Home is where ever I’m with you.. 

I’ve rehearsed this phrase a lot here lately. We’ve known for quite sometime that a move could possibly be in our future. I have pushed it away as long as I possibly could. On Monday, God changed “my” plans. (Haha) It sounds so ridiculous when I actually write it out. One would think by now, I would stop making my own plans, and commit to just following his. (I am working on it, I promise.)

Everything is right here at our finger tips. A quick phone call and we have all the help we could ever need. Sunday afternoon lunch with my parents, Sunday evening dinners at my mother-in-loves, and spontaneous get togethers with our relatives. I guess what I am trying to get out is… We are family people.

Like, I can’t even try to down play it. We love them. If we have any free time what so ever, you will find us at one of the places I listed above. Our girls love it, and so do we. We find our grounding with our loved ones. A safe place to have hard conversations, or a quick getaway when we are feeling over whelmed. It’s fun and it’s convenient.

Lubbock, Texas is our home. The place where we both grew up, and the place where I just knew we would raise our children. However, the day I married my husband, I made a covenant before God and our friends and family. To honor him, and stand beside him through anything and everything life throws at us, and that’s exactly what I am going to do.

After 23 years, we are packing up our things and moving to create a new life together. God is opening more doors for us than we could have ever imagined, and  when he calls you to do something, you do it. You do it with wide open arms and an open heart.

The hardest part for me is that life keeps on living, even after we leave. This year we are welcoming a new member to our family, my brother and his sweet wife are expecting their first baby. It is such a fun and exciting time, and all I can think about is the things we are going to miss.

No. We aren’t that far away, but we are far enough that we can just spontaneously meet for lunch, drive down the street and snuggle their new babe, spontaneously go and see our grandparents, or spontaneously plan a date night (at the very last-minute.) I am already trying to prepare myself for those hard conversations with Sterling. This girl is crazy about her grandparents. We will be playing at home and she will just shout out that she wants her Shug or her Dee Dee and well, we just go see them. No more mornings of Pawpaw stopping by to surprise his girls with donuts.

If you have learned anything from reading my blogs, you know how much I dislike change. However, I do know this.

God’s preparing my heart, and he has been for quite sometime. He hasn’t failed me before and he definitely won’t start now. We are beyond thankful for the blessings he is presenting us with, and will praise him through this new transition.

So as we begin this journey, I refuse to let our home be defined by a location, home is where ever we are together.

–theaveragemama

 

 

 

 

 

Chin up, mama 

Back in July we were out to dinner celebrating a friends birthday. We were waiting at our table when a middle aged woman notified me that my youngest daughter was too small to be sitting in a highchair. (Keep in mind she’s 10 months old.)

Mmmm. Yea. I’ll spare you my thought’s on that one.

I half heartedly smiled and went about my business. As we are leaving the same woman approaches us again, except now she is inquiring about, “the other little girl we had with us.” She first asked if she too belonged to me, and then referenced, “how fat she was.” When I said yes she said, “I was wondering if she was and how in the world they are related.” I wanted to reach over and slap her face. 

Yea, I just said that. And yet I just gave another half hearted smile. 

We walked to the car and I could barely make it inside before I broke down. You see, that “fat little girl” is my child. The same child that had blood work drawn 10 times to figure out why she wouldn’t gain. The same child that weighed twelve pounds at eleven months old, and who I thought would never get out of six month clothes. The same child I had to stop breast feeding because “it must have been my milk.” The same child that had to see a specialist. I look at her and am so proud of how far she has come. She eats so well, and FINALLY has put on weight. The weight that over half of the people we see comment on. And that little girl that was, “too small to be sitting in a high chair”.. is going through the exact same thing. 

I carry the weight of the world on my shoulder’s. I truly feel responsible, and yet there is nothing I can do to fix it. At six months the second time around, I was told yet again to stop breastfeeding. I tried everything. I ate lactation cookies; I was glued to a pump for hours at a time. I took all the supplements and ate all those special foods. The more I tried the worse it got. I wasn’t giving her what she needed. My heart broke walking into the store to buy a container of formula. Simply because the choice was stolen from me. I didn’t get to choose how I wanted to feed her, I felt like my hands were tied. Almost 4 months later she has gained maybe a pound. Weighing in at whopping 13 pounds. As her mother I grieve for her, and I am worried about it. The comments that are made carry ten times the weight they should. 

