The crazy reason why I do not give my child a bath every night.

Because Momma is tired and she sometimes needs a break.

The end.

No, really. That’s it…

Were you looking for some scientific, statistical or proven fact as to why I don’t bathe my son every night?

You’re not going to find that here.

What you will find is a Mom doing her best (which sometimes doesn’t look all that great), who just wants other Moms to say, “Me too.”

I’m not sure where it all started, to try and act like we are superwomen. It’s a nice thought, and I do believe Mom’s are as strong as ever, and we pack a punch. I do believe we can conquer anything or accomplish the impossible. I do believe we have a chip on our shoulders and we feel the need to constantly prove ourselves.

But this need to constantly prove ourselves to the world has turned into a need to constantly prove ourselves to each other. This was supposed to be a rally cry for us Moms. It was supposed to be an “Us against the world!” mentality. It was supposed to be a team effort…

Instead it’s turned into a competition.

It’s turned into mom-shaming. To guilt trips. To judgments. To the belief that to show any sign of weakness, to show any kind of mistake, to show you don’t feed your child all organic is to admit you have failed.

You don’t have your child in the best day care? You don’t stay at home with him?? You quit your dream job so your partner can work??? You took your dream job so your partner can stay home????

You don’t bathe your child every night??????

How dare you?!

Our false need to have it all, to be perfect, to SHOW. NO. MERCY., has turned us against who we actually need the most.

Each other.

We need each other, Moms.

We hurt one another when we continue the facade that we can do it all. When we won’t admit we’re tired. When we put out there only the good stuff. When we show only our strengths and never our weaknesses.

When we share only the “you should’s” or the “have to’s” but not the “I’ve been there’s” or the “me too’s.”

That’s when we fail as Moms. That’s when we hurt as Moms. That’s when we lose as Moms.

We lose a competition that was never supposed to be one in the first place.

When you are a Mom, there is no other person in this world that can relate to you more than another Mom. When you are a woman, there is no other person that can relate to you more than another woman.

We have got to have each other’s back. Because no one else will. Not in the same way we would. Not in the same way we could.

On those tough days I’m putting my son to bed when his diet consisted of popcorn for breakfast, half a banana for lunch and fruit snacks for dinner, I don’t need to know how I failed as a Mom that day.

I need to know that you failed too.

When I admit I don’t give my son a bath every night, I don’t need a collective “gasp” from the Mom’s who do.

I need a collective chant, “Momma, you do you.”

When I sometimes let my child watch TV for hours because I’m just so. darn. tired., I don’t need a lecture as to why that’s wrong.

I need the latest and greatest movie ideas to keep this going all day long.

Because you’ve been there.

You’ve done that.

You get it.

After all, you’re a Mom too…

And in the world of Motherhood, there’s a Sisterhood. And Sisters need to stick together…

Let’s stop telling Mom’s why everything they’re doing (or not doing) is wrong, and instead share with them all the ways they are doing it right.

May there always be encouragement rather than judgment.

May there always be a dialogue rather than debates.

If you’re wrong in the way you’re right, you’re wrong even if you’re right. ~ James MacDonald

May there always be love rather than shame.

May there always be a “Sisterhood” in Motherhood.

You do you, Sis. Go get ’em.

P.s. I didn’t give my son a bath tonight…

All together now: “Me too.”


A love letter to 2017.


Dear 2017,

I pray this letter finds you well.



Not really.

You see, you have been a big skim-board to the shin.

An unpleasant, unexpected, cringe-worthy sting to what was supposed to be a pleasant walk along the ocean.

Sure, maybe a lot of it was my own doing. I wasn’t paying attention. I was blissfully ignoring the warning signs. I had my feet dipped in the clear blue water expecting happiness, contentment and peace, only the kind you receive when you do in fact have your toes in the water and you stare out into the deep. Only the kind you receive when you live in a fantasy world and think you can live a problem-free, easy-breezy life. I politely denied the fact there were amateur skim-boarders and beach-goers along the water line, trying to find the same escape I was. It was packed. The Jersey Shore is always packed. I didn’t see it coming.

Or… maybe I did. And I simply wasn’t quick enough to step out of the way. I wasn’t quick enough to ask for help, to grab hold of the people around me willing to pull me out of the way of what was to come.

So ya got me. Ya got me good. Right in the shin. And oh man have I been angry. No body likes getting hit in the shin. Even the strongest of men will whimper and limp in agony over a nice shot to the shin bone.

I’ve been angry at you, 2017. For a lot of reasons. You tore me down emotionally. You tore me down physically. You tore me down mentally. I hit rock bottom in many ways this year, finding myself hysterical, delirious, ill and collapsed on my kitchen floor more times than I can count, for no apparent reasons other than this overwhelming weight on my chest that pounded hate into me with each breath. You made me hate myself. You made me forget myself. You made me believe I was nothing. You had me convinced everyone hated me, including my spouse, my son… and God.

You took the small confidence I had when I trusted God and grabbed his hand and leaped into nothingness except the faith I had that he would catch me when I made changes to my job, schedule and finances… and you gave me the illusion that I had fallen. You pulled the rug from under me, a rug that was supposed to be new and adventurous and a step toward my goals and dreams and instead of celebrating the accomplishment, I found myself gasping for breath, like the ocean I once stood at admiring and aspiring to conquer swallowed me up whole, never to be seen again.

I have been so angry at you. You deceived me. You belittled me. You stripped me down to nothing. You hit me in the damn shin. And I have been limping away ever since, looking back at you with a clenched fist and angry, tear-filled eyes wanting nothing more than to punch you in the face, 2017. But I haven’t had the right words to say to you with all that I’ve been feeling.

But here I am. Day 1 of 2018 and I’m ready, and I have something to say to you. I’ve been waiting a long time to say this, to get the right words out. To give you everything I’ve got for what you put me through, what I allowed you to put me through. You deserve what I’m about to throw at you. You deserve each and every word for the pain you caused. You ready for it? Okay, here we go:

Thank you.

Take that, 2017…

You taught me something. You taught me that evil is real, but God is greater. You taught me that I am worthy, because “if you are doing anything of worth, then the enemy is doing everything in his power to make you quit,” (Jennie Allen). You taught me that I am not alone. You taught me that no matter how far down to the pit of the ocean I can go, God is still there. And so are many others, willing to share the oxygen tanks they’ve acquired in their own journeys to the pit. You taught me that when you reach the end of yourself, God can reveal Himself. You taught me that sometimes it’s okay to realize you don’t have it all together and that embracing your weaknesses and faults and shortcomings is actually a good thing because it allows you to learn how to love yourself for who you really are and not who you thought you needed to be in order to be loved by God. He already loves me and sees me and knows me and accepts me even when I daily don’t accept myself. When you convinced me to hate myself, I saw it as a story already written in stone, but God saw it as a clean slate.

