Thursday, August 25, 2016

Elijah :: 11 months

I can't believe that my sweet little baby is now 11 months old! In just one short month I will have a ONE YEAR OLD, and that is just too much! I feel like time is going way too fast and I can't keep up. I look back at pictures and wonder where my little peanut went?

Elijah is just the sweetest! He loves, loves, loves his big brother (sometimes his brother doesn't always like this) and I am loving watching their bond grow as they can do more and more things together. He is curious, strong and just as stubborn and smiley as his big bro. I am going to be in for a wild ride with these 2 boys!

You forget how sweet little guys are once they become toddlers. For the most part, Elijah is happy all of the time (excluding when tired and hungry) and when he is not, he is very easily distracted. Unlike toddlerhood, which is full of temper tantrums and meltdowns and not everything can be fixed with a handful of Cheerios. 

It's amazing how fast this chapter of their life goes, yet it seems like forever in the moment. I really am just trying to soak up every single minute, because one day they won't need me (or want me) to tuck them in to bed or sit and play Legos, and it will be a sad day. But as our pastor at church said on Sunday, "If we don't push them into what they don't want to do or what they don't know, they will never grow." And that my friends is all we want as parents, is for our children to grow and thrive and become extraordinary parts of the world around them. As much as I love my little baby birds, there will be nothing greater than to see them fly! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Preschool Prayers

There is nothing more powerful than the power of prayer. We serve a BIG God and He can work enormous, amazing things when you give him the opportunity.

For me, one of the biggest parts of my job as a parent, is to pray over and with my children. Prayer is such an important part of our spiritual journey. It is what keeps us grounded and connected to a seemingly unreachable God. There is nothing in this world that would make me more proud than to see my children grow up to be Godly men.

My favorite time of the day is bedtime. Not only, because I am so mentally and physically drained from the day that I can barely keep my eyelids open, but because of bedtime prayers.

Gabriel's prayers usually consist of being thankful for his cousins (which is so cute, because he has been thanking Jesus every day for almost a year since we saw them last...He really is an amazing kid!) I love hearing the sweet, innocent prayers of a preschooler. They are simple and to the point, not selfish and full of muck, which sometimes can happen as we get older.

Here is an example of a Gabriel prayer:
"Dear Lord,
Thank you for my cousins. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for everything. Thank you for making me, me.

Sometimes mommy, daddy and Elijah make the list. But, how simple and sweet and amazing is a prayer like this? He isn't asking for anything, he isn't complaining about this or that. He is just thankful for everything. Period. And I love the wisdom in the end of this prayer; 'Thank you for making me, me.' You got it little dude! If only we were all thankful for the person God made us to be, instead of trying to be who the world tells us we should be. I need this reminder daily.

I think we all need to get back to this. Being thankful for ALL of our blessings (big and small). To see the world through little eyes. To love unconditionally, forgive quickly, laugh fully, pray simply. What a beautiful world we all could live in if we took some pointers from our kids' playbooks.

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'"
Mark 10:14

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Quality Time

Picture courtesy of MindMake :: Very interesting article with App that helps manage phone usage

I catch myself more and more always having my phone attached to me. I am constantly scrolling through meaningless posts on Facebook or Instagram for absolutely no reason at all. Is it out of boredom? Or do I really care about all of the things that I see every time I open it up on my screen? I honestly don't even know. Probably a combo.

Growing up in the late 80s early 90s there were obviously no cell phones and so I feel like I need to make a conscious effort to disconnect and put down the phone for the sake of my kids. I really do not want to have my boys grow up thinking that it is okay to always have a phone in their hand. I do not want to be a hypocrite by telling them to put their devices away, when I myself have the same problem. What a simpler time it was growing up before Facebook and the beginning phases of the internet. We used encyclopedias (yes, REAL books) for research papers and talked to our friends on this ancient device called a land line. It was magical! I honestly wish my kids could grow up like this. Except, maybe I will give them the internet for school work (I would have LOVED Google growing up).

Obviously, I do a lot of work from my phone and I need social media to stay connected as well as market my business, but there is no need to constantly update my feed all day long. Saying this, my husband and I had a conversation about this topic just the other night and have decided for us and our family that after the work day is complete we will be putting our phones away. That's right! No phones after approximately 5PM!

For me, I think this will help to be more present and in the moment with my kids. To actually play with them more and take the time to listen and hear more of what they have to say.

The other day Gabriel and I were playing on the swing set in our back yard. I was not distracted by anything because I had left my phone in the house and it was just me and him outside. As he's swinging, he looks over at me and says, "Mommy, I really love you. Mommy, do you know you are the best mommy." My heart could have burst it was so full. I realized in that moment, that he craves this time with me. Something so simple as pushing him on a swing (with no device in sight) made him feel so loved. I want him to feel this always!

So for now, I am putting down the phone. Unplugging. And getting back to basics. Like, spending more QUALITY time with my kids and my husband.