I’d love to be able to to tell you this was the first time, or maybe the second. This happens every. single. day. Just this morning I was waiting in line at Starbucks and a sweet little man asked me about my “four or five month old.” Yet again, another reminder that she’s small. Did he mean anything ugly? Absolutely not. The reminders just break my heart. Each time I dress her, I see her ribs. I know the sizes of her diapers and her clothes. I hear the comments from our families. I stay up worrying about this every single night.  

You will never know of the battles the people you meet are facing. The interal struggles they are fighting to get through. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, being a mother is the best but hardest thing I have ever done. From the  overwhelming advice from all of the experts that I see in passing, to society shoving all the do’s and don’ts down my throat. 

 To the women that are fighting a battle for your children and that are carrying the weight from a circumstance that you cannot change. 

Chin up, mama. 

Then next time you are faced with one of these circumstances, give them a kind smile. But always remember, you are doing a job that cannot be replaced. Your roll is so very important. The circumstances are only circumstances and the love that you are instilling in your children is irreplaceable. According to the experts, you will never be doing right. The best thing about it is that you are giving it your all. 

–theaveragemama

Sterling Kate: 10 months to 2 years 


Lyncoln Lyn: 10 months

“Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting so kind of battle.”—J.M. Barry

To the little girl that made me a mama

Before this world met you, I knew you. I distinctly remember the certain foods that didn’t agree with you, and how much you didn’t want me to have chicken or queso. I remember the way I could rub my belly and you’d sick out a limb and let me know you where there. I remember reading all of the labels and turning down some of my favorite things to try and protect you. I remember snuggling up with my belly as I prayed over you, and how when I stood up in the morning you braced yourself. I loved the way you would roll and hiccup as the days went on. The moment I knew about you, I loved you. I loved you with every ounce of my being. 

I remember just how uneasy I felt when it was time to break up our routine. I liked you with me. You were safe, secure, and protected. The thought of you no longer being that way was terrifying to me. Two years ago on this very day, I was pacing around the house trying to get all of my last minute things together. We were set to head to the hospital around midnight to start the induction process. I vividly remember looking at all of my lists, trying to make sure I had everything.  I felt so unprepared. I was so uneasy that I was literally mopping the floor right before we left. I would go into your nursery just to look around, I wanted to make sure everything was ready for you. Could you tell I was scared?  Our families came over to hug our necks before we left, and I remember looking at your Paw Paw with a huge lump in my throat. Growing up anytime I was uneasy about something I just looked at him. He had a way of making me feel safe, without ever saying a word. I didn’t know what was coming, all I knew was my life was about to drastically change. All of the horror stories I had been told the last nine months were racing through my mind. It was all becoming very real. 

We loaded our bags in the car and headed for one last snack. I remember carrying our things in, and with each step I was constantly thinking, “the next time I am right here she will be with me.” We checked in they handed me a gown and it was go time. The clock ticked on, hours past, visitors came and went, and around 7:00 pm you decided you were ready to meet us. You were so eager that you really didn’t care if our doctor was there or not. She arrived and two contractions later…

you were here. 

  
Septermber 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm we laid eyes on you. 8 pounds of pure love. 

 In that very moment I swear time stood still. It had to of. I could literally feel my heart beating inside my chest. Sweet girl, I don’t remember anyone else but you. The look of your little squished face and big fresh eyes. The sweet little cry you let out as she held you up in front of me. The way your tiny little body felt as they laid you on my chest. Nothing could have prepared me for that. Nothing. No book I could’ve read or the advice from a friend. 


I ugly cried. big time.

Uncontrollably I might add. You were the sweetest thing I’d ever laid my eyes on. God changed my heart that day. I lost a piece of me that I never want back. He took a selfish, confused, and broken person and transformed me into your mother. 