Yes, I am tired. No, I am not “cured.” Yes, I still battle. No, I don’t have it figured out.

I struggle. To love myself and love others well. I struggle to love God. I struggle to tame my anxiety and depression and have accepted the need for outside help like counseling and medication. I struggle.

Like everyone else.

Like everyone else who struggles to say ‘thank you’ to 2017 when all they wanna do is kick it in the pants and move on. Like everyone else who struggles with the giant weight on their chest that pounds the words, “You suck. You are not enough. You are not worthy. Nobody likes you. No one cares about you. You will not succeed.” Like everyone else who sees the surprising, yet unfortunately not so surprising, tragic events happen in our world every other day and feels this overwhelming loss of hope and faith in God and humanity. Like everyone else wondering where the money will come from, where the strength will come from, where the people will come from to help in their needs. Like everyone else who you tried to destroy, 2017.

We struggle. But we are battling. We struggle. But we are resilient.

You see, you forgot about one thing 2017. Probably the most important thing in your attempt to steal, kill and destroy us.

You cannot kill what you did not create.

And you see the God who did create us? He’s not in this job to kill.

He’s in it to save. To love. To protect.

To heal.

To take each and every single skim-board to the shin for us.

To take what you meant for evil and turn it into good.

Ya got me good, 2017. Ya really did. I gotta hand it to ya, I’m still limping.

But I’m not angry anymore. In fact, I’m actually now quite amused. Because the fact that anybody can get hit that many times in the shin with your skim-board can really only mean one thing…

You suck at skim-boarding.

With Love,


Dear 2018,

I pray this letter finds you well.

Question — do you skim-board? …


I’m not that girl.

Hi, I’m Karen, a wannabe writer, and it’s been six months since my last post…

“Hiiiii Karen.”

This is just a post to let any readers out there know, all two of you probably, that I’m still here. I’ve just been… ignoring the fact that in order to be a writer, you have to actually write.

I’m not sure as I’m even typing this what this post is going to be about, or if it will be about anything at all. I really have no idea where this is going, and it may not go anywhere.

Right now, I’m sitting here on a Friday morning on what is my “staycation.” My son slept at my parents house last night, my husband is out golfing with his brothers and father, and so I’m enjoying a cup of coffee on my front porch all by my lonesome after “sleeping in” until 8am. Ugh, what happened to sleeping in?!

I got the urge to pull out my handy dandy Chrome Book I bought for myself last Christmas to use strictly for writing, thinking it would motivate me to write more.

How’d that turn out, Karen?


So here I am. Writing. About nothing. But at least I’m typing something out, right? Are you still reading or did you give up yet on my jumbled thoughts all over the page?

Stay with me.

Over the course of the last couple months, something dawned on me: It’s been a really tough year.

For my family. For me.

I’ve lost three loved ones in the span of nine months, two of them in the same week. The other, the day after my birthday. I thought all was status quo, and then one simple move that I thought would be an exciting new step for me, changed everything. I started a new job back in May (still at Liquid Church), after five years in a comfortable, steady and familiar role, that unleashed a fury of anxiety and panic I never knew I had, opening the floodgates to a lot of soul-searching and counseling and, well, crying. Lots and lots of crying.

I realized it was a lot of change in one year.

And I don’t like change.

And my body and mind let me know how much I don’t like change too.

I always had my suspicions about my struggles, but when a professional tells you that you suffer from anxiety and depression, it becomes all too real. I have been fighting it, ignoring it, pretending it’s not there, but this summer it has all come to a head. I’m in a place right now that’s working hard at accepting these facts and understanding that it’s okay to be this way, but that’s really hard for me to admit. I’ve prided myself over the years on being the “girl who has it all together.” But over the past six months I’m realizing one huge flaw in that perception:

I’m not that girl.

Hey, World? I’m not that girl.

Hi, I’m Karen, and I’m not that girl.

“Hiiiii Karen.”

As the summer winds down, I’m learning more and more that I’m actually still in the accepting phase of all of this. I keep thinking I’ve turned a corner, and then I’ll frustrate myself with thoughts of, well, I just need to be a better Christian or I just need to have more passion or I just need to love God more, or I just need to take medication and it will make me better.

But it doesn’t work like that.

I thought by the end of summer, I’d be back on track.

But I’m not. I’m still in this. I’m not writing this post to give you the happy ending. I’m not there yet. It’s not over.

And I’m realizing it may never be. I’m not saying that in a “I’m giving up” way, I’m saying that in a “I accept this”  way.

This fight may never end. And I need to learn to accept that. I need to learn to accept who I am and accept I don’t have it all together.

But I also need to learn how to accept that. There are two different ways to accept something.

Think of it this way:

Your leg was cut off. Will you sit there and say, oh okay now I can’t do anything but sit here with one leg, I guess I have to accept this fate. Or do you say okay, my leg was cut off, I can sit here and do nothing or I can accept this and learn how best to live my life with the one good leg I have?

I struggle with anxiety and depression. I can accept it by sitting here and feeling sorry for myself. Which I admittedly do a lot. Or I can accept it by learning to live my best life with it. 

Where is your acceptance at? I’m still learning. And I’m trying to show myself some grace, because this is hard. I’m hard on myself and I would bet you’re pretty hard on yourself too.

We all need to understand life is not one line on a chart that projects upward. It’s not an easy three-step program to get you to the end of it fairly unscathed.

It’s a process. And process looks a little funky on a chart…

I have on my laptop a sticky note that simply says, “Process,” and one that says, “Student” as a reminder to myself everyday that everything is a process, and I need to be a student of that process.

Life is a process.

And I honestly cringe every time I see it because I hate process.

I hate the process of things!

I’m very impatient, and always looking for the quick fix, the easy way out or the fastest solution. I will do anything to skip the process.

But I’m learning that it’s in the process that we see progress.

Progress rarely looks forward moving. It’s really more of a zig-zag, dips and turns and valleys and mountains. It’s a treacherous hike. But in order to progress, we must trust the process.

Trust the process.

