This past weekend Mandy and her family came to visit for our HAPPY MOMMY BOX One Year Anniversary Event. I was counting down the days till we would all be together…
Ever since the 4 weeks previous when I threw this idea on Mandy and convinced her with my enthusiasm we could totally pull it off on such short notice…..haha.
Mandy and I met at a blog Conference in Dallas 18 months ago. Clicked immediately and I saw in her the same friendship I had with Shannon. She was an authentic and joyful person. It’s important to surround yourself with people who lift you up and help you grow. It seems crazy we’ve only been together in real life 6 times…but that’s the crazy thing about the internet. You can do amazing things through it. Our blogs brought us together and we both have used our passion to celebrate motherhood and encourage other women into a company that is bigger than all of the big ideas I initially started it with. I’m the wow person. Mandy is the how person. We even each other out well. She calls me out on the crazy.. and I call her into action when she might not otherwise jump at it. I love how we compliment each other in the business sense…
but even more how we fit together as friends.
Motherhood can be exhausting and overwhelming and I feel lucky to have
some pretty incredible women in my life. Mandy is one of them.
She is one of the most humble and genuine people I know. She never ceases to amaze me with how set on God her heart is. Before we went on stage to greet the women at our event, she grabbed my hands and prayed for the women out there. Later in the night she had gathered all the balloons and told me we were going to send them up for shannon.
I read on Mandy’s instagram that at the event my mom came up to her and hugged her saying, “I don’t know where you cam from but God just dropped you right down into our lives and I am so glad He did.” I love doing motherhood with mandy and sharing this experience of HAPPY MOMMY BOX with her. It’s been incredible seeing where it’s going and what it can do for our families and the women in our community.
It’s a lot of work and some days I can feel completely incapable, not business savvy enough and unsure if I’m doing any good for His Kingdom. Seeing this snapshot Karen snuck during our One Year Event makes my heart soar. Remembering that room filled with women wanting to celebrate motherhood and knowing their true encouragement and inspiration comes from Him gives me that boost. Working with eternity in mind makes all the crazy moments worth it. I don’t have to be perfect but just hands open to His will and taking those steps forward.
Everywhere I go people ask me about my tote bag and tee. (I wear it a lot because it’s so comfortable!! and the tote bag holds everything and a little more.
Moms always grab my arm and say yessss.. that’s what I say!
(In regards too when people see you with all your kids and say “wow you’ve got your hands full!” What exactly do they want us to say?? I have loved how HAPPY MOMMY BOX started as a way to connect with moms right at their door step and give them a boost through a care package…and now we are introducing our own shop items that help moms celebrate motherhood. It’s about more than giving yourself a boost.. it’s about encouraging other moms when they see your tote or tee.. about being that conversation starter and spark those mom friendships! I’ve already made new friends just over wearing my tote bag! haha.
We jam packed the weekend with fun. I wish they lived closer so we could do this more often! Micah was tuckered out with all the boy activity going on in our house. ;)
I can’t wait to share more about the event we threw…sooo many fun photos and videos to come! But I couldn’t let another day go by without sharing about having our families together. I LOVED every moment. even the crazy ones where we came home from a work “date night” and all our kids were up still ready to party…boycotting sleeping with the sitters on duty. I couldn’t believe how well our kids played together. mandy’s boys are all boy.. and my girls.. well they can hold their own with boys but they mix in elsa twirls when pillow fighting. They had a blast together. It was fun seeing the hubbies together too. We are a team. and it was cool being able to be together and do life together, not just work!
These sweet little faces… I could just gobble them up.
Sunday we went to the park to let these wild things get some energy out and ended up taking some fun photos and I LOVE how they turned out. Mandy and I took turns snapping away!
Sophia loved that we both had boots on ;)
She’s rocking her “cowgirl” boots that she wears for horse riding lessons.
I feel like I blinked and suddenly I have a toothless grown up girl
who likes to chat all day and all night. Love her so much.