 Over the course of your life you aren’t going to agree with me. I promise to stand back as much as I can. I know I get a little crazy at times but it’s only because I love you. I would die for you. I would give anything and everything I have to you. I want the absolute best for you. I promise to fight for you, whether you like it or not. I promise to always put you before myself. To love you without condition. And I promise to raise you and teach you in a way that is suiting to the Lord. 

To the little girl that made me a mama, I starting living the day I met you. 

I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you be. 

—theaveragemama 

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sterling Kate.

Love you most. 

Photography Credit: Tara Hobgood http://www.tarahobgood.com

For better or for… 

We walked out to the truck, smiling and waving goodbye to all of our friends and family. I closed the door of the pickup and as we were leaving the venue, I realized I was never going back home. To the only home I had known for 21 years. I remember glancing over at Matt thinking you are my new home.

The next few weeks (months) were quite challenging. Marriage was nothing like I had pictured in my head. All of the home cooked meals sitting on the table when he got home from work, greeting him at the door with a great big hug and a honey how was your day.

years. Man, that seemed like a long time.

Two years is how long I had been dating  my husband, when I was headed to meet him at the altar. I knew it all. I knew everything about him, or so I thought. It was easy and effortless to fall in love, walk down the aisle, and say ” I do.” It was easy when we got to choose when we wanted to spend time together. I made the biggest mistake of my life the day I said, “I do.”

When I should’ve said..

“I will.”

When he doesn’t agree with me, leaves his shirts/socks inside out, leaves his wet towel on the bed/ floor/ chair/ you name it has been left there (please lord help me with this one), hurts my feelings, gets on my nerves, did I already say when he doesn’t agree with me?

I WILL choose him.

Marrying him was the easy part, but choosing someone when you are hurt, angry, or just plain frustrated. That. That takes serious work. I am not ashamed to admit that he makes me crazy sometimes, but I promise you this.

Every morning I wake up, I choose him. Even when I am angry, and even when I am hurt. I choose to love him, choose to honor him, and choose to persue the Lord with him.

He is my biggest supporter. The guy that stands behind the scenes with open arms and open heart. Asks for no recognition, but is always here with a great big smile and an even better attitude.  Little does he know how much he is truly valued. We get wrapped up in our lives and I don’t tell him enough just how proud he makes me, how much he encourages me, and how little I could do without him.

To girl planning her wedding, the newly married bride, or the woman that has been married for years.. Don’t stop choosing him. Look beyond the circumstances, situations, and feelings. For better or for worse, choose him. Every. Single. Day.

—theaveragemama

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13 34-35
–Photography by

Tara Hobgood Photography. http://www.tarahobgood.com/

Our village.

Did you realize that the people in your “inner circle” play an active roll in not only yourself but also your family? I’d never really given it much thought, until I had children that is. Whether it is your blood relatives, the people that might as well be relatives, your neighbor, or your best friend. They are making an impact on your life. 

I don’t know about you but I heavily rely on my phone, but also for  reasons than social media. My camera is filled to the gills with memories. Some good and some not so good, but all very important. We had the pleasure of “finally” celebrating my daughter’s 2nd birthday party this weekend. It was such a hectic day that I am heavily am relying on the pictures I got to somehow try and piece the party back together in my mind. 

As we are cleaning up (brace yourself), I got pretty choked up. No. Not because she turning another year older, that will actually be on the 26th so I’ll save those tears for then. I was emotional at the people I was looking at. Humbled really. That everyone came together to help us celebrate such a special time. Watching all of them interacting with each other, and thinking about the impact they not only have had on me but the impact they have had on our family. Anyone that tells you they do it alone, is crazy. There is someone out there helping you, whether you realize it yet or not. A teacher that is investing herself into your child to grow and learn, a coach, a cousin, a friend, an uncle, an aunt, a grandparent, some one out there is investing time in your family. I think of it as a village. All of the people in our village are helping us, whether they know it or not.