This has been a very frustrating time in my life. This has been a very frustrating concept to learn. And admittedly, I’d always rather skip the process to just get to the other side, unscathed. That has always been my MO.

But this time I’m trying hard to accept where I’m at, and accept that being in this process is exactly where I need to be.

Trust that this zig-zag, criss-cross way of progress is actually forward movement.

It’s redemptive movement.

God’s number one movement in this world is a redemptive one.

God is always moving towards redemption.

He wants our lives to always be moving towards redemption.

But nothing can be redeemed when we don’t accept that we are broken people in need of redeeming.

Redemption comes in our acceptance.

Redemption comes in the process.

Redemption comes when we can boldly admit, I am not that person.

I am not that girl.

And God says, “Good. I never asked you to be. Now come with me, please. We’ve got some redeeming to do…”

Hurts so good.

Every other Thursday night, I have on my Google calendar an event from 8-10pm.  

It’s titled: WRITE … DON’T IGNORE!!!

I ignore it.  Every single time.  

Clearly, it’s working.

So a friend of mine called me out on it.  She asked me to add her to the invite, so that it popped up on her phone too and she can ask me about it every time.

Accountability… so annoying.

So, I’m writing.  That’s a good sign.

Over the last couple months I’ve made some discoveries about myself.  It’s interesting, that same friend above recently told me, “I heard someone once say, we think we have children so that we can grow and develop them, but they actually end up growing and developing us.”

Um, truth.

Motherhood hurts.  That’s what I’ve discovered.  Like so when we’re kids and we have growth spurts and it can physically hurt our bodies, motherhood hurts.  Growing hurts.

If you look up the word Motherhood in the dictionary, it’s literally defined as “the state of being a mother.”  Thanks,  Helpful.

If I was in a Spelling Bee, I’d be like, uh, can you define it further please?

“The state in which you feel or think you are the worst at everything, and in which every flaw you’ll ever have is exposed.  Example: ‘She feels like she is not enough.  She is in Motherhood.’ Synonyms: failure, lack of success, defeat.”

Ohhh!  Easy.  M-o-t-h-e-r-h-o-o-d.  Motherhood.

Nailed it.

Yes, it’s a state of discovery.  The discovery of all the crap.

But, here’s the good news about discovery.  Discovery leads to new learning.  Discovery leads to development.  Discovery leads to growth.

At least, that’s the hope.

I have a lot of growing to do.

I have a lot of brokenness I need to break into and let the cracks be filled with the superglue that is God’s grace.

We are in a new year and perhaps many of us, now in February, have already given up on our New Year resolutions.  To be honest, I don’t make any in the first place.  But there is always something in me that takes a deep breath and has this optimism for a “fresh start.”  That, perhaps, this year will be different.  I’ll make changes and I’ll be better.

I realized, with some people’s help, I need to take care of myself better.  Not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  

Self-care… the antonym next to Motherhood in the dictionary.

I just finished a book called The Broken Way, by Ann Voskamp, which was brilliant and I’m still recovering from all that I read.  It is essentially about living an abundant life even in our brokenness.  And she gave me so many life-altering words, but the ones that have been rattling my brain like a constant blow to the head have been these:

“There is no growth without change, no change without surrender, no surrender without wound – no abundance without breaking.  Wounds are what break open the soul to plant the seeds of deeper growth … For a seed to come fully into its own, it must become wholly undone.  The shell must break open, its insides must come out, and everything must change.  If you didn’t understand what life looks like, you might mistake it for complete destruction.”

If you didn’t understand what Motherhood looks like, you might mistake it for complete destruction.

To come fully into your own, you must become wholly undone.

“Our most meaningful purpose can be found exactly in our most painful brokenness.”

Yes.  Motherhood can tear open some of our most painful brokenness.  To love this much is to open your heart to pain.  It can cause complete destruction.  It opens our wounds so deep we fail to see, on our own, how we could ever really do this.  How we could ever be enough.  How we could ever be our best selves our children deserve.  

But God never meant for our brokenness to have no meaning.  He never meant for us to go at this alone.  And he gave us His infinite grace to prove that.

“Grace embraces you before you prove anything, and after you’ve done everything wrong.  Every time you fall down, at the bottom of every hole is grace.  Grace waits in broken places.  Grace waits at the bottom of things.  Grace loves you when you are at your darkest worst, and wraps you in the best light.  Grace seeps through the broken places and seeps into the lowest places, a balm for wounds.”

A balm for wounds.  

Have you ever put Neosporin on a cut?  It can burn, but you know that it’s doing its job.  It’s beginning the healing process.  It hurts, but it’s good.

My son deserves my best self.  He is everything to me and I love him so much… So much it hurts.

It hurts so good.

Motherhood hurts so good.

Life hurts so good.

“Grace is grace when it gives us what we’d never ask for but always needed, and moves us to become what we always wanted.  But hardly ever the way we wanted.

Yes, hardly ever the way we wanted.  Have you noticed that?  We grow the most, change the most, learn the most, usually through painful experiences or hard lessons.

Usually through the fussiness of a one-year-old.

This past year, almost year and a half, I have never been more stretched or more challenged.  I’ve never been more self aware of my emotions, my flaws and my weaknesses.  Parenting brings all of that out of you, whether we like it or not.  And I have not.

But I’ve also never been more aware of God’s strengths.

And what’s been most fascinating, most apparent, is how much more I see God in all of it.  

I see His holiness and His mercies.

I see His love and protection.

I see His miracles in the monotony.

I see my brokenness… breaking.

Through His infinite grace.

Yes, motherhood can hurt.  But the beauty of it is that God designed it in a way that offers an open invitation to His grace.  An open invitation to cling to Him through all of it.  So that when it hurts, it hurts so good.  It hurts so that it changes you, develops you, grows you.

And sometimes God will show you the good in the smallest of things.  In the quiet moments, the monotonous moments, the ordinary everyday moments.  These can turn into the most Holy ones…

I was sitting quietly in the dark, nightlight on, giving a bottle to Brooks as he lay across my lap. The sound machine playing white noise in the background.  I had a long day, I was tired and felt defeated.  I was not my best self.  I was impatient with Brooks.  I yelled at Brooks.  I was lazy with Brooks.  I was in the midst of praying to God about how overwhelmed I felt and how I couldn’t possibly be enough for this…

Lord, am I enough?

