Momo In The 6

Marriage

10 YEARS, I LOVE YOU.

MarriageMomo in the 6Comment
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FEBRUARY 3RD, 2007. What a special day. Today Sam and I celebrate 10 years of life together. Ten years ago today we were sitting in our friends driveway and he asked me to be his girlfriend. We were 17, just kids who had no idea what we were doing, but I knew even before I said "yes" that this was real. I knew I would love you, I hoped that love would turn into the life we have now. And I'm so thankful we have made it this far.

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Love isn't just a feeling. Sure the feeling is there, I still get those mushy feelings when I think about him, or when he comes in from work and gives me a big kiss. But love, real, sustainable love, isn't based on a feeling. It's a choice. It's waking up everyday and saying, "I will love you today, and everyday for the rest of my life." For anyone who knows our story, you know that we fumbled our way through six long years of long distance dating, a stage of our lives that broke both of us in many ways. When you start dating at 17 you have so much growing up to do, so many hard lessons to learn. Those years taught us what it means to fight for each other, to fight for the love that we have. Some seasons it feels so easy and natural to love, other times you feel like you're learning to love someone new, someone different with different passions, interests and tendencies than who you fell in love with. I have loved many different sides of Sam, and am continuing to learn this man who I have spent the last ten years of my life with.

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So here's to ten years down and, Lord willing, fifty more to go.

"So when I lose my way, find me. When I loose loves chains, bind me. At the end of all my faith, to the end of all my days. When I forget my name, remind me." (Dancing in the Minefields)

FOUR YEARS

MarriageMomo in the 61 Comment
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JUNE 30th MARKED four years of being married. Four years of life together, four years of learning to be a wife, learning to live with someone else, learning to put his needs above my own, learning how to cook, how to manage a home, how to organize, how to save money. Learning to be a team, learning each others love languages, learning to be parents together, learning how to fight fair and to respect each others space. I have learned so much in four years of being married to you, Sam. You are a strong, brave and kind man and I can't imagine a better father for our sons.

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Despite the chaos and busyness of our lives, you have remained steadfast in your love, true to your word and faithful to your God and I admire you so much for it.

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I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.

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All photos are by the incredible Erica Hannah Photography

ADVICE FOR NEW MOMS | ERICA

Family, Motherhood, MarriageMomo in the 6Comment

I’ve so enjoyed reading through Morgan’s blog series for new mamas. I honestly still find myself soaking in other’s experiences and ways that they thrive as moms.  We all know about the advice, and the MANY opinions that are EVERYWHERE on how to parent, but the truth is- there is no one right way, and no one really knows what they are doing. Something could work one day, and the next day that perfect piece of advice could cause a serious toddler meltdown. For me, I feel like I never have it figured out, and that’s why I love hearing other’s journeys… Its so important to be REAL in this world of mommy hood. So I’m honoured to share a little bit of my heart here.

I don’t have it together.

I’m not always a joyful parent.

I’m tired most days.

But I’m not alone.

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I became a mom 6 years ago. March, 2010 I took that pregnancy test after being married for just 2 months. I took a second one, because i thought that’s what everyone did.. still pregnant. Annnnd the third one was the same.
The next 6 months of my life were filled with a blur of never ending “Morning” sickness, Dr’s and constant fatigue, all while dreaming about how my life would change. Nothing could prepare me for what was ahead. I never knew how hard it would be, how selfless it would require me to be, and how amazingly rewarding it would be.
November came, and after hitting that “so done with pregnancy” I felt blessed to be induced 3 weeks prior to my due date.
7 or so hours later, my 6 lb baby boy was in my arms.

I remember vividly, being taken to my hospital room, my husband left for the night, and there we were, my Eli and me-his mom. It was weird being called “mommy” ..it sort of hit me all at once. This 21-year-old girl, a mother. It was all on me. The diapers, feedings, 24 hours a day. …all me. How Overwhelmed I felt. I think that definitely describes motherhood. “overwhelmed.”   