–Our village is helping us raise our children. I’m not talking about the lesson’s learned, I am talking about the relationships. The relationship with the ones that we love. I can’t begin to even think about doing it all on my own. It wouldn’t be possible. There is no way I would ever be able to do it. The things we are learning by the love we are experiencing is so valuable. Something that truly can’t be bought. To the people that are apart of our village, Thank you. Thank you for supporting us, encouraging us, and loving us. The next time you see someone that is apart of your village, reach out and give them a great big hug, because they are giving you more than you could ever imagine. 

—theaveragemama 

see ya later, alligator.

I can’t sleep. I’ve tried and tried and tonight, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Memories from the last two years keep playing in my mind over and over. If you have been following along you will have picked up on the relationship that I have with my two year old. She’s my girl. A part of my tribe. She gets me. Knows exactly what to do to comfort me, knows exactly what buttons to push, and just what to say to make me forget. This little girl has been through it all with me. We have soared through the highest of highs together, and she’s pulled me through the lowest of lows.

 2 years ago today I was sitting in her floor beside her crib folding all of her baby clothes. Trying my hardest to picture her in them as I folded each one. I was terrified of what was to come. Right now, I am packing her backpack to start KDO tomorrow. Terrified of what is to come. I have never left this girl anywhere but with Grandparents, Especially with a complete stranger. (Helicopter parent in the house) This is going to be new for us. If you know me, you already know how strongly I dislike change. I like our bubble. It’s comfortable. Just enough room for us to all move, but not enough room for us to grow. 
Grow. Hmm. Is that what she is suppose to do? Lately, we have been struggling here at home. We are often moody, destructive, and at times disrespectful. Poor girl is extremely bored. Moody because we do the same thing day after day, destructive because it is something different, and disrespectful because it draws my attention. She IS none of the things I listed. We are just working through that phase at the moment. After A LOT of prayer, we decided a few days a week it would be good for her to have a little get away. It would help her interact with other little kiddos. When we were discussing it, it seemed so far away that I could totally push that on the back burner for a while. Which brings me to where I am now, I am literally sitting in bed right now yet again, wondering just how I am ever going to be able to do this. How in the world am I suppose to walk out of that place without her? Get in the car and drive away without her saying, “mommy watch Peppa, peas” in the back seat? I have no clue. I can’t even stand to think about it. She needs me, I just know it.

We are now getting her ready for school. Up until this point we haven’t even told her that she is going. On our way I feel my stomach starting to knot up, my palms are getting sweaty, and it is taking all I have to not burst out crying and whip this puppy around. I am scared for her. Sure it’s only for a few hours, but what if she thinks I’ve left her. I bet she doesn’t even understand why. We pull into the parking lot and I am literally praying she tells me she wants to go home. I have already rehearsed how this this is going to go down. If she doesn’t want to go, I’m not forcing her. Period. End of story. We will go right back home. We get her things out of the car and she almost instantaneously looks up at me with that cute little squint from the sun shining in her eyes and says, “here we’s go.” 

Well, dang. I hadn’t rehearsed that one. We get to her class and I am putting her things away, I turn to find her and she is already at my feet. In my head I’m thinking, ” okay, just say the word and we are gone.” She softly mutters, “bye bye mommy.” 

I felt like I had been punched right in the stomach. She wanted me to leave?  Surely to Betsy she didn’t really just say that.  I knelt down next to her, asked her for a snuggle and as she let’s go she says, “bye, mommy. I go play with my friends.” It took every ounce of my being to not run out of there bawling. I slowly gathered my things and left. 

I left her there. 

Alone.

And know what? She did great. The whole time I was saying that she wasn’t ready, when secretly it was me. I was going to miss her, miss the fussing, miss the afternoon snuggles, and miss her begging for a “fruit nack” every 5 minutes.  I was going to miss everything about her. Why? Because it’s different. Even though I never stopped thinking about her, my heart has truly never been more proud. God has some mighty big plans for her, and this is only the very beginning. From here on out I will not tell her goodbye, it feels too permanent. It’s see ya later. 