And just then, in the ordinary of the bedtime routine, I feel a little hand touch my arm, and begin to caress it like someone would when consoling.  I look down and see my boy looking up at me.  He takes the same hand and touches my face, begins to pat it like a friend would pat your back.  He smiles, pushes the bottle away and curls up into my shoulder.  His hand now clenched in my hair behind my neck as he falls asleep in my arms… and it hurt so good.

I squeezed Brooks a little tighter, smelled his hair, and thanked God.

And gave Him one final thought…

Okay, God, I’ll add some Synonyms to Motherhood:  Holy.  Miraculous…


A year of parenthood. A year of grace. Lots and lots of grace.

A year ago today, Brooks was twenty-eight days old.  I was twenty-eight days into motherhood.  Twenty-eight days into the biggest change of my life.  Twenty-eight days into a life of unpredictability, heart-wrenching emotion and exuberant joy.  

Twenty-eight days.  Brooks was so little.  Everything was so new.  I was so lost.

Postpartum depression, sleep deprivation and hormones took me for a ride that first month of motherhood, and I already don’t remember much about it, except there was crying.  Lots and lots of crying… and I’m not just talking about Brooks.

It’s amazing to think back to a year ago and try and grasp just how different it was and how much has changed in just one year of motherhood.  It’s amazing to see how much a baby grows in their first year, and how much you grow as a parent, too, while still feeling so inadequate at the same time.

I didn’t know my son then.  Not yet.  At that time, he was just this little human that I knew I had to feed when he cried and change when he pooped.  I didn’t know him.  He didn’t know me.  We were just trying to figure this whole thing out together.

Just one year later and I can’t even imagine that kind of relationship.  Brooks is as much a part of me now as if he has always existed in my life.  This year has brought me a love-life I’ve never known before.  This year has brought me a joy I never knew this life could offer.  I’m thankful and I’m grateful.

I’m also anxious and scared and tired… really, really tired.

Because babies are tiring.  Did you know that?  They, like, are non-stop.  Especially when they become mobile.  I feel like I’m following around a drunk friend all day making sure they don’t do anything to hurt themselves and simply keeping them afloat until I can finally tuck them into bed at night, hoping they don’t wake up sick or wet the bed.  Or worse.

Parenthood does not come without a myriad of anxiousness, fears, emotion and sleepiness.  It’s a non-stop roller-coaster ride that doesn’t allow you to get off.  It just keeps going around and around, with flips and turns and drops.  Some of it is exciting.  Some of it is scary.  Some of it gives you butterflies.  Some of it makes you sick.  Some of it gives you adrenaline.  Some of it is boring.  It’s a ride that you never want to get off because it’s your favorite ride, but every once in awhile you want to take a break and maybe, I don’t know, actually get something to eat.

And, if it’s your first time on a roller-coaster, there’s really nothing like it.

So as I reflect on this past year, that’s how I see it; a roller-coaster.  Not just in parenthood, but in life.  We moved into a new house, in a new neighborhood.  We had our first child.  I went back to work after having my first child.  I balanced new mommyhood and work and marriage.  I saw friends get married. I missed a friend get married in California due to an untimely flu.  I saw friends since we were babies have their own babies and step into this parenthood abyss just like me.  I dealt with loss upon loss that is still too fresh.

I sit here now and I’m asking myself how did that all happen in just one year?  Life is moving so fast, and I feel like I can’t keep up.  I’m taking a pulse on how I did my first year of parenthood and life with a baby.  How in the world did I do this and how will I continue to do it?  How do I keep putting on more hats and balance it all?

Because, I’m already exhausted, and Adam and I claim we aren’t done growing our family yet…

I recently had lunch with a friend who is literally superwoman.  True story.  With a family of her own, a child with Special Needs and a job that pulls her in every direction, a job she does ridiculously well I might add, I sat across from her and flat out asked,

How do you do it?  All of it?

The gist of her answer?

God.  And grace.

A lot of grace.

Lots and lots of grace.

She realized she could do none of it without God, and she simply surrendered each day to him, trusting him that he was in control.  She’d wake up and claim, “I am 100% pleasing to God today,” no matter what she did, and then lived that out throughout her day.  It opened her heart to live fully and forgive herself easily.

Most of the lunch I sat there reflecting not just on the past year but on my life and spewing out everything I’ve done wrong and and all the ways I’m not enough, all the ways I could have done better, all the ways I’m lazy and undisciplined and suck at life.  All the ways I’ve failed and all the times I was afraid to fail and so I didn’t even try.

I was laying out there everything the megaphone in my brain has yelled out to me for years.

She looked at me.  Took the “megaphone” from me.  Flipped it around and said loud and clear,

Do you think you may be being a little too hard on yourself?

Think about Brooks.  How would you feel if Brooks thought these things about himself, if he was being this hard on himself?


So don’t you think God is pretty crushed that you, his daughter, is this hard on herself?  When his infinite grace is at your disposal?  Give yourself a little grace, just as God gives it to you everyday.

Sometimes I forget the gift that is motherhood, because it gives me insight into how God feels about me.  It provides me a glimpse into how much God really loves me, in the same way I love my son.  

Except God loves infinitely more so.  And his love is also perfect.

So, why?  Why do we so easily forget?  Why is it so hard for us to accept God’s love and grace and mercy, but we’re so quick to believe the lies of the enemy?

Because it’s hard to comprehend perfect love when we are anything but perfect.  We are broken people living in a broken world and we tend to see our brokenness as a separator from God, when in actuality God uses our brokenness as a way to Him.

The enemy uses our brokenness to destruct.  God uses our brokenness to restore.

God restores our brokenness by offering his grace.

The cracks that led to my brokenness really started when I was fifteen, due to a tragic event that I watched unfold around me.  I saw first-hand what the brokenness of this world can do to a family, to a community, to friends and loved ones.  The world as I knew it did not exist after that, and the enemy rejoiced.  From that point on, he knew exactly how he was going to hold me back from my full potential in Christ, before I even knew Christ at all.

And with that, it holds me back from my full potential as a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a friend, etc.

Being a parent is hard enough.  But being a parent while also being a wife, sister, daughter, friend, employee, whomever, you can start to lose sight of who you are as a person.  I am all of these things, yes.  And I love being all of these things.  I love being a mom to Brooks and a wife to Adam.  But my brokenness can let the roles that I play each day and how I perform in those roles define me.  We let what we do become who we are instead of allowing who we are (hint: a child of God) to define and shape what we do.

Perform.  Perform and control.  Perform and control and cling to these roles as if you are nothing without them.

Perform and control and cling.  


Feel miserable.


If I perform and control and cling to these things, nothing bad will ever happen.