It’s hard to believe that he is now almost 6, and the older brother of 2 sisters. I still have so much ahead, and so much to learn, but I’m at this surreal point now, where I can look back some and see how far I’ve come. I don’t have the answers on how to get your baby to sleep through the night by 6 weeks, because my 18mth and 3 year old still wake me up. Or how to get them to breastfeed the right way, because all three of mine were bottled, I don’t have answers on how to get them to eat their dinner, because mine done. I don’t have answers on a lot of things, but I know the things that I’ve learnt so far, what I’ve been taught from being a mom.

So lets see how much I can communicate while one watches Toopy-Binnoo, and the other naps. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, because we all know how little time you new mama’s have.  (Keeping in mind I haven’t slept in over 3 years, so this all could make very little sense...) ;)

1// This too Shall pass
I hated this advice. Hated it. Maybe its because I struggle with patience. I want the teeth to pop through today! I want her to sleep tonight! I want him to follow my direction the first time! ..But I think the more years I parent, I realize the reason I hated this advice is because its so t r u e.  I’m typing and my wee baby boy is in Kindergarten. The little boy who screamed for 2 months with colic, the one who finally started on formula because I couldn’t take any more breastfeeding pain, the one who cut naps right when he baby sister was born, those tired days and blurred nights have all ended. And he’s already talking about his own house one day. One where he can play Mario kart 24 hours a day, and chew gum whenever he desires.
This advice I find myself repeating over and over.  Time is moving so quickly. I’ve packed up my newborn gear. I’ve given away a crib. I’m down to one size of diapers. Soak this in. Soak this in. Hug them. Read them their stories. Kiss them. Where is time going? There is SO MUCH FUN ahead, but saying goodbye to what was, is hard. Especially when you blink, and it’s gone. Soak it in.


2// Take pictures.
Maybe its because I’m a photographer, or because we grew up with thousands of photos everywhere. Take pictures and print your pictures, and then hang your pictures. You may not believe me, but you will forget those tiny fingers and toes. I love that we live in a day where photos are everywhere. Pull out the iPhone and take tons of photos. (And PLEASE back up your photos! Drop box is my best friend!) And most importantly Mama’s-be IN those photos. Your kids with thank you one day.

3// You Matter.
Whether it’s a bath, a night out alone, or a date night; take care of yourself. It’s so easy to burn out, and your kids need you. Remember yourself, because you matter too. One way my husband and I try to set aside time is to have late night dinners. We feed the kids, put them to bed and he runs out to grab some of our favourite foods. Probably not the healthiest of ideas, but eating a meal together in quiet can go a long way. Find ways that work for you, but make sure you take a break. It’s always been really important to us to have routine for our kids. 6:30pm is bath. 7pm is bed for the girls, and 7:30 for our son. That way we have a few hours to sit and talk, watch our fave shows, and just breathe together.

4// Pick Your Battles and teach them to Grow.
This was some advice I received from a dear friend that impacted me deeply. We are not meant to policemoms. Your 1 year old stole a toy, and now their baby friend is crying? Your toddler is melting down about you flushing, because she wanted to? Your kids are arguing with their play date? Sometimes, its ok to walk away, and to just let them figure it out.  My favourite words are “Work it out guys.” Sometimes, letting them have their meltdown, walking away until they’re done, and moving on with your day is the only option you’ve got. Obviously there are times to step in, and take over- but it’s so easy to “over mom” and be TOO “on our kids.” You’ll just exhaust yourself. Life will require them to know how to work things out, teaching your kids independence is important for them, and for your sanity.

5//Ask for help.
I’ve been so blessed to have a family that is always by my side. Sometimes I’m sick, and they come to my rescue. Sometimes I just need a break, and they come watch the kids. It’s so important to find someone who you trust with your kids, and that you feel comfortable leaving your kids with. It honestly takes a village, don’t feel like a bad mother if you need to send your kids to their grandparents for a night or two.