As I am emptying her backpack I find her first craft. It reads “I’m off to school to learn a bunch, each day is fun and new. I think about you all day long and wish you were here, too. But for these several hours, while we are far apart. Here is my little hand to hold, because I love you with all my heart. 

Hold on.
 I need to go find a tissue. 

–theaveragemama

Safe. 

Right now. In this very moment, we are standing in line at target and I literally want to just lay down in the floor.

 I. 

am. 

tired. 

Tired of the constant struggle. Tired of the whining. Tired of listening to Peppa freaking pig on repeat. Tired of the tantrums. Tired of this day. You know, when your almost two year old asks for something? and you {literally} squeeze your butt cheeks together because you already know when you say no that this whole building is fixing to go up in flames.

yeah.

Today, it was over PEPPA PIG TENNIS SHOES. Whose terrible idea was this? Great marketing technique, but HORRIBLE idea. While listening to the epic meltdown taking place in the cart (and yes, people are now staring). I couldn’t help but curse the fool that said “Hey, let’s make a Peppa pig tennis shoe. You know that all the little girls that come by these will cry and scream and beg for them. And their mom’s ha! I bet their mom’s haven’t showered in a few days, decided to get brave and get out of the house for a bit. By the time they get to this point, she won’t be able to take it anymore. She will buy the shoes, just to make it all stop.” That’s pretty much exactly how it all went. Except.. I refused to buy the shoes. I refused to give in. By not buying the shoes, hopefully she is learning something. It is completely unacceptable to behave this way and then expect to get what you want. Being a mom is hard. So hard. And sometimes it’s (dare I say it) ugly. Sometimes I feel like I can’t do it anymore. That I am failing so miserably. 

Just when I feel myself ducking down about to get down on my knees, I catch a glimpse of Lyncoln’s face. She has a slight grin and as we make eye contact, she crinkles that tiny little button nose. I found the courage to lock my knees, roll the basket forward and keep checking things off of my list. 

So. many. times. I feel like I am failing my family, failing my husband, failing my kids, failing myself, and failing my God. And just when I don’t think I can’t take one more step, God steps in and saves me. Every. Single. Time. He shows me the beauty in my circumstances, shows me grace, and shows me his unfailing love. Life is a baseball game that we are all playing. Each day is a new game, and each circumstance is a new inning. Today as I am rounding third base I am fighting to reach home plate.  And as I am sliding into home I hear him whisper “safe.” He picks me up and dusts me off, and gives me the strength to go again. He is always there encouraging me, and coaching me through life. It is me that has to choose to listen to him or listen to the stands.

This morning as we are standing in church and tears are steadily streaming down my face singing, “Weak made strong, in the savior’s love.” I instantly get chills running up and down my spine and I realize that I am not alone. He is always with me, lifting me up when I am too weak to stand. Pushing me to be my best and carrying me when I cannot walk. My prayer for all of you reading this, is that you feel his unfailing love. I pray that you too get to experience this. I deserve, Nothing. And yet he blessed me with this life. This absolutely humbling, beautiful, crazy, and sometimes ugly life. 

Cornerstone-Hillsong United 

—the average mama 

who in the world are you?

Mother’s Day 2016


   I have been riding a roller coaster for a few years that I promise you has just about derailed MULTIPLE times. I will never forget going into the bathroom after I had Sterling, and catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Maybe it was the fact that I had just given birth and my hormones were out of control, or maybe it was because of what I saw. Either way I am not kidding you, I instantly felt sick. I vividly remember mumbling “who in the world are you?”

Don’t get me wrong. This body carried TWO babies to term, delivered TWO babies, and has been far better to me than I have to it. I will forever cherish the scars and memories of what my body has gone through to bring life into this world. But let’s be really honest. At 21 years old, I couldn’t believe what I saw. I spent a good 20 minutes standing in front of the mirror wondering “who in the world are you?” It is no doubt that motherhood changes e v e r y t h i n g. It took a major emotional toll on me. Accompanied with a few other circumstances (we will get into a little later) and I was a full blown hermit crab. I didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t want anyone to come over. Motherhood is a HUGE adjustment in itself, without adding self esteem issues to it.  