Brokenness.  Again and again and again.

Year one of parenthood is in the books, and I can look back on this year and find all the things that went wrong.  All the ways I failed or all the ways things could have gone better.  All the ways I was broken.  Because those things are there.  There’s no denying that.

Or I can look back and see His grace.

I can see my son.  And the reminder of God’s love for me in how much I love Brooks.  A beautiful, healthy baby boy who looks at me with his big eyes and insane eyelashes as if I am his entire world.

I can see a desire fulfilled.  I am mom.  A mom!  What meaning that brings me and what purpose I have now.  My son is a part of me and I a part him.  I will always have that.

I can see a husband who loves me and loves Brooks and works incredibly hard to care for us well and always puts us first.

I can see good friends and co-workers who genuinely want to see me succeed and walk alongside me through the good and bad.

I can see family who on a daily basis give up their time and freedom to care for Brooks, giving us the opportunity to work, save money and know Brooks is in such good hands.

I can see hope in tragedy through close family relationships and joy in tragedy through the beauty of new life in Brooks and the smiles he brought during excruciating loss for our family.

Did I mention his eyelashes?

I can see joy.  

Lots and lots of joy.

I can see grace.

Lots and lots of grace.

The enemy says it’s because of your brokenness you cannot break free.

God says it’s because of my grace in your brokenness that you are free.

A year ago today, Brooks was twenty-eight days old.  Today, he is three hundred and ninety-three days old.

A lot has changed.

God’s grace has not.

And it was, and is, sufficient for me.

So won’t it always be?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Joy and Sorrow. Sorrow and Joy.

I was tossing and turning, staring at the clock wondering how much sleep I’d get if I fell asleep NOW.


Okay, NOW.

It was one of those nights…

It was a Sunday evening and Adam and I just had the whole week off for a little “staycation.”  We had a great week of weather and relaxation, we celebrated our five year anniversary and we had Brooks dedicated at church that very Sunday.  We were surrounded by family all day and we felt truly blessed.  It was a week worth celebrating.  It was a joyful week.

But as I cozied up in bed reflecting back on the week, sorrow crept in.  That day was bittersweet.  You see, my aunt is in the hospital battling for her life with cancer and she was the only one not there that day.  She’s always there.  She’s always been there.  For every big moment.  For every small moment.  It was… odd and a little uncomfortable.  I spent that day thinking about her often, hugging my two younger cousins, her daughters, a little tighter and gazed at my uncle with concern more times than I can remember, praying for him each time I did.

We all did have a wonderful time, but we all knew something was missing.

P.s.  Cancer sucks, am I right?

I thought about those two things side by side in bed that night, tears beginning to roll down my face.  And, as weird as this sounds, it made me chuckle a little.  I remember thinking, “Well if that’s not the story of life I don’t know what is…”

It’s thinking you have a relaxing night ahead of you, only to be interrupted later in the shower by your concerned husband and a crying child while shampoo is still in your hair.

It’s watching a friend give birth to a beautiful baby boy one week, while another buries her stillborn baby girl the next.

It’s moving into a new home and then having a pipe burst.

It’s the joy of servicemen or women coming home to families from battle only to fight a different battle in PTSD.

It’s dedicating this new life in Christ, while a loved one clings to hers.

Joy and sorrow.

Sorrow and joy. 

Side by side.

Life. In a nutshell.

It is proof of a fallen world.

That night in bed I raised this question with God…

Lord, where is the good in bad?

I wanted a detailed explanation.  Instead, He gave me one word.


I stared up at the ceiling in awe of how simple the answer was and how easily I forget.

The day Jesus was murdered, I don’t think his followers thought that was a good day.  They had no idea what was to come.  All they knew was their leader and friend, who claimed to be the Son of God who will rule the earth, died.  He died.  How do you rule the earth when you’re dead?


But three days later Jesus rose again.


The story of Jesus reveals a similar pattern…

Joy and sorrow.

Sorrow and joy.

Side by side.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

But here’s the kicker.  Without Jesus, all would be bad, even when it’s good.

Let me explain.

We would still have some good.  We’d also still have some bad.  There would still be joy.  There would still be sorrow.

But our sorrow, the bad, would be just plain bad.  There would be no “bright side.”  No “reason.”  No “purpose” for any of our pain.  If bad was just plain bad, bad would begin to suffocate the good until, eventually, all that’s left is bad.

And that’s not good…

Yes, there is good and bad.

But because of Jesus, there is also good in bad.

Because of Jesus, life is good despite the bad.

Because of Jesus, we find joy even in our bad.

I’m not saying our sufferings in this life are not painful.  I’m not saying the bad doesn’t hurt.  I’m not saying it will ever feel good to endure the bad.  Nobody wants the bad.

I hate the bad.

I don’t want to lose people I love.

Do you??

I cringe at the bad.

I cry at the bad.

I’m an emotional wreck at the bad.

I hate, hate, HATE the bad!

God also hates the bad.  So He gave us the good… in His bad.  By sacrificing His only son, God endured the bad so that we could have the good.  And Jesus is SO perfect, that even when life is bad, it can still be Good.

Our hope is in Him.

My hope is in Him.

It’s because of that hope that in my sorrow, I try to cling to the promise of Jesus’ words,

In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart.  I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

And these words from the Apostle Paul,

And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also boast in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:2-4)

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

And lastly these…

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

I don’t know the reasons for a lot of things.  I grow weary trying to figure that out.  I just don’t know.  I don’t know why bad things happen other than we live in a broken world and until Jesus returns or until we pass on into eternal life, we will always have trouble.

Joy and sorrow.

Sorrow and joy.

Side by side.

And when we’re in our sorrow, which we inevitably will be, we’ll feel pain.  We’ll be hurt.  We’ll have heartache.

We’ll probably cry out to the heavens and ask God that question we so easily forget the answer to…

Lord, where is the good in bad?

And God, even in our forgetfulness, will lovingly give us the simplest yet most appropriate one word answer.


Whether you win or lose, you wine.

Almost an hour had passed and I managed three bites of food out of my son.  I tried everything. Toys.  Distractions.  Puffs.  Oh the puffs!  Nothing was getting him to eat what I had prepared for him.

He was fussy.

I was fussy.

The day needed to end.

It was 7:30 in the morning.

My thoughts as the breakfast battle raged on,

Can we just go back to bed and try again tomorrow?

Is it too early for wine?

Oh my gosh, it’s just eggs.