These boys got a run down on ballet positions and elsa moves.
pretty good rose boys.. pretty good!
The kids LOVED being in the happy mommy box office together and doodled all over the “brown boxes” as the girls call them. (the boxes brand items are sent in)
We thought it was so cute seeing all the happy faces they were doodling.
I remember when I started reading blogs…I would see blog ladies connecting and
forming friendships and meeting in real life and throwing parties or events and I just loved it.
all of it. I wanted that for me but didn’t see how that could happen.
The crazy thing is… most of my really close friends I have either met through
my blog/instagram… or because we had mutual friends and they knew more about me
from my blog and thought we would be great friends..and they were right!
At first I didn’t realize this common ground…but then when I would be hanging out
with friends and introducing them to other people…I realized most of my answers to
“how did you guys meet”…was..”through my blog I guess!?”
I’m thankful for these friendships. And encourage anyone who is feeling isolated and wanting
a true friend…. don’t give up. don’t turn in and close off. Sometimes you have to put
yourself out there to find these great friendships. Doesn’t mean you have to start a blog
and share your life in that way… but go to that moms’ group you have been avoiding going to. Go up to that lady in target whose kids look crazy like your kids. go up to that lady in the
back of church because she is probably feeling the same way…….
“I want a true friend.”
I learned to make the conscience decision to start a conversation with other women
I see when out, even when It might feel awkward..because I’ve had moments I
wanted someone to reach out to me. Women desire community. we want more than
chit chat about how old your kids are. We want to share our hearts and learn and build
each other up. So maybe this weekend… take that risk and put yourself out there.
I flew to Texas knowing barely a soul in real life attending…
and one of the greatest friendships I’ve had, came through it.
I know a lot of people have heard the song, ‘Try’ by Colbie Caillet.
I was on Shannon’s facebook page tonight…
sometimes I end up there when I’m missing her.
I guess it makes me think of when she was still here and I would be all the way up in pittsburgh and she would pop up on my screen and we
would exchange baby and life updates, miss you’s and call you laters.
‘Try’ came on my spotify playlist. Tears starting rolling down my face.
“You don’t have to try so hard…” Today on the drive home from church I was talking to God.
I told Him how I feel this burden to DO. and to TRY. and I just need Him. and I know He can
do everything better than I ever could. I wanted to give Him all of these things on my heart.
The busy I feel. The sadness I feel.
I remember going to see a movie with Shannon and Cassie back when
we were in high school. a very popular girly chick flick.
I remember all of us sitting in the car in the parking lot..and Shannon started crying.
She started sharing her heart and she summed it up by
saying, “I just want to find real love. I want to be loved.”
And I’ll never forget that conversation. It’s the reality of what all of us want.
How often do we try so hard to be loved, to be approved of, to be admired…
and we are…
You don’t have to try so hard.
That love we want is only going to come from one place.
otherwise we’ll keep on looking and striving and not feeling fulfilled.
Shannon found that love. She is with Him and He loves
her in that most complete and fulfilling way that she desired.
As I drove home from church tonight…
the song Oceans came on.
I loveee this song.
it makes my burdened heart find some peace as I sing it and pray it,
“I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine.”
I hope you find some comfort tonight in those words…
You are His. Give Him your burdens. give Him your sadness.
Don’t worry about chasing your dreams.
Just say yes to HIS dreams for you.
Being a mommy to one seems like forever ago!
I wish someone would have told me back then that laundry baskets filled with unfolded clean laundry, is still a mama victory!
I remember feeling overwhelmed with just one baby..
And I still have plenty of those days with three..
Some areas of motherhood get easier over time but there is always that feeling…
Motherhood is overwhelming! But it’s being realistic and patient with yourself
that gets you through. All you can do is give yourself grace and give it up to God.
I like to think He gets a good laugh out of me down here
wrangling my littles, trying my best.