6//Pray & Seek God.
God has entrusted you with the huge task of raising these sweet babes. How amazing is that? One of my most cherished memories of motherhood thus far, was putting my then 4 year old son to bed one night. After praying and saying goodnight, we started talking about God and Eli curiously asked me lots of questions about praying and about loving God. God worked in his little heart that night, and God allowed for me in that moment to help Eli understand His love for my son, and I prayed with Eli who wanted to accept Christ into his life.
I am so unequipped as a parent. I don’t always get it right. I don’t always set the best example for my kids. But this task we’ve been given is huge. It matters more than formula vs. breast, it matters more than co-sleep vs. crib. Raising these little humans is holy work, so take what God offers you. In the end, His strength is what we need as parents. Look to Him, and ultimately they will too.

{I wanted to include of few of my practical tips to end.  Because these have been lifesavers to me, and I always want to share with my friends for their same moments of desperation }

For the kiddos: Nothing is worse than a sick baby. This Cough and Cold Nighttime Syrup is my fave! It’s anatural product and is honestly amazing! It makes such a difference when those babes are stuffy, we always keep this in our cupboard. Another go-to is this Johnson and Johnson's Vapor Bath. Seriously try it! For the Mom: Something that I love about social media, is all the ways it can be used to edify. I don’t find much time in my day to sit and soak in God’s word. One way that I try to focus on my walk with God is by following some instagrammers who glorify God in their feeds. Some I would recommend following are @gracelaced @lifelivedbeautifully & @thrivemoms If you find time in your week to read, I would suggest Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sally Clarkson & Sara Mae and Surprised By Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker.

Probably the best to end with is our favourite coffee, because without coffee where would we be? Buy these beans Kicking Horse Coffee , and brew.

I feel like there is so much more I could write, but every Journey is so different, and every child is so different. Parenting one way probably won’t work the same way on another child. You were created for this and you’ve got this. Follow your heart, and smile often. One day at a time Mama, and soak it in.

 

 

LIFE, LATELY

Family, Home Life, Motherhood, MarriageMomo in the 6Comment

THINGS HAVE BEEN a bit quiet on the blog for the past few weeks, apart from all my wonderful guest posts I haven't had much to say. Namely because I have been trying to keep my head above water and also to soak in all the wonderful moments and memories that are happening day to day in our house.

When Sam went back to work a month ago, things were exhausting. He worked an overnight shift every 3 or 4 days on top of his regular, five-days-a-week of working. I was trying to get our lives organized, get Atticus on a schedule, get outside daily and keep my head above water. Sam and I hardly saw each other and when we did we were so wiped that we mostly just sat on the couch and ate dinner and had a quick conversation before I would jet off to bed to be able to survive the next day. We were mostly just ships passing in the night. But through having an insane schedule since we got married, we have learned to make the most of our time together as a couple and as a family whenever we get it, including a trip to the High Park Zoo!

Some kiddo updates: Finn is at a really fun and really chatty age. He is learning things almost faster than I can keep up with him! We are loving the warm weather and our awesome new backyard and being able to still get outside and play while Atticus sleeps in his crib. He has developed preferences when it comes to his meals and I try to encourage and cater to them whenever possible, for example: He asks for (almond) milk with his oats, cheese and pepper for his pasta, ice for his water and to have his apple slices in a bowl.

Atticus is growing up so fast. The newborn stage goes by SO quickly. Everyone said that to me with Finn, but let's be honest... with your first baby everything is such a huge adjustment and the days feel so long and you wonder if you will ever sleep again. This time, I knew that it is true, it goes by so quickly, too quickly. So I have tried to savour all the sleepy cuddles and the sweet little snore he does after he falls asleep on your shoulder after being burped. He is such a joy! He is very active, good at tummy time, smiling and cooing all the time and sleeping lots. This past weekend he slept from 11-7 and I woke up feeling like a new woman! Bless you, little Atticus!

