationships with other moms. I read this INCREDIBLE book, Women are Scary, and I LOVED it.

It’s reminded me how important relationships are with not only other moms but all the women in my life. It’s also helped me realize, this is me, messy house and all, take it or leave it! Some will take it and some will leave it and it’s all okay.

The card in this photo is from one of my best friends from high school. Her and I REARLY talk since we have had children. We are both so busy, when she is in town we always do our best to get together, most of the time it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I am so grateful for this relationship as well as many others that I made before I had children. Like any relationship there was time and energy put into it. We worked at it, most with ups and downs but always closer and stronger at the end.

What I am realizing is that now more than ever these woman that God has put into my life are more valuable and more precious with each passing year. Maybe it’s that as we get older and life gives us trails we need our girls to help us through, maybe it’s the older we get the wiser we get. Even though sometimes days turn to weeks and weeks turn into months before I get to connect with them it’s so important that we put in the effort. A text, a message on Facebook, a like or a comment, email or good old fashion snail mail like this beauty. It’s so important to invest in these relationships and let each other know that we are thinking about each other, praying for each other, walking with each other.

Looking back at my experiences in life school, moves, jobs. I have always made a lasting friendship. These are the most valuable thing that I gained. So even though time is precious and there never feels like enough of it, especially once you have children. Your momlationships are worth it. They are worth the time, energy and emotions. we need each other. We need the love and the grace that women are so good at giving each other when they want to.

So to each of my nearest and dearest old and new,

You are so precious to me you have made me a better person, better wife, mother, friend and Christian. I am who I am because of you! You matter to me, you are important to me. I think about you often. I am praying for you. I am beyond thankful that you have been put into my life. You came at just the right time.

Thank you for being patient with me, loving me and forgiving me.

I adore you.

 

it takes a village

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For some reason 8 Weeks feels like a milestone to me. I have no idea where I got that idea. I am almost positive that no one is sleeping all night or nursing less at this point but it feels like an accomplishment.
In the past people always offer to help, bring coffee, play with the kids, whatever; and I have always turned it down, Life is so busy and people have so much to do. I have always felt as though I didn’t want to be a burden for anyone. Third time around all bets are off. Don’t offer if you don’t mean it cause I’ll say yes to ANYTHING! I’ll take what I can get and I’m not afraid to ask for help this time.
I’m so glad that I did. So far I have learned that I have an incredible village. You hear the term and you sometimes see some of it in action but I was blessed this time to really see that I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.
I want to take this opportunity to thank my village. To thank the people who watch my bigs while I had the baby, who stopped by and played with them. To both of my moms groups who made so many delicious meals. Thank you for the gift certificates that helped us in a pinch. To all my friends who brought coffee to a very tired an weary momma. To all the encouraging phone calls, text, Facebook post and lovely flowers that keep me going.
I know I am missing something or someone. Please know that your thoughtfulness has not been unnoticed or unappreciated. I could not have made it this far with out all of my wonderful friends that the Lord has blessed me with. I am the mother I am because of you.
I hope that one day I can return the all the love that has been shown to us.