Looking back at Micah’s pregnancy it’s easier to see
the amazingness of the whole thing!
How incredible motherhood really is!
When your son is running around being a wild man it’s hard to
remember the time when you were pregnant and he was contained. haha.
It’s crazy thinking how soon he’ll be out in the world
and you’ll be missing those days he wouldn’t stop jumping
off your coffee table, screaming and shouting iron mannn.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
We all have days that are hard…
and you don’t know if you are doing it right or doing enough.
But just remember that through it all.. YOU are ENOUGH.
Try to see the good moments even in the hard ones.
Give yourself some credit. Don’t diminish in your mind the
incredible work you do on a daily basis as a mom.
This was our Christmas Card one year…
I love love it.
Tomorrow is Halloween and the kids will be rocking
Elsa, Dorothy and Spider Man.
A little different but just as cute ;) (trick or trunk at our church yesterday)
I remember when I was a pregnant cowgirl with micah…
Sienna loved feeling micah kick!
Now they are kicking together. Time with them is zooming.
Sometimes at bed time I just snuggle and hold onto them so tight wishing I could
freeze that moment. That’s right after I want to pull my hair out because they
are fighting over who got the red plate at dinner.
We got this mamas!
Have a wonderful Halloween and weekend!
Last weekend, Ben and I took a trip to Pittsburgh for a friend’s wedding.
We stayed with Ben’s older brother who lives in the same
town as the college we went to… Franciscan University in Steubenville Ohio.
Fall is the prettiest time of year to make that drive from Charlotte to Ohio! It was so beautiful.
Sophia was so interested in hearing how mommy and dad fell in love! It was the sweetest.
So one day we took our crew to our old campus and gave them the tour.
Sophia…..” Soo.. were you like staring at each other and then walked to each other??
Then she did a real life emoji face with heart eyes. She loves love.
Sophia has also been asking about college a lot lately. It’s cute how excited she is about it. excited nervous. But I told her she has plenty of years before college. Although ben just reminded me last night that she is one third of the way. gahhh!
On the drive over she asked me if there was a play ground at our college. and when I said no, she responded with “then what do you do during outside time?!” haha.
Ben and I first saw each other in the library on campus.
On the drive up I had told ben we need to try and get a good photo of all of us in there…
it’ll be so good for memories……epic fail.
Libraries and silence and micah do not mix.
We were in there a hot second before we turned right back around haha.
(There it is in the top right photo’s background. close enough.)
We went around and saw one of ben’s old teachers… then let the kids run in the leaves. Randomly this student who was talking with some girls near us came up and asked if we wanted some family photos. He snapped a few right there while the kids played…two posed ones… and then he e-mailed them to us a few hours later….AMAZING!! It was like we hit the jackpot. Christmas card worthy. This mysterious (doesn’t want to be plugged) photographer was so cool. Photos were used in my previous post. (A Letter to my Children)
It was fun and kinda odd walking around campus with our kids.
Hard to believe how much has changed in 7 years!
I don’t know if I’ve shared this on my blog before.. but in college I kinda partied it up there for a while. But then I was realizing I just wasn’t feeling fulfilled and being where I wanted to be. My mom told me when my friends would go party to go to the gym. Which is kind of silly because I’m not very good at basketball. It was the second time I did that… that I had my first real conversation with ben. He was in the gym shooting hoops! The first time we talked was also in the gym..but it was a quick moment where he came up to me, standing with my friend Ian, and said “I see you all over campus I gotta know your name”
Lesson of the story. listen to your mother ;)
Micah only knows one speed. fast. only slows down to wave, find rocks, water fountains
and look at fire hydrants. He walked into FUS like he owned the place…it was hilarious.
Loved making these memories with the kids. Life is moving in super speed.
Trying to slow down and soak it all up! Hope you are having a great weekend!
(all the photos in the post were taken with my phone.
If you want to check out how I edit my phone photos, watch my video tutorial!)