It Takes an Army

If you saw this “picture perfect” post pop up on my Instagram feed last week, you might’ve made some inaccurate assumptions about the events surrounding how that sweet mama-moment came to be…

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… So I feel there is something that needs to be said:

I’m constantly hearing other moms talk about how NOT glamorous their lives are in contrast to those around them; feeling inadequate and “homely” when comparing themselves to the PERFECTION that they see in other people’s lives. But I tell them this – the truth is, I highly doubt there are many photos being posted on IG that are really and truly as worthy-to-be-envied as they may seem. Behind every gorgeous selfie there are 150 outtakes, behind every home decor staging there’s the removal of everyday messiness, and behind the “mama-blogger-status photo shoots” there are the MELTDOWNS! It takes hard work getting kids to cooperate sometimes, and even more work on top of that to find a day where the sun’s shining, clothes are clean, hair is done, makeup is on, and we actually have a moment to leave the house in between naps! So let’s just cut the crap and get this straight: no one’s life is as flawless as it may appear, nor should any of us ever feel even a twinge of jealousy when scrolling through our social media feeds. Why compare somebody else’s BEST MOMENT (after all, they deemed it post-worthy) to YOUR behind-closed-doors REALITY. Parents: We’re all in this crazy human-growing gig together, and we all know how difficult the unfiltered ins/outs of parenting can be – so let’s encourage one another and be each other’s cheerleaders! Let’s celebrate the wonderful and exciting moments as a team, and be there as a support system when things are going…. well… NOT so wonderful. 2 Corinthians 10:12

Here are a few of my favorite outtakes behind last week’s ATTEMPT at a photo shoot! It took an army of help to get this scattered squad in line, but we pushed through the tears and  e v e n t u a l l y  had a genuinely fun time together. The end result: a precious memory, pictures of my boys wearing their matching “be still and know” tees in honor of brother Cruz, and one really good photo that made the stressful morning all worth while. It’s really one for the wall, you guys! (And by wall I mean, the imaginary family photo wall that I have YET to hang in the stairwell lol #dontjudge)

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Just seconds in, Valor was NOT having it, and Ezekiel was fighting his own tears about taking a break from cousin Jaden…

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Then Z was upset about wearing his coat, and pouting that I put his hair up in a man-bun. (He’s had this adorable haircut for a while now, but refuses to ever wear it up like this!) I just started laughing at their sudden onset uncooperative behavior…

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Ezekiel gave Valor a kiss which is a nonstop occurrence around our house, but of course his response was MORE TEARS haha!

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And now we finally arrive at the moment (20 minutes in), where Valor takes a huge breath – blotchy face n’ all – and decides he’s gonna be happy for no apparent reason 🙂

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^^^ Me saying, “I should have known this day would go like this…….”  ^^^

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Valor is clearly too big for this size 6 mo tee from @bestillclothingcompany, but these tops were the main inspiration behind the photoshoot to begin with, so let’s just take a moment to adore the big baby in a belly shirt!!!

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#MINORadjustments

if only he'd let me put is hair up more often :(
^^^  If only he’d let me put is hair up more often 😦  ^^^

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Look how cute they were being! I love seeing their blossoming relationship unfold.

When Cruz was in the hospital, the owner of Be Still Clothing Company sent me an encouraging note about the faith-filled inspiration behind her brand, along with a thoughtful care package full of shirts and trucker hats for the family – one of which was a sweet little tee for Cruz. At the time, I wholeheartedly believed Cruz would be coming home with us, and I looked forward to the day I’d be dressing him and Ezekiel in their matching clothes. After he passed away, I put Cruz’s shirt away with all his other keepsakes, and thought I’d never want to put it on another child… perhaps I wouldn’t even have another baby??? So, you can only imagine what it felt like to retrieve this smaller-than-remembered-shirt from the attic and do these precious pictures with Valor! Life today often leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth, but I feel so incredibly thankful and blessed beyond ALL reason that God gave me these two miracles to raise. With a 50% chance of needing a liver transplant, both of these little dudes live to remind me  e v e r y  day of the love my Father has for me ❤  Every morning I wake to find them breathing, I feel grateful.