********Fast forward 5 months *******
Once again, I found myself sitting in the floor waiting to see what the result was going to be. pregnant (again ). All of the people that tell you that it all comes “right back off,” are either liars or just plain lucky. Breastfeeding yeah that didn’t help either. I wouldn’t just have a steak, I would try to eat the whole cow. (I wish I was kidding)  Throughout my whole second pregnancy I kept my eyes focused ahead. I would wake up telling myself “the minute she’s here, I am going to do something.” Her delivery came and went and nothing changed. Eating right, working out 6 times a week. 

Nothing.   

I felt HORRBILE. Looked about the same. So at 6 months pp I HAD ENOUGH. Enough of the up and down, enough of the constant mental battle, enough of feeling embarrassed, enough of feeling ashamed and enough of making excuses.  I called and made an appointment with California Medical Weight Management. I went in and they ran blood work, explained the plan to me, took my before pictures, and I walked out of there. I walked out with more confidence that I have had in over 2 years. I poured everything I had into this program. 9 weeks later, 9 weeks. I have lost over 30 pounds and I finally recognize the person I see staring back at me. 

–theaveragemama 


These shorts were purchased the day after I started the program.



 “You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” ~Brene Brown

* I receive no compensation for posting this. This is NOT a paid ad. These are my real results. Take from it what you will. 

To see if there is one in your area visit http://www.calmwm.com it will be the best thing you’ve ever done. 

you & me girl

Tonight as I am writing this, I just finished planning my daughters SECOND birthday party. I have been putting it off for far too long, we have been potty training (insert eye roll here) and it seemed to give me a good excuse to not have to face it. This is where the screw ups usually begin. I put off things that are painful or things that make me down right emotional until I am forced to deal with what ever the circumstance may be. In turn causing everything to be much more dramatic and stessful than it would have been in the first place. Kinnnda like right now, see what I am doing here?

If we are being honest, this is all moving way too fast for me. Two. How in the world is she already going to be two? I can still remember the day I found out about her, and all the emotions come flooding back (cue the tears). I would’ve never guessed that those two little blue lines would change my heart so much…

At 11 pm sitting in the floor waiting for the result to come in, little did I know it was just you and me girl. At 3 in the morning when I was trying to figure out how was I  ever going to be able to do this, it was just you and me girl. When I was trying to find the courage to tell our families about you, it was just you and me girl. As I walked down the isle to marry your daddy, it was just you and me girl. All of those 2am, 3am, 3:25am (you get it) bathroom trips, it was just you and me girl. As I sat in your nursery rocking back and fourth in your rocking chair asking God how I was going to be able to do this, it was still just you and me girl. As I sat in the hospital bed waiting for my epidural, we listened to your daddy snore, and it was just you and me girl. As our doctor placed your little body on my chest, it was just you and me girl. Middle of the night nursing, bathroom nursing, many many diaper changes, late night/early morning crying because you missed me, it was all just me and you girl. I am having trouble letting go. I find all of my comfort in those little chubby arms. Every night as I put her to bed I can physically feel her body growing, and as when we are standing in her room swaying side to side I feel the closest to God that I have ever felt. This is his child and he picked us to care for her.

“He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”” Mark‬ ‭9:36-37‬ ‭NIV‬‬
‭‭

I will never forget the way I felt when they handed her to me. I was literally holding the weight of the world in my hands. I vividly remember thinking “how am I going to raise her in a world like this?” From that moment on my heart has been different. At the end of the day I sit down knowing I have given everything I have whether I’ve got it to give or not. I do it with contentment and perseverance in my heart. How was I going to raise her in a world like this?  With a lot of Jesus, a lot of prayer and a lot of love. There is no other way. So as she turns another year older, we are fulfilling his plan for us. I will desperately cling to all of the times we shared “just you and me girl.”

–theaveragemama

 

 

 

 

Photography by:
Tara Hobgood Photography
http://www.tarahobgood.com