There’s still more hours in the day after this?!

Patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man.




I’m tired.

Another morning.  Another defeat.

Lunch and dinner didn’t fare much better.  Another battle lost.  I gave up and sluggishly moved on to our bedtime routine; bath, story time and bottle.  He fell asleep in my arms while his room darkened as early evening turned into night. I sat there, rocking away, singing to him softly… tears in my eyes.

The tears surprised me.  I remember thinking,

Are you crying?  There’s no crying!  There’s no crying in Baseball!! – Thanks, Tom Hanks for helping me find humor in this moment – No, but really, get your sh*t together!

I was done.  I desperately needed some time to myself and I was finally getting it, and I just stared at him, reluctant to put him down, feeling guilty that I “needed time to myself.”  

My brain decides to get all dramatic and ponder life…

Someday you’re gonna miss this.

Soon he’ll be a teenager and I’m pretty sure he won’t let you cuddle him.

Think about all the women who can’t have children, Karen. They wouldn’t dare take this time for granted.

Remember that story you just read on Facebook of the mom who lost her baby in that tragic accident? …Just reminding you…

How much do you think she’d like to cuddle her baby right now?

Being a mom is a privilege, Karen.  You should cherish this.  But you go ahead and have that glass of wine now.  You deserve it!

Oh, also a reminder that you didn’t cook any dinner so you should feel guilty about being a bad wife too.

Thank you, brain.  You know just what to say.

I went to bed feeling defeated.  It was a crappy day.  Some days, you just can’t win.

Your child really can make or break your day.  If they’re not happy, you’re not happy.  If they’re sad, you’re sad.  If they’re fussy, you’re fussy.  Depending on how good or bad their day is can determine whether you feel like you failed as a parent.  Intellectually, we know that’s not true, but we feel that way nonetheless.

It’s what guilt is made of.  Woven together so intricately and meticulously that you can’t help but be entranced by it.

You know what I’ve learned, though?  Guilt is okay.  I wouldn’t become friends with it, but I can live with it.  Guilt can paralyze you, so understanding your heart behind it is crucial.  And you know what my heart was saying in between those guilt-laden thoughts?

He is so darn cute.

This is all I need.

I love him so much.

Those cheeks.

Those cheeks!

These are tears of thankfulness.

I will cherish this forever.

Gosh, he smells good.

I don’t wanna put him down.

I have to put him down.

I need to like eat and take care of myself and stuff.

Okay, I’ll put him down.

Ugh. I miss him already.


Guilt helps me see how much I really care.  It’s not fun, but it does give a glimpse into where my heart’s at.

So what did I do that night?


I went to bed.

Because sleep RULES.

And I woke up the next day and we did it all over again.

The day was good.  Brooks still fussed at his meals but we got through it.  He was happy.

This time, I went to bed feeling victorious.

Brooks is gonna have good days and bad days, regardless of what I do or how I “parent.”  He’s a human.  A new and tiny one.  But still human.  Just like us, for no reason, he’s going to have bad days.  He’s going to “win some” and “lose some.”  He just cries more about it.

Winning is not the reason you play the game.

Just kidding, I’m so competitive, winning is everything… I’m a work in progress.

BUT.  You have to learn to be okay with the losing part, because as much as we’d like to “win ‘em all,” we won’t.  That’s life.  Good days and bad days.  Sad days and happy days.  Scary days and exciting days.  Crazy days and mundane days.  Life is a compilation of winning and losing.

And the way we treat losing can really determine how we win, too.

I’m not saying you have to love losing.  It’s okay not to.  We’re not going to cherish every moment.  We’re just not.  Yes, it will go too fast and yes, we’ll look back and say we wish we cherished it all, but your memory will have cushioned and blurred some of the bad stuff.

I’m not going to feel guilty about not cherishing every moment.

I’m not going to feel guilty about not feeling guilty.

I love my life.  That doesn’t mean I love every moment.

Life is tough.

Being a mom is tough.

I’m exhausted!

But I’m okay.

Whether I win or lose these small battles we call days, I know that I go out there everyday and give it my all.

Sometimes my all isn’t enough.

And when I feel guilty, which I inevitably do, I’ll still be sad and defeated and anxiety-ridden.

I’ll probably cry.

But then I’ll remember what my heart said through the guilt.

You love.

You feel.

You care.

Those cheeks!


We totally failed, and it was the best.

There are two photos in our family room from a wonderful vacation we took in the Bahamas recently. You could say they are those perfect family photos, the ones you share on all of your social media accounts. The ones, you know, you put in cute frames and display proudly in your family room.   They are perfect.

Except, they’re not.


Not even a little bit.

Let me tell you about those two photos. They were gross. Yes, I said gross. More about that later. They were certainly not our best effort, and we were totally failing as parents just to get the photo in the first place.

It was our last night in Atlantis.   We had just finished a delicious dinner with the whole family and finished just in time to take the perfect shot on the beach, just after the sun was setting. If you’ve been to Atlantis, you know that the resort is absolutely ginormous. The walk to the beach would take a good ten minutes, and it was now an hour past Brooks’ bedtime, (parent fail #1.)

The ten-minute walk in the stroller was beginning to put Brooks to sleep and he was fading, fast, so we did all we could to keep him awake so he could be alert for the photo, when all he wanted to do was sleep, (parent fail #2.)

Before we had left the restaurant, Brooks was acting super fussy, as well, so this was a risk in the first place to not just take him straight back to the hotel room. However, on the walk to the beach, he surprisingly snapped out of the fussiness and was super happy, although sleepy, but cute and smiley and laughing. I thought, thank you, Lord! He got his second wind! This is going to work! What I didn’t think to realize nor remember was that Brooks was fussy at dinner because he was gassy, and I fed him prunes just a little while earlier. Now he was all of a sudden not fussy… I did not put two and two together, (parent fail #3.)

We arrived at the beach, Brooks was awake, happy and we were totally gonna do this thing! My mother-in-law had her good camera and I was wearing my white dress; you know, the one you wait to wear until the last night of vacation when you’re tannest, obviously. Brooks was dressed to impress in his white buttoned-down, and Adam was looking handsome as ever, fancy white pants and all. Perfect.

That is until I picked Brooks up from the stroller.

All of a sudden, my skin was not the only thing on me that had a tan.

Poop. Poop everywhere.   My white dress. Brooks’ white buttoned-down. My perfect photo! Mort.

