Dear Friend, Who is struggling…

Dear Friend,

I sat across from you today. You are struggling, you are tired.

As looked into her eyes I recognized the exhaustion and the fear. I recognized the question, the one that asks am I going to be okay? I remembered a dark season in my life. I remembered when I was so undone with anxiety that I couldn’t take the kids to the beach or even make it out of the house.

I remembered when I had no hope.

I remembered a friend who showed up every single day on my doorstep. She’d ask, “What are you afraid of today?” I’d tell her and she’d listen. She’d really listen…that was the gift. When I’d run all out of words I would sit shaking on my porch trying to feel the sun that beat down all around me, but never touched my skin.

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Working Mom or SAHM, We are all going to be okay.

I have recently gone back to work part time. This is mostly because I plan on giving my kids a sub-par childhood.

So far everyone is suffering and wearing weird clothes to school, because I’m not there to control their fashion decisions. My kindergartner wore pink leggings and cutoff jean shorts to her school Christmas program. I snuck in a few minutes late from work and scanned the kids on stage. When my eyes fell on Oaklee, I burst out laughing. There she was, surrounded by red and white dresses and tiny bow ties. My husband waited in great anticipation for my reaction. Our eyes met when I slid into the seat next to him. He grinned and nodded proudly. “Yeah I did…” he whispered, giving me a big wink.

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PSA: I Fired the Tooth Fairy

I fired the tooth fairy.

I am all done moonlighting as an ivory collector.

It was the fifth time the, “tooth fairy must have been so busy she forgot!” while my husband and I mouthed obscenities to each other over their heads, HOW COULD WE LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN???! My son sat me down and gently asked, “Mom, are you the tooth fairy?”

I just couldn’t handle the pressure anymore. I caved. Read More

How motherhood has changed me.

I was twenty-one years old when I held my son for the first time. I hadn’t yet a enjoyed a single legal drink and my idea of cleaning house was to not to. He was red and wrinkly and his cry echoed down the hospital hallways. He was perfect. I looked into his wide eyes and I saw the weight of eternity in his fragile being. What a responsibility, what an honor. Fear hit, because suddenly I was vulnerable. Suddenly my actions mattered. Suddenly I had to grow up and to know what I didn’t know.

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Family of Six Travels the World with Friends

I have a very exciting announcement I’ve been dying to tell you all!!

On April 8th we are leaving for a 4-5 month trip around the world. Our stops will include  the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. In case you are wondering I AM FREAKING OUT WITH EXCITEMENT!!!!!

Through the blog and our brand new company Wylder Pursuits we have been able to make connections and gain sponsorships for our trip. (To discuss working together, email jess@wonderoak.com for more information.)

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Dear Kids, When I fail…

Dear kids,

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I see that you’ve grown over night. Your face is more defined, your eyes look older. A part of me is excited and in awe; I know you have so much ahead of you. Another part is scared because time is racing and I can’t slow it down. I’m afraid that I haven’t always been awake and noticing, and that somehow I have slept through the magic of your growing. I wonder, have I enjoyed you enough? Have I given you what you needed? Is your heart still whole? Is your spirit unbroken?

I’m not always good at this. I’m not always as good as I want to be at being your mom. I want to be great; and sometimes I am, but sometimes I’m not.

Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don’t.

Sometimes I do it right, and sometimes I completely miss it.

Everyday I make mistakes.

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Why We Take Our Kids to the Bar.

Recently I went to a sports bar/pizza place for a friend’s birthday. There was sawdust on the floor, peanuts, and initials carved into the table. I thought, you know who belongs here?

My kids.

I was right. A week later we brought them. We got a paper tray full of peanuts and my husband instructed everyone that their shells were to be thrown on the floor. I guard the carpet under our kitchen table like a prison warden, so my seven-year-old’s eyes lit up like it was Christmas. His shrill, villainous, laughter could be heard across the bar as he plowed through peanuts just so he could throw the shells to the ground. Graham busted out his pocket knife and my nine-year-old set to work on the table with the prowess of a young Michelangelo.

We are such good parents.

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Haters Gunna Hate. A story about decaf and pacifiers.

I remember back when I was a perfect parent. It was around the same time I thought that parachute pants were an excellent fashion choice. It was also when I was going to save the last dance with Sean Patrick Lewis and have his perfect babies.

Did I mention I was not yet a mother?

No one told me that you have to do all that “perfect” parenting at the same time as children are yelling, shrieking, and jumping naked on your couch cushions that you fluff up 5,000 times a day.

They are just so loud you guys.

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I’m Sorry I was Late (via Motherly)

I sat down and mapped out a life plan, and so far it looks like I will be late for approximately 15 more years.

I’m so excited about my newest post for Motherly, because, FOR REALZZZ.

Mornings before kids:

1. Get self ready.

2. Get self in car.

3. Go.

Mornings now:

1. Wake up children.

2. Go to the kitchen to start breakfast.

3. Hear no noise from children.

4. Holler at children every 30 seconds.

5. All appear, except one. Your future seems bright, you keep hollering.

6. You hear last child thrashing and grunting violently. This is the worst moment of his life.

7. Child finally emerges. It is unclear if he is human or zombie.

8. Child sits on couch.

9. Child becomes one with the couch.

10. You call frantically to them while making eggs: “Shoes!” “Hair!” “Clothes!”

11. Child stares into space.

Read more at Motherly…

Mom Solidarity in Target

Yesterday at Target I stood in line behind a Mom with two screaming kids. One clung to her leg while the other, a brand new baby, wailed from her arms.

I am not used to being the one who is not the parent of the screaming child. This was uncharted territory.

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