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Earnestly, on Christmas Night.

As I sit here in the quiet dim light, my heart is full and head swirling with the day we have just shared. Everyone now asleep while I recount this blessed day. We have celebrated our 10th Christmas as a family and I think every year it gets better. It has nothing to do with the boxes or wrapping but everything to do with the sleepy faces that surrounded the tree.

My middle-little is still so awe struck with Christmas, it made the day full of love, wonder and hope. Three traits that perhaps I have forgotten in the quick paced world that is motherhood, especially this busy season.

Earnest dad and I had gotten up before the kids (after wrapping and visiting until the wee hours of the night) and our excitement brimmed in anticipation for our little ones to wake and come downstairs. Our eldest had been awake before us but our rule was no kids out of bed until 7; which they complied. We sat in the glowing light of the tree that illuminated the boxes of treasures below and waited for the footsteps on the stairs.

We cheered them down as they took in the scene before them – the presents that had appeared, the stockings that hung heavy and the empty milk glass left among the cookie crumbs. Grammy joined and we enjoyed hot coffee, sweet orange rolls and watched the faces full of joy and surprise. Of course the gifting was but a portion of our day.

We enjoyed two hearty meals together, played games filled with joy and laughter, crackers that brought crowns and jokes to all; then poppers that left glittering red and green sparkles on the snow. One of my favorite moments was the glowing candle that burned atop a Christmas cookie cake as we sat around the dinner table and sang “Happy Birthday Jesus” only to have earnest babe request we sing, “This is the Day that The Lord Has Made” and indeed we rejoiced and were glad in it.

As I settle in and leave this, another Christmas in the books I am so thankful for the family that I have been given. The health of my husband and children, the joy and peace that fills our earnest home, and the love that is felt each and every day – which is my favorite gift this year. So as this season whooshes by, hustling and bustling I have to pause and soak up this moment. Such contentment, such blessings; I am so thankful that His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Merry Christmas earnest readers, I am thankful for each and every one of you that follow along in these adventures of our little earnest family.

x. earnest mom.

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For the dads; an earnest recognition.

Okay I am here to confess: Dads, we could not do it without you. Yup, us moms who hold our homes, families and the weight of the world on our shoulders – we need you! We need you when we are “fine,” when we are home with the kids all day or working full time jobs. We need you just as you are – the one we said “yes” to.

I remember bringing home earnest boy 1.0 almost 9 years ago. We were so green, we had no idea what we were doing and we drove home in shock, looking over our shoulders saying “are they really letting us take him home?” Newborns are crazy hard work as we get through getting to know this tiny little stranger that we have been gifted with – the demands were endless. Diaper changes, nursing, bathing, outfit changes, swaddling baby, backs to sleep. So much to learn and I know that had I not had earnest dad, I have no idea how I would have survived those first few newborn months.

Fast forward, ten years of marriage and three children later and I still have no idea how I could do this on my own.

We see you dads – we see you when you come home worn and tired from a long day’s work and can hear that mama needs a break, so you grab all the kids and snuggle up with them so she can have a minute to breathe. We see you in those moments before bedtime starts when mama is falling asleep on the couch and you wrestle with the kiddos on the floor. We see you when the baby won’t stop crying, mama is crying and you quietly take the baby to the other room to rock him and as you close the bedroom door you whisper “now rest my love.” I see you when, I am overwhelmed with the mess, the energy level, the noise volume and the non-stop “mom, mom, mom, moooOooooms” and you walk in and say “time to go downstairs” so I can get a few moments of peace. I see you when I get all worried about my mama worries and you reach out, hold me and tell me it will be okay.

This life is chaotic at times, quiet in others; it seems to be fleeting faster that I could have ever anticipated but there is no one else that I want sitting beside me in any of those times. All dads, you are so important and there is no one way to be a perfect dad but one million-billion ways to be a great one!

Thank you daddies – and thank you earnest dad. Thank you for working hard so I can stay home with our littles. Thank you for loving all of my quirks and passions, even the goofy ones. Thank you for keeping Christ the center of our marriage, our family and our home. And thank you for being the calm to my storm, the strength to my faults, the right to my wrong, the joy in my sorrow and the man of my life. Thank you for choosing me to ride along side you in this incredible ride of our lives. I appreciate you!

Mamas, join me in taking a moment to thank that support person in your life. The one person that helps makes sense of it all.

x. earnest mom.

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Motherhood: A wild and incredibly blessed ride!

Wild and blessed, two words that can describe exactly where I am right now.

I am always shocked when I hear the words: ” I do not know how you do it” or “how do you get anything done in a day?” Honestly, I never feel like I hit the mark, I rarely feel like I have gotten anything done in a day and sometimes the only gage I have that I’ve accomplished something is by my husband’s reaction when he come in the door.

Seriously, as a stay at home mom to an 8, 4 and 1 year old my time feels like it is spent assessing risk factors from wild toddler antics, throwing snacks out like candy at a parade and refereeing disputes over claims of “bad words being said, walking passed someone too fast or slow, and simply not agreeing on the next show to watch on Netflix.” And yes, my children watch Netflix, I mean yeah, I could totally parent without screen time – I could also churn my own butter but let’s not get too crazy now.

Friends have told me how I seem to have it all together and that my kids are so lucky. I am here to tell you, looks are deceiving. There are days when I get up before my children, make the coffee and have laundry and dishes running before 9:00 am. Those days are rare. To be honest that happened once last week. The rest of the week looked more like me walking out of the bathroom to my two oldest using a half a stick of butter in each hand from the fridge to butter their toast because there was not any softened butter available. No kidding, this was last Wednesday and I chose to look at the fact that not only did they make their own snack, but they did as a team! Yay, MOM WIN!!! Another day I turn around from loading the dishwasher to my one year old eating a burnt waffle he took from the garbage. Perfection?! NO WAY, but like I said I am wildly blessed by this.

In my days as a stay at home mom I have learned to let go and let live. My children are growing so fast, right before my eyes and if I do not stop all of my busyness I will miss on theirs. My house is not always tidy, some days my sink of full of dishes and there have even been times that we have run out of clean laundry; but my kids are loved, happy, fed and safe. Those four elements are a language of love for this mama’s heart, and perspective is everything. My home may be messy but we have a place to live, my sink may have dishes but we have food to eat and laundry may be dirty but we have clothes to wear. My kids may be loud but they have a voice, they may be busy but their have a love of life to live. Pretty soon, in a blink, my kids will be on their own; the house will be perfectly clean and too quiet, and I will miss these wild and blessed days.

I know that I am in no way a perfect mom, but I know I have been made perfectly by God to grow these tiny humans He has given me. I hope that when I fall short I can give them an opportunity to see humility and compassion; when I make mistakes I can help them learn to forgive; and when I hold them, they feel what true love is. I am mothering the best way I know how, I know that the best of me as imperfect as I am is exactly what they need. By this mere fact, I am able to forgive myself the moments when they eat from the trash or use way too much butter, and find joy no matter what. This is us, this is our little life and our little home is massive in love, for truly we are wildly blessed.

Mamas, no matter what season you are in, please know you are perfect just as you are. I love the saying “to the world you are just a mom, but to your children you are the world.” Our little ones have this amazing God-given power to love us mamas unconditionally, let us too start loving ourselves unconditionally too. Doing our best everyday is the best we can for them, and even when we totally fail, guess what?! They will be right there, still loving us.

You are seen, you are loved and you are everything to those little eyes that look to you every morning. You are just what your family needs. Be wild and blessed, the days are long but the years are short.

x. earnest mom.