Thankfully, it is a new month, with a new schedule for him, including a glorious week of vacation in the middle of it! There are weddings and vacations and warm weather and family time in the next four weeks for us and I couldn't be more excited.

BACK TO REALITY

Family, MarriageMomo in the 6Comment

HERE I AM sitting at the desk in our living room reflecting on the last five weeks. What a special time this has been for our family. Sam took five weeks of paternity leave and we welcomed our sweet Atticus on what should have been his last day of work (perfect timing if you ask me!). We survived those hazy first two weeks that are full of sheer joy, exhaustion, coffee and take-out/meals from friends and coffee... did I say that already? ;)  We had family and friends come to meet little Ace and bring meals and gifts. My mom came almost everyday in the first two weeks to be an extra set of hands - making meals, cleaning, folding laundry, playing with Finn, holding Ace when I needed to nap.

 Sam went and got treats from Bonjour Brioche and coffee from Boxcar Social for our first morning home.

Sam went and got treats from Bonjour Brioche and coffee from Boxcar Social for our first morning home.

We spent our days resting. Sam would wake up and do the morning shift with Finny while Ace and I slept in. He would take Finny swimming at the local pool almost everyday. We went for walks, had brunch, drank lots of coffee, introduced Atticus to a number of our family and friends. We spent lots of time at the park, went to the Aquarium, got away to a friends cottage for a weekend, we went on a brewery tour in Collingwood.

We spent a glorious week in Florida at Sam's parents place there (more on that later). I got in a fight with a blender and ended up in an American hospital getting three stitches on my hand. Sam finally had the time to use the one month unlimited cross fit membership I bought him last Father's day. We had dinners and brunches with friends. We made many Snapchat videos (@morganthrall). We laughed a lot, we binge watched the office through the many, many hours of nursing, we watched movies. We started having family dinners with Finny a few times a week rather than just eating after he goes to bed. We had great conversations about life and the things we hope and wish for for our family. We made plans. We adjusted, slowly but surely, to life with two kids. It was a really beautiful month with my three boys.

Sam's job is incredibly demanding and stressful and this is the first time we have had a significant amount of time off in the almost four years of our marriage so we reveled in the freedom that we felt to lay back and relax, even with two babies. It was so special to watch Sam and Finn together over these five weeks. They were always close, but what a bond they have now! Finn is obsessed with Sam and has grown up so much in last month - all that extra attention that Sam can give him that I can't always give (because, you know, we need to buy groceries and eat dinner and have a house that is *somewhat* clean). He is such a charming/interesting/funny kid and we really love his company (not just because we're his parents!). This time with Sam has been so good for our family, so good for our marriage, so good to unwind and re calibrate. We took time to assess what has worked in the past, what hasn't worked, how we can change things, how we can make sure we can be the best version of our family moving forward. It obviously won't be perfect but it's good to set goals and aspirations to work towards.

So here we are, back to reality. Back to the rhythms and routines of life as we have always known it but now with an extra babe in tow and very full hearts!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SAMMY

MarriageMomo in the 6Comment

 

TO MY WONDERFUL husband, on your birthday. What a gift it is to be married to such an incredible man. You are smart, handsome, kind and devoted. I learn something new from you everyday. You are the most amazing husband and father I know and I laugh more with you than with anyone else. I fell in love with you when I was seventeen and I continue to fall more in love with you each and every day.

I can't believe I get to do life with you.

NINE YEARS, I LOVE YOU.

Marriagemomointhe62 Comments

TODAY IS MY nine year anniversary with my high school sweetheart. I am so thankful to be able to do life, everyday with my best friend and the man of my dreams. Nine years ago today, after sitting and talking in the driveway for 3 hours he asked me to be his girlfriend. I don't think either of us could have imagined what that "yes" would hold us for, but I'm so glad he plucked up the courage all those years ago.

To my Sam, even after spending a third of our lives together, you still do it for me. You are as handsome as you are smart and it is the greatest privilege of my life to be your wife and your friend. I love you, I love you, I love you.

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