Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Bittersweet Transition from Baby to Big Brother

McCollum has been the baby of the family for 3.5 years, and I {shamelessly} take full responsibility for his neediness. He is the snuggliest, most affectionate little boy. I have truly been able to savor his "babyhood", especially with all the one-on-one time this past year, but I can't help but feel a twinge of guilt adding a new baby to the family. Will I be able to give all three the love and attention they each need? I worry how Mac's sensitive little heart will adjust to such a big change. But I know he will love his new little brother or sister and that this is just a right of passage for their relationship and ours. A sibling is a gift. I just need to get out of the way so Mac can blossom into his new role as Big Brother. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Letter to My 5 Year Old...

All birthdays are emotional for me-the gift of another year but also a gut-wrenching reminder of just how fleeting time is. 
Five years ago you made me a mama, and I instantly knew my purpose in this life. "Five" just seems so significant. The clumsy, spastic toddler stage has come and gone. You are so smart, but I don't want you to know that because it's a natural gift not something you've had to work for yet. You are bossy yet nurturing and so very independent. You've got your mama's sense of style, actually you have A LOT of your mama in you, which is both endearing and a bit worrisome. You are my constant sidekick in the kitchen and as girly as they come. You do things on your terms when you're ready. You love Jesus and can sing every word to your favorite worship songs. It still surprises me that we have actual conversations and you can express your thoughts so articulately. And most importantly, you love the Clemson Tigers. So often I just stop and stare, trying to freeze the moments in my memory so I can forever remember this season. 
I love you to the ends of the Earth, Finlay Harper and thank God for the gift of you.
Love, Mommy

Thursday, January 18, 2018

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers"

Fall is for {Clemson} football, pumpkin everything, apple spice, hayrides, crackling fires, cool temperatures....fall is for traditions!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Baby 3

 Another baby has always been in the plan for our little family. And Lord knows I love a "plan". Something I did not plan for; however, is joining a club I had no interest in being a part of, or walking the devastating path that so many women have walked before. And it's impossible to acknowledge this precious little baby growing inside me without thinking of the baby we lost. We were in the midst of tragedy and thought a glimmer of light was shining through the darkest days we've ever faced, but instead the waters just continued to rise. 
In the days and weeks that followed, I managed to occupy every free minute. After all, life stops for nothing when you have 2 kids that rely on you for their every need. The grief continues to reveal itself in small ways as time goes on, but above all the whole experience left me with an even greater realization of what tremendous gifts fertility and motherhood are. My heart physically hurts for anyone facing those struggles. 
I blinked my eyes and we were pregnant again, but I wasn't prepared for the anxiety that accompanies a rainbow pregnancy. It was an utterly brutal first trimester with symptoms lasting weeks into the second. But somehow it quieted my anxious mind to "feel" this pregnancy so much-assurance that it was real. 
So here we are just about halfway through this pregnancy-happy, excited, full of anticipation {surprise gender!}, and

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Living the Dream

At least 5 times a day I stop in my tracks and think to myself, "How did I get so lucky?" Even when I'm drowning in tantrums and poop, even when I'm desperate for just 5 minutes to myself, and even when I've picked up that toy or wiped the counter for the millionth time that day, I think to myself this is all I ever wanted. More than anything, I feel like I have the gift of time-to sit down together at the table for every meal, prepare them healthy food, read that 2nd (or 10th) story, watch them discover the world, celebrate all of their little victories, and just love them. Finally, I'm not missing anything and I'm giving them the very best of me. And I hope someday they read this and know that being their stay-at-home-mom was my dream come true.  

The first annual Clarke Easter Egg Hunt!

I'm not at all obsessed with holidays or traditions! Just kidding. I live for them!! So this year we added an Easter Egg Hunt to our list of celebrations! 

Fun times with friends crafting, egg-hunting and candy-eating!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Finlay's 4th Ballerina Birthday

We celebrated our precious 4 (gasp) year old with a "Ballerina" themed party this March. This was her first year in dance class and she adores it. Go figure. Finlay has the sweetest group of friends from school, most of which have been together since the infant room. It's such a treat to watch them-the giggles & hilarious conversations...I was born to be a girl mom!

How have 4 whole years come and gone? Time is my worst enemy. And yet it is the most precious gift-every time I feel that ache in my heart thinking of how quickly life goes, I remind myself how immensely lucky I am to have the gift of another year. This first born child of ours is something special, if I do say so. She is smart, loving, and has an attitude that is strikingly similar to the one that has gotten me into a lot of trouble over the years. I just know she is going to do big things.