18 February 2017

Hogan's Cake Smash

Our little man is ONE today!  We love you so much, Hogan Graham!

A letter to my son.

Dear Hogan,

One year ago today, we woke up early to head to the hospital.  I had been having contractions the day before on and off all day.  We left our house as a family of three and would come home as a family of four. You came to us just 3.5 short hours after labor started and it was the most beautiful experience I've had in my life so far.

What you may not know right now is that you were prayed for for a long long time.  You are my rainbow baby-the perfect and bright rainbow after a storm.  We lost a baby in between you and your big brother Winslow, and I never knew if I could carry another healthy pregnancy.  The Lord showed up constantly and whispered to me "You will be okay, Kait. I've got your baby in my hands."

I remember SO well the exact moment you arrived.  I remember the complete and utter JOY I had once you cried your first cry.  Seth looked at me and we just sobbed.  You were perfect, with ten toes and ten fingers and BLONDE hair!  I remember thinking to myself "You look just like your brother but blonde!"  and I was just so happy you were safe and sound.  I remember just staring at you and tears were rolling down my face because of the sweet sweet redemption the Lord allowed me to have through you.  You are mighty and special, little Hogan.

My favorite thing to see in you throughout this year is your relationship with Winslow.  You adore him and he makes you laugh like no one else can.  You LOVE staring at him all day and will follow him around everywhere.  I love that you have a big brother who you'll always look up to.

You are the sweetest and cuddliest little guy and love kissing me and laying your head on my shoulder.  In the morning when I come get you out of your crib, you jump up and down and "ba ba ba ba" at me until I scoop you up and shower you with kisses. Goodness, writing this out just makes me want to go get you from your crib and cuddle you.

You're not walking yet or really even standing on your own, but that's okay with me! I know that when you do start walking, you will be SO hard to stop.  You are into everything and you keep me on my toes every day.  Sometimes when it's too quiet around the house when big brother is at school, I can find you with a mouthful of (i'm sad to admit this) DOG FOOD.  For some reason, you just love Darla's dog bowls.  You next favorite thing is reading, and I'm so happy for this.  Me and your daddy are both big readers and I hope you love to read for a long long time.  You are an eating machine, and you really do eat more than your brother does.  Your favorites are: bananas, blueberries, spaghetti, eggs, turkey and cheese, and sweet potatoes.  The only thing that you really don't like is strawberries or squash.

I love being your momma, so much.  I am so lucky that God has entrusted me with your little life.  You are such a light and I pray one day you will understand just how much I love you.

We will spend all day loving on you and celebrating you- I cannot wait to read these letters to you when you're old enough to understand.  The main reason why I write down these things is because I want you to have memories of your childhood. I want you to be able to read the happy, the sad, and the fun times you all had.

You are so very special, my little Hogie Bear.  And you are so loved.  Happy 1st Birthday.

17 January 2017

Mama said there would be days like this.

I wanted to wave the white flag of surrender today.  The baby got up three times last night, the toddler wanted to start his day before the sun was up, and frankly, I woke up exhausted.

By the time Seth got home from work, my patience was gone, the kids were both terribly grumpy and all I wanted to do was escape to Starbucks and mindlessly scroll through tabloids (which I am pretty much doing now).

Sometimes the days are LONG and hard.  Sometimes I want to pull out my hair by 10am.  Why isn't the house clean? Why can't the kids put themselves to bed or cook their own dinner? 

Just because I'm having a crap day doesn't mean I'm a bad mom.  It doesn't mean I don't love my kids.

My bad day doesn't define me. 

I will wake up tomorrow and thank the Lord for his mercy.  I will ask for forgiveness for yelling a little too loud at my children. For being impatient when all he wanted was to read the same book for the 934th time.  For wanting to scream when the baby knocks over the dog water bowl over and over again (you'd think I'd learn how to put it up high) or has a mouthful of dog food. 

Motherhood is so sanctifying and humbling. I have learned that parenthood is not about being easy.  God uses it to strip away our independence and reveal our sin that keeps us from abiding in Him.  The impatience, the irritability, the selfishness, the discontent. He is refining me daily, and boy does he use my kids as a vessel.  ;) While painful at times and definitely uncomfortable, the sanctifying work of parenthood has been good and necessary. 

I came across this , i can't remember the source:( , but  think it's spot on.

"Many people describe marriage as the laboratory where our spiritual growth is fostered and developed. I find it to be equally true of parenting as well. God has used parenting in my life to refine and change me in ways I had not anticipated. He’s given me a child who requires more than I was trained to handle so that I would depend on him and not my own strength. I’ve also learned things about myself I never knew and have seen things in my heart I never wanted to see. I’ve come face to face with sins I didn’t know were buried deep inside. And then God opened my eyes to see that something else was going on beneath the surface of my parenting challenges. I learned the reason why parenthood is often so hard — God uses parenthood to strip away our independence and the sin that keeps us from abiding in him. My true need wasn’t to find the perfect ‘get your child to sleep’ system or the best potty training program or even the top ten ways to get my kids to clean up after themselves, rather it was to see my desperate need to rely on the grace of God. Many times I sought joy and contentment in how perfectly behaved my children are or how smoothly my day went. Yet God knew that what I needed most is only found in him."

So on these days where I want to throw in the towel, I find myself praising the Lord for his steadfast love and forgiveness.  For new mercies and grace.

Keep on keeping on, mommas.  You are raising tiny disciples.  Your work is the most important thing right now and God has called you to this by no mistake.  The challenges you face always point to Him and he is refining you through them.  He takes our ashes and makes them beautiful.

You can do it.  Breathe in and breathe out.  And have a little chocolate and caffeine while you're at it.