Adam and I yelled out, freaked out and laughed hysterically. I was covered in poop. Brooks was covered in poop. The stroller was covered in poop. His stroller blanket was covered in poop. So. Much. Poop.

Thank you, prunes. I forgot how well you worked.

We had two choices here. We could have done the right thing and gotten him back in that stroller, raced back to the room to get him in the bath, get us both in the bath, and get him to bed. OR, we could have taken the photos anyway.

Yep… (enter parent fail #4.)

We debated for a hot second on what to do, gave each other a look and yelled out simultaneously,

“We’re doing it anyway!”

And we ran like little children onto the beach, laughing and giggling and smiling.

We took the photos anyway.

If you look at them closely you can see stains on my dress and Brooks’ discolored shorts, even after my MIL used her amazing Photoshop skills to try and remove them. But I put them up anyway. I display them proudly anyway, because as much as we try to be perfect, it’s the not so perfect moments that create the best memories. It’s the not so perfect moments that represent our lives in the ugliest, most real, yet most beautiful ways. It’s the not so perfect moments that allow us to “fail” as parents, as people, but not feel so guilty because we had a good laugh in the end. It’s the not so perfect moments that allow us to relate to one another.

I display those photos because it’s us. It’s all of us. It’s perfectly imperfect people.

Every time I look at those photos, I smile. And I can’t wait to tell Brooks all about it. I can’t wait to tell him how we sat in the bathtub together, cleaning poop off our skin, laughing at how good a mood he was in, even while sitting in his own poop for so long. That he was just happy to get it out of him. I can’t wait to tell him we had to throw out half of his outfit and blanket because Mommy was not about to spend her last night in the Bahamas cleaning that up. No.

I can’t wait to tell him…

That it was so gross.

SO gross.

That I couldn’t stop gagging while cleaning him, and Daddy had to take over.

That it was a really long night.

I can’t wait to tell him…

That I’d do it all over again.

That I loved every second of it.

That it was the best night.

I can’t wait to tell him that we laughed at our failure to get the perfect family photo…

And it was perfect.

We need to laugh. We just need to. We really do. Life is hard. All is broken. We are weary. If we let it, the sorrows of this world can swallow us whole. We need to find joy in the little things. We need to not condemn each other’s failures but lift each other up in them. We need to relate.

We need to love.

We need to be kind.  To ourselves and to each other.

We need to pray.

We need to take poop-stained photos in fancy white dresses.

And then we need to display them proudly in our family room.

Facebook, too. Obviously.


I’m always thinking about poop… and 9 other things I’ve learned as a new mom.

Locked in my office, pumping out breastmilk for the third time one day, I grabbed my phone to do my daily check in and texted my mother-in-law who was on baby duty that day.

After asking the general, “How’s it going?” my next question was one I had become all too familiar with.

“Any poops?”

If she answered yes, I was all like, “Yay! Poops!”

Then when I see my son, in a squeaky voice, I’m all like, “Did you go poopies today?! I heard you went poopies today!”

I get so excited for poop.

When did I all of a sudden get so excited for poop?

The answer? When I became a mom. When I became a mom, I learned that I get excited for poop.

This had me thinking. What other random things have I come to realize that as a new mom have become the new normal? After all, life has changed drastically, and there are plenty of things I’m learning along the way that I didn’t necessarily read in any parenting books. Things like,

  1. A hot shower is the equivalent to flowers and rainbows and everything good in the world.

You know the cliché advice to “nap when they nap?” Firstly, that’s easier said than done, so stop telling new moms that. It just doesn’t happen. In the beginning it was either, do I nap or do I eat? Do I nap or do I shower? Do I nap or do I pump? Do I nap or do I stare blankly at the TV, irrationally and emotionally questioning all of my life’s decision up to that point. I have to eat, and I have to shower, and I have to pump. No, I didn’t have to stare blankly at the TV, but sometimes you just can’t even do anything. Not to mention my son’s naps last all of 30 minutes. So naps? Just no. But showers? Oh my. Whenever I had a moment to myself, I took a shower. It’s the one time you are alone, uninterrupted (hopefully), and CLEAN. It did wonders for me mentally and even physically after childbirth. And I capitalize clean because more often than not, it’ll be the first one you’re taking in a few days.

  1. You become a human burp cloth.

This is part of the reason why showering feels so good. No matter how many burp cloths you have on you, your baby will find a way to spit up on you. My son’s spit up has the ability to redirect itself mid-air and find its way on to my clothing, and so I’ve given up on changing my clothes throughout the week. My son may only remember me as always looking homeless, but at least he’ll learn a technique on how to save time on laundry.

  1. Whoever said, “Don’t cry over spilt milk,” is the WORST.

Because spilling breastmilk is the WORST. You work so hard for it and when you spill an entire feeding’s worth, you cry and question life as you know it.

And while I don’t have any experience with formula, I’m guessing you’ll cry if you spill that too because, hormones. Plus, when is that ever cheap?

  1. Speaking of crying, you will. A lot. 

At some very irrational things.

One night my husband and I were watching TV when a life insurance commercial chronicled through the life of a baby boy, from infancy to graduation. I sadly gazed over at my husband when he asked me what was wrong. My eyes welled up and I began to cry as I responded in a pathetic voice, “He grew up.”

I cried because the boy grew up.

  1. Hearing “it’ll get better” when it’s not yet getting better, will make you want to punch people.

But don’t. Because it does actually get better. It’s just that when you’re in the thick of it, sleep deprived, and emotionally unstable, hearing it will get better when you feel there’s no end in it getting better, is a very annoying thing to hear.

If it doesn’t get better, you can come personally punch me.

  1. You will have a superpower called multi-tasking. 

Your whole life will now become multi-tasked. Who knew I could cook, empty the dishwasher, vacuum, eat or, yes, even go to the bathroom with my son on my hip?

And who knew I could do so much with my feet?

Rest assured, you will also discover the art of distraction. I have listened to Taylor Swift’s, Shake it Off hundreds of times now. The reason? It distracts my son. Want to use the bathroom all on your own? I don’t blame you. Two words. Taylor. Swift.

On repeat.

  1. You will probably crawl before they do.

In and out of their room, that is. You will do anything to keep them from seeing you as they lie in their crib, so like a ninja in the night, you’ll crawl in and crawl out, leaving them only to question where this phantom arm is coming from that reaches through the crib railing to stick a pacifier in their mouth.