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^^^ this is one of my favorites ^^^

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style icon tip: sweatpants and pumps for an ironic combo

 

In case you’re wondering which came first – the post title or the army jacket that so fittingly goes with the title – it was definitely the jacket. It’s like, I knew when putting on my outfit of the day that I needed to be up for a challenge 😏😉  (the heels and sore feet however are another story!)

>>> to buy SUPER cute & inspirational clothing for you or your kiddos, click on the image below! <<<

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

XOXO,

– B

be still clothing company

Psalm 46 (ESV)

10 “Be still, and know that I am God.

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They Grow Up When We’re Not Looking!

I feel like I’ve done EVERYTHING to cherish EVERY moment with Valor – because I understand how fragile and without-guarantee life is – yet somehow this little guy celebrated his half birthday yesterday (Z is already 4 years!) and I have no idea where the time went! I sometimes wish kids could stay small forever, but then again I’m looking forward to their future, full of so much anticipation and excitement! I think I just love and enjoy ALL the stages of parenthood… although, the current stage Valor is in might be my favorite with him yet! He’s such a ham, and I can’t seem to reach my fill of smooches and munches!

#ValorGrowthChart

He went from just laying next to his #ValorGrowthChart lightbox, to suddenly ^THIS^! What a little rascal!!!

(You can buy this fun @TypoShop lightbox for 30% off at CottonOn!)

#ValorGrowthChart

#ValorGrowthChart

OH, SWEET HAPPY BABY!

He really is the happiest, easiest baby!

(I think he knows Mama needed a little TUB OF JOY!)

 

MILESTONE CALENDAR:

  • all he wanted for Christmas was his two front teeth and he got them (well, the bottom ones anyway)!
  • Jimmy Fallon was right, Valor’s first word is “Dadadadadadadadadadada……….”
  • running into the kids’ table, rolling over my toes – Valor’s favorite event of the day is cruising in his Combi Car (aka his walker)
  • if his frustration and anger don’t get the best of him he may be crawling soon, but for now I guess we’ll settle for the pushup-scoot-scream-rollover routine. #temperTEMPER!
  • got milk? Valor can’t get enough of his booby milk and oatmeal, but has yet to acquire a taste for much else
  • this chubba is pushing 20lbs and wearing 18+ mo clothing…  so I guess we don’t need to worry much about his noted disinterest in food quite yet!
  • time to lower the crib… this feisty explorer has decided to start climbing his way through life, and he’s strong enough to do pretty much anything he sets his mind to
  • mommy is feeling like a new person, because teething-pain has finally subsided and V is back to napping and sleeping through the night again… WHICH IS WHY I’M BACK HERE BLOGGING!

I might be crazy but I’m already planning his 1st birthday! I figure time will fly by anyways so I better get a head-start, plus I think it’s therapeutic for me to put thought into things like CELEBRATIONS, especially when Cruz’s 2nd Deathiversary is coming up exactly one week from today. (Oh how I miss my little fighter boy!) I don’t feel bad for going a little over the top for Valor’s 1/2 birthday (do people usually blog about half birthdays?) and I won’t feel bad for throwing Valor an insanely BIG first birthday because I think  e v e r y  year our children are alive on this earth we should throw a huge party. I used to think birthdays seemed selfish – because it’s like the one day a year where our kids get bit by the it’s-my-party-and-I’ll-cry-if-I-want-to bug, and they think it’s ok to suddenly act spoiled rotten – but now it’s simply a day where my heart is rejoicing, and I want others to come and rejoice with me “prodigal style” 😉 Luke 15:22-25

What are your thoughts, Mamas? Is it just me or are we gonna look back one day and wonder where those 18 years went with our college-bound BABY wishing we were still corralling our never-ending-question-asking kindergartener!? These are the days… oh yes, THESE ARE THE DAYS.

XOXO

always on the go...

always on the go…

 

Buy your own Combi Car HERE!