  1. Once you hear your baby laugh, you will literally do anything to make it happen again.

Like Ross on FRIENDS, you may find yourself singing Baby Got Back to your child if that’s what will make them laugh. I have become the most obnoxious person I know when I’m around my son, because all I want him to do is laugh. Fart noises. Singing about how much I like to eat apples and bananas. Telling him I’m going to “get him” a million times. Making noises that only a baby would understand. Dancing like a buffoon. Fake sneezing over and over again. You do it all just to see even a smile. Is it worth it? Yes? Do you look crazy? Yes.

  1. You will have all the feels.

I love my son. I love him so much it HURTS. Remember when I said you will cry a lot? This is why. It’s like a section of your heart you never knew you had has suddenly burst open. So, yes, when I cry because the boy in the commercial grew up, it’s because the old saying is true: “The days are long, but the years are short.”

So we wonder why, Moms, even in the midst of the newborn stage when we can’t even comprehend doing this all over again, we eventually give that look to our husband’s… a look of excitement, a little panic and a lot of crazy. A look that can only conclude one thing:

We’re going to do this again.

And maybe even another time after that.

Because the days are long, but the years are short.

Yes, my son is only six months old, but before I last blinked, he was only six pounds. Time is not our friend, Moms.

So cherish each moment.

Cherish all the feels.

Cherish even the poops.

And just like that, I’m a mom.

A few weeks ago Adam and I were five minutes into a new show called Chicago Med when a doctor rushes in a teenage girl bleeding out only to realize she had just given birth somewhere on the street.  Frantic, the doctor runs a couple blocks away to where the young girl was found to track her steps and see if he can find her child.  The doctor finds a backpack in an alley and opens it up.

And there he was.  A newborn.  In a zipped up backpack.  Helpless.

And there I was.  A new mother.  In a glass case of emotions.  Crying.

I cry.  A lot.  Almost everyday.  Since having my son, I cry.  I never used to be like this.  I don’t even like crying, but my son has opened a section of my heart that I never knew existed until now.  A section that just loves to mess you up emotionally and mentally and physically… a section that screams, “Welcome Mommy!  Here’s all the hormones you can have at once!”

And just like that, I’m a mom.

The most frequent question I’m asked since having Brooks has been: “Do you love it?”

Do you love it???

Don’t you just love it?!?

“Yes! Gosh it’s everything I imagined it would be and BETTER.  Being a mother is the best, gosh yes these ARE truly the best days…” is what I did not say.

I love…him.

No, I don’t love it, whatever it is.  I love him.  And so I do it.

No I don’t love having my schedule revolve around when the next feeding is.  No I don’t love being woken up several times in the middle of the night from loud cries to continue said schedule.  No I don’t love gas being so bad in my baby he decides to just cry all day long, literally, with no end in sight and I get nothing, and I mean nothing, done.  No I don’t love being exhausted all the time, and feeling like a cow, literally and figuratively.  No I don’t love being peed and pooped and spit up on on a daily or hourly basis.  No I don’t love going two or three, maybe four, days without showering because you seriously don’t have a minute.  No I don’t love crying so hard out of frustration because it seems as though you cannot do anything to stop your baby from crying and there’s nothing left for you to do but cry along with him.  And no I don’t love how very real and scary postpartum depression is after you’ve given birth and how physically crappy you feel for quite some time.

No, I don’t love it.

But I do it.

Because I love him.

I love Brooks.  Oh my gosh do I love him.  I am so in love with him it is scary.  The thought of anything happening to him makes me sick to my stomach.  I wish I could describe in words my heart for him, but I honestly can’t.  I look at him and I can almost physically feel my heart melting.  All else falls away.  All I see is him, my son.

** Note to self ** Go back and read that paragraph each time Brooks keeps me up in the middle of the night because he just. won’t. sleep..  and my temperament changes from “Shh, it’s okay sweet boy” to “OH MY GOSH WHAT DO YOU NEED FROM ME?!??”

These last eleven weeks have been the craziest, most exhausting and challenging of my life, and it will continue to be as long as I am a mother.  With every stage comes different challenges and as Adam tells me each time I have meltdowns in his arms (which happens more times than I care to admit), “You’re a mom.  It’s the hardest and most important job you’ll ever have.”  He’s never been more right.

Yet today marks Friday, January 1, 2016.  New Years Day.  And in just three short days, I will need to figure out how to be a full-time mom with a full-time job as I head back to work.  Another stage, another challenge.  For how very anxious I am to take this next step, and as determined as I am to continue to give my very best to my job, a job that I do love, in the stresses of each day I need to remember Adam’s words.

Being a mom to Brooks is the most important job I will ever have.

I have never been more aware of God’s strength than in being a mother. And I have also never been more aware of my weaknesses than in being a mother.  The truth is, I don’t know what I’m doing.  And honestly, I feel like I never will.  But God knows this.  He sees where I fail and yet He’s chosen me anyway.  God has chosen me to be the mother of Brooks.  No one else.  No one on this entire planet can be the mother of Brooks besides me.  God has entrusted me with this child, and it’s because of God that I can truly love this child, because God loved him first.

I know I’m going to fail.  I already have in the short eleven weeks I’ve been a mom.  I know I can’t actually do this.  That’s right.  I can’t do this!  Not on my own… But with God and because of God, I can.  The assurance I have in knowing God knit him in my womb, that God loves Brooks more than I ever will and that God gave up His son so that mine could live, gives me the freedom to know that even in my failures as Brooks’ mother, God succeeds as his Father.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

Being a mom is brand new to me, and to be honest it’s really, really hard (gosh I miss sleeping).  Yes I’ve started to get the hang of it a bit and I’ll admit it’s easier than it was in week one, but everyday is something new.  Everyday Brooks changes.  Everyday I’m thrown for a loop. Everyday I can do the same routine with Brooks and it somehow yields a different result every time.  Nothing comes easy.  But nothing is more worth it.

The moment Brooks was placed on my chest, naked and crying, at approximately 3:09am on October 16, 2015, I cried.

And when that doctor on the TV show opened that backpack and that helpless baby was inside, I cried.

And when I first cut Brooks’ nails and I caught his skin and he screamed and bled, I cried.

And on Monday, just three days from now, when I go back to work and leave Brooks behind, I’ll cry.

Because I am a mother.  And mothers cry.

Do I love it?


I love him.

And as a friend recently asked the simple question, “How’s it going?”  I gave her my most honest answer.

I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m doing it anyway…  While crying, probably.


Brooks Daniel Veenstra

October 16, 2015, 3:09am – 6lbs, 7